All posts tagged: Cost

F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA by Freddy Alva

F*cking REVS: Interview on BSA by Freddy Alva

“Graffiti ain’t something you do, it’s something you live,” says the text above a wildly lettered REVS piece in a 1996 photo taken in El Paso. If there is a New York graffiti/Street Art icon that you would identify with a credo like this, he’s definitely one. Self-secreted away from the limelight and distrustful of many of the characters that are on the graffiti/Street Art “scene” today, REVS is nearly a New York folk hero, despite appearing to be completely firm in his anti-establishment, anti-commercial views – rooted in punk and hardcore music and those values that helped form his sometimes shape-shifting character since the the 1980s.

REVLON, REVS, SHIESTA, AVENGE, FUCKING REVS, REVS SOUP, REVS NUKE…

REVS (photo © WOES)

Today it is a rare moment for BSA to publish an exclusive interview with an anonymous and articulate thinking man and writer whose practice we consider to be an important lynchpin between graffiti and what would later be called “Street Art.”  The scale of his massive roller tags with sometimes writing partner COST, the series of personal ‘diary’ entries that number into the 200s in underground tunnels, the replication and repetition of tags and messages through new print methods, the move to iron sculpture soldiered to the streetscape – each of these moves broke a mold and expanded the definition of art on the streets in some way.

New York author and respected Hardcore music and graffiti documentarian Freddy Alva is publishing the second edition of his book Urban Styles: Graffiti in New York Hardcore” this month, where he gives you the full account of personally meeting with and interviewing the elusive writer/artist/musician – a generous portion of which we bring to you here today. Mr. Alva tells us what it was like to meet with REVS and speaks of the illuminating and wide-ranging REVs interview that gives details and perspective behind the lore in his evolution with aesthetic street expression in a way that is rarely heard. Our thanks to both of these folks for sharing their stories with BSA readers.

REVS-COST. Roller 1989. (photo © FREE5)

Intro from Freddy Alva

When I first started to write my ‘Urban Styles Graffiti In NYHC’ book in 2016; the first person on my list that I wanted to interview was REVS. I’d been a big fan of his output since the late 80’s and I knew he came from a Punk/Hardcore background, which made him an ideal subject to highlight the synthesis and crossover of these vital NYC subcultures that went on to have such a worldwide cultural impact. I managed to get a sit-down with him through mutual acquaintances & traveled deep into South Brooklyn to pitch my book. He was a bit distant at first but warmed up as he found out I used to book shows at a place one of his bands played at in the early 90’s.        

As I laid out my vision for the book and the writers that I was planning on interviewing plus images that I wanted to highlight; he patiently listened and towards the end politely declined to be included as he preferred to keep his story underground and maybe I didn’t quite correctly explain what the final product would look like but he did agree for a couple of songs from his early 80’s band Adam 12 to be included on a compilation I was planning on releasing simultaneously with the book. I left Brooklyn a bit dejected but respected his decision & figured that was it.

REVS. Search and Destroy 1994. (photo © COST)

Flash forward to when the book came out in early 2018 and I got in touch with him again to return those Adam 12 songs that I used & also to give a him a copy of the book to see what he thought of it. He called me up the very next day saying how much he loved it & if there was any chance he could still be included. Fortunately, the book quickly sold out and I was planning on expanding the 2nd edition, as there was a chapter that was left off the first time around, plus correcting typos and fixing some of the photos so to add a REVS interview would make this the definitive version.

Like I stated in my intro to his section; people that follow him might not be as aware of how much his experience in being a Punk Rocker has really impacted all of his art in such a profound fashion. It’s unheard of these days, in what’s called the street art world, to have an artist of such magnitude and influence like REVS eschew all and any attempts to commercialize his output.

He will never sell you one of his works, there won’t ever be a gallery exhibition, he will not do any commissions and forget about any merchandise/marketing related to him. One need not look any further than the defiant, middle finger, fuck you to the system attitude espoused by American Hardcore bands like the Dead Kennedy’s or the Do It Yourself ethics of subversive English Punks Crass; all resonating in his work throughout the years. I seriously consider him one of the last great NYC artists from the 20th century that got his start and influence from two rebellious subcultures that are near & dear to my heart. I feel fortunate to fill in some missing pieces, giving a more nuanced picture of who he is and why his art comes out the way it does.

~ Freddy Alva



What was your next tagging name?                        
The very first name I had was SATIRE and I probably got that from the Monty Python show on TV. I didn’t know what it meant, had no fucking clue, but I wrote it on an abandoned house with this kid that wrote RED and lived on my block

At what point did you start writing REVLON?
That started in 1983. After writing SIRO I might have been ME2 for a few weeks, then it was KIRK, took some bullshit tags in the village with that, nothing particularly good. I was hanging out with this guy D-ROCK, he was in a band called Cooker, known before as Weed or also Sacro 13; all the same band. He used to write and we would go on missions and also go to HC shows together all the time. He had a dope dancing style, kind of like John Watson. We were hanging out in my hallway one day and I went to the bathroom, saw this Revlon shampoo bottle while taking a piss and picked it up.

