All posts tagged: Ginko Press

Buff Monster is Staying Melty

Buff Monster is Staying Melty

An updated version of his initial “Stay Melty” collection a half dozen years ago, street artist Buff Monster expands and shares with you more of his studio production, paintings, sculptures, murals and ever growing industry of collectibles in this photo book, a candy-coated volume of eccentricities that capture this moment in an artists’ evolution.

Carlo McCormick’s original text perseveres here as well, most possibly because it still captures so much of the dedicated madness that is Buff, afloat upon the detritus that demarcates our late capitalism era in dirty old New York. McCormick sagely comments on Buff’s take on “a realm of magical thinking in contemporary visual culture where a very few rare artists like Buff Monster can invoke alternate realities as palpably believable and emotionally transformative.”

You can see it in his American roots; Hawaii, Los Angeles, NYC – somehow you think he may be in Japan someday as well. For those who look upon this sweetened world full of comedic episodes as perhaps smooth sailing, the author shares a hint of the scene from behind the curtain.

“All the long and tiring days in the studio are worth it when I see the imagery resonate with a growing number of supporters. I’m fully committed to my work, often sacrificing other areas of my life in pursuit of creating the best expressions of these ideas. In spite of all the frustrations and setbacks, I’m still the same optimistic guy from Hawaii, driven to make colorful, honest and uplifting work and share it with the world.”

Buff Monster. “Stay Melty”. Ginko Press.

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The Adventures Of Anthony Lister

The Adventures Of Anthony Lister

Superhero and Street Artist/painter/contemporary artist Anthony Lister still crushes walls thank you very much. He never left the street actually – he just opened the door to the studio as well. And he lit things on fire in both.


Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Formally trained, he is one of the few of those much maligned art school kids painting on the street whom some graff heads allow themselves to admire, mostly because he doesn’t seem to give a good f**k. Don’t be mislead – he is a superhero as well as a villain, aesthete as much as vandal, respectful of convention even while shredding it. Anyone watching him work over the last decade will tell you that he cares very much and he is willing to do the heavy intellectual/emotional/physical labor to bring it to another level.


Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Not-quite “mid-career” this collection none-the-less sets him up for it and a smart museum would be reading these pages carefully, pouring over the tags, Lister family tour stickers, inflateables, masks, installations, performances,  as well as the more formal canvasses and supercharged murals  and considering where this child/adult paradox fits into the record of art history.

It’s the poetic movement of Degas ballerinas as much as the busty cellulite-free duct taped anti-heroines that captivate and denigrate. His slouching insouciance belies a rabid unglued ferocity that will mock mass consumer culture and then smother you in pink frosting and rainbows, stubbing his cigarette in the mountain of sugar and Crisco like it is the final candied cherry.


Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adventure Painter, the mid-sized Lister tome released last year on Gingko, lets you see the rage and the release all at once. He’s furious because he’s paying attention – well thank God somebody is.

With figures that are alive, gestural, stylish and taunting, these beauties will save, lay, or kill you – perhaps all three. The  portraits are full of quixotic personality, angst and revulsion. We imagine Listers’ people lustily self-mocking and fantastic while jumping off dangerous cliffs and sleekly folding into a roll out of it without suffering the crash. From their perch below they look up to you standing on the ledge and beckon, “Okay, your turn!”


Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” Gingko Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister “Adventure Painter” is published by Gingko Press and available at book stores worldwide.


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Beneath The Streets, New York’s Century Old Underground in Photos and Aerosol

Beneath The Streets, New York’s Century Old Underground in Photos and Aerosol

New York’s train system carries an estimated five million per day, is a little over a hundred years old, and for most is limited to the ride. Urban explorers, graffiti writers, artists, photographers and homeless people have often found it to be a destination they are drawn into for myriad additional reasons. You will most likely pass through the tunnels of course while encapsulated in a train car perhaps multiple times in a day, but few will ever venture off the end of the platform or through a hole in a fence to explore the hidden world beneath the streets of New York.


