All posts tagged: Imminent Disaster

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

Brooklyn-Street-Art-99-percent_WEB-Header_copyright_Steven-P-Harrington-L1080701

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.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-99-percent_WEB-MIKAL_M11X_HAMEED

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.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-WEB-copyright-Steven-P-Harrington-99-percentL-MIKAL-ANDREW

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”.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-WEB-copyright-Steven-P-Harrington-99-percentL1080682

**************************************************************

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

**************************************************************

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

32010_122553237781314_119424814760823_116437_3034853_n

Please follow and like us:
Read more
“The Great OutDoors” with Luna Park at ArtBreak Gallery

“The Great OutDoors” with Luna Park at ArtBreak Gallery

A true street art Opening in Brooklyn, with shutters open wide and many doorways to contemplate.

A collection of 30 artists on the street art scene are contributing to the vision of the adoorable Luna Park and her co-curator Billi Kid.  Ms. Park, a well-travelled street art photographer who calls Brooklyn home, is among a very select group of intrepid souls cris-crossing the borough by any means possible to get the right shot.

Well regarded and always smartly outfitted, Ms. Park and Mr. Kid have added a bit of poetry to the street art oeuvre by decorating the departure, edifying the entrance, festooning the frontage, and gilding the gateway!

Image by Luna Park featuring a Celso in the doorway.

Image by Luna Park featuring a Celso in the doorway.

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you and Billi Kid conjure a show using doors as canvas?

Luna Park: Last year, Billi Kid, Jim and Karla Murray, Cern and Elisha Cook Jr. decorated a room at the Carlton Arms Hotel, which is known for it’s fabulous, one-of-a-kind, artist-decorated rooms. I highly recommend it as an affordable place to send your arty guests. To capitalize on the network of artists they’d built through the hotel, in March 2008 the owners opened Artbreak Gallery in Williamsburg. When Billi Kid contacted them about the possibility of doing a doors-themed street art show, they were immediately on board. I agreed to participate last December and the rest, as they say, was a matter of logistics, logistics, logistics.

Brooklyn Street Art: As you march across the city looking for great shots, have you found that some artists gravitate to doorways?

Luna Park: Definitely! I’d even go so far as to say not only SOME, but MANY. Your average urban door is the perfect gateway to graffiti – pardon the pun – it provides a smooth, even surface, accessible to all and, most importantly, visible to all. Although I don’t subscribe to the so-called “broken windows” theory of graffiti leading to crime, I do think it holds true for doors in the sense that graffiti on doors DOES attract more graffiti. It generally starts with a lone tag and – provided that tag isn’t buffed – the tags soon multiply. Before you know it, stickers get in on the action, the odd wheatpaste sticks around and, voila, suddenly you have a proper door!

Brooklyn Street Art: Why would a doorway be better than, say, a wall?

Luna Park: I’m not saying doors are better than walls, but as a surface on which to write or stick, a doorway offers a certain degree of protection from prying eyes. No one looks twice at someone who is ostensibly fumbling for keys in front of a doorway, but that same person loitering by a wall…

Cake

Cake from “The Great Outdoors” (photo Luna Park)

Brooklyn Street Art: Where did all of these come from? Have you been dumpster diving?

Luna Park: Well, I’m certainly not one to condone any kind of illegal activity, ahem, so I’m assuming the doors were all acquired legally, perhaps through a fine, neighborhood purveyor of sundry household items.

I personally salvaged two doors from the curb down the street from my house. Billi Kid acquired his door and several others at a farmhouse sale in rural Connecticut.  A few people must have visited demolition sites, as there are a number of extraordinarily heavy fire doors as well. The doors really run the gamut of everything from vintage to factory fresh.

Brooklyn Street Art: Are most of the pieces in this show made specifically for “The Great Outdoors?”

Luna Park: Yep, with one notable exception, all of the pieces for this show are brand spanking new!

“Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

The Dude Company

The Dude Company for “The Great Outdoors” (photo Luna Park)

Brooklyn Street Art: Every door has two sides; has anybody addressed both for the show?

Luna Park: We asked the artists to decorate only one side of the door – to make hanging them all the easier – but Celso and LA2 collaborated on one side of a door that already had a piece on the other side. I’d mention who, but that would spoil the surprise.

Brooklyn Street Art: It’s not the same as painting ox blood over the doorway, but do you think there is any symbolism to the act of decorating a door?

Street art and graffiti covered doors aside, I think the decorated door functions as a marker, defining the threshold between the private and the public spheres. There are certainly any number of cultures around the world that place markings on doors to celebrate rites of passage: in the part of northern Germany from which my mother comes from, it is not uncommon to see important family dates chalked onto doors, presumably in conjunction with some kind of religious blessing.

“we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Feral for "The Great Outdoors" (photo Luna Park)

Feral for “The Great Outdoors” (photo Luna Park)

Brooklyn Street Art: On a grander scale, this show could be a commentary about the times we’re in, with many doors slamming shut, while others that we scarcely imagined only two years ago are opening wide.  Do you care to philosophize?

Luna Park: I’m an optimist at heart and a pragmatist by nature, as such, I believe very much in silver linings and unforeseen occurrences. Especially in times of crisis, one has to embrace change, because only by accepting change can one move forward. When Billi Kid approached me with the opportunity to co-curate this show, you better believe I opened that door, despite initial misgivings about never having organized anything of this magnitude before.

