All posts tagged: Chris Stain

Coney Art Walls Class of 2017

Coney Art Walls Class of 2017

With ten fresh new murals, Coney Art Walls 2017 has made its official debut for summer. Starting this past weekend with the Mermaid Parade in full swing with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein as Queen and King and aquatic beauties in shimmering costumes wending their way through the pavement paradise by the sea.

The new Crash wall welcomes you to summer 2017 at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we bring you the class of 2017; all ten new walls at Coney plus a re-freshed one by sculptor and Street Art pioneer John Ahearn.Mr. Ahearn re-casted fresh sculptures of his Boy in the Beach With Divers piece which he debuted at last year’s edition of Coney Art Walls. With fresh paint and fresh bodies the piece looks even more stunning this year.

Another updated blast from the past, Lee Quinones brings back a mural he first completed on a handball court back when he was hitting trains on the MTA 38 years ago. The center word “Graffiti” reminds us where this scene sprang from.

Lee Quinones in action at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lee Quinoes. “Graffiti 20/20”. “If The Battle Chooses You. Choose What You Battle With” reads the caption on top of the mural. Lee recreates an updated version of his original “Graffiti 1979” mural painted on a handball court on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which he updated as “1990” and climbed down it in the opening of “Wild Style”, directed by Charlie Ahearn. Bringing the graffiti explosion back for a third time, you see he’s already planned ahead three years. This is one of the new walls for Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lee Quinones. Coney Art Walls 2017. Lee shows us a photo of the original mural that was featured in the book “Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in NYC” by Craig Castleman published in 1982 by MIT Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain’s mural for Coney Art Walls 2017 integrates a photo taken by Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A side view of John Ahearn’s casted sculptures mounted on his wall at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn before his work. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ad from Skewville tightens the line. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skewville. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marie Roberts seeks shelter from the sun as she works on her mural for Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marie Roberts. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain and his team at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alexis Diaz does fine line work on his creature for Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alexis Diaz. Work in Progress. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shantell Martin. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mark Bode. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Exploring From Coney To Harlem: Fresh Art on The Streets This Summer in NYC

Exploring From Coney To Harlem: Fresh Art on The Streets This Summer in NYC

Summer brings people out onto the streets. New Yorkers especially love to congregate on corners, stoops, public parks and plazas, sidewalks and on the streets to soak in the sun and the excitement of summer after its long winter season. With that in mind we want to point you to what’s new on the streets of the city when it comes to Street Art and Graffiti, scenes that are constantly reinventing themselves and moving.

Here are five destinations with fresh new murals and Street Art painted this year that you can track down and enjoy on your own in an afternoon. Take a break by sitting on a stoop or a bench and enjoy the sounds and energy of each neighborhood and have a hot dog or a slice of watermelon, a slice of pizza – maybe an Italian ice!

Case Maclaim and Pixel Pancho updated their collaboration for this year’s edition of The Bushwick Collective Block Party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn.

This 6 year old project spearheaded by Bushwick native Joe Ficalora continues to host international artists on walls spread on five blocks in this gentrifying neighborhood of Brooklyn. With more than a dozen freshly painted murals that were completed for this months annual block party, the cheek-to-jowl collection of murals feels like a treasure hunt of global styles all here to show off their best. While we still have the L train you can take it Jefferson et voilà!

Logan Hicks and Joe Iurato updated their collaboration for this year’s edition of The Bushwick Collective Block Party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coney Art Walls in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

In its third year, Coney Art Walls is an initiative of Thor Equities and in a curatorial collaboration with art maven Jeffrey Deitch….This year’s edition of Coney Art Walls brings ten freshly painted murals by American and international artists to add to the collection of 30 or so murals painted during the past two editions. Here you will see an eclectic mix of 1970s era train writers to some of today’s multi-conceptualists take on the broader theme of Coney Island, its characters, its rides, its foot long hot dogs.  A plethora of trains will take you there and be prepared to enjoy native graffiti in the “wild”on walls throughout the roughly 45 minutes train ride as your view rises on the elevated tracks. Take the N, Q, F, and D trains to Coney Island.

Lee Quinones. “Graffiti 20/20”. “If The Battle Chooses You. Choose What You Battle With” reads the caption on top of the mural. Lee recreates an updated version of his original “Graffiti 1979” mural painted on a handball court on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which he updated as “1990” and climbed down it in the opening of “Wild Style”, directed by Charlie Ahearn. Bringing the graffiti explosion back for a third time, you see he’s already planned ahead three years. This is one of the new walls for Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain’s mural for Coney Art Walls 2017 integrates a photo taken by Martha Cooper on a New York street in the 1980s with an ocean swell of graffiti washing up around the young lovers. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Welling Court Mural Project in Queens, NY.

The most community oriented among all of the festivals taking place in NYC, Welling Court just completed its 8th edition this month a part of Queens that feels ignored, yet now strangely is getting some high-end real estate?  With a less-structured program and a philosophy of inclusiveness the project attracts a diverse group of local, national and international artists seeking to participate and interact with these neighbors, some of them New Yorks’ newest members, in a weekend-long genuine summer block party. Located in Welling Court in Long Island City in the borough of Queens the walls spread over five blocks or so and can be accessed via the N train to 30th Ave. Take a bus to Welling Court or walk for about 15 minutes on 30th Ave towards the East River.

LMNOPI. Welling Court Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dennis McNett. Detail. Welling Court Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

The L.I.S.A. Project NYC in Little Italy and The Lower East Side.

