All posts tagged: graffiti

BSA Greatest Hits of 2021

BSA Greatest Hits of 2021

When it comes to street art, murals, graffiti, and related events around the world last year, we were running to keep up.

You may have missed some of the people, thinkers, artists, projects, and community resources that we shared with BSA readers last year. We’re pleased to share with you some of those stories you may overlooked. Here are some of the greatest hits of 2021.

Barcelona Small Scale Street Works Popping Up in the Face of Development

Graffiti and street art are cyclical in many ways – reflective of society, urban planning, politics, current events, demographics… Currently the city of Barcelona is pushing hard on cleansing itself of the wild graffiti and street art that brought it so many tourists 15 years ago.

Capitol Trump Trials Through the Eyes of Political Cartoonists

Okay okay everybody settle down. We’ve got a lot of excited people yelling things and making huge pronouncements about things – most full of hysteria tinged with paranoiac visions. When it all gets to be too much for us, we like to see how cartoonists are capturing the current zeitgeist, and making something funny. It’s a talented group of artists who can condense complexity and extract the humorous essence of a situation. Also, so far our move toward the right, the far-right, and the fascist has not led us to have leaders that outlaw cartoons. Fingers crossed.

Swoon Gives Us All a Tour of “Seven Contemplations” at Albright Knox

It’s a pity that the pandemic has kept so many people away from seeing great exhibitions in museums and galleries, among other things. At the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, street artist Swoon’s “Seven Contemplations” ran its course without nearly as many visitors as you would expect.

So we decided to show you the exhibition in a mini-tour. Who else could be your host today but the artist herself, Swoon.

Street Art Says “Happy Inauguration” to Biden and Harris

The streets have been anticipating the arrival of the new president and vice president for a few months now. Today it took place and the U.S. has a 46th President – Joe Biden and 49th Vice President – Kamala Harris.

Pure poetry.

Chip Thomas: “Pandemic Chronicles” in Phoenix, AZ

Sometimes art in the streets can be like that – a reflection of your intellectual musings and your heart’s leanings. Because he has often taken a path less traveled, photographer / doctor / activist / organizer / producer / teacher Chip Thomas (aka Jetsonorama) seamlessly slips into and out of all of his roles. In this way, he may also appear as poet.

Street Art Recorded Protest and Pandemic in Real Time.

No More Normal is a semi-regular newsletter written by Jeff Stone on his substack. He recently interviewed us on the topic of activist street art and we’d like to share his article here.

In May 2020, Todd Lawrence and Heather Shirey were taking pictures of graffiti focused on the coronavirus in Minneapolis when a police officer killed George Floyd just a few blocks away.

The two cultural historians from the University of St. Thomas had recently started taking pictures of the murals, graffiti, stickers and tags throughout the Twin Cities in an effort to preserve that work during a once-in-a-century pandemic. Their archiving, though, took on a new level of urgency when a police officer murdered Floyd and footage of the killing went viral, sparking anti-racist demonstrations in Minneapolis and throughout the world. 

Said Dokins Says “This is Not the End of the World” in Mexico City

Checking in with Panteón Cultural Center in Mexico City, where we first took you when it was inaugurated in 2017, we find street artist/ fine artist Said Dokins participating in a large exhibition and a new mural for the storied interior. It’s reassuring to see “This is not the end of the world,” the title of the collective show featuring many Mexican artists in this venue that is refined and raw and at least in some ways community based – Not such a typical scene these days.

A Mural Jam and Censorship: Fighting for Freedom Of Expression In Barcelona – Part I

Freedom of expression is foundational in a democracy. Without it, it is not difficult for a culture to descend into authoritarianism, fascism, and dictatorship. By many standards, Spain’s democracy is still young, with a Parliamentary Monarchy since 1978. So it is curious and alarming to hear that this EU country has been silencing free speech in the last few years.

HotTea Faces Critics With Magnets in Minnesota

External critics may never be as brutal as your internal one – but graffiti and street art sometimes reveals a specifically vicious world of criticism that greets artists and writers. Imagine making friends with those critics and validating their position, and then moving on unscathed or even healed.

“Overall, the project is meant to inspire those who may take criticism to heart,” says street artist HOTTEA, and he means it as a form of sweet liberation, not a bitter one.

Ceramic Faile: A New Collection With StudioCromie in Grottaglie, Italy

Angelo Milano, the founder of Studiocromie and FAME Festival, has been courting Brooklyn artist duo Faile for more than a decade, and they finally created a series of ceramics together for his studio art business in Grottaglie under the tutelage and traditional expertise of the centuries-old Ceramiche Nicola Fasano’s workshop.

“Closed (In) for Inventory”: FKDL Makes the Most of His Confinement, 10 Items at a Time

The world is slowly making movements toward the door as if to go outside and begin living again in a manner to which we had been accustomed before COVID made many of us become shut-ins. Parisian street artist FKDL was no exception, afraid for his health. However, he does have a very attractively feathered nest, so he made the best of his time creating.

Women’s Murals Vandalized in Madrid, Newly Created in Barcelona

International Women’s Day is only controversial for those who feel threatened by the idea of equality and freedom.

Perhaps that’s why, according to current statistics, women continue to fight and protest against the gender wage gap in Spain, as well as against violence against women. The national female unemployment rate is 17.4%, compared to 13.8% for men.

BSA Writer’s Bench : “Graffiti Documenting and Divinity” by Jim Prigoff

Graffiti Documenting and Divinity

A writer once shared with me the following observation concerning the early documentation of modern graffiti, if stated in religious terms.

He said:

Henry Chalfant would be God. Martha Cooper would be the Virgin Mary. Jim Prigoff would be Jesus Christ, Jack Stewart the Holy Ghost.

Subway Art would be the Bible. Spraycan Art the New Testament.

I’m no savior, but I’m proud to have saved some incredible and iconic images of this culture while they were painted and to have met so many talented artists.

The Big Tiny World According To Sara Lynne-Leo

Sara Lynn-Leo. Well-placed, well-rendered, witty, insightful, incisive.

These are hallmarks of the miniature pieces of street art that New Yorker Sara Lynn-Leo has been putting up in many neighborhoods in alleyways, doors, dirty corners, magnet walls, street furniture, and lamp posts. Finding these offerings can be difficult. They may be tiny in size and often placed out of eye view.

“Aliens, That’s What They Called Them”- Molly Crabapple on the Streets

“I left all my memories in Syria, so there’s nothing left to take”.

“Husband works in construction. Husband salary depends on luck, waits on side of the street to get picked”.

“Prefer by land, but by sea if there’s no choice”.

“I have no dreams in Europe. I just want my husband to get a proper job, a proper life for my children”.

