All posts tagged: EKG

Rammellzee: Graffiti Writer, Artist and Deity “Racing For Thunder”

Rammellzee: Graffiti Writer, Artist and Deity “Racing For Thunder”

We knew that Rammellzee deserved an intellect and artist operating on his wavelength to give a fair examination of his work and this exhibition, and very few can rise to the occasion the way that EKG does today for BSA readers. The exhibition is phenomenal in its scholarship and presentation without question thanks to its curators. EKG is naturally equipped to decode and help others appreciate the artist thanks to his exhaustively inquisitive nature, reverence for methods of applied science, brilliant data sequencing ability, and NYC streetwise intellect.


THE RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ EQUATION = AN ALGORITHMIK BIO-HACKED ANTIDOTAL INJECTION INTO THE BODY-POLITIK OF THE DISEASE-CULTURE MATRIX

An article in two parts:
(1) A look at Rammellzee’s life and work.
(2) A review of the RAMMELLZEE: RACING FOR THUNDER exhibition

 by ( ( ( ekg ) ) )


Rammellzee (photo © Brian Williams. Courtesy of Red Bull Arts)

Part 1: The Rammellzee.

By the age of nineteen, a graffiti writer from Far Rockaway, Queens, NYC, had already come to the advanced aesthetic decision to legally abandon his family-bestowed and governmentally-designated name, and knight himself with a self-defined alpha-numeric neologism: THE RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ. With this subversive act of mathe-poetic mutation, the prodigal prodigy ironically utilized the very machinations of power and control to re-code himself as an aesthetic bio-hack manifestation injection challenging the status quo system. Then, for the rest of his life, he steadfastly kept his original designation an absolute secret, thereby proving the seriousness and effectiveness of the manifest destiny of his semiotic transformation into a wraith of rebellion in the Aestherial Semiotosphere.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

Rammellzee’s self-induced rebirth was the pinnacle of his aesthetic and theoretical development during his teens in the mid-to-late 1970s. Illustrating his natural visual gifts, Rammellzee’s early work was a combination of precise drafting techniques with an expressionistic use of spray paint. Revealing his intellectual depth and writing talents, he formulated a universal aesthetic philosophy called Gothic Futurism, as well as codifying the stylistic elements of Wild Style graffiti into an advanced set of militaristic semiotic forms that he dubbed Ikonoklast Panzerism. Displaying his charismatic leadership qualities, he formed the crew Tag Master Killers, consisting of the other graffiti writers A-One, Delta2, Kool Koor and Toxic, who had the talents to execute his exacting stylistic tenets. Also, due to his relentless social energy as a performer and rapper, he was quickly recognized as a significant presence in not only the graffiti and art communities, but the hip hop subculture as well.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

As he passed into his twenties during the early 1980s, Rammellzee was featured in many of the seminal graffiti, hip hop, and fine art events and projects of the times. He worked as an MC with the legendary break dancer Crazy Legs. He was included in shows at significant galleries uptown and downtown in NYC, including Fashion Moda. Basquiat recorded him with K-Rob in one of the first avant-experimental hip hop singles called Beat Bop, in which Rammellzee introduced his “Gangster Duck” nasal vocal style, which later influenced The Beastie Boys’ AdRock and B-Real of Cypress Hill. He also was featured rhyming and performing in Charlie Ahearn’s classic graffiti film Wild Style, as well as playing a cameo in Jim Jarmusch’s first film Stranger Than Paradise. Through the 1980s, as his fame grew within these NYC subcultures, his notoriety also spread around the world, providing him with many opportunities to exhibit and perform in Europe and South America as well.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

At the turn of the 1990s, as for most graffiti artists, opportunities plateaued and dropped off, but Rammellzee continued to develop and live as an artist for the next twenty years, until he passed at age 50 in 2010. He dubbed his downtown Manhattan loft space “The Battlestation,” which was where he worked and lived in a creative petri dish of blackened illuminations. During this time period, he discovered new art forms as a writer, performer and sculptor, advancing his original aesthetic theories and styles to create some of his most unique series. He explored other textual formats for his ideas, such as a screenplay called Alpha’s Bet. He continued deeper into his obsession with three-dimensional collage combines, consisting of urban detritus, neon spray paint, and thick resins, making them darker and dirtier, best viewed under ultraviolet blacklight.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

Sculpture became a significant form of expression, as evidenced by his Letter Racer series, which was a physical manifestation of the alphabet with skateboards as their base, designed following the aerodynamic ideals of his Ikonoklast Panzerism theories. Also, his life-size kabuki-transformer costume, which he had begun to construct in the early eighties to wear during his public appearances, schizophrenically mutated into an earthly Asgard of costumed deities dubbed The Garbage Gods, each with a fully conceived personality and narrative. He also explored a menagerie of new characters in the form of figurine-sized plastic sculptures that he called Monster Models. Beyond these Battlestation-based monastic divinations, Rammellzee also continued to explore a spacey hip hop style of music and costumed performance within art and music contexts. He released solo albums and collaborated with many new groups, such as New Flesh, Death Comet Crew, and Praxis.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

