All posts tagged: Faith XLVII

BSA Film Friday: 10.14.22

BSA Film Friday: 10.14.22

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening:
1. A tour through L’ESSENTIEL
2. Faith XLVII in Boston
3. A Team On Their Own: Maya Women Fight Inequality Through Baseball.

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BSA Special Feature: A tour through L’ESSENTIEL

Updating the 2010’s magpie approach to group show curation of the abandoned industrial palace, L’ESSENTIEL presents a video tour on par with the metaverse – since we are all still awaiting a functional version of that much-ballyhooed digital world we will expect to inhabit.

Here you find a tone-on-tone parade of installations by some of the best in the street art/graffiti game- a common palette and a mostly 2D execution in the spaces that helps keep it all cohesive. Aiding, or distracting, your trip is the glitchy electronic world-wailing soundtrack and the pixel-thin placards that pop out of concrete seams to introduce the pieces hanging in the air nearby. The show is impressive and gives a wholistic aura. The question is, does this ephemerous collection exist here in the physical world or in the digital one?

L’ESSENTIEL: A Collective Experience of The Ephemerous Art. Graffiti / Street Art

Faith XLVII in Boston

“Perhaps you could dream something that happens in the future,” says Faith.

A Team On Their Own: Maya Women Fight Inequality Through Baseball. Via The New Yorker

In Melissa Fajardo’s documentary short “Las Diablillas: The Mayan Rebels,” Mexican baseball players challenge the restrictive gender norms of their small town.

If you think you are being held back, the first step may be to look in the mirror. The second is to look for kindred spirits.

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Hyuro: “Douce Vie” – A Tribute in Angers

Hyuro: “Douce Vie” – A Tribute in Angers

A posthumous tribute today to the street artist and muralist Hyuro (Tamara Djuvocic), who passed away last November after a long battle with leukemia.

Hyuro. “Douce Vie” Executed by Faith XLVII and Helen Bur. Angers, France. August 2021. (photo © Eric Surmont)

“The idea is there will be two figures dancing while sharing a beautiful blanket, one figure on each wall,” she explained in this project she intended to paint. In May of 2020 she was preparing with her hosts at the festival Echappées d’Arts in Angers, France.

Born in Argentina in 1974, she eventually moved to Spain. Well regarded during the last decade or so in the Street Art world, she made many friends and family during her travels to many world cities to paint. In an act of gratitude and tribute to their friend Hyuro two artists, Faith XLVII of South Africa and Helen Bur of England, each realized these figures from her preparatory sketches.

Hyuro. “Douce Vie” Executed by Faith XLVII and Helen Bur. Angers, France. August 2021. (photo © Eric Surmont)

“The concept of the wall that I like the most is one of a kind of celebration of life… in my personal situation it is a make it very special concept to me,” she wrote.

Hyuro. Sketch for “Douce Vie” (photo courtesy of Eric Surmont)

“Big thanks to @blame_eric_surmont_ and the city of Angers, France for organising this moving tribute to Hyuro’s work and to @escif and @axelvoid for entrusting Faith and I with the task of continuing Tamara’s legacy and sharing her work,” wrote Ms. Bur on her Instagram page.  

“One last dance for our friend @h_y_u_r_o ,” says Faith XLVII in her tribute.
“It felt strange and difficult to try to mimic Tamara’s sketch that she had planned for these walls. So elegantly thought out with her poetic sense of space and metaphor. We tried not to leave our own mark and to stay true to her rough design.
How we will miss the messages that you gave to us. Waking us slowly from our slumber.
May you rest sweet sister.”

Hyuro. “Douce Vie” Executed by Faith XLVII and Helen Bur. Angers, France. August 2021. (photo © Eric Surmont)

Faith XLVII ends with something many in this Street Art world feel today about our loss of Hyuro,

“Under Our Moon.
Your absence fills the world.”

Hyuro. “Douce Vie” Executed by Faith XLVII and Helen Bur. Angers, France. August 2021. (photo © Eric Surmont)

Helen Bur and Hyuro talk about their experience paying tribute to Hyuro in the video below:

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BSA Film Friday: 09.03.21

BSA Film Friday: 09.03.21

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening:
2. Moments Like This Never Last. Cheryl Dunn/Dash Snow. Trailer
3. 9 Ways To Draw a Person

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BSA Special Feature: Faith XLVII X KOLEKA PUTUMA

South African Street Artist Liberty Du, known as Faith XLVII shares her new collaboration with Koleka Putuma, the South African queer poet and theatre-maker, this week on BSA Film Friday.