This Mural Program is the brainchild of Wayne Rada and Ray Rosa, who host artists from all over the world to come and beautify the old neighborhoods of Little Italy and parts of the Lower East Side both in Manhattan. Because its Manhattan and space and turf are contested, you’ll find the works scattered and surprisingly integrated into spots – evoking the element of “discovery” that organic Street Art and graffiti produces.

Not necessarily located on a specific set of blocks the murals are more spread out on several streets in and around Little Italy and can be reached taking a number of subways lines. We’ll advise you take the B or the D trains to Grand Street Station and make your way to Mulberry Street where you’ll enjoy large murals by Ron English and Tristan Eaton and a number of smaller pieces. As you wander, walk, stroll, or crawl through Little Italy you’re bound to discover big and small pieces that run a spectrum of Shepard Fairey, JPO, BKFoxx, KanoKid, The Drif, and Buff Monster.

Kano. L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face. L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monument Art in El Barrio, Harlem.

Monument Art really concentrates on large high quality murals for El Barrio in NYC. Beginning in 2015 a dozen international artists were invited to paint for two weeks including massive murals by ROA, El Mac, Celso, Ever Siempre, Faith 47 and others others. This year German artist Case Maclaim was invited to paint one highly realistic mural on a school wall located at 310 East 113th Street. Take the 6 train to 110 Street and walk north on Lexington ave towards 113th street.

As you make your way north you’ll see some of the murals painted in 2015.

Case Maclaim. Work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Case Maclaim. Work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Case Maclaim. Monument Art. El Barrio, Harlem. NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.12.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.12.16

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The annual Welling Court Community Festival in L.I.C. in Queens took place yesterday. BSA was there on Friday to photograph the completed walls while a bevy of enthusiastic artists were busy at work on their walls and getting ready for yesterday’s block party. We wanted to bring you Part I of our coverage of this year’s festival on this Sunday’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week. Sit tight, Part II will come later next week as we wait for a few artists to complete their walls.

The 7th year for this eclectic homegrown collecting of graffiti and Street Artists for communal mural-making has not diverged much from its original character. You are still entirely welcomed. There are no corporate sponsors or sales of T-Shirts or silly app-designer types striking poses or stroking beards or like, privileged like, verbally challenged, like, young professionals looking for like brunch? nearby? Er whatever.

Wellington Court still feels like real people, and hard working families, with plenty of kids and community and homemade foods. At least for now. Thanks to organizers Garrison and Alison Buxton for pulling this off once again.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Billy Mode, Cern, Chris Stain, Depoe, Drsc0, FKDL, Icy & Sot, John Fekner, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Myth, OX, REPO, Skewville, Stikman, Vlady, and Voxx.

Our top image: Icy & Sot draws a direct connection between industrial pollution and the globe. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CERN. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DEPOE. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Fekner. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain . Billy Mode. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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REPO. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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REPO. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI. Welling Court 2016. L.I.C. Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist LMNOPI lends her voice to the growing calls for stores to boycott the world’s largest supplier of berries until they treat their employees fairly after being accused of abuses, among them child labor. Learn more about the worldwide boycott of Driscoll’s here.

 

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Coloquix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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OX and Vlady do some clever circuit-jamming of public space here with advertising signage that features images of advertising signage. Also an impossible to read larger message. Biancavilla, Italy. (photo © Vlady)

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Stikman was framed. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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While gazing at the gams on this one earlier in the week, we found ourselves wondering if London Kaye will get a tan this summer. London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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drscØ left a few new pieces around town this month, each appearing to be shocked in disbelief at something, maybe passersby. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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drscØ (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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drscØ (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Heaven knows I’m miserable now. (S)Myth takes maudlin self pity to heroic lengths. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist’s take on The Donald. The HRC, referencing Hillary Clinton was added later for an additional bit of levity. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FKDL (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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VOXX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Los Angeles, CA. April 2011. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday 04.03.15 – SPECIAL “Persons of Interest” Videos Debut

BSA Film Friday 04.03.15 – SPECIAL “Persons of Interest” Videos Debut

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. BSA PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” Documentation by Dario Jurilli, Urban Nation, Berlin.

SONG:
“Pipedream“ feat. Tok Tok by PARASITE SINGLE

2. Urban Nation Berlin and BSA: PM/7 “Persons Of Interest” by Talking Projects

 

Today we debut two videos on BSA Film Friday that have just been released in support of PERSONS OF INTEREST, our curated program for Urban Nation last month in Berlin. The Project M/7 was all about honoring the practice of cultural exchange between the borough of Brooklyn and the City of Berlin.

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Artists from both cities have been collaborating and influencing each other for years and we were honored to work with such a talented and varied group of Brooklyn-based artists who each came at the project from very different perspectives. We follow a philosophy that says “honor the creative spirit in each person” first and great amazing things will follow.

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While it is challenging the structures that have codified art through centuries, we deeply regard the art that took root on the streets as democratic and idiosyncratic and as something that is given to all of us. This movement doesn’t necessarily require or benefit from gatekeepers and exclusivity to prove its value to a culture – we see it every day.

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And speaking of talent, our hats off to the driving forces behind these two videos which tell different stories about the same program. Our partners at Urban Nation augmented the program with ideas of their own and grew the scope of our original ideas further. We admire the point of view taken by the documentary style video that appears first because it captures the message and the atmosphere we had hoped to engender – one of mutual support and respect. PERSONS OF INTEREST honors the artist and the muse. As artists and directors we know that this kind of thinking actually goes a long way – and art can save lives and hearts and minds – we’ve been lucky to see it.

