All posts tagged: Futura 2000

“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.


BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM

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


FEATURED ARTISTS INCLUDE:

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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Futura Goes “Full Frame” by Magda Danysz

Futura Goes “Full Frame” by Magda Danysz

One benefit of being ahead of your time is that you can paint your own rules, discover your own voice, set a standard. A drawback is that you may have to push forward on your own before you gain support for what you are pursuing. The key is to keep moving.

Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.

As Futura pulls fully into the frame of contemporary artist, its important for upcoming artists to remember that he had a long route – including being a bike messenger on Manhattan’s untamed streets to provide for his family – while he was waiting until the rest of the street and art world caught up with him. Now that Street Art has confirmed that his abstract explorations on subway trains were an early sign of what was coming, brands and gallerists and collectors often call.  “Full Frame” helps appreciate the body of work he developed during that time.

Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.

Self named Futura 2000 when that sounded futuristic, Lenny Gurr has done more painting on canvas than he realized since the early 80s and his style has continued to evolve and clarify.  

“Just for people to finally get a look at my work – I feel like a lot of what is being revealed hasn’t really been seen,” he tells us as he describes the nearly 300 page yellow tome “Full Frame,” published by Drago and organized by Magda Danysz. Among the richly illustrated pages, Danysz presents important benchmarks in Futura’s steadily growing career and personal life that bring the evolution closer to the reader.

In terms of the visual language in these sketches, diagrams and canvasses, there are a wealth of orbs and symbols and sprays and washes and stellar interstellar journeys that you have never seen before. Evolution appears to be natural for Futura, his pores and nerve endings collecting signals, firing synapses, pushing deep into imaginary worlds.

Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.

Influences run from expressionists, abstractionists, modernists, punks, the race to the moon and the moonage daydreams of city hippies everywhere. His recurring circle motifs are as much about his internal mind and world as they are about the cosmos.

A sense of balance in the chaos is always present, the palette choices impeccably on point, sharply sweet and frequently daring. Is this fantasy or diary? If Futura hasn’t flown to most of these places, it’s not because he hasn’t tried. But we’re treating these pages and frames of eye-popping other-worlds as evidence that he has.

Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.

“I think for the most part people appreciate survivors,” he is quoted in the book. Few survivors could be so freely percolating with ideas and graceful in their delivery.

Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.
Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.
Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.
Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.
Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.
Futura 2000 FULL FRAME By Magda Danysz. Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy. 2018.
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Futura 2000 In Studio and “The 5 Elements”

Futura 2000 In Studio and “The 5 Elements”

EARTH, AIR, FIRE, and WATER. And FUTURA 2000.

These are the five elements.

“Hey Guys!” he bellows from the doorway and invites us in.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A non-stop full-voiced welcome fills the air of this factory loft space with stories and smoke and sports talk radio as you ascend steps from the truck-traffic cacophony of cold and rain on this Bushwick thoroughfare. For the next hour and a half, you are warmly surrounded by clothes racks and boxes and spray cans and multi-faceted anecdotes and impressions and fragments of memories that get shaken and sprayed and circled back to.

Here is a fond remembrance of something his mom or dad said from his childhood, an adroitly drawn quip about a curious gallerist, an excited discovery of new Super 8 footage of a mission with famed NYC graffiti writer Dondi in Japan to promote Wild Style. Elsewhere he recounts a meeting with Joe Strummer in a New York studio to share and record his own penned rap lyrics with The Clash, a trip to Berlin in ’85 with Keith Haring, a recent conversation with MODE2 who lives there now, a description of his personal misgivings about wearing his US military uniform into town while stationed at Yakuska Naval Base as a 20 year old.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An omnivore of ideas and initiatives and world cities, his march as a creative force of nature only gathers speed as he nears 40 years since first emerging from graffiti writing as a studio artist.

“1980 was the breakout year for us because we were all beginning to surface,” he says of the number of events that occurred that year and brought graffiti and street culture to a larger, more mainstream audience, and hopefully, a collector base. That was the year of the “Times Square Show” by Colab that introduced art and performance from the “Downtown” and “Uptown” scenes. It was also the year that Stefan Eins’ Fashion Moda gallery in the South Bronx had its first exhibition of graffiti art – Graffiti Art Success for America (GAS) – curated by artist John Matos (aka Crash), the show included work by graffiti culture artists such as Futura, Lady Pink, John Fekner, Disco 107, Fab Five Freddie, Futura, Kel 139th, Lee, Mitch 77, Nac 143, Noc 167, Stan 153, Tom McCutcheon, and Zephyr.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We were all willing to come above ground and investigate what was happening,” he says. “That was also the year I did the ‘Break Car’,” he says of the uniquely abstract whole graffiti car he painted that set him apart stylistically from the NYC graffiti writing pack and was captured famously by photographer Martha Cooper. That car and that style would proved to be the Cold War inspired rocketship that launched Futura 2000 into a forty year exploration of the Cosmos.

