Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Dresden, Moscow, Marrakesh, Detroit and Miami, photographer Jaime Rojo found that the figurative image still stands prominently in the Street Art scene – along with text-based, abstract and animal world themes.
Surprisingly the scene does not appear to be addressing the troubled and contentious matters of the political and social realms in a large way, but the D.I.Y. scene keeps alive and defies the forces of homogeneity with one-of-a-kind small wheat-pastes, stencils, sculptures, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.
Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our regular interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2016.
Brooklyn Street Art 2016 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;
1Up, Above, Adele Renault, Alaniz, Amy Smalls, George Vidas, GEN2, Apexer, BordaloII, Buff Monster, C215, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Super A, David Choe, D*Face, Duke Riley, El Sol 25, Sean 9 Lugo, EQC, Faile, Faith47, Faust, Shantell Martin, Felipe Pantone, Hueman, Droid907, Icy & Sot, InDecline, Invader, JJ Veronis, Jilly Ballistic, John Ahearn, JR, London Kaye, Louis Masai, MadC, Marshal Arts, Mongolz, MSK, Rime, Myth, Nina Chanel, Optic Ninja, Otto Osch Schade, Panmela Castro, Plastic Jesus, QRST, Reed b More, Remi Rough, REVS, Self Made, Sharon Dela Cruz, Maripussy, Specter, Stikman, Strok, Swoon, Ted Pim, Thievin’ Stephen, Farin Purth, Thomas Allen, Tobo, Uriginal, Vermibus, Vhils, Wing, Yes Two, Zola.
The artist featured on the main graphic is D*Face as shot by Jaime Rojo in New York.
Pigeons have been a vital feature of New York’s skyline for decades, even centuries, particularly in neighborhoods like those in Brooklyn where thousands live in coops on the roofs of tall buildings, carefully overseen by their trainers, called pigeon fanciers.
Loosed from their kit to fly as a flock, tracing the sky in manifold circular patterns high above, the birds are graceful, athletic, and organically self organized. Neighborhood onlookers know that these winged performers won’t dance in unison like so many Esther Williams synchronized swimmers, but their rhythms and morphing geometry are mesmerizing, open, even thrilling.
The assembled flock of 500 New Yorkers piled onto stadium bleachers in the Brooklyn Navy Yard will undoubtedly re-think the much maligned city pigeon when they see performance artist Duke Riley and his cast of 2,000 being loosed and directed in this latest production by Creative Time. Confidently striding high atop his floating coop co-op in Wallabout Bay, Riley’s Fly By Night employs Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge as backdrop to these glittering dancers.
You may breed them for beauty or speed, or even personality, as there are discernable differences among these Homers, Rollers, Fantails, and Russian high flyers – just a handful of the 100 or so species that most fanciers work with. Flying up the East Rivers’ great broad way in all their glory, none of these birds needs a boa; they’re simply covered in feathers.
Uncontrived and with a stage craft, set design and costumery bowing to the Navy Yard’s industrial ship-building past, Fly By Night collapses a time continuum. Certain audience members are not quite sure how it will play out as the sun is setting gently behind Manhattan and neighbors slide into their posts, smiling and waving to familiar faces, taking a quick nip from a deftly procured flask, cheeks pink in the spring chill.
As the darkness draws nearer questions remain: Will these chuckling pigeons return once they are released? Will these LED lights attached to their legs actually be visible when they are flying? Will the crowd be easily hushed by the whistles and birdcalls and long poled flags drawing generous arcs in silhouette across the sky?
Yes to all three, and as the birds flood forward into the dusk sky this audience of chatty, catty New Yorkers keep their tongues docked and their murmuring on mute to respect this natural aviary array. Presently cell phones are hoisted aloft.
One tries not to use the word “enchanting” too often, but this performance piece pairing man and nature seamlessly pierces veils between theater, anthropology, history, lore, nature, spectacle and dreamy reverie.
Witnessing this public performance of an age-old choreographed dance in the newly night sky with an international gaggle of sudden pigeon fanciers, you may wonder what else you have overlooked in the mundanity of walking to the subway.
These are the famously dissed New York pigeons of your daily life after all. But here they are center stage and such splendid and appealing dancers. Somewhere in the silently rythmic fluttering, the staccato and swooping baritone bird-calling, and the swimming of orbital troupes through the blueness, these illuminated pigeons transform into multiple schools of fish that you gaze upward to see.
Having made that break with reality the mind can wander to nautical fables and long-distance cables and whirling dervishes and the regal pageantry and circular sweeps of Balanchine, who ironically was working on a ballet called “The Birds of America” at the time of his death.
It is another New York story delivered for free in the public sphere. The movements of the birds in their self-selected formations – many are Rileys’ personally but others are borrowed or purchased from other fanciers – easily command your attention and create a momentary communal appreciation in the stands.
The gentle lapping of water in the bay is punctured by sea-faring whooping and wrastlin’ whistles of the trainer-in-chief, augmented by the low blasting horn of a distant ship in the bay, or your head. This is perfectly public space and Mr. Riley’s deft imaginings and knowledge of maritime traditions guide you calmly to your own grounded reality while launching you gently aflight through space, and time.