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The second video is styled more as a music video, an atmospheric pastiche that plays on the second meaning associated with the words “Persons of Interest” – one where graffiti and Street Art overlap with the darker aspects of a subculture that is transgressive. Carefully not dipping into cliché territory, the stories woven here give a serious nod to the graffiti/skater/tattoo/BMX cultures – which among many other influencers are in the DNA of, have given birth to today’s art in the streets.  Its a cool concept and it produces a few surprises.

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We hope you dig both of these works.

Our sincerest thanks to the videographers, musicians, stylists, performers, technical experts, participants, administrators, artists, marketers, directors, poets, captains and dreamers who make this stuff happen.

 

URBAN NATION PROJECT M/7
“Persons of interest” curated by Jaime Rojo & Steven P. Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art

ARTISTS:
DAIN
GAIA
DON RIMX
SWOON
SPECTER
ESTEBAN DEL VALLE
CHRIS STAIN
NOHJCOLEY
CAKE
EL SOL 25
ICY&SOT
ONUR DINC
KKADE
NEVERCREW
DOT DOT DOT
ANDREAS ENGLUND

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.22.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.22.15

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Can we please not talk about snow? Spring, you temptress.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Angelina Christina, Bifido, BiP, Bortusk Leer, C215, Chris Stain, Crummy Gummy, Dan Witz, Dave the Chimp, Ease One, El Bocho, Icy & Sot, Little Lucy, London Kaye, Never, Otto “Osch” Shade, Peter Phobia, Punk Paul, Tuco, and Zid Leon.

Top Image >> C215 in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye. So, if you are made of crochet, do you get cold? Also see the Smells tag floating above this little lady. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Angelina Christina, Ease One and Never painted this wall in the Summer of 2014. I really never took a good photo of it due to cars always parked in front. The harsh winter conditions of the New York Winter 2015 made possible for me to take this photo. On a great day like this, as we endure our 154th snowstorm of the season, many of us have low hopes for the spring. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tuco. Manimal Chimp in Switzerland from his “Manimal” series. This image also looks rather like it was shot on the set of a TV show. More on this artist to come shortly. (photo © Tuco Wallach)

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El Bocho in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Bocho . Little Lucy in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Little Lucy in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bifido in Caserta, Italy. (photo © Bifido)

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Chris Stain in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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We spotted this ceramic sculpture perched on a beam on the platform of the Berlin metro. This is the only one we saw so we are thinking it wasn’t sanctioned art. Who is the artist? That gold crown looks familiar. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BiP in San Francisco, California. (photo © BiP)

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Otto “Osch” Schade in Shoreditch, London. (photo © Kate O’Callaghan)

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Would you like a ride in my golf cart? Peter Phobia in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bortusk Leer in Madrid, Spain. (photo © Bortusk Leer)

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Bortusk Leer in Madrid, Spain. (photo © Bortusk Leer)

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Crummy Gummy in Las Vegas, Nevada. (photo © Crummy Gummy)

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Oof! My head! Must have been those last few shots. Dave The Chimp in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zid Leon in Berlin in line for the porta-potty. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Punk Life, No Limit in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Um, personal comment: beauty queens should not smoke. It sends the wrong message to impressionable kids. That is all. Nick Flatt and Punk Paul in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy and Sot in Berlin for Urban Nation One Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Layers in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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See the Gallery Show! The BSA-UN PM/7 Pop-Up Exhibition

See the Gallery Show! The BSA-UN PM/7 Pop-Up Exhibition

Behind the Scenes for the Brooklyn-Berlin Pop-Up

Last Saturday the 14th the public was invited to an open reception to meet the artists who had flown to Berlin to create new portraits for Urban Nation (UN), curated by BSA.

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Don Rimx checks his original illustration on his phone while creating much larger color version on the wall at the UN Gallery Pop-Up show (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The companion show for “Persons of Interest” at the UN Gallery is a pop-up show by the same Brooklyn artists whose portrait works were in the windows of the future museum but there were two important differences from those installations:

1. The artist had no limitations or guidelines regarding the subject or style of their chosen piece
2. The installation was to be mounted directly on the wall and not for sale.

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Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After asking each artist to research and select their “person of interest” for the main windows and façade of the UN, it only seemed fair that we put no restrictions on the content or inspiration for their other piece for the opening to allow more free expression.

While we like gallery shows that sell art it felt much more natural to see the artists hit the walls directly as they would on the street – from floor to ceiling and side by side, they created a sort of continuum that lead out of the gallery doors out to the walls of this much-decorated city.

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Don Rimx “Ache”, a bendicion in the spirit of his birthplace of Puerto Rico.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Because these new artworks will have a limited run that ends in their destruction, the experience for the gallery goer of viewing them is an acknowledgement that the roots of this art-making practice embraces its ephemeral quality.

