All posts tagged: Hellbent

Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

This weekend the NYPD police precinct is hosting a graffiti and street art show, and the public is welcome to see every floor completely swimming in aerosol and plastered in wheat-paste.

Admit it, it is not often you receive an invite like that.


Pesu (center), Pixote (left) and Bill Claps Morse code writing the history of the building on the walls. (right) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When this precinct was built it was a very bad, very poor neighborhood. When the cops came in there was a lot of brutality and there was a lot of corruption,” says curator Robert Aloia of this building architected for the NYPD in 1863 and closed down fifty years later. A quick search on the web shows a history of thuggery born of Dickens. Records at the time of closure indicated there were 9,500 arrests annually and this tiny slice of Manhattan alone had 37 brothels.

So why not have a graffiti show here before tearing it down, right?.


Savior, El Mundo, Ben Angotti, Depoe, Esteban Del Valle and Chris Soria. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So you literally could hit every wall here and it wouldn’t matter because it is coming down at the end of the month?
Robert Aloia: Yeah the inside walls. The outside walls they don’t want us to touch.

In a twist of events pulled from a satire, one of the artists on display this weekend was arrested this month in Brooklyn and spent the night in jail before seeing a judge. The following day he came to this precinct and hit up some walls with impunity.


Savior, El Mundo, Ben Angotti, Depoe, Esteban Del Valle and Chris Soria. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It’s just amazing that these artists can put their time, their money, and their talent into something that is just coming down,” says Aloia while touring us through rooms and stairways during one of the four visits we made for these exclusive first images, “ and it is only going to be seen for a certain amount of time.”

Hellbent has his own room. So does Rambo. Cash4 and Matt Siren are sharing one together, as are Sheryo and the Yok. Elle spent an entire night in hers watching her black wax sculpture melting away with the candles she planted in it. An unconfirmed story says it is a sculpture cast of the elusive Judith Supine.

“She painted it black, melted it and filmed it,” says Aloia.


Faust (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you thought of the irony behind the fact that this is a former police precinct and many of the artists would have been running away from this place instead of trying to get into it?
Robert Aloia: That is true, I didn’t think of that aspect of it really, but the gallery area was the actual holding cell.

Brooklyn Street Art: So how did you draw these people together?
Robert Aloia: Every show I’ve done I start with my friends, and then it’s friends of friends, and that’s it. It’s just about one degree of separation.

In the last three years the New York native has curated a number of shows heavily weighted with graffiti artists and Street Artists, primarily on Manhattan’s Lower East Side at bars, event spaces, and venues with downtown history like Fuse, White Box, and La Mama.


Vexta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A bartender and DJ who has mixed with a lot of New York nightlife and street life without becoming hardened, Aloia and co-curators like Erik Foss and Ricky Powell have been doing sometimes star-studded yet unassuming one-off shows the past few years with Street Art names like Bast, Supine, and Aiko and some of the newer kids like N’DA and Icy & Sot.

“I am from New York and I always knew a lot of graffiti artists, that’s how I ended up getting into it. I was just lucky enough to have access to some venues to do stuff.”

Brooklyn born, Aloia’s been on the LES since the 80s, which explains his devotion to the memory of “outlaw parties” where people would set up an illegal bar and a pumping sound system in improvised celebrations at unsanctioned locations. Outlaw parties and pop-up speakeasies still exist of course, but more often they are in Brooklyn now as Manhattan is shoving artists out by the truckload.


Vexta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For “21st Precinct” he’s called in nearly 50 artists from as far away as Japan, Australia, California, and nearby New Jersey. The mix of artists is eclectic and sometimes quite powerful like the tribute to SAMO (Basquiat) in the gallery by his co-conspirator Al Diaz, and the dark room built by Swedish photographer Jesper Haynes which features images from the downtown New York in the Reagan era.

“I definitely always have a mix with fine art, photography, installation, but you know I always have old-school graffiti artists and street artists,” he says as he looks over the four floors of thickly gritty splendor by renowned and unknown.

For those lucky enough to see the show in this venue this weekend or next, “21st Precinct” is a quintessential New York minute, a steamy grimy melting pot of authentic attitude that begs to differ and perhaps stick a finger in your chest just before the wrecking ball hits. Thank Aloia while you’re there. Not surprisingly, the new building that replaces this one will be for…..wait for it…. luxury residences.


Jesper Haynes (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KET (photo © Jaime Rojo)


N Carlos J (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Li-Hill (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Li-Hill (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rambo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rambo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


URNew Yrok (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rae (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Shiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)


bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ASVP (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris RWK (center) URNew York (left) ASVP (right). (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NEPO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Matt Siren . Cash4 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Amanda Marie (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nick Tengri (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Joseph Meloy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bishop203 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Yok and Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Iena Cruz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


X-O (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Justin Carty (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Curb Your Ego (photo © Jaime Rojo)


OUTLAW ARTS Presents: “The 21st Precinct”
Curated by Robert Aloia & VNA Mag

The show will be in the old 21st Precinct located on 327 East 22nd Street. More information HERE.

Contributing Artists:

Adam Dare, Al Diaz, Amanda Marie, ASVP, Bad Pedestrian, Ben Angotti , Bill Claps, Bishop203, Bunny M., Cash4, Chris RWK, Chris Soria, Coby Kennedy, Curtis Kulig, D. Gaja, Danielle Mastrion, Dasic, Dizmology, Duel, ELLE, Erasmo, Esteban del Valle, Faust, Ghost, GIZ, Hellbent, Hue, Icy & Sot, Iena Cruz, Jesper Haynes, Justin Carty, Ket, Lexi Bella, Li-Hall, Lorenzo Masnah, Matt Siren, Mr. Toll, N. Carlos Jay, Nepo, Nick Tengri, Pesu, Phil, Pixote, RAE, Rambo, Ricardo Cabret, SAE, Savior Elmundo, Shery-o & The Yok, Shiro, Tone Tank, URNY, Vexta, X-O.

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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Tehran To NYC / NYC To Tehran, Curated by Icy & Sot

Tehran To NYC / NYC To Tehran, Curated by Icy & Sot

Iranian Brothers Generate Cultural Exchange Between Two Homes

Icy & Sot, the Iranian Street Artists who have been making their mark on the New York scene for just two years are again making news by curating a gallery show that introduces Iran and the US to one another through the visual vernacular of Street Art.