“South African women are brave. Strong. And not just a little strong. They are strong down to their bone marrow. They have known great suffering. And still, they sing. What an honor it’s been to know such women! I’ve been humbled in my life again and again by the sheer resilience of friends. The pain is inexplicable. In the first 3 weeks of lockdown, more than 120 000 cases of Gender-Based Violence were reported across the country. We are exhausted from the news each week. Our sisters, mothers, grandmothers, our children were violated, abused, and murdered. Working on this project alongside Koleka Putuma is not something I take lightly, Koleka is a force. Her words break up open in order to really have real conversations about what’s happening.”


Moments Like This Never Last. Cheryl Dunn/Dash Snow. Trailer

The mythmaking stories continue to propagate about this anti-authoritarian creative skateboarding graffiti-writing white guy from a wealthy family who died too young in a drug-fueled life of experimentation and excess. Cheryl Dunn pulls all the stories together to help establish his talents and hijinx as veritable proof that the early millenial was onto something new in the graffiti/street/art milieu of IRAK crew of 2000s New York – partying hard and hitting the heights.

9 Ways To Draw a Person

The possibilities are absolutely endless, if you are to follow the guidance of film director, artist, animator Sasha Svirsky. By mixing abstraction, collage, and animation, he pulls you in and reawakens your earliest knowledge about creativity, reaffirming that you too, can draw a person.

Russian language version / Русскоязычная версия фильма:

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“Beyond The Streets” On Paper Opens in Southampton

“Beyond The Streets” On Paper Opens in Southampton

This time of year, it is hard to find people in Manhattan on the weekends – they’re “weekending” in the Hamptons, darling.

Khari Turner, Hands

Not exactly the original setting you might associate with graffiti, street art, hip-hop, punk rock, zines, and underground art culture but where else can curators Evan Pricco and Kim Stephens sell these works on paper while sipping cool drinks poolside?

“Beyond the Streets” carries the mobile party to Southampton Arts Center this Saturday with a wide swath of styles – 500 works from over 100 artists in an art fair-sized venue. It may remind you of the Urban Air Fair tried in Manhattan in summer 2017, but this one has something that one didn’t: Roger Gastman.

Shepard Fairey, Elysium Lotus

If it’s here, it’s because it is quality work and has a connection to the roots of these subcultural scenes usually as well. Expanding now to the more nebulous category of Contemporary, you may be surprised to see more accessible interpretive variations on the themes. Let’s see that paper, people. 

Jane Dickson, Fourth of July 2

Artists include: Action Bronson, Addam Yekutieli, agnès b, AIKO, André Saraiva, Andrew Schoultz, Andrew Thiele, Andy Rementer, Aryz, Bert Krak, Brandon Breaux, Broken Fingaz, Bryant Giles, Camille Walala, CES, Cey Adams, Charlie Ahearn, Chloe Early, Chris FREEDOM Pape, Clark Fox, Cody Hudson, Conor Harrington, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Daniel Rich, David “Mr StarCity” White, DAZE, DEFER, Emily Manwaring, Eric Haze, Ermsy, Escif, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Fucci, Greg SPONE Lamarche, Gustavo Zermeno, Hilda Palafox, House 33, HuskMitNavn, Ian Reid, Icy & Sot, Jaime Muñoz, Jamilla Okuba, Jane Dickson, JEC*, Jeremy Shockley, Jillian Evelyn, JK5, John Konstantine, Julian Pace, KATSU, KC Ortiz, Kelsey Brookes, Khari Turner, Kime Buzzelli, LeRoy Neiman, Linas Garsys, Liz Flores, Lucy McLauchlan, Lujan Perez, Maripol, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Marshall LaCount, Matt McCormick, Maya Hayuk, Michael Vasquez, MIKE 171, Mister CARTOON, Neena Ellora, Nehemiah Cisneros, Nettie Wakefield, NUNCA, Otto183, Paije Fuller, Paul Insect, POSE, Rebecca Morgan, Reko Rennie, Rello, Richard Colman, RISK, Ron English, Ryan McGinness, Sage Vaughn, Saladeen Johnson, Scott Campbell, Sean from Texas, Senon Williams, Shantell Martin, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, Sofía Enriquez, SNOEMAN, Spacebrat, STASH, Steve ESPO Powers, SWOON, TAKI 183, The Perez Bros., Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Troy Lamarr Chew II, Umar Rashid, Victor Reyes, Wasted Rita, Wulffvnky, Yarrow Slaps, Yusuke Hanai, ZESER, ZOER and 45RPM.

