All posts tagged: Jason Shelowitz

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.23

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.26.23

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week!

How are feeling? Did you have a good Thanksgiving day, and did you see the crowds and balloons and marching bands along the parade route and the still intact orange and yellow leaves on the trees on Central Park West? Did you see Dolly Parton dressed as a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader singing at the halftime game, and did you see your girl Ava from up the block with her vintage vest and platform boots when grandma sent you out for a can of whipped cream for the pumpkin pies?

“Have you kept pace with the latest revelation in the art world? A remarkable BBC interview with Banksy, dating back two decades, has recently surfaced, sparking renewed excitement. These are indeed vibrant times for art enthusiasts and creators alike. Take, for instance, the Brooklyn Museum’s current showcase. It features an engaging Spike Lee exhibition alongside the innovative ‘Copy Machine Manifesto.’ This zine exhibition is a deep dive into five or six decades of subcultural and counter-cultural movements. It highlights a diverse range of self-published works, including gossip magazines, graffiti newspapers (a nod to David Schmidlapp and Phase 2), and expressions from queercore to hardcore. The exhibit is an eclectic mix of self-aware conceptual art, original fashion, explorations of sexual desire and confusion, comix, handmade collage, and expressions of nihilism, ennui, satire, humor, and lamentation. It’s a vivid reflection of art and expression – and inspirational to any artist who wants to have a voice.

We’re going back for a second helping.

Here is our weekly interview with the street: this week featuring Stikman, Cosbe, Below Key, No Sleep, Huetek, Optimo NYC, Jay Shells, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, OH!, Muebon, Humble, Jappy Agoncillo, Jeff Roseking, Hu, Manual Alejando, Deter, Jason Shelowitz, and KIR.

Jappy Agoncillo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Optimo NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Stikman. Detail from the exhibition at Skewville Presents. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cosbe (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Muebon (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Below Key and Muebon (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Below Key and Muebon (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Below Key and Muebon. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Below Key (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jeff Roseking (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Any job is possible if you have the right kicks. KIR (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Old dogs like those old stogies. Manuel Alejandro (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Humble (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Poems (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Deter (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Huetek (photo © Jaime Rojo)
OH! (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Shelowitz AKA Jay Shells at “Spike Lee: Creative Sources” exhibition currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A painting of his father, Bill Lee, by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh at “Spike Lee: Creative Sources” exhibition is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Detail. At “Spike Lee: Creative Sources” exhibition currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Street Color on the sidewalks of NYC. Fall 2023. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Jay Shells: The “Rap Quotes” Book

Jay Shells: The “Rap Quotes” Book

Context and placement are key to the success of Street Art. Jay Shells’s project, “The Rap Quotes” more than meets those standards. Indeed his project might be one of the most relevant examples of street art responding to a specific time and place in history that you’ll ever see.

Jay Shells: The Rap Quotes Coast To Coast. Dokument Press. Sweden, 2019.

We’ve been repping Jay Shells (Jason Shelowitz) for years since we first found his text-based signage on Brooklyn streets in the oddest of locations. Within a short time they began to make sense, and then brilliant sense – since they acted as a GPS for some of your favorite rap lyrics. 

“What if somehow these lyrics existed visually, in the exact location mentioned?” he says to illustrate his original idea.

Since that time the artist has taken his Rap Quotes across the country (Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles), faithfully hunting down streets and neighborhoods and corners and businesses referenced by a host of recordings from classic rap era and a few of the new kids on the block as well.

“I’ve always had a serious passion for lyricism, partly because I’ve always been envious of people who are gifted with words,” he says in his new hardcover book that documents the 5 year campaign. It is gratifying to see him out scaling the telephone poles and climbing ladders with drill in hand to post these signs. They are a semi-permanent claim to public space and people’s history at the same time; a recognition of an art form of writing that rarely gets such laudatory treatment.

See the video at the end documenting the process – which Shelowitz credits as being the force that encouraged him the most. “My friend Bucky (Turco) ran a magazine and website called Animal New York, and when I told him about the project, he wanted to be involved. He introduced me to his newly hired photographer and videographer, Aymann Ismail at a party on a Friday night in early March 2013. We hit the streets early the next morning to get the 30 signs up, with Aymann document the process. About a week later, they posted the video and photos with a short write-up, and the rest is history.”

Check out some photos of the book in the mean time.

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