UK based Irish painter and muralist Conor Harrington was in New York City for the last month with stirring new works inside the gallery space and outside on the street. His signature forms and flying garments were there: indistinctly heroic, Bacon-blurred men in an epic struggle, each wearing richly hued militaristic finery. His dramatic heroes and saboteurs race now across two canvasses on display at the massive Beyond The Streets exhibition in Brooklyn as well as across one daunting five-story walkup on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
The bigger one was probably harder.
Set aside the mercurial, blasting sun and drenching rains and otherwise sticky conditions in Gotham’s gritty summer, Harrington may not have realized that the wall was so huge. Done in concert with the L.I.S.A. Project NYC and the BTS exhibition, Conor crushed it with so much color and dramatic action across the surface (his first mural in NYC in a decade or so) that observers will be stultified by its scale and the mysterious storyline that animates it for a long time to come. The subject of the painting might be of an officer with the British army during the American Revolutionary War. If one were to imagine the piece of art differently by changing the garments and closing our eyes the figure as it is in action could very well be of a matador in a bullring confronting and taunting the bull with his cape. With a background in graffiti and a truly painterly command of the cans, you can imagine the feeling of revelation observers felt as Conor daily revealed this gripping piece in this city of immigrants, of struggle, of dreams.
They used to run from the Vandal Squad in this
neighborhood. Now people pay to see their art here.
Through the expansive glass wall on the 6th floor you can look down Kent Avenue to see the spot where a monster pickup truck with a heavy chain tied around a FAILE prayer wheel almost jackknifed on the sidewalk, gave up and sped away. Not that many Brooklynites saw that event in the 2000s – nobody walked here and few people drove through Williamsburg then except truckers looking for street walking ladies wearing high heels and spandex. Oh, and a serial killer.
Now visitors buy tickets to see a circular colonnade of FAILE prayer wheels here at 25 Kent – including the real estate developers and Wall Street professionals who displaced the community of artists whose work made the neighborhood attractive and “edgy”.
Along with Street Artists in this exhibition like Shepard Fairey, Bast, Swoon, Invader, Aiko, Dan Witz, Katsu, 1UP, and Lister, the FAILE duo put completely illegal artworks on walls under cover of night and threat of arrest in this same neighborhood then – transforming it with many others who are not in this show into an open gallery of the streets, placing Williamsburg on the map as New Yorks’ epicenter of the newly emerging Street Art scene.
The Nature of Graffiti and Street Art
As graffiti and Street Art are migratory and necessarily elusive by nature, this story is only one chapter in a volume of history that serious academics are now reconstructing and analyzing. With each passing year and published white paper, the practices of 20th century public mark-making are being examined in greater detail for archiving and for posterity. Not surprisingly, institutions, patrons, collectors, and brands are increasingly interested in this story as well.
When it comes to the anarchic subculture of illegal
street art practice and its influence on society, there are non-stop ironies
sprayed en route from verboten to Vuitton, and street culture has supercharged
the imagination of the mainstream and high culture throughout history – that’s
where the best ideas come from sometimes. Many seminal artworks from “the
scene”, as it were, represent much more than what you are seeing at first
glance. As art and cultural critic Carlo McCormick has described the iconic
Shepard Fairey ‘Hope’ image in Art in
America, many graffiti and Street Art works saved are “not a
fleeting pop-culture sensation but simply the latest crossover hit in a long
line of underground classics.”
The wide-ranging survey that is Beyond the Streets makes sure that you know where the roots are, and who many of the pioneers were. It is impossible to tell a complete story that includes scenes as diverse as west coast Chicano muralism, hobo graffiti, hip-hop commercial design, NY downtown artivism, Japanese low/hi contemporary, skateboard, tattoo, early train writing and a current romance with muralism, but BTS at least gives a serious consideration to each and offers you the opportunity to look further into them.
With the help of photography documentation from people like Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Jim Prigoff, Lisa Kahane, Joe Conzo, John Fekner, Bill Daniel, Maripol, and Dash Snow, the crucial importance of this work provides needed interstitial and contextual information that enables myriad stories to be elucidated.