July 17—August 28, 2021
Southampton Arts Center, Southampton, New York, 11968

For more details, schedules, etc. click HERE

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BSA Film Friday: 05.14.21

BSA Film Friday: 05.14.21

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening:
1. Blinded By The Lines in Poland
2. Dr. Audrey Fernandes Satar and Arif Satar / WA Street Art on The Collie Mural Trail in Australia

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BSA Special Feature: Blinded By The Lines

And the beat goes on – a new homemade video from Poland from taggers Ready (ALKO) Finer (TNA U7) Febs (Legz) Zion (DSTS) Lokal (DRS) in the night putting throwups, tags, and quick silvers.

Blinded By The Lines PT. 1

Dr. Audrey Fernandes Satar and Arif Satar / WA Street Art on The Collie Mural Trail

“This was never an empty wall and we’ve added to this wall another layer of history,” says Dr Audrey Fernandes Satar about her new collaborative mural with Arif Satar in Collie, Western Australia.

From the video description: “The work is Titled ‘Ground’ and is a panoptic drawing of the hills draped with patterns inspired by banksia seed pods, calling attention to the fragility of Collie’s ancient landscape where the river flows gently.”


Umber tones of war and oppression, this video directed by A. L. Crego introduces the new show by street artist and fine artist Faith XLVII called CHANT. Incorporating her repetitive, rhythmically placed street texts with overlays of tone and texture and her ferocious and wild animal kingdom, she unearths again layers of history that we have as a people, and as people.

A ritualistic meditative call.
We assimilate this earthly drama through pitches of reciting tones, shades and textures.
Sacred attempts of setting a frequency for unlearning. breaking open. seeing.
A mantra.”

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BSA Film Friday: 03.05.21

BSA Film Friday: 03.05.21

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening participants at Festival Asalto 2020:
1. FAITH XLVIII 410 BC – 340 BC
2. Ozmo / “La visión de Tondalo” via Urban Art Field
3. SOFLES / Geometric

BSA Special Feature: FAITH XLVIII 410 BC – 340 BC

You knew FAITH XLVIII was OG, but did you imagine she dipped back to the 4th century? In this newly unveiled clandestine scene, the South African street artist paints among the decay in Lexington.

She says it is part of her “7.83Hz Series”

FAITH XLVIII 410 BC – 340 BC, Lexington, Kentucky

Ozmo / “La visión de Tondalo” via Urban Art Field

Ozmo in Turin finds inspiration here from a Renaissance panel from the Bosch school and interprets it for Urban Art Field. In it, we find the journey of a dreamer in hell beneath the power of the Mole Antonelliana, the major landmark building that serves as a symbol of Turin.

SOFLES / Geometric

Professor Sofles takes us to school again with this brand new 3D-style graffiti piece he painted in a gym. He says he took inspiration from the interior wall design and climbing equipment.

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BSA Film Friday: 02.04.21

BSA Film Friday: 02.04.21

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening participants at Festival Asalto 2020:
1. “BY VIRTUE OF” a collaboration project between Faith XLVII and Zane Mayer
2. Five Minutes with: 1UP Crew in Berlin – Via I LOVE GRAFFITI.DE
3. MadC1 Via Tost Films
4. Tiacuilos: A film by Federico Peixoto.

BSA Special Feature: “BY VIRTUE OF” a collaboration project between Faith XLVII and Zane Mayer

Hands have appeared across walls often across these last two decades – a favorite focus for so many street artists and muralists – from GAIA to Case MaClaim and Pixel Pancho to “The Praying Hands” by Albrecht Dürer turned upside down in Athens, Nathan Murdoch’s two hands in the shape of a heart in Peterborough, UK, Saype‘s global hands project, Chip Thomas’s hands in the Arizona desert, and current façade of the Stadmuseum in Oldenburg, Germany.

These hands first appeared projected on a 10 story building in Jacksonville, Florida. A compilation of hands filmed during interviews with America’s homeless, the collaborative video piece by Zane Meyer and Faith XLVII is instructive, expansive, colorful, genuine. Say the artists about the focus of this work, “Like books, the hands tell stories of what they have been through. Slow movements, delicate gestures, and subconscious motions make up the scenes of the film – a match is lit, stones are organized, tattoos are shown, sand is filtered. Clenched hands narrate stories of power, or anger, while open hands suggest an offering or a search for an embrace.”