I can only speak for myself, but having this show – something I’ve come to see as an incredibly positive force in my life – to occupy me and to look forward to has made the struggles I endure at work all the more bearable. I am slowly realizing that this show has opened doors for others, and that has made this experience all the more meaningful to me. By the same token, the outpouring of support from the street art community – BSA included – has been enormous and for that I am very grateful.

Brooklyn Street Art: Given their past locations and your personal experience shooting the streets, what does it feel like to see these doors lined up in a spare white box gallery space?

Luna Park: There is often critique of street art and graffiti work in galleries, in many cases justified in that some work simply does not translate well onto canvas. But in this case, we’re literally bringing doors in off the street and taking them to the next level (the gallery’s on the 2nd floor). Because the doors are relatively large and heavily decorated, being surrounded by a clean, white gallery wall gives each piece space to breathe. Above and beyond that, it’s nice to see the humble door elevated to a place of honor.

“Listen; there’s a hell of a good universe next door: let’s go.” – e.e. cummings

His holiness Blanco for "The Great Outdoors" (photo Luna Park)

 

Brooklyn Street Art: What door surprised you the most?

Luna Park: Without a doubt, Blanco! I’ve been following his stencils since he first started putting them out, seeing his progression with each, more intricate piece. When we invited him to be part of the show, I had high hopes, but he’s really exceeded all expectations and then some! Bravo, J!

That having been said, I’m very pleased by the quality of ALL the work and am super proud of everyone’s efforts. My sincerest thanks to everyone that helped make this show possible.

Brooklyn Street Art: What time do doors open on Saturday?

Luna Park: Doors open at 6pm. I for one can’t wait to find out if it’s Bachelor #1, #2 or #3 behind my favorite door! ;p

“Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I’m tired.”  Brooklyn’s own Mae West

THE GREAT OUT DOORS
MAY 2 – 29, 2009

Art Break Gallery
195 Grand Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Thursday through Sunday, 1-7 pm.

Opening Reception Saturday May 2, 6-10 pm

At the opening Saturday you’ll also get to see a projection show of Luna Park’s photography, specifically images of doors on Brooklyn streets and elsewhere.

Billi Kid

Luna Park

Please follow and like us:

Read more

“From the Streets of Brooklyn” at thinkspace (L.A.)

“From The Streets Of Brooklyn

Curated by Ad Hoc Art at thinkspace

January 9th – February 6th, 2009

Opening Reception: Fri, Jan. 9th 7-11PM

Featuring installations from:

Gaia (front entry area)

Imminent Disaster (project room)


Street installation:

Ellis G.


Main Gallery:

Abe Lincoln Jr.

Acne

AIKO (aka Aiko Nakagawa)

AnerA

Avoid Pi

avone

Bast

Bloke

c.damage.

Celso

Chris Stain

DAIN

Dan Witz

Dark Clouds

Elbow-Toe

Ellis G.

ELC (aka Endless Love Crew)

Faro

Gaia

Graffiti Research Lab (aka G.R.L.)

Imminent Disaster

infinity

jm rizzi

Josh MacPhee

Juse One

Kuma

Matt Siren

Maya Hayuk

McMutt (aka Dennis McNett)

Michael DeFeo (aka The Flower Guy)

MOMO

Peru Ana Ana Peru

PMP (aka Peripheral Media Projects)

Rate

Royce Bannon

Skewville

Slept

Sometimes

Sonet

Stikman

Thundercut

UFO

Unplate

+ A selection of street art photographs by LUNA PARK


SNEAK PEEK images
here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkspace/sets/72157607658942787/

thinkspace
4210 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90029
Thurs-Sun 1-6PM
http://www.thinkspacegallery.com/

Please follow and like us:
Read more

Poets of Paste at Ad Hoc

ELBOW-TOE, Armsrock, Gaia & Imminent Disaster

June 13th – July 13th, 2008

Opening Reception: Friday, June 13th, 7-10pm

Poets of the Paste unites four figurative artists known for their striking images that comment on nature, contemporary society and the everyday lives we live. These artists transform public spaces to moments of private reflection with an emphasis on careful craftsmanship. ELBOW-TOE, Armsrock, Gaia, and Imminent Disaster have left their marks on the urban landscapes, generously giving their talent to the public, to time and to the elements. Now they bring their skills together at Ad Hoc Art; through drawings, stencils, paintings and block prints incorporated onto various media.

Please follow and like us:
Read more

Poets of Paste go LARGE at Ad Hoc

Poets of the Paste

OPENING Friday June 13,
7 – 10 pm

featuring ELBOW-TOE, Armsrock, Gaia, and Imminent Disaster

Four stars of beautifully heart-rendered paste-ups on the bricks and boards all around us, Ad Hoc astoundingly unites these commentators; helping us read the tea leaves.  Hats off to the good peeps who chose to engender such love for the human condition and the fantastical world.

images courtesy of Ad Hoc

Each of these poets of paste could easily fill a gallery with their imagination and skill; So much stronger is the chord they collectively strum.

Gallery director Andrew Michael Ford has curated an incredibly strong group of drawings, stencils, paintings and block prints.

Ad Hoc Art
49 Bogart Street Unit 1G, Buzzer 22
Brooklyn, New York 11206

Telephone:     718-366-2466

Website for Ad Hoc

Please follow and like us:
Read more