Fast forward to April 2018 in Lille, France, and Futura toils and emerges with a new body of work incorporating his long-held love for the interconnectedness of the galaxy, the stars, and the planet.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’ve been a child of the planet since I was a kid,” he says as he recalls the impact of the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens and how it tapped into his innate desire for exploration. “Every nation had a pavilion,” he says, and suddenly you see his collection of miniature architectural wonders from around the world, all grouped together for an idealized cityscape.

“I’ve got Berlin, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers, Roma, Peru (Easter Island), the Blue Mosque in Turkey, Sheik Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi,” he says. “I don’t have Taj Mahal, but I’ve been to it. I need that.”

“The 5 Elements” is the exhibition that opens this week at Urban Spree in Berlin and of course refers as well to the so-called “Five Elements of Hip-Hop”, of which graffiti is one. But he reserves this reference to a greater sweep, expressed in about an expansive show. “There’s a whole series on water, air, on fire,” he says, “It’s all at some point color coated for each element.” He also creates a series of circular canvasses hung in relation to each other to evoke the planetary system.

“I think they’re like 70 pieces, in terms of that I don’t think I’ve ever done anything this extensive,” he says.

But “The 5 Elements” is not a retrospective show, says Urban Spree founder and curator Pascal Feucher, who has been preparing the show with co-host Art Together. “On the contrary,” he writes, “Futura worked specifically on a large museum-style conceptual exhibition, tackling the ambitious theme of the Creation of the Universe, confronting himself to the cosmos, the planets, the infinitely small, the Big Bang and the fundamental elements, producing a corpus of works that becomes a path to the exploration of the universe as well as providing a backdoor into Futura’s internal galaxy.”

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coinciding with the show will be the release of a 128-page companion book titled “Futura, les 5 éléments” – certain to be sought after.

For the ever expansive graphic designer, clothing designer, wordsmith, musician, sneaker head, graffiti writer, abstract painter, photographer, the dots are all connected – and it always also connects to his roots.

“I like it when it’s a degree removed, yet connected – when you realize that the whole school – at least the whole New York City school, is vast,” he says. “It has touched a lot of people.”

Rather like Futura 2000.

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Futura sharing a picture of Lee Quinones on a moped in Roma (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Below are images of the 4 screen prints that will be released at the opening of “The 5 Elements”, based on the painting series “Pure”. Each 8-color screen print is hand-pulled by Dolly Demoratti (Mother Drucker/Urban Spree Studio), signed and numbered by Futura. The 50 x 50 cm prints are only sold as a limited edition of 100 sets.

Futura. Pure Earth. (photo courtesy of Urban Spree Gallery)

Futura. Pure Air. (photo courtesy of Urban Spree Gallery)

Futura. Pure Water. (photo courtesy of Urban Spree Gallery)

Futura. Pure Fire. (photo courtesy of Urban Spree Gallery)

Futura (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Film Friday: 01.29.16

BSA Film Friday: 01.29.16

Brooklyn-Street-Art-740-DEOW1-Film-friday-012916-Screen-Shot-2016-01-28-at-4.44.47-PM

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

 

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

Now screening :

1. DEOW1 in British Columbia : Maple Syrup
2. “From Street To Art” Exhibition in New York
3. Monkeybird and Said Dokins ‘Devenir animal’ (Becoming Animal)
4. Painted Oceans: Trailer

 

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BSA Special Feature: DEOW1 : Maple Syrup

This is an energetic vacation video with DEOW travelling in British Colombia, hitting freights and underpasses and the occasional deep woods spot surrounded by complete natural beauty, dreaming of a girl in a headdress and weaving fat caps to the beats. The sound track by Canada’s Tribe Called Red adds a popping exhilarating native vibe via the dancefloor. DEOW definitely traveled a long way north, considering he likes to call himself the southernmost graffiti artist in the world, hailing from Invercargill in the South Island of New Zealand. The trip goes fast even though the video clocks in at over 6 minutes.

“From Street To Art” Exhibition in New York

In August of 2014 Simone Pallotta brought 10 Italian Street Artists to New York to have an exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. Along with Chiara Mariani, who helped produce the show, Pallotta helped us to examine these artists on their own merits apart from the fact that they each work on the street. In the words of one of the participants, Hitnes, as he takes a break from a mural on a Bushwick roof, the variety of artists who are working on the street is not homogeneous at all. In fact, he says, “you would need a different word for every artist.”

“From Street To Art” (Italy to New York) & Hitnes on a BKLN Roof on BSA

 

Monkeybird and Said Dokins ‘Devenir animal’ (Becoming Animal)

From San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, this fresh new mural by the french Monkeybird and Mexican Said Dokins. It’s a strong collaboration in complimentary styles of ornate stenciling, tape masking, and caligraffitic brushwork – creating echoing waves around this trio of mandelas. The gold leaf sets it off!

Monkey Bird Crew in Lille, France and Their Largest Monkey/Bird Stencil on BSA

Painted Oceans: Trailer

An interesting project involving Shepard Fairey, Futura 2000, How & Nosm, The London Police, and Tristan Eaton out at sea, they’re raising money for it through Kickstarter for the next 30 days. Check out the big plan below.