After being such a strong voice and powerful creative force during his lifetime, it is especially sad that he passed away at only fifty years old in 2010. Although on par with Basquiat and Haring in terms of talent and intellect, Rammellzee remained somewhat of an outsider to the fine art world in terms of society, aesthetics, and market. Maybe his work was too rooted in true graffiti styles to appeal to the older moneyed class at that time, who were more interested in expressionism and minimalism. Maybe it was too challenging as a militaristic revolutionary expression, making the agents of the matrix nervous. Maybe it was too dark and quirky like Rammellzee himself. Or, maybe, like so many other visionary autodidact Outsider Artists, his work was just too out there for those to take it all in without quickly dismissing it as merely untrained gibberish. Although too late for Rammellzee himself to appreciate, it is gratifying to see an exhibition like RAMMELLZEE: RACING FOR THUNDER fully present and ultimately confirm Rammellzee’s brilliance, relevance and importance on all levels, in all subcultures, in all mediums, across a half century of promethean artistic creation.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

Part 2: The Exhibition

In recognition of the breadth and depth of this artist, the RAMMELLZEE: RACING FOR THUNDER retrospective is a deeply researched, insightfully curated, and densely designed exhibition. It is an engaging experience presenting Rammellzee’s complete oeuvre in a two-floor chronological survey, which also contextualizes his output with a massive amount of historical interviews and documentation in all media formats. This is the first exhibition of its kind for Rammellzee, and, depending on one’s age, it may be a once in a lifetime exhibition for us.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

So, if you have the time and the inclination, definitely allot at least an afternoon, if not a few days, in revelry to absorb it all. When many of us first come in contact with Rammellzee’s art and writing, we find it to be an exhilarating, but dizzying, elliptical swirl of crypto-poetic language and visionary ideas, combining concepts from all intellectual disciplines. So, this exhibition gives one a great opportunity to immerse oneself deeply in his world in order to connect the sparkling galactic astronomy of his cosmology and grasp his expansive vision. After reading and rereading his texts; researching his vocabulary and neologisms; becoming familiar with his unique sentence configurations; watching and rewatching his lectures and interviews; viewing and dissecting his art and graphics; then, the beautiful language and pregnant details of his art and philosophy tie together into a comprehensive mytho-ontological diagram of life, science, society, and aesthetics.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

The lead curators Max Wolf and Carlo McCormick have a long history between them within the art world and graffiti communities. They were able to obtain significant paintings and sculptures, printed matter and photographs, videos and audio recordings from friends and collectors around the world in order to fully represent Rammellzee’s polymath output. Maybe most significantly, they also recorded new oral history interviews with friends and collaborators, such as Futura, Keo, Lee, Daze, Jim Jarmusch, Bill Laswell, Charlie Ahearn, Henry Chalfant, K-Rob, and dozens more. From these interviews, they culled short clips which are presented on nine iPads with headphones located throughout exhibition. As you listen, there are also extensive slideshows on the iPads to swipe through.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

There is never a wasted opportunity to pack some more content into all the nooks and crannies of this exhibition. In addition to the iPads, there are also six video stations, four sound installations, a full-size film-screening theater, and one computer station. In total, there is at least a full day of interviews, performances, lectures, and other historical media to listen to or watch. There are even recordings playing in the bathrooms, and one speaker installed outside in front of the gallery under a sidewalk grate, playing a recording of Rammellzee acting as a subway conductor announcing train arrivals and departures. They also programmed a series of in-person gallery tours and presentations held in the gallery once or twice a week, by artists and historians, such as Carlo McCormick, Kool Koor, Delta2, Crazy Legs, Charlie Ahearn, Seth Tillett, Enrico Oyama Isamu, The Death Comet Crew, and more.

Rammellzee: Racing For Thunder. (photo © Red Bull Arts)

Then to top it off, they designed a free printed exhibition piece available at the front desk. On one side it has a poster of The Garbage Gods pantheon with descriptions; but then it is also folded up to display the other side as an accordion-style zine, consisting of a brilliant introductory essay, specific details about the exhibition, and many crucial outtakes from Rammellzee’s writing. Even if you don’t have time to walk through the exhibition, this pamphlet alone makes the trip to the gallery worthwhile for any fan or scholar because it is such a great piece of historical ephemera to bag-up as a collectible or to use as reference material.

Finally, as the grand denouement to this wonderfully extravagant exhibition, a book-length catalog will be published this fall. So, if you can’t see the exhibition or pick up the zine, this book will be the next best thing.

Rammellzee (photo © Keetja Allard. Courtesy of Red Bull Arts)

 


by ( ( ( ekg ) ) )

July 2018, NYC

Artist page: http://www.concretetodata.com/artists/ekg/

Instagram: @ekglabs


RAMMELLZEE: RACING FOR THUNDER retrospective at the Red Bull Art Space, 220 West 18th Street in Manhattan, through August 26th, Wednesdays thru Sundays, 12pm – 7pm.

 

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“ALL BIG LETTERS” : Exhibition of Style, Tools, and Technique of Graffiti

“ALL BIG LETTERS” : Exhibition of Style, Tools, and Technique of Graffiti

It’s called ALL BIG LETTERS but it could easily be called ALL BIG DREAMS because the outward techniques, the history, and the tools of the trade of graffiti on display at Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery all lead to more internal aspirational matters.

All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadelphia, PA. (photo © Lisa Boughter)

Yes, the earliest New York and Philly graffiti writers of the 1960s took special pains and circumvented norms to get their message out, even if the message was simply their name or a street alias. But the drive to repeat it as often as possible in as many locations as possible spoke to grander dreams of recognition among peers and the addictively elusive effervescence of capturing “fame” on a public stage. Add competition, complexity, and clever innovation to the mix, and wall writers devised ever larger strategies to pursue and acquire those dreams.