Exhaustive, no. Exhausting, possibly. Pace yourself.
spent my life surrounded by graffiti and Street Art,” says the shows’ director
Roger Gastman “and you could say that I have been obsessed with understanding
the culture, its origins, and its evolution. It’s incredible to me how far it
With 150 artists whose practices span five decades
and various (mainly) American subcultures displayed in a maze of new walls in
this 100,000 sf, two-floor exhibition, the Beyond the Streets senior curatorial
team includes Gastman, filmmaker/ graffiti historian Sacha Jenkins SHR, Juxtapoz
Editor in Chief Evan Pricco, and author/ graffiti historian / graffiti writer David
CHINO Villorente. Each curator brings core competencies and knowledge of the
graffiti scene (Gastman, Jenkins, Villorente) as it has evolved to include the
Street Art practice and an eventual move toward contemporary art (Pricco).
“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” says Villorente, who says his history as
a graffiti writer compounds the impact for him. “I was glad that the show was
coming to New York because I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I couldn’t have
imagined it – especially when I think back on when I was writing on the trains
and doing illegal graffiti. To have of show of this magnitude is really
“We started writing in ’68 and here we are, fifty-one years later,” says Mike 171 as he gestures toward himself and crew writer SJK 171 when talking about how they began and continued writing their tags on the street in New York City. “This is the history right here,” he says, and you know you are about to be schooled about the plain realities of early graffiti writing. At the opening, you witness each guy tagging in a large dusty window here and realize the love for writing never actually stops.
“We were expressing something that was inside of us,” says SJK 171. “The streets were like ours,” he tells you against a backdrop of their work, Cornbread’s work, and of images full of one color, single line monikers that set the stage for the more colorful, character-driven pieces and burners a decade later, transforming trains into a rolling aesthetic symphony by the mid 1970s.
One of the actual “whole car” writers of that period, Lee “LEE” Quinones, here recreates a “Soul Train” car side on a canvas that looks like it could easily wrap an actual MTA #2-line car that he used to slaughter with cans in the middle of the night at the train yard. When describing the new work he said he was intentionally keeping it simple – perhaps owing the style to his earlier practice.
“I think this is one of Lee’s most amazing pieces,” says Charlie Ahearn, the director of the seminal 1982 “Wild Style” film that Quinones stars in. Ahearn self-produced that film which became an important distillation of the merging of graffiti with hip-hop culture during a pivotal moment in the history of both. Now also a professor of Hip-Hop, art, design, and documentary film making at Pace University, Ahearn is familiar with many of the artists work here, many relationships reaching back decades. “I told Lee that I liked that it was a one-off, that he painted all the color straight off without the embellishment, texturing, and all that stuff.”
Charlie’s twin brother John Ahearn is represented here popping out from walls as well, his sculptures serving as authentic portraits of people you may easily have seen on New York streets over the last four decades. Casted directly on top of the people themselves in a technique he has perfected, the placement of the sculptures gives life to the space.
Star Writers, Immersive Environments, Foundations
The individual clusters of work and canvasses by 1970s-80s train painters like Futura, Crash, Lady Pink, Freedom, Carlos Mare, Blade, Haze, and Daze and next gen graphic painters like Doze Green and Rime are complemented by a number of so-called “immersive” spaces here like the Mission Schools’ Barry McGee storefront with smashed window, and the Australian Pop duo Dabs & Myla’s eye candy floral walls with thousands of artificial fauna created in collaboration with Amelia Posada.
The high-profile graphic activist Shepard Fairey’s 30 year career overview takes a large area and encompasses all elements of his street and studio practice, and Bill Barminski’s cardboard home is open for you to explore with a wry smile, remembering the security room installation he did at Banksy’s Dismaland a couple years earlier.
also treated to a full rolling wall of Craig Stecyk posters that brings you the
sun and surf of California skate culture, sculptures by Mr. Cartoon and Risk, a
kid-friendly illustrated room with crafting supplies for young fans on tables
from HuskMitNavn, and an astute freight train culture educational display by
writer/painter/sculptor Tim Conlon (complete with a mid-sized Southern Pacific freight
on train tracks he and friends built), prints/photos by historian Bill Daniel, and
original drawings by the man some call the King of Hobo Art, buZ blurr.