What can I tell you? I was young and stupid, I had so much hatred in me. I hated every fucking thing. I stuck with that for a while because I developed a good one line tag. It’s a horrible tag I know but I love animals and hate animal testing so this I again one of those contrary things that I’m against what the name stands for, like Adam 12. Another tag of mine is SHIESTA and once again I’m the complete opposite of that because I don’t shyster with people. I don’t like shysters, there is always this duality that goes with me.

REVS REVLON. Whole car. 1988. Train. (photo © PM)

Did you do any burners on trains with the REVLON name or get down with any crews?
Yeah, we used to go to the 4th Avenue layups, the M yard, RR layups in the city. We also went to the ‘Dead Yard’ in Brooklyn on 39th street. Me and my partner NB were hitting tunnels pretty extensively in 1983. I never joined any crews.

At what point did the REVLON name transition into REVS?
That happened in 1987. We were painting at King Kong’s cave in Brooklyn where the N train goes to Coney Island. I was doing a wall with LAW and EROS from Staten Island, plus my partner at the time, KAB, and NIKE from DESTINY crew. I did a REVS because REVLON is a such a horrible stupid fucking name. I abbreviated it and put a Z at the end because I was sick of REVLON. By 1990 I was a nowhere guy, like that Reagan Youth song, “Go Nowhere”, that was me. I just threw the rule book out the door and didn’t give a flying fuck about making straight lines in graffiti. I just wanted to destroy like Johnny Lydon and I never looked back because I feel that I’m in my groove.



It’s interesting this transition happened when graffiti in NYC changed after the train era and new techniques, like wheat paste posters, in street bombing became more prevalent. You are associated with that, tell me about it.
I was walking down Houston near Mercer one day and saw some stupid poster for a Tom Cruise movie and I was like; ‘Fuck this, I’m gonna do my own thing’. I figured it out, got wheat paste and started going out solo, putting my posters up in the Village. This is in 1990 or maybe 1989 because I had my first girlfriend in 1988. She was Porto Rock and wasn’t hearing about any of this graffiti shit. I couldn’t be a bum, had to dress nice and take her to dance clubs like 10-18. That was fun, going to places like The Palladium, got to do what you got to do sometimes! She actually ended up running away with a sailor and moved to Hawaii. I was like; ‘Fuck this, fuck everything’ once again. I started doing these crazy sloppy rollers with the wheat paste because everything at that point in graffiti was so meticulous in 1990. Perfect straight lines, right angles… I was like; ‘nah, I hate everything’.

REVS El Paso. 1996 (photo courtesy of Freddy Alva)

People must have have thought you were putting up movie posters when you went out. How did you hook up with COST?
I would do low spots like doorways and one day I saw COST hitting all the backs of the ‘Don’t Walk’ signs on the street and I knew him since like 1985. He was putting these 8 ½ x 11 inch ‘Hello My Name Is COST’ posters and I was doing 11 x 17 inch ‘Who Is REVS’ posters. I ran into the dude from Videograf and told him to give COST my number.

Where did the idea to do rollers come from?
I think LAW and EROS used bucket paint for their piece at King Kong’s cave but they did it as fill-in material. The concept of “John Loves Mary’ written on the side of a bridge with house paint also influenced me but I took it on steroids. I’m a white dude that likes tools, got to use tools, it’s part of my nature. I can physically do some stuff but I’ll always settle for doing something smarter not harder. I got an extension pole, like 24 feet long, for the roller me and COST did. We did our first roller on a parking lot by Duane St, right on the roof. It was a brown roller on a tan wall.

COST is a straight up graffiti dude, he’s a bomber, that’s what he knows how to do. Don’t ask him to draw anything. He can probably do a piece but he’s great at throw-ups and tags. He’s not into abstract work, but when we did that roller a lightbulb went off. We blew up the whole spot, no one could go over us. It was a sloppy roller but to his credit, he’s a very neat guy and meticulous. He cares about perception, wants to get feedback. I don’t care, just don’t go over me, say whatever you want. He was like; ‘Yo Rev, we got to make these things neat, make them clean and everything’. I was like ok; I can go with the flow so when we started doing that’s when it really took off. We started hitting everywhere and these things look pretty good, almost semi-pro lettering, kind of like a stencil.                  



I know spray cans are easy to rack, but how did you get all these gallons of paint and wheat paste?
Wheat paste was cheap. I always worked, been working since I was 11 years old so I had money for buying wheat paste. We found on Reade St. an old paint store that had like a gazillion DOT (Department Of Transportation) yellow standard buckets and I bought every single one for like a dollar a piece. This is the DOT yellow that I used before meeting COST. I ran Houston and Broadway with a DOT yellow piece. We also used whatever we found in the garbage, didn’t care it was oil based, we are not painting someone’s house but just blasting as much as possible. We found Photo Backdrop paper in Soho and started doing what we called street paintings on them, then gluing those up. They were 4 x 6 feet tall. We started doing street paintings where you paint the doorway and then take some shoe dye, put purple in the dye, then do my character. COST was doing his stick figures thing and we ventured out to the outer boroughs as well.

I imagine you guys started garnering attention as far as this is something, it’s not like traditional graffiti from the 70s/80s. What did other writers think of it?
Writers didn’t like it. COST came up with the idea of getting a toll free phone number and then got his grandmother to record some foul language messages, insulting people. People were like; ‘What is this shit? That ain’t Graffiti!’ When dudes saw one of our rollers outside of, like Tower Records, or in Soho, they’d be off balance not knowing what to think. All their shit in the bottom didn’t mean anything anymore.