“BY VIRTUE OF” a collaboration project between Faith XLVII and Zane Mayer

Five Minutes with: 1UP Crew in Berlin – Via I LOVE GRAFFITI.DE

Looks like 1UP Crew are up to no good, as usual. On a large scale, as usual. Impressive, as usual.

MadC1 Via Tost Films

A small taste of the stunning MadC painting her highest mural to date – 56 meters (184 feet) high – in Abu Dhabi for @forabudhabi – with a team from 7 different countries.

Tiacuilos: A film by Federico Peixoto.

As we have always done; here is an excellent opportunity to broaden the conversation about this world-wide people’s art movement that goes by many names. Tlacuilos: “The definitive film chronicle of Graffiti and Hip Hop in Central America”. A film by Federico Peixoto.

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What is the real meaning of Liberté Égalité Fraternité?

Faith XLVII Liberté Égalité Fraternité

That’s a good question in the face of a new proposed law censoring French citizens free speech. According to the law, you would be criminalized for publishing any photo or video where a police officer or gendarme could be recognized if there is an intent to harm their “physical or psychological integrity”. Obviously this sounds like a vague restriction that could be widely interpreted and possibly abused.

Undoubtedly people see that individual freedoms are being steadily threatened by the state in many countries now, but France has explicitly fought for Liberté of the press. Since many people have a camera today – we are almost all the de facto “press” members who can hold civil servants and elected leaders accountable by self-publishing images and events for other citizens to see and discuss. It’s a right worth fighting for, if you ask the demonstrators in Paris right now.

The question as it pertains to the new print that Faith XLVII is selling right now is something slighty different, but still related – and still heroic on some level.

“The imagery of a rearing horse signifies a powerful animal which has been subjugated by humankind, and has finally broken free. Carrying with it the weight of nationalism and patriotism, memorials and statues of statesmen and war ‘heroes,'” she says.

“Historically, they were the creatures men took to war, to fight and die alongside them with unrelenting loyalty. Inescapably majestic and elegant in their powerful and muscular form, horses have an inherent sense of nobility,” says the street artist and fine artist in a statement accompanying the print release.

“Within this discrepancy between their physical power and their subservience, they become archetypal symbols for notions of human power struggles, war, nationalism and blind loyalty to leadership. By unleashing or freeing these dignified creatures through these images, we understand our own sense of agency, independent from political quests, ultimately expressing potentiality for our own humane power.”

6 layer Stone Lithograph
Printed on Japanese Udagami Paper 70g
78 cm x 109 cm / 30.71 inches x 42.91 inches
Edition of 60

A percentage of all sales will be donated to The South African Cart Horse Protection Association, who have have been providing vital services and education to the cart horse owners since 1995, including a clinic, treatment stalls and paddocks, cart repair workshop, education and training providing services to over 260 working overworked or abused cart horses and their owners.

Click HERE to purchase the print

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BSA Film Friday: 11.20.20

BSA Film Friday: 11.20.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. “Strength” from Pejac
2. Chant – Faith XVII
3. Spells, The Salton Sea – Faith XLVII

BSA Special Feature: “Strength” from Pejac

Santander, Spain has suffered from COVID, of course, as has most of the country. Local street artist PEJAC says he wanted to contribute to his local hospital, the University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, by painting in public areas for people to enjoy. He says the common theme that unites the three distinctly different styles he used, is Strength.

“It’s a gesture of gratitude to the heath workers of Valdecilla, for their work in general and during this Covid crisis in particular,” says PEJAC



Reliably enigmatic, street artist Faith XVII is using the medium of video to add impressions and associations to her works here on a text series called “Chant”. The irony of using the letter C that may call to mind Chase bank is drawn tighter as you see neighborhoods and walls probably redlined by corporate banks, or targeted for annihilation through neglect. In the context of our older societies, one may see in her work the power of chanting to focus a larger group to act in union with purpose, and power.


60 miles south of Palm Springs, California, the Saltan Sea is disappearing, it’s shore moving miles in only a couple of decades, along with its population. Faith XVII is a Californian these days and she is here pondering the “beach” that remains, full of mercury, arsenic, selenium. California’s largest inland body of water now turns into dust, and Faith pours herself into the soil and the air that carries it; and the drought, well…  How this translates to her art on the street or in the studio, it is in alignment with her ongoing concerns about climate change – and you can be sure this project will appear again in her work.


