It’s been a packed couple of weeks between traveling to Moscow for the Artmossphere Biennale 2018 and immediately hopping to Leipzig, Germany for the magnificent Monumenta opening. Our heads are full of stories and conversations and images in two distinctly different scenes that somehow are still completely connected. Can’t tell if its euphoria or relief or jetlag but this Sunday is a dizzying day of taking account and being really thankful to be involved with an astounding amount of talent and camaraderie in the Graffiti/Street Art/Urban Art community that is connecting people around the world.
Here are our images of the week this time around; some selections from the Thursday night Artmossphere Biennale 2018 in Moscow, featuring 108, 1UP, Adele Renault, Bill Posters, BLOT, Canemorto, CT, the DOMA Collective, Egs, Faith XLVII, Faust, Finsta, Hyland Mather, LOT, Lucy McLauchlan, Lyall Sprong, Martha Cooper, Pablo Harymbat, and Pink Power.
JK it’s also April Fools Day but we know you are no fool amiright?
This week we are going all graffiti for our Images of the Week section, and most of it is on Brooklyn roofs. So we’re giving a high five to tulips, daffodils, forsythia, hyacinths, ducklings, robins singing, Sunday dinner with your moms or pops, the hat parade on 5th Avenue, chocolate rabbits, and graffiti pieces on the roof. Here’s hoping for warm weather, a new colorful season, and excitement coming back to the streets of the city.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Aneko, Asult (2DX), Baer, (BTR), Bishop203, Curve, Distort, Egs, EWOK, False, Home, Jins, Kider, Low Brow, Minus, MQ, Nerds, RELS, Sear, SEN, and Trace.
With special thanks to Stephen Kelley for his expertise and inspiration.
We ran into BSA contributor Stephen Kelley on the streets of Brooklyn and he informed us of his impending move for greener pastures and bigger dwellings to accommodate the yet to arrive new member of the family (congratulations buddy). At the same time we invited us to his rooftop where he has been hosting writers, locals and forefingers to get up on the perfect canvases that are the squares that house the rooftop staircase exit. We hereby dedicate today’s Images Of The Week to the graff writers….STEVE keep waxing poetic…
Niels Shoe Meulman on the cover of The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
“Writing”, as in the graffiti sense of the word, has become quite tastefully adventurous of late, as calligraffiti pushes and pulls it in height, dimension, finesse. Evolved from our first recorded history, the modern stylizing of the letter form is as fascinating and wild as it is domesticated, the mundanity of your particular tag now veritably swimming in many depths and swirling currents, weaving complex melodies, hitting notes previously unheard.
JonOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
This was inevitable, now that you think of it, this organic and ornate practice of making your mark, and the freedom to explore it came from the street. Mark-making indeed. You can call it “The Art of Writing Your Name,” as have the authors/artists Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl.
Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.
Poesia The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Graff writers in the mid 90s Munich scene, both had developed their individual styles beyond the classic street vocabulary, now evermore interested in discovering new materials, forms, processes, influences. Just released this summer, this new collection confidently illustrates what until now may have been evident to only a few; the aesthetics of writing have expanded and permutated far beyond their own roots in graffiti, tattoo, traditional calligraphy.
“Every artist brings a different approach with their calligraphy artwork,” says perhaps the most prominent of the genre today, Niels Shoe Meulman, who blazed into the publishing world with his tome “Calligraffiti” in 2010 after bringing his practice to the street and gallery. “We all come from different experiences and have different things to say.”
SheOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Indeed the list here includes the literal interpretations to those so far dissembled as to appear purely abstract, the aerosoled, the inked, the drippy, the purely light, the monstrously brushed acrossed floors and rooftops, the molded and bent and aroused into sculpture. Here the letter form is stretched to its limits, far beyond its relevance as part of codified language, more so the malleable warm putty in the hands of the artist, molded and mounted and even mystifying in the service of energy, kineticism, emotion.
