All posts tagged: Ian Kuali’I

The Grass Is Greener in Rochester for Wall\Therapy 2017: Completed Walls

The Grass Is Greener in Rochester for Wall\Therapy 2017: Completed Walls

With a theme of “Art and Activism”, the 2017 edition of Wall\Therapy is happening mid-summer in Rochester with local and national artists coming to complete murals that keep people in mind. More of a grassroots mural festival than many, this one works to deepen engagement with the community through new programming intended to connect residents of all ages. BSA is happy to support Wall\Therapy again this year and we invite you to take a look at a people-powered organization that continues to keep it real.


Most of the walls have been finished here in Rochester and the artists are resting up after a pretty intense week and a half of creating new murals for Wall\Therapy. It’s a perfect time of year here – August is sunny and warm and there are sunflowers in backyards and morning glories climbing fences along empty lots. There’s a lot to do around Rocha-cha, and now there are many more murals that are drawing people together to stand on the sidewalk or hang out a window and examine and discuss.

Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, as they say, and many people don’t realize how much of an adventure they can have going for a walk or a hike through their own city. We were so impressed by a short story that Street Artist Sean9Lugo shared with us that we decided to end our coverage of Wall\Therapy with it – a parable for our relationship with animals and the earth. Additionally, his illustrated, painted wheat-pastes here help to illustrate the story.


Our sincere thanks again to the Wall\Therapy founders, organizers, volunteers, artists, and photographers along with the members of the community who lent a hand and some time to making this successful event happen.

Sean9Lugo.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

“The Grass Can Always Be Greener”

Over the years the people that have inhabited mother earth did not treat her well. She was used and abused – crying thunderous tears that flooded her rivers, cracking her foundation and exposing the howling songs of sorrow that gust across her skies. It was the animals who tried to stop us from breaking her heart but we did not listen and only continued on without any regard. We believed we were making improvements to life, yet it was not us but the flowers, trees and rest of the creatures that suffered the consequences the most.

Something had to be done and it was Olivia who made it her mission to replenish mother earth with the plants and animals that once called her home, but barely survived our arrogance, for this was the only way to revive her broken heart.

One day Olivia sat along the Lower Falls overlook apologizing to mother earth for the damage done when a raccoon nibbling on some clover and dandelion turned to her asking why there was so much sadness in her eyes. After explaining to the raccoon what troubled her he ran away in excitement only to return at a much slower pace atop a turtle. The raccoon and turtle took turns with their story, ultimately saying that it only those whose hearts beat to the same beautiful rhythm as mother earths that could bring the spark back to the horizon across the waters, land, and sky.

Sean9Lugo.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Immediately the raccoon ran into a deep burrow in the ground coming back up with handfuls of soil, each time placing it into Olivia’s hands who smeared it across the turtles shell. It was only the touch of a human that could slowly reverse the damage caused by all of us, and after the last handful was placed on the turtles broadened back, lo and behold the earth began to grow in an instant.

The soil upon the turtles back continued to sprout with blossoms and as it grew the air smelled sweeter, the fish could breathe better and the sky was illuminated with a luminous orb. It had been years since mother earth shone this bright. The animals all around the falls ran to see the beauty that was forming around them and rejoiced but immediately sought council as they knew there was still work to be done with the help of Olivia.

Sean9Lugo.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Next the ducks received her on their interknit wings and slowly raised her into the skies where she was met by the elder stork who was honored to have Olivia’s presence in the skies with him. With gratitude he passed on to her bags of life, explaining to her that they held creatures that would bless the earth, and again only a humans touch could release the contents of the bags. As she was lowered back to the growing earth around her, which was now carpeted with greener grass and trees sprouting everywhere, she gently placed the bags down. The bags began to roll around with the tops spilling open, releasing fish, land animals, insects and every other creature that for so many years did not exist on mother earth.

Sean9Lugo.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

As soon as the animals embraced their new home they gathered around Olivia proclaiming her the Great Defender of the earth. Other people rushed to her side, tears rolling down their cheeks from the overwhelming beauty that was intensifying across the horizon. It was on this day that people promised to gently care for mother earth and her children because they finally realized that we must live in harmony with all that surrounds us.

El Fin

~ Sean9Lugo

Sean9Lugo in Collaboration with Magnus Champlin.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

BSA: You have been busy the last few days with wheat-pasting your characters around town. Have you been enjoying Rochester?
Sean9Lugo: I love Rochester, it reminds me of a bunch of different cities – Detroit, Philly and The Bronx – all put together in a pot of arroz con gandules.

