It’s LGBTQ Pride weekend in New York, the home of the original Stonewall Inn where all the colorful queens bashed back at the cops in 1969. All of these years’ celebrations seem more militant in the face of President Pence’s virulent statements and acts against anybody not straight like him and his “mother”.
Also it’s Eid al-Adha today, the end of Ramadan and a big celebration for Muslim New Yorkers, so best wishes to you.
We have a lot to show you this week of art from the street, museum, and studio. This horrid and chaotic political environment is proving to be fertile soil for the growth of politically themed works by artists everywhere.
We start todays’ posting with the image above created with the simplicity of a mirror held up during a recent demonstration as if to say, “this is what America looks like”, by the artists “Icy & Sot”. The people who is reflected back to the camera appear in stark contrast to the nearly exclusively white, male, ultra-rich cabinet he has selected as his advisors.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Chor Boogie, EC13, Homless, Icy & Sot, JPO Art, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Love Breeds Love, Shepard Fairey, UNO, and Wayne.
First thing to know about the new piece in Lisbon above is that the Street Artist who made it, UNO, has a phobia with birds. The second thing is to know that if you see a crow flying overhead in Lisbon, some people will tell you that it is protecting the city. The belief is a remnant from a 12th century story that says the beloved Saint Vincent was buried in Sagres, where his body was protected by crows. When his body was moved to Lisbon by the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henrique, it is said that two crows accompanied the body. This is why the flag of Lisbon has a ship and two ravens on either side with the motto “MUI NOBRE E SEMPRE LEAL CIDADE DE LISBOA” (the most noble and always loyal to the city of Lisbon) .
The powerful use of words and images is playing an important role in directing the events that lead us forward, or backward. It is right for us to be alerted to fake news, although the recent bashing of news sources has more to do with de-legitimizing and seizing power than any sincere interest in truth.
If anyone uses words and images to create fake news it would be PR companies and the related industries who have been creating entire campaigns and planting them in newspapers and in electronic media and Reddit and Facebook comments for years now. Posing as everyday folk or genuinely respectable “think tanks”, they tear down people, sowing fear, confusion, and disinformation. Their persuasive words are often effective.
We can divine a lot about a person by listening to the words, as well the ones they leave out. We always say that the street is a reflection of society back to itself and today we share with you these text-based messages that give you an idea of what people are talking about.
Political, social, straightforward, evasive, confrontational, poetic, strident, aspirational, inspirational, inclusive, loving, hateful, witty, simple, confusing; The average passerby regards, absorbs or dismisses the sentiment, feeling that their opinion is re-affirmed or neglected. Possibly they consider a perspective that is brand new.
Because of the anonymity and the lack of context, sometimes a well-placed missive appears as a message from the Universe, or from God, or another kindred soul.
The gallerists and merchants have begun arriving in the South Beach area of Miami to uncrate the art they’ve shipped for the enormous Art Basel and the assorted satellite fairs of Art Basel Miami 2016. Across the Venetian Way heading inland and minutes to the north you see that artist have already been painting on walls in the Wynwood neighborhood.
First adorned by an entirely organic graffiti and Street Art scene in the late 90s and early 2000s, the low-income neighborhood with a light-manufacturing base has been transformed by real estate and economic development. Now after a decade of inviting local and international artistic talent to come and paint, the Wynwood area of Miami is a beacon of mural art that showcases this moment in its evolution.
Urban Nation (UN) returns this year as well, having worked with many of these artists who will be getting up throughout Wynwood, and BSA is on the streets here with you to see the action as it unfolds with exhibitions, shows, and possibly a party or two. While Wynwood events certainly popped up in the shadow of the annual Art Basel exhibition, art fair patrons and a modicum of celebrity have made the pilgrimage here in greater numbers every year for some urban decay realness, now sprinkled with glitter.
It is no surprise that many of these same artists are now featured in the art fairs as well, represented by new and established galleries and hired by lifestyle brands and moneyed corporations to carry their messages. It’s a heady mix of power, rebellion, politics, aesthetics, and aerosol; and sometimes it is a pure revelation to see the transformations, given the anti-establishment undercurrents that have run through graffiti and the more socio-political activist elements of Street Art throughout the last half-century.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the 70s, minutes away from the sand and the ocean, this grit is just getting stirred up again, and the aerosol fumes are already wafting through the blocks that are now looking less run-down, and decidedly under development.