With two shows running concurrently in Tehran and Brooklyn, the stencil loving spray painters have successfully exposed fans of this genre to the artists in another country with actual examples of art in a gallery setting rather than simply through the Internet. During the South Williamsburg opening on June 13th guests at the TBA temporary space were treated to works by 10 Iranian artists as well as a video projection on the wall of their counterparts  viewing the US artists show at Seyhoun Art gallery, which was recorded only hours earlier.


Iran’s CK1 in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Without diplomatic relations between the two countries, it is a wonder that this exchange could be cultivated, let alone executed. Given the restrictions imposed upon music, film, literature, and art since the revolution of 35 years ago, it added a layer of incredulity for gallery goers to measure the implications while viewing the works by a youth culture that has as its DNA a certain strain of rebellion.

New York sent the work of 35 artists, an impressively sized roster of participants who were each given size restrictions to keep shipping simpler and costs lower. While the brothers were clearly elated to bring new work to both cities, one might have surmised that the more excited feelings were directed toward their recently departed home where about 55% of the population is estimated to be under 30 years old and a youthful cultural evolution is said to be happening in the artist underground.


Iran’s CK1 in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Work from the Iranians reveals an accurately studious affinity for the pop of Warhol and irony of Banksy alongside polished versions of wildstyle and more modern graffiti lettering and loose splattering. The larger cross section of New Yorkers sampled from that pot as well as the myriad influences on the streets today including illustration, photography, geometric patterning, cartoon, and collage.

BSA spoke with the brothers as they were installing the New York show:

Brooklyn Street Art: So would you say this is primarily about cultural exchange?
Sot: Yeah, I mean the fact that there hasn’t been any relationship between Iran and the US, but this is totally about the relationship between the artists.


Iran’s Ill in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What do you think that a viewer at the New York show is going to realize when seeing these works?
Icy: First of all they are going to get to know the artists because they are not familiar with their work and haven’t had a chance to know them before. Also they will realize the fact that there are people in Iran doing this kind of art. It is underground, it is just a small scene, but still.
Sot: It’s a good chance for these artists to show their work.

Brooklyn Street Art: Would you say that these artists are taking real risks by showing their work like this?
Icy: I mean, for the street artists there everything is risky, putting works in the street… like having the show is stressful but luckily the people there have gotten their permits and stuff.


Iran’s Cave 2 in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Who did they have to ask for permission and what did they need to see?
Sot: It’s hard to translate the name but it’s an official organization
Icy: They have to check out the work and see it and they have to approve it.
Sot: Yes they have to do that for everything – for music performance or for art exhibits or anything, they have to go through this – but for this show it is at one of the oldest galleries in Iran so.

The guys related some of the exigencies of putting a show like this together and Sot talks about one of the artists who is an old classmate of his who doesn’t use the tools of communication that so many of his peers in the west would. “He doesn’t have a website for his art and he’s not on Facebook,” says Sot, “so I was like Facebook messaging another friend to ask him to call this guy for me and ask him to be in the show, and then to ask him for the status of shipping of his piece or information about the piece.”


Iran’s Hoshvar in “Tehran to New York”(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So with the Superman and the Warholian Marilyn, I like this idea where there is a mixing of the two cultures together quite literally.
Sot: Yeah, for these shows there wasn’t really a theme but some artists, because they knew where they were going to be displayed made specific choices to communicate something. Like Gilf! wanted to write something in farsi so she picked the words “I am You” in farsi.
Icy: And El Sol 25 did the words “Iran So Far Away”, which is inspired by the song. (by Flock of Seagulls)


Iran’s MAD in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What is one of your favorite pieces here, or rather, which one would you like to talk about?
Icy: I like them when they talk about social issues.
Sot: Like this one with CK1 – it has all these pictures from newspaper with the Shah

Brooklyn Street Art: They look like they may have been around ’81 or ’82…
Icy: Yeah, then the hijab came after the revolution and then the women had to wear the hijab.
Brooklyn Street Art: So before then they didn’t have to wear it?
Sot: No, before that they could choose.
Icy: Then they had no choice.
Sot: And this one with Superman and on his chest it says “love” in farsi and there is Tehran in the background and there is the freedom tower in the background?

Brooklyn Street Art: Is that called “Freedom Tower”?
Sot: Yeah, or Liberty Tower, it’s like the symbol of Tehran. It’s like you have the Statue of Liberty here and that’s the freedom tower in Iran.


Iran’s CK1 in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Iran’s FRZ in “Tehran to New York” (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A more traditional piece by sh’b varies from the Street Art theme and displays the artistic influence of distinctly Persian origins. (photo © Jaime Rojo)




Tony De Pew, Sonni, Hellbent and Bishop203 (photo © Rana Ahmadi)


Gilf! on the wall with Joe Iurato on the pedestal. (photo © Rana Ahmadi)


A screened piece by Chris Stain based on a Martha Cooper photo. (photo © Rana Ahmadi)


Buttless Supreme and El Sol 25 on the bottom. (photo © Rana Ahmadi)


QRST, Cruz, Phetus (photo © Rana Ahmadi)


Enzo and Nio, Russell King  and Gilf! (photo © Rana Ahmadi)


Cern and Contemporary Adult Music (photo © Rana Ahmadi)


The mood in Tehran (photo © Rana Ahmadi)

The Exhibition NYC to Tehran is currently on view at Seyhoun Art Gallery in Tehran, Iran. Click HERE for more details. The sister exhibition from Tehran to NYC is now closed.




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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“Done!” Murals from Rubin, Aakash, & Hellbent : Domino Walls Part II

“Done!” Murals from Rubin, Aakash, & Hellbent : Domino Walls Part II

“Done!” comes the text from Rubin, who is floating on his scissor lift six feet above the line of people down Kent Avenue that is cued along Aakash Nihalani’s new wall for the public opening of Kara Walker’s exhibit in the Domino factory warehouse.

Swear to the Sugar Gods: Not 10 minutes later “Done” arrives again on our phone screens, this time from Hellbent, signaling that his ginormous 476 foot mural is complete as well – three weeks, several rainstorms, and a five borough bike tour elapsing since he and his team started.