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“The City As Canvas” Opens with the Collection of Martin Wong

“The City As Canvas” Opens with the Collection of Martin Wong

Last night the graffiti and early Street Art history from New York’s 1970s and 80s was celebrated by the City of New York – at least in its museum. Criminals and outlaws then, art stars and legends today, many of the aerosol actors and their documentarians were on display and discussed over white wine under warm, forgiving, indirect lighting.

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DAZE in the background sliced by a wall of cans at the opening of “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

“City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti From the Martin Wong Collection” is an exhibition as well as a book released last fall written by Carlo McCormick and Sean Corcoran, with contributions by Lee Quinones, Sacha Jenkins and Christopher Daze Ellis, and all the aforementioned were in attendance. Also spotted were artists, photographers, curators, writers (both kinds), art dealers, historians, family, friends, peers and loyal fans – naturally most fell into a few of these categories at the same time.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Futura2000-Zephyr-Martin-Wong-Collection-copyright-MCNY-Feb2014

“The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York welcome text with pieces by Futura 2000 and Zephyr to the right. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

“City as Canvas” is possible thanks to the foresight, eye, and wallet of collector Martin Wong, an openly gay Chinese-American artist transplanted to New York from San Francisco, which is remarkable not only because of the rampant homophobia and near hysterical AIDS phobia at the time he was collecting but because the graffiti / Street Art scene even today throws the term “fag” around pretty easily. A trained ceramacist and painter whose professional work has gained in recognition since his death of AIDS related complications in 1999, Wong is said to have met and befriended a great number of New York graffiti artists like Lady Pink, LEE, DAZE and Futura 2000, who were picking up art supplies where he worked at the Pearl Paint store – a four story holy place on Canal Street that thrived at that time.

 Brooklyn-Street-Art-Sharp-Paints-a-Picture-copyright-Martin_WongThe show contains black books full of tags and drawings as well as canvasses and mixed media Wong purchased, commissioned, and painted, including a portrait of graffiti artist Sharp wearing a respirator and standing before a canvas he’s working on entitled Sharp Paints a Picture (1997-98).

The mood at the museum was celebratory as guests looked at the 140+ works from Wong’s collection; a cross between an art opening and a graffiti trade show, with enthusiastic peers and fans waiting patiently to speak with, pose for pictures with, and gain autographs or tags in their black books from artists in attendance. The only officers that could be seen were holding back the line of guests to make sure there was no overcrowding of the exhibit.

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The famous Martha Cooper photograph of Dondi in action in the train yards. “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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A Keith Haring and LA2 collaboration at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

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Artist LA2 with Ramona “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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Keith Haring (Smiling Face) from 1982 at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

brooklyn-street-art-lee-quinoes-jaime-rojo-02-14-web

Lee Quiñones speaking with a never ending stream of fans before his canvas Howard the Duck, 1988, at “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Henry-Chalfant-Lee-train-Martin-Wong-Collection-copyright-MCNY-Feb2014

Digital prints of images shot by photographer Henry Chalfant brought the trains alive. On top is an image of a train with Sharp/Delta 2 from 1981 and below is “Stop the Bomb” by LEE (Quiñones), 1979 at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

 

 

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BSA Film Friday: 04.12.13

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

Now screening: “Spray Masters” and “Tunnel Stories” Sunday in Brooklyn, Simon Silaidis Calligraphy-Graffiti “Skyfall”, Cern is becoming a Balloonatic, and Jim Vision and The Blue Walls of Buenos Aires.

BSA Special Feature:
“Spray Masters” and “Tunnel Stories”

Above is a still from the “Spray Masters” trailer, which features New York can wielders from the subway train era, Futura 2000, Lee, Lady Pink and Zephyr. Union Docs will be screening the documentary SprayMasters and the short film Tunnel Stories. It is a great opportunity to hang with some storytelling film people and the filmmakers Geoff Duncanson and Manfred Kirchheimer will be in attendance along with the series curator Reid Bingham (Cinebeasts) will be in attendance.

“Spray Masters” will be screening this Sunday at Union Docs. Click here for more information:

 

Simon Silaidis Calligraphy-Graffiti “Skyfall”

A stunning featurette that focuses on the gestural full-bodied application of the calligraphic graffiti work by Simon Silaidis to a large rooftop. There are a number of people today who have brought this sense of formal refinement to the hand of the graff oeuvre and it remains to be seen who takes the mantel since it keeps expanding. For sure, when you choose your winner, there will be someone to ink the award certificate.

Shot and directed by Alex Loannou, shout out for editing to Sectiongraphix.

Still from the video, “Skyfall”. (© Simon Silaidis)

Still from the video, “Skyfall”. (© Simon Silaidis)

CERN is Becoming a Balloonatic

Graffiti artist Cern ran with the YMI crew in the nineties and has evolved into a fantasy surrealist in recent years with large murals, signature birds, and idealized figures. Couple of years ago (or less) he told us that he was playing around with balloons as an experiment to augment his installations on walls. Uh-oh, looks like he’s fallen into a big balloon vortex and the fascination with balloons has, well, ballooned. In this new video we see how far he can take it, or rather how far balloons have take over Cern.