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BSA Film Friday: 12.06.19

BSA Film Friday: 12.06.19


Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. “Realm: Shanghai” Vhils directed by Jose Pando Lucas
2. ARTRIUM, Moscow. (part 1)
3. Faith XVLII x Philadelphia, ‘The Silent Watcher’.

BSA Special Feature: “Realm: Shanghai” Vhils directed by Jose Pando Lucas

Like other fashion and luxury brands, certain contemporary art galleries are commissioning higher-end film quality videos to put muscle behind the marketing. Naturally, some artwork is camera-ready, infused with the potential for storytelling that creates the “rich content” that social media thrives on, and aids sales teams in the gallery space and at art fairs. Portuguese Street Artist Vhils has director Jose Pando Lucas along as sophisticated seer; The artist once again bringing a storyline into savvy focus, capturing your imagination with his.

“I remember the story I was told,” intones the mystical modern while staring into the camera. “That in time I would know my place in this world.”

The tone is perhaps meant to reassure an unsteady heart in a chaotic modern world, to center oneself in a dislocating environment. Viewed as an appealing sales tool, it also skillfully fortifies a self-image of the entitled powerful class who are pre-ordained or chosen to dominate and to lead. Anonymous and existential mournful stares through city windows and at bus stops, the artworks under construction are born of destruction; mottled, rough-hewn, defiant in the city’s margins.

Tradition struggles for its place amidst amazing new technology and rapidly growing infrastructure. The artist posits himself as working man pounding on walls, without airs of class. With this art in your home you are keeping in touch with the common, the everyday insecurities, for you are citizen. You can afford it because, after all, you are also a ruler.

“Nobody really got the answers they longed for.”

“Do we live as we dream?”

“Who else can hear me right now?”

Youthful, fashionable, under constraint, free of constraint, traditional and unconventional power players laying plans quietly, focusing a pent-up hunger for more. This is the ocean of wealth and capacity that will define epochs, not decades.

It ends sweetly, a bon mot that suggests a sense of human camaraderie among competitors of this race. But it is an uncertain connection, born more of wistful desire for a pleasant resolution than actual brotherhood or sisterhood.

“Yesterday is gone. This moment has ended.”

VHILS – REALM (Shanghai, 2019) A film by Jose Pando Lucas

ARTRIUM, Moscow. (part 1)

An educational insight into the people and the place.

Unusual in the Russian Federation, if not the commercialized western cultures which have willfully merged graffiti and Street Art culture to the point of quotidian, The Artrium combines a shopping mall with murals by Street Artists. What is remarkable is the list of names who regale this city skin with new pieces inside and outside, bringing to life an otherwise normal grey and beige block.

Astounding to discover in the center of Moscow, the outdoor gallery boasts artists such as Shepard Fairey, Felipe Pantone, Tristan Eaton, Ben Eine, PichiAvo, Okuda San Miguel, Pokras Lampas, Faith47, WK Interact, Faust, and Haculla. Average visitors may not grasp the remarkable collection of talents, but if you are shopping in this capital city, you wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity that captures a stunning moment in the rotation of the Street Art universe.

Faith XVLII x Philadelphia, ‘The Silent Watcher’. By Chop ’em Down Films

In the words of Faith XLVII;
‘I come from a country that is seething with the frustration of uncontrollable violence and woman abuse, xenophobia , class and racial divide.
And have moved to a country where there seems to be a fundamental crisis in the very soul of the nation.

We know this ache of our lands.
And we all know personal ache.
Everybody has their struggle to bear.

And with the weight of the world on our shoulders,
we must still be able to live with empathy
We must somehow keep our hearts open.

The words on this wall are a reference to the City Seal of Philadelphia with calls out for brotherly love.
This is no small commitment.

It also references a quote ‘Optimism is a strategy for a Better Future.’
Paying tribute to Noam Chomsky who was born in Philadelphia and is 91 years old this year. .

The harsh experiences of life can easily make us fall into a negative world view,
or inner psychological depression.
But we each have the ability to transform this base metal of knowing suffering,
into the gold of higher aspiration.

The name of this mural is ‘The Silent Watcher’
We can be the silent watcher, who knows, who loves and who endures.’

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“Beyond The Streets” Opens in New York : Beyond Labels, With Roots

“Beyond The Streets” Opens in New York : Beyond Labels, With Roots

Look Who’s Back in the Neighborhood

They used to run from the Vandal Squad in this neighborhood. Now people pay to see their art here.

