All posts tagged: Houston/Bowery Wall

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.04.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.04.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! The clocks fell back last night, which means it gave NYC marathon runners a much needed extra hour to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling thinking about the race. Speaking of race, people of different colors are accused of vandalizing in New York with hate crime messages like the anti-semitic messages in a Brooklyn synagogue and anti-African American messages at an African  burial ground. We publish a lot images of Street Art and graffiti here and sometimes people call the pieces vandalism, but let’s be clear – this is a different situation altogether.

It seems like everyone is on edge right now as the mid-term elections this Tuesday are causing dark money and vile candidates to gin up feelings of racism, xenophobia, classism, homophobia, you name it. Friday it even caused one rageful white guy in a Cadillac SUV to punch another driver because he nabbed his parking space. Oh, wait, that was just Alec Baldwin. “What kind of example are you setting for your kids with your little temper tantrum?” asked a New York Post reporter as the Trump impersonator left the police precinct, according to the paper. “Can’t you afford a garage at this point with all the money you make?”

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Ad Tumulum Arts, Al Diaz, Anthony Lister, Claw Money, Duke A. Barnstable, Grimm The Street Kat, Invader, Jeffrey Beebe, JR, Kobra, Raf Urban, and Tomokazu Matsuyama.

Top Image: Raf Urban with Duke A. Barnstable joining in on the side with a somewhat related serenade (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Raf Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jeffrey Beebe #trumprat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR. Houston/Bowery Wall with a forced collaboration that wrote the number “11” as a reference to the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday. They also splashed red paint across the area of the image where people are holding rifles. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR. Houston/Bowery Wall with a forced collaboration. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tomokazu Matsuyama and Snoopy and his little bird friend Woodstock. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tomokazu Matsuyama (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra’s invocation of immigrants who came to New York through Ellis island. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robert Janz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lister (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Claw Money (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Undidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Grimm The Street Kat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ad Tumulum Arts lambastes the comedian Louis CK “for repeated sexual harrassment of women”. He has denied certain claims made against him. Here’s an article about the claims. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Undidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. November 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton and Summer “Intermission” on the Bowery/Houston Wall

Tristan Eaton and Summer “Intermission” on the Bowery/Houston Wall

And now its time for a mid-year intermission to pause and reflect upon the events that have happened in the first act. We’ve had plenty of treachery, intrigue, jailbirds and back alley suspense. Clearly it is time for a serendipitous summer romance, with Tristan Eaton as director.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An historic reenactment of sorts, this scene is usually full of its own drama; the painting of the Houston Wall in Manhattan appears once again on this drive-by screen, crammed with special effects as multi-talent Tristan Eaton explodes for days with the coursing traffic roaring and halting and honking and rumbling behind him.

The action unfolds and cameras are ablaze as documentors are there to capture it, including the stalwart Martha Cooper, the in-flight Zane Meyer, and our own private-eye Jaime Rojo.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan’s cunning recombinative practice of recalling images from pop, television, cinema, and advertising languages, selecting many of their most emotionally charged aspects in exquisite fullness is all leveled here with a tropical lushness almost never found in this forbidding city, safely encased behind a protective gloss.

It’s the nostalgic stuff of marquees and beige canvas directors chairs, patterned jacquard wall tapestry, crimson velvet curtains, butter soaked popcorn, sticky floors and a certain smokey Saturday matinee reefer madness. This all once reigned in cinematic and tawdry Manhattan; mixing showgirls and space scientists and dames with sex-workers and 25 cent peepholes. Of course, the glam and the grind are all still here in Gotham – they’ve just become uberized and swiped right.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eaton’s influences from Sunset Boulevard and Detroit’s motor city grit translate well here in the thick of our own version of mid-summers’ insouciance. It’s all hustle, hormones, and a finely pulsating particulate matter that sticks to you; a humid cloud of complex desires clinging to your skin, now flickering in warm succulence as you ride by on your wheels.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our guy on the street rolled past the one-man show many times over the past couple of weeks to check on progress and mingle with the ever-more-gilded gentry that frequent the sidewalks/runways here. Cuffed tonal highwaters, PVC wedges and fugly white dad sneakers aside, New Yorkers still walk the walk and have a certain respect for their Street Art, if only to pose before it for the 1,000th selfie.

