Many images this week are from our short visit to Querétaro, Mexico this week – where, among other things, we saw first hand many of the murals mounted by the festival Nueve Arte Urbano over the past few years. Each festival around the world is unique to its local culture – with the possible exception of the highly commercial ones that are self-styling as a franchise of cool McArt dipped in tangy “Street” flavored sauce. We had a good survey of this mural/street art/graffiti scene in the context of Mexico’s historic mural masters, and a true sense of how counterculture can be embraced by so-called “mainstream” culture for the betterment of both.
short, the DNA of this festival is not about self-promotion but engaging
community in meaningful dialogue, respecting tradition of indigenous culture,
and embracing the modern day rebels who have brought art to the streets in
myriad ways. Combined with an unprecedented 101 photo exhibition of graffiti,
Street Art, and urban culture mounted on the streets that was too meta for our
brains, we saw people walking the walk, not just talking the talk. We only wish
we had more time, and a drone!
Additionally this week we have a few more favorite shots from a quick trip to Berlin last week. Berlin is basically Brooklyn’s sister city and it was also in the full throes of Spring, with long lines at the all-night dance clubs way after the sun came up. This weekend it looks like Brooklyn is warming up too – almost beer garden time!
Until then, let’s head over to Bamonte’s for a vodka martini with the fine men and women of what’s left of Italian American Williamsburg here in Brooklyn. This is an institution that’s 119 years old lined with framed photos of famous Italian Americans and celebrities who ate there like Telly Savalas and that guy from the Sopranos!
No music, only the clinking of glasses and animated storytelling and some people who may have been dining here when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn – all eating lobster tails, shrimp cocktail, clams oreganata, iceberg lettuce salads, pastas, meat balls, fish, sautéed porkchops, scalloped potatoes, green beans, chicken parmesan, and blueberry pie or tiramisu. Okay it’s not five star, you big hotshot, but it’s at least as good as your Aunt Rosa’s kitchen, amiright? Bamontes not good enough for you now, you big Broccolini?
And the portions, my god, you won’t need to eat again
until Good Friday.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring 007, 1UP Crew, Calladitos, City Kitty, Clown Soldier, CS SZYMAN, Deih XLF, drsc0, Ger-Man, La Madriguera Grafica, Mantra, Nespoon, Paola Delfin, Santiago Savi, Victor Lopez, and Voxx Romana.
Just as we leave for Madrid’s Urvanity we thought you’d like a look at New York’s current scene on the street. Or a portion of it.
We start off the new collection with Andy Warhol, who looks fresh on the street – and who’s work is on exhibit at on display currently at the Whitney.
Also he is in an ad campaign for Burger King – that old footage of him eating one of those mystery meat sandwiches is now wholly appropriated to actually sell their products instead of mock them. It’s from Jørgen Leth’s 1982 documentary 66 Scenes From America. According to folklore, Andy didn’t even like BK –preferred McDonalds. What a jokester, that Mr. Warhol. #fastdeathfood
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Antennae, City Kitty, Combo-CK, DPM Crew, Fuck Cats, Invader, Matt Siren, Phoebe New York, Seed, The Postman Art, and William Wegman.
Let’s move to Weimaraner dogs with William Wegman’s famous pooches, Flo and Topperdogs in stylish outfits. The new mosaic murals by German mosaic fabricator Mayer of Munich adorn the NYC Subway stations on 23rd street.
The turning point may have occurred Friday when Trump capitulated to the two other branches of government, released his hostages (federal workers), and allowed the US government to fully open – and planes to land at airports. This continuous attack on institutions is wearing down the wall between the wolves and the chickens. Guess which one we are?
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Antennae, Art Dog NYC, City Kitty, Diva Dogla, Ken Hiratsuka, Pop Artoons, PostMan Art, Resa, Skewville.
Brexit deadlock is like a thorn in the side of the UK people this week, Trump is shutting down the US government partially here for almost a month (to celebrate 2 years in the White House?), the ‘Yellow Vests’ are striking through France for the 10th weekend, its going to get very cold tonight in New York, and your cousin Marlene is back from the local Women’s March with fire in her eyes and hope in her heart. As usual, the streets are alive with Street Art and graffiti, and we’re bringing it to you.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring 2501, Add Fuel, BirdCap, BustArt, C3, City Kitty, Cranio, Duster, Edu Danesi, Fafi, Frances Forever, Jaeryaime, Kram, LMNOPI, Mark Jenkins, Neon Savage, Os Boys, Pez, Rx Skulls, Sickid, Tatiana Fazlalizadeh, UFO 907, and Zaira Noir .
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Abe Lincoln Jr., Alexis Diaz, Brian Alfred, Celso, City Kitty, Cranio, Deih XLF, Diva Dogla, Dog Byste, Fales, Gane, Jenna Morello, MTO, Pleks, Raf Urban, Slomo29, Spaint, Uriginal.
Meanwhile new stuff is popping off in Ridgewood, Queens, where some of the stuff below is from, proving that the scene is still incredibly relevant to artists and fans alike.
So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Boy Kong, Chris RWK, City Kitty, Chance Paperboy, Damien Mitchell, Jaye Moon, Kashink, Kirza, K Liu Long, MeresOne, Myth, Raf Urban, Rx Skulls, Square, Squid Licker, Gane, Texas and Zimad.