RJ Rushmore, Editor-in-Chief of Vandalog, curates ALL BIG LETTERS at his alma mater Haverford College with this as one of his principal goals; helping viewers better understand the motivation behind the tag as well as the style and techniques used.

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

Faust . Curve. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

We spoke with RJ about the show to help BSA readers get a better appreciation for ALL BIG LETTERS and Rushmore’s own use of technique for communication.

Brooklyn Street Art (BSA): How have you tried to demystify graffiti for a more general audience?
RJ Rushmore: In a gallery full of “graffiti on canvas,” you’ll see some beautiful art, but you won’t actually learn that much about graffiti. All you’ll see are things that resemble the end result of writing. That can be stunning, but it’s not the right approach for a gallery with an educational mission. Just seeing the finished product does not give you a sense of how it was made. That’s still a mystery.

ALL BIG LETTERS takes writers’ tools and strategies as its starting point, which gives a more holistic vision of graffiti. The exhibition covers style, but also the tools writers use and the importance of strategies like repetition and innovation, or the ways that writers respond to architecture. Someone should be able to enter the exhibition with zero knowledge of graffiti and leave with the ability to see a piece on the street and understand roughly how that got there, why it’s there, and why it looks the way it does.

Curve. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What role does innovation play in the pushing of the evolution of writers’ techniques? Your text accompanying the exhibition describes the drive of competition that influenced Blade in developing his style in the 70s, for example.
RJ: Reading Blade’s book, it struck me that almost every change in his style was in response to what people were doing around him. When all it took to stand out was a simple two-color piece, that’s what he painted. When other writers were using four or five colors, he used seven. When the trains were crowded with graffiti and he was forced to paint over other writers’ partially-buffed or dissed pieces, he hid that old work with cloud backgrounds or his trademark blockbuster pieces. Blade was innovating, constantly staying one step ahead of the curve, and that’s why he stood out.

Graffiti is largely a game of one-upmanship, and innovation can happen in other ways too. The first writers to discover destructible vinyl stickers stood out because their stickers were so difficult to remove. Today, anybody can order destructible vinyl from Egg Shell Stickers. Destructible vinyl is still useful, and arguably makes stickers a more appealing medium, but it’s no longer novel. Or take COST and REVS. One of their greatest innovations was using wheatpaste and sticking their work on the backs of street signs and traffic lights. They dominated a physical space that most writers ignored.

Lee Quinones. Lee George Quinones/Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Martin Wong, 1994. 94.114.1  All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What is it like to watch the act of writing? How does “performance” enter into the equation? Katsu’s fire extinguisher tag seems like a polar opposite performance from one by Faust.
RJ: Writing is a performance, and graffiti is a kind of documentation of the performance. Writers have to climb fences, repel down buildings, and break the law in highly-visible places without being seen. I’m terrible at deciphering wildstyle graffiti or dense tags, but I love reading graffiti as a remnant of a performance, looking at a piece or a tag and trying to figure out how it happened.

KATSU and FAUST may be stylistically quite different, but whether you’re looking at a FAUST sticker or a KATSU extinguisher tag, you can appreciate that acts necessary to make them. KATSU’s extinguishers are a moment of epic lawbreaking. FAUST’s stickers are subtler. There’s the moment of putting up the sticker, but there’s also the intense focus and perfectionism that goes into making it, something that FAUST’s installation in ALL BIG LETTERS touches on. KATSU innovated mostly with tools, and FAUST innovated mostly with style. Their respective methods of getting up, their performances, reflect that.

Tools of the trade under plexi: All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: When you compare graffiti writing to hacking, in this case, a city, – wouldn’t it be smart for the government to hire these hackers to better understand their city in the way that the FBI and NSA are said to hire hackers to develop spy programs and national security measures?
RJ: I suppose most cities would think to hire former graffiti writers to learn how to combat graffiti. What I would love to see, as you suggest, is a city planner hiring graffiti writers to learn how to make cities more fun.

The people who have figured this out are advertising executives. Ever wonder why so many graffiti writers go into marketing and graphic design? It’s because that’s essentially what graffiti is. Writers were developing their own “personal brands” decades before social media made the concept mainstream. Writing is a competition for fame, which is basically what advertising and marketing is.

EKG on the left. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: When you talk about hacks, are you really describing how graffiti writers have often used ingenuity and adaptation?
RJ: I have to give Evan Roth credit for this whole idea of graffiti as a series of hacks. It’s the idea that writers often use things for unintended purposes. They use subway cars as canvases, because the cars travel all over the city. They use easy-to-carry spray paint for vandalism, when their intended use is modest arts and crafts. They use fire extinguishers, because they can create massive tags. So yes, it’s ingenuity, but particularly ingenuity around using existing things for new and unintended purposes. Montana Gold is not a hack. KRINK is not a hack. Egg Shell Stickers are not a hack. But all of those commercial products developed from, and improved upon, hacks.

EKG. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What was one of your challenges in communicating a concept or idea with this exhibition?
RJ: If you’re walking in with zero knowledge, seeing a display case full of different spray cans or 140 different S’s on a wall might require some context to make sense of it all. We solved with wall text, and there’s a lot of wall text. So that’s a big ask that we make of visitors: look at the work, but also read the text we’ve put next to it.