Props to Jeremy Rocklin for the camera and editing work.

Cern. Still from the video (© Cern)

Cern. Still from the video (© Cern)

Cern. Still from the video (© Cern)

Jim Vision and The Blue Walls of Buenos Aires

We end this weeks selections with dubby meditations on Street Art by Jim Vision in Buenos Aires. Because sometimes a wall just needs a splash of blue. Or many splashes of blue. Also, barbecues, sunshine, families, babies, buses, horses, angels, and devils.

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Maquis Art et Cornette de St Cyr. “Art Urbain Contemporain” (Bruxelles, Belgique)

Maquis-art prépare sa 9ème vente aux enchères d’Art Urbain Contemporain
avec l’étude Cornette de Saint Cyr à Bruxelles le 27 mai 2013Fiers de leurs succès précédents, Maquis Art et Cornette de St Cyr s’associent à nouveau en 2013 et s’étendent à la Belgique. La vente aura lieu à Bruxelles le lundi 27 Mai 2013. La Belgique séduit de plus en plus de collectionneurs, et son régime favorable aux exilés fiscaux entraîne les marchands et les maisons de vente de l’Hexagone vers la capitale artistique qu’est Bruxelles. C’est le pari fou de les suivre qu’ont prit Maquis Art et Cornette de St Cyr.
Dondi, Rammellzee, Futura 2000, Zephyr, Lady Pink, Taki 183, Bill Blast, Blek le rat, DFace, Nick Walker, Bando, Speedy Graphito, Invader, Inti, Ronnie Cutrone, Fenx, L’atlas, Mist, Pro 176, Miss Tic.

Vente “Art Urbain Contemporain” Cornette de St Cyr / Maquis Art @ Bruxelles

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Happy New Year! BSA Highlights of 2010

Year-in-review-2010-header

As we start a new year, we say thank you for the last one.

And Thank You to the artists who shared their 11 Wishes for 2011 with Brooklyn Street Art; Conor Harrington, Eli Cook, Indigo, Gilf, Todd Mazer, Vasco Mucci, Kimberly Brooks, Rusty Rehl, Tip Toe, Samson, and Ludo. You each contributed a very cool gift to the BSA family, and we’re grateful.

We looked over the last year to take in all the great projects we were in and fascinating people we had the pleasure to work with. It was a helluva year, and please take a look at the highlights to get an idea what a rich cultural explosion we are all a part of at this moment.

The new year already has some amazing new opportunities to celebrate Street Art and artists. We are looking forward to meeting you and playing with you and working with you in 2011.

Specter does “Gentrification Series” © Jaime Rojo
NohJ Coley and Gaia © Jaime Rojo
Jef Aerosol’s tribute to Basquiat © Jaime Rojo
***

January

Imminent Disaster © Steven P. Harrington
Fauxreel (photo courtesy the artist)
Chris Stain at Brooklyn Bowl © Jaime Rojo

February

Various & Gould © Jaime Rojo
Anthony Lister on the street © Jaime Rojo
Trusto Corp was lovin it.

March

Martha Cooper, Shepard Fairey © Jaime Rojo
BSA’s Auction for Free Arts NYC
Crotched objects began appearing on the street this year. © Jaime Rojo

April

BSA gets some walls for ROA © Jaime Rojo
Dolk at Brooklynite © Steven P. Harrington
BSA gets Ludo some action “Pretty Malevolence” © Jaime Rojo

May

The Crest Hardware Art Show © Jaime Rojo
NohJ Coley © Jaime Rojo
The Phun Phactory Reboot in Williamsburg © Steven P. Harrington

June

Sarah Palin by Billi Kid
Nick Walker with BSA in Brooklyn © Jaime Rojo
Judith Supine at “Shred” © Jaime Rojo

July

Interview with legend Futura © Jaime Rojo
Os Gemeos and Martha Cooper © Jaime Rojo
Skewville at Electric Windows © Jaime Rojo

August

Specter Spot-Jocks Shepard Fairey © Jaime Rojo
“Bienvenidos” campaign
Faile studio visit © Jaime Rojo

September

BSA participates and sponsors New York’s first “Nuit Blanche” © Jaime Rojo
JC2 © Jaime Rojo
How, Nosm, R. Robots © Jaime Rojo

October

Faile “Bedtime Stories” © Jaime Rojo
Judith Supine © Jaime Rojo
Photo © Roswitha Guillemin courtesy Galerie Itinerrance

November

H. Veng Smith © Jaime Rojo
Sure. Photo courtesy Faust
Kid Zoom © Jaime Rojo

December

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Interview: Os Gemeos, Futura & Martha Cooper At PS 11 In NYC: Day 3

Interview: Os Gemeos, Futura & Martha Cooper At PS 11 In NYC: Day 3

Gustavo Talks About New York and Colors, While Martha Cooper Shows You Her Os Gemeos Shirt Designed by a Friend of the Twins

Os Gemeos and Futura (© Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos and Futura (© Jaime Rojo)

The Twins were hoisted into the air again today at PS11, where they are painting a huge kid mural as a gift to the neighborhood – and there were plenty of huge kids around today looking up at their work.  While Futura’s son, a photographer and video guy himself, hung out below, his dad continued the collaboration in the bucket above. We got to talk with Gustavo on a break for a couple of minutes with one his heroes, Martha Cooper, in the school yard out back.