BSA: How did the collaboration on the naturescape wall come about and are you pleased with the results?
Sean9Lugo: I felt like the final scene/wall needed to have a landscape to bring the story written by Savage Habbit in full circle. I reached out to Erich from Wall Therapy and asked if he knew anyone in town who would like to collaborate and paint a Bob Ross style landscape and he delivered with flying colors, putting me in touch with local artist Magnus Champlin.  So to answer your question, yes I was thrilled to see how the vision came out.

BSA: What is the most common reaction of passerby to your work?
Sean9Lugo: Most people either laugh, say “that’s cute” or question “why the head?”

BSA: If a bear and you were spotting a jar of peanut butter up a tree in the woods at the same time, who would win?
Sean9Lugo: No contest, I would destroy the bear… peanut butter is my shit.

Sarah C. Rutherford.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Roc Paint Division.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Roc Paint Division. Detail.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Jess X Snow. Detail.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Jess X Snow. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Ian Kuali’i. Detail.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda Yrene La Morena. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Lucinda Yrene La Morena. Detail.  Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Todd Stahl. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Todd Stahl. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Aubrey Roemer. Work in progress. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

 

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Finishing Pieces in Rochester for Wall Therapy 2017: Dispatch 3

Finishing Pieces in Rochester for Wall Therapy 2017: Dispatch 3

With a theme of “Art and Activism”, the 2017 edition of Wall\Therapy is happening mid-summer in Rochester with local and national artists coming to complete murals that keep people in mind. More of a grassroots mural festival than many, this one works to deepen engagement with the community through new programming intended to connect residents of all ages. BSA is happy to support Wall\Therapy again this year and we invite you to take a look at a people-powered organization that continues to keep it real.


Eeerbody get their hands in the air! Dance like you just don’t care!

Sean9Lugo at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Sean9Lugo’s been gesticulating with a victorious pose in Rochester for Wall\Therapy for the last few days, wheat-pasting his human/stuffed animal amalgams on walls here and there. The New Jersey native had to travel a half day to get here but didn’t waste any time or his signature sense of street humor once he arrived. As a collaboration with artist Magnus Champlin he even brought his creatures out to frolic in a pastoral natural setting.

Sean9Lugo for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Saturday’s successful panel discussions and block party have put wind under the wings (and perhaps a couple hangovers) as they work to complete their murals. Todd Stahl’s participation on the activism panel Saturday at Wall\Therapy’s first conference took him away from his wall that is inspired by the plight of refugees world wide, Syrians in particular.

Based in part on images from humanitarian photographer Manar Bilal, the collaged scene includes text, form, and warplanes – an ironic choice that reminds us that wars make refugees and cause suffering, regardless of whose fighting. Stahl is sharing the painting duties with community members and many have been eagering joining in, each bringing their particular style and talent to the overall composition.

Sean9Lugo at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Thematically the festival this year is closer to the ground than previous years, closer to day-to-day issues that affect residents of Roc. With a focus on art and activism – a combination familiar to the Street Art world dating as least as far back as the early billboard jammers – the themes of our systemic racism, LGBTQ issues, women’s rights, families, feminism, the war machine, and the importance of community are all on display with great tact.

Sean9Lugo for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sean9Lugo and Magnus Champlin at work on their collaboration for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Sean9Lugo at work on his collaboration wall with Magnus Champling for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda Yrene/La Morena. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Lucinda Yrene/La Morena. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Ian Kuali’i at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

Ian Kuali’i work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Todd Stahl at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Todd Stahl work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

 

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Wall Therapy 2017: An Intersection of Art, Celebration and People Power : Dispatch 2

Wall Therapy 2017: An Intersection of Art, Celebration and People Power : Dispatch 2

With a theme of “Art and Activism”, the 2017 edition of Wall\Therapy is happening mid-summer in Rochester with local and national artists coming to complete murals that keep people in mind. More of a grassroots mural festival than many, this one works to deepen engagement with the community through new programming intended to connect residents of all ages. BSA is happy to support Wall\Therapy again this year and we invite you to take a look at a people-powered organization that continues to keep it real.


Wall\Therapy is progressing very nicely right now with three members of Rochesters’ youth mural program doing self portraits.

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Etana Brown, Nzinga Muhammed, and Kaori-Mei Stephens are each 17 years old and are focusing the message that All Black Lives Matter. Elsewhere Jess X Snow is doing a portrait of transgender poet Chrysanthemum Tran and muralist Sarah C. Rutherford honors all mothers with her portrait of Trelawney McCoy, a celebrated Rochester native who has opened her home to children through adoption and fostering. The mural is part of Rutherford’s “Her Voice Carries” project.