REVSNUKE. Brooklyns’ Very Own. (photo © Luna Park)

It’s ironic because traditional art theory people would look at this as some kind of performance art and graffiti writers would say what is this?
They would say what is this toy shit? How come you’re not using spray paint? Regular people would call up and ask what is this about. It was mysterious but we were just two graffiti guys.

I was tracing the origins of the whole ‘Street Art” moniker and arguably; a lot of it can be traced back to what you guys were doing then
Oh yeah it can. Street art has been around for a while but they didn’t really call it that, like the dude that put the shadows up everywhere. Then it was the ‘Kill Your TV’ guy. We started calling it street art and now it’s a bad word, at least amongst graffiti writers. It’s not a bad word for the people making money off it. I don’t call it graffiti anymore but “Greed-Fitti.” Once you throw money into something it has a way of making things go weird. All these dudes are selling things because there’s no real graffiti anymore. They took away the trains, buses, handball courts, the parks. Guys play with the tunnels now, RD and SEN 4 have the fire hydrants but we’ve got virtually nothing. Maybe some overpass by the freight trains. All of us still have the itch and being grown men now, we could do a good job. Everyone has a family with mouths to feed so they’re selling everything and calling it graffiti but it’s only graffiti when it’s up.



When did the rollers and wheat pasting era come to an end for you?
Me and COST would argue a lot. We’d have these crazy discussions because we were together so much and have way different philosophies on life. I had to put my foot down otherwise he would have printed t-shirts to sell in Macy’s or something like that. One day we were wheat pasting and it ended up with us saying ‘Fuck You’ to one another. We went our separate ways but cops were trailing him because he was putting up a lot of stickers. Whenever we’d do a roller, he’d bring cans and do throw-ups. I didn’t want to do that because I don’t like spray paint anyway, but love tagging.

Is that when you started your  series in the tunnels?
Yeah, any motherfucker can write on a piece of paper but graffiti needs balls. The best graffiti guys have balls and talent, that’s dudes like ZEPHYR, SEEN, BAN 2. Some guys can get up but don’t have the talent. The tunnel thing was a case of I don’t give a flying fuck, I’m going to do whatever I want to do, don’t care who sees it. It’s not in book form, just made that shit up as I went along. I can’t spell. I was going with bucket paint and a ladder all painted black, clothes were black, pole was black. I used the best quality paint I could get my hands on and did 235 of these series. I didn’t get my groove on.

REVS. Weld Up in DUMBO, 2000. (photo © Scar Gis)

At what point did your steel sculptures come about?
I don’t call them sculptures, more like metal pieces. DIVA used to call them weld-ups. I come from the working class so I build stuff. The first weld-up I did was in 1990 and it was a cage that I installed in Soho with railroad spikes and some epoxy on the bottom. It ran for a couple of months and then I did another one by the cube on St. Marks. It was an oil can that was for the Gulf war in 1991. Me and CZ, who I used to write with, humped that thing from my third floor apartment on the Lower East Side.

I started to get more into welding and even when I was hanging with COST I would tell him to get a book to get the concept of welding. He was like, ‘Nah REV, it’s not the right time.’ He doesn’t come from the working class, has a different background. I got down with my union and started getting better at welding, practice in anything will make you better. I got balls and you combine that with being good at something; this is the shit I’m into. I love getting into steel with a grinder and a torch. It’s so easy to get a rechargeable grinder now but they didn’t have them back then and now everyone is forty years old. Fifteen year olds ain’t fucking with that but grown men know a little bit about tools. You can lose your shit once you weld something. They’ll cut the fence down and go for the easiest part of your piece, just take it down. That’s where I’m at, trying to device ways to make it hard to take down and they’re looking for ways to stop me.

I remember at the time you and COST were doing stickers and the 12” cover cover seemed an extension of that as the cover looks like one giant REVS sticker

I can see why you say that but the cover wasn’t a sticker, it just looks like one. That’s the difference between me and COST. The 12” was a personal thing to me not some kind of mass media campaign. I didn’t give a shit about becoming anybody. That’s the great thing about the Adam 12 guys, none of us wanted to become anybody, that’s why I like those guys. Other dudes like the Greed-fitti guys always want to become somebody, they want to be the next Andy Warhol, Keith Haring or Basquiat.

That’s the problem because the Greed-Fitti guys don’t come from punk. They don’t come from ‘Fuck you, stay the fuck away from me’. I’m not left wing, I’m not right wing, just stay the fuck away. That’s the punk I know and grew up on and when things started changing in 1984, it was disheartening. The machismo, why have violence against your own people? As Jello (Biafra) says; ‘Thrash a bank if you have the balls’. Why fuck with your own kind, back then everyone got along except for maybe there was a hippie or two that got beat up at CBGB’s.



Our sincere thanks to Freddy Alva and REVS and the photographers in this posting. This interview has been edited for brevity. Read the entire interview in book Urban Styles: Graffiti in New York Hardcore”


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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.29.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.29.18

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Mexico, Norway, Brooklyn – a typical week of BSA Images.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Abraham Chaco, BustArt, Cost, Curve, El Xupet Negre, Gee Whiskers, JMZ, JPS, Juce, Raf Urban, The Reading Ninja, and Turtle Caps.

