“I try to make sure I’m presenting work from artists not necessarily because they’re popular,” Tina Ziegler told us a few weeks ago, “but because they are or have been influential and/or fundamental to urban & contemporary art’s growth.”
That may explain why D*Face was nearly sprinting to his wall in Greenpoint yesterday while Egle Zvirblyte was mounting the brightly sexified animals around the bar and the Skewville twins were sweating the details on their installation on a roll-down gate. Of course, since they are actual Brooklyn Street Artists the bros appeared as cool as the elevated JMZ train with the windows open.
For that matter, the action inside the exhibition spaces was also jamming, including Jasmine from Herakut, who was painting a passage in her distinctive handstyle across a booth here in this former merchant marine factory warehouse.
It’s the first Moniker International Art Fair in Brooklyn for the next four days with 27 exhibitors, a number of “artist residencies”, live mural painting, music performances by Princess Nokia, a “Street Heroines” talk with documentary director Alexandra Henry and a 5 Pointz history presentation with Meres One.
As the preparations for Moniker’s debut in NYC got underway we visited the location and found an energetic team busy at work helping the many artists and the galleries who represent them transfixed with the task of setting up shop, build the installations and paint the walls outside. Here’s a peek for you.
In advance of Moniker in Brooklyn this May, we are interviewing some of the artists who are influenced both by street practice and fine art as the contemporary urban art category continues to evolve. Today, BSA is talking to Derek Gores.
Commercial artist Derek Gores uses collage to create his citified fantasies about sex and power and scatters them across the canvas. He will be one of the artists doing a solo art installation at Moniker in Brooklyn this year.
Derek Gores Full Volume Brooklyn Bridge (photo courtesy of the artist)
BSA:How would you describe your work to someone who is seeing it for the first time?Derek Gores: Collage with recycled paper, magazines, maps, lyrics, photos. A visual battle between image and abstraction. A beautiful chaos of words, spaces, hints of a story that develops in front of me. Feminist superheroes.
BSA:What is your intersection with Brooklyn and it’s history of Street Art and graffiti? Derek Gores: I was born in New York but have lived in Florida most of my life. Like many, I crave the buzz of the city but with a tight neighborhood density. The street art world has a constant big world/small world pulse. I don’t do murals particularly, but most of my best art friends go big.
Derek Gores. Could do Anything (photo courtesy of the artist)
BSA:What’s most important to you? Derek Gores: Being present in the art. Keeping the senses Live.
BSA: Are graffiti and Street Art allowed to change, or should there be a strict definitions they adhere to? Derek Gores: Oh they must, like any art form, be always destroying and rekindling. Even within one artist. New school becomes old school. Love it, honor it, stand on it’s shoulders.
BSA: Name one artist whose work you admire today. Derek Gores: Hyland Mather
Derek Gores Pretty Hardcore (photo courtesy of the artist)
Thinkspace is pleased to present ‘Vanguard’, an exciting group exhibition of new works by the gallery’s established artists, and by recent additions to its roster. This special exhibition will provide a curated glimpse into the New Contemporary Art Movement with a dynamic selection of artwork representing the diverse range of its artists and their practices. These artists are unified by the shared intent to create exceptional artwork that speaks relevantly to contemporary culture. Distilling inspiration from a variety of sources including illustration, pop culture, comics, street art, and graffiti, the New Contemporary Art Movement culls its content from the world and presents imagery saturated with powerfully populist forms. As a movement with its beginnings firmly grounded in Los Angeles, Thinkspace has been a significant conduit and catalyst for its expansion worldwide. While it is young, New Contemporary Art has gained traction and recognition the world over and continues to establish itself as a potentially inveterate art movement with a steadily evolving history.
‘Vanguard’ will feature artwork by Thinkspace artists Allison Sommers, Derek Gores, Kevin Peterson, Sarah Joncas, Seth Armstrong, Shark Toof, and Yosuke Ueno, and will also include works from recent gallery additions: Curiot from Mexico, NoseGo from Philadelphia, Jeremy Enecio from Brooklyn, Kikyz1313 from Mexico, and Halsey Swain from Portland. Each artist imparts their own unique and unrepeatable contribution to the movement in keeping with its core tenets of accessibility and contemporaneity; their work speaks democratically in a relatable way, and draws from the realities of the contemporary culture in which we are all imbricated. As an art movement that seeks to reflect popular cultural forms rather than to exclude them, the New Contemporary Art Movement is unified by its diversity and its appeal to shared sensibilities and social currencies. An aggregate of distinct and yet concomitant voices, each exponent is different and informed by his or her own vision, but each resonates with a desire to show the viewer something identifiable, real, imminent, and firmly grounded in the now. ‘Vanguard’ will present an inspired cross-section of these exceptional and varied talents, offering a rare opportunity to hear their voices in unison.