are a self portrait as predicated on a first Bozo Texino person and I kind of
changed the image around,” says Mr. blurr, a legendary figure in denim
overalls, as he patiently describes his classic tag image of a railway cowboy.
is a writer motif – the pipe smoke is going up and then it is trailing back to
signify movement as the train goes down the track,” he says. “I worked in the
train yards and my job was as a brakeman. I had a little free time so I started
making drawings. I made my first one on November 11, 1971,” he says as he
recalls the state of mind that he was in at the time as he began to tag
freights with the image and text that came to him clearly – and may have
perplexed other travellers.
came from a confused state. I was questioning everything. I was putting kind of
cryptic messages under my drawings. It was anybody’s guess as to its literal
interpretation. I addressed some of them up to specific people but whether they
saw them or responded to them, I wouldn’t have any idea.”
it’s shipped in the crate its 550 pounds,” says Conlon as he stands by the 3-foot
high freight car re-creation on tracks and ties that is
hit with a couple of wild and colorful graffiti burners. “Here I’m going to
show you something,” he says as he pulls back the roof to reveal the narrow
coffin interior in rusted red. “So I’m going to hide some beer in here during
the opening party. This is like the fifth one of these I’ve made,” and he proudly
confides that one lives in the house of Robert Downey Jr.
Digging Deep to Take Risks
to rest on laurels and previous formulas of success, the show keeps a freshness
by presenting known entities pushing themselves further and taking creative risks;
a reflection of that spirit of experimentation we have always prized on the
writer Earsnot from Irak crew, now known professionally as Kunle Martin, said
he had been making work for the gallery containing elements of graffiti, but
felt they were too “safe”.
“Then my friend Dan said ‘you should go back to doing drawings,’” he says as he stands before figurative canvasses in black and white on cardboard. “I said ‘I can’t! It’s too hard! But eventually I began working in my studio five days a week, and I made enough for a show.”
Reflective of the attitude of Gastman toward artists in the community, he told Martin that if he made enough of them, he could place them in this show. “I think he was happy to hear that I was in my studio working. He’s been very supportive of it.”
color-drenched graphic/photographic collage style is featured with plenty of
space in large frames from Chicago’s Pose, who says he is letting photography
and geometry lead him away from his previous pop collage style that may have reminded
many of Lichtenstein. His inspiration here comes from his research into early
photos of graffiti writers running from police “I was
obsessed with John Naars photos and I have usually Norman Mailer as in
inspiration. Some of these photo references are from the Philadelphia Inquirer,” he says.
New York’s Eric Haze also dares himself to take a new direction with three canvasses featuring a refracted piecing-together of imagery and memories of this city in monochrome. Based on black and white scenes of the city by photographer and NYC taxi driver Matt Weber, the scenes capture aspects that are culled from imagination and impression. The centerpiece canvas captures an iconic piece of the Williamsburg waterfront that has been removed in the last few years by developers; the signage of the old Domino Sugar factory by the Williamsburg Bridge.
Mr. Haze said he meant it as a gift and tribute to
his wife, actress and longtime resident of the neighborhood, Rosie Perez who
used to see it along Kent Avenue as a kid. “He’s not afraid to take risks. He’s not afraid to go in the
studio and express what’s inside of him. When he brought me to the studio, he
says, ‘I have a surprise for you’,” she remembers. “I saw the beginnings of the
Domino painting and I was stunned into silence and I got teary-eyed.”
An expanded version of the show that first mounted
in Los Angeles last year, the collection is focused a great deal on the
American history of graffiti with a balance of East/West coast graffiti history
– in a way that may remind you of 2011’s “Art in the Streets” at LA MoCA. That
makes sense, considering Gastman co-curated that show as well.
“It’s both a historical and current look at where
the culture went and where it started and how widespread it is,” says
co-curator Evan Pricco, who perhaps provides a lynchpin view toward the big
name Street Artists who continued to push expectations in the 2000’s on streets
and in commercial galleries around the world. “With the space spread over two
floors it has a way better curatorial sense. I also think it does compete with
museums because it shows that this kind of work is on the same level. You kind
of have to present it in a way that feels very institutional and archival.”