Through the expansive glass wall on the 6th floor you can look down Kent Avenue to see the spot where a monster pickup truck with a heavy chain tied around a FAILE prayer wheel almost jackknifed on the sidewalk, gave up and sped away. Not that many Brooklynites saw that event in the 2000s – nobody walked here and few people drove through Williamsburg then except truckers looking for street walking ladies wearing high heels and spandex. Oh, and a serial killer.

Faile. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now visitors buy tickets to see a circular colonnade of FAILE prayer wheels here at 25 Kent – including the real estate developers and Wall Street professionals who displaced the community of artists whose work made the neighborhood attractive and “edgy”.

Along with Street Artists in this exhibition like Shepard Fairey, Bast, Swoon, Invader, Aiko, Dan Witz, Katsu, 1UP, and Lister, the FAILE duo put completely illegal artworks on walls under cover of night and threat of arrest in this same neighborhood then – transforming it with many others who are not in this show into an open gallery of the streets, placing Williamsburg on the map as New Yorks’ epicenter of the newly emerging Street Art scene. 

Swoon. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Nature of Graffiti and Street Art

As graffiti and Street Art are migratory and necessarily elusive by nature, this story is only one chapter in a volume of history that serious academics are now reconstructing and analyzing. With each passing year and published white paper, the practices of 20th century public mark-making are being examined in greater detail for archiving and for posterity. Not surprisingly, institutions, patrons, collectors, and brands are increasingly interested in this story as well.

When it comes to the anarchic subculture of illegal street art practice and its influence on society, there are non-stop ironies sprayed en route from verboten to Vuitton, and street culture has supercharged the imagination of the mainstream and high culture throughout history – that’s where the best ideas come from sometimes. Many seminal artworks from “the scene”, as it were, represent much more than what you are seeing at first glance. As art and cultural critic Carlo McCormick has described the iconic Shepard Fairey ‘Hope’ image in Art in America, many graffiti and Street Art works saved are “not a fleeting pop-culture sensation but simply the latest crossover hit in a long line of underground classics.”

The wide-ranging survey that is Beyond the Streets makes sure that you know where the roots are, and who many of the pioneers were. It is impossible to tell a complete story that includes scenes as diverse as west coast Chicano muralism, hobo graffiti, hip-hop commercial design, NY downtown artivism, Japanese low/hi contemporary, skateboard, tattoo, early train writing and a current romance with muralism, but BTS at least gives a serious consideration to each and offers you the opportunity to look further into them.

Martha Cooper with BGirl Ana “Rokafella” Garcia. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the help of photography documentation from people like Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Jim Prigoff, Lisa Kahane, Joe Conzo, John Fekner, Bill Daniel, Maripol, and Dash Snow, the crucial importance of this work provides needed interstitial and contextual information that enables myriad stories to be elucidated.

Joe Conzo. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Scale, The History

Exhaustive, no. Exhausting, possibly. Pace yourself.

 “I spent my life surrounded by graffiti and Street Art,” says the shows’ director Roger Gastman “and you could say that I have been obsessed with understanding the culture, its origins, and its evolution. It’s incredible to me how far it has come.”

With 150 artists whose practices span five decades and various (mainly) American subcultures displayed in a maze of new walls in this 100,000 sf, two-floor exhibition, the Beyond the Streets senior curatorial team includes Gastman, filmmaker/ graffiti historian Sacha Jenkins SHR, Juxtapoz Editor in Chief Evan Pricco, and author/ graffiti historian / graffiti writer David CHINO Villorente. Each curator brings core competencies and knowledge of the graffiti scene (Gastman, Jenkins, Villorente) as it has evolved to include the Street Art practice and an eventual move toward contemporary art (Pricco).

“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” says Villorente, who says his history as a graffiti writer compounds the impact for him. “I was glad that the show was coming to New York because I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I couldn’t have imagined it – especially when I think back on when I was writing on the trains and doing illegal graffiti. To have of show of this magnitude is really special.”

Mike 171. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

“We started writing in ’68 and here we are, fifty-one years later,” says Mike 171 as he gestures toward himself and crew writer SJK 171 when talking about how they began and continued writing their tags on the street in New York City. “This is the history right here,” he says, and you know you are about to be schooled about the plain realities of early graffiti writing. At the opening, you witness each guy tagging in a large dusty window here and realize the love for writing never actually stops.

“We were expressing something that was inside of us,” says SJK 171. “The streets were like ours,” he tells you against a backdrop of their work, Cornbread’s work, and of images full of one color, single line monikers that set the stage for the more colorful, character-driven pieces and burners a decade later, transforming trains into a rolling aesthetic symphony by the mid 1970s.