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Today is the inaugural Wall\Therapy conference featuring Keynote speaker Jessica Pabón-Colón and a full day of panels and discussions and a project room featuring representatives from other community-based art programs and social justice/relief organizations such as the O+ Festival, WXXI, The Ghandi Institute, the New York Civil Liberties Union, Refugees Helping Refugees, Flying Squirrel Community Space and the Visual Studies Workshop.

Roc Paint Division at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Lisa Barker)

Tonight is the block party, a summertime celebration with Kaleidoscope Collective, a local artist space that will include an artist market, an official revealing of the murals by Aubrey Roemer and Jess X Snow, food trucks, live art, and music from Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People. Check out this video by the ebullient and classy Ms. Ponder performing with this talented local family of friends with an inspirational tagline, “Live Your Life, Love Your Life.”

Jess X Snow at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Josh Saunders)

Jess X Snow at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Josh Saunders)

Jess X Snow at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Jess X Snow. Work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford. Detail. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Sarah C. Rutherford. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

Ian Kuali’i at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Josh Saunders)

“Yesterday was super productive. I was able to paste up everything for Rochester’s new hand cut paper mural and starting today I begin the actual process…weather permitting naturally…,” says Ian Kuali’i on his Facebook page.

Ian Kuali’i at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Ian Kuali’i at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Aubrey Roemer. Work in progress for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

Aubrey Roemer at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Aubrey Roemer at work for Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda Yrene/La Morena. Work in progress Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Mark Deff)

Lucinda Yrene/La Morena. Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Jason Wilder)

Todd Stahl. Work in progress Wall Therapy 2017. Rochester, NY. (photo © Ted Wong)

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A Miami Waterfront Stadium Slaughtered by Street Artists to Save It

A Miami Waterfront Stadium Slaughtered by Street Artists to Save It

Just over 50 years ago Cuban architect Hilario Candela designed the Miami Marine Stadium using modernist design to create a great open air theater along the water to watch powerboat racing. In the thirty or so years between its construction and Hurricane Andrew, the 6,566 seat stadium on Miami’s Virginia Key provided natural shade and entertainment including the races, orchestral music, popular music, political events, prize fights – all in a very original and unusual setting. And who can forget it was in “Clambake” with Elvis on skis!

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Ron English. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Because of damage sustained during the 1992 hurricane storm, subsequent inspections have left it condemned by the city engineers and a six-year-old restoration and preservation project has been drawing attention to the site and raising money with the hopes of funding its return. While the restoration organization has received support from the original architect, local dignitaries, celebrities and even some corporate funds, the $30 million dollar renovation is still some distance away.

Recently a group of Street Artists and graffiti artists were invited to continue the visual adornment begun by many uninvited writers over the years. “Graffiti artists have been drawn to the stadium and its architecture,” says Street Artist/ fine artist Logan Hicks who participated in and helped organize many of the artists to check out the mid-century modern structure.

“While the city forgot about the stadium, artists continued to embrace it, illegally painting while the city left it to decay,” he says. In fact it is an irony to consider that one city demonizes the same behavior that another invites, but this isn’t the first time that a subculture is recognized for its contribution. Naturally, we know that the work of these artists will most likely be obliterated in the final design.

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Ron English. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

Now a part of an official campaign to draw attention to the restoration effort, artists from around the country and world have been traveling to the stadium to add their visual signature to the interesting venue. Today we share with BSA readers recent shots by photographer Martha Cooper, who spent some time with Logan and some of the artists for a few days this summer as they explored and hit up some spots in the stadium.

Artists invited to the site include Stinkfish, Axel Void, HoxxoH, Tatiana Suarez, Abstrk, Pixel Pancho, Logan Hicks, Joe Iurato, Rone, Elbow Toe, Risk, Doze Green, Evoca1, Ian Kuali’i, Luis Berros, Dabs Myla, Ron English, Tristan Eaton, The London Police, Crash, Johnny Robles, Reinier Gamboa, Jose Mertz, and Lucy McLauchlan.

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Ron English. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Logan Hicks. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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A view from the stadium when it was doing live shows floating in the water offshore from the Miami Herald website (thus the watermark). To look at original photos the paper has for sale click on the photo or HERE.