Hellbent. Process shot taken during the Five-Borough Bike tour. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our Domino Walls project hit this finish line this weekend, and although there is at least one more wall to be revealed a little later in this phase, we thought we’d get these shots out to BSA readers so you’d have closure on our progress post last week.

It’s been a dope project and each one of the artists has told us some good information about the thinking and inspiration behind their pieces, their links to geometric forms and futurism –  so we’ll share some of that for you too. Also we want to give a shout out to the Walentas family, who funded this project and who we’ve known since we worked as artists, volunteers, fundraisers, exhibitors in DUMBO during the 90s and 00s. They have always provided platforms for creative types to get their stuff out there into the community. Here’s another.


Hellbent. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I like how you can trick the eye using geometric shapes, shadows, and patterns and color in my newer paintings. I think what Poesia has been talking about and organizing around with Graffuturism is something that I feel aligned with in street work and mural work and in the urban contemporary setting. It is a kind of return to abstract art. Graff has gone through lettering, to characters, to pictoral, and now we are coming into abstraction and that’s the stuff that I’m into right now,” says Hellbent.

“So I’m seeing a lot of work that is coming out of eastern Europe, in Poland, and a scattering of these guys in America and central Europe and it is work that I’m drawn to and influenced by.  I think Graffuturism is a kind of good term for what is going on right now – it’s a subset of all these other different things that are going on in the streets.”


Hellbent. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you tell us anything about the neighbors taking great interest in the paintings. We’ve heard you have some new fans.

Hellbent: Yes, I’m really happy to say that the Hasidic community has been really behind what’s going on here.  I’ve had some really great conversations with them while we’ve been painting.  It’s been really nice to hear that and I like to see my audience broadening a bit like that. I think a lot of people are just happy to see something besides this green wall, actually.


Hellbent. Tools of the trade. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent. North View. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent. North view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent. South view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalani. Shot taken during the Five-Borough Bike tour. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalani. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: You’ve always been interested in sort of pulling geometry out of  spaces and revealing it. Is that right?
Aakash Nihalani: Kind of. I mean I think more often than not it is highlighting the space that is already there. So it’s not necessarily creating a new space its more about highlighting the space that already exists, I guess.

Brooklyn Street Art: As you have gone bigger, has it been a difficult transition?
Aakash Nihalani: I wouldn’t say difficult, but I work with tape and I don’t work with paint and this is all paint, so in that sense it is out of my medium realm.  Having tried spray paint now – I’m really not interested in murals and painting.  Yeah, I definitely prefer tape over paint for sure.


Aakash Nihalani. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: I would think so – when I’ve seen you working with it (tape) it just seems to flow out of your thumb.
Aakash Nihalani: Yeah.

Brooklyn Street Art: So it feels like you are “painting” with tape.
Aakash Nihalani: Yeah exactly. I mean this is too, it’s fun. It’s a good challenge to try to figure out a process that fits and will work for the clean lines that I’m going for.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think of this as a mural?
Aakash Nihalani: I don’t think so. I don’t know what I would call it. I would say it is still an installation.


The long lines for Kara Walker past Aakash Nihalani. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalani (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin. Shot taken during the Five-Borough Bike tour. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin at work on his wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rubin: I try not to look back but in the mid-nineties I was one of the most active writers in Sweden and I have my photo collection with me here and I’ve been working on it for years, trying to scan the images and I realize that a lot of the stuff I’m doing now, without really thinking and knowing it, started in the mid nineties. So I did a lot of abstract. The geometrics has always been there, the craftsmanship – being able to do straight lines, – a lot of the stuff. So I like to sample myself I guess. I also try to think of it in terms of music a lot.

Brooklyn Street Art: Really? What music is influencing this wall?
Rubin: It may sound weird but two of my influences have been Kraftwerk, which may seem obvious, but also Nina Simone. I’ve been listening to her music a lot. I’ve been listening to her while creating a lot of my sketches.


Rubin at work on his wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: It makes a lot of sense. The composition of the whole wall is like a music diagram.
Rubin: Like the rhythm in a piece, it has to start with the intro, getting into the verse, then in the middle it gets busy with the chorus, then you get a bridge, the song gets to breathe a little bit, and then you have the outtro so its all the same between music and art.  It’s different tools to express – some ideas work better as paint and some as audio.

Brooklyn Street Art: I can see Kraftwerk in this epic minimalist cleanly structured classical approach – so that is the overall sweep, and the scale. But in addition there are the more organic forms, the color, warmth, the gentleness and strength – that part comes from Nina Simone?
Rubin: Yeah and the melancholy, her lyrics – she dealt with a lot of hard stuff and yeah, she has affected me a lot.


Rubin’s epic mural effectively mimicing the city view on both sides of the East River. North View. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So it is like you’ve been discovering your own past.
Rubin: Yeah, and it also relates to when I started deconstructing my work

Brooklyn Street Art: When you were doing graffiti?
Rubin: Yeah, and then moving to working more large scale I had to adapt my work so that I can still work fast. It suits me so well. It is also is about balance, it can’t be too geometric so it’s always a struggle so that is why I try to keep my work free hand – so I don’t use projectors and stencils. I started using the chalk line more because it’s a time saver, but also I try to keep it analog and organic and physical. It can’t be too sharp – there has to be a more human element.


Rubin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Yes, well you have some more organic forms in this also.
Rubin: Yeah but at the same time there is no right or wrong so you have to be true to yourself, whatever feels right for you.

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you like the Italian Futurists show at the Guggenheim?
Rubin: Yeah! I was very very emotional. It was very overwhelming. There was also another side of it, a political aspect, that was very radical.


Rubin. A southern view as visitors to the Kara Walker exhibit “Subtlety” cut in just before his wall begins . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Domino Walls is a project supported by Two Trees Management, the firm that is developing the Domino Sugar Factory site, and under the guidance of Lisa Kim, Cultural Affairs Director.  BSA is acting as the curatorial advisor on this project.