“I will bring nothing with me”.

“For sure, I’m nervous”.

INDECLINE Creates QAnon Easter Egg Hunts in DC Parks for a Surreal Holiday Prank

The era of fractured attention spans, heightened emotions, and ravaged hierarchical systems for ordering institutions, beliefs, and the truth is ripe for examination and dissection – even if it takes a looking glass to see it.

The anonymous art-activist thinkers at INDECLINE have spawned many interventions in the last decade in public space – intricate and smartly storied at times, obvious and deliberately provocative at others.

BSA Writer’s Bench : “Why Monuments?” by Carlo McCormick

Why Monuments?

Perhaps, caught up in the energy of street art and graffiti, we do not pay quite so much attention as we should to it being something we might otherwise call public art. Consider that public art as a form goes back through centuries of municipal planning and myriad private and public interests that are concerned with how community identity may be constructed and represented. It is shortsighted not to acknowledge how much of public art has long been about monuments.

Monumental Ransom: Curious Case Of “The Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair” in Selma, AL

This Friday, the anonymous artivists said they were set to return their ransomed confederate chair monument, “The Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair.” It was first reported missing from Live Oak Cemetery in Selma last month – an ornately carved stone chair dedicated in 1893 to the Confederate president’s memory and estimated to be worth $500,000.

California’s Augustine Kofie is in a New York “State of Mind” at Hashimoto

It really is primarily about your State of Mind, says LA-based painter Augustine Kofie about his battle with art and quarantine during this last year.

“The pandemic was a stop, an interruption, a loss of control,” he says – and points to the incomplete cycle symbols that appear throughout his new collection of paintings. Normal life, in its circular wending, was interrupted time and again, along with all our typical expectations.

Andreco: “Aula Verde” For Earth Day 2021 in Rome

Together with citizens, environmentalists and researchers, he’s created a work of Land Art here in Rome, and he calls the project Aula Verde.

“The work is alive, and over the years it will take shape and as it grows it will return innumerable benefits to the territory,” Andreco says, “currently it is studied by the researchers who are involved in the project, both for the purification of the water and the redevelopment of the surrounding greenery.”

Shepard Fairey in Dubai: A Mosaic Future and a Solo Show at Opera

Shots today from last month’s Shepard Fairey “Future Mosaic” at Dubai’s Opera Gallery. With works on canvas, paper, wood, and metal, as well as examples of iconic images and repeated motifs from the breadth of his art and design history, Fairey was very much present for his first solo show here. In a grueling schedule of just 9 days he also managed to install two huge murals facing a skate park in a commercial district of the city, the d3 (Dubai Design District).

“White people can’t be trusted with power,” from Dread Scott on the Street in Manhattan

Trust artist Dread Scott to perfect the provocative phrase that can raise the prickly ire of certain street passersby, simply and succinctly. And trust the self-elected censorious social media platforms like Instagram to actually ban it.

Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based Scott says, “White people can’t be trusted with power” in this new public artwork at 42nd near 10th Avenue in Manhattan. It may remind you of a Jenny Holzer “Truism” that she may have wheat-pasted on the street in the past, a pertinent pique that strikes at the heart of the matter, minus the sense of irony. But in the current context of white people’s reluctant awakening, Mr. Scott writes, “When this was originally posted, Instagram banned it as ‘hate speech.’ ”

“KAWS: What Party”. Need a Companion?

Highbrow art institutions have coalesced behind a small recurring collection of well-known graffiti/street artists in recent years, granting them a lot of space and a powerful entrée to blue-check media parties, blue-chip platforms, and blue blood collectors. The bigger (and frequently well-funded) names are often the easiest to explain to an unfamiliar general audience of art viewers and, of course, will appeal to that younger demographic everyone is after. It shouldn’t surprise anyone when even the New York City Ballet spawned a series of collaborations with street artists in the last five years to bolster flagging attendance due to aging and, well, dying fans.

BSA Writer’s Bench : “Street Art and Graffiti: The Role of Copyright” by Enrico Bonadio

Street Art and Graffiti:
The Role of Copyright

Artists are getting robbed. It is time to give them the legal tools they need. With this spirit, a few years ago, I started researching copyright aspects of street art and graffiti.

These artistic movements have been intriguing me for a while. Living for several years in the East London area of Shoreditch, where creativity has exploded and developed after the new millennium’s arrival, has certainly nurtured my curiosity towards these forms of art.

VERMIBUS: A Full “IMMERSION” into his Berlin UBahn NFTs, Complete with Glossary of Blockchain Terms

This project represents an innovative attempt to solve one of the biggest problems when exhibiting street art,” says Berlin-based street artist Vermibus, “- the lack of its original context.”

True, something about our previous curated exhibitions of street art – even our current show of Martha Cooper’s photography work at Urban Nation Museum here – loses the feeling of the street once it enters the museum doors.

“I truly believe this way of experiencing and conserving Street Art will be the inevitable future.”


Concreate Festival 2021 Launches in Finland

Concreate Urban Art Festival, held now for the second time, has clearly taken over Keran Hallit in Espoo, Finland. Keran Hallit is a huge former logistics center currently operating as a space for art, culture, sport, and other free-time activities. During the next few years, the halls will be demolished to make space for a new neighborhood.

Portraiture by Case Maclaim and Helen Bur in Madrid for Urvanity 2021

Frankfurt-based ultra-talent Case Maclaim is with the Urvanity Art Fair this week, and he has created a new mural in Madrid’s old, historical city center. His work is being shown by Brussells Ruby Gallery, along with that of street artists EverSiempre and Wasted Rita. Still, he just wanted to go big with a tribute to children’s imagination.

BSA Writer’s Bench: Igor Ponosov with Poetry, Philosophy, & Manifestos in Russian Streets

Russian Urban Art: Poetry, Philosophy, and Manifestos in the Streets

In the interest of defining specific areas of the study of Russian Urban Art, I’ll highlight here three main periods that I think are important in the development of these forms of urban art: the 1910s–20s, the 1990s, and the current era. From my perspective, each period was usually born during crisis and revolution, went dead after a few years, and then came to life slowly again. It was this circular pattern that I am trying to define in my recent book Russian Urban Art: History and Conflicts, but here I want the focus to be more specific.

Urvanity 2021: Highlights. A Selection Of Works From The Galleries

Madrid’s Art Week – who would believe that it could actually happen? And to prove it, we have the 5th Anniversary of Urvanity defiantly strutting from one end of the COAM headquarter to the other. Taking its original inspiration from graffiti, post-graffiti, surrealism, pop, and that broadly applied “Urban Contemporary” tag, Sergio and the Urvanity team have persevered this year again.