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Reinier Gamboa. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Reinier Gamboa. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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CRASH. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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CRASH. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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CRASH. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Luis Berros. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Luis Berros and Crash. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Luis Berros and Crash. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police, Crash and Luis Berros. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police, Crash and Luis Berros. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police and Crash. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police and Crash. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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The London Police and Hoxxochs. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Tristan Eaton getting aerosol satisfaction. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

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Tristan Eaton. Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project. Miami, FL 2014 (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

 

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The “Aqueduct Murals” Are Off and Running!

The “Aqueduct Murals” Are Off and Running!

“He’s pissed off. He’s like… he has an attitude. He’s ornery. In my work I’m always looking to relate my own feelings to the images that I see and try to express them through painting.”

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Chris Stain and Katherine Huala at work on their first collaborative piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain is looking at a black and white photo of a victorious and defiant jockey covered in mud – a guy named Webber who raced “Broiler” at Aqueduct – and talks about why he is immortalizing the fella in paint for this thoroughbred race track that turns 120 years old next year.

“So when I saw him I was like, ‘Yeah I feel like that sometimes, most of the time, ninety-five percent of the time.’ ”

Any seasoned wagerer knows it is a bit of a gamble to work with graffiti and Street Artists – untamed and unbridled as they can be – but Street Artist Joe Iurato has corralled a small herd and coaxed them inside off the streets for this one race. The Aqueduct Murals are out of the gate and if last nights marathon of painting was any indication, the odds are good they will all hit the finish line by Saturday.

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Chris Stain found this vintage photograph as an inspiration for his collaborative piece with Katherine Huala.  Jockey Weber finished second place on his horse “Broiler”, and it looks like it was a rainy and muddy day at the track here in 1941 in Jamaica, Queens. Original photographer unnamed. (This photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Equestrian racing, jockey related – the only criteria they gave us was they wanted to see something that was more in the spirit of the place,” says Joe as he looks around the mainly beige walls of the facility in Queens that is filling with aerosol fumes as the clock nears midnight. He still has to get up on a cherry picker and get working on his collaborative mural with Logan Hicks, but as the organizer, Joe discovers he needs to make sure all the other artists are getting taken care of first – its all part of the care and feeding of Street Artists.

Tomorrow night the opening bell on the reception rings at 6 pm at Aqueduct with a DJ and a print release with all the artists in attendance and Ellis G doing some live chalk drawings, but for right now Joe is looking at some peeling paint and figuring out how to seal it.

“They gave us a photo bucket that was full of about 300 pictures from the past 60 years,” he says of the racetrack reference material that roughly half of the artists are using in their murals. “We were able to use any of those and a lot of them were just brilliant.”

The international and locally-based artists all are taking different approaches – and the distances they have traveled vary from South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Italy, Texas, California, New Jersey….and even hometown Queens and Brooklyn guys like Stain, Skewville, and Hicks. In the middle of the progress last night BSA got some shots as some of the pieces were galloping along – some are on the backstretch while a few just started out of the gate.

Participating artists for The Aqueduct Murals include : Logan Hicks, David Flores, Chris Stain collaborating with Katherine Huala, Rubin, Faith 47, Skewville, JMR, LNY, Ian Kuali’i, Shai Dahan, Zed1, Joe Iurato, ThenOne, and Reka.

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Chris Stain and Katherine Huala. Chris working on their piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Reka. Detail of his piece in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’m trying to experiment a little at the moment and in terms of colors I’m just doing strictly gray scale,” says Melbourne Street Artist REKA, who is normally known for his use of vibrant oranges and reds in his tightly fluid character-based street work.  “Also this is something a bit more messy, a bit more dynamic anyway – I’m allowing more room for error and be more playful.”

“I want to show the movement in the racing – sections of the horse and the jockey – to show more of the human element and the connection between the rider and the horse. I don’t paint realistically – so that is my representation of the horse.”

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Reka at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1 at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Italian Street Artist Zed1 stays monochromatic in his palette also but his metaphor is entirely different. “I prefer you see when you finish because it is a surprise !” he says while revealing to us in a conspiratorial tone what the humorous scene will eventually depict. Don’t worry folks, it’s all clean and respectful.

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Zed1. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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

Brooklyn Street Art: This doesn’t look like a horse.
Rubin: No. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a horse just because it is a race track.

The least representational of the murals draws a clearer connection to its location and proximity to the city with more abstract depictions of the roaring crowd and the city skyline.  Roaring twenties of last century meld well with the spattered street inflections of early teens 21st century here.

“I kind of flipped those Art Deco inspired lines from being horizontal to vertical and so it is my way of paying tribute to New York,” says the Greenpoint, Brooklyn based Swedish artist who says he never tires of going on the roof to look at Manhattan across the East River.