West Coast based mural magician and philosopher Chor Boogie, with his protective air mask perched like mini-horns atop his head, smiles and welcomes a visitor happily because this time is just before the flood, before the sidewalks are thick with ipad-photographers and selfie-takers and fans of all sorts.
With moving vans and ladders and boxes of cans being unpacked, this neighborhood is clearly gearing up for a party again, and many artists have already laid down line work to play alongside pieces that have survived previous years. As the events unfold we’ll keep you apprised of the ones we trip into.
Murals hold their own place onstage in public space today for a variety of reasons that we discuss regularly on BSA. From grassroots and public, to private and corporate, we have watched the genre professionalize as Street Art festivals and other initiatives are often coupling artists with brands and are selling canvasses through the organizers galleries. Today we have the first of a promised four-part book series by Art Whino gallerist and organizer of the Richmond Mural Project in Virginia, Shane Pomajambo, that features many artists he has worked with in the brand new “The Art of the Mural”.
Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
Featuring more than fifty current graffiti/Street Artists, the survey pays special attention to the show-stopping eye candy that commands attention for these nomadic painters who are developing their craft before an ever larger and more appreciative international audience.
Culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick, who writes the introduction to the Schiffer published hardcover, notes that this mural renaissance is quite unlike the US government funded New Deal era mural programs that produced “hundreds of thousands of murals for schools, hospitals, post offices, housing projects, and various government facilities”. And he’s right, these are emanating from a different place entirely.
Antony Lister. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
The world-traveling media-soaked artists, of which this collection is subset, have had vastly more exposure to corporations and branding perhaps than, say, arts institutions, and a sophisticated self-handling is often on display with artists ever more savvy in their choices of style and content.
A greater percentage are now entering into private collections, galleries, and museums thanks to unprecedented platforms for huge exposure on the Internet, and their public works are adding rich character and dialogue to our neighborhoods and public spaces.
Curiot. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
With academia, art critics, and auction houses all grappling with the rightful place of these artists in contemporary art and society at large it will be instructive to know the history and their lineage, content, context, and patronage. One has to agree when McCormick says that all of these “are helpful for us to consider in looking at and understanding the artists’ walls of today.”
This collection of talent is strong, with many of the mid-large names that are at play in this generation of painters whom are primarily born in the 1970s and 80s. In their work is a cultural appreciation for modern graffiti history as they now channel it along with formal training, art history, advertising, and a multitude of media. With few exceptions, it’s a tight list of artists, the images are riveting (though uncredited to their photographers), and the brief introductions by Pomajambo contain just enough biographical information and artist’ quotes to ground the story and give it context.
“As with everything I do,” says the Queens, New York native Pomajambo, “I always question and observe, and as we reach critical mass with murals I felt compelled to create this project and capture a moment in time.”
Evoca 1. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
Fintan Magee. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
Miss Van. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
MOMO. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
Onur & Wes 21. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
Telmo & Miel. Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
Tone (Robert Proch). Shane Pomajambo The Art of The Mural Volume 01 Foreword by Carlo McCormick. Schiffer Publishing. 2016
All photos of the spreads by Jaime Rojo
The Art of The Mural: Contemporary International Urban Art. Volume 01 by Shaen Pomajambo. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA. USA.
Here are shots of the new GEOMETRICKS show as installed and opening this evening in Red Hook, Brooklyn at Gallery Brooklyn. These images look so austere and crisp, unlike the wildness on the canvasses, and nothing like the visual cacophony of the streets, where so much of this new abstractionist movement is happening. Guess that’s why they call this the “fine art” portion of the story, right?
Congratulations and thanks to all the artists, the gallery, the interns, and our Vandal/Visionary curator for this show, Hellbent. GEOMETRICKS runs for 6 weeks so if you would like to see it in person you are more than welcome.
The show’s up and the bubbly is waiting for the iceman to cometh and of course we hope you’ll be rolling through as Hellbent curates our first “Vandals or Visionaries” show, entitled GEOMETRICKS.
Tricks are for kids, and for Olek, who has reserved one of her raunchy text messages for you to discover crocheted into her sculpture, and for Overunder, who is hanging his free wheeling story-telling metaphors with pattern overlays on large sheets of draftsman paper. It’s also tricky to make your eyes focus through multiple abstractions, line plays, blinding colors, and rippling patterns that jump off at you as you walk through the gallery space.