Josh Katz is “Mighty Real” in San Francisco with Glamorous Sylvester Portrait

A Superstar of the disco era long before people even heard of telling you their pronouns, this queen crossed over and back and even had bonafide dancefloor hits. How fitting that queer muralist Josh Katz painted this glamorous portrait to lift spirits in this city where day socializing and nightlife has been hamstrung by the pandemic, even shuttering some gold-plated legends in LGBTQ+ club history.

Katz says he is happy to bring Sylvester out into the street-life, a response to “what I see as a lack of LGBTQ representation in street art.” He promises that he’ll continue painting portraits to honor legacies and increase visibility.

My Dog Sighs “Inside”: A Hidden, Staged Exhibition in Portsmouth, UK

According to his descriptions of the artist’s new “Inside” installation in the UK’s only island city of Portsmouth (pronounced PORT-smith), there will be tours in this secret location – ever so because the atmospheric and theatrical work is not officially sanctioned and is staged in an abandoned building.

A Land of Mirrors for Pener: Bartek Świątecki Paints Hometown in Poland

25 years in the game, Pener routinely lets his mind travel to encompass possibilities, then channels them abstractly through a series of echoing geometric forms with aerosol and brush. Here in his hometown of Olsztyn, Poland, he says he imagined the possibilities that young minds inside an elementary school could contemplate.

Winston Tseng: Money Fixes Everything

On a recent sunny May day, we followed street artist Winston Tseng to document his new series of posters installed on three locations in Manhattan. The series is titled “Money Fixes Everything.”

The flat and colorful 2-D illustration style of street artist/graphic artist Winston Tseng doesn’t scream social inequity and cultural insanity the way other graphic styles may. The graphic language is the 2-D, flat, icon-based vernacular familiar to phones and applications, a neutral and familiar reduction to precisely convey the visual elements necessary to infer more is there. Brilliantly pared and exacting in composition, a close look allows the viewer to unpack Tseng’s specific brand of critique – perhaps causing you to crack a smile, or roll your eyes, shake your head.

Leon Keer Triggers Childhood Nostalgia with “Kit de Secours” in Plougasnou, France

Leon Keers is subversive, if that is the way your mind works. His mind-bending plays on real and surreal perspectives may lead you down a path of suspicion, for it appears that he is adept and agile when playing with perspective.

Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement. Installation Shots

You saw our announcement for the new exhibit At the Vanguard: Bristol Opens Exhibition On Evolution of Global Movement of Street Art and now you get a chance to see the actual shoe newly installed. Dense and rich with original artwork, photography, and ephemera, Vanguard is a studious presentation that confidently lays claim to Bristols place in the history of graffiti and street art.

Biancoshock’s Smashed Google “Street View” Car Sculpture in Corsica

For five years conceptual artists Biancoshock and Harmen de Hoop have been giving each other assignments as part of a common project that can range from titillating to amusing to incomprehensible.

As with so many works in public space by either of these two interpreters of societal nomenclature, these works field-test theories of the visual prank as much as they level observations or critiques of human behavior. With each installation, you are welcomed to examine one more of myriad modern idiosyncrasies – now placed in a new context. Your interpretation may vary.

Gola Hundun, Anthropic Space, Natural Space, and His Newest Installation in Milan

Italian land artist/street muralist Gola Hundun has divided his creative projects in the last few years into two distinct but related practices.

The first is to investigate buildings that are being reclaimed by nature and develop site-specific installations that work in harmony with the history of the relationship between architecture and nature. The second, of which we have an example for you today, is a mural installation on active buildings within cities, perhaps invoking a more integrated ecology of symbols and natural systems around it. These two lines of inquiry comprise his project “HABITAT”, a sincere stream of research that lies on the border between anthropic space and natural space

Motorefisico Bring Op, Kinetic, and Tape Art Stencilling to Santa Croce di Magliano

It’s impossible to imagine the contemporary built environment without considering the impact of street art and graffiti has had on not only city dwellers but our city’s designers and architects. While previous generations may have dismissed incorporating painting techniques beyond traditional frescoes or murals, the new generation considers it their birthright to bring modern art movement influences, including Optical Art, Kinetic Art, and straight-up tape art often used on the street.

Monkey Bird: “L’ouvreur de Chemins” Celebrates a Cathedral’s 800th in Spain

It’s not every day that you have an 800th anniversary.

Bringing monumental aesthetics, theologic references, and the language of classical architecture to this massive wall at Calle Fernán González, 52, the French duo MonkeyBird celebrates the Burgos Cathedral in grand style. Louis Boidron and Edouard Egea say they worked painstakingly to prepare their tribute to the original workers and artisans who first built the Gothic and Baroque-styled Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984.

Escif: “The Fences Must Fall”; A Provocative Ljubljana Street Art Festival

We’ve had the privilege to travel to many cities and cultures over the last decade and a half, from Russian to Chinese to North African to Tahitian and Norwegian, to witness the affecting power of street art on cities, communities, and everyday people. Regardless of the street author’s intent, however earnest or carefully considered, we’re often surprised by the variety of interpretations that can arise from a singular work of art or intervention.

MARUM Presents “MEXPANIA” and Miscegenation in Querétaro

Édgar Sánchez and Arcadi Poch may not simply be curators of the new initiative called Mexpania that merges the cultures of Mexico and Spain. They are social scientists, anthropologists, historians, and some may say, alchemists. With the inaugural installations of this auspicious project primarily created inside the entrance and with only 4 national/international artists, you may be curious how these foundational works will influence future curatorial choices for this ever-growing museum dedicated to urban art, or arte urbano.

Elfo’s Neo-Dada Butchering Diagram in Turin

Elfo’s furtive and artful wanderings can veer off into the neo-Dadaist fields at times, sometimes wittily so, and textually. The Italian graffiti writer and street artist uses the simplest of devices to capture attention, a reductive and deliberate strategy born of careful consideration girded by impulses to broadcast his view, to be seen and heard.

Bifido Quotes Keats for ArtAeroRap “Vaccine Edition 2021” in León, Spain

Italian street artist Bifido finishes this rough wall with the sweetest of sentiments here as summer draws ever nearer to its end. Quoting Keats, as romantics are wont to do, Bifido tells us his latest staged photo wheatpaste is transparent in its sentiment, opaque in his specific meaning.

“It is a hug, so it is something that can be shared,” he offers. “For this time I have nothing to say about this piece.”  Enough said.

Edoardo Tresoldi: A Reprise of “Sacral” for Ravenna

“An archetypal image”, Edoardo Tresoldi says, “is capable of creating a dialogue between past and present, using a language comprised of meanings that recur over time.”