Something about that fact makes the work more immediate, more consequential, knowing that the work you are viewing on the street may not be there tomorrow. Each one of these artists knows this on the street, something another kind of artist may find difficult to accept or incorporate into their thinking.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the first couple of days everyone was recovering from serious NY-Berlin jet lag, and a handful of the artists were wearing the same clothes they arrived in while  waiting for their luggage that was stuck in Düsseldorf because of a strike by bag handlers. One artist missed his plane, others got a little lost on the metro, and there were two lost phones – but these are small problems once you are confronted with a blank wall next to 11 peers on which to create something amazing.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is a prospect full of opportunities and maybe a little bit of anxiety, but each artist brought their A-game and knew they were in a supportive environment. They also created it – reaching out to help with a brush or a ladder or can of paint, a word of advice and some problem solving too. Ultimately they were total professionals with skillz to lay down. By adapting and excelling at their work, the collective effect that this eclectic harmony produced clearly energized the crowd that overflowed onto the sidewalks Saturday night.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The result on the gallery walls is an acid rainbow pop of personality, metaphor, text, pattern, socio/political commentary, activism, and a tribute to ancestors. Each artist brought their individual style and approach to gallery walls in much the same way that appears on the street. For a few it was the first time meeting while others were long-time friends and clearly some were fans of each others work.

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One coincidence that sort of blew us away was that Don Rimx and Specter both told us that their pieces were meant to be a “blessing” to their hosts; Rimx featuring a re-worked traditional image of a Puerto Rican grandmother and overflowing bucket of water – “the source of life” he said, and Specters post-modern repetition of leaves from a plant that he said you would bring someone as a gift. Neither had consulted with the other or us, and yet both mounted these pieces side-by-side.

Any day you get to work with artists is a good day – especially driven dynamic talented ones who are always challenging themselves, digging deeper to pull out something that speaks, that means something. These few precious days in Berlin with these few artists were very good days indeed for us and we hope for them too.

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon’s undulating biomorphic and ornate paper cuts were at center stage of the gallery, wrapped around the columns in the middle of the room.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olivia from Swoon’ Studio working on the installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter took off his shoes to create but remained in his long-johns while waiting for his luggage to arrive a day and a half after him. This plant was understated and yet commanded attention – this guy is one of the most intellectually adventurous in his street practice, easily sliding between mediums and concepts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain prepped his wall by tagging the surface multiple times in multiple colors and mucking it up with a roller – effectively bringing the street into the gallery so he could paste his new longer form enigmatic collage portrait on it and within the sea of colors and texture. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain likes to work alone so he took his body parts and pieces into the adjacent store room to assemble and reassemble, spray, color, cut out, selectively damage or damask – a process that allows for experimentation and discovery while the artist relies on some intuitive guidance to get to the final piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain and Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Some place in there you’ll find Chris Stain at work on his piece – an artist whose work always reflects the people you see on the street and in your neighborhood. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain brings a bit of Brooklyn to Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia’s gallery piece was directly related to his portrait of Fereshta Ludin that he completed for the “Persons of Interest” window installation. An artist who makes a fulsome study of his subject matter and the historical/social/political/anthropological factors that surround it – Gaia here incorporated the marching mass of right wing anti-Islamic Pegida demonstrators as a backdrop to a disembodied draped head scarf, a symbol of religious expression by Muslim women. Posted on the front, with dropped shadow to pop it forward, is a published interview with Ms. Ludin -who attended the opening reception last Saturday, meeting the artist and us in person for the first time. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia, Ms. Farestha Ludin and Steven P. Harrington (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia and Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 and the German translation of “Here today, gone tomorrow”, his reference to the ephemerality of the graffiti/street art game, and perhaps larger existential considerations. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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For some, these are two essential products to survive while painting in a foreign country (or at home) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot used this opportunity to create something more abstract than the work that they are known for, which can be quickly understood. According to a few people at the opening, they liked it more than the brother’s typical work for that reason, so it was successful in that respect. Icy explained that it is a crouching figure with a mashup of a destroyed city within it. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nice Keds dude… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake . Swoon . Dain  . Gaia . Chris Stain  CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon . El Sol 25 . Esteban Del Valle . NohJColey . Gaia CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx . Specter . Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Project M/7 “Persons Of Interest” Street level exhibition and the Pop-Up show are currently on view and free to the general public at:

URBAN NATION
Bülowstraße 97
10738 Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany

Opening Hours
Monday-Friday 10.00 -18.00

 http://www.urban-nation.net/

 

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Complete “Persons of Interest”: Brooklyn in Berlin

Complete “Persons of Interest”: Brooklyn in Berlin

All the Works Completed for Project M/7 at Urban Nation with BSA

Our trip to Berlin with 12 of Brooklyn’s finest street artists was a quintessential cultural exchange; bringing together artists, curators, social activists, ministers of art, museum board CEOS, collectors, gallerists, fans, and the director of a future museum called Urban Nation. The seventh Project M, a program to draw artists and attention to the enormous UN haus while it is under construction, was called “Persons of Interest”. All week we got to meet interesting people – not a surprise in this raw cultural hot spot that bubbles with an effervescent underground and creative laboratory that is full of youthful vigor and serendipity.

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Icy & Sot. “Persons of Interest” Portrait of an unknown girl from Brooklyn to the people of Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

How fitting then that our first youthful arrivals were Icy & Sot, who set the tone with their 4 story portrait of an anonymous Brooklyn woman with “Freedom” scrawled across her face, an iconic scene of the celebrants at Berlin’s fallen wall inside her. With one of the brothers turning 24 that week, it was even more touching to see them marking an important event that predated him by one year – a new generation of artists helping us identify what events of the modern age are truly touchstones.

The 176 piece stencil had taken about 10 days for them to cut back in Brooklyn and the brothers methodically sprayed their missive to Berlin’s people over the course of 5 more days. This, their largest mural ever, was enormous and peaceful and an incredible act of discipline, determination, and dedication to teamwork.