“I start with quite randomly placed fat cap tags on the white surface,” says German author/artist Hartl to describe his particular technique, “then I overpaint it like 80% with slightly transparent paint, tag the wall with markers, overpaint that layer again, then I do stickers and posters, rip parts off again, repeat all these steps again and again until I’m happy with the result.”
Said Dokins The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Without doubt many will find inspiration in these nearly 300 pages, these insightful interviews with artists like Stohead, Usugrow, Saber, Kryptic, Faust, Carlos Mare, L’Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Poesia, Tilt; the forward by Chaz Bojorquez, the singular, at times stunning, photos and supportive texts.
Made for “graffiti fanatics, hand lettering fans, street art junkies, calligraphy lovers, and type enthusiasts”, co-author Christian Hundertmark edited the respected “Art of Rebellion” series and he knows his audience and this slice of his culture. The 36 artists are not the only ones representing this evolution in calligraphy, but they are certainly some of the finest.
Lek & Sowat The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
L’Atlas The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Tilt The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Carlos Mare The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Faust The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Artists included are Chaz Bojorquez, JonOne, Niels Shoe Meulman, Poesia, Cryptik, SheOne, Said Dokins, Stohead, Usugrow, Patrick Hartl, Lek & Sowat, L’Atlas, Tanc, Mayonaize, Soklak, Mami, Tilt, Blaqk, Soemone, Jan Koke, Jun Inoue, Vincent Abdie Hafez / Zepha, Carlos Mare, Egs, Simon Silaidis, Faust, Luca Barcellona, Bisco Smith, Creepy Mouse, Defer, eL Seed, Rafael Sliks, Saber, Pokras Lampas.
The spirit of New Yorks’ 5 Pointz graffiti/Street Art holy place has popped up in the same Queens neighborhood where it was demolished in 2014, and since last summer more than 50 local and international aerosol artists have been hitting a new project “Top to Bottom”.
The choice of “Top to Bottom”, a graffiti term that recalls 1970s trains painted their entire height, is no mistake as creative director James P. Quinn reveres the classic style and histories of those original writers like internationally and institutionally celebrated artists Crash and Daze, who have collaborated on a mural here.
Additionally, in yet another sign that the celebration of art on the streets is ever more ecumenical, Quinn and his project lead Geoff Kuffner are bringing the newer Street Artists who are expanding and defining the current era for art in the streets like Case Ma’Claim and Rubin 415. Not surprisingly, both of these artists started in graffiti, as did nearly every name here.
“I felt like a comfortable amount of space should be allocated to certain styles,” says Quinn as he describes the process of parceling out spots for the façade and roof of the 124,000-square-foot former warehouse. Truthfully, he tells us, not all the surfaces and shapes are attractive to graffiti artists, so a variety of styles is best.
“I tried to fit them in where I felt that graff writers could enjoy themselves and do something expansive. There are only a couple of spaces here that fit the epic, horizontally spaced forms of style writing. There are a lot of strange shapes to navigate as a painter here, rather than easy space to develop style as a writer.”
Quinn and Kuffner give a couple of visitors a tour around the entire block on a gray day where heavy fog hangs in the air obscuring the top half of Manhattan and they excitedly recall stories about the many installations in this first project of their newly formed Arts Org NYC. Using the word “garden” often, Quinn reiterates that this project for them is a “proof of concept” for bigger projects that will spread further through the city. “Ultimately I’m approaching it as a mural project,” says Quinn, who has organized mural programs a number of times since the 1990s. “It’s just a beginning.”
Street Art has evolved into districts of murals in cities as a gentrification device in the last five years and despite the critique that it is often used for economic development, many urban art watchers would also agree that we’re in the middle of a renaissance of public/private art. Quinn says he wants to capture part of the public’s new interest and make it grow. “I’d like to leverage the current hype and acceptance of mural painting to open up doors to people – old women, young kids, everybody.”