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

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David Flores and assistant at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LA’s David Flores used to go to the races at Santa Anita when he was a kid. “but nothing major, we didn’t bet or anything like that,” he says as he steps back to compare his rendering to the piece on the wall. The composition combines the jockey image from a photo from the track with a new mask and a horse and hand from two other sources. “I kind of married them together,” he says of the scene. “I had to make it the way I wanted with a lot of diamonds and stars and stripes – you know how they wear their gear so it’s all colorful.”

Normally more abstract, this wall by Flores is literal in its depiction, but with an illustrators eye. Has he worked with animals in his work much? “I have worked with animals a couple of times but nothing of this scale – or horse racing and I’m super excited because I’m a fan of the sport. I’m stoked on it now.”

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David Flores. Sketch for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LNY. Detail of his piece in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

New Jersey Street Artist LNY took something with history and shot with the older film based technology and manipulated it with a current digital and returned to the hand rendered painting form to create it on a wall.

“Yeah, especially this,” he says as he rolls a thin screen of crimson over his composition, ” – doing washes is a super traditional technique”

The subject matter for LNY speaks to the regimented hierchy of class that permeates the traditions of racing. “Its always been about social status and that became really apparent when I came here,” he says as he describes his choice of outfielders he researched as subjects.

“The outfielders are the guys that go out there and if a horse goes crazy – they are kind of the cops of the field – so basically they are staff,” he says of the well-dressed horsemen in the original image he started with. “I just got some really nifty iPad apps that cost nothing but they let you transform images so I’ve been having a lot of fun with those and I’m basing my mural on that.”

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LNY at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LNY created this digital collage mock up which  served as template for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shai Dahan at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: I guess it is not that far a stretch for you to paint a couple of horses!
Shai Dahan: “No! I’ve been painting nothing but horses for the last three years”

The LA-New York- now Sweden based artist has been painting his interpretation of Swedish Dalecarlian horses which are traditionally red, so he is making sure to include on in his Aqueduct piece.

Brooklyn Street Art: Had you seen races before?
Shai Dahan: No, this was my very first time
Brooklyn Street Art: What was your impression?
Shai Dahan: It’s very cool.  To actually see them race – just to see the quickness and the power and the movement of it is really fascinating and inspiring. I wanted to create some kind of forceful movement to get people out to the racetrack. The graffiti background is to represent the feel of New York, and all the bright colors.

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Sahi Dahan at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ThenOne working on the background color for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

New Jersey’s ThenOne says has been a graffiti artist for 16 years and he likes his lines to be crisp and  tight. Using his favorite red and black palette he brings perhaps the most historical equine references to the new collection at the race track and skillfully alludes to the practices from the modern graffiti scene he came up from.

ThenOne’s black Arabian horses are silhouetted in a decorative arrangement that recalls his Persian ancestry as depicted in pottery and ceramics and textiles while also recalling the early cave paintings that many art historians trace as ancestors to the Street Art/graffiti practices of today.

As long as the stylized stallions are as close to his original sketch as possible, he’ll be happy. “My style graffiti-wise is I like to be as clean as possible,” ThenOne says, “So the graphic and the clean work perfectly for me.”

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ThenOne. Sketch for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Organizer and artist Joe Iurato is up on his lift, masking out his collaborative piece with Logan Hicks. In between his other responsibilities, he’s planning to paint too.

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Skewville at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Art wordsmith Squewville grew up in Queens so his trip here was one of the shorter ones. The text based entreaty he is taping out here will say “Update Your Status”  – in one short phrase bringing the track into the “social” sphere. The well known slogan for people using sites like Facebook also doubles as a reference to the incoming status of races as the bets and odds are displayed across screens and horses cross the finish line.

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Skewville at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Logan Hicks working on his stencils for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Brooklyn based Logan Hicks is prepping for his seven layer stencil that will depict a crush of horses in the thick of the race (not seen here). First he is applying a patterned background to his collaborative piece with organizer and Street Artist Joe Iurato.

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Logan Hicks at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Originally from Hawaii, artist Ian Kuali’i is laying in the abstractly energetic background for his sliced paper piece that will float over it.

“I’m going to paste up a cutout. It’s about three quarters of the way done, “ he says as he describes a finished piece that will incorporate collage of actual vintage Aqueduct posters from the past and themes relating to horse husbandry and the thrill of the race.