CURVE’s piece is a great example of that challenge and how we solved it. Without context, it’s beautiful and engaging as artwork. If you come in with pre-existing knowledge of graffiti, you can probably guess at what he’s trying to do. Without that knowledge, and without reading the wall text, you might miss that the piece is as much an artwork as a teaching device, a demonstration of all the different sorts of tools and styles that a writer might use to adapt to the surface they are writing on.

I’m not sure that lots of wall text is the perfect solution, but I think it means that ALL BIG LETTERS rewards the curious. We’re asking people to spend a few minutes in the gallery, because there is an argument being made, not just a bunch of cool stuff to Instagram.

Different artists. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

Different artists. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

 

All Big Letters is currently on view at Haveford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Click HERE for more details.


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Stikman and EKG: “Interference Eliminator”, a Scrolling Zine

Stikman and EKG: “Interference Eliminator”, a Scrolling Zine

Stikman and EKG share a couple of traits besides both of them being very active on the streets. Neither are fans of big showy displays -both use small gestures, often cryptic, appearing in unusual places that poke out as you walk by.

You’ll see the orange line-based “energy wave” signal of EKG tracking the pulse of the city across a surface inches above the sidewalk as you walk and instinctively know it is the heartbeat of the street that is being recorded and displayed. Similarly the crush of people that push and pull against you while you walk on a busy street can fall to a faint murmur when you see a little Stikman, inches tall, glued to a lamp post or smashed into the asphalt. Neither artists are talking, but you just know they are saying something.

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Stikman . EKG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The secrecy and mystery of both artists only compounded when we discovered a serendipitous collaboration of the two late last year : an actual scroll containing collage, stamps, doodles, symbols, and snatched phrases from the times, or Times. EKG toils in the fields of scientific and sociologic symbols – sound waves and transmissions and such that remind of radio towers, transistors, hi/lo tek Kraftwerk visuals. Combined with Stikman’s silent little imperfect and rigid man tumbling through the air and imagery from the artists’ curiosity for flea market finds and mid-century spaceman, this custom scroll feels like something you will need a decoder for.

Tell us if you figure out what they are saying as you scan across this old player-piano music roll (Verdi’s Angelus), which we hear took several months to create. It’s an odd twist on the zine theme, but you would expect nothing less from a collaboration of these two.

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Stikman . EKG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman . EKG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman . EKG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman . EKG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman . EKG . Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman . EKG . Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman . EKG . Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman . EKG . Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman . EKG . Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

This Friday you can also check out the new solo show by EKG at Skewville Laboratories in Long Island City:

An All Hallows’ Valentine’s Eve Celebration of Misfit Love, Mutant Science and Aesthetic Rebellion.

Friday The 13th, February, 2015

 

 

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Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Curator and artist Ryan Seslow has pulled off an overview of art on the streets and the practices employed, minus the drama. So much discussion of graffiti, Street Art, and public art practice can concentrate on lore and turf war, intersections with illegality, the nature of the “scene”, shades of xenophobia and class structures; all crucial for one’s understanding from a sociological/anthropological perspective.

“Concrete to Data”, opening this week at the Steinberg Museum of Art on Long Island, gives more of the spotlight to the historical methods and media that are used to disseminate a message, attempting to forecast about future ways of communicating that may effectively bridge the gap between the physical and the virtual.

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Joe Iurato. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seslow has assembled an impressive cross section of artists, practitioners, photographers, academics, theorists, and street culture observers over a five-decade span. Rather than overreaching to exhaustion, it can give a representative overview of how each are adding to this conversation, quickly presenting this genre’s complexity by primarily discussing its methods alone.

Here is a sneak peek of the the concrete (now transmitted digitally); a few of the pieces for the group exhibition that have gone up in the last week in the museum as the show is being installed.

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Chris Stain. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink at work on her mural. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Fekner. Detail of his stencils in place and ready to be sprayed on. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Henry Chalfant. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Billy Mode. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Oyama Enrico. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Col Wallnuts. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

CONCRETE to DATA will be exhibited at the Steinberg Museum of Art, Brookville, NY January 26th 2015 – March 21st 2015.

Opening Reception – Friday, February 6th  2015 6PM -9 PM 

Follow the news and events via – http://concretetodata.com

Follow @concretetodata on Instagram – #concretetodata

Curated by Ryan Seslow@ryanseslow

Museum Director – Barbara Appelgate

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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.

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Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist

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Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory

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Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013

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Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings

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Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right

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4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can

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Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

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Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion

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Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

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Pixote in action. (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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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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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.05.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.05.14

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School’s back in session, the Jews just celebrated a new year, Kobra painted new portraits of Warhol and Basquiat in Williamsburg, and if you were at Brooklyn Museum last night you got to see Street Artist and muralist Don Rimx and us live – and us with markers in our hands looking completely lost.

But that’s not nearly all the action this week; Gaia was in the Rockaways, Dain showed up in BK, the old Os Gemeos was “unveiled” on Houston Street, Nychos was in Hamburg, Nick Walker was in Yonkers, Ludo was readying his big solo show in London, we marked a year since Banksy hit NYC, students were in the streets in Hong Kong, ebola showed up in Texas, banks are being cracked open by cyber hacks, the US has begun another war, the new SNL is almost unwatchable, and you better start thinking about your Halloween costume.

Other than that, not much is happening.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $howta, Apples on Pictures, Conor Harrington, Dain, EKG, Funky13, Jack the Beard, Jeff Huntington, Jesse James, Matthew Reid, Mr. Prvrt, Os Gemeos, Pyramid Oracle, Ramiro Davaros-Coma, Sam3, Square, Stikman, and What Is Adam.