The affable showman Eaton is not shy for the endlessly inquisitive fan, either – ready to layer on additional color and texture. For this particular intermission, our summer romance will continue long into autumn’s golden glow.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton photo bombs Jessica Goldman, Sheryo and Martha Cooper. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.18.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.18.18


BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

A quick recap of two big stories of the week in cold New York: Revok’s lawsuit against retailer H&M for using his work, done illegally, in an ad campaign was answered this week by a counter lawsuit from them. It set off a backlash among Street Artists on social media and elsewhere, garnering a large number of stories in media outlets large and small. Others have said everything we would have – except that whether this suit is withdrawn or not, there is still question whether the matter of illegally done artworks will be copyright protected in the future or not. We like how Juxtapoz has covered the topic HERE.

Secondly, Banksy has been in New York pulling our chain again, putting up new works in the city and announcing them on his social media, then putting them up without announcing them? Regardless, photographers and fans are racing to capture images. Who knows how long this visit lasts or what trick is up his sleeve next.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets (and elsewhere), this week featuring Adam Fujita, Banksy, Don Rimx, Hox Hoh, K-Nor, Naomi Rag, Timothy Curtis, and Zehra Doğan

Top Image: Banksy? We’ll have to wait…(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy. Detail.  A tribute. A plea. A denunciation. A well used example of the artist’s platform to bring awareness of the plight of artists who dare to set themselves free with their art. Depicted here is Ms. Zehra Doğan an editor and journalist from Turkey. She is presently serving time in jail for painting Turkish flags on a painting showing destroyed buildings and posting the painting on Social Media.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy. Free Zehra Doğan. NYC Houston/Bowery Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy. Detail.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Naomi Rag. Red Rose in Spanish Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
It is a special one, it’s never seen the sun
It only comes out when the moon is on the run
And all the stars are gleaming
It’s growing in the street right up through the concrete
But soft and sweet and dreaming…” Jerry Leiber & Phil Spector

Naomi Rag. Hope for the Spring… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toy Ass…Toys are Not Us… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

HOX XOH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita (photo © Jaime Rojo)

K-Nor (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Timothy Curtis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles…Home Run… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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REVOK AND POSE and the Transformation of The Houston Wall

It took 80 hours and 7 humid sticky days and nights to complete, longer than it took God to make Heaven and Earth, according to scriptures. But the powerful transformation of the famed Houston Street Wall that took place last week had as profound an effect on many New York fans of Street Art and Graffiti as the melting of the North and South poles. And that was probably intentional.

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

The resulting flash flooding of emotions and summer storms washed over LA’s Revok and Chicago’s Pose as they joined each other with other MSK brothers to create a feast of popping color, styles, texture, tribute, and pure character – each climbing and gripping tightly to one another on a 90 degree diagonal grid that pushed it all together in one riotous composition.

Ultimately, the visually cacophonic mural, born amidst endless honking, screeching, sirens and a parade of curious passersby who pummeled the painters with a fusillade of questions and requests, is a joyous compilation for many, a perplexing mix of influences for others. With layers of tributes to fallen graffiti writers, shout-outs to friends and family, and heartfelt thanks to the host city that sparked a global graffiti scene decades earlier (including this very spot), the visiting thirty something graffiti brothers couldn’t quite quantify the depth of feeling they were experiencing as they slowly smashed a big wall in the heart of Manhattan.