Top Image: Christina pays homage to the Mexican master and social realist painter David Alfaro Siqueiros in Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abraham Chacon. Detail. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abraham Chacon. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist paints a stencil of Pancho Villa in Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JPS makes an arrest in Stavanger, Norway. (photo © Tor Staale Moen )

Raf Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Turtle Caps for JMZ Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Reading Ninja (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Reading Ninja (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Art Anarchy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Truckers caps are still running in trendy cat circles apparently. Gee Whiskers (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curve (photo © Jaime Rojo)

COST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Juce (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Xupet Negre for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

Untitled. The lady in red. Manhattan. April 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.15.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.15.17

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015A lot of Street Art went up this week and a lot of serious crap went down on the national stage.

We’re seeing politically themed Street Art appearing up all over the city right now, and some of it is here in our round up – addressing myriad topics, all related to the administration that will take seat before the next Images of the Week.  Sometimes it is defiant, other times despondent. Can’t speak to cities where Trump was overwhelmingly favored. Maybe there is Street Art in Kings County, Texas that is celebrating the end of healthcare, hooray!  Certainly the new big wall along the border is going to need some murals and wheatpastes. We’ll see as soon as the wall pops up there next week.

Many in the more formalized “art world” are advocating a cultural boycott of the planned inauguration on Friday and Hyperallergic is compiling a Running List of New York Galleries and Nonprofits Closing on Friday.

The street scene of course is less organized, mainly because membership in the Street Art club is open to anyone and there are no gatekeepers or frosty gallery assistants to sneer, persuade or dissuade. The street never asked for permission to make (or not) and display (or not) art and other personal aesthetic missives, and it will continue to make its own rules no doubt.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Cost, Dain, Hater, JustOne, Kristen Liu Wong, Loomit, Myth, Stray Ones, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Tats Cru.

First image above: Tatiana Fazlalizadeh. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kristen Liu-Wong for #artinadplaces (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Loomit for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Loomit. Detail. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Loomit. Detail. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hater (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#NoFascistUSA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#ArtistsforPoliticalSanity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#ArtistsforPoliticalSanity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

…we ALL are indeed! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tats Cru . Cost (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JustOne for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. LES. New York City. January 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.14.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.14.16

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Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 907 Crew, Aneko, Cash4, City Kitty, COST, D7606, Gregos, LMNOPI, Opiemme, Phlegm, Pork, Rambo, Smells, UFO, Vhils, and Vudo Child.

Our top image: “Heading to Coney Island to catch some waves…” This small wheat pasted illustration on a NYC subway platform caught our attention for its composition, wit and well-placed location, so it leads BSA Images Of The Week with it. It is very important to highlight the countless small pieces of art on the street illegally put around the city. Yes, we are in a period of fascination with murals these days, but it’s these small ones that first captured our hearts. Please help ID the artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vudo Child. Detail. Unintended selfie. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vudo Child with COST posters on top. Detail. We saw the artist meticulously hand drawing a face on each brick. There are thousands of original pieces on this extensive wall with the abstract piece with black backdrop as the center of the composition.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vudo Child. Deatil. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vudo Child. Deatil. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vhils in Berlin in collaboration with Open Walls Galerie.  The lone portrait on a wall is distinguished by its singularity – quite opposite of example from the work above. Vhils destroys to create. He chisels away from the wall do draw his portraits. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Two bunnies in love with PORK. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI portrait of a demonstrator from the #blacklivesmatter movement. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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UFO, Rambo, Smells, 907 Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cash4, 907 Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phlegm in Berlin for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phlegm in Berlin for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phlegm in Berlin for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phlegm in Berlin for Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty . D7606 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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David Hollier portrait of Abraham Lincoln using an excerpt from his inaugural address speech. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”

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Opiemme using text from Nirvana’s In Utero album. Tuscany, Italy. July 2016. (photo © Opiemme)

 


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Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aneko (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Berlin. July 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA “Images of the Year” for 2015 : New Video

BSA “Images of the Year” for 2015 : New Video

Was 2015 the “Year of the Mural”?

A lot of people thought so, and the rise of commercial festivals and commissioned public/private mural programs probably brought more artists to more walls than in recent history. Judging from the In Box, 2016 is going to break more records. Enormous, polished, fully realized and presented, murals can hold a special role in a community and transform a neighborhood, even a city.

But they are not the “organic” Street Art that draws us into the dark in-between places in a city, or at its margins.

We keep our eyes open for the small, one-off, idiosyncratic, uncommissioned, weirdo work as well, as it can carry clues about the culture and reveal a sage or silly solo voice.  It also just reinforces the feeling that the street is still home to an autonomous free-for-all of ideas and opinions and wandering passions. For us it is still fascinating to seek out and discover the one-of-a-kind small wheatpastes, stencils, sculptures, ad takeovers, collages, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.

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The main image above is from a vinyl subway advertisement that was high-jacked and we published it in February of this year on our Images of the Week posting. It’s small, personal, and very effective as you can see someone suspiciously similar to Batman is jumping out of the mouth of someone looking awfully similar to Hedwig of “Angry Inch” fame.