Top Image >> EKG and Stikman collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MR. PRVRT for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Not sure if this is true. Jack the Beard (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Brazilian twins Os Gemeos are back on the Houston Wall after a long hibernation under a constructed cover that hosted Shepard Fairey, Faile, and a petite litany of others. So if you missed this the first time around and you are in NYC go and take a look before the wall comes down. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Os Gemeos. Otavio and Gustavo. They painted the mural on a hot day on July 10, 2009. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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New work from Dain has recently appeared in Soho and parts of Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A portrait of Maya Angelou; a collaboration between Jesse James and Jeff Huntington for Annapolis, Maryland’s first Street Art Festival. (photo © Jesse James)

““I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honorable.” ~ Maya Angelou ~

Facing Evil With Maya Angelou (Full Show)

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Ramiro Davaros-Coma (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An Unknown Artist made this original piece from duct tape in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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What Is Adam? Apparently a pipe-smoking duck sailor. That’s what. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Square is back with this melting facade (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Another melting facade, this time from Conor Harrington for The L.I.S.A. Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sam3 in Rome, Italy for Wunderkammern Gallery. (photo © Giorgio Coen Cagli)

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Apple On Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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2 Face Work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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2 Face Work with Ai Wei Wei in the center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Matthew Reid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pyramid Oracle for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Funky13 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Reflection. Flatiron Building. Manhattan, NYC. Fall 2014. Via Instagram @jaimerojoa (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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“Major Minority” ; The Great Gathering of a Tribe

“Major Minority” ; The Great Gathering of a Tribe

Poesia and EKG Talk to BSA about an Audacious Survey

A new show organized by Poesia, a San Francisco based graffiti artist and founder of the site Graffuturism, pulls together one hundred or so artists from eighteen countries with the goal of mapping one constellation in the cosmos – a global survey of urban artists that hopes to articulate a body of aesthetics he’s calling Othercontemporary. And why not? Audacity and vision are qualities these times call for and if successful could lead to a clearer understanding of the trends, techniques, practices, and narratives underlying what has been happening on the streets for the last half century.

 

 

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Kwest (photo © Brock Brake)

With New York artist/historian/semiotic explorer EKG as a guide, the two have been synthesizing their findings and discovering the genuine firing of synapses that indicate they are uncovering the electrical impulses that have made graffiti / street art/ urban art feel so completely relevant to the last two generations. A “Major Minority” hopes to chart the course for the third.

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Mags (photo © Brock Brake)

 

Poesia invites you here to take a look at some of the pieces that will be on display, as shot by Brock Brake. Brooklyn Street Art asked Poesia and EKG about the survey and to make some conjecture about the way forward.

Brooklyn Street Art: Each generation and movement is defined and labeled by its participants, peers, and observers. In your treatise on this moment and this collection of artists you say that Stefano Antonelli coined the term Othercontemporary to perhaps set it apart from Contemporary. Why does this term sound appropriate to you?
Poesia: I had initially used the term Neo-Contemporary. After a brief discussion amongst some peers Stefano mentioned this term – it seemed the most accurate out of the terms being discussed. I feel it’s important because it starts a conversation about something other than contemporary art, and describes rather bluntly our separation from contemporary art, yet defines the contemporary nature of our art form. I have grown tired of comparing what we do to contemporary art, maybe this term will get people talking about something more present.

 

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Slicer (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Take a guess and swing the bat wide, why has the established art world taken so long to give recognition to the urban artist?
Poesia: Canonization usually takes place long after the genuine moments of art movements, or when they are at their peak. Its no different even in today’s Internet era, even with all the information at their fingertips academics won’t ever understand why a 12 year old child and a 50 year old adult writes on walls. Its easier to make use of their MFAs by extending the reach of the contemporary art conversation than it is to look at society and to try to understand the writing on the walls.

 

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Hellbent (photo © Hellbent)

Brooklyn Street Art: Has something happened in the last 5-10 years that has caused so many urban/street/graffiti artists to make more geometric and abstract work that usually avoids the organic, figurative, and pop? Any idea what is driving it?
Poesia: It’s a culmination –  one of those things where maybe all the right ingredients are there and it happens.

Graffiti, being an abstract art form in its nature, lends itself to pure abstraction. Experimentation with the letterform usually takes place more with color and shape than it does conceptually or from a representational perspective. Additionally with the birth of Street Art it opened up the playing field a bit. Artists now were forced to compete visually with representational imagery on walls. It has allowed many artists to leave letterform and the rectangular space of a piece or even “wild style”. The horizontal rectangle was replaced with the square or vertical rectangle – that also pushed for the evolution of the artist.

 

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Silvio Magaglio (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: What will a viewer begin to realize when looking over the constellation of works in this show?
Poesia:
That painting is alive, and urban art seems to be the most relevant embodiment of this. This post-historical art form seems to be sending a message that there is something left in the visual image and its power. The goal was to show the widest spectrum possible from figurative to minimal in the area of Urban Art and I think we accomplished that.

 

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Silvio Magaglio (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you speak about the “unique participatory and non-exclusionary nature” of urban/street/graffiti art practices?
EKG: Graffiti/Street Art (here defined as the public surfaces they affix themselves to, the container superseding the content, the medium as the message) is a broadcast channel that will not exclude anyone who wants to participate. Anybody with a passion to be seen and heard can broadcast on the graffiti/street art wavelength, as long as they are driven to take the risk of breaking the law in order to make their aesthetic statement.