Read Part I of this posting here:

Hellbent, Rubin, and Aakash Nihalani In Progress on Domino Walls in BK



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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Hellbent, Rubin, and Aakash Nihalani In Progress on Domino Walls in BK

Hellbent, Rubin, and Aakash Nihalani In Progress on Domino Walls in BK

Williamsburg once ran heavy with renegade Street Art; names like Faile, Swoon, Bast, Shepard Fairey, Gaia, NohJColey, Judith Supine, Momo, Elbowtoe, Dain, DarkClouds, Matt Siren, Armsrock, Dennis McNett… well you get the point. Add about 40 more names and you can begin to re-construct the explosion that happened here mostly because industry had died and artists in the 80s and 90s and early 00s flocked to the previously industrial maritime neighborhood for space to create art, mount exhibitions, and have lots of free sex. Just checking to see if you were paying attention.


Hellbent at work on his portion of the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now almost 10 years into a North Brooklyn rezoning and construction boom (with a small break for the Great Recession) some of those same street artists are actually invited to paint walls in the same neighborhood – by landlords, advertisers, developers, and businesses. The Domino Sugar Factory, long an employer and symbol of industry on the river is now beginning a humungous decade-long renovation with new buildings planned while retaining the old refinery building on the site. Before buildings started coming down last summer these mammoth green construction walls went up, creating this sort of municipal/industrial sealed green monotony for five blocks on Kent Avenue.


Hellbent at work on his portion of the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today Hellbent, Rubin, and Aakash Nihalani, three artists who have been doing work in the streets for much of this time (and who have each made inroads into the gallery system), are each taking on their largest projects ever and culling more friends and buckets and cans and courage than ever to knock out these prodigious paintings. We’re calling it “Domino Walls” because we’re clever at naming things and we’re acting as “curatorial advisors” because hey, that’s what we do. BSA has a history of working with community and arts institutions, small and large, to give a variety of street artists a voice and to introduce them to greater audiences. This project provides a showcase to some of the strong voices who are familiar with working on the streets and who are pushing that language in new directions.


Hellbent. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A lot of urban art academics and critics have been talking about this new hybrid of art on the street that is sometimes called ‘graffuturism’ and we are very gratified to present a few of the new practitioners on the street who reflect it. Employing geometric shapes, deconstruction, abstraction, minimalism, even Op Art techniques, this quickly shifting movement unites graffiti, street art, and contemporary; at once futuristic while paying tribute to art movements more than a hundred years old. With MOMA’s “Inventing Abstraction” show last year and the Guggenheim’s “Italian Futurists” show right now, we feel like our 2012 show “Geometricks” right here in Brooklyn was actually just ahead of the curve. Putting Hellbent, Aakash, and Rubin together on massive walls in Williamsburg feels like this is right on time for this decade.

So we’ll tell you more about the project and each artist a little later but we wanted to show you the progress thus far so you know what is going on on these giant walls. If you are planning to see the astounding Kara Walker show that opens this week on the site and features more sugar than you can consume during a month of Halloweens – you’ll also definitely be seeing some rockin’ eye candy in progress right on the street here as well.


Hellbent. Detail of one of the stencils. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We all work in different ways but in a similar abstract nature and that is kind of why we are here together.  It shows a little of the arc of abstraction and the different sort of forms you can go with.  We’re all pretty geometric at the same time – using the power of the clean line and using optical tricks,” says Hellbent as he and his team are on their 9th day knocking out a nearly 500 foot long piece called We Walk (REM).

“I like the way Jaime (Rojo) described this wall when he said I was changing the shape of the wall through color and pattern and repetitions and that the visual effect pushes you forward. I think that more or less describes the movement for me at this moment and it is what I have been doing.”


Aakash Nihalani at work on his portion of the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aakash doesn’t typically work with paint and stencils, preferring his trademark bright masking tape method of revealing geometry in public spaces but he is going huge here for his piece tentatively titled Spaced. “I don’t have a lot of roots in graffiti, I mean, we share the same territory and spaces.  But I don’t liken myself to a graffiti artist per se.  I mean it does make sense that after a certain amount of time in a period of an art movement that it is bound to start deconstructing and abstracting, concentrating more on the form instead of the content. So I guess that kind of makes sense and I guess my work sort of fits in with that evolution, so its definitely part of that, but it is not intentional.”


Askash Nihalani letting the sky bust through on this work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash and his assistant at work on the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalani. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin at work on his portion of the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One of the most active graffiti writers in Sweden in the 1990s, Rubin has been deconstructing his earlier work and uncovering his Finnish/Swedish DNA. For his block long Resistance V. Acceptance, he says “I’m busy looking forward – I’m very much influenced by the Futurist movement , the Bauhaus. It’s also really natural for me growing up in Scandinavia – I grew up with the streamline and the IKEA – so it is like a parallel with the minimalism of Scandinavia so when I discovered the whole Futurist movement it made perfect sense,” he explains.

“Moving to working more large scale I had to adapt my work so that I can still work fast. It suits me so well. It is also is about balance – it can’t be too geometric so its’ always a struggle so that is why I try to keep my work free hand – so I don’t use projectors and stencils. I started using the chalk line more because it’s a time saver, but also I try to keep it analog and organic and physical. It can’t be too sharp – there has to be a more human element”


Rubin and one of his assistants at work on the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin’s detail of his sketch for the project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read Part II of this project here:

“Done!” Murals from Rubin, Aakash, & Hellbent : Domino Walls Part II


BSAPlease 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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“Major Minority” ; The Great Gathering of a Tribe

“Major Minority” ; The Great Gathering of a Tribe

Poesia and EKG Talk to BSA about an Audacious Survey

A new show organized by Poesia, a San Francisco based graffiti artist and founder of the site Graffuturism, pulls together one hundred or so artists from eighteen countries with the goal of mapping one constellation in the cosmos – a global survey of urban artists that hopes to articulate a body of aesthetics he’s calling Othercontemporary. And why not? Audacity and vision are qualities these times call for and if successful could lead to a clearer understanding of the trends, techniques, practices, and narratives underlying what has been happening on the streets for the last half century.




Kwest (photo © Brock Brake)

With New York artist/historian/semiotic explorer EKG as a guide, the two have been synthesizing their findings and discovering the genuine firing of synapses that indicate they are uncovering the electrical impulses that have made graffiti / street art/ urban art feel so completely relevant to the last two generations. A “Major Minority” hopes to chart the course for the third.