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

For New York fans of a wall made famous by a long list of Street Artists including Haring, Scharf, Fairey, Faile, and others, most on the street hadn’t heard the names of these new guys but, like true New Yorkers, welcomed them nonetheless, usually emphatically. If there were worries about a strict adherence to rules of graffiti culture or whether the work borrows some conventions from pop, advertising, graphic design, or even Street Art, not many appeared to care about those distinctions. If anything, this wall is the apt expression of today’s’ blurred lines, where a throwie, a Lichtenstein, a sharply abstract pattern, and a hungry gorilla salivating over a police cruiser can all coexist harmoniously.

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

In fact it appears that Revok and Pose are metaphorically and technically casting aside once and for all the artificial divisions on the streets when it comes to styles and methods. Whether its the joint gallery shows, collaborative outdoor art festivals, or institutional venues like the sweeping “Art in the Streets” exhibit at MoCA  a couple of years ago, it looks like graffiti and Street Art have been put into a room and encouraged to work out their differences. Now of course they’re copying off each others exam paper in the back row of class, but at least they’re not fighting so much. Okay, true,  that announcement is still premature, but you can see the horizon ahead. Naturally in a city like New York that often typifies global diversity and routinely gives wide latitude for freedom of expression, the creative spirit as expressed with such technical skill and this kind of whole-hearted passion is invariably afforded a welcome. At least for a minute.

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

But that didn’t mean that Pose wasn’t feeling the pressure of doing this wall well, a pressure level that he estimated at ten times more than he would feel on a typical wall, even though both guys have been graff writers for more than two decades. “We’ve all painted a million walls. This is something that is sort of a landmark and for our culture it means a lot,” he said of the involvement of contemporary graffiti artists right here, right now. “The history is very daunting because you want to honor it, you want to pay tribute, but you also want to push the boundaries by really doing your best. It’s a really insane kind of platform.”

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

For Revok, the LA based writer who also is spending a lot of time in Detroit these days, the opportunity brings him back to a holy place he revered growing up, and he’s not going to miss it or take it for granted. Speaking about the profound impact that New York’s’ subway artists of the 1970s and 1980s had on the imaginations of countless youth in cities around the world, Revok envisions a booming audio tower emanating concentric circles in waves traveling to all who would hear.

“I imagine it as this kind of ring that just exploded and a ripple was sent out everywhere as far as it could go – and I’m one of those receivers, I’m one of those people who felt that,” he says as he describes weaving references into the mural by including names like Dondi and Iz The Wiz and even the letter “T” from the Beat Street movie poster. “You know all of those names in there – not all of them, but a lot of them – they were New Yorkers, they were a part of that movement at that time, they were people that created this world, this idea, this language that I’ve connected to and that is so dear and important and powerful to me. And now they’re not here, they are gone.”

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

“But what they created and what they gave to the world will live on forever. And coming here to New York, it’s a culmination – this wall right here, there is a tremendous amount of history right here, everybody that’s done it is important in their own right. For us to be fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to do this as outsiders I feel there is a responsibility to acknowledge the people and the culture that created me and my friends and now as it is coming back home, I’m paying tribute to New York graffiti, I’m paying tribute just to the general movement as a whole,” says Revok.

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of the many references are three call outs to their recently and painfully departed MSK brother Nekst, who a handful of crew members had joined together to eulogize on smaller walls in Brooklyn the previous weekend. Among the other names included are Ayer, Vizie, Cheech Wizard, Omenz, Sace, Case 2, Semz, Tie One, Rammellzee, and “All You See is Crime in the City” – a phrase associated with a famous  train car work by Skeme from the 1980s documentary “Style Wars”. The guys even did shout outs to their kids.

Aside from the art category labels and the odes to community, both Revok and Pose are doubled up on this wall because of their common regard for sampling – that is, the combining of a variety of disparate elements and re-contextualizing them. As a basis for their fine art show that just opened at Jonathan Levine Gallery while they were in the city, the two have found that they both have a fairly active studio practice that they can collaborate on also.