So is Beyond the Streets
a graffiti show or a Street Art show or a contemporary art show? For artist
Kenny Scharf, who first gained attention during the heyday of Downtown
Manhattan’s art scene that benefitted from an interlude where rents were dirt
cheap and Wall Street was on a cocaine high, there is no need to categorize
what kind of art this is.
“You know I never liked labels or titles anyway so
even back in the early 80s I was pegged like ‘oh you’re a graffiti artist,’” he
says. “People feel the need to title and label so I’ll
let them to continue to do that but I don’t fit into any of them and I don’t
want to. I want to fit into all of them and none of them.”
Streets opened June 21 and continues through the summer.
Martha Cooper’s work as exhibited at Beyond The Streets New York
Beyond The Streets NYC is now open in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the general public and will run until August 2019. Click HERE for schedules, tickets and details.
Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.
“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”
He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.
“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.
The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.
Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an
additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along
with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys
installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary
Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large
scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi
More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.
“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.
BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM
Curator: Roger Gastman
Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente
A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER
The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. “A Message From the Future” Narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Illustrated by Molly Crabapple 2. Good Guy Boris – Viral Vandals Music Video 3. TITANES: Six Silos. Eight international artists in La Mancha, Spain. 4. The Story of Us and Them – Conor Harrington
BSA Special Feature: “A Message From the Future” Narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Illustrated by Molly Crabapple
A project from The Intercept and Naomi Kleinit imagines that somehow the oligarchy is going to let go of its addiction to fossil fuels and the aspirations of the citizens will prevail. Enjoy!
A Message From the Future
Good Guy Boris – Viral Vandals Music Video
Good Guy (bad guy?) Boris is back with his own version of Gypsy trap to entice and thrill you to do a big ass tag. A graffiti renaissance man who continues to plow his own path forward, the hijinx are hilarious and the song isn’t so bad either. Maybe it is a little better than those graffiti vandal road trip movies he was doing, but maybe we just have a short attention span these days.
TITANES: Six Silos. Eight international artists in La Mancha, Spain.
“People who normally lived in a very specific way and nobody had bothered to see whether they had talent or not,” explains Alfonso Gutierrez about the genesis of this project encouraging 450 students from around Spain to participate in a public mural campaign.
An inspirational message, and a welcome sign in this march of humans.
The Story of Us and Them – Conor Harrington
A short film that looks at the creative process on by the sincerely absorbed Irish Street Artist/fine artist Conor Harrington as he talks about his work and promotes his new show ‘The Story of Us and Them’ at Heni Gallery in London.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. PHLEGM – Mausoleum of Giants – A Behind the Scenes View 2. Hamburger Eyes; A documentary by Aaron Rose 3. Conor Harrington / American Flag 4. Fujito Nakaya. Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.) 1998. Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao.
BSA Special Feature: PHLEGM – Mausoleum of Giants – A Behind the Scenes View
Delicious Clam Records, Bal Fashions Speakeasy, Plot 22...
long has this been going on?
According to Doug at Fifth Wall TV Sheffield has been in the thick of it as a cultural hotbed of music and art for quite some time – with artist collectives and installations like this new one in an old ironworks building by Street Artist Phlegm.
of that combined means there is a really vibrant underground scene and we have
a lot of D.I.Y. stuff happening” says Steve of @CADS Sheff – the grassroots
formed team that activates spaces like this.
Don’t be a mardy bum then, let’s go and take a look at Phlegm shall we?
Street photography, when done well, can
summon euphoria and nausea. Rather like a chain restaurant hamburger.
Perhaps that is the inspiration for the name “Hamburger Eyes” for this eclectic
collection of photographers from the San Francisco Bay Area, who capture the
American fun and folly that you may have missed.
Just screened this month in New York at
Metrograph with a Q&A with Ray Potes and Clark Allen, its a documentary by
Aaron Rose (Beautiful Losers) that helps remind us why some people are drawn to
cities, while others avoid it like limburger. With interviews, stills, and
video the film brings to action the magazine by the same name that has just
celebrated its 18th birthday, yo. Watch out! Legal age!