Mags (photo © Brock Brake)


Poesia invites you here to take a look at some of the pieces that will be on display, as shot by Brock Brake. Brooklyn Street Art asked Poesia and EKG about the survey and to make some conjecture about the way forward.

Brooklyn Street Art: Each generation and movement is defined and labeled by its participants, peers, and observers. In your treatise on this moment and this collection of artists you say that Stefano Antonelli coined the term Othercontemporary to perhaps set it apart from Contemporary. Why does this term sound appropriate to you?
Poesia: I had initially used the term Neo-Contemporary. After a brief discussion amongst some peers Stefano mentioned this term – it seemed the most accurate out of the terms being discussed. I feel it’s important because it starts a conversation about something other than contemporary art, and describes rather bluntly our separation from contemporary art, yet defines the contemporary nature of our art form. I have grown tired of comparing what we do to contemporary art, maybe this term will get people talking about something more present.



Slicer (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Take a guess and swing the bat wide, why has the established art world taken so long to give recognition to the urban artist?
Poesia: Canonization usually takes place long after the genuine moments of art movements, or when they are at their peak. Its no different even in today’s Internet era, even with all the information at their fingertips academics won’t ever understand why a 12 year old child and a 50 year old adult writes on walls. Its easier to make use of their MFAs by extending the reach of the contemporary art conversation than it is to look at society and to try to understand the writing on the walls.



Hellbent (photo © Hellbent)

Brooklyn Street Art: Has something happened in the last 5-10 years that has caused so many urban/street/graffiti artists to make more geometric and abstract work that usually avoids the organic, figurative, and pop? Any idea what is driving it?
Poesia: It’s a culmination –  one of those things where maybe all the right ingredients are there and it happens.

Graffiti, being an abstract art form in its nature, lends itself to pure abstraction. Experimentation with the letterform usually takes place more with color and shape than it does conceptually or from a representational perspective. Additionally with the birth of Street Art it opened up the playing field a bit. Artists now were forced to compete visually with representational imagery on walls. It has allowed many artists to leave letterform and the rectangular space of a piece or even “wild style”. The horizontal rectangle was replaced with the square or vertical rectangle – that also pushed for the evolution of the artist.



Silvio Magaglio (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: What will a viewer begin to realize when looking over the constellation of works in this show?
That painting is alive, and urban art seems to be the most relevant embodiment of this. This post-historical art form seems to be sending a message that there is something left in the visual image and its power. The goal was to show the widest spectrum possible from figurative to minimal in the area of Urban Art and I think we accomplished that.



Silvio Magaglio (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you speak about the “unique participatory and non-exclusionary nature” of urban/street/graffiti art practices?
EKG: Graffiti/Street Art (here defined as the public surfaces they affix themselves to, the container superseding the content, the medium as the message) is a broadcast channel that will not exclude anyone who wants to participate. Anybody with a passion to be seen and heard can broadcast on the graffiti/street art wavelength, as long as they are driven to take the risk of breaking the law in order to make their aesthetic statement.

When someone illegally transmits a signal on a public surface, aka a wall or monitor, there is no editorial hierarchy, no censorship board, no review panel, and no proofreaders. It is an individualistic and anarchistic means of expression. In order to transmit your mark, you don’t have to pay anyone, you don’t have to ask for permission, you don’t have to take a vote, you don’t have to take into account anyone else’s approval or opinion about your message.

At heart, graffiti/street art are visual civil disobedience, no matter the initial conscious intention of the mark maker, although a combination of action and intention can make the mark more meaningful to the receiver once they learn more about the broadcaster.



Vsod (photo © Brock Brake)


Vsod (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: “Illegal” and “transgressive” are two root words that reappear in your discussion of the collection. Did this movement germinate from anti-establishment sentiments, marginalized populations?
EKG: Doing anything illegal can be considered transgressive, but, more specifically for this discussion, illegal aesthetic manifestations are a minor infrastructural irritant that accrue a massive semiotic tumescence of cultural weight.

Currently incarcerated under the simplistic and myopic legal category defined as vandalism, aka criminal mischief, illegal aesthetic manifestations should instead be interpreted as more of a cultural statement than actually being a debilitating crime that selfishly and meaninglessly attacks a particular individual or society as a whole, as has been promoted by institutional authorities protecting the status quo.

The Original Writers discovered that Graffiti was a powerful means to: express rebellious dissatisfaction on political, economic, societal and cultural levels; define one’s identity as a powerful entity that was omnipresent, by proxy omniscient; delineate physical and semiotic territories that were theirs as opposed to their foes or society at large; connect with other members of their age group to form alternative communities of like-minds; and gain recognition with their peers and the public overall.

Like the seers who were channeling the oracles of our time, the old school original writers instinctually discovered an art form that continues to engage and challenge our global culture. Fifty years later the movement is still kept alive inside and outside by practitioners of all ages, styles, and intentions. Graffiti is no longer perceived as merely vandalism perpetrated by megalomaniac antisocial teens, but a positive and powerful cultural change agent practiced by conscious objectors of all ages.


Drew Young (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Specifics please: please place an artists name next to each of the following word whose work comes to mind.

Poesia: Okay, here are examples.

Activist: Boniface Mwangi
Idealist: Moneyless
Geometric: Nawer
Minimal: Christopher Derek Bruno
Expressionist: Jaybo Monk


Askew (photo © Brock Brake)

Brooklyn Street Art: Sometimes it appears that the street is providing the stage for an explosion/implosion of all other historical art movements coalescing and deconstructing and recombining and mutating before us. Perhaps it’s because the street is reflecting society and we are all drinking from the Internet River. Maybe we’re witnessing a true globalism. You can say the movement on the street has roots in graffiti, and we would agree. But is it even possible to make sense of what is happening right now?
Poesia: I can only be a participant in this moment and hope to engage the conversation in real time versus when it won’t matter anymore. I think Urban Art is one of many emerging art forms that have been bubbling on the surface for a while now. As the generation shift takes place we will be accepted at the moment when we are irrelevant, as so many art forms before us. This makes today more important than tomorrow. I don’t know if I have the capability to make sense of it all, but I appreciate every second of it.