BSA: When did you arrive in New York?
Gustavo: Here in New York, a week ago.

BSA: You are always traveling – When do you have time to go to Brazil and relax?
Gustavo: We were in Brazil one month ago and we started traveling again and we have been traveling for about a month.

BSA: You came straight from San Diego and the “Viva La Revolucion” show?
Gustavo: No, we went from San Diego to San Francisco, then here.

BSA: What is the thing you like the most about painting outside?
Gustavo: The relationship between the art and the public. We like to do free paintings for the public.

BSA: What motivates you personally when you are painting and you see people are admiring …when you go home and go to sleep how do you feel about your work?
Gustavo: We don’t know how to talk about this because we are very “inside” of our paintings.  It is difficult for us to go outside and see what is happening. We don’t know, we are really really very inside of what we are painting.  But we know that a lot of people are happy with the work we do. They like it. We know the people are feeling happy, like the neighbors here, they really love it.

They say, “Hey you guys have to paint the whole neighborhood, and make more pieces.” People like this. People are missing this. You know, New York back in the days was more colorful. Now everything is grey.

BSA: So is that why you paint so colorfully? Or is it because you are from Brazil?
Gustavo: The cities have to be all colors.  The whole city has to be in color. Everything, the streets, everything.

BSA: Do you feel very welcome in New York City?
Gustavo: Oh yes, very welcome. There are some cities that are very special and New York is very special for us.

Gustavo

Gustavo and one of his inspirations, Martha Cooper (© Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Do you consider yourselves cultural ambassadors from Brazil or do you see yourself more as “World” painters?
Gustavo: We are just two guys, Brazilian brothers, artists that like to paint.  People can say what they want. I don’t care. We always try to not just put our name, but Brazil’s name out there wherever we go to do something.  Down there (Brazil) we also have some nice artists, not only us; People who are really good.  And we also show respect because respect is the base of everything.

BSA: Can you talk about this piece with Futura? What is the relationship between all the flags and the kid?
Gustavo:
It’s difficult to say because we are still in process, you know.  We are still working. Maybe later we can explain it better.

BSA: So you are continuing to improvise on the piece even now? You do not have a set plan?
Gustavo: The drawing yes, but the way we paint is all improvised.

Martha Cooper Wearing The Os Gemeos TShirt. (© Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper Wearing The Os Gemeos T-Shirt Designed by a Friend of the Twins . (© Jaime Rojo)

BSA to Martha Cooper: How are you enjoying this experience?
Martha Cooper: Oh I love it. I love to see them work you know. It’s my favorite thing. And they are so cute. They are the most adorable twins.

BSA: When did you meet them first?
Martha:
You know I met them in Germany about 2004 at some Street Art event when Hip-Hop Files came out. They were actually quite a bit younger then.  See this shirt I’m wearing?  Gustavo was wearing it in Miami last fall, I admired it and he gave it to me. This shirt is covered with their pieces and it was designed by one of their friends.

Os Gemeos and Futura (© Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos and Futura (© Jaime Rojo)

AKANYC and 12ozProphet are both design studios involved in this project.

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Interview: Inside the “The Thousands” and Swoon’s lock box with Michael “RJ” Rushmore

Interview: Inside the “The Thousands” and Swoon’s lock box with Michael “RJ” Rushmore

After spending most of 2009 in preparation, Michael “RJ” Rushmore is one week from the opening of “The Thousands”, a retrospective survey covering artists of the last few decades that led to what we’re calling “Street Art” today.

Nick Walker for The Thousands (courtesy Michael "RJ" Rushmore)

Nick Walker for The Thousands (courtesy Michael “RJ” Rushmore)

As editor and author of the popular blog Vandalog, RJ has been taking readers on a tour of the Street Art scene from his unique perspective.  Encouraged by his father, an avid and prodigious collector of street art, the recent high school graduate has labored for much of the last 5 months to pull together this show – reaching out to artists, collectors, authors, publishers, you name it.

When RJ first told us about his idea for a “pop-up” show in London, we thought it would be a small affair with perhaps one or three of the larger names and examples of work in an inflatable shop on cobblestone streets. But like so many young people energized by the excitement garnered in an exploding new movement, RJ has worked feverishly to grow this show into what he hopes will set a standard.

Swoon Box Contents

More inside looks at this Swoon Box below (courtesy Michael “RJ” Rushmore)

A tribute to his dedication and sincere regard for the work and the artists, “The Thousands” will feature many of the antecedent contributors (or pioneers) to the scene (Jenny Holzer, Blek le Rat, Futura 2000) as well as the better known artists that have come to symbolize the current explosion that began in the first half of this decade (Swoon, Banksy, Shepard Fairey) and many others of equal interest.