The Irish Street Artist and muralist and painter has a go at the nationalism that blinds and could lead you to walk into traffic or off a cliff. We think.
Fujito Nakaya. Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.) 1998. Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao.
A foggy memory from standing outside the Guggenheim in Bilbao a few weeks ago. This fog sculpture is activated periodically, and if visiting school students are nearby, the excitement is multiplied! Video by Jaime Rojo.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Shredding the Girl and Balloon – The Director’s Cut
2. JKS Crew in Italy & France
3. Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression / Trailer
4. The Hut – A Partial X / Felipe Pantone
BSA Special Feature: Shredding the Girl and Balloon – The Director’s Cut
We start our weekly selection with the followup release that takes hold of the narrative of the moments leading up to this month’s Banksy auction and self-destruction at Sotheby’s.
In it you hear the auctioneer chit-chatting beforehand saying things like “It’s a fun auction, you know. Everyone’s got a chance.” And by ‘everyone’ he means…everyone here in this room and on the 30 phones who are also bidding.
Okay class, who wants to tell us what they did on their summer vacation?
Looks like JKS Crew were on spraycation this summer in Italy and France. The jazz bassy groove that accompanies the scenes in this video make us pine for those dreamy days of July and August already, and its only mid-October.
Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression / Trailer
Who owns public space? The oligarchs, yes, but after them?
Who should paint it?
When graffiti writers and Street Artists take it over with acts of transgressive painting one may expect that the next step is probably the buff, unless you living are in an aesthetic lawlessness like Berlin, or Athens, or 2000s Detroit. It is infrequent that one may countenance the self-appointed citizen buffer, but they exist in many a neighborhood. A combination of ornery rebel and a justice-minded citizen; This is the vehement, street cleaning vigilante.
If you were writing a bespectacled urban guidebook about characters found on city streets you may advise, “Think twice before crossing this curiously civic interbreed, broken windows can be sharp.”
The Hut – A Partial X / Felipe Pantone
A Liberian surfer camp that just happens to capture the artworks of some of the biggest names in Street Art? Organizers say that its to reduce the stigma that surrounds the country that was hurt so badly by ebola a few years ago. Perhaps that what has drawn artists like Faile, Conor Harrington, 1010, Martin Whatson, Marke Jenkins, Herakut, Ted Pim, Sandra Chevrier, Ben Eine, and Seth Globepainter here to create new works here. Today we see works by Felipe Pantone, JR, and Slinkachu.
A current survey today from the streets in Copenhagen thanks to a couple of BSA fans and friends who share with readers their recent finds in one of the world’s happiest places, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report. Apparently it is also a good place for gay birds to come out of the closet.
With a storied history of graffiti bombing of the red trains that goes back many years, possibly generations, Copenhagen has long been a treasured destination for graffiti writers.
Now you will also find murals and installations illegally and legally by local and international Street artists – and the iconic full sides of buildings here are subtly transforming the public face of the city.
Interestingly, a number of these pieces are rather monochromatic, shunning the exuberant colors that are associated today with the hyper realists and fantastical forays that are common throughout Street Art/mural festivals around the world.
Joining artists like the Danish Street Artists like HuskMitNavn, the sculptor Tejn, and well-known bomber Soten are now international names like Ireland’s Conor Harrington, Spain’s Isaac Cordal, and Estonian stencil artist Edward von Lõngus have added their voices.
Our very special thanks to Borghild Marie Kvale and Tor Staale Moen for their support and for sharing here with BSA readers.
Ahhhhh the sun! The sea! The cigarette butt stuck to my leg from last night.
Also, did I wear ONLY this swimsuit and shoes, or did I originally go out with more clothes?
Anyway this is Miami and the annual mural-street art-graffiti-gallery show-art fair-melee is afoot. Wherever you go in Wynwood you are bound to find Instagrammable moments and pretty things pontificating about this or that, but if you want to see good stuff we’re suggesting this year that downtown is the next Wynwood, beginning with the historic Walgreens Building on 200 East Flager Street. Its second iteration, the Juxtapoz Clubhouse feels more like an organically spawned environment; cognizant of the many tributaries from where this art scene evolved, with room for free thought, experimentation, and growth.