M-City is Airborne with Szczecin Wars in Poland

“Szczecin before the Second World War was a German city,” says the street artist named M-City. Now it’s flying as a spaceship in his latest stencil mural here – in Poland.

NemO’s x Nicola Alessandrini Build a Grotesque, Stunning “Nest” in Italy

Ah, the feckless, sebaceous, inward-turned man; Bumbling through the world unaware and uncaring how his actions may impact the lives of others. Little does he know that the fire he starts will burn him as well.

Bifido: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” in Mostar, Bosnia Herzogovina

I am inhabited by a cry.
Nightly it flaps out
Looking, with its hooks, for something to love.

Sylvia Plath

Street poet and street artist Bifido doesn’t mean to be morose, but here in Mostar he can’t help himself as he creates mirrored expressions of a sullen, ill-tempered youth on city streets. Part of the Bosnian /Herzegovinian street art festival named after this city of 113,000 Croats (48.4%), Bosniaks (44.1%), and Serbs (4.1%), the annual meeting of international and local artists produces a broad variety of artworks for the city.

Graffiti, Stencils, and Quickie Weddings: Dispatch From Asheville N.C.

“Are you the minister?”

“I am not that, sir,” he answered, “I’m the vacuumer.” Our short tour ends abruptly as the loud whir of the cleaning machine rises to meet the southern-fried rock classic on the sound system here at Fleetwood’s in Asheville, North Carolina. Ours, and his, is a quick sweep through this small city of 90,000 in the Blue Ridge Mountains known for its progressive ideas, punk squats, Thomas Wolfe, and a harmonious alliance between sanctioned murals, organic street art, and graffiti.

Losing BLU in Ljubljana, Slovenia

The brilliant illustrator of fantasy and firey allegory, BLU, championed the cause of the Rog Factory squat in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2016 with a centrally framed handgun in pink and red. In that heated moment the community of artists and activists had fended off developers, construction thugs, and even some kind of fascists attacking them or trying to chase them from the property.

LADY AIKO Does Her “Martha Cooper Remix” on the Façade of Urban Nation (UN)

We have some special events taking place this month to celebrate one complete year of the career-spanning exhibition “Martha Cooper: TAKING PICTURES”, which we created with the team at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin.

Today graffiti/street artist AIKO talks about her striking new graphic mural for the façade of the museum that highlights and interprets a suite of recognizable elements from Martha’s iconic photographs – a perfect answer to the Martha Remix section of the exhibition inside featuring 70 or so artists “remixing” her photos in their individual styles.

Mantra in Miami to Open “Metamorphōsis” at GGA

Half biologist, half street artist, all gentleman. The French painter Youri Cansell AKA Mantra opens his very first US solo show tonight at Goldman Global Arts (GGA) in Miami. In preparation for “Metamorphōsis,” the artist has been painting non-stop all summer at a temporary studio in Cancun.

“Peoples Discontent” Debuts with Video Greeting from Shepard / Martha Cooper Signed New Print at UN


When we asked Shepard Fairey if he would be up for a new remix of a Martha Cooper photo for our exhibition celebrating her career, he quickly said yes. Not only did he create a new original piece of art based on one of her classic “Street Play” images to hang in the gallery of our “Marth Remix” section, but he and his excellent team have also produced a new print – 250 of which sold out in 20 minutes on the Urban Nation website last night.

Whitewashed: Gonzalo Borondo Buffs His Painting Inside an Exhibition in Turin

Borondo buffed his own work. It happens occasionally, not often.

Rarely inside an exhibition.

SpY: “Earth / Tierra” at Plaza de Colón in Madrid

SpY describes his new public art project “Earth,” as “a luminous red sphere caged inside a structure.” You may wonder what this structure made from building-site scaffolding represents, especially when he says “the sphere is caged within it”. Gaseous fumes? Global Oligarchs? Free-trade agreements? K-Pop fans? We asked him:

BSA: Is the earth the color red because it is on fire, in pain, in a state of emergency, or perhaps in love?

SpY: The red earth in a cage has different meanings. 

Faile at GGA with BSA – Miami Art Week Marches On

Get in, get out, no one gets hurt. Our few days in Miami were full of adventure on the street and at parties and receptions for artists. The party rages on tonight and this weekend at the fairs and in the galleries and bars and streets of course, but our last events were interviewing Faile onstage at Wynwood Walls last night, going to the Museum of Graffiti 2nd Anniversary party/opening for FUZI, and, well there was this thing with Shepard Fairey and Major Lazer and a guy proposing marriage to his girl before the crowd…

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Nighttime Adventures in Queretaro

Nighttime Adventures in Queretaro

The city changes at night – the blinking, the beams, the shadows. The tires screech, the leaves scatter across pavement in the dusty breezes. The hushed voices, the silences. The spraying of gestures and earnest street choreography inside the tunnel while others sleep.

Ryper_One with mousy Cres on the bottom left. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is an impromptu invitation to discover the creative spark as it reveals itself on the city in the dark; now part of the city loudly, quietly. To have this moment, with these people, in this place, with this history, on this precipice… it is a moment of wonder that lifts us all off of the ground, if only a few centimeters. Then we are back here, together, in the night.

Ryper_One. Coquina Voragine on the right. (photo © Jaime Rojo
Ryper_One (photo © Jaime Rojo
Ryper_One (photo © Jaime Rojo
Coquina Voragine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Coquina Voragine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Coquina Voragine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres. Graffiti All Night… (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tosk 01 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tosk 01 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tosk 01 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tosk 01 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.03.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.03.19

“Man, what’s with this cough that never goes away?” you ask your boy Tre, who’s laying on the moss green living room rug by the radiator drawing in his black book with an extra fine tip paint pen, listening to Wu Tang. “Could be January,” he offers. “Or maybe its asbestos from that work they’re doing in the elevator shaft.”

Right. “Never mind, lets watch some Beer Bowl!”

Meanwhile on the streets the ideas never stop. We were pretty excited to get up to 167th Street station to see the new mosaics by Brooklyn artist Rico Gatson, who does painting, video, sculpture and installation. These portraits of important contributors to the culture make us all proud. Here are just a handful but there are more and you should go and see them yourself.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Atomik, Captain Eyeliner, Deih XLF, finDAC, Go Vegan, Hoxxoh, Kai, Kevin Ledo, Lefty Out There, Mastrocola, My Dog Sighs, Pez, Rico Gaston, The Revolution Artists, Uninhibited, and What is Adam.