Of the 10,000 or so images photographer Jaime Rojo took in 2015, here are a selection 140+ of the best images from his travels through streets looking for unpermissioned and sanctioned art.

Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo

 

Brooklyn Street Art 2015 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

365xlos43, Amanda Marie, Andreas Englund, Augustine Kofie, Bisser, Boijeot, Renauld, Bordaloli, Brittany, BunnyM, Case Maclaim, Casg, Cash4, CDRE, Clet, Cost, Curve, Dain, Dal East, Dan Budnik, Dan Witz, David Walker, DeeDee, Dennis McNett, Don Rimx, Ricardo Cabret, LNY, Alex Seel, Mata Ruda, Don’t Fret, Dot Dot Dot, ECB, El Mac, El Sol25, Ella & Pitr, Eric Simmons, Enest Zacharevic, Martha Cooper, Martin Whatson, Ever, Faile, Faith47, Findac, Futura, Gaia, Gilf!, Hanksy, Hellbent, Hot Tea, How & Nosm, Icy and Sot, Inti, Invader, Isaac Cordal, James Bullough, Janet Dickson, Jef Aerosol, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, John Fekner, Le Diamantaire, Li Hill, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Low Brow, Marina Capdevilla, Miss Van, Mr. Prvrt, Mr. Toll, Myth, Nafir, Nemos, Never Crew, Nick Walker, Nina Pandolofo, Old Broads, Oldy, Ollio, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Paper Skaters, Pet Bird, Kashink, Smells, Cash4, PichiAvo, Pixel Pancho, QRST, ROA, Ron English, Rubin415, Saner, Sean 9 Lugo, Shai Dahan, Shepard Fairey, Sheryo & The Yok, Sinned, Sipros, Skewville, Slikor, Smells, Sweet Toof, Snowden, Edward Snowden, Andrew Tider, Jeff Greenspan, Specter, Stray Ones, Sweet Toof, Swil, Willow, Swoon, The Outings Project, Toney De Pew, Tristan Eaton, Various & Gould, Vermibus, Wane, Wk Interact

 

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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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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.13.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 12.13.15

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As the snow birds flew back to NYC this week from their Miami art debauchery with dark circles under their eyes and paint under their nails we tossed them right back in the roiling red & white mash of SantaCon in the streets, 2 more politicians going to jail, and the alleged hunk-hiring Bronx priest resigning from his parish. You can really feel the spirit of Christmas and Hannukah all around.

BSA was proud to co-sponsor the talk with DAZE, LEE Quinones, and Jane Dickson for the special reception at DAZE’s “The City is My Muse” show currently on exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, hosted by Sean Corcoran. The three are vital to the historical thread that reaches back to NY’s earliest graff days and it was evident from seeing their newest works as they each presented them on screen that they refuse to be nostalgic about the city – but prefer to be on top of it. Case in point was Lee’s opening the following night that showcased his new mural on the ceiling at the Indigo Hotel – his Sistine Chapel if you will.

P.S. We’ll be at MCNY with DAZE March 2 – mark your calendar.

Invader finished his 42 piece wave of tile installations in New York, according to reports, Banksy struck out with political pieces addressing immigration and xenophobia (videos at end of this posting), and Gilf! wrapped the façade of a Williamsburg bar with “gentrification in progress” tape to mark its death by market forces. As artists continue to grapple with socio/political events, the art of the street keeps mutating forward.

Side note: “Images of the Week” takes a hiatus for the next few weeks thanks to special Holiday programming. It returns in 2016.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Banksy, Bunny M, City Kitty, Cost, Daze, Dee Dee, Gilf!, Invader, Jaye Moon, Jordan Seiler, KET, Labrona, Lee Quinones, Lex56, Mint&Serf, Never, Pet Bird, Read, Sipros, Specter, Wing, and WK Interact.

Top Image: Sipros and a father of surrealism for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter in Paris. (photo © Specter)

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Specter in Paris. (photo © Specter)

Specter was in France last month with FKDL and Upian, among others. Here are some examples of paintings and ad takeovers in Paris as well as an abandoned factory called La Rodia in Besancon. The Brooklyn based artist tells us that “It was a trying time to be there but supporting my friends and creating some colorful distractions was more important.”

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Specter in Besancon. (photo © Specter)

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Read More (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inva…sions are Cost…ly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lex56. Noted. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jordan Seiler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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For Dotty & Pearl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wing (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The company you keep… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Labrona and Ket in Montreal. (photo © Labrona)

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Labrona and Ket in Montreal. Detail. (photo © Labrona)

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Labrona in Montreal. (photo © Labrona)

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Mint & Serf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Detail of Lee Quinones’ inventive ode to New York at a newly opened hotel in the LES. The artist, who grew up in the hood was commissioned to paint on the ceiling of the hotel’s reception room a map of the neighborhood to which he attached painted “poloroid” portraits (sourced from previously existing photographs) who lived and played on those streets “Between Two Bridges”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze standing in front of a portrait of him taken decades ago. This piece is currently being exhibited at Chris “Daze” Ellis: The City is My Muse at the Museum Of The City of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tom Warren with Christopher “Daze” Ellis
Portrait of Daze with Tags, 1983, Acrylic on Gelatin silver print

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Jaye Moon has a sense of “awe” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Never created this memorial to Peter Caroll AKA Pet Bird, who passed away suddenly in September. We love you Peter…and you too Never. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Balloons. Manhattan, NYC. November 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From The Guardian:
“Street artist Banksy has painted a depiction of Apple founder Steve Jobs on a wall in a migrant and refugee camp in France known as the Calais ‘Jungle’. The artist, who has never revealed his identity, released a rare public statement challenging the perception that migrants and refugees from Syria are a drain on Western economies, UK media reported”

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.22.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.22.15

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Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Carcioffola, Cern, City Kitty, COST, ENX, Invader, Isaac Cordal, Le Diamantarie, London Kaye, MSK Crew, Otto Osch, Sean 9 Lugo, Space Invader, Spaik, Stray Ones.