The neighborhood itself feels like it is in transition but it is not clear where it is heading. With Silvercup Studios and the number 7 subway line nearby and MoMA PS1 within a 10 minute walk, a quick survey reveals mixed light industry, sweatshops, corner delis, and the occasional strip club. Below the off-ramp of the Queensboro Bridge, which sweeps past the “Top to Bottom” exhibition, you will see first and second generation immigrants from the areas’ latin and African communities walking by, and Quinn reminds you that the Queensbridge Projects where Hip-Hop storyteller NAS grew up is just a short walk from here.
Conversation turns to plans for more focused programming on the walls in Phase II, possible fine art shows with local gallery spaces, and ultimately a city-wide mural project that offers art and art-making to greater audiences, including school kids.
“I do feel like murals get focused in certain locations but I feel like the entire city as a whole is still suffering. Huge demographics aren’t getting the painting,” he says, invoking the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. “I feel like my ‘I Have a Dream’ speech about this project is that I hope it gets to the point where 10 year-olds can have as much access to a neighborhood as developers.”
Does he think that projects like this are pawns for business interests to draw investments into the neighborhood and push poorer populations out? “You can debate whether or not we are opening the way for more shiny condos… but that shit is happening whether we do this or not. For me the importance is keeping us here; So we’re not totally pushed out 30-45 minutes away from here”
Because of its proximity to the now destroyed 5 Pointz, where hundreds, perhaps thousands, of urban artists painted a much larger block repeatedly for two decades, we ask Quinn if he’s concerned with comparisons.
“I’ve always managed other projects like this in my own style and my own way. There are comparable aspects and I have nothing but a huge sensitivity and respect for Meres and 5 Pointz,” he says, referring to the artist and de facto director of the hallowed spot. “It’s comparable only because it’s a building and it’s in Long Island City. But this is only a jump-off. I want to do way more projects like this across the city.”
As the business partners walk past new pieces by DMote, Li-Hill, Icy & Sot, and Jick, the topic of the historically strained relationship between graffiti writers and Street Artists appears to be addressed head-on by the project by the inclusion of all manner of painter. The guys say that it is less of an issue than some people would have you think. As a long-time artist and muralist and curator of projects like this, Quinn says he’s over the supposed rivalry of the two camps, and sees mainly just one camp these days.
“I don’t know what the fans of graffiti or Street Art have any problem with. To me it’s all awesome.”
VOLUNTEER TODAY AND THIS WEEKEND – RESOURCES AVAILABLE
Happy Friday Everyone!
This is not a typical Friday and not very fun in New York and for much of the east coast as we continue to grapple with the results of the storm called Sandy. New Yorkers always help each other get back on our feet and this time it is again heartening to see so many people volunteering and doing what they can to bring this city back. Our art listings this week take a 2nd place to our listings for places you can go to get help, and things you can do to volunteer.
LOOK FOR THE FULL LIST OF ART EVENTS AFTER THESE VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES.
Volunteering The Mayor’s Office has stated that the best way to find out how to volunteer is to register with NYCService.org and you will get notified of opportunities. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook
Red Hook Initiative is seeking donations at 767 Hicks Street (at West 9th) “Please bring donations of food, flashlights, candles, water pumps, generators. Many buildings in the neighborhood will likely not have power for the next 4-5 days.” For more information call, (347) 770-1528 or email email@example.com
Clean up at BWAC / Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition in Red Hook on November 3rd & 4th: “This Saturday and Sunday we hope to clean out all the trash and debris. This includes much of the sheet rock as well as anything destroyed. If anyone has a portable generator, long extension cords, or work lights, we would like to borrow them. Anyone and everyone is needed for this effort. We will be starting at 10AM on Saturday. RSVP/questions: firstname.lastname@example.org”
The MoMA and PS1 curator Klaus Biesenbach is helping to organize relief efforts in the Rockaways Saturday: http://bit.ly/WcFgWD Biesenbach plans to meet volunteers outside the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research building at 4 West 54th Street at 10am on Saturday, and then will drive people and supplies out to the Rockaways.