“Beneath The Streets” Matthew Litwack and JURNE. Gingko Press, 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And that is good, says Matthew Litwick, who along with JURNE released Beneath the Streets (Gingko Press) this summer, because along with the thrill of exploring the forbidden tunnels and abandoned stations beneath the feet of millions, a certain deadly threat of the third rail exists as well. During a recent presentation of images and stories from the new hardcover Litwick stressed a number of times the instant electrocution that can result from accidentally touching it, a point underscored by the death this July of graffiti writer Jason Wulf, a titan of the New York scene.


“Beneath The Streets” Matthew Litwack and JURNE. Gingko Press, 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So with that in mind, your fascination will be either sated or encouraged by the eerily vast and sometimes wondrously lit tunnels in some of these photos as well as the more everyday snapshots culled from many collections that illustrate the book. Punctuated throughout with descriptions that lean toward the educational, you also find personal experiences and viewpoints from well known graffiti writers and explorers about their time underground that helps put scenes in context.

Included among the piles of rotting trash, debris, crash walls, bumpers, taggers, throwies, and REVS diary pages is at least one completely legal installation, the Masstransiscsope by artist Bill Brand in collaboration with Creative Time, a 228 panel display from 1980 visible from passing trains that creates the illusion of an animation.


“Beneath The Streets” Matthew Litwack and JURNE. Gingko Press, 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Steering carefully away from depicting the abandoned stations and hidden spots as simply a bombers wet dream, the authors notably give a solid appreciation to understanding the trains and the system itself, including scholarly passages and photographs about the history of the planning, building, and maintaining of the tunnels and tracks, as well as the conditions that workers endured during its creation.

“Until now, graffiti writers, subway enthusiasts, and transit workers have been some of the only people to take notice of these environments,” say Litwick and Jurne in their forward. “This book intends to provide an up-close and introspective look at a world that a handful … have been able to experience and observe outside of the confines of a speeding train.”


“Beneath The Streets” Matthew Litwack and JURNE. Gingko Press, 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“Beneath The Streets” Matthew Litwack and JURNE. Gingko Press, 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“Beneath The Streets” Matthew Litwack and JURNE. Gingko Press, 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“Beneath The Streets” Matthew Litwack and JURNE. Gingko Press, 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

See examples of the photos in the book by following their INSTAGRAM @beneaththestreetsnyc



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Dan Witz Preps Special Edition With Dripping Blood

brooklyn-street-art-dan-witz-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-4Dan Witz preparing special editions with blood while a friend in his painting checks her messages. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The first thing I did of any note was in ’79.  The book really went through 2009 but it took an extra year to get it out. So it’s actually 31 years. Don’t tell anyone,” Dan Witz warns as he drips blood red paint gingerly across the front of 120 special edition linen bound copies of his new book. While his small muscular dog Sparky maniacally batters a red rubber toy, repeatedly bashing it on the floor, Dan talks about the today’s book signing and the hummingbirds that gave his career wings.

brooklyn-street-art-dan-witz-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-1Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One of the early practitioners of Street Art as we now know it, Mr. Witz points to his campaign of detailed small paintings of hummingbirds on the Lower East Side of Manhattan as his official start on the street, but reveals that smaller ad hoc projects preceded the avian arts.

“I did these assemblage things along the street where I would just find trash and line it up in little displays and leave them behind. I never really photographed it or thought of it as art really,” says Dan. What kind of trash was it? “Just little weird pieces of plastic or funny kinds of pieces of metal; Sort of urban flotsam. Like things you pick up and say, ‘What’s this weird shiny thing?’ – that kind of stuff.”

brooklyn-street-art-dan-witz-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-3Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The new bound collection by Ginko Press spans the following three decades, where Dan’s punk rebelliousness took a hammer to the intellectual stodginess of his formal art school training before our eyes. Well, maybe not in plain view exactly. Many of his street installations have been hidden just behind your blind spot, wittily, and more recently, uncomfortably.  But it’s all here in this collection, even if he feels that his route has been a bit haphazard.