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Both say they sample from their environment, but how they go about it is unique to each. “I sample from all the years of being on the street and climbing around. After a while you start really having an appreciation for the environment,” Revok says as he describes his affinity for textures, details, and the underlying history of the built environment.

For Pose, it may be more of an atmospheric and emotional sampling where he takes “everything from everywhere. There are no rules. It’s like “Oh that sign is gold with a white outline and that is really impressive, like that is fucking beautiful – so I should do my name that way because I’ll catch as much attention as that sign does. It’s really those rudimentary kinds of things that I feel validated by and that are where I go with my art, it’s just that basic. That’s what was powerful for me – just taking from things around you and using them to express yourself, to create a dialogue, to create a narrative.”

Revok and Pose invited Rime as a guest artists, shown here at work. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

A closer examination of how some of the more commercial elements in the mural were achieved by Pose shows how he used a cut and paste process in the re-purposing of old signage. Drawing from a stash of “pounce patterns” that were given to him by a buddy while he was a professional sign painter in Chicago for a decade, Pose says his method of choice is pretty randomized, and he is sometimes as surprised as anyone about what he’ll pull out. “I’ve got all these old pieces of signage rolls from this guy – these are already a slice of history. My wife hates it; my whole garage is filled with his old pounce and all this stuff. And we started bringing them to walls – almost like rolling the dice and finding this kind of completely unforeseen elements to the wall.”

With all these plans and all these cans, the guys made sure that this transformation was a collaborative effort and they had some solid support help from other MSK members, the occasional volunteer, and the well known RIME, who Revok reflexively calls, “The best graffiti writer in the world.”

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

As each guy reflects on the team, the same topic of the importance of collaboration arises – a sort of progressive vision where crew members alternately work as assistants on each others projects. “We’re all really close and we play a significant role in one another’s lives and what we paint – it’s really natural for us to collaborate. I think that one of our strengths is how we feed off one another and how we motivate, influence and learn from one another. In the actual act of painting often times we work together with one kind of common goal,” explains Revok.

“We will all work together and it is all kind of a community effort to make things happen. It’s much more fun that way. I’ve been painting graffiti for 23 years now. After a certain point, just like going and painting your name all the time – it gets redundant, it gets boring. You know, you want to have fun, you want to experiment, you want to do different things. My friends and I over the last 10 years or so have really had a lot of fun experimenting and painting on a collaborative level, which is probably not that common for traditional graffiti guys. It’s a lot of fun.”

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pose agrees that collaboration was crucial in creating the new piece on the Houston Street Wall, and for him the goals were pretty clear from the beginning. “All I care about is reaching people,” he says earnestly at 4 a.m. on the fourth consecutive overnight session while sanitation trucks gather garbage from the curb. “I believe in the power of art, especially artwork that is on the street,” says the more philosophical of the duo.

“What I care about is the therapy, the unexplainable, and the powerful, and everybody in my crew, and everybody on this wall will say – ‘Graffiti saved my life’. It’s so cliché but it’s profound and it’s true. Because it is something that is really universal and it crosses so many socio-economic divides and racial divides.”

Pose pauses a beat, “Guess what, the rest of the world would be a lot better fucking place if people caught on that we are all connected.”

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. BSA is in the house. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

The talented crew. From left to right Pose with his assistant Mike,  Revok with his assistant Travis. Props to Travis and Mike for unflinchingly supporting the artists. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revok and Pose. Houston/Bowery Wall. June 2013, NYC. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

You can check out the Revok and Pose transformation for free all summer in NYC at the corner of Houston and Bowery.

Special thanks to Travis and Mike, Meghan Coleman, Martha Cooper, Jonathan Levine, Alix Frey, Maléna Seldin, Roger Gastman, and all the great New Yorkers we met on the streets last week.

Check out the REVOK and POSE exhibition “Uphill Both Ways” at the Jonathan Levine Gallery.

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This posting also appears on The Huffington Post

 

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