Take a trip to another part of Miami this year and see JUX’s many assorted exhibitions and exhibitionists. Here’s a few of the hits we hope you hit.
Juxtapoz Clubhouse Miami 2017
Juxtapoz Magazine is taking over a 3-story department store with art installations, activations, murals, and site-specific projects, featuring works by Conor Harrington, Jean Jullien, Faith XLVII with Inka Kendzia, Ron English, Laurence Vallières, Serge Lowrider, Low Bros, Zane Meyer, Jillian Evelyn, Alex Yanes.
Juxtapoz will also be releasing their new Quarterly edition at the Clubhouse along with editions of Shepard Fairey’s “The Damage Times” newspaper, created in conjunction with his Damaged solo show.
Juxtapoz will also once again team up with Mana Contemporary on a special mural by Conor Harrington and a-soon-to-be revealed skate park project – remember the massive skate park with Mana and Andrew Schoultz in the Wynwood neighborhood.
Historic Walgreens Building
200 East Flager Street
December 7 – 10, 2017
Opening Reception: December 6, 4 – 9 pm
Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition at the Juxtapoz Clubhouse featuring the following artists:
Adam Wallacavage, David Choong Lee, Handiendan, Jeremy Fish, Jim Salvati, Jim Woodring, João Ruas, Josh Tiessen, Julia Ibbini, Kevin Cyr, Kip Omolade, Prefab77, Radosław Liweń and Ronald Gonzalez.
OLEK “Playpen” With Corey Helford Gallery
Los Angeles-based Corey Helford Gallery is showing new stuff by OLEK as part of the Juxtapoz Clubhouse. Olek says “Playpen” is a witty and flirtatious series featuring three new sculptures and an impressive 20-foot installation of an 8-legged “Spider Woman,” adorned with motifs like eyes, lips, hearts and flowers.
Look out for sculptures that represent various fantasy objects — a “Cat Snail” playset, a classical-shaped “Woman Bust” and a potted “Cock Plant” — all of which come to life under the glow of black light. Initially inspired by her own play experience as a young girl, OLEK uses this series to explore concepts of womanhood, sexuality, and feminist ideals.
A collection of works by San Francisco based First Amendment gallery artists will be on the third floor, including:
Francesco Lo Castro
Thinkspace is 2 for 2 here at the Clubhouse during Art Basel week in Miami with James Bullough and Jaune on site leaving their unmistakable marks.
ATHEN B. GALLERY
A collection of works and installations by Athen B. artists will include
Nicomi Nix Turner
Superchief will feature works by Parker Day, Don Pablo Pedro, UFO 907, Yu Maeda, and Reginald Pean and will be screening Wastedland 2 on Thursday December 7th at 7pm. See our interview with the director here.
GOOD MOTHER GALLERY
Good Mother will feature Egle Zvirblyte & Jose Mendez
They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.
The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils.
The project’s completion at the turn of the year culminated in one of the largest Street Art/Graffiti artists’ collective shows in Italy held in the city’s main public gallery Palazzo Platamone, entitled “Codici Sorgenti” (Source Code), which was curated by Stefano S. Antonelli and Francesca Mezzano from Rome’s 999 Contemporary Gallery.
There is talk about the possibility that this exhibition of about 60 artists work will tour throughout Europe with its message of the historic roots of modern graffiti and Street Art along with many of its most impactful practitioners pushing into the contemporary art world.
According to Arianna Ascione in Artsblog.it, the gallery exhibition was “divided into three sections that tell the birth, interactive development and consecration of the (graffiti/street art) phenomenon” Indeed, the list contains works by 108, A One, Augustine Iacurci, Alexis Diaz, Alexone, Bo 130, Boris Tellegen (aka Delta), Brad Downey, C215, Clemens Behr, Conor Harrington, Crash, Delta 2, Dondi White, Doze Green, El Seed, Ericailcane, Eron, Escif, Evol, Faile, Feitakis, Gaia, Herbert Baglione, Horfee, Interesni Kazki, Invader, Jaz, Jeff Aerosol, Mark Jenkins, Jonone, JR, Judith Supine, Kool Poor, The Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Lucy McLauchlan, Matt Small, Maya Hayuk, Mensanger, Miss Van, Momo, Moneyless, Peeta, Rammellzee, Retna, Roa, Seth, Philippe Baudelocque, Sharp, Shepard Fairey, StenLex, Swoon, The London Police, Todd James,Toxic, and the aforementioned Vhils.