All of these artists have been bringing it to the streets, and all come at it from different perspectives. See One developed his through the NYC graffiti scene, Augustine Kofie evolved his draftsman approach out of his days as a writer in LA during the 90s, and Jaye Moon is a fine artist from Korea who’s had a gallery career before she started taking Legos to the streets. But when you see it all together, you realize there is one new language in formation in the Street Art AND Graffiti scene.
“Art from the streets has been heralding a new eye-popping geometric disorder that can now fairly be called a movement.
With roots in recent art history and the rhythms of the street, artists are giving themselves over to pungent color, pattern, grid inspired line, and a sharp edged abstraction. No one can say what has moved the conversation toward this aesthetic — it all mimics the repetitive patterns that are found in nature as well as the cool symmetries programmed by human industry. These modern alchemists from across the globe are somehow pumping the Street Art scene with an oxygen-rich supply of lifeblood and a variety of possible directions to explore.” ~ from Color, Geometry and Pattern on the Streets, our recent piece on the Huffington Post.
Yo Yo what’s up all the Brooklyn peepuls and the New Yorkers and the LA’ers and the Chicago’ers and the Stavanger Norway buddies and shout out to Martha as she hangs in Johannesburg today and to everybody who’s brave enough to tap into the creative spirit. Today in Brooklyn it’s sunny and bright and there’s a bird singing on the chain link fence outside my house. As usual the place to be is where you’re at. Also, we’d be really happy to meet you tomorrow at our show in Red Hook if you can fly by.
1. Kit Kat Flex Dancer in Brooklyn (VIDEO)
2. GEOMETRICKS Opens Saturday (BKLYN)
3. Shai Dahan “Broken Window” (Sweden)
4. Fall Group Exhibition at C.A.V.E (LA)
5. Sydney curates a show on the Street (Australia)
6. “Luchadores” by El Hase is now open to the public at One Art Space in Manhattan.7. Ricky Powell is “Back in BK” and you can catch him tonight at Mishka in Brooklyn
7. PUBLIC WORKS PART I By Jason Wawro (VIDEO)
8. PUBLIC WORKS PART II By Jason Wawro (VIDEO)
9. Narcelio Grud: “Spiral” Invention and Graffiti (VIDEO)
10. TEJN Has a lock on Street Art (VIDEO)
11. Don John in Copenhagen by Alexander Lee (VIDEO)
Let’s start Friday by getting inspired by KitKat – a Brooklyn flex dancer who knows her stuff. (VIDEO)
GEOMETRICKS Opens Saturday (BKLYN)
Of course we had to put this one first because we have 11 cool artists showing work that collectively illustrates one of the major new directions that Street Art and Graffiti are going in right now.
The Red Hook neighborhood is where the fun will be this Saturday as the opening of “GEOMETRICKS”, curated by Hellbent, takes place at Gallery Brooklyn. With a FREE shuttle from the G/F Trains on Carroll St to the Gallery courtesy of local Brooklyn Crab restaurant, a Young Collectors Wall with dope pieces by the artists in the show all priced at $200 each (you must have valid student ID for these pieces), and music provided by Sleptember, you are going to see a slice of community we’ve all grown to love.
Support the inaugural show of “Vandal or Visionaries” Series by BSA and enjoy the beautiful art works by: Augustine Kofie, Chor Boogie, Drew Tyndell, Feral Child, Hellbent, Jaye Moon, Maya Hayuk, MOMO, OLEK, OverUnder, See One. Then join us at Brooklyn Crab to hang after the show – and the restaurant will be offering a FREE shuttle back to the G/F Trains. So what’s there not to like? And we thank our local Red Hook based sponsor, SixPoint Brewery.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Sydney curates a show on the Street (Australia)
It looks like the Australians’ love affair for Street Art continues strong. Ambush Gallery has teamed up with Darling Quartet, Sydney’s new precinct and public arts space to mount an outdoor exhibition opening to the public today. The works of art on view are by a handful of well known and respected Street Artists working today including: Anthony Lister (Bris/NY), Beastman (Syd), Shannon Crees (Syd) and Hiroyasu Tsuri/TWOONE (Melb). The exhibition is FREE, open 24/7 and it will be illuminated at night.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Also happening this weekend:
“Luchadores” by El Hase is now open to the public at One Art Space in Manhattan. Click here for more details on this show.