As if throwing a show of this scope was not enough RJ also created a book to accompany the show, published by Drago, one of the few small presses that have seriously and knowledgeably  documented the growth of the graffiti-to-street art scene.  With dedication, focus, and maturity, RJ navigates the back alleys and side-streets to bring this show in the heart of London to fruition.

Skewville from "The Thousands" (courtesy Drago press)

Skewville from “The Thousands” (courtesy Drago press)

Brooklyn Street Art: What sparked your interest in curating this show of Street Art? How did the whole process start?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: I think it was an idea that I’d had brewing in the back of my mind for a while, but I wasn’t taking it seriously until last January when I met with another street art blogger who proposed a similar idea about a having a street art retrospective. Eventually, we went our separate ways and I continued to develop the exhibition further. This is the show that a major museum should put on, but so far nobody has, and I hope that The Thousands helps to change that.

Brooklyn Street Art: “The Thousands” – is this a reference to the rise in this new wave of street art since 2000?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: While probably 95% of the show is work from the last ten years, that isn’t where I got the name. It’s probably a more succinct explanation though.

The show’s title comes from a short story by Daniel Alarcón called “The Thousands”. The story is about this community that is built by society’s outcasts and dreamers and they build their city out of the discarded and disused materials of the city they used to live in. So that reminded me of street art and the street art community.

 

sdf

Veng from Robots Will Kill featured in “The Thousands” from his piece at the Mark Batty Urban Arts Fest in Brooklyn last month (courtesy Drago)

Brooklyn Street Art: Are most of the pieces in the show privately owned?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: Yes. More than 2/3rds of the artwork comes from private collections. I wanted this to be as much like a museum show as possible, almost a pop-up museum, and the way to do that is fill the show with amazing pieces from private collections.

The process of finding work has at some times been a challenge because I don’t know every street art collector in England, but it’s also been a unique opportunity to view some truly spectacular collections.

 

Chris Stain (photo Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain will be represented in “The Thousands” (photo Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What piece surprised the hell out of you?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: I’m saving pictures of this particular piece until after opening night, because I want people to come into the gallery not knowing exactly what to expect, but Roa’s piece is very cool and different. When Roa was in London recently, we spoke about his piece for The Thousands. He told me to wait and to trust him, that it was something special, so I did. Then he sent me the jpegs and I was definitely surprised. All I will say for now is that the piece is on venetian blinds.

 

Brooklyn street artists Faile will be in "The Thousands" (courtesy Drago)

Brooklyn street artists Faile will be in “The Thousands” (courtesy Drago)

Brooklyn Street Art: The show also has a handsome book to accompany it. What was the experience of putting it together?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: Everybody at Drago, my publisher, has been extremely supportive of the show and the book. I would even say that Paulo, Drago’s founder and head guy, was the first person to actually believe that The Thousands was going to happen and not be a complete train wreck. So working with them has been good fun. But the process of putting together a book in such a short amount of time was very stressful and even led to a few days of working 12 hours straight on the layout and design.

The best part about the reading book was also my favorite thing about putting it together. The book is split into sections, and most sections cover one artist. Since everything was already organized by artist, I was able to get a number of other artists and art world personalities to write about their friends and favorite artists. For example, Know Hope has written about Chris Stain and Elbow-toe has written a piece on Veng.

 

Swoon Box

A hand-made box by Brooklyn street artist Swoon that will be in “The Thousands” (courtesy Michael “RJ” Rushmore)

Brooklyn Street Art: The Swoon Box for “The Thousands”; Did she construct the box herself or was it a found box that she then later decorated?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: I’ve never asked Swoon, but I would guess that she constructed the chest. It looks like the wood is salvaged from a bunch of different sources, and the hinges are so mismatched that the lid can’t sit parallel to the walls of the box.

 

Swoon lock box (top detail)

Swoon lock box (top detail)

Brooklyn Street Art: It could be a time capsule, or a lock box of mementos and inspiring objects. What do you think?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: Right now, I think of it more like a lock box, but 15, 20, 30 years from now… the meaning will probably change with time as street art and Swoon become more or less important. Maybe one day Swoon will be written about in art history books and the box will be seen in an entirely different light. But at its core, and for my family, it will always see it box as a lock box.

There is this old deerskin chest in my house that my family calls The Treasure Box. It’s been in my dad’s family for generations and dates back to some time in the 1800’s. It’s full of old letters and locks of hair and things like that going all back though more than 100 years of Rushmore family history. My family and I see The Swoon Box as very similar to our Treasure Box, so we will always see The Swoon Box as full of mementos and not just a piece of art history.

 

Inside the Swoon lock box. (courtesy Michael "RJ" Reynolds)

Inside the Swoon lock box. (courtesy Michael “RJ” Rushmore)

Brooklyn Street Art: What’s your favorite object in the box and can you describe it for us?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: I usually like to get a behind the scenes view of things, so my favorite pieces in the box are the sketches for pieces that eventually became familiar Swoon images. In particular, I think the drawing for Zahra is a favorite. The sketch is beautiful, the end result is one of my all time favorite images by Swoon and I happened to meet Zahra earlier this year as well as her child.