Kai (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Captain Eyeliner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Supreme Justice Sonia Sotomayor immortalized by Rico Gatson in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Poet Laureate Maya Angelou immortalized by Rico Gatson in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Singer Celia Cruz immortalized by Rico Gatson in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lefty Out There in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Go Vegan (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Atomik and friends in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
What Is Adam in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pez in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Collaboration between FinDAC and Kevin Ledo in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Uninhibited in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Revolution Artists in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A collaboration among different artists in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A collaboration among different artists in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A collaboration among different artists in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
My Dog Sighs (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mastrocola in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Wynwood, Miami. December 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Mural Kings Tats Cru At The Houston/Bowery Wall

Mural Kings Tats Cru At The Houston/Bowery Wall

Boogie Down bombers the Tats Cru representing New York in its classic flava, the Houston Wall is now blessed by some of the original mural kings, and all seems right with the world for a moment. 

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With a legion of fans on the sidewalk and on social media saying that Bio, Nicer, and BG183 were finally bringing New York back to this New York wall, the trio was joined by a who’s who of peers and fans over a cold 4-day installation in a way that reminds this town of its proud roots in graffiti and the myriad styles it spawned.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the end, this is a love letter to New York on many levels. It’s a memorial to Tony Goldman, who captured the zeitgeist of the early graffiti/Street Art movement and provided opportunities for artists.

There is a black and white VIP section that reinvents a Tseng Kwong Chi of Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf standing infront of the wall – a meta experience to see NY graff royalty stopping by to tag the image of the Houston Wall that showed people tagging the Houston Wall. New aerosol contributors included people like Zepher, Terror 161, Duster, and Dez and many others.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Among other pop imagery and classic fonts and letter styles sits a stylized heart from the famous Milton Glaser design of I (heart) NY at the very center. Additional work was contributed by Daze and Crash and a special tribute is made for local activist Liz Christy who began the First Community Garden in New York City in 1973 nearby.

“’Bout time we got some real NY graff writers to rock that wall,” said Da Kid Tac on Instagram, a possible reference to the number of Street Artists who have been invited to paint here over the last few years. Based on the responses and happy reunions of writers and fans we saw over many visits to the wall during its production, Tats Cru has again created an instant classic.

Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Original image of Haring in front of the Houston Wall reprised by Tats crew. Tseng Kwong Chi © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Famed photographer Martha Cooper helps to fill in the VIP Tags section of the wall. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Graffiti writer Duster was also on hand to tag the VIP section of the wall. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru. Houston / Bowery Wall. January 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA “Images Of The Year” For 2018 Video

BSA “Images Of The Year” For 2018 Video

Here it is! Photographer Jaime Rojo of BSA selects a handful of his favorite images from his travels through 9 countries and around New York this year to present our 2018 BSA Images of the Year.

Seeing the vast expressions of aesthetics and anti-aesthetic behavior has been a unique experience for us. We’re thankful to all of the artists and co-conspirators for their boundless ideas and energy, perspectives and personas.

Once you accept that much of the world is in a semi-permanent chaos you can embrace it, find order in the disorder, love inside the anger, a rhythm to every street.

And yes, beauty. Hope you enjoy BSA Images of the Year 2018.

Here’s a list of the artists featured in the video. Help us out if we missed someone, or if we misspelled someones nom de plume.

1Up Crew, Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fujita, Adele Renault, Adrian Wilson, Alex Sena, Arkane, Banksy, Ben Eine, BKFoxx, Bond Truluv, Bordalo II, Bravin Lee, C215, Cane Morto, Charles Williams, Cranio, Crash, Dee Dee, D*Face, Disordered, Egle Zvirblyte, Ernest Zacharevic, Erre, Faith LXVII, Faust, Geronimo, Gloss Black, Guillermo S. Quintana, Ichibantei, InDecline, Indie 184, Invader, Isaac Cordal, Jayson Naylor JR, Kaos, KNS, Lena McCarthy, Caleb Neelon, LET, Anthony Lister, Naomi Rag, Okuda, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Pejac, Pixel Pancho, Pork, Raf Urban, Resistance is Female, Sainer, Senor Schnu, Skewville, Slinkachu, Solus, Squid Licker, Stinkfish, Strayones, Subway Doodle, The Rus Crew, Tristan Eaton, Vegan Flava, Vhils, Viktor Freso, Vinie, Waone, Winston Tseng, Zola

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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.09.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 12.09.18


What a week! The New York Post cover says that Friday was a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” for Trump, but who among us is surprised about #Individual1 ? No one in Brooklyn, or his hometown Queens, or the City of New York, for that matter.

Now this national disaster opera is a 24 hour a day rolling dumpster fire that sells ads for TV and media companies – with no desire by them to make it end. Or as Leslie Moonves said famously about this institution-eroding tragedy: “It May Not Be Good for America, but It’s Damn Good for CBS”.

And on that cheerful note, Happy Holidays to you! Sincerely. Best wishes to our Jewish friends now completing Hanukkah, to our African diaspora friends readying for Kwanzaa, to our Christian friends already in the Christmas spirit, to our pagan friends getting ready for Solstice, and to our atheist friends who are thinking positive about the New Year. We collectively are incredible and full or promise, if we can seize upon it and fulfill it.

And welcome to our last BSA Images of the Week for 2018! We can’t tell you how excited we are every week to share the new images of Street Art, graffiti, murals, and art in the streets that we find – mostly because their existence confirms the ever-present creative spirit that is flowing through the air like radio waves, waiting for us all to tune in to it and let it course through our minds and hearts. Next Sunday we present our Images of the Year and during this week will begin our year-end lists of top books, murals, postings of the year.

Then, as is our tradition, BSA readers will take over the site for the last couple of weeks of December to reflect on the year and tell us their Wishes and Hopes for 2019!

And here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $smell$907, Adrian Wilson, Blake2018, Bond TruLuv, City Kitty, Dee Dee, Ever Siempre, Gnome Surf, Jilly Ballistic, Kobra, Raf Urban, SicKid, and Vinny.

Top image: Adrian Wilson plays with words to reflect our pop culture trolling both Warhol and Banksy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Landscape with graffiti. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty trolls Kobra. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don’t point your gun at me Sir! Blake2018 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jilly Ballistic appropriates an ad in the subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please do! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

$mell$ 907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LA’s SicKid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SicKid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gnome Surf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Raf Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinny (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ever & Friends (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Utitled. SOHO, NYC. December 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.11.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.11.18


100 years since the end of World War I today. The US is engaged in 7 wars right now. Two facts to contemplate as the city takes a breath and regroups from another election cycle.

Republicrats won at the polls and the ratings were high on TV – yet for some reason you still don’t have health care and you have about $1,000 in savings.

GOOD NEWS! – Manhattan real estate has experienced a dip this quarter so that the average apartment is just a little more than $1.1 million to buy.