 

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Icy & Sot. “Persons of Interest” Portrait of an unknown girl from Brooklyn to the people of Berlin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot. A passer by spans a photo of the completed mural with her iPad. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Persons of Interest” was meant to celebrate the connections between the lively artists communities in these sister cities over the last few decades, and being in Berlin felt like home to most of the artists in many ways. The curatorial vision was also meant to counter the criticism of many of the new Street Art mural festivals that have taken hold in cities around the world that they are not considering their hosts and to help focus on the neighborhoods where the new works appear.

 

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Icy & Sot. “Persons of Interest” Portrait of an unknown girl from Brooklyn to the people of Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake at work on her portrait of Käthe Kollwitz. “Persons of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Undeniably the Internet has supercharged this worldwide peoples’ art movement and has allowed us to learn about and connect with artists and their street work as we never would have encountered previously. It also has created a strata of international artists whose names appear again and again on these festival lists and while it is sort of exciting, it also is producing a sort of cultural imperialism that leaves a sour taste in the mouths of locals who don’t feel a connection to the artists or the art works that remain in their neighborhoods long after the festival has ended.

Our aim with “Persons of Interest” was to suggest a new model that may also be considered, one that is based on impactful work and meaningful exchange.

From this experiment that took us roughly six months to conceive, organize, and execute, we discovered two things:

1. Artists actually like to do research and create art that is meaningful and relevant to their personal stories, and
2. Many street passersby and art audiences are elated to find work that they can relate to – that reflects their lives, history, and culture.

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Cake at work on her portrait of Käthe Kollwitz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake her portrait of Käthe Kollwitz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Each of the artists had really challenged themselves to learn about the city they were making work for, and each had a story that also spoke of their own. Every day we were learning from them and they were learning from each other and without hesitation our hosts were schooling us as well.

Of course it helps when you are working with a dynamic urban contemporary art expert like Yasha Young, who has a deep well of ideas about community and more connections than the WiFi router at a One Direction concert. All week we were treated to a rotating list of visiting photographers, videographers, art directors, reporters, radio hosts, writers, culture mavens — and to many artists who were in town to put up new walls, show us their black books and iPhoto libraries, or just to meet their New York friends who were painting in the gallery.

 

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Dain on the left with Gaia on the right at work on their portraits for “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shout out to Onur Dinc, Andreas Englund, Herakut, The Never Crew, KKade, Various & Gould, Strok, David Walker, FKDL, James Bullough, Vermibus, Roland Henry, Nika Kramer, Butterfly, Mark Rigney and other very cool well-wishers. While we’re at it, we all send a gold-plated shout out to the three women who kept us all cared for in so many ways in the gallery and on-site at the UN – Alejandra, Elisabetta, and Ana were indispensable.

 

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Dain at work on his portrait of Marlene Dietrich. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain. Portrait of Marlene Dietrich. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking of meeting interesting people, a huge highlight of the program for us was when two of the artists got to meet their “Person of Interest” face to face. We had arranged a surprise visit of one of them; NohJColey had no idea that Katharina Oguntoye would walk on the sidewalk in front of the UN and peer in the window where he was preparing his portrait of her.

To witness the enthusiasm with which they greeted one another and to hear them excitedly asking and answering each others questions regarding his work as an artist in Brooklyn and hers as an Afro German feminist in Berlin was the epitome of art as a catalyst for cultural exchange. We didn’t know life could be so rich.

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Gaia at work on his portrait of Fereshta Ludin. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia’s person of interest, Fereshta Ludin also attended the opening in person on Saturday night, the first time that the two had met in person. Only two days before a Berlin law had been overturned allowing Muslim school teachers to wear headscarves – and Ms. Ludin has been a social activist advocating for the right for the last decade and a half.

The politics around this of course are highly charged and there have been xenophobic right-wing marches against Muslims and others in their defense in the streets in Berlin in recent months. Meeting Ms. Ludin in person and seeing her reaction to Gaia’s portrait of her gave such a powerful additional dimension to the entire experience of “Persons of Interest” that we never could have predicted when we first conceived of it. Gaia said it was a “life affirming moment”.

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Gaia’s portrait of Fereshta Ludin in progress. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Probably what is most gratifying is when you see someone’s eyes light up with recognition at seeing one of their icons brought to life. One woman told us that she couldn’t believe that El Sol 25 knew Hannah Höch so well. Was it that she couldn’t imagine a former graff writer honoring the central female figure of Berlin’s Dada movement? We were shocked when a UN board director told us Marlene Dietrich had grown up in the same neighborhood where this new DAIN portrait of her was going up – we even met someone who went to her funeral here in ’92!

In the final analysis once again we witnessed the creative spirit alive and well in the street and in the gallery. Unlike early graffiti writers, these artists come from different backgrounds and disciplines – yet all intersected with art in the public sphere in New York; graffiti writers, muralists, painters, wheat-pasters, paper cutters… In Berlin you would have thought that they all had been working together for years, the collaborative spirit was so high – and luckily for us, Berlin welcomed them all.

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Gaia. Portrait of Fereshta Ludin. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. Olivia from Swoon’s Studio at work on “Cairo”. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon. Olivia from Swoon’s Studio at work on “Cairo”. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon and her tribute to Turkish immigrants for “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohjColey at work on his portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohjColey at work on his portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohjColey at work on his portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The photo above captures the moment when NohJColey learns that Ms. Oguntoye is outside on the sidewalk looking at him through the window working on his portrait of her.

In the photo you see Ms. Oguntoye meeting NohJColey for the first time.

