This week we received a note from a friend in the graff/street art community urging us to encourage street and graffiti artists to create artwork on the streets that beseeches GenZ to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
They needn’t worry.
Graffiti and street artists have continued to respond to the COVID mask and vaccine issues as much as they did with the rejection of Trump and everything that came with him. During the last few years, they also have strongly responded to the BLM movement, to the topic of police brutality, to structural inequality in our economy, to last fall’s election, to indigenous people’s rights, to Asian hate, LGBTQ rights, to drug use, to anxiety, to depression, to love, to hope, to our effect on the Earth’s environment, and many social/political issues. Not always high-minded, Street artists also like pop culture icons, cute animals, and emulating successful artists who came before them and whom they admire.
It’s all part of the gig.
When we hit the streets in the pursuit of arts, we never know what we’ll find and where we’ll find it. This week we were surprised by a certain uptick in the number of sculptures on the streets. The artists used different materials, from ceramic to resin, metal, cement, and techniques associated with papier-mâché. The sculptures were mostly affixed to traffic signposts but sometimes were placed on street construction barriers. We are always happy to see sculptures on the streets as they bring back the days when sanctioned murals were definitely not the norm, and illegal street art ruled the streets in myriad small formats.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: A Cool 55, AJ Maldo, Billy Barnacles, Chris Protas, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, JJ Veronis, Mataruda, Miyok Madness, Mort Art, Mr. Triple Double, Patrick Picou Harrington, Phetus, Raddington Falls, Sibot, Spy33, Turtle Caps, Winston Tseng.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week as we head into Passover and Easter. If street art reflects society, and we know that it does, Governor Cuomo is in hot water and may not keep his job. But then, we thought the same about the war criminal George Bush and the grifter Trump, so never mind.
Thank you to reporter Jim O’Grady for interviewing us for a story on WNYC radio this week – along with our colleague Sean Corcoran who is the Curator of Prints and Photographs and a graffiti historian from the Museum of the City of New York.
“As Covid Ravaged New York, Street Artists Fought Back” is the name of Jim’s eight-minute exposition – and his storytelling adds so much to our appreciation of the city and the environment that gives life to our street art and graffiti scene here. Thanks for including us Jim.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: Chris RWK, CRKSHNK, Dwei, Hope Hummingbird, I Heart Graffiti, Little Ricky, Peachee Blue, Raddington Falls, Rambo, SacSix, Sara Lynne-Leo, Sticker Maul, and Technodrome.
We’ve seen an uptick of messages on the streets aimed at Governor Cuomo
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. Did you set you clocks ahead one hour? Spring forward!
We open today’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week with Peruvian artist The Monks. He’s been splashing the streets of New York with his vibrant work… and with a much-needed infusion of color during our winter grays – as a prelude to the imminent Spring in NYC.
We’re feeling good. Is that bad? Maybe it’s the lack of daily tweets that used to hector and batter the populace for 4 years that we are slowly emerging from beneath. It’s like the Twitter Gods are showing mercy on us all.
Maybe it’s the centrist rescue bill finally passed this week that will place newly-minted cash into the hands of the newly-minted poor and desperate working-class, slowing the steady decades-long growth of the gaping chasm between haves and have-nots. (Still “no” to $15 minimum wage, “no” to Medicare for All, “yes” to a bombing in Syria). You can’t blame the Democrats, though – they only have the House, Senate, and White House.
Maybe we’re also feeling partially positive because we had two consecutive days of sunshine and even experienced 60-degree temperatures. Daffodils are positively poised for popping through the dog poop in public parks presently. No doubt we’re also feeling hopeful because a deluge of new art will begin rushing through city streets in the next few weeks as artists, like everyone else, will be racing outside like giddy teenagers.