“Everything I do – It’s fun in the beginning and then I figure it out and I hone it down to how I should do it and I hate it. That’s why my work always keeps changing – what I did three years ago doesn’t look like my work now because I figured it out and I couldn’t do it anymore. Like I could not do hummingbirds now because I’ve figured it out. I know how to paint hummingbirds,” he explains.

brooklyn-street-art-dan-witz-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-2 Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Is this periodic switching due to his intellectual curiosity being satisfied?  “I would put it another way. It’s like my attention span is zero and I just get so restless with whatever I do – which is bad for a career because there’s not a thing to identify with me. A lot of people stick with one kind of thing and I don’t know how they do that but I admire that because it’s very consistent and people know what they are getting.”

brooklyn-street-art-dan-witz-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-6An original Hummingbird from his “Birds of Manhattan” series. Acrylic on sheetrock. Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Self effacing modesty aside, his mastery of painting and light, combined with an ongoing study of art history and theory, has created a body of work over this time that stands, despite side trips and experimentation.

Brooklyn Street Art: Don’t you think that over a period of time all of your different elements create one story?

Dan Witz: Well that’s what the book is about. If you can stick with it for as long as I have I suppose that’s true.  I think when I was a kid and I was doing the hummingbirds I was sort of rebellious, I think it’s part of my being rebellious is not having a ‘package’, not having a brand that is marketable. And I don’t know what the fuck I’m rebelling against anymore. (laughs) It’s just I got set up that way and I just keep doing it. But I’m not doing it on purpose.  It is really fun for me. It’s fun to start up something new and get all nervous. Solve the problem, meet the challenge. That’s what keeps me from getting stale.


Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: It sounds like it’s a way to keep yourself entertained too because of your self professed short attention span – so it looks like you’ve designed your life right now to keep yourself interested and engaged and entertained.

Dan Witz: Absolutely, the book is a whole new project and a whole new brain-teaser.

Brooklyn Street Art: Are you having fun?

Dan: Yes! And that’s important.

brooklyn-street-art-dan-witz-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-7Dan Witz in the “wild” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

If you are in New York tonight you can meet Dan in person and ask him to sign one of his special edition books.

To read more about Dan Witz book signing of the special, hand painted edition of his book “In Plain View”  at the Clic Gallery today go here:

To see more of Dan Witz work click here:

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Clic Gallery Presents: Dan Witz. Book Signing Of A Hand Painted and Numbered Limited Edition Of His New Book “In Plain View”. (Manhattan, NY)

Dan Witz

DAN WITZ “IN PLAIN VIEW: 30 Years of Artworks Illegal and Otherwise”
Limited Edition Release

Reception and Book Signing
Monday, November 22, 2010

Limited Edition hand painted signed and numbered copies of Dan Witz’s will be available for purchase.

NEW YORK, November 9, 2010 – Clic Gallery is proud to present the book release and signing of internationally recognized street artist Dan Witz’s new book “IN PLAIN VIEW: 30 Years of Artworks Illegal and Otherwise” on Monday, November 22, from 6:30-8:30 pm. At the evening event, Dan Witz will not only be signing books, but will also be hand painting the cover of a limited edition of 120 copies. Each signed and numbered edition will feature a fine linen, hand painted cover, in a classic tromp l’oeil style by the artist, merging his two worlds of fine art and street art through a new medium: the printed book. Hardcover, clothbound, 216 pages, 250 color illustrations, 9” x 12” (229 x 305 mm), $150, Ginko Press.