This week in NYC there were Anti-Trump Pro-Mueller demonstrations in Times Square, the head of the subway system has resigned, and NYC is turning into a major tech hub with 25,000 more tech workers said to be flocking here for jobs at Google and Amazon.

Also Manny down at the corner deli just got this new calico cat that has already caught two mice this week.

Somehow the streets are always alive, always teaming with new images, installations, paintings, fire extinguisher tags.

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Daily, Adam Fu, Bortusk, Cy Tremblay, DAIN, Dolganov, Invader, JeimeOne, Kobra, Sabio, and SacSix.

Top Image: Adam Fu for Spread Art NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cy Tremblay (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Resa.Menace for JMZ Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bortusk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sabio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sabio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown. A very old stencil in Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Daily (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 A clever step back from JeimeOne for JMZ Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dolganov in Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan. Fall 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sunshine Cinema Now Showing: FAUST’S “Sunset”

Sunshine Cinema Now Showing: FAUST’S “Sunset”

The Sun Sets on Sunshine: FAUST Writes Paean to NYC Streetscape

The five projectors at the Sunshine Cinema have gone dark as of January, and this month the 150+ year old building is scheduled to be razed for a 9 story office building. Because, you know, we need one. Graffiti writer FAUST just secured permission to say his own goodbye to the theater in a poetic way with his ornately scripted street style calligraphic hand, marking a sunset on Sunshine.

BSA is proud to debut FAUST’s own penned thoughts on this New York story of love and loss, of continuous building and destruction, of cultural touchstones that disappear seemingly overnight – usually so someone can make a buck. Herewith we present the words of FAUST for BSA readers with our thanks to him and to you.


Faust. Sunset (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Every time I approach a new work, I try to find a word or phrase that would be clever, poignant, and site-specific. Oftentimes, that could take weeks of research and brainstorming, but on Houston Street that wasn’t the case. With so many memories inside of those walls, this mural on the shuttered facade of the Sunshine Cinema felt much more personal than most of my previous projects.

The first time I saw the gate down and learned of the theater’s demise, I instantly knew I wanted to paint it in homage to the historic site. And the following day it came to me, a poetic sendoff to both celebrate and mourn the final days of the Sunshine Cinema. Sunset. 

Faust. Sunset (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I confess, as a teenager I became well-acquainted with the back door to the Sunshine Cinema which granted me free access to other worlds on the big screen. Growing up in New York City, a significant part of my adolescence was spent at that Lower East Side movie theater which focused on independent and foreign films. I snuck into the critically-acclaimed 2002 Brazilian feature City of God so many times that I started to believe I knew Portuguese because I had memorized the subtitles.

But my favorite time to go to the Sunshine was for their midnight movie. Each weekend they screened a different cult classic on Friday and Saturday nights. I spent my 19th birthday catching a sold out screening of The Warriors, my first time seeing the 1979 film that depicts a New York that no longer exists – gritty, overrun by street gangs, and covered in graffiti.

Faust. Sunset (photo © Jaime Rojo)

My career as an artist is deeply rooted in my upbringing as a graffiti writer. The style of my work derives from a contemporary history of writing on walls and subways that spans nearly 50-years. Anytime I paint abroad, I feel like a cultural ambassador bringing my distinctly “New York” aesthetic across the globe. But New York is always home–and always will be. At home the work takes on a different meaning; carrying on the tradition of a wide-spread (albeit illicit) art movement that has risen up from the streets and making a statement that hopefully resonates with my friends and neighbors who see it.

Faust. Sunset (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The 30,000 square-foot building on Houston Street has a long history of entertainment in the Lower East Side. Sections of the building date back to 1844, when it first opened as a church, before being converted into the Houston Athletic Club, a prize fight club, in the early 1900’s. Shortly after, the building was purchased and converted into the Houston Hippodrome, which offered moving picture shows and Yiddish vaudeville acts to the growing Jewish immigrant community in the neighborhood.

In 1917 the theater was converted into a nickelodeon and renamed the Sunshine Theater. The theater closed in 1945 and was used as storage up until the 1990s. For a brief period, from 1994 to 1998 the space was rented out for concerts and events before being leased to Landmark Theaters. After undergoing a $12 million renovation, the Sunshine Cinema as I know it opened on December 21, 2001. 

Faust. Sunset (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Sunshine Cinema isn’t even the latest in a string of closures of historic NYC theaters including the Ziegfeld Theater in 2016 and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas which just closed it’s doors on January 31st. When these cultural institutions have no chance of keeping their heads above water in the current real estate market is it officially time to say New York is dead? As early as 1927 author H. P. Lovecraft had declared “New York is dead, & the brilliancy which so impresses one from outside is the phosphorescence of a maggoty corpse.” But we all know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Each successive generation inevitably breathes new life into the city and finds inspiration in the hallowed concrete jungle.

I discussed my idea for the mural with filmmaker Charlie Ahearn and described my dismay when I found out about the closure. I was surprised that he didn’t share my sentiment. Rather, he said he always thought of the Sunshine as a new theater. I suppose if I had lived though the New York art world of the 70s, 80s, and 90s as he had, I’d likely feel the same way. “Have you been to the Metrograph? Now that’s a great theater!” he told me about the new cinema that opened in the Lower East Side in 2016 and recently hosted a sold out screening of his cult classic film Wild Style. 

It’s ingrained in us all as New Yorkers to gripe every time a local landmark shutters, be it a cultural institution in a historic building or a corner bodega that can no longer compete with the new Whole Foods that opened down the block. It’s part of our DNA to wax poetic about the New York City we grew up in, whichever era that was. But it’s safe to say that more prescient than the idea that New York is dead is another old adage; the only constant is change.

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A Graffiti Painted Cityscape: Laura Shechter Documents Street Art on Canvas

A Graffiti Painted Cityscape: Laura Shechter Documents Street Art on Canvas

If there is someone who knows Brooklyn Street Art and graffiti, it is Laura Shechter.

Dart, Cash4, Cost, Sace, City Kitty, Chris Stain, she knows them all.

And yet she doesn’t know them at all.

When you live in a city and see graffiti or Street Art the creators of the scene cannot hope to define everyone’s experience of their work. In fact, it is an entirely unique trip for each person.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

If Laura Shechter happened to capture a graffiti tag or throwie or Street Art wheat-paste or stencil or sticker in one of her careful and precise photo-based cityscapes, she probably didn’t see it as you did, because she may not see her city in the same way you do. Ms. Shechter has spent hours with these pieces; recreating, rendering, and documenting by hand and brush the coded chaos and conversation on city walls. For this painter it is about supporting the craft of the artists of this time much in the same way that she used her earlier still life painting to support the craft of hand painted china from the 19th century.