Bezt Etam (photo © Brock Brake)


Vincent Abadie Hafez Zepha (photo © Brock Brake)


Thiago Toes (photo © Brock Brake)


Sat One (photo © Brock Brake)


Katre (photo © Brock Brake)


Sowat (photo © Brock Brake)


Gilbert1 (photo © Brock Brake)


Gilbert1 (photo © Brock Brake)


Dem189 (photo © Brock Brake)


Bom.k (photo © Brock Brake)


Borondo (photo © Brock Brake)


“A Major Minority” opens this Friday, March 14 at 1AM Gallery in San Francisco, CA.

Click HERE for more details on this show.

The Full Essay “A Major Minority” Group Exhibition by Poesia and EKG can be found HERE.

The interview answers from EKG were edited for length – please see his full responses on his Facebook page HERE.

We would like to thank Brock Brake for his excellent photos of the art and to Poesia and EKG for their thoughtful and insightful answers to our questions.


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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New High-Water Mark for Street Art at Fairs for Armory Week

New High-Water Mark for Street Art at Fairs for Armory Week

This year represents a high-water mark for current Street Artists being represented at the New York fairs if what we have just seen over the last couple of days is any indication. For those who have been following the trajectory of the new kids we’ve been talking about for the last decade, the room is rather getting a lot more crowded. Only a handful of years ago names that produced blank stares at your forehead and a little sniff of dismissal are garnering an extra lingering moment near the canvas and snap of the cellphone pic, complimentary champagne flute in hand.


Hellbent at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the gusts of wind provided by a couple of recent auctions, optimism about an up-turning economy, and even the Banksy one-month residency, it is not hard to imagine that we have some “overnight” stars in the midst of this constellation, but it is really anyone’s guess.

While we are certainly aware of it, we don’t dedicate too much ink to the commercial aspect of the Street Art scene, preferring to learn the lingua franca of these artists who have developed their narrative and visual style before our eyes, to celebrate experimentation, the creative spirit, and to give a pedestrian view of the street without being pedestrian.

But just as neighborhoods like Bushwick in Brooklyn, El Raval in Barcelona, LA’s downtown Arts District, and parts of London, Berlin, and Paris have been transforming by gentrification, we would be remiss if we didn’t note the more frequent raising of commercial eyebrows all around us when the topic turns to Street Art. It’s not a fever pitch, but can it be far off? There is already a solid first tier that everyone can name – and the stratification is taking shape below it.


Herb Smith (previously Veng RWK) at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Buffeted by blossoming sales of works by early 2000s Street Artists and the burgeoning of lifestyle companies now appropriating this cultural wealth and transforming it into “content” that helpfully couriers all manner of merch from spirits to soda, sneakers, and electronic smoking devices, we are looking for our seat belts as there a major shift in popular acceptance and critical embracing of 21st century Street Artists up ahead.

As for the streets, the flood is going to continue. Street Art is Dead? Yes, we’ve been hearing this since 2002…

Here’s a brief non-specific and uneven survey of only some work showing this weekend by current or former Street Artists and graffiti writers – perhaps a third of what you can see in the New York fairs and satellite galleries.


Rubin at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fumero at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gilf! and Icy & Sot at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EKG and Lamour Supreme at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alice Mizrachi and Jon Burgerman at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris Stain and Rubin at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


See One and Chuck Berrett/Nicole Salgar of Cargo Collective at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


JMR and Cake at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vicki DaSilva at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pose at Volta (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vinz at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Amanda Marie at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tip Toe at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Mac at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Know Hope at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cope at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalini at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Banksy and friends at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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“Outdoor Gallery” Surveys Current Street Art Scene in NYC

“Outdoor Gallery” Surveys Current Street Art Scene in NYC


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin

The outdoor gallery is the one we visit most and NYC is always front and center in our heart even as we branched out to about 100 other cities and towns last year.  Outdoor Gallery – New York City is also the name of the brand new book by photographer and writer Yoav Litvin, who has spent the last couple of years shooting New York streets and meeting many of the artists who make the painting and wheat pasting that characterizes the class of 2014.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Chris Stain.

Published by Ginko Press, the large 235 page hardcover features nearly 50 street artists / graffiti artists whose work you see here regularly (with the exception of two or three) along with comments and observations from the artists about their practice, their experiences, and the current Street Art scene primarily in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

When Yoav told us of his hope to publish a book last year we offered whatever advice we could – but primarily we advised him to stick to his vision and not to let anyone discourage him. A true fan of the scene, he has worked tirelessly to do just that and now he can share with you a personal survey and record of many of the artists who are getting up today in New York.


Outdoor Gallery. New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Joe Iurato.

Outdoor Gallery – New York City grew organically to embody my process of exploration and discovery on the streets of New York City. It is a creation that was born out of love for New York City streets and their people, and focuses on artists as leaders with a unique and necessary role in a society that aspires for freedom and change,” says Litvin in his introduction, and throughout the book you can sense the respect he has for the art and the dedication he has put into this project.

Careful to let the artists speak for themselves, he presents their work without commentary and with ample space given for expression. Using primarily his own photos, it is carefully edited and presented as an uncluttered and measured overview of each artists work.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Jilly Ballistic.

For us it is a proud moment to see someone’s dream realized after so much effort and dogged determination – especially in a scene whose challenges we are well familiar with.  No one knows how hard it is to make something happen unless they do it themselves. So congratulations to Yoav for sticking to his vision and having the fortitude to finish this and thanks to him on the behalf of the artists whom he is helping to receive recognition for their work as well.

To that end, you are invited to the big launch party this Saturday at 17 Frost in Williamsburg. We’ll be there and we hope you can make it out for a great New York Street Art family reunion. You can’t miss the entrance, it’s been newly smashed by El Sol 25, Bishop 203, Royce and some other people we can’t remember right now but who will remind us as soon as this goes up ; ) .


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Gilf!

You can find out more about it on the Facebook Event Page, but we understand there will be a newly debuted video from Dega Films, a special tribute to Army of One, and a full show of new works from many of the artists in the book, including;

Adam Dare, Alice Mizrachi, Army of One / JC2, Astrodub, ASVP, Billy Mode, Bisho203, Bunny M, Cern, Chris RWK, Chris Stain, Cope2, Dain, Dirty Bandits, El Sol 25, Elle Deadsex, Enzo and Nio, Free5, Fumero, Gaia, Gilf!, Hellbent, Icy and Sot, Indie 184, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, Kram, Lillian Lorraine, LNY (Lunar New Year), Miyok, ND’A, OCMC, OverUnder, Phetus88, QRST, Russell King, Shin Shin, Shiro, Sofia Maldonaldo, The Yok, Toofly, and Veng RWK.



Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Icy & Sot.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Hellbent.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by QRST.


Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Front and back cover art by Bishop203, LNY, Alice Mizrachi, QRST, Gilf!, Cern and Icy & Sot.

Below is a look at behind-the-scenes of the making of the mural for the cover of the book.


Bishop 203. (photo © Yoav Litvin)


Icy & Sot balancing a stencil. (photo © Yoav Litvin)


Taking a step back to assess the progress. (photo © Yoav Litvin)


The final piece. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Outdoor Gallery – New York City will be launched in conjunction with an art exhibition this Saturday, February 22nd at 17 Frost Art Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Click HERE for more details.


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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Images Of The Week: 11.10.13


Dang, this city is full of a lot of energy and the streets are showing a new-found enthusiasm for art in the public sphere since getting goosed by _____________ (we can’t say that name one more time).  And we have a new mayor, by the way, straight outta Brooklyn, yo. And he’s not a billionaire for the first time in 12 years and his family looks just like New York.

So here is our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring B.D. White, Chuck Berrett, Cost, Hellbent, Hot Tea, Icy & Sot, Marko93, MOR, Mr. Toll, Myth, NM Salgar, Rambo, Smart Crew, The Lurkers, and Vicki DaSilva.

Top Image >> A multi-layered hand-stencilled piece from B.D. White (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy & Sot for Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY 2013. (photo © Icy & Sot)


Icy & Sot for Wall Therapy. Detail. Rochester, NY 2013. (photo © Icy & Sot)


Icy & Sot for Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY 2013. (photo © Icy & Sot)


Icy & Sot for Wall Therapy. Rochester, NY 2013. (photo © Icy & Sot)


Icy & Sot At Woodward Gallery, Project Space. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent wrapped an entire store in lower Manhattan just below Union Squre. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vicki DaSilva lights the night for Le Tour Paris 13. Paris, France. (photo © Vicki DaSilva)

You wonder how the above image was accomplished? Check out this interview with the artist Vicki DaSilva, who has loved graffiti for decades and has found a way to express her appreciation for art and activism in the public sphere using her own unique approach.


A hot shot of Marko93 light writing for Le Tour Paris 13. Paris, France. (photo © Marko93)


Hot Tea says a big hello to  “Banksy” in New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rambo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOR (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Lurkers with Smart Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Lurkers with Smart Crew. Deatail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Lurkers with Smart Crew. Deatail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Lurkers with Smart Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cost/Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chuck Berrett/NM Salgar (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Queens, NY. October 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sneak Peek at Hellbent “No Wave” at Cave


Hellbent is in LA to open his show at CAVE tonight, and he shares with you these exclusive shots of the next phase of his abstract patterned color bars for the gallery he calls Mix Tapes. New is the sophistication in dimension and shadow, and a lot more white space, with pieces broken apart and reassembled in a looser, less dense buildup – a continuation of the direction he began for the “Spectrum” group show he was in last month.


“My ‘No Wave’ paintings are a further exploration of abstraction that I have been working on for the last year and half and I feel that they are going to continue to evolve,” he says. “In the same way that Richard Dieberkorn’s Ocean Park series was a 7-year journey, I think the Mix Tape series is only in its infancy.”



“With these current paintings I have been exploring leaving parts of the canvas untouched and allowing the white of the gesso to become a part of the paintings. I think this lets the painting breath and provides a ground for the viewer.”


“I have also been adding shadow to some of the different ‘Shafts’ to enhance the dimensionality of these paintings.  While in the early phase of this work I think the color itself had achieved a 3D effect, if subtly, with the shadows it is instantly apparent. I was initially hesitant about the shadows but I have been having so much fun and since I had used them in murals in the past it was an easy transition. I am having a lot fun playing with these different layers and figuring out the different planes of the canvas as I construct them.”



All images courtesy and © of Hellbent and Cave Gallery

Check out more about “No Wave” on Facebook.

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The High Line Loft Presents: “The Future Is Now” A Group Exhibition (Manhattan, NYC)

The Future is Now

The Future Is Now
Opening Reception: Thursday August 1st, 2013 4-11pm
Friday August 2nd, 2013 10 am-11pm
Saturday August 3rd, 2013 10 am-11pm
Sunday August 4th, 2013 10 am-6pm

The Highline Loft
508 W. 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

We are pleased to present “The Future Is Now” at The Highline Loft, NYC’s renowned gallery located on The Highland Park in Chelsea, NYC.

This unique Invitational brings together a curated selection of prolific street and urban contemporary artists and musicians for a weekend of cutting edge art, music, technology and performance. The Future Is Now serves as the blueprint for the 21st Century’s Multimedia art experience.

Please join us while we make history together.

Roster of Artists:

Jordan Betten, John Breiner, Ross Brodar, Allison Buxton, Garrison Buxton, John Arthur Carr, Cern, Deedee Cheriel, Chip Love, Steve Cogle, Joseph Conrad- Ferm, COPE2, Spencer Keeton Cunningham, Cycle, CYRCLE, Dalek, Adam Dare, Katrina Del Mar, ELLE DEAD SEX, Brian Ermanski, John FeknerEric Foss, Mike Fitzsimmons, Ellis Gallagher, Mike Giant, Maya Hayuk, Hellbent, David Hochbaum, David Hollier, Michael Holman, Ben Horton, Kimyon Huggins, INDIE 184 , Ian Kuali, Dave Kinsey, Koralie, Kool Kid Kreyola, Nick Kuszyk, Greg LaMarche, Craig LaRotonda, Don Leicht, Chip Love, Adam Ludwig, Joe Lurato, Tara McPherson, Alice Mizrachi, Billy Mode, Morning Breath, NDA, NOBODY, OLEK, David Ortiz, William Quigley, Leon Reid, Skewville, Specter , Beau Stanton, Chris Stain, Swoon, Nick Taylor, Thundercut, , Chris Uphues, Michel Bellici, Andrea Von Bujdoss, Kennedy Yanko, Deborah Yoon.