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NohjColey at work on his portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohjColey. Portrait of Katharina Oguntoye. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter at work on his portrait of Sally Montana. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter at work on his portrait of Sally Montana. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter. Portrait of Sally Montana in progress. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter. Portrait of Sally Montana. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx at work on his portrait of John A. Roebling. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx at work on his portrait of John A. Roebling. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx. Portrait of John A. Roebling. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle at work on his portrait of George Grosz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle at work on his portrait of George Grosz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle at work on his portrait of George Grosz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle. Portrait of George Grosz. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 at work on his portrait of Hannah Höch. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 at work on his portrait of Hannah Höch. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25. Portrait of Hannah Höch. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain at work on his portrait of Charles Bukowski. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain at work on his portrait of Charles Bukowski. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain portrait of Charles Bukowski in progress. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain. Portrait of Charles Bukowski. “Persons Of Interest” UN PM/7 Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Urban Nation Project M/7 “Persons of Interest” is currently on view on the streets of Berlin until June 22nd at Bülowstraße 97
10738 Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany.

 

For more details on each artist’s Person of Interest click on the links below:

CAKE and Käthe Kollwitz, “Persons of Interest”

Chris Stain and Charles Bukowski – “Persons of Interest”

DAIN and Marlene Dietrich – “Persons of Interest”

Don Rimx and John A. Roebling – “Persons of Interest”

Esteban Del Valle and George Grosz – “Persons of Interest”

El Sol 25 and Hannah Höch – “Persons of Interest”

GAIA and Fereshta Ludin – “Persons of Interest”

ICY & Sot and Berlin’s People – “Persons of Interest”

NohJColey and Katharina Oguntoye – “Persons of Interest”

Specter and Sally Montana – “Persons of Interest”

Swoon and Turkish Immigrants – “Persons of Interest”

____________

From Katherine Brooks at the Huffington Post, an interview with us and more images to recap.

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Dispatch from Germany: Pop-Up Show at UN Gallery with BSA

Dispatch from Germany: Pop-Up Show at UN Gallery with BSA

A great many things underway here in Berlin for the debut of “Persons of Interest”, a show of 12 artists who have worked on the streets of Brooklyn bringing their A Game to Berlin. This group of talented people have transformed the Urban Nation Pop-Up gallery with an astounding array of styles, skillz, techniques, and a lot of imagination. We couldn’t be happier with the results. The camaraderie is strong and the creative display directly on the gallery walls is iron-clad.

If you are in Berlin anytime Saturday come see the windows being installed in the UN Haus and at 7 pm come to the reception. Both events are curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo co-founders of BrooklynStreetArt.com and we will be very happy to meet you.

Here is a preview of the Pop-Up Exhibition…more to come

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Swoon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon with Chris Stain on the backgorund. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey asses his progress. Swoon on the right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter tries some yoga. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (“Here Today”) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy and Sot (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

Click HERE for the FaceBook event and more details about UN Project M/7 Persons of Interest and Pop-Up Exhibition.

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Chris Stain and Charles Bukowski  – “Persons of Interest”

Chris Stain and Charles Bukowski – “Persons of Interest”

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BSA is in Berlin this month to present a new show of 12 important Brooklyn Street Artists at the Urban Nation haus as part of Project M/7. PERSONS OF INTEREST brings to our sister city a diverse collection of artists who use many mediums and styles in the street art scene of Brooklyn. By way of tribute to the special relationship that artist communities in both cities have shared for decades, each artist has chosen to create a portrait of a Germany-based cultural influencer from the past or present, highlighting someone who has played a role in inspiring the artist in a meaningful way.
 
Today we talk to Chris Stain and ask him why he chose his person of interest, Charles Bukowski.

Street Artist Chris Stain picks German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer Charles Bukowki as his Person of Interest and it’s not hard to tell why. In his stencils and projection paintings Stain has recalled the struggles of the working class in the US, a background similar to his own youth in Baltimore, Maryland. “I want to convey an authentic contemporary document that illustrates the triumph of the human spirit as experienced by those in underrepresented urban and rural environments,” he has said when describing his work.

Bukowski championed a grizzled hardscrabble unromantic depiction of everyday life that was informed by his own family dynamics upon moving to Los Angeles as a child with a funny accent and an abusive father. His stories gave an up-close view of ordinary lives of many of America’s poor, richly bleak with beauty in the ugliness, dread and drudgery – along with observations about coping mechanisms that could be self-destructive. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”,[note]Wikipedia, Charles Bukowski[/note]  a typically dismissive and classist review of his work by mainstream press, but his multiple novels, short stories, and other writings were highly valued for giving voice to many fans who saw their own lives reflected in his art. He also showed that he had of a sense of tough humor.

“I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.” – from Ham on Rye

“If I bet on humanity, I’d never cash a ticket.”

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid one are full of confidence”.

“I do think that poetry is important though, if you don’t strive at it, if you don’t fill it full of stars and falseness.”

“I started reading the works of Charles Bukowski about 20 years ago,” says Chris Stain. “I can’t say I agree with all of his opinions but what keeps me returning to his books is his sheer honesty as he relates to the common people. Throughout his literary embellishments he maintains a certain amount of hope that I believe everyone can relate to as they traverse life’s pain and wonder. I feel honored to be able to create a portrait of this German born American poet in his homeland. “

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Chris Stain in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Check out the Facebook page for PERSONS OF INTEREST

See Full Press Release HERE

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Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Curator and artist Ryan Seslow has pulled off an overview of art on the streets and the practices employed, minus the drama. So much discussion of graffiti, Street Art, and public art practice can concentrate on lore and turf war, intersections with illegality, the nature of the “scene”, shades of xenophobia and class structures; all crucial for one’s understanding from a sociological/anthropological perspective.