Duke Riley’s Fly By Night performance for Creative Time at the Brooklyn Navy Yard takes place on weekends, Friday through Sunday. May 7th through June 12th. Click HERE for full schedule and to get your FREE tickets.
Our very special thanks to RJ Rushmore for his help and expertise.
Five years into it, The Brooklyn Artists Ball has become a glittering spectacle that speaks to the traditional, the contemporary, and the beat on the street. This years greatest hits collection not only features new elaborate installations by three of Brooklyn’s celebrated Street Artists of this century, Swoon, Olek, and Faile, the custom created environments from equally charged modern thinkers like Jennifer Catron & Paul Outlaw, Fernando Mastrangelo, Duke Riley, SITU Studio, Dustin Yellin and Pioneer Works all speak to the undeniable emergence of the Brooklyn influence on the contemporary art scene.
The sky-lit Beaux-Arts Court hosts the dinner that serves as fundraiser, exhibition, and aesthetic theme park, with each artist or collective given tables to adorn and transform. With the guests touring the tables, meeting the artists, watching the awards ceremony and placing bids on the live auction, some guests may forget to eat. This crescendo of course is a celebratory tribute to the museums’ retiring director Arnold Lehman, who effectively has opened the doors to wider audiences and welcomed participation and collaboration during his nearly 20-year tenure – boldly taking risks and diplomatically shepherding the enormous institution into a contemporary relevance envied by some and which now routinely makes guests and patrons enthusiastic, engaged, and dare we say it, proud.
Here are some behind the scenes preparations for the dinner that will honor Lehman and artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Takashi Murakami, and Kiki Smith. In addition to the dinner there is a temporary exhibition of 125 exceptional works of art collected during Lehman’s tenure and a full-on dance party with more installations and which is curated by Fool’s Gold, the independent record label based in Brooklyn. We visited the museum early in the week to catch up with the artists as they were creating their tables – below are shots of the works in progress. None of the tables were completed yet so the images reflect the tables in process.
Brooklyn’s Faile illuminate: Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller have a concept for their tables that includes turning them into giant light boxes where patrons are going to dine while looking at iconic film from their silk screen work. Street art followers will recognize many of these images from their work on the street.
Hosted at See//Exhibition Space
25-25 44th Drive
Long Island City 11101
Saturday, September 8
Salon and Beauty Shop: 7pm-midnight
Party: 7pm onward
Admission: $20; Salon Services: $5-500 Tickets: www.pearlysbeautyshop.eventbrite.com
The artist Swoon hosts a pop-up salon/party of ecstatic aesthetic embellishments to support the creation of a community activated arts center in North Braddock, PA.
Pearly’s Beauty Shop – A full service salon like no other.
Join us for an evening of celebration and artistic pampering from head to toe. Pearly’s Beauty Shop is a full service unisex salon and party all in
one. Artists will do you up and you will dance it out.
How it works: You pick an option from our menu of salon services. Nails done by a painter? Hair diorama by a sculptor? Makeup by a conceptual artist? Performance artist paraffin dip? No matter your desire, one of our artists will attend to your every need.
Look and be looked: You’ll find our salon stations throughout the party, with revelry all around. DJ’s Dirty Finger, Manhate, and 3 Kings International Sound will make your body move and your fresh coat of glam shine while you explore indoor and outdoor dance parties, music, installations and performances by Roofeeo, Shenandoah Davis, Lady Circus’ Anya Sapozhnikova, Audra Pace, Yea, Well, Whatever, all situated in a stunning visual landscape.
The party benefits the re-envisioning of a formerly abandoned church to become a community resource and an arts destination. All our artists are donating their time and skills for the night, including Mickalene Thomas, Dzine, Dustin Yellin, Swoon, Duke Riley, Natalie Frank, K8 Hardy, Chris Stain, Michael Anderson and many more.
Graff and Street Art folks like to talk about going out and “bombing”, borrowing a military metaphor to apply to covering large areas of walls with paint or wheatpasted paper to major effect. From Red Hook, Brooklyn, Juxtapoz profiles an emerging new kind of bomber that knocks down the walls, explodes your expectations, blast the foundations of what we have become comfortable believing about ourselves and the world. Unlike the cynical campaigns of fear that propel one toward mindless conformity however, this bombing encourages you to tap into the primal, the creatively expansive, the free-thinking self. To paraphrase the artist, it’s about tolerance versus stupidity.
Duke Riley is many things; American fine artist, performance artist, tattoo artist, painter, sculptor, historian; RISD and Pratt grad, explorer, fine chef, gracious host, “son of a b*tch”. And to borrow from the street, this guy is a bomber – the new breed that we have been witnessing sprouting from the art communities and collectives re-invigorating Brooklyn since the mid-1990s. Curious, confident, and inventive; this is the gritty urban soil it grows in.
Contributing editor and videographer for Juxtapoz, Alexander Klein produced this three part profile of Duke Riley that itself is compelling and smart. We look forward to more insight like this from Juxtapoz.
In Part 1, Duke takes a Revolutionary War-era submarine and swims it up to the Queen Mary 2.
In Part 2, Duke organizes a full 5-Borough water invasion battle.
Finally in Part 3, Duke goes train-hopping from New York City to Ohio.