Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: Drones and Street Artist Essam.
BSA Special Feature:
Drones, Rand Paul, and Street Artist Essam
Street Artists use their medium of message on the street sometimes to entertain, engage, or educate the passerby. Whether it’s a personal, cultural, or politically relevant message, often the work provides a mirror for us to look at and examine ourselves. Sometimes the sentiments are seemingly irrelevant, other times prescient. Last year photographers of Street Art, who already had been accustomed to the multiple fake and usually comical “official” messages posted around the city on signposts by Trustocorp, began noticing the street signs that warned of drone surveillance. Most people had a vague idea of what drones were, but couldn’t see the connection between drones and our streets. This week we had a 13 hour national education when the very conservative Libertarian Kentucky Republican Rand Paul filibustered on his feet about the use of drones in the US and abroad, stirring up a huge controversy about their use that could actually rise to become a genuine crisis for this president as citizens contemplate the constitution and the use of technology like this.
It brings to mind of course the Street Artist and his further work and what may ultimately be revealed as his role as the canary in the coalmine. According to news reports he is still under arrest for putting his art up, and there is a fundraiser for his benefit, and while the major networks talked about his signs when they came out (New Yorker, Complex Magazine, Portland Press Herald, CNN, Fox Business…), you don’t see as much news about it today. Today we feature this mini-doc about Essam and consider the impact of Street Art on public policy and how sometimes it can have the power to advance important conversation and debate.
Summer jumped off with fires ablaze this week as Street Artists and all other manner of related plastic arts activity began flaring all over the place. It helps that finally the epicenter of Street Art has officially relocated to Bushwick years after Ad Hoc Gallery announced it’s arrival. Of course it’s also in Red Hook and Greenpoint and LIC and Ridgewood and Bed Stuy and even, dare we say it, Williamsburg.
But hot damn if we didn’t have more fun this week in Williamsburg watching a couple of leggily mincing models down by the waterfront kicking their shapely gams into the air and grasping the entire island of Manhattan between their feet (check out the coda photo at the end for a lick). It was extra fun because only 10 years ago this location was a garbage strewn dump where people went to get high and have sex in the wild brush and watch tall-bike sparring matches and the City didn’t even care about it. On a hot day you might find two portly Polish women in their 60s wearing wire bras and sunning themselves on plastic chaise loungers – in fact we used to call it the Polish Riviera. Now this is a public park created for shiny NYU students to play sports in and get ripped abs and clever “location scouts” have “discovered” it so it was especially fun to find this fashion shoot happening here and have one of the overheated stylist queens march over and try to shoo us away while snapping the free shoe show. Try.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, featuring Bishop203, Brett Amory, Essam, Dan Witz, ENX, Love Me, Mint & Serf, Mr. Toll, Nick Walker, Olek, Troy Lovegates (AKA Other), Sabio, Sheryo, Sonni, The Yok, and Willow.
Saw my first barefoot hippie walking down 7th Avenue on Friday and it was like spotting a Robin on the lawn in Union Square Park. SPRING! Spring time hit New York like a truckload of thick sweet kisses and homeboys started checking every cute move of all the shorties, who mysteriously also fluffed up all their magnolia pink feathers and almost imperceptibly put a bit more sa into their shay. Don’t ask us what any of that means, except that when the days get all comfy and warm like these, it’s all about the birds and the beeeeeeees, B.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, with some special shots by Jaime Rojo from a secret place in the Bronx as well as some contributions from Lima, Peru by Adolfo Bejar, and in Essen, Germany from Skount. Names this week include DCT, Elliot Tupac, Essam, How & Nosm, EKG, Keith Haring, Mariposa Mentirosa, Radical!, Seth, Skount, V, and Zam. First we start out with some spring flowers by an unknown artist.
The streets have been seeing an uptick in socio-political messages recently, whether because of the Occupy protests, or because artists are exercising their speech in low cost, low-tech, person-to-person methods. The very personal nature of this kind of messaging actually feels impactful when it catches your eye with a sense of intention, grabbing you by the ear and making you think. This week we have Street Art commentary about housing, class inequality, the abuse of poser, erosion of privacy and fears of a police state. It makes sense that art on the streets is reflecting us back to ourselves.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street; this week featuring Buff Monster, Cash4, Cope, Dirty Teddies, Ema, Enzo & Nio, Essam, Faile, Hush, Ment, Shiro, XAM, and XXX.