Cornbread. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo). Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One of the actual “whole car” writers of that period, Lee “LEE” Quinones, here recreates a “Soul Train” car side on a canvas that looks like it could easily wrap an actual MTA #2-line car that he used to slaughter with cans in the middle of the night at the train yard. When describing the new work he said he was intentionally keeping it simple – perhaps owing the style to his earlier practice.

Lee Quinones. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think this is one of Lee’s most amazing pieces,” says Charlie Ahearn, the director of the seminal 1982 “Wild Style” film that Quinones stars in. Ahearn self-produced that film which became an important distillation of the merging of graffiti with hip-hop culture during a pivotal moment in the history of both. Now also a professor of Hip-Hop, art, design, and documentary film making at Pace University, Ahearn is familiar with many of the artists work here, many relationships reaching back decades. “I told Lee that I liked that it was a one-off, that he painted all the color straight off without the embellishment, texturing, and all that stuff.”

John and Charlie Ahearn. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Charlie’s twin brother John Ahearn is represented here popping out from walls as well, his sculptures serving as authentic portraits of people you may easily have seen on New York streets over the last four decades. Casted directly on top of the people themselves in a technique he has perfected, the placement of the sculptures gives life to the space.

Star Writers, Immersive Environments, Foundations

Dabsmyla. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The individual clusters of work and canvasses by 1970s-80s train painters like Futura, Crash, Lady Pink, Freedom, Carlos Mare, Blade, Haze, and Daze and next gen graphic painters like Doze Green and Rime are complemented by a number of so-called “immersive” spaces here like the Mission Schools’ Barry McGee storefront with smashed window, and the Australian Pop duo Dabs & Myla’s eye candy floral walls with thousands of artificial fauna created in collaboration with Amelia Posada.

Myla. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shepard Fairey. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The high-profile graphic activist Shepard Fairey’s 30 year career overview takes a large area and encompasses all elements of his street and studio practice, and Bill Barminski’s cardboard home is open for you to explore with a wry smile, remembering the security room installation he did at Banksy’s Dismaland a couple years earlier.

Bill Barminski. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You’re also treated to a full rolling wall of Craig Stecyk posters that brings you the sun and surf of California skate culture, sculptures by Mr. Cartoon and Risk, a kid-friendly illustrated room with crafting supplies for young fans on tables from HuskMitNavn, and an astute freight train culture educational display by writer/painter/sculptor Tim Conlon (complete with a mid-sized Southern Pacific freight on train tracks he and friends built), prints/photos by historian Bill Daniel, and original drawings by the man some call the King of Hobo Art, buZ blurr.

John Fekner. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“These are a self portrait as predicated on a first Bozo Texino person and I kind of changed the image around,” says Mr. blurr, a legendary figure in denim overalls, as he patiently describes his classic tag image of a railway cowboy.

“It is a writer motif – the pipe smoke is going up and then it is trailing back to signify movement as the train goes down the track,” he says. “I worked in the train yards and my job was as a brakeman. I had a little free time so I started making drawings. I made my first one on November 11, 1971,” he says as he recalls the state of mind that he was in at the time as he began to tag freights with the image and text that came to him clearly – and may have perplexed other travellers.

buZ blurr. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“They came from a confused state. I was questioning everything. I was putting kind of cryptic messages under my drawings. It was anybody’s guess as to its literal interpretation. I addressed some of them up to specific people but whether they saw them or responded to them, I wouldn’t have any idea.”  

Tim Conlon. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When it’s shipped in the crate its 550 pounds,” says Conlon as he stands by the 3-foot high freight car re-creation on tracks and ties that is hit with a couple of wild and colorful graffiti burners. “Here I’m going to show you something,” he says as he pulls back the roof to reveal the narrow coffin interior in rusted red. “So I’m going to hide some beer in here during the opening party. This is like the fifth one of these I’ve made,” and he proudly confides that one lives in the house of Robert Downey Jr.

Digging Deep to Take Risks

Not content to rest on laurels and previous formulas of success, the show keeps a freshness by presenting known entities pushing themselves further and taking creative risks; a reflection of that spirit of experimentation we have always prized on the street.

Graffiti writer Earsnot from Irak crew, now known professionally as Kunle Martin, said he had been making work for the gallery containing elements of graffiti, but felt they were too “safe”.