Donate to families in the Rockaways now-Sat. Nov.3rd 9:30-11am. El Puente is collecting donations of clothing/supplies/nonperishable food for affected families in the Rockaways, now through Saturday. Drop-off location: El Puente Headquarters, 211 South 4th St. (@Roebling) in Williamsburg BK 11211
Donate clothing and food items in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn today Nov. 2. The Arab American Association of NY is collecting clothing and food items for donation. “All clothing donations should be washed & all food items must be sealed. We will deliver items to three Brooklyn shelters – Brooklyn Armory, FDR High School, and the Caton School” Please drop off items to 7111 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 between 10am-6pm today until 2pm Friday, November 2ed. Contact: email@example.com
Help cleanup New York City Parkshttp://on.nyc.gov/Pp0v3n to volunteer in our parks this weekend. Help clean up Prospect Park Nov. 2ed, 3ed, 4th: Volunteer with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to aid in the cleanup and recovery of Prospect Park this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11/2 – 11/4), clickthis link to sign up.
The American Red Cross
Red Cross: The Red Cross is seeking volunteers over 16 and who are able to lift 50 pounds and comfortable working in stressful situations. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Give Blood – Hurricane Sandy has caused the cancellation of 100 blood drives in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, a shortfall of 3,200 blood and platelet donations that would otherwise be available for those needing transfusions.
Volunteer at a Hurricane Sandy Shelter – The American Red Cross is specifically seeking individuals over 16 years of age that can carry 50 lbs to volunteer at local New York Red Cross Shelters.
Donate Money – You can choose to donate money to the Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting their website or texting REDCROSS to 90999.
Donate Money – AmeriCares delivers medicines and medical supplies to disaster areas, and as of yesterday was deploying a mobile medical unit to affected areas in Connecticut.
The Salvation Army
Donate Money – The Salvation Army is currently on the ground in New Jersey helping with relief efforts, according to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Food Bank for New York
Donate Money – The Food Bank for New York provides food and emergency meals to New Yorkers, and as of last night was planning to continue distribution on Tuesday. You can donate money by simply texting FBNYC to 50555. If you wish to volunteer, check with and contact your neighborhood pantry or kitchen via the Food Bank for New York’s website.
Donate Money – The ASPCA will assist and rescue the thousands of animals affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) takes donations to rescue and shelter animals affected by the storm. According to spokesperson Emily Schneider, the group’s efforts are currently focused in the New York City area, where nearly 240 animals are staying with their owners in pet-friendly Red Cross shelters. The ASPCA is also setting up a distribution center in Syracuse, New York with 4,000 sheltering units, which contain pet food, crates, food bowls, toys, and anything else an animal may need. They’re also standing with water rescue units should they be called.
The Humane Society of the United States
Report – The HSUS has a 24-hour hotline for New York evacuees to report pets that were left behind. The number is 347-573-1561.
The Bowery Mission Has Current Needs
Financial donations — They are serving three times as many as normal, and will need to restock food and resources once we have power.
Help provide food for 200 people at a time (make and/or get and drop off at the Mission – 227 Bowery)
Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drop them off
Trays of cooked food, ready to be served
Large amounts of Gatorade and Iced Tea – Currently only serving water
Gasoline for generators that are providing emergency power — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street), 45-51 Avenue D (between 4th and 5th Streets), or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
Blankets at The Bowery Mission Transitional Center — Please deliver to 45-51 Avenue D (between 4th and 5th Streets) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
Sweatshirts, Large and XL coats and hoodies, men’s jeans and boots, at The Bowery Mission — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
Pantry items such as sugar, oatmeal, coffee, rice, potatoes — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
For those who want to send other kinds of help, the American Red Cross collects funds and coordinates blood donations. The organization sheltered more than 3,000 people across nine states during the worst of the storm. You can donate $10 by phone by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.
The United Way has created a regional fund for communities hit by Sandy. They’re asking for donations at uwsandyrecovery.org. Donors can also give $10 by texting RECOVERY to 52000.
Volunteers in New Jersey are being coordinated through an emergency response hotline, 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397). Alternate numbers, for when the hotline isn’t staffed, include 609-775-5236 and 908-303-0471 or emails can be sent to Rowena.Madden@sos.state.nj.us.
