Following the evolution of The Bushwick Collective and its annual block party in Brooklyn has been a captivating journey akin to an anthropological exploration into the growing embrace of street art and murals within the realms of graffiti and HipHop. Back in the day, as the neighborhood began transforming with the influx of gentrifiers, street art faced outright dismissal or was treated as a rare phenomenon, a curiosity.
Unaware of the previous codes that roughly governed the practices of graffiti writers on the street, art-students-cum-street-art-poets often obtusely stomped their way into public view to circumvent a gallery system and to express their right to self-expression in public; something HipHop culture had been encouraging for years but had perhaps not envisioned this way. The rivalry between graffiti aficionados and street artists/muralists was sometimes palpable, with throwies vandalizing fresh paint, the OGs asserting territorial dominance, and at times, even resorting to threats and insults in person and in online forums.
As the block party, now in its twelfth year, unfolded, its early editions predominantly featured international and some local street artists eagerly seeking out BC’s visionary leader, Joe Ficalora, for an opportunity to leave their mark on his neighborhood walls. Local street art forums found fault with Ficalora, masking a barely hidden contempt for a streetwise guy taking a leadership role and betraying their own classist privileged opinions about the right to curation. That has all melted appreciably; this year’s event evidenced the remarkable shift that has been underway. Graffiti writers took the stage alongside the muralists in prime spots, sometimes seamlessly collaborating to create art transcending boundaries, all while the electrifying sounds of live HipHop performances reverberated through the air and TikTokers danced in front of them.
Let’s raise a bottle to those who always believed in the possibility of this transformative phenomenon, and to those who championed inclusivity over exclusivity. It’s yet another reason why our hearts beat for this extraordinary international art movement, the embodiment of the people’s democratic spirit and the unlimited creative spirit that is in every person. And most importantly, it’s a reminder of why we hold you dear.
The Bushwick Collective Annual Summer Block Party, now on its 12th edition, has established itself as an official opener of the Summer season in New York City. With its combination of art, music, and food, this is at its root a street art initiative founded and provided by local resident and business owner Joe Ficalora. Joe continues to show his steadfast dedication to the community with a significant, free open event for everybody in the family to enjoy.
Artists from around the world and local artists are invited to create vibrant and large-scale murals that encompass all disciplines, including graffiti in a very big way, on the walls of buildings in Bushwick. Making public space safer for the public to enjoy, many streets are closed off, allowing attendees to roam freely and explore the various murals, including many that are being created by the artists as passersby watch. Live music performances by local performers and DJs add to the festive atmosphere, with food trucks, vendors, and art installations – a true community event for people of all backgrounds.
Here are some of the new murals and installations underway. We’ll bring you a recap of the newly finished pieces soon. Enjoy!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. That’s very important for you to know.
Whether or not one suffers from mental health issues, knowing that one doesn’t walk alone on a scabrous path is comforting. Feeling supported, especially in times of crisis, brings assurance and healing to our anxieties and despairs.
We’re now being traumatized almost daily by news reports of mass shootings, vigilante shootings, and murder. Sometimes we simply feel that we are not safe anymore. When we talk about mental health, we should broaden the discussion to include all of us, not just those with acute symptoms but all of us who are affected by what we experience, see, and read. Our mental health is affected directly by the violence being perpetrated upon others.
The collective YOU ARE NOT ALONE MURALS has been very active in bringing the issue of mental health and its importance to the forefront of the conversations with large murals on the streets of NYC. Here they produced ten murals created by a diverse group of artists, all using the same color palette while addressing the importance of community, belonging, and support with a single and simple phrase: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
If you are in any need or are in crisis emotionally or psychologically, or you simply would like to speak to someone, please call the numbers below. You can do it! You can do it, sis. You got this, bro. We love ya!
New York City: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides a 24/7 Mental Health Hotline for New Yorkers who need immediate help. The hotline can be reached at 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355).
United States: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24/7 across the United States. The lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
International: The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is a global organization dedicated to preventing suicidal behavior, alleviating its effects, and providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers, and suicide survivors. The IASP website offers a directory of crisis centers and helplines around the world. The directory can be accessed at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Merry Arrestmas!
This is an excellent time to be in New York because everything is in bloom, and for a moment, there is love in the air everywhere you look. Or is that just the legal weed they sell from the truck in front of your apartment the way they used to sell falafel?
This is s beautiful time
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Louis Masai, Jason Naylor, Voxx Romana, HOXXOH, Voxx, Optimo NYC, Vers, Jesus, Lasak, D.Z.L.T., Envio, MENY X, Krave, and Abuse.