Kunle Martin AKA Earsnot. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Then my friend Dan said ‘you should go back to doing drawings,’” he says as he stands before figurative canvasses in black and white on cardboard. “I said ‘I can’t! It’s too hard! But eventually I began working in my studio five days a week, and I made enough for a show.”

Reflective of the attitude of Gastman toward artists in the community, he told Martin that if he made enough of them, he could place them in this show. “I think he was happy to hear that I was in my studio working. He’s been very supportive of it.”

Kunle Martin. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A fluorescent color-drenched graphic/photographic collage style is featured with plenty of space in large frames from Chicago’s Pose, who says he is letting photography and geometry lead him away from his previous pop collage style that may have reminded many of Lichtenstein. His inspiration here comes from his research into early photos of graffiti writers running from police “I was obsessed with John Naars photos and I have usually Norman Mailer as in inspiration. Some of these photo references are from the Philadelphia Inquirer,” he says.

Pose. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pose. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

New York’s Eric Haze also dares himself to take a new direction with three canvasses featuring a refracted piecing-together of imagery and memories of this city in monochrome. Based on black and white scenes of the city by photographer and NYC taxi driver Matt Weber, the scenes capture aspects that are culled from imagination and impression. The centerpiece canvas captures an iconic piece of the Williamsburg waterfront that has been removed in the last few years by developers; the signage of the old Domino Sugar factory by the Williamsburg Bridge.

Haze. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Haze said he meant it as a gift and tribute to his wife, actress and longtime resident of the neighborhood, Rosie Perez who used to see it along Kent Avenue as a kid.  “He’s not afraid to take risks. He’s not afraid to go in the studio and express what’s inside of him. When he brought me to the studio, he says, ‘I have a surprise for you’,” she remembers. “I saw the beginnings of the Domino painting and I was stunned into silence and I got teary-eyed.”

Rosie Perez. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Beyond Labels

An expanded version of the show that first mounted in Los Angeles last year, the collection is focused a great deal on the American history of graffiti with a balance of East/West coast graffiti history – in a way that may remind you of 2011’s “Art in the Streets” at LA MoCA. That makes sense, considering Gastman co-curated that show as well.

“It’s both a historical and current look at where the culture went and where it started and how widespread it is,” says co-curator Evan Pricco, who perhaps provides a lynchpin view toward the big name Street Artists who continued to push expectations in the 2000’s on streets and in commercial galleries around the world. “With the space spread over two floors it has a way better curatorial sense. I also think it does compete with museums because it shows that this kind of work is on the same level. You kind of have to present it in a way that feels very institutional and archival.”

So is Beyond the Streets a graffiti show or a Street Art show or a contemporary art show? For artist Kenny Scharf, who first gained attention during the heyday of Downtown Manhattan’s art scene that benefitted from an interlude where rents were dirt cheap and Wall Street was on a cocaine high, there is no need to categorize what kind of art this is.

Kenny Scharf. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“You know I never liked labels or titles anyway so even back in the early 80s I was pegged like ‘oh you’re a graffiti artist,’” he says. “People feel the need to title and label so I’ll let them to continue to do that but I don’t fit into any of them and I don’t want to. I want to fit into all of them and none of them.”

Beyond the Streets opened June 21 and continues through the summer.

MADSAKI. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Blade and Doze Green. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Katsu. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gajin Fujita. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faith XLVII. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
John Ahearn. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jane Dickson. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Witz. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew…it’s always a good thing to have your friends near by when you need them the most… Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)ork. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cleon Peterson. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Conor Harrington. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Felipe Pantone. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Beastie Boys. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nekst . Risk. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bast . Paul Insect. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Invader. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ron English. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Patrick Martinez. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dust tagger. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper with Freedom. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
What’s left and soon to be gone of the old Williamsburg’s waterfront right across from Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper’s work as exhibited at Beyond The Streets New York

Beyond The Streets NYC is now open in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the general public and will run until August 2019. Click HERE for schedules, tickets and details.

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“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.

“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”

Style Wars Car by NOC 167 with Door Open, Man Reading Newspaper, 96th Street Station, New York, NY, 1981. (photo © Martha Cooper)

He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.

Guerrilla Girls at Abrons Art Center, New York, 2015. (photo © Andrew Hindrake)

“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.

The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.

Lil’ Crazy Legs during shoot for Wild Style, Riverside Park, NY, 1983. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi Murakami. 

More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.

“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.


Curator: Roger Gastman

Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente

Producer: Ian Mazie & Pressure Point Creative

Tickets and hours of operation can be found at: BEYONDTHESTREETS.COM


A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André ​Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER

The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.

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