“Concrete to Data”, opening this week at the Steinberg Museum of Art on Long Island, gives more of the spotlight to the historical methods and media that are used to disseminate a message, attempting to forecast about future ways of communicating that may effectively bridge the gap between the physical and the virtual.

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Joe Iurato. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seslow has assembled an impressive cross section of artists, practitioners, photographers, academics, theorists, and street culture observers over a five-decade span. Rather than overreaching to exhaustion, it can give a representative overview of how each are adding to this conversation, quickly presenting this genre’s complexity by primarily discussing its methods alone.

Here is a sneak peek of the the concrete (now transmitted digitally); a few of the pieces for the group exhibition that have gone up in the last week in the museum as the show is being installed.

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Chris Stain. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink at work on her mural. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Fekner. Detail of his stencils in place and ready to be sprayed on. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Henry Chalfant. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Billy Mode. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Oyama Enrico. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Col Wallnuts. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

CONCRETE to DATA will be exhibited at the Steinberg Museum of Art, Brookville, NY January 26th 2015 – March 21st 2015.

Opening Reception – Friday, February 6th  2015 6PM -9 PM 

Follow the news and events via – http://concretetodata.com

Follow @concretetodata on Instagram – #concretetodata

Curated by Ryan Seslow@ryanseslow

Museum Director – Barbara Appelgate

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The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

The 2014 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

Here it is! Our 2014 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.

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Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year: Ask Jaime Rojo, our illustrious editor of photography at BrooklynStreetArt.com , who takes thousands of photographs each year, to respond to a simple question: What was your favorite photo of the year?

For 2014 he has swift response: “The Kara Walker.” Not the art, but the artist posed before her art.

It was an impromptu portrait that he took with his iPhone when the artist unveiled her enormous sculpture at a small gathering of neighborhood locals and former workers of the Domino Sugar Factory, informal enough that Rojo didn’t even have his professional camera with him. Aside from aesthetics for him it was the fact that the artist herself was so approachable and agreed to pose for him briefly, even allowing him to direct her just a bit to get the shot, that made an imprint on his mind and heart.

Of course the sculpture is gone and so is the building that was housing it for that matter – the large-scale public project presented by Creative Time was occupying this space as the last act before its destruction. The artist herself has probably moved on to her next kick-ass project after thousands of people stood in long lines along Kent Avenue in Brooklyn to see her astounding indictment-tribute-bereavement-celebration in a hulking warehouse through May and June.

But the photo remains.

And Rojo feels very lucky to have been able to seize that quintessential New York moment: the artist in silhouette before her own image, her own work, her own outward expression of an inner world. 

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Jaime’s personal favorite of 2014; The site specific Kara Walker in front of her site specific installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in May of this year in Brooklyn. Artist Kara Walker. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

Now, for the Video

And our holiday gift to you for five years running, here is the brand new video of favorite images of graffiti and Street Art by Brooklyn Street Art’s editor of photography, Jaime Rojo.

Of a few thousand these 129 shots fly smoothly by as a visual survey; a cross section of graffiti, street art, and the resurgence of mural art that continues to take hold. As usual, all manner of art-making is on display as you wander your city’s streets. Also as usual, we prefer the autonomous free-range unsolicited, unsanctioned type of Street Art because that’s what got us hooked as artists, and ultimately, it is the only truly uncensored stuff that has a free spirit and can hold a mirror up to us. But you have to hand it to the muralists – whether “permissioned” or outright commissioned, some people are challenging themselves creatively and still taking risks.

Once again these artists gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it. We hope you dig it too.

 

Brooklyn Street Art 2014 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

2Face, Aakash Nihalani, Adam Fujita, Adnate, Amanda Marie, Andreco, Anthony Lister, Arnaud Montagard, Art is Trash, Ben Eine, Bikismo, Blek Le Rat, Bly, Cake, Caratoes, Case Maclaim, Chris Stain, Cleon Peterson, Clet, Clint Mario, Col Wallnuts, Conor Harrington, Cost, Crummy Gummy, Dain, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Damon, Dan Witz, Dasic, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, Eelco Virus, EKG, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Etam Cru, Ewok, Faring Purth, Gilf!, Hama Woods, Hellbent, Hiss, Hitnes, HOTTEA, Icy & Sot, Jana & JS, Jason Coatney, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, JR, Judith Supine, Kaff Eine, Kashink, Krakenkhan, Kuma, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Mais Menos, Mark Samsonovich, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Miss Me, Mover, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nenao, Nick Walker, Olek, Paper Skaters, Patty Smith, Pixel Pancho, Poster Boy, Pyramid Oracle, QRST, Rubin 415, Sampsa, Sean 9 Lugo, Sebs, Sego, Seher One, Sexer, Skewville, SmitheOne, Sober, Sonni, Specter, SpY, Square, Stay Fly, Stik, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swil, Swoon, Texas, Tilt, Tracy168, Trashbird, Vexta, Vinz, Willow, Wolfe Works, Wolftits, X-O, Zed1.

Read more about Kara Walker in our posting “Kara Walker And Her Sugar Sphinx At The Old Domino Factory”.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Tehran To NYC / NYC To Tehran, Curated by Icy & Sot

Tehran To NYC / NYC To Tehran, Curated by Icy & Sot

Iranian Brothers Generate Cultural Exchange Between Two Homes

Icy & Sot, the Iranian Street Artists who have been making their mark on the New York scene for just two years are again making news by curating a gallery show that introduces Iran and the US to one another through the visual vernacular of Street Art.