Top image above >>> Invader’s new series of pieces in New York is a campaign to pay tribute to some of our icons. Here is Joey Ramone at The Bushwick Collective – done in cooperation with Mana Urban Art Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader. Lou Reed. The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Art Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader. The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Art Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader.  Damaged almost as soon as it went up. The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Art Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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COST. The Bushwick Collective/Mana Urban Art Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye. The Little Prince of Bel-Air. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Otto Osch new piece in London, UK. (photo © Otto Osch)

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Isaac Cordal in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal over looking the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Isaac Cordal in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Studio Affordability Project protesting in front of the Brooklyn Museum about gentrification and a Real Estate event being held there. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Carcioffola new piece in Naples, Italy. (photo © Carcioffola)

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Sean 9 Lugo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Modern Love. We are not sure who did this or if it’s a Holiday Ad. It reminded us of the work of a collective who was active in the early 2000’s under the name of Eternal Love. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cernesto brings all his lil’ characters on parade on this wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cernesto (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MSK Crew(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Spaik in Bordeaux, France. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Le Diamantarie (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ENX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Bushwick, Brooklyn. November, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.30.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.30.15

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Dude, Dudette, this is the moment to make the most of Summer before it in subsumed into crazy New York fall. There is so much art on the streets you may not even want to go inside. Actually, if you haven’t seen the China: Through the Looking Glass at the Metropolitan Museum, you have to go – it could blow your mind with all the video and costume and power and history and modern western interpretations of it, sho nuff.

If you wonder what we’ve been up to and what on the near horizon- check out yesterdays posting “Round Up! BSA at NUART, Borås, Coney, BKM, and ON Brooklyn Streets”

Right now Street Artists are beginning to take into account a large pimple on the butt of the US, Mr. Donald Trump. Of course the streets always render opinions in such clever and pointed ways – helping us to cope with a corporate media infotainment machine that can’t help but chase a fire and pour gasoline on it for ratings. Actually NemO’s new mural of a man caught inside a TV-as-guillotine is also apropo.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Adam Cost, Aiko, Clint Mario, DRE, Ernest Zacharevic, Foxx Faces, Hanksy, Hunt, Indie184, Ivanorama, LUDO, Mr. Toll, NemO’s, Overunder, Phlegm, Raphail, She Wolf, Sure We Can, Thiago Goms, and Zed1.

Top image above >>> Ernest Zacharevic sidebusts COST. Overunder looms close by. Please help ID the tags. You may recognize the scene depicted from a very familiar promotional image for Nuart 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NEMO’S “Stocks – Pillory” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hanksy. Clint Mario doesn’t seem to mind the stench from the sack of shit on the street. Not the same with the pedestrian going by. He is covering his nose. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hunt (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ivanorama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Thiago Goms in Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)

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LUDO for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LUDO for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DRE – The Secret Society of Super Villain Artists (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Raphail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikki Peaches and a pinch of Dain for taste. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indie184 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sure We Can (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sure We Can (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Foxx Faces (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aiko for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phlegm (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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She Wolf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Times Square. Manhattan, NY. August 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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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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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.03.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.03.15

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We’ve been seeing an increase in the number of politically charged pieces showing up in the street lately. It is no surprise given the rise in marches and demonstrations and discussions in our city and country about topics like racism, police brutality, and rising economic inequality.  Street Art has a tradition of addressing socio-political topics, sometimes gently, sometimes yelling at the top of its lungs.

This comes at a time where the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is banning all political speech and religious ads in the advertisements it runs. “Hateful speech is not harmless speech. Only a fool or rogue would argue otherwise,” said Charles Moerdler, an MTA board member and Holocaust survivor who voted for the new policy. Of course any time you start to ban speech you don’t like, you are risking someone banning yours.

One could argue that all speech is political but you don’t recognize it when the message expresses views endorsed by the dominant culture; BP ads tell us that it is splendid to burn fossil fuels, CitiBank ads on bicycles tell us that bankers are nice community-minded people, and McDonalds ads tell us that eating meat is nutritious. Nothing political there right? Do you think the MTA would allow you to run an advertisement saying the opposite of any of those messages? Or would that suddenly be political?

The first few messages of this weeks walls are examples of speech, some of them political, some of them not. The streets will decide which get banned.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 907 Crew, Adam Cost, Anthony Lister, Balu, bunny M, Cash 4, David Shillinglaw, Defs, Deeker, FWC Crew, HA3, Icy & Sot, JR, Kaws, London Kaye, Merve Berkman, Myth, Omen, R2, Rambo, ROA, Rubin 415, SEA, Smells, Sote, and Specter.