More than just a documentation of Witz’s public artworks, this book is a diary of three decades of thoughtful and emotional engagement with the ever evolving surfaces of New York City. Embracing a meticulously disciplined aesthetic inspired by the old masters, Witz has spent the last decades making easel paintings as well as street art, leaving various love letters in plain view on the doorstep of his beloved New York City.

Dan Witz is in conversation with both the conventional and street worlds of art. His work is inclusive. It is obsessive. It is acknowledged as an original voice, an inspiration and a catalyst.

Fine art prints by Dan Witz will be on view and available for sale as well as signed copies of his Hummingbirds 2011 accordion calendar, also published by Gingko Press. The Birds of Manhattan was the first of Dan’s large scale street art projects where he painted over 40 hummingbirds in lower Manhattan below fourteenth street. This twelve month calendar draws on a selection of the artist’s hummingbirds painted in 1979, 2000 and 2010, bringing the collection full-circle and completely up-to-date. The Dan Witz In Plain View book signing event is free and open to the public.

About Dan Witz

Since receiving his BFA from Cooper Union, Dan Witz has received a grant from the NEA and two fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts. His first book, “The Birds of Manhattan,” was published by Skinny Books in 1983. Solo exhibitions include Semaphore Gallery NY (1985,1986), Clementine Gallery (1996), Stolen Space, London (2007); DFN Gallery NY (2003-5, 6, 7, 8, 10) and Carmichael Gallery, LA (2009). Group exhibitions include: Buying Time: Nourishing Excellence, Sotheby’s NY(2001); and Fifteen, NYFA Fellows at Deutsche Bank, NY (1999). Today Dan lives and works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Dan Witz

Clic Bookstore & Gallery

424 Broome Street

New York, NY 10013

Tel: 212-219-8006

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Dan Witz Will be Signing Copies of His New Book “In Plain View” at Spoonbill and Sugartown in Williamsburg.

Dan Witz

Dan Witz "In Plain View"

Dan Witz "In Plain View"

Wednesday June 30th 7:00 pm

Spoonbill and Sugartown

218 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Dan Witz: “In Plain View” — 30 Years of Artworks Illegal
and Otherwise is the first and long overdue monograph
on the work of Dan Witz. A benefit of having one of the
most sustained careers in street art, if such a thing exists, is the degree of growth, freedom and experimentation that such an extended period allows. Another advantage would be the influence of the aesthetic environs within the changing cultural landscape, especially if you happen to work in New York City.
From the no-wave and DIY movements of New York’s Lower East Side of the 70’s, through the Reaganomics of the 80’s to the flourishing of graffiti art in the new millennium. Whether stickers or paste-up silk-screened posters, conceptual pranks and interventions, or beautiful tromp l’oeil paintings, the medium is inspired as much by the nature and subject of his art as by the mutating urban conditions in which the piece is executed.
– Hide quoted text –
Besides obvious craftsmanship, the artwork of Dan Witz evinces a rigorous conceptual framework. This framework not only opens up a dialogue with graffiti and street art which dominate the urban environment, but also allows for the retention of clear and open lines with the canon of art history.

Dan Witz, born 1957, Chicago, IL, attended Cooper Union in New York City’s East Village. In 1982 he received a NEA grant and in 1992 and 2000 fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. His first book, “The Birds of Manhattan” was published in 1983 by Skinny Books. Solo exhibitions include Semaphore Gallery NY (1985,1986), Clementine Gallery (1996), StolenSpace, London (2007); DFN Gallery NY (2003-5, 6, 7, 8, 10) and Carmichael Gallery, LA (2009). Group exhibitions include: Buying Time: Nourishing Excellence, Sotheby’s NY(2001); and Fifteen, NYFA Fellows at Deutsche Bank, NY (1999). Submission (curated by Juxtapoz) Fuse Gallery NY (2005); From The Streets of Brooklyn, Think space Art Gallery, LA (2009) and Beach Blanket Bingo, Jonathan Levine Gallery NY(2009). Dan lives and works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

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