Others may see these graffiti works as indicators of blight, as eyesores, or signs of the decline of a block or neighborhood. For the majority it may be a visual noise that doesn’t register, let alone merit contemplation or documentation. Laura Shechter is placing this graffiti and Street Art front and center on her canvas, and the rougher the better.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

She doesn’t always call it tagging; sometimes she calls it signing or a signature. The graffiti practice of “going over” someone else’s work as a sign of dismissal is called “over writing” in Schecter’s descriptions. She also sees graffiti as “beautification of urban blight.”

Separating the layers of paint and planes with her mind’s eye and layering opaque with transparent, she is perhaps more aware of the strata of pigment, hue, shade, tone, and technical history of a graffitied wall than she is of the vernacular and terminology of day-to-day graffiti and Street Art culture.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shechter discovered many of these scenes on walks or trespassing adventures with her artist husband Ben and she felt a connection to them, these aerosol tableaus, wanting to save them for posterity.

“I’m good at rendering because I have been a student of 10,000 years of art history,” she says. “I’m involved with technique, observing, and perception. I also understand what is underneath. When I’m rendering the graffiti I am also rendering the graffiti that is underneath it. I’m also sensitive to plane changes so I understand graffiti when it is fading out and when it is sharp.”

She talks about her attraction to this kind of work and perhaps her feeling that she has a connection to the people who practice it. “I was raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn and I am of the ghetto,” says the unpretentious artist who has spoken of a home life in the 1940s and 1950s that was characterized by poverty and very challenging circumstances.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“My work is rarely about the murals that are painted by those who went to art school. I was also a caseworker for the city and I walked most of the ghetto neighborhoods of NY. I am a really aware how ugly it was,” she says.

Today she’s concerned about what gentrification has done to similar neighborhoods and families. “I don’t know if there are any poor people left in Williamsburg. When you are going on a main shopping street on a Saturday, there’s almost nobody older than 30 years old. It almost becomes artificial and I would never want to live there. It would be an unpleasant place because it has become plastic,” she says.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

To the painters’ eye these raucous graffiti walls are colors, textures, planes, gestures; gyrations and rhythms of the vibrating city, our history of cacophony distilled, the forceful and waning multi-accented assertions of the vox populi captured here on a wall. One can imagine that Shechter can hear very clearly some of those voices splashed and layered here.

A contemporary realist, Shechter studied at Brooklyn College with noted abstract painter and a father of minimalism, Ad Reinhardt, in the mid 1960s. She says she  absorbed some of his minimalist techniques even with her still lifes in oil, watercolor, pencil, silverpoint, and lithographic prints. Here work developed into a career with gallery representation and a steadily growing collectors base over the next 35 years or so.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sometime in the late 1990s she says there was a crises in her work and she began thinking that she had explored still life painting and drawing completely, with no where left to go. In the early 2000s she grew interested in photo-based cityscapes through looking at and watching the art practice of her husband, who worked with his own photography as inspiration for his paintings.

In a speech given about her work last October at Mendez Soho in New York she spoke of her departure from still life painting and learning to paint cityscapes, sky, water – and how difficult it was to learn again. “It had to do with humility. The humility came from the idea of ‘how to deal with something that you are extremely competent in and then go back and become incompetent?’ ” She painted densely packed scenes of multileveled high-rises, seeing her city in a new way in terms of plains and horizontal lines and complexity.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Then one of her cityscapes that she captured while looking off the Williamsburg Bridge happened to contain graffiti “only by chance”. It was exhibited at the National Academy later and the curator of that show introduced Shechter to the graffiti haven in Queens called “5 Pointz” and she did a painting of the massive complex crushed in pieces, thowies, tags.

“Basically doing that painting changed the whole direction that my work was taking,” she says. A few years later in 2015 her body of graffiti cityscapes won her the NYFA Artist’s Fellowship from the Academy.

A photo to use as a painting study from Hackney, London. May 2017. (photo © Laura Shechter)

In 2016 her husband Ben passed away after nearly five decades together and their warm Park Slope Brownstone brims with the intermingling of the two artists styles and interests. She says it has been difficult to adjust to the loss, but she has been busying herself with projects. To seek new inspiration from the streets abroad she travelled to London this spring to see the vibrant graffiti, Street Art, and mural scene there and to shoot photos for reference in her next body of paintings.

Siting the many legal walls that she discovered, the bright poppy colors that are popular today, and a perceived lack of direct relationship to the struggles of low-income people, her Brooklyn pride may overshadow her appreciation of what she captured in another city.

A photo to use as a painting study from Shoreditch, London. May 2017. (photo © Laura Shechter)

“Although London Street art is powerful, it lacks the finesse and craft of New York graffiti and it did not evolve naturally from the poorer neighborhoods,” she tells us. “Early New York graffiti writers had a limited palette of aerosol colors that tended to be intense.”

A photo to use as a painting study from Brick Lane, London. May 2017. (photo © Laura Shechter)

“They used natural arm movements that produced a more sensuous line and incorporated effects that result from the aerosol can; fuzzy edges, drips that add interest to the surface. London aerosol artists tend to fill in areas and their colors are the new tints and a heavy use of silver. Although there is some oversigning, they lack the beauty of layering of tags in New York graffiti, ” she says.

A photo to use as a painting study from Hackney, London. May 2017. (photo © Laura Shechter)

A teacher and lecturer at Parsons and the National Academy of Art, Schecter’s works are today included in several museum collections including Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Fine Art, and her hometown Brooklyn Museum where she prizes the feminist perspective which the institution champions, recalling her involvement since the 1970s as a member of both Women in the Arts and the Woman’s Caucus for Art. With such a rewarded career of professional accomplishment it is all the more interesting that the artist holds a certain reverence for the aesthetics of graffiti and Street Art.

But she is from Brooklyn after all.

Brooklyn Street Art: As an admirer of aesthetics, where do you find beauty in public spaces?
Laura Schecter: I enjoy walking the streets or riding a train and encountering sudden beauty when it is unexpected. Buildings used to be dirty brown, grey. I like simple doorways with 100 signatures…Especially graffiti on old brick and weathered wood, and the graffiti trucks are ever evolving and pure works of art.

I liked walking with Ben for miles and miles. Some photos he had to take because he was taller. I was always surprised how different our photos could be of the same spot. Sometimes I used his. I’ve been making home videos – one I made for him about him and his songs last summer and a personal one called “Brownsville Childhood.” That’s what you do when someone dies, you get projects.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: As a contemporary realist, what are you observing in the cityscape that others may be missing?
Laura Schecter: I was painting the still life and felt that I had nothing more to say about it. My husband Ben Shechter used photos and other sources in his own art work. I borrowed one of his photos that he shot from the “F” train looking into the Gowanus Canal. It was like jumping into the abyss.