Top Image: Turkish Street Artist Merve Berkman brings this Syrian refugee with child from the streets of Istanbul to the streets of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Balu and his portrait of Malcolm X (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who are oppressing them” a quote from Assata Shakur in this new Myth piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Davaid Shillinglaw . Lily Mixe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Adam Cost. Tell me about it. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cash4 . Rambo . Droid . Smells (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Roman . 907 Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin415 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Detail. Omen . SEA . Kaws (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA . HA3 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SOTE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anthony Lister and friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR from his series Walking New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR from his series Walking New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DEFS and FWC Crew in Dubai (photo © DEFS)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. SOHO, NYC. May 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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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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Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

As lines continue to blur in fields of art and technology (and everything else) it is easier to see Street Art as an online/on-street diary, a forum for speech making, a laboratory for testing ideas, a publishing platform for the dispersing of truths and lies and theories and maxims and slogans and aphorisms. A timely new exhibition of personal notebooks by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat further affirms the direct relationship between the personal and the public voice of one New York expressionist, revealing lesser-known aspects of him as artist and individual.

A teenage poet on New York streets, Basquiat used his own brand of graffiti to pursue his own brand of fame. His text was intended in part as a visual element but unlike graffiti writers who produced ever more expressive tags during that heated moment in New York graffiti history, Basquiat also sought an audience who may be hip to his cerebral wordplay of poetry that puzzled and enticed – a foxy style of William Burroughs-inspired automatic writing he adapted for his own uses.

 

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Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.

 

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Untitled. Circa 1987. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The art collector Larry Warsh lends these eight notebooks that span 1981-1987, 160 pages in all, for you to scan and contemplate. New to most audiences, they also feel familiar. While they do not provide a play-by-play account of his daily affairs, they do provide insight into his state of mind, interests, and creative process. Knowing his reputation for being very aware of his public perception, you may wonder how private these were in his mind if he was at least partially writing for a greater audience here sometimes as well.

But these are definitely his voice. Even in lengthier poetry pieces, Basquiats’ reductive approach to writing produces the same clipped cadences that appeared on walls and gallery paintings, a process of addition and subtraction that he could eventually pare down to one word that would command a canvas.

“Famous”.

 

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Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A two sided, free standing piece from 1982 midway through the gallery space gives a bittersweet focus to one of his aspirations, as well as to his application of photocopies of his own work in multiples on the canvas – a replication/repetition technique from commercial wildposting that was popularized on walls and lamp posts by graffiti writer/street artists like Revs and Cost in New York in the 90s.

“I think this show points out that the conceptual and poetic side of JMB’s work is central to and integrated with his more overtly visual and expressionistic paintings,” says Tricia Laughlin Bloom, who worked in collaboration with Dieter Bucchart, Guest Curator in organizing this exhibition. “He enjoyed exploring the play between text as visual sign or symbol and the layers of historical, sociological, personal meaning that words activate.  Some of the very restrained word drawings and notebook entries are intensely expressionistic, for instance, without the use of gesture or color.”

 

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Famous. 1982. Detail. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The notebooks are part of a larger offering of paintings, drawings, and moving image in this well balanced show that keeps the focus on the writer and painter of text while placing it in the greater context of all his work. Included here are drawings of his fictional character Jimmy Best, for example, who appeared in early SAMO© street writings and elsewhere as an ongoing and developing narrative that hinted at his self image.

Most riveting for the new generation of writers may be the film clips shot in 1980-81 during the filming of New York Beat (released in 2000 as Downtown 81). Not true documentary footage, it nevertheless captures the artist outside mark-making in a determined, self-aware, sometimes hesitating manner across walls with letters and lines of simple black aerosol.

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Famous. Verso. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Moving into “the City” from his middle class Brooklyn home as a teenager in the late 70s, you have to wonder how or if his street practice with friend Al Diaz had been influenced by the students and workers who wrote slogans, epigrams, maxims, in black aerosol letters during the Paris uprisings of 1968. Quick passages on the street then like “Sous les paves, la plage” (under the paving stones, the beach) also played with text and sometimes cryptic meaning in ways similar to his on city walls and in these notebooks. Neatly penned, his was a deliberate meditation and experiment with words – a process that allowed you to see the deletions and additions, fully part of the finished product.

“We were presented with the rare opportunity to exhibit Basquiat’s notebooks, which offer fascinating access to his thoughts and process,” says Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, when talking about the decision to mount Notebooks.

 

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Untitled. 1980. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of course its not the first time Street Artists have been featured meaningfully here. Under the guidance of Director Arnold L. Lehman the Brooklyn Museum has shown a serious and committed interest in highlighting the contributions of artists whose practice comes directly from the streets of New York and its graffiti/Street Art traditions; including the huge Basquiat show a decade ago, the Graffiti show in 2006, the more recent Keith Haring show, Swoon’s Submerged Motherlands last year, Olek’s display at the annual Artist’s Ball, and the upcoming Faile exhibit this July, which will also feature their collaboration with Bäst. For Matt Atkins, this show is in perfect alignment.

“The Brooklyn Museum has had a commitment to showing artists whose work embraces contemporary culture. Basquiat seamlessly synthesized the world around him in his art, including elements culled from the streets, music, literature, history, and more,” she says.