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Ian Kuali’i at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Tomorrow, Saturday the 23rd  a reception will be held for the artists at the Aqueduct Racetrack to celebrate “Aqueduct Murals”. The event is free and open to the public. Click HERE for all the details.

 

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Young New York: Silent Art Auction and Fundraiser at White Box Gallery (Manhattan, NYC)

Young New York

 

YOUNG NEW YORK At Risk Youth Being Seen, Heard, and Known | youngnewyorkers.org
SILENT ART AUCTION & FUNDRAISER
We are pleased to announce Young New York: A Silent Art Auction & Fundraiser, Tuesday May 29, 2012 at White Box in the Lower East Side.  This one night event will benefit Young New York (YNY), an art focused social justice program working with 16 and 17 year olds who, legally classified as adults, have been thrown into New York State’s adult criminal justice system.
The funds from the silent auction will help build the first stage of the program – a series of cutting edge creative workshops with fifteen young New Yorkers. The young New Yorkers will work closely with a team of successful artists, designers, teachers and social workers to responsibly and creatively develop their message around their own experiences with, and hopes for, the treatment of youth in New York State’s criminal justice system.
The evening will feature the works of Steven Holl and Steve Powers ESPO along with many other established and emerging international artists whose work touches on the realm of the social in urban space, thereby creating a dialogue with the work being developed in the YNY workshops.
The space for the event has been provided by White Box, food provided by Maimonide of Brooklyn, and drinks provided by Bomb Lager.  Additional support has also been provided by Loci Architecture and gopro.
Young New York is supported by the Goodman Fellowship at Columbia University and Brooklyn Defender Services.
For more information visit http://youngnewyorkers.org/
YNY SILENT ART AUCTION & FUNDRAISER
Featuring Artists: Steven Holl, Steve Powers ESPO, NohjColey, Joe Iurato, Miguel Ovalle, Overunder, Gaia, Rodolfo Diaz, Marissa Paternoster, Ian Kuali’i, LNY, Blackmath, Doodles, Feral Child, Cake,ND’A, QRST, Sean 9 Lugo, Radical!, C215 from the Vandalog collection, Gilf, Beau Stanton, Rachel Hays, SUE works, Clown Soldier, Jill Cohen, Yulia Pinkusevich, Alyse Dunn, NEVER, Shane Nash, Jesse Hazelip, Sheryo,the YOK, ASVP, Labrona,Then One,Tom Smith, Day Le, Danielle Riechers,  Jon Burgerman, Darnell Scott, Nathan Pickett, Joseph Grazi, John Breiner, Anne Grauso, SMURFO, Beau Stanton, Jamie Bruno, Luna Park, Sam Dylan Gordon, Fay Ku, Michael Bilsborough, NANOOK, Felipe Baeza, Sam Fleichner and more!
Curated by Natalie Trainor & LNY
Auction & Reception: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 6-10 PM
Auction called at 9 PM
At White Box, 329 Broome Street NY, NY
Supporter Tickets: $50.00
General Admission: $25.00
Purchase Tickets here: youngnewyork.eventbrite.com/
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Brooklyn’s New “99%” Will Serve Street Art Fans and Many More

Brooklyn’s New “99%” Will Serve Street Art Fans and Many More

99% Perspiration, 1% Inspiration

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Anyone in New York will tell you that the adage holds true if you are trying to get your dream to happen in this city– a band, a restaurant, a store, a website, a clothing line.  It could be a genius idea, but you’re going to have to work for it. Gallerist/curator Andrew Michael Ford and artist Mikal Hameed, both in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg since 1999, have put in plenty of perspiration getting separate projects off the ground over the last decade in NYC.  This spring as their shared dream of an art center and gallery in Billyburg gathered momentum, they redoubled their efforts and called every artist and source they knew.  Tomorrow, their dream, called “99%”, will open with a community fundraiser auction of prints by those artists. Ford and Hameed are going to do the necessary perspiring to make it happen.

Common Dreams, Rooted In Respect

Together, the two partners (along with a silent 3rd ) have discussed this gallery and community art space for a year and a half.  Studio talks about formal goals, bar-stool wisdom about esoteric ones, and serious footwork finally secured this location in a Brooklyn neighborhood considered a Street Art destination for artists and fans since the late 90’s.  Formerly an artist enclave, the neighborhood is rapidly changing as rezoning from 2005 allowed gentrification to rapidly bland the bohemian vibe, even as the change was slowed by the speed-bump of a huge recession.  Ironically, as the street art in the neighborhood is gradually disappearing, 99%, a gallery that celebrates it, opens it doors.