With two shows running concurrently in Tehran and Brooklyn, the stencil loving spray painters have successfully exposed fans of this genre to the artists in another country with actual examples of art in a gallery setting rather than simply through the Internet. During the South Williamsburg opening on June 13th guests at the TBA temporary space were treated to works by 10 Iranian artists as well as a video projection on the wall of their counterparts  viewing the US artists show at Seyhoun Art gallery, which was recorded only hours earlier.

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Iran’s CK1 in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Without diplomatic relations between the two countries, it is a wonder that this exchange could be cultivated, let alone executed. Given the restrictions imposed upon music, film, literature, and art since the revolution of 35 years ago, it added a layer of incredulity for gallery goers to measure the implications while viewing the works by a youth culture that has as its DNA a certain strain of rebellion.

New York sent the work of 35 artists, an impressively sized roster of participants who were each given size restrictions to keep shipping simpler and costs lower. While the brothers were clearly elated to bring new work to both cities, one might have surmised that the more excited feelings were directed toward their recently departed home where about 55% of the population is estimated to be under 30 years old and a youthful cultural evolution is said to be happening in the artist underground.

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Iran’s CK1 in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Work from the Iranians reveals an accurately studious affinity for the pop of Warhol and irony of Banksy alongside polished versions of wildstyle and more modern graffiti lettering and loose splattering. The larger cross section of New Yorkers sampled from that pot as well as the myriad influences on the streets today including illustration, photography, geometric patterning, cartoon, and collage.

BSA spoke with the brothers as they were installing the New York show:

Brooklyn Street Art: So would you say this is primarily about cultural exchange?
Sot: Yeah, I mean the fact that there hasn’t been any relationship between Iran and the US, but this is totally about the relationship between the artists.

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Iran’s Ill in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What do you think that a viewer at the New York show is going to realize when seeing these works?
Icy: First of all they are going to get to know the artists because they are not familiar with their work and haven’t had a chance to know them before. Also they will realize the fact that there are people in Iran doing this kind of art. It is underground, it is just a small scene, but still.
Sot: It’s a good chance for these artists to show their work.

Brooklyn Street Art: Would you say that these artists are taking real risks by showing their work like this?
Icy: I mean, for the street artists there everything is risky, putting works in the street… like having the show is stressful but luckily the people there have gotten their permits and stuff.

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Iran’s Cave 2 in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Who did they have to ask for permission and what did they need to see?
Sot: It’s hard to translate the name but it’s an official organization
Icy: They have to check out the work and see it and they have to approve it.
Sot: Yes they have to do that for everything – for music performance or for art exhibits or anything, they have to go through this – but for this show it is at one of the oldest galleries in Iran so.

The guys related some of the exigencies of putting a show like this together and Sot talks about one of the artists who is an old classmate of his who doesn’t use the tools of communication that so many of his peers in the west would. “He doesn’t have a website for his art and he’s not on Facebook,” says Sot, “so I was like Facebook messaging another friend to ask him to call this guy for me and ask him to be in the show, and then to ask him for the status of shipping of his piece or information about the piece.”

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Iran’s Hoshvar in “Tehran to New York”(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So with the Superman and the Warholian Marilyn, I like this idea where there is a mixing of the two cultures together quite literally.
Sot: Yeah, for these shows there wasn’t really a theme but some artists, because they knew where they were going to be displayed made specific choices to communicate something. Like Gilf! wanted to write something in farsi so she picked the words “I am You” in farsi.
Icy: And El Sol 25 did the words “Iran So Far Away”, which is inspired by the song. (by Flock of Seagulls)

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Iran’s MAD in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What is one of your favorite pieces here, or rather, which one would you like to talk about?
Icy: I like them when they talk about social issues.
Sot: Like this one with CK1 – it has all these pictures from newspaper with the Shah

Brooklyn Street Art: They look like they may have been around ’81 or ’82…
Icy: Yeah, then the hijab came after the revolution and then the women had to wear the hijab.
Brooklyn Street Art: So before then they didn’t have to wear it?
Sot: No, before that they could choose.
Icy: Then they had no choice.
Sot: And this one with Superman and on his chest it says “love” in farsi and there is Tehran in the background and there is the freedom tower in the background?

Brooklyn Street Art: Is that called “Freedom Tower”?
Sot: Yeah, or Liberty Tower, it’s like the symbol of Tehran. It’s like you have the Statue of Liberty here and that’s the freedom tower in Iran.

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Iran’s CK1 in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Iran’s FRZ in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A more traditional piece by sh’b varies from the Street Art theme and displays the artistic influence of distinctly Persian origins. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

“NYC TO TEHRAN”

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Tony De Pew, Sonni, Hellbent and Bishop203 (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

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Gilf! on the wall with Joe Iurato on the pedestal. (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

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A screened piece by Chris Stain based on a Martha Cooper photo. (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

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Buttless Supreme and El Sol 25 on the bottom. (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

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QRST, Cruz, Phetus (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

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Enzo and Nio, Russell King  and Gilf! (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

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Cern and Contemporary Adult Music (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

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The mood in Tehran (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

The Exhibition NYC to Tehran is currently on view at Seyhoun Art Gallery in Tehran, Iran. Click HERE for more details. The sister exhibition from Tehran to NYC is now closed.

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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