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Untitled. 1986. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It has been 27 years since Basquiat died at the age of 27. Somehow you can imagine that mathematical equation appearing here on one of the larger canvases; dense with symbols, sentence fragments, lists and formulas. Sifting through the tenuously connected word constellation it occurs to you that people like Basquiat and Burroughs and the Beats were forebears of the post-Gutenberg dislocation of text from its moorings  one that we all swim in  with passages and words and texts floating to us and past us from multiple screens of varying sizes throughout each day.

As this stream of messages blurs from the intensely personal to the public spheres, this show confirms how the art-making process for the street has always been rich with storytelling, even if not evident at first. A show of this moment, seeing these notebooks first hand will complete a cycle for many.

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Untitled. 1986. Detail.. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had an opportunity to speak further with one of the curators, Tricia Laughlin Bloom, about Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks.

Brooklyn Street Art: Often we think of the work we see on the street as part of a continuum, a conversation back and forth between the artist and the passerby. How does this exhibition illustrate the continuum that extends from private neatly penned journals to public aerosol missives?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: Going through the exhibition you find a lot of similarity between the voice he used in his street writing and in his notebooks, that also extends to his word paintings. Fragments of SAMO text recur in larger scale works that we have included, and many of his notebook passages read like they could have been SAMO texts.

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Untitled. 1986. Detail. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe the dynamic between yourself and the guest curator Dieter Buchhart and how it informed some of your joint decisions for presenting the work?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: Dieter brought the initial checklist together as Guest Curator, and we shaped it together from there. We both felt it was important that the show be about the notebooks—that the paintings and drawings should be carefully selected to compliment the notebooks and not overwhelm, and to highlight Basquiat the poet and thinker AND visual artist. Getting the right number of works and the precise balance was a long process, and many conversations.

Brooklyn Street Art: How has preparing this exhibition changed or affected your perception of his work in the intervening ten years since the “Basquiat” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, if at all?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: I was always a fan, and I loved the 2005 show, but I feel I understand him better and my admiration has deepened after the opportunity to work with the notebooks. It’s more intimate in scale and the whole experience feels more personal.

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All Beef. 1983. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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All Beef. 1983. Verso. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. 1982-83. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. 1982-83. Detail. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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From left to right: Untitled (Crown) 1982. Tuxedo. 1982. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Famous Negro Atheletes. 1981. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Antidote. 1981. Untitled (Ego) 1983. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo taken from the video Downtown 81 Outtakes. 2001. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo taken from the video Downtown 81 Outtakes. 2001. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks is organized by Dieter Buchhart, Guest Curator, with Tricia Laughlin Bloom, former Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum and current Curator of American art at the Newark Museum.

With special thanks to Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Sharon Matt Atkins, and Sally Williams.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum opens on April 3, 2015 to the general public. Click HERE for further details.

 

 

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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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Young New Yorkers – A Preview of the Auction Benefitting NYC Youth

Young New Yorkers – A Preview of the Auction Benefitting NYC Youth

Don’t miss this cool auction of work by many of today’s Street Artists on the New York scene, and some other folks you might have heard of!  Young New Yorkers works with 16 and 17 year-old kids who have been caught in the criminal justice system, giving them a second chance. This is your opportunity to support this non-profit organization that is doing good work for your neighbors and our neighborhoods and to add art to your collection.

Here are some brand new shots of pieces that will be available. For a full listing and to bid on the auction progress online, click here on Paddle8.

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Olek (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had the opportunity to speak with Rachel Barnard, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Young New Yorkers about the event and their programs. We asked her to explain how the programs work.

“Art exercises in our programs are collapsed with restorative justice exercises and they give our participants a way of exploring the impact of their choices while empowering them to make wiser ones in the future. We work with photography, video, collage and illustration. More importantly, in the second half of the program art allows our participant’s to step into their own leadership and self expression,” she explains.

As the participants explore their creativity, they also examine it through a greater lens. “They explore a social issue that is important to them and develop a public art project around that. This is then presented at the final exhibition – one which the criminal court judges, acting district attorneys, social workers and other members of the criminal justice system, attend. It’s a way for everyone to re-meet our extraordinary participants as more than just their rap sheets. So in this way we use art to meet our main goal; which is to empower our young New Yorkers to transform the criminal justice system through their own creative voices.”

Here are some of the pieces that will be up for auction on April 1st.

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Obey . LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mata Ruda (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Van (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hellbent (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia, LNY and Mata Ruda collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Faring Purth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CB23 . Sonni (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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COST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cosbe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Case Ma’Claim (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Young New Yorkers provides arts-based programming to court-involved young people. The criminal court gives eligible defendants—all of whom are 16- and 17-year-olds and who in New York are tried as adults—the option to participate in Young New Yorkers rather than do jail time, community service, and have a lifelong criminal record. With the ultimate goal of empowering participants to transform the criminal justice system through their own creative voices, all of YNY’s programs culminate with a public exhibition where members of the Criminal Justice System are invited to re-meet the graduates as creative and empowered individuals. In most cases, upon successful completion of the program, the participants’ cases are sealed; so far, 100% of participants have graduated from YNY’s programs.

We look forward to seeing you at Joseph Gross Gallery on April 1 for the Silent Art Auction. Get your advance tickets for only $35 here.

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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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