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Mikal (known professionally as M11X), an innovative ingenious creator of art merging furniture and stereos, came from a graff background on the west coast writing as SMUGE with the WCA crew as a youth.

“So I was a writer, then I was an MC, a break dancer, whatever – all 5 elements. I started to gradually change and become well connected with people who are part of the street art scene,” says Mikal as he recounts his path to this place. He recalls how he ran a gallery called Headquarters in San Francisco and Oakland before coming to New York and running MJH’s gallery in Williamsburg.

“This is just part of my whole evolution. It’s been building up inside of me for so long. “

As he speaks about his goals for 99% he talks about the life of an artist. You can tell that he sincerely wants to bring a greater command of the craft to the newer graff and street artists out today – people he refers to often as “The Kids” .

Ford, a gallerist best known for his work as gallery director at both the pivotal Street Art gallery Ad Hoc Gallery in Bushwick and for the Dark Pop and Pop Surrealists at Last Rites Gallery in Chelsea, hopes to merge his affinities for any number of current art movements, most considered “outside” or lo-brow by the established gallery scene.

“Yeah, I think it’s more about ‘the work’, the skill levels, and the imagination.  The artist may also put up work in the street or do comic books for a profession or they are a professional illustrator but they have such a desire to do personal work.  A lot of galleries will look at them as simply an illustrator and not an artist, and I think those kinds of distinctions are ridiculous. An artist is an artist and they want to express themselves creatively and they want to have a place where they can do that. ”

Me and my shadow. Andrew Michael Ford stands by a much loved wall in the studio and a view of his portrait by Street Artist Ellis G. on the door

Me and my shadow. Andrew Michael Ford stands by a much loved wall in the studio and a view of his portrait by Street Artist Ellis G. on the door

Street Art, comic books, illustration, pin-up, animation, new media, graffiti, tattoos, folk art, – these terms pepper-spray through the conversation as Andrew, an enthusiastic conveyor of ideas about the current state of art and the gallery scene, barely keeps up with his own ideas. Clearly he hopes to create a gallery where unsung and marginalized art forms are given the respect he thinks they’ve missed. Street Art may be hot at the moment, but labels are not going to be the determining factor for whether 99% Gallery works with an artist or not.

BSA: Are we going to retire the term “Street Art” at any time in the near future?

Andrew: That obviously is a public debate, and obviously that is something that everyone should be involved with as far as what’s going to happen with these other terms like “low brow”, “pop surrealism”, “street art” and similar terms.

Mikal: They asked the same question about graffiti in the late 80s and I don’t think we were ever able to retire it.

BSA: So is there such a thing as “Street Art: Phase 2”?

Mikal: I think we are at Phase 3 or Phase 4 at this point.

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An Educational Component

But it’s not just going to be a gallery. The guys want to create an art space that serves and educates, along with showing cutting edge art.

Sketching out their plans for the near future, Andrew explains, “We’re not talking about traditional education here – we’re talking about re-examining how the work is presented to people. I would say first phase is about lectures and talks, and we can work our way into workshops and classes down the road.”  The ideas for educational topics run the gamut, but they often touch on the basics that both partners feel have been missed by many of today’s artists.

“Yeah, kids need to learn how to do their own framing, make their own stretchers”, says Mikal, “I wish somebody taught me how to do that.”

Sounding like he is creating a new class on-the-fly, Andrew jumps in, “I do have a traditional art education background, — it was so much conceptual stuff, so much theory. There wasn’t a whole lot of practical stuff.  It was amazing that I could have this degree and yet it was after school that I had to learn a lot of stuff on my own.  It seems like a simple thing but I have this conversation with people all the time; What is the difference between a Giclée print, a hand silkscreened print, and what is a serigraph?”

A grassroots, populist philosophy enters the conversation again and again, and it becomes evident that the focus will be on the person, their approach, and the talent –rather than the formal educational background or pedigree of an artist.

“Yeah we want to create an equal playing field for a lot of artists,” stresses Mikal.

What playing field are they trying to equal out? Mikal responds, “Sometimes it just comes down to skills and imagination. You may not have the proper education but you have your passion and your motivation about this whole movement – you should be recognized as well.  Your sh*t should be up right next to the other stuff because your education could have come from somewhere else beside school.”

How often do you see this? Doze Green and Martha Cooper catching a tag on the wall of the new gallery.

How often do you see this? Doze Green and Martha Cooper catching a tag on the wall of the new gallery.

So the men have a lot in store, and they have what can only be described as a healthy dose of mutual respect.