1. New York Kings at Pure Evil (London)
2.”Stikman 20.1″ Opens in Philadelphia Tonight
3. EVOK “Ordinary Things” in Detroit
4. “Four” Group Show at Loft F (Boston)
5. Dale Grimshaw’s”Moreish” Signal Gallery in London
6. ARD*POP-UP 2012 Festival in Oslo, Norway
7. Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam showing Finland’s Graffiti Artist EGS
8. JonOne solo show “Beautiful Madness” at Fabien Castanier in Studio City, CA
9. All City Canvas: The Short Film (VIDEO)
10. Chris Dyer in Montreal (VIDEO)
New York Kings at Pure Evil (London)
“New York Kings” is the title of the new group exhibition at the Pure Evil Gallery in London featuring COPE2, INDIE 184, BLADE, STAY HIGH 149, SEN2, FUZZ ONE, POEM, BOM5, RD 357, DECK, and EASY & JOZ . In London for the first time in over a decade, a unique exhibition of the godfathers of graffiti art using new york subway maps as their canvas to tell their 30 year story while remaining true to their roots. this is a rare opportunity to see examples of a genre that is often temporary by its very nature.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Stikman 20.1” Opens in Philadelphia Tonight
Enigmatic Street Artist STIKMAN has a solo show titled “Stikman 20.1” opening today at the Stupid Easy Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. You might not see him if you to the opening but you sure will see his vast artistic output on display. For 20 years Stikman has been putting his art on the streets based on this one character presented in so many different ways and situations, with humor, wit and poignancy – more recently they have appeared with a lot of Mondrian influences. Most people never tire of discovering these rigid little fellers as they turn a corner, look up a sign post, cross a street, admire an architectural detail on a building.
For further information regarding this show click here.
REVOK “Ordinary Things” in Detroit
REVOK is a son of Detroit and the Library Street Collective Gallery is welcoming him with a solo show titled “Ordinary Things” opening tonight. The things may be ordinary, but what he makes with them are not. Assembling and fashioning found objects and materials he shows a fastidious attention to detail and an acute sense of balance, harmony and color.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Also Happening this weekend:
Dale Grimshaw‘s show “Moreish” is now open to the general public at the Signal Gallery in London, UK. Click here for more details on this show.
ARD*POP-UP 2012 Festival in Oslo, Norway is now underway until Sunday Nov. 04 with the participation of renowned Street Artists including: CODEROCK (NOR), M-CITY (POL), PHLEGM (UK), PEZ (SPA), KENOR (SPA), ZOSEN(SPA), CHANOIR (FRA), GALO (BRA), SUB LUNA (ISL), ACHOE (NOR), MARTIN WHATSON (NOR) and DOT DOT DOT (NOR). Click here for more details on this festival.
Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands is showing Finland’s Graffiti Artist EGS in a solo show with works on paper and sculptures. This show is now open to the general public. Click here for more details on this show.
JonOne solo show “Beautiful Madness” at the Fabien Castanier Gallery in Studio City, CA opens tomorrow. Click here for more details on this show.
Unruly Gallery is proud to present EGSEgs is the most internationally recognized Finnish graffiti artist. His career started in Helsinki during the late 80s and was part of the country’s first graffiti wave.
His art is an anthropological research into graffiti.
At first Egs searched for every piece of graffiti in his own neighbourhood, then in the rest of Helsinki before heading to meet and paint with like minded writers in all corners of Europe.
The last 25 years he has painted in five continents
and over 40 countries. He has sought inspiration in local graffiti scenes worldwide and collected global graffiti folklore for his own art.“Every wave, star, drip or block I have ever painted can be traced to this attitude of graffiti anthropologist. Every fade is reminiscent of some graffiti that I have seen. Every 3D or bubble has a story to tell. Every piece I’ve done pays an homage to the great graffiti folklore.” -Egs
Egs’ art has been exhibited in galleries and on walls all over the world.
The works in the upcoming exhibition at Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam are inspired by graffiti art in its most distilled form: a name painted in black.