Not that they haven’t been getting up already. They have.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Clown Soldier, CRKSNK, Donut, Fours Crew, Goog, HAZE, Kiwi, Meter, Nemz, Polka, Rambo, Roachi, Samva, Sara Lynne-Leo, Texas & Gane, The Monks, Toath, Zexor, and ZigZag.
A few weeks ago we saw a populist uprising invade one of this culture’s most sacrosanct public institutions out of anger and disillusionment, among other factors; generally a repudiation of what was perceived as a corrupt cabal who ignores the will of the people. Within days the news was full of stories of the State tracking down and cracking down on the dangerous insurgents and tracing their words and actions. Alliances were suddenly severed, fingers were wildly pointed, threats were issued, straw men swiftly collapsed. An historic quake, the tremulous ground is still shifting.
We’re don’t intend to oversimplify here, but you have to admit there appear to be parallels in these stories.
In the end, we see the ripples through street art. Actually, sometimes we see the antecedents to events like these as well – but we may not recognize them as such until later. One cryptic prophet and cultural critic from the street art world, Don Leicht, passed away this week after a very trying illness. His original use of the digitalized Invader predates the high profile street artist of the same name; his comic/cutting assessments of modern hypocrisy echoed across walls of New York as early as the inception of the video game itself. A long time trusted friend and creative collaborator with street artist John Fekner, Leicht was quickly memorialized with this new installation on the street (below).
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UP Crew, Bastard Bot, Below Key, CRKSHNK, De Grupo, Don Leicht, Duke A. Barnstable, Ethan Minsker, Freedom, John Fekner, Maks Art World, Nick Walker, No Sleep, and Young Samo.
Reposted from John Fekner:
“Don Leicht (October 12th, 1946-January 22nd, 2021)Don was my fierce older Libra brother, colleague and collaborator throughout almost fifty years of friendship. Don was a passionate and devout painter who played by his own Bronx cool rules; whether as a teacher in the public school system in the South Bronx, or in his hand-written personal writings or hand-cut metal, plastic or cardboard sculptural works, all visually charged with a deep meaning and social purpose. His imagery could spark a laugh or a smile; but were intended to cause a reaction within a viewer’s heart, mind and soul.
Don was a steadfast bridge to carry me through my sometimes unwieldy behavior. He would provide answers with care, understanding and positivity; whether it was in person or through a 10-minute or hour phone call. Within our conversation (and with many of his friends), he would always repeat the message as to be sure that you ‘got the message’ and would act accordingly. Don always had a simple soothing solution: ‘Get one thing done by the end of the day.’
Don was preceded in death by his wife Annie; and he will be deeply missed by his two sons, Anthony and Nicky, who helped their father throughout his overwhelming health issues, especially in this past year.
Walk on dear friend. We celebrate your life work!”
Many people in New York and around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief this week when our native son from Queens got on that helicopter with his immigrant wife and A. left the White House and, B. flew to Florida.
But for this week anyway, the streets are saying let’s give Biden and Harris and this new administration the congratulations and the honeymoon they deserve. We wish them (and us) the best!
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Anna is a toy, Bastard Bot, CRKSHNK, Elfo, Jason Naylor, Lunge Box, Praxis VGZ, and Queen Andrea.
Welcome to the first BSA Images of the Week of 2021 !
We start our collection this week with an image of Christ crucified on a Facebook logo. If this is the level of subtlety that we can expect from the new year…gurl, we in trubble.
In fact, we have found that much of the organic street art that we find today has become increasingly strident in opinions expressed, especially around themes of social justice and political skullduggery. It’s all mixed in with favorites like pop figures, sports figures, cats. In a way, the artists are ahead of us, so we consider these images as the tea leaves for what is coming.
How will you interpret these messages from the street? Will you become emboldened? Scared? Or will they not have any impact on passersby?
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 7 Line Arts Studio, Bastard Bot, Calicho Art, Captain Eyeliner, Calisi Maultra, City Kity, CRKSHNK, David F Barthold, Degrupo, Elle, Jeff Roseking, Joseph Grazi, NohJColey, Poi Everywhere, Sickid, Sticker Maul, and Stikman.