It presented a new problem where I had to teach myself new skills and develop a point of view. That process took about six years. I exhibited a painting of Williamsburg with graffiti at the National Academy of Art and when I became friends with the curator Marshal Price, he told me about this place called 5 Pointz in Long Island City. The rest is history – I always tell him that this series of paintings is his fault.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What lead you in 2002 to begin painting and drawing photo-based cityscapes?
Laura Schecter: I have strong feelings about landscape space. A space that is created by having parallel horizontal bands. I have an innate sense of rhythm and patterns. I never have trouble with tedium, bring on all of those boring windows and bricks! I can now paint at ground level as I hone my vision.

I have overcome some of the drawbacks of photorealists (whose work can be mechanical) with my knowledge of 10,000 years of art and I can paint views that a painter on site misses, from being on moving trains and trespassing on roofs.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So you actually follow the Street Art scene?
Laura Schecter: Because I am constantly walking the 5 boroughs, I may revisit the same site once a year and see how it develops. I also visit centers of street mural art. And of course I read BSA every 2 weeks. This past May I spent an intense 6 days photographing graffiti in many sites and talking occasionally to young street Artists

Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe how you approach graffiti and Street Art as an artist, as a person? When capturing graffiti and Street Art, is it about form and color and texture – or is it about culture and people and the visual conversation on the street?

Laura Schecter: I am most interested in graffiti walls that are well developed over time with over writing. In the beginning signing might have been random but later each tag was placed with intention, improving the general composition of the site.

What I like about earlyish graffiti was the limited color. Less is more. The graffiti writers maximized with these limited colors. I have gone to newer sites – one in south Bronx and the other in northern Queens where younger street artists are using pastel colors – For me it’s a little less than gritty.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This article is also published The Huffington Post


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Selina Miles : Wishes & Hopes for 2017

Selina Miles : Wishes & Hopes for 2017


As we near the new year we’ve asked a special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2016 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for him or her. It’s an assortment of treats for you to enjoy and contemplate as we all reflect on the year that has passed and conjure our hopes and wishes for the new year to come. It’s our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ for inspiring us throughout the year.

Australian filmmaker and nomad Selina Miles specializes in street art and graffiti, and is also in love with music video, documentary, and most people she meets. First making her mark with a series of mind-baking action videos with Sofles a few years ago, Ms. Miles is now a dynamic storyteller. She is just as likely to be shooting artists as she is plundering their histories and connecting the dots of their influences, aspirations. Willing to take creative risks and to push her own limits, look out in 2017 for Selina to craft a piece on one of the biggest documentary subjects whom she’s profiled yet – in a way that only Selina can do.

Image of Charles and Janine Williams
Papeete, Tahiti
October 2016

Photo by Selina Miles

I love this photo because Charles and Janine Williams really embody my hope for the future street artist. I still love graffiti, the more ignorant/illegal the better, but if artists are entering into a community and putting up a huge mural in the context of street art, this is the right way to do it in my opinion.

They worked together on this wall in Papeete, Tahiti as part of a series they are working on, painting different species of birds native to a particular area, particularly focusing on endangered species. The CR on this painting of a Tahitian Monarch means the bird is critically endangered. They collaborated with the local bird watching group, who provided the photos and also attended a blessing when the wall was finished, where Charles and Janine sung a traditional Māori song as thanks.

In my opinion, this kind of deep, genuine engagement with people and place is the future of street art, in contrary to the commercialisation and trivialisation we see from sponsored / branded events. As a film maker, these are the kinds of stories I look forward to documenting in the future.



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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.27.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.27.16



Happy Easter to the folks who are celebrating this day of Christ’s rise from the dead. The rest of ya’ll can just enjoy the Sunday roast dinner we made for you. Cousin Charlemagne has already eaten both the ears off his chocolate bunny and there are two eggs that have not been found during the hunt. Let’s look for them after we eat. Pass the scalloped potatoes please.

Here’s our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring A Visual Bliss, Bang Bang Errol, Cash Cash RFC Crew, Chupa, CJ Fly, Dasic Fernandez, Geoffrey Carran, Jay Shells, Jesse A. Edwards, Joseph Acker, KLOPS, Kuma, LMNOPI, Lunge Box, Myth, Papoose, Rocko, Rowena Martinich, Sorick 21, Trifer, Wallplay, Willow, and Zimers.

Our top image: Rocko and Zimer painted this tribute to King Biggie Smalls back in October of 2015 for Spread Art NYC. We just hadn’t been able to flick it. So here it is. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


And speaking of Biggie Smalls, urban artist and lyric lover Jay Shells left this plaque just across the street recently. His unique campaign of placing original rap lyrics at the geographical spot they refer to has taken him to cities across the country. These new platters have just popped up like spring tulips. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jay Shells (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jay Shells (photo © Jaime Rojo)


LMNOPI brings the street a new portrait of “a Haitian girl I met when I was in Port Au Prince in 2010.” (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sorick21 . Trifer . Chupa (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kuma (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Klops(photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dasic Fernandez (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cash Cash RFC Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Geoffrey Carran . Rowena Martinich (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Lunge Box (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jesse A Edwards and RAMBO Memorial for @bang_bang_errol at Wallplay. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Myth “A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience” (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A Visual Bliss (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Koch Brothers. Portrait by Joseph Acker – Prision ID #15967538. Mural by Willow. The Captured Project in conjuction with The L.I. S.A. Project. People in prison drawing people who should be. More information here. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Good Friday 2016. Williamsburg. March 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



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Hot KNARF Pushes a Graffuturist Organic Edge in BK

Hot KNARF Pushes a Graffuturist Organic Edge in BK

Currently in Miami painting by a bus stop in the midst of the Wynwood storm, Austrian Knarf brought his sketchbook to life with characteristic wit and rhythm in Brooklyn last week on a large wall in Bushwick. The echo of lines and patterns may recall Japanese prints and the organic rippling of water on the shore or radio waves.


Knarf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The hand-rendered extemporaneous quality of his blocking and texts keep you in the moment, the movements imperfect, the unveiling of sophisticated forms and palette a surprise. His is a studied interconnected biology and geology, shapes and abstractions, the foundational elements in black and white with a selected primary geometric form to make the contrast surge. With shout outs to Jes, Jaime, and his own Irga Irga Crew ((Mik Shida, Fresh Max, Mafia_Tabak) the bio and morphic dance into a third dimension here, bisected by a diagonal bar of aerosoled green, keeping it geometric and pushing Knarf right out onto a newer edge of the graffuture.


Knarf (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Knarf (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Knarf (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Knarf (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Knarf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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