When someone illegally transmits a signal on a public surface, aka a wall or monitor, there is no editorial hierarchy, no censorship board, no review panel, and no proofreaders. It is an individualistic and anarchistic means of expression. In order to transmit your mark, you don’t have to pay anyone, you don’t have to ask for permission, you don’t have to take a vote, you don’t have to take into account anyone else’s approval or opinion about your message.

At heart, graffiti/street art are visual civil disobedience, no matter the initial conscious intention of the mark maker, although a combination of action and intention can make the mark more meaningful to the receiver once they learn more about the broadcaster.

 

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Vsod (photo © Brock Brake)

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Vsod (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: “Illegal” and “transgressive” are two root words that reappear in your discussion of the collection. Did this movement germinate from anti-establishment sentiments, marginalized populations?
EKG: Doing anything illegal can be considered transgressive, but, more specifically for this discussion, illegal aesthetic manifestations are a minor infrastructural irritant that accrue a massive semiotic tumescence of cultural weight.

Currently incarcerated under the simplistic and myopic legal category defined as vandalism, aka criminal mischief, illegal aesthetic manifestations should instead be interpreted as more of a cultural statement than actually being a debilitating crime that selfishly and meaninglessly attacks a particular individual or society as a whole, as has been promoted by institutional authorities protecting the status quo.

The Original Writers discovered that Graffiti was a powerful means to: express rebellious dissatisfaction on political, economic, societal and cultural levels; define one’s identity as a powerful entity that was omnipresent, by proxy omniscient; delineate physical and semiotic territories that were theirs as opposed to their foes or society at large; connect with other members of their age group to form alternative communities of like-minds; and gain recognition with their peers and the public overall.

Like the seers who were channeling the oracles of our time, the old school original writers instinctually discovered an art form that continues to engage and challenge our global culture. Fifty years later the movement is still kept alive inside and outside by practitioners of all ages, styles, and intentions. Graffiti is no longer perceived as merely vandalism perpetrated by megalomaniac antisocial teens, but a positive and powerful cultural change agent practiced by conscious objectors of all ages.

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Drew Young (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Specifics please: please place an artists name next to each of the following word whose work comes to mind.

Poesia: Okay, here are examples.

Activist: Boniface Mwangi
Idealist: Moneyless
Geometric: Nawer
Minimal: Christopher Derek Bruno
Expressionist: Jaybo Monk

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Askew (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes it appears that the street is providing the stage for an explosion/implosion of all other historical art movements coalescing and deconstructing and recombining and mutating before us. Perhaps it’s because the street is reflecting society and we are all drinking from the Internet River. Maybe we’re witnessing a true globalism. You can say the movement on the street has roots in graffiti, and we would agree. But is it even possible to make sense of what is happening right now?
Poesia: I can only be a participant in this moment and hope to engage the conversation in real time versus when it won’t matter anymore. I think Urban Art is one of many emerging art forms that have been bubbling on the surface for a while now. As the generation shift takes place we will be accepted at the moment when we are irrelevant, as so many art forms before us. This makes today more important than tomorrow. I don’t know if I have the capability to make sense of it all, but I appreciate every second of it.

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Bezt Etam (photo © Brock Brake)

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Vincent Abadie Hafez Zepha (photo © Brock Brake)

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Thiago Toes (photo © Brock Brake)

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Sat One (photo © Brock Brake)

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Katre (photo © Brock Brake)

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Sowat (photo © Brock Brake)

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Gilbert1 (photo © Brock Brake)

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Gilbert1 (photo © Brock Brake)

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Dem189 (photo © Brock Brake)

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Bom.k (photo © Brock Brake)

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Borondo (photo © Brock Brake)

 

“A Major Minority” opens this Friday, March 14 at 1AM Gallery in San Francisco, CA.

Click HERE for more details on this show.

The Full Essay “A Major Minority” Group Exhibition by Poesia and EKG can be found HERE.

The interview answers from EKG were edited for length – please see his full responses on his Facebook page HERE.

We would like to thank Brock Brake for his excellent photos of the art and to Poesia and EKG for their thoughtful and insightful answers to our questions.

 

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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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New High-Water Mark for Street Art at Fairs for Armory Week

New High-Water Mark for Street Art at Fairs for Armory Week

This year represents a high-water mark for current Street Artists being represented at the New York fairs if what we have just seen over the last couple of days is any indication. For those who have been following the trajectory of the new kids we’ve been talking about for the last decade, the room is rather getting a lot more crowded. Only a handful of years ago names that produced blank stares at your forehead and a little sniff of dismissal are garnering an extra lingering moment near the canvas and snap of the cellphone pic, complimentary champagne flute in hand.

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Hellbent at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the gusts of wind provided by a couple of recent auctions, optimism about an up-turning economy, and even the Banksy one-month residency, it is not hard to imagine that we have some “overnight” stars in the midst of this constellation, but it is really anyone’s guess.

While we are certainly aware of it, we don’t dedicate too much ink to the commercial aspect of the Street Art scene, preferring to learn the lingua franca of these artists who have developed their narrative and visual style before our eyes, to celebrate experimentation, the creative spirit, and to give a pedestrian view of the street without being pedestrian.