Ricky Powell is “Back in BK” and you can catch him tonight at Mishka in Brooklyn. Click here for more details on this show.
PUBLIC WORKS PART I By Jason Wawro (VIDEO)
PUBLIC WORKS PART II By Jason Wawro (VIDEO)
To learn more about LALA Arts Public Works Project with the participation of Ron English and Shepard Fairey, as well as How & Nosm, Insa, Push, Revok, Risk, Seen, Trustocorp, WCA Crew, Uglar and Zes click here.
Narcelio Grud: “Spiral” Invention and Graffiti (VIDEO)
TEJN Has a lock on Street Art (VIDEO)
Sculptor TEJN from Copenhagen broadens our conception of what street art and public art and sculpture are with his installations that he chains and locks and leaves. Basically, he’s just giving you his art, and if you really want it probably you will need a blow torch.
The show is looking great! And we’re happy to make a few new announcements below. We sent this out to the email list with an incorrect photo for the Kofie Augustine image below so if you got one of those in your email box we apologize.
As New York marks the 11th year since the September 11 attacks on our city, a sort of solemn sadness was evident on the subways and on the streets this morning, or maybe we’re just projecting our own sadness and feelings of loss. In those days afterward it felt like we had put down our differences and unified in our sorrow and our determination. We were changed by those events, and are still learning from them.
“How do we revive Lady Liberty from suffocation of war, pain and inequality?” Chor Boogie
Our right to free speech and expression was heralded as something “the terrorists” hated. Today as evidence that the right to free speech is alive and well, Street Artist and fine artist Chor Boogie creates a series of new paintings called “Divided States of America”
Coinciding the release of the paintings with the just concluded theater of the Republican and Democratic national conventions and anticipating the upcoming debates, Chor wanted to emphasize what he sees as our current and most pressing problems that directly and daily affect the lives of American citizens such as immigration, energy resources, poverty, class and the erosion of liberty and democracy. The collection is full of plain symbols and texts that can stir emotions and opinions and will be on tour through the US leading up to the elections, encouraging people to speak up and debate the issues that are not always talked about by the politicians and that definitely are are not always easy to grapple with.
Politics and art are frequently strange bedfellows because meanings are open to interpretation, and invariably passions are inflamed. So be it, Americans can handle a good lively open debate, with respect for others and their opinion. That’s how the system was supposed to work.
“The Divided State of America” National Art Exhibition to Launch During Democratic National Convention
Featuring symposium to highlight solutions for an ideologically fractured America “The Divided State of America,” an innovative political art series, will make its national debut in a symposium for attendees of the Democratic National Convention at 12:00 PM ET on September 6, 2012, at Gallery X (aka Elder Gallery) in Charlotte, NC. The session will feature a roundtable discussion with prominent thinkers about the themes of the exhibition, asking them fundamental questions about why America is currently polarized and how to solve the crisis before the election.
The “Divided State of America” is a larger-than-life collection spray painted by world-renown artist Chor Boogie and commissioned by pharmaceutical and biotechnology entrepreneur Nirmal Mulye. The paintings depict universal issues that have affected Mulye’s life and the lives of many other Americans – policies affecting immigration, energy, the economy, class, and religion – to stimulate discussion and political discourse
The exhibition will be on show throughout the convention in the lounge of Gallery X, hosted by entrepreneur coalition StartUp RockOn, and later in a series of public events throughout the country in the run-up to the Presidential Election in November. More information is available at www.facebook.com/DividedUSA.
ABOUT NIRMAL MULYE: Nirmal Mulye emigrated to the U.S. from India in 1987 – barely able to speak English, and without financial aid or assistance. After receiving his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from Temple University in 1992, Mulye went on to found seven innovative companies and employ over 400 people under the umbrella company, Nostrum Pharmaceuticals, LLC
ABOUT CHOR BOOGIE: The work of artist Chor Boogie has been featured in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including a recent installation for the Smithsonian Institute on the National Mall in Washington D.C. His work has influenced and inspired a generation of young adults through his dynamic, positive message. Using the contemporary medium of spray paint, Chor Boogie’s soulful portraits and abstract elements combine in color therapy, inviting the viewer to see and think, internally and externally.
1520 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28203