Ironically the genre-melting inclination of so-called “urban art” has eroded the silo mentality of many who follow these art forms as they become known, followed, collected, and exhibited; As a metaphor “Art Silos” may more accurately refer to the past and the dogmatic separation of genres such as graffiti, tattoo, illustration, ad jamming, and Street Art for example.
Although not strictly what you might call public art either, the scale of “Art Silos”, with its major artworks that typically may take years to be approved in large cities elsewhere, is an occurrence routinely happening in cities around the world.
For us this is one more example of the “New Muralism” that is enabling Street Artists to do major works in public spaces via non-traditional routes. On par with a public art works of other committee-approved sorts, this silo project was a private/public collaboration that made selections, secured funding and permissions from the harbor authorities, city figures, politicians and the manager of the silos themselves, according to VladyArt, who along with Microbo is one of the artists and a resident of Catania.
He says the size of the project and the power of the imagery combined with the process of watching them go up has drawn a lot of attention to the area lately. “The people here were amazed by our speed and the large scale operation. Catania had no large murals like this… this was the very first time for Sicily. They can be seen from far away and even from taking off from and landing at the airport – or coming by cruise line on the sea. It seems that nobody really paid that much attention to this spot before, and everyone is talking about it now.”
To understand why a project of this nature can happen so quickly these days, look no further than the location. As we have recounted numerous times, often these efforts are deliberately programmed to draw attention to economically challenged areas as a way of encouraging tourism and investment.
In fact VladyArt says that this historic region and city that dates back many centuries before Christ is having a very challenging time economically and socially and could use positive attention from a crowd that appreciates art. “Catania is somehow the most dynamic city of Sicily, because of its industrial and commercial features,” he says.
“Having said that, please be aware that the south of Italy is no way wealthy or an easy place, despite its beauty and lucky location in the sun. Almost the whole city is rough, I can name a many neighborhoods where this is the case.”
So it is all the more remarkable that a multi-artist iconic installation can happen here in Catania and people are exposed to a grassroots-fueled art scene that is currently galloping across the globe.
“Regular people around here don’t know much about the whole thing, street art and stuff,” says Vlady Art. “So, quite frankly they wouldn’t care much about Okuda, Vhils or Interesni. They never heard of them before and probably people will find hard to spell their names. They cannot catch the meaning or the purpose of this. They simply like what they see – they like this energy. They do get the ‘message’, the power of art.”
New images of epic murals in Copenhagen today from Conor Harrington (UK), ROA (Belgium), Borondo (Spain), DALeast (China), Maya Hayuk (US) and HuskMitNavn (DK) on the occasion of the release of Surface, the book by Danish photographer SØREN SOLKÆR. The walls were part of the grand official introduction in mid-June, supported by a huge 122 display of large format portraits of 220 x 330 cm in a grid-like street scape. The Surface events were done in cooperation with Øksnehallen, V1 Gallery and the municipality in Copenhagen, which contributed funds toward the completion.
No doubt inspired by SØRENs signature photography style that is influenced by the staging of cinema and theater, these new murals similarly take on a sweeping grand style and scope.
Here it is! Our 2014 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.
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.
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.
School’s back in session, the Jews just celebrated a new year, Kobra painted new portraits of Warhol and Basquiat in Williamsburg, and if you were at Brooklyn Museum last night you got to see Street Artist and muralist Don Rimx and us live – and us with markers in our hands looking completely lost.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $howta, Apples on Pictures, Conor Harrington, Dain, EKG, Funky13, Jack the Beard, Jeff Huntington, Jesse James, Matthew Reid, Mr. Prvrt, Os Gemeos, Pyramid Oracle, Ramiro Davaros-Coma, Sam3, Square, Stikman, and What Is Adam.
““I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honorable.” ~ Maya Angelou ~