Under the art organization A Wall Mural Projects initiative and in collaboration with the Dunbar Elementary School in Wynwood, Miami, an ambitious program to bring art to new generations keeps growing on campus. The mission statement of “A Wall Mural Project” makes it clear that this collective of artists is interested in planting the “art bug” early – and preferably in the environment of formal education – with the Dunbar school committed to highlighting the importance of the arts in general as crucial to pupils’ intellectual development.
Let’s hope that Florida Governor DeSantis has bigger fish to fry (or mice) and leaves these mural programs in the schools alone. The trend toward devolution in American schools has been sad to see in recent years. In the meantime, check out the cool walls at Dunbar Elementary.
The city pays tributes to its heroes in different ways, and NYC street art loves Biggie Smalls more than anyone, along with folks like Spike Lee and Jean Michel Basquiat. This week we spotted a few new ones among the bevy of new street art beauties we discovered below.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Jason Naylor, Homesick, Savior El Mundo, King Baby, Mutz, Glare, Banksy Hates Me, Ashley Hodder, Raisa Nosova, Qzar, Spin, INU, Cheatz, Ultraboyz, Humble, Carlos RMK, and Yuzly Mathurin.
Robert Vargas starts us off this week with a compelling trio of faces, or sides of one character. In each case she has been silenced. “Painting my “STOP” mural is a call to action to stop our #Indigenous sisters from going missing and murdered. The red hand over the mouth is the symbol of a growing movement that stands for all missing sisters whose voices are not heard.” The streets are speaking. Will we hear them?
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Royce Bannon, Jason Naylor, Praxis, No Sleep, JPO, Le Crue, Hiss, Slow Boil, SKJ 171, Mike 171, D. Brains, Dan Alavarado, Panic Rodriguez, and Robert Vargas.
Joe Ficalora and the Bushwick Collective crew took over the streets of Bushwick again this year to entertain the locals, the visitors, and everybody else with his annual block party. When you look at the variety and quality of murals produced on these streets regularly, you realize that it’s a splendid fusion that you rarely find in organized festivals.
Maybe it’s just us talking, but these artists are not usually hamstrung by organizers’ dictates or those of advertisers – they just let their imaginations go. Yes, there are still beefs, and there are battles between styles and histories and all the baggage that writers and artists carry. But in general, this is a somewhat mediated part of street culture, with an opportunity for you to shine if you have the skillz.
We published a handful of the completed walls on BSA HERE; now we bring you the rest…
Nevermind, we’re back on the streets where we belong, tracking the exciting new directions it is taking us.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Jason Naylor, INSA, Sticker Maul, Stikman, Degrupo, Diva Dogla, Mike Raz, Corn Queen, Jorit, Eric John Eigner, Smet Sky Art, Bad Boi, O. Grey, Steven Paul Judd, Katie Merz, and Delphinoto.
Colors wash over the city again, the greys now fading to the background. Even now, we stand in the shadow of war and all those who profit from it. Nevertheless, thanks to artists the streets are popping with promises, warnings, aspirations, exhortations, codes, and proclamation.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Faile, Adam Fujita, Jason Naylor, Almost Over Keep Smiling, Lauren Asta, Chris Soria, DEK@DX, SidkaOne, Misha Tyutyunik, TDM2DX, Ergot, Flye Lyfe, YoYo Cam, Let It Out, and Suizid.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week, where New York keeps pushing forward through this stormy winter – although the amount of new street art and graffiti dissipates this time of year as artists stay in their creative caves, waiting for spring. Hang in there peeps.
Great news for New York artists this week: artists can now apply for a monthly stipend of $1,000. This is big news because unlike a lot of Europe, the US and its institutions do not support artists or cultural workers.
Speaking of exemplary New Yorkers, Jeffery Epstein’s friend Jean-Luc Brunel has been found dead in his prison cell, mysteriously. One of Epstein’s other friends, Prince Andrew, reportedly settled out of court this week. “Prince Andrew reportedly agreed to never again deny raping Virginia Giuffre”, says the New York Post, The Independent, and The Sun. The Times says: “A new nursery rhyme is doing the rounds at the Palace:
‘The grand old Duke of York, he had 12 million quid. He gave it to someone he’d never met, for something he never did’”.
Jesus, let’s go out for a walk and see if we discover some new street art.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Skewville, Specter, City Kitty, Adam Fujita, Pork, Jason Naylor, Below Key, Lexi Bella, Jowl, Nimek, Klonism, Harvey Ball, Eloy Bida, Kat Blouch, Timmy Ache, and Eyedao.