Andrew praises Mikal’s talents and explains what he brings to the partnership, “One of the most important things is that Mikal is a very vibrant active artist who is doing shows regularly and has a different relationship with people than me because he is a working artist. It is really important to me to have Mikal because we are really good sounding boards for each other. I might be thinking a little more about the business side of things and how we are going to present it and he is thinking more about the specific piece of art and where the artist is coming from. He could say to me, ‘You may want to consider this because this is how the artist is going to feel’. I think it is a really really good match”

For his part, Mikal sounds solid in his dedication, “The people that work with Andrew just have straight up respect for him and they know that he’s the main guy in this business right now but he just needed his own platform to show everybody what’s up.”

Is this place big enough for all their dreams?

“No, but it’s a start. There is no place like that,” says Mikal.

Andrew agrees, “I’m really grateful for the fact that it is a tremendous starting point and an incredible location. I think it is going to benefit everybody that we work with”.

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images of Andrew Michael Ford and Mikaal Hameed © Steven P. Harrington

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99% Gallery and Art Center

99 North 10th (between Berry and Wythe), Brooklyn, NY 11211

OPENING RECEPTION: JUNE 11TH, 7-11PM

FUNDRAISER PRINT GROUP SHOW SILENT AUCTION to benefit 99% and the artists.

$5 COVER

Participating artists for the print show  include:
Bast,Chris Mendoza,Cycle,Dennis McNett,Doze Green,Ellis G,Eric White,Esao Andrews,EZO,Gaia,Ian Kuali’I,Imminent Disaster,Jeremiah Ketner,Jose Parla,Kenji Hirata,Lady Pink,Martha Cooper,Martin Wittfooth,Maya Hayuk,Mel Kadel,Morning Breath,Nathan Lee Pickett,Orlando Reyes,Rage Johnson,Ricky Powell,Rostarr,Ryan Humphrey,Skewville,Swoon,Tara McPherson,Tono Radvany,Voodo Fe,Xiaoqing Ding,Yuri Shimojo

For more information about the auction

CONTACT:info@ninetyninegallery.com
WEBSITE: www.ninetyninegallery.com

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99% Gallery and Art Center : Debut and Fundraiser

OPENING RECEPTION: JUNE 11TH, 7-11PM

FUNDRAISER PRINT GROUP SHOW SILENT AUCTION for the new…

99%
Gallery and Art Center

99 North 10th (between Berry and Wythe)
Brooklyn, NY  11211

$5 COVER

The first opening will be a print group show fundraiser, to benefit the new space.  All prints will be available for purchase via a silent auction.  First bid MUST be half of the retail price of the print.  Each bid thereafter must increase my increments of $20.  Cover: $5

If you are unable to physically be at the gallery, but would like to bid on prints from the show, e-mail: info@ninetyninegallery.com

Participating artists for the print show so far include:
Chris Mendoza
Cycle
Doze Green
Ellis G
Eric White
Esao Andrews
Gaia
Ian Kuali’i
Jose Parla
Kenji Hirata
Martha Cooper
Mel Kadel
Morning Breath
Nathan Lee Pickett
Orlando Reyes
Rage Johnson
Rostarr
Ryan Humprey
Skewville
Swoon
Tara McPherson
Tono Radvany
Voodo Fe
Xiaoqing Ding
Yuri Shimojo

ABOUT 99%

99% perspiration, 1% inspiration.  This old adage still makes sense in 2010.  We at 99% Art Space produce the 99% perspiration, allowing the artists we work with to focus on the final 1% inspiration.  We want to do the work to create a space which will be conducive to not only art exhibiting, but also to art appreciating, art learning and in the end art creating.  We believe in the artist and the artwork they produce.  This is the reason we, or any other art space for that matter, even exists.  It’s about the artist and the inspiration and enlightenment their final art embodies.

99% is dedicated to doing everything in our power to support the artist and the work they create.  We are also dedicated to art learning, through our upcoming series of lectures, classes, workshops and so much more.  Of course we also are dedicated to working with the artists we want believe in to produce a regular schedule of exhibitions throughout the year.

Lastly, 99% is dedicated to underdogs.  We will exhibit artists who been inspired by the worlds of comic books, animation, new media, graffiti, tattoos, illustration, folk art and many other forms of pop, subversive and outsider imagery.

99% perspiration, 1% inspiration.  We like the way that sounds.  We like the idea of working hard to create an environment for our artists to engage with comfortably, as they change the world one idea at a time!

P.S. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the number on our building is 99!  😉

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