But just as neighborhoods like Bushwick in Brooklyn, El Raval in Barcelona, LA’s downtown Arts District, and parts of London, Berlin, and Paris have been transforming by gentrification, we would be remiss if we didn’t note the more frequent raising of commercial eyebrows all around us when the topic turns to Street Art. It’s not a fever pitch, but can it be far off? There is already a solid first tier that everyone can name – and the stratification is taking shape below it.

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Herb Smith (previously Veng RWK) at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Buffeted by blossoming sales of works by early 2000s Street Artists and the burgeoning of lifestyle companies now appropriating this cultural wealth and transforming it into “content” that helpfully couriers all manner of merch from spirits to soda, sneakers, and electronic smoking devices, we are looking for our seat belts as there a major shift in popular acceptance and critical embracing of 21st century Street Artists up ahead.

As for the streets, the flood is going to continue. Street Art is Dead? Yes, we’ve been hearing this since 2002…

Here’s a brief non-specific and uneven survey of only some work showing this weekend by current or former Street Artists and graffiti writers – perhaps a third of what you can see in the New York fairs and satellite galleries.

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Rubin at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fumero at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gilf! and Icy & Sot at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EKG and Lamour Supreme at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Mizrachi and Jon Burgerman at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Rubin at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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See One and Chuck Berrett/Nicole Salgar of Cargo Collective at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JMR and Cake at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vicki DaSilva at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pose at Volta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vinz at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Amanda Marie at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tip Toe at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Mac at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Know Hope at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cope at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aakash Nihalini at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Banksy and friends at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Street Artists At The Fairs For Armory Week NYC 2014

Street Artists At The Fairs For Armory Week NYC 2014

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Not quite spring, the Art Fairs are arriving in New York ahead of the tulips. We strolled the impossibly long aisles and peered into the booths to find the folks who have at other times been called “Street Artists”. This weekend they’ll be fine artists, and the list is quite a bit longer than years past as the professionalization of the street continues.

Shows like the Armory, Scope, Volta, and Fountain are good testing venues to see the commercial viability for many of these artists and some have foregone representation – preferring to foot the bill on their own. Since walking the streets to see their work requires multiple layers and hats and gloves – traipsing through the fairs can be far preferable than dirty old Brooklyn streets. It’s also nice to see how some of these folks look in a tie or a blouse – or even just hit a comb. Here below we include some possible gems for you to hunt down.

THE ARMORY SHOW

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Pace Prints

How & Nosm at Pier 92

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How Nosm at Pace Prints (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For The Armory Show Art Fair location, dates, times, booth numbers, etc… click HERE

SCOPE ART FAIR

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Andenken Gallery

Amanda Marie, VINZ

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Vinz at Andenken Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Black Book Gallery

Judith Supine, WK Interact, Ben Eine, Cycle, James Reka, Cope2, Indie184, Shepard Fairey

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Judith Supine at Black Book Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

C.A.V.E. Gallery

PEETA, Pure Evil

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Pure Evil at C.A.V.E. Gallery (image courtesy the artist)

Fabien Castanier Gallery

Speedy Graphito, Mark Kenkins, RERO

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Speedy Graphito at Fabien Castanier Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Fuchs Projects

Rafael Fuchs, Aakash Nihalini, Skewville

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Skewville at Fuchs Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Krause Gallery

Ben Frost, Hanksy

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Ben Frost at Krause Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Moniker Projects

Beau Stanton, Ben Eine, David Shillinglaw, Greg Lamarche, Jon Burgerman, Pam Glew, Ron English,  Muffinhead, Keira Rathbone.

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David Shillinglaw at Moniker Projects (image courtesy the artist)

Natalie Kates Projects

Skullphone, Swoon

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Skullphone at Natalie Kates Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

ThinkSpace Gallery

Know Hope

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Know Hope at ThinkSpace (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vertical Gallery

Stormie Mills, My Dog Sighs

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Stormie Mills at Vertical Galler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For SCOPE Art Fair location, dates, times, booth numbers, etc… click HERE

VOLTA NY

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Jonathan LeVine Gallery

POSE

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Pose at Jonathan LeVine Gallery (image courtesy the artist)

For VOLTA NY Art Fair location, dates, times and booth numbers, etc… click HERE

FOUNTAIN ART FAIR

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Fumeroism, Jay Shells, Leon Reid IV, Vicki DaSilva are all showing at Fountain this year

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Vicki DaSilva at Fountain (image courtesy the artist)

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Fumero at Fountain (image © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Folk Art

Adam Suerte

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Adam Suerte (courtesy Urban Folk Art)

Street Art Installation curated by Mighty Tanaka

Alex Emmert will be curating the Street Art Installation and he has invited Chris Stain, Alice Mizrachi, Skewville, Cake, Chris RWK, Joe Iurato, Rubin, EKG, Gilf!, Omen and LNY.

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Rubin will be part of the installation of Street Artists at Fountain Art Fair (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For Fountain Art Fair location, dates, times, etc…click HERE

 

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A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan

It’s a House Party Y’all!

With studio apartments in Manhattan now hitting nearly 3K a month the closest thing most Milennials will ever get to a house party in Gotham will be snagging a VCR tape of the Kid ‘n Play danceoff movie at their parents stoop sale.  Last week during the “polar vortex” cold freeze some lucky invitees did get access to a secret house party in a dilapidated building on the Lower East Side for 2 hours however. There wasn’t much heat, no DJ, and your flask of Jack Daniels substituted as the bar, but if you made it in you scored a free condensed Street Artist show that is as rare as a New Jack Swing hit these days.