 

Swoon's "Zahara" (courtesy of Black Rat Press)

Swoon’s “Zahara” (courtesy of Black Rat Press)

The Zahra sketch is pretty abstract, you can tell that there is a woman, but it’s really rough and seems to be more about the colors than any details about Zahra’s features. Without the image of a rising sun that is in both the sketch and the end result, you wouldn’t even connect the two pieces.

Swoon Box Contents

Swoon box has an original sketch for “Bethlehem Boys” (courtesy Michael “RJ” Rushmore)

Swoon's Bethlehem Boys as seen on the streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Swoon’s “Bethlehem Boys” as seen on the streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: If you have a show in ten years called “The Teens”, what do you think we might see in it?

Michael “RJ” Rushmore: What really interests me right now and what I’ve been noticing lately is the continuing fusion of graffiti and street art. In most cities that have graffiti and street art, somebody is trying to merge the two cultures. In London some of those artists are Part2ism, Sickboy, the Burning Candy crew, Kid Acne, ATG crew, Elate and Word To Mother. Maybe that’s just my particular interest, but I’ve heard Pure Evil say that he is seeing something similar.

So if my taste is anything to go by, a decade from now I would like to see a show with classically trained painters showing off their lettering style and hard-core train bombing kings painting with a brush and telling everybody why Lee Quinones is their hero, except we won’t even notice the supposed role reversal I’ve just described.

And of course, since I’ll be nearing 30 years old, I’d want to include some artwork by actual teenagers to help support the next generation of street art/graffiti/whatever we’ll be calling this in ten years time.

Swoon box's contents

What are you looking at? (Swoon courtesy Michael “RJ” Rushmore)

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“The Thousands” features artists Adam Neate,  Aiko,  Anthony Lister,  Armsrock, Banksy, Barry McGee, Bast, Blek le Rat, Burning Candy, Chris Stain, David Ellis, Elbow-toe, Faile, Futura 2000, Gaia, Herakut, Jenny Holzer, José Parlá, Judith Supine, Kaws, Know Hope, Nick Walker, Os Gêmeos, Roa, Sam3, Shepard Fairey, Skewville, Swoon, WK Interact

November 18 "The Thousands" opens

November 18 “The Thousands” opens

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Power and Currency: Factory Fresh

Power and Currency: Factory Fresh

“Power and Currency” a new show curated in Bushwick’s Factory Fresh Gallery by Natalie Kates, strikes at the nexus of two words that shake out in the events of most days in New York.  On Brooklyn’s Flushing Avenue, just past Bushwick Ave, the road is rumbling with trucks and potholes, vibrating with the expectations and hopes of a lot of new people these days – artists seeking studio space and escaping high rents, small businesses strong-armed by condo-building piglords, musicians looking for a practice studio, artisans, woodworkers, furniture makers, ……it’s a growing list. You don’t have to look far to see the mounting pressures on the aspiring creative class, and one’s thoughts turn to power and currency more than ever.

Factory Fresh, celebrating three months on Flushing Avenue, is the lovechild of Ali Ha and Adam DeVille, who once fostered a vibrant, audacious, tiny and welcoming gallery of mostly street artists called Orchard Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early ‘00s. Over five short years and 20 shows, it was a wellspring of new street art that crunched genres and gave foot to a number of underground street artists, and opportunity to many more.

Flyer for the Closing of Orchard Street Gallery

Flyer for the Closing of Orchard Street Gallery

But powerful “Luxury Condo Fever” had been coursing through the valley of lower Manhattan, and when the slimy, blinding affliction caught their landlord, Ali and Ad fought in court to save Orchard Street Gallery, their community and their dream. The fight lasted for 8 months, before they rallied in April “06 and gave their “Grand Closing” show to say goodbye to the soon destroyed building, featuring work by artists they had heralded, some for their first solo shows, including Jet and Rubble, Abe Lincoln Jr, Solar, Rep1, GoreB, as well as shows by Magmo and MCA, Skewville, Pufferella, Overspray Magazine and Azstar.

With more guts and gusto, they eventually set up shop in a former bodega storefront in industrial Brooklyn, where a nascent street art scene was quickly ramping up. “The surrounding Bushwick galleries have been wonderfully supportive, there is a great neighborhood vibe and I really like and respect them,” says Ali.  A quick hike in almost any any direction from the gallery finds current street art installations from Swoon, Frank Duval, Judith Supine, Gaia, and Chris Stain.

Smart alecs and artists Welcomed

Smart alecs and artists Welcomed

The Factory Fresh coronation featured Orchard alumni Skewville during the Bushwick Open Studios weekend in June – an instant success that was swamped with fans old and new; It quickly sprayed a large stenciled red star on the Bushwick map, alongside other newcomers like English Kills, which is a sneaker-throws’ distance down Flushing. But don’t expect the haughty chilled white box here; Factory Fresh is just as committed to the community of artists as ever;  over the summer they hosted a show that paid tribute to the hardworking artists and interns who helped make the gallery launch successful with a showcase of their work.