Other than that we have to say to New York, we love you because of your fabulous diversity – and the fact that you prove every day that we can all get along really well even though we are all kinds of cultures and languages and backgrounds.
If only those (primarily) old white men who are legislating from Washington and from corporate board rooms could see and appreciate the richness that we have here in New York – they might realize that they have been completely and utterly foolish and blind to their own people, which is all of us.
It feels like this swing to the right is not about ideology but about protecting power and wealth – and we’re witnessing the dying Old Boy network kicking and screaming to protect the system that has served them best. How else can you explain the contingency that once called themselves the moral majority today exhibit almost zero morality – being brutal, haughty, and defiantly cynical – and still getting support?
On a happier note, how about those Yankees M-I-RIGHT ?
So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Cash4, City Kitty, d.w. krsna, Dede, Izzrad, Kobra, Mark DiSuvero, Mer, Mr. Toll Troll, Mr. Tongue, Nitzan Mintz, Nobs, Onis, Pleks, Pork, Sickid, Stray Ones, and Subway Doodle.
We start here with a fresh paste-up directly from Iran. It depicts the entrance to a mosque bathed in a jewel reddish haze. The lower half of the door contains a cryptic message in the three-dimensional wildstyle graffiti that captured the imagination of New Yorkers, Europeans, and Middle Easterners over time. Descending the stairs and coming out to the street it reads, “Nothing”.
“If they would paste this in Iran,” says the Berlin Paste-Up Festival organizer Moritz Tonn from the artists collective Wandelism. “It would probably be considered blasphemy and the government would most likely go after the artist”. Here in the so-called “western” world the ability to criticize all institutions, including religious ones, is still officially preserved and honored – so it is interesting that a theocracy could judge this as possibly flammable piece and it has to stay anonymous here inside very permissive Berlin.
And that is only one of the reasons why exhibits like this are so crucially important to the dialogue on the street and to our collective awareness. Political, social, comic, pop, photographic, illustrative, painted, drawn, copied, figurative, immature, sarcastic,international, local, cryptic, explicit, inventive, verging on profound- these are the vox populi from many cities around the world stuck alongside one another. The mix is unusual, even odd. But the sound of the voices can be quite clarion.
“We got submissions from 130 artists, one to five paste-ups each,” says Moritz. “We have run out of room so we asked some of the the artists if we could put their art in the streets elsewhere around the neighborhood.”
Truthfully, there is a lot of space here that hasn’t been slapped with stickers or slathered with wheatpaste, and you can imagine that with time there will be a lot of organic growth in the massive piece that will bring the walls to full maturity/immaturity.
If one really is interested on experiencing the full scope of what’s happening with art in the streets one really must pay special attention to the artists whose practice is small. At the moment it may be that stickers and paste-ups are getting lost amidst the hurricane of mural festivals – But big murals don’t paint the whole picture.
The small stickers, the stencils, the wheat pasted posters attached to walls in back alleys, on post lamps and street furniture are a fundamental component of this truly democratic art movement. So we’re satisfied to see a large spot like this one solely dedicated to paste-ups in all their glorious incarnations.
Aside from signing the Outer Space Treaty that was ratified by 107 nations in which member states promise to not militarize the celestial heavens, US Vice President Pence tried to pull a fast one last week by announcing an idea for a US Space Force, the 6th branch of US Armed Forces.
Evidently being in 7 wars right now on Earth isn’t enough for the masters of war. There is surely more money to be made by further bloating a global weapons industry that focuses primarily on destruction rather than construction.
What is Mike Pence needing defense from exactly? Gays? Gay aliens? Intelligent assertive women? African-American or immigrants struggling to make ends meet, living day-to-day from paycheck to paycheck? We decided to take the whole ridiculous announcement with humor and found ourselves pawing through the archives for Street Art images of astronauts. We found many!
As we contemplate war in space, we turn to our collective fascination with astronauts and cosmonauts and nauts of many kinds. Since the dawn of this popular spaceman fixation there has been this guy or gal floating around weightless in our collective imaginations, bouncing along at the end of his tether, or untethered altogether.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UP Crew, Amanda Browder, Antennae, City Kitty, Dirt Worship, Dragon76, Jason Naylor, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Makatron, Sheyro, The Yok, and Trap.
New York, New York, in the thick of summer. The heat is heavy with humidity, smells of hotdogs, marijuana, perfume, piss. The flat screen sunglasses now on every sweet face hide the glances and stares of the voracious, the vacuous, the visionary, the vexed, and those voluntarily enraptured by romance. Again we take refuge under a tree, on a bench, in the grass with our dog, in the frozen food section with our kids, on the sunbaked and garbage strewn sand in Coney Island, on the fire escape with our swollen-lipped and rosy cheeked lover. And everywhere is art and architecture and stoop sales and thumping music and jackhammers and the swooping yell of “gooooooooaaaaaaaalllll!” from a nearby sports bar during this month of the World Cup.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Alex Proba, Arkane, Blanco, City Kitty, David Hollier, Invader, Irak, Jason Naylor, LMNOPI, Mowcka, Phoebe New York, Renee Caoulette, Rubin 415, Staino, and Stikman.