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Gallery Brooklyn Presents: “Spectrum” A Group Exhibition (Brooklyn, NY)




Abstraction Through Spraypaint


Rubin, Hellbent, EKG, See One, Col


Opening: Saturday, July 27, 6-9pm Dates: July 27 – August 31, 2013


Gallery Brooklyn, 351 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 p: 347.460.4063 |
Hours: Thu–Sat 12–6pm, Sun 12-5pm, & appointment.



New York City, NY — On Saturday July 27, five street-oriented painters will exhibit together under the rubric of abstraction at Gallery Brooklyn in Red Hook. For these artists, abstraction as a formal aesthetic mode functions like a prism that fractures graffiti and street art into multiple facets creating a spectrum of mutation. This exhibition introduces original specimens of hybridization, re-creation, and singularity into the taxonomy of art on the streets and in the gallery.


Each artist has created a unique, progressive body of work due to their allowance for porous boundaries between the visual vocabularies and techniques of graffiti, street art and fine art. Emphasizing their roots as graffiti writers, Rubin crafts wildstyle abstractions into graphic geometric deconstructions, whereas Col sculpts and weaves his into weighted three-dimensional shapes and flowing, entwining color fields. Graffiti artist See One does away with letterforms completely and creates tumultuous compositions of expressionistic techniques and sharp geometric shapes, a series dubbed “shards.” Hellbent utilizes stencils, a staple tool for street artists, to compose geometric compositions out of patterns that create an impression of a collage of lace and fabrics. EKG uses an “expressionistic pixilation” to compose a space from which to transmit a network of primitively rendered marks.


Painters have struggled to capture pure visionary aesthetic forms since the turn of the twentieth century. This pilgrimage along the holy path of Abstraction achieved its most widely-recognized pinnacle of experimental success and international popularity in the mid-twentieth- century with Abstract Expressionism. As we pass into the twenty-first century, another wave of renewed activity and interest in abstraction has surged within the Graffiti and Street Art movements, as well as in the fine art community and institutions. Since 2010, a living archive of Abstract and Progressive Graffiti, has been supporting established painters, inspiring developing ones, and attracting a growing interest from the public. Collectives that center around abstract and progressive graffiti have formed or become active again, such as Agents of Change, Transcend Collective, and Ikonoklast Movement. In 2011, the book Abstract Graffiti by Cedar Lewisohn and the ArtNews article Beyond Graffiti by Carolina Miranda were published. In 2012, MoMA opened their huge exhibition, Inventing Abstraction, a historical survey of the formative years from 1910-25. also presented Geometricks, curated by Hellbent, a large group exhibition of progressive graffiti and street art. This year the Guggenheim is currently displaying New Harmony, another survey of abstraction from 1919-1939. And through June 20th at The Hole gallery, Xstraction is the third iteration in a series of exhibits since 2008 that have focused on contemporary abstraction.


Lifelong Harlem resident Royce Bannon has been drawing his infamous monsters on the streets of NYC for over a decade. He recently was honored with inclusion in the city-wide art installation project Sing For Hope. This project involved painting one of 88 pianos, which were then installed around the five boroughs of NYC. Royce also currently writes a column for The Source magazine and has curated many other exhibitions including ones at The Woodward Gallery, powerHouse Arena, and 17Frost. [ Text by Daniel Feral ]

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Welling Court 2013 Is a Blast, Was the Last

This was the last edition of Welling Court.

Or it will be if you don’t help.

Garrison and Alison Buxton have spent countless hours, elbow grease and their own money to make this huge non-commercial Welling Court Mural Project happen 4 years in a row – giving free walls to a few hundred artist during that time.

Cost to us: Zilch, Zero, Nada

Cultural workers extraordinaire with a Rolodex list as long as the banquet table at an Italian wedding, these two have given more Street Artists artists more free opportunities than a block full of GO-GO bars. Wait, that didn’t sound right. But you get our point.

If not, here’s the point: Go pledge 10 bucks or a hundred bucks to their fundraiser for all the fun and true community spirit they have brought people for the last four years.

And this means all the artists who have been helped too. Should we start naming names?

After you pledge some money to their Indiegogo come back here and enjoy brand new images of the 4th Annual Welling Court installation. It may be the last time. And then all we will have left are logo-smothered festivals sponsored by cool “urban” lifestyle brands, real estate agents, energy drinks, and/or the Chamber of Commerce and The Daughters of the Revolution.  Jeez that’ll be fun, won’t it?

Welling Court Mural Project

El Kamino (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Fekner . Don Leicht. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Welling Court Mural Project

John Fekner. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ND’A . Mataruda (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project

Foxx Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hellbent (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toofly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project

Vexta at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vexta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Cupcake Guy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project

Icy & Sot at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tweeting this:

Please Support #WellingCourtMuralProject on IndieGoGo @AdHocArt

Pasting this on your FaceBook Wall:

Please Support #WellingCourtMuralProject on IndieGoGo @AdHocArt

Sinned (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project

Ryan Seslow (photo © Jaime Rojo)

R. Robots (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project

Mike Fitzimmons at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mike Fitzimmons (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Kiji (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project

Queen Andrea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOP (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Welling Court Mural Project

Chris . Veng . RWK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rusell King . Matt Siren (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project

Cern (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cosbe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project

Magda Love (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Roycer says, “You giving 10 bucks?” Abe Lincoln Jr. says, “WERD!” Royce Bannon . Abe Lincoln Jr. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For other images please see Images of the Week 6/06/13.


Please Donate to the Welling Court Mural Project


Previous 3 years on BSA:

Welling Court: A New York Mural Block Party Like No Other

Posted on June 27, 2012

Buxtons Bring “Welling Court 2″ to Queens, Artists and Scooters in Tow

Posted on June 28, 2011

Welling Up a Little? That’s the Street Art “Community” Feeling

Posted on May 24, 2010



Tweeting this:

Please Support #WellingCourtMuralProject on IndieGoGo @AdHocArt

Pasting this on your FaceBook Wall:

Please Support #WellingCourtMuralProject on IndieGoGo @AdHocArt

Thank you very much.


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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