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A subtle beam of light from Heaven (or Kevin) above Hanksy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A little more than 40 (mostly) Street Artists brought the four floor former tenement building to life one last time before it will be destroyed – and they did it almost entirely in secret over the course of a week.  Just how secret this event was is debatable considering the multitude of blog posts and photos of it that appeared in the days following but in the Internet age, news about stuff like this goes viral no matter what.

All tolled, the varied collection of participants was a cross-section; a blurry screenshot of Street Artists on the New York scene along with a few graff writers, taggers, sticker slappers, painters, illustrators, aerosol experts, installationists, art school students, and visitors to the big city who happened to be around at the right time.  Also, a couple of pyros.

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A collaborative wall for “Surplus Candy” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While this sort of artist takeover of an abandoned house or building is increasingly occurring in bankrupt cities and neighborhoods in America and Europe where no one wants to live except the creative types, you don’t find this unruly and freewheeling expression much in the increasingly scrubbed and mall-like playground for the rich in Manhattan.

Similarly, producers of large Street Art/Urban Art events in global cities can deliver murals that make you salivate and on a scale that dwarfs this “event” thanks to corporate underwriters and shills for sneakers/sodas/urban-themed tampons these days, but few can truthfully rival the unpolished impromptu spirit of a semi-secret House Party jam session. For one week during installations and on opening night it was like the ghost of New York’s downtown 1970s-80s Bohemia was coming back to the island in all it’s imperfectness to remind everyone of Manhattan’s former greatness as a petri dish for experimentation and discovery.

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Considering the huge increase in sanctioned walls over the last two years in New York, this work looks surprisingly alive, and is just the sort of balm needed for the raw nerves of anarchists everywhere who have bemoaned the polished soul-deadening mural painting of late. Even if some of this looks sort of slap-dash and ragged in spots, and it does, it also gives off an air of being authentic and in-the-moment.

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Notably, the ratio of penis, breast, and defacation-related themes was higher than your average art show but as you know, there is an audience for every artist, even the ones gravitating to bathroom humor as creative wellspring.  Judging by the few hundred images floating around on Flickr and elsewhere, this pop-up was a hit for the people.

Given the growing number of artists communities that have blossomed outside of Manhattan, this could have been one of its last jams for Street Art.  Yo! That’s my jam!

And now please step aside as we build another luxury condo.

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Mizrachi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Mizrachi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Mizrachi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Trap (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ASVP (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tony DePew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tone Tank (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tone Tank (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sonni (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Royce Bannon at work on his installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Royce Bannon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LNY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ELLE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ELLE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Foxx Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Foxx Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rusell King (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CB23 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Col Wallnuts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cosbe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

This show, “Surplus Candy” was organized by Hanksy, and is now closed.

A near complete artist list includes:

Alice Mizrachi/AM, ASVP, BD White, Bishop203, CB23, Cernesto, Col Wallnuts, Cosbe, Dee Dee, Dick Mama, Drippings, Edapt,   EKG, El Sol 25, Elizabeth Glaessner, Elle, Enzo and Nio, Foxxface, GILF!, Hanksy, Icy and Sot, Left Handed Wave, Lunar New Year, Magda Love, Martha Cooper,  Mata Ruda, Moustache Man, Mr. Toll, Mr. Two Three, Mrs. Big Stuff, NDA, Never, Nicolas Holiber, Royce Bannon, Russell King, Sonni, Tako, Tone Tank, Tony Depew, Trap, UR New York, Vulpes Vulpes, Wizard Skull, and Wretched Beast.

 

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Pandemic Breaks Out Inaugural Show Featuring Epic EKG Piece

Pandemic Breaks Out Inaugural Show Featuring Epic EKG Piece

It’s baaaaaack.  And not a minute too soon.

Pandemic Gallery re-opens tonight in the Navy Yard area in Brooklyn with a bigger more commodious location for freethinkers unconcerned with the white box. Rooted in the graffiti and Street Art scene, proprietors and co-curating artists Robin Drysdale and Keely Brandon apply their vision of what they love about the street in its rawest form in a way that will never require the bloviating self-appointed art “critics” to know their value.

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EKG (photo © Jaime Rojo)

EKG, the down-by-law all-city heartbeat with an orange china marker is the inaugural symbol signifying script writer on the walls of Pandemic tonight – a fitting tribute to the mark making traditions of NYC that predate the modern, communicating and capturing the ions and lightwaves and innerworkings that flicker through his mind. EKG is steeped in history and theory and swimming in a unique diagrammatic flow chart that envelopes his universe and he shares it with guests tonight across “the 528 square foot schematic drawing that I’ve been working on,” he says.

At the end of the show, the mammoth EKG installation will then be deconstructed and sold off in pieces like the former industrial artist neighborhood of Williamsburg that eventually became too expensive for the artists who brought it to life, and galleries like Pandemic.

Included at the opening will be an EKG print release and head rocking performances by Fake Hooker and Unstoppable Death Machines. Also, says EKG, “lots of exclamation points!!!” !!!!!!

Werd!

@#~~~~~~~~*****<<<><><><><>>>>>>*** &&^%^^^^^^^^^^~~~~~~~~~OOOO!!!OOOO000001111000000 XXYY—>>>>

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EKG. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EKG. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EKG. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EKG. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EKG. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EKG. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pandemic Gallery is located at 22 Waverly Avenue, Navy Yard, Brooklyn

 

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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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