In our own Brooklyn neighborhood during a Thanksgiving stroll we witnessed people cueing up to get into a local overpriced restaurant while one block later we saw 4 people – two middle aged women and two teenagers – opening garbage bags on the sidewalk and looking for 5 cent returnable bottles.
Remind us please: Is this a Republican failure, or a Democratic failure? The wealth gap has continued to grow no matter who was in office for the last few decades. We are better than this.
Looks like Trump has finally accepted that he lost and is now turning his attention to who he will pardon. Regarding his hometown New York City, Trump will probably come back like a rash, fielding lawsuits and bragging about one thing or another. Other recent articles are turning attention to his various brood and surmising things like “Ivanka Probably Isn’t Welcome Back in New York City.”
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring A Toy Shop, Allei Kelley, CRKSHNK, De Grupo, Downtown DaVinci, Eye Sticker, I Heart Graffiti, Tenderloin Television, and The Postman Art.
Of course street art is ready to rock Halloween, as some of the most clever, frightening, sarcastic, ghoulish, and hilarious thematic depictions are found on our streets in the days leading up to All Hallows Eve. Truthfully these are such scary times across the board in the US that it is feeling like we’re having Halloween weekly. The monsters walk among us!
We hope you have a spooky good time, you stay safe and don’t forget BSA loves you.
A brand new release just in time for Halloween from Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip
newsreaders are revving you up for the big election, right? Which millionaire
will you vote for to save us? Meanwhile,
millions are already suffering without jobs, without food, without sleep.
Meanwhile in beautiful New York we are seeing splendid new art on the streets, skooling us again as we go back to school. We’re particularly interested in a trend toward using recycled products in the making of art. Welcome to October; and Mercury is still in retrograde for about 4 weeks so hang on brothers and sisters. It’s gonna be bumpy.!
Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week including Blaze, Catch a Fire, CRKSHNK, David Barthold, De Grupo, Downtown DaVinci, Eye Sticker, J131, Rae, and Stikman.
RAE constructed this site-specific piece on the street by molding plastic supermarket bags into the desired design and using staples to keep them in place. Each panel was individually created to fit the existing panels on the existing door. That’s why we are calling it site-specific. We know that placement is a key element of any successful street art piece.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. Shana Tova to our Jewish brothers and sisters, even as we mourn the Friday passing of one of Brooklyn’s own, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was born here on East 9th Street in Midwood to Russian immigrant parents in 1933 and the governor says we’ll have a statue honoring her here too.
Compared to all these news, the scene with Street Art appears tame. But from Red Hook to Soho to LES to Bushwick to Ridgewood, it is definitely not lame.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring BK Foxx, Chris Tuorto, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, De Grupo, Downtown DaVinci, Freakotrophic, Half, Joe Iurato, Kesta, Logan Hicks, Mish, Ouch, Praxis VGZ, Sac Six, Sean Lugo 9, Stikman, and You Go Girl!
The winds of change are gathering force and weaving together – social, political, financial, environmental… and it is all being reflected in street art today. Ironically, because media in the US is addicted to money and misdirection and is completely disinterested in the poor and working class as a whole, thoughtful analysis that pops off city walls seems unadulterated, capable of giving you more truthful assessments of what is missing, what is out of whack, and who’s gotta take action. Your face here.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fu, AJ LaVilla, Antennae, Black Ligma, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, De Groupo, Hearts NY, Novy, Pork, Surface of Beauty, The Greator, Winston Tseng, X Rebellion NYC, and Zuli Miau.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Almost Over Keep Smiling, Billy Barnacles, Gianni Lee, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, Early Riser NYC, Seven Line Arts Studio, M*Code, Ori Carino, Sticker Maul, Turtle Caps, Urban Russian Doll NYC, and You Go Girl!