With Fall roaring in, “Power and Currency” opens with 22 artists in tow.  A huge fan of Orchard Street, “style curator” Natalie Kates was asked to put together her inaugural show. “She came to our 8th show at Orchard Street which was Elik in January 2005… I always appreciated the way she handled herself”

“We are trying to expand our horizons, she knows things I have no clue about but blends them with things I know and love. Natalie surprises me every minute, it’s exciting,” says Ali.

For her part, Ms. Kates, a street art collector, was thrilled to get a chance to create a show, “Ali and Adam were the first art gallery in Manhattan to show Street art at the Orchard Street Gallery space.  My first purchases were three ELIK panel’s that I still to this day adore. When Factory Fresh approached me to curate a show I jumped on the opportunity.”

On the horizon, the auburn Ms. Ha exhibits her customary patience with the process, “We are taking it one day at a time, mostly. I have a few tricks up my sleeve but I also don’t like to plan things too much, you never know what the next day might bring. I like surprising myself, I like surprising my patrons.”

“I think working with lots of people is what will keep Factory Fresh current.  It takes a village, right?”

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INTERVIEW with style curator Natalie Kates about “Power and Currency”

Brooklyn Street Art: What first drew your interest to street art (or urban art)?

Natalie Kates:
I have always had a heightened visual sense and have been aware of urban art since the 80’s style old skool bubble letter tags and throw ups.  Some of my favorites were Lee, Seen, Martine, Futura 2000 and of course Keith Haring and Basquiat.  Having deep roots in the fashion industry I first started to notice a visual shift in the urban landscape with Kaws hijacking Fashion Ad Campaigns in the late ‘90’s.

Almost over night there seem to be a change of guard.  The new wave of urban artist had a new voice in the medium of stencils, wheat pasted cut-outs, stickers and glass tiles.  I wanted to know everything about this movement.

Funny Money by DFace (photo Natalie Kates)

Funny Money by DFace (photo Natalie Kates)

Brooklyn Street Art: It is not unusual to hear of an individual curating a show at a gallery, museum, or even nightclub.  What is a “style curator” in the context of a gallery?

Natalie Kates:”Style Curator” is a title/term/concept I came up with to best describe myself and what I am trying to manifest in the world. To me a style curator is a person who is able to think and curate on multiple levels. For example not only am I responsible for curating the artist but also responsible for curating music, guest lists, invites and the overall stylistic look and feel of event. A “Style Curator” is a person who curates style. Style can come in many forms such as fashion, art, music and esthetics.  It is a way of thinking and life.

Nicoz (photo Natalie Kates)

Nicoz (photo Natalie Kates)

Brooklyn Street Art: When street art enters the gallery, how does its’ energy change?
Natalie Kates: I am not sure if the energy changes, but I think the perception changes when in the context of a gallery.  A gallery can give street art it’s credibility the genre deserves.

Brooklyn Street Art: One artist collective, Peripheral Media Projects, recently has been creating large canvasses of storm-trooper looking police in Warholian “Silver Elvis” arrangements.  Do you think this show is influenced by fears of state power?_
Natalie Kates: PMP or Peripheral Media Projects is in the “Power & Currency” show.  They have come up with an amazing installation of “Riot Cops” on Plexiglas.  I don’t know if the images are influenced by fears of state power._
What I take from the images and the installation is a fear to conform, to be apart of a hive like mindset, the fear to not celebrate our differences and flaunt out human imperfections.

Peripheral Media Projects "Riot Cop" (detail)

Peripheral Media Projects “Riot Cop”   (photo Natalie Kates)

Brooklyn Street Art: Aiko and Bast have been introducing more graphic elements of sexualized or sexual imagery into their work.  How does sex enter the power equation?  Currency?_
Natalie Kates: Sex is power and does hold a currency.  Look back in history, Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Evita Peron, all these women had this power and wielded its’ currency.

Brooklyn Street Art: Are there any examples in the show of the intersection of both power and currency?_
Natalie Kates: There are many amazing works of art in this show.  If I had to single out one piece it would be from artist Tom Fruin.  His piece is entitled “Bud Klan Church”.

Bud Klan Church by Tom Fruin (photo Natalie Kates)

Bud Klan Church by Tom Fruin (photo Natalie Kates)

Made from cut out Budweiser cans with (Klu Klux) Klan’s men illustrations in the silhouette of a southern church on fire. This is a solid piece that speaks of power and currency on many levels such as religion, fear, entitlement and alienation to name a few.

Brooklyn Street Art: From a curator’s point of view, what does the whole show look like when it all comes together in one location?
Natalie Kates: This show is a marriage of two art schools.  My attempt is a symbiotic relationship between the contemporary and street artist.  I feel the street artists can give a cool factor to the contemporary art while the contemporary artists can in a sense legitimize the street artist and give them their much needed nod in the global art world.

<<Brooklyn Street Art>>

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Factory Fresh

is located at 1053 Flushing Avenue between Morgan and Knickerbocker, off the L train Morgan Stop

“Power and Currency”

Opening Reception September 5, 2008 from 6-10pm
Show runs September 5 – October 3, 2008
Curated by: Natalie Kates

NatalieKates.com

Factory Fresh Website

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