All posts tagged: Jay Shells

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.

Please follow and like us:
Read more
BSA Images Of The Week: 03.27.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.27.16



Happy Easter to the folks who are celebrating this day of Christ’s rise from the dead. The rest of ya’ll can just enjoy the Sunday roast dinner we made for you. Cousin Charlemagne has already eaten both the ears off his chocolate bunny and there are two eggs that have not been found during the hunt. Let’s look for them after we eat. Pass the scalloped potatoes please.

Here’s our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring A Visual Bliss, Bang Bang Errol, Cash Cash RFC Crew, Chupa, CJ Fly, Dasic Fernandez, Geoffrey Carran, Jay Shells, Jesse A. Edwards, Joseph Acker, KLOPS, Kuma, LMNOPI, Lunge Box, Myth, Papoose, Rocko, Rowena Martinich, Sorick 21, Trifer, Wallplay, Willow, and Zimers.

Our top image: Rocko and Zimer painted this tribute to King Biggie Smalls back in October of 2015 for Spread Art NYC. We just hadn’t been able to flick it. So here it is. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


And speaking of Biggie Smalls, urban artist and lyric lover Jay Shells left this plaque just across the street recently. His unique campaign of placing original rap lyrics at the geographical spot they refer to has taken him to cities across the country. These new platters have just popped up like spring tulips. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jay Shells (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jay Shells (photo © Jaime Rojo)


LMNOPI brings the street a new portrait of “a Haitian girl I met when I was in Port Au Prince in 2010.” (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sorick21 . Trifer . Chupa (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kuma (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Klops(photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dasic Fernandez (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cash Cash RFC Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Geoffrey Carran . Rowena Martinich (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Lunge Box (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jesse A Edwards and RAMBO Memorial for @bang_bang_errol at Wallplay. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Myth “A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience” (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A Visual Bliss (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Koch Brothers. Portrait by Joseph Acker – Prision ID #15967538. Mural by Willow. The Captured Project in conjuction with The L.I. S.A. Project. People in prison drawing people who should be. More information here. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Good Friday 2016. Williamsburg. March 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



Please follow and like us:
Read more
Street Artists At The Fairs For Armory Week NYC 2014

Street Artists At The Fairs For Armory Week NYC 2014


Not quite spring, the Art Fairs are arriving in New York ahead of the tulips. We strolled the impossibly long aisles and peered into the booths to find the folks who have at other times been called “Street Artists”. This weekend they’ll be fine artists, and the list is quite a bit longer than years past as the professionalization of the street continues.

Shows like the Armory, Scope, Volta, and Fountain are good testing venues to see the commercial viability for many of these artists and some have foregone representation – preferring to foot the bill on their own. Since walking the streets to see their work requires multiple layers and hats and gloves – traipsing through the fairs can be far preferable than dirty old Brooklyn streets. It’s also nice to see how some of these folks look in a tie or a blouse – or even just hit a comb. Here below we include some possible gems for you to hunt down.



Pace Prints

How & Nosm at Pier 92


How Nosm at Pace Prints (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For The Armory Show Art Fair location, dates, times, booth numbers, etc… click HERE



Andenken Gallery

Amanda Marie, VINZ


Vinz at Andenken Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Black Book Gallery

Judith Supine, WK Interact, Ben Eine, Cycle, James Reka, Cope2, Indie184, Shepard Fairey


Judith Supine at Black Book Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

C.A.V.E. Gallery

PEETA, Pure Evil


Pure Evil at C.A.V.E. Gallery (image courtesy the artist)

Fabien Castanier Gallery

Speedy Graphito, Mark Kenkins, RERO


Speedy Graphito at Fabien Castanier Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Fuchs Projects

Rafael Fuchs, Aakash Nihalini, Skewville


Skewville at Fuchs Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Krause Gallery

Ben Frost, Hanksy


Ben Frost at Krause Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Moniker Projects

Beau Stanton, Ben Eine, David Shillinglaw, Greg Lamarche, Jon Burgerman, Pam Glew, Ron English,  Muffinhead, Keira Rathbone.


David Shillinglaw at Moniker Projects (image courtesy the artist)

Natalie Kates Projects

Skullphone, Swoon


Skullphone at Natalie Kates Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ThinkSpace Gallery

Know Hope


Know Hope at ThinkSpace (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vertical Gallery

Stormie Mills, My Dog Sighs


Stormie Mills at Vertical Galler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For SCOPE Art Fair location, dates, times, booth numbers, etc… click HERE



Jonathan LeVine Gallery



Pose at Jonathan LeVine Gallery (image courtesy the artist)

For VOLTA NY Art Fair location, dates, times and booth numbers, etc… click HERE



Fumeroism, Jay Shells, Leon Reid IV, Vicki DaSilva are all showing at Fountain this year


Vicki DaSilva at Fountain (image courtesy the artist)


Fumero at Fountain (image © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Folk Art

Adam Suerte


Adam Suerte (courtesy Urban Folk Art)

Street Art Installation curated by Mighty Tanaka

Alex Emmert will be curating the Street Art Installation and he has invited Chris Stain, Alice Mizrachi, Skewville, Cake, Chris RWK, Joe Iurato, Rubin, EKG, Gilf!, Omen and LNY.


Rubin will be part of the installation of Street Artists at Fountain Art Fair (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For Fountain Art Fair location, dates, times, etc…click HERE


Please follow and like us:
Read more

Images of the Week: 03.31.13

In this weeks news, COST is on the cover of the Village Voice  and Jay Shells is making street signs with geographically pin-pointed rap lyrics (see video below).

Meanwhile here’s our weekly interview of the street, this week featuring Arturo Vega, Bast, Be Super, Billy Mode, Bologna, El Celso, El Sol 25, Faust, Gilf!, Mint & Serf, Pesk ACK, PRTL, and UNO.

Top image > An old Billy Mode piece that keeps looking better with time. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Be Super (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! This Papa Bear ran away from the circus. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown. We couldn’t read the tag on this old piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UNO on the streets of Bologna, Italy. (photo © UNO)

Last X Witness (photo © Jaime Rojo)

PRTL (photo © Jaime Rojo)

PRTL (photo © Jaime Rojo)

PESK ACK. Why indeed. Uh-oh, he’s got it bad. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

First, wipe that blood off your face. Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mint & Serf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faust (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast and El Celso keep each other company. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast can’t wait for beach time. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Happy Easter. Jesus has gotten up on a wall courtesy Arturo Vega (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan, March 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)




Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


Please follow and like us:
Read more

Images of the Week 08.12.12

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting burnt and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head *

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Bad Cat Crew, Cassius Fouler, Entes, Jay Shells, Kremen, ME, Miss Me, Mr. Toll, Nick Walker, Oly, Pesimo, and Smile You Are Beautiful.

Cassius Fouler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Oly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With no air conditioner in her apartment, Laticia was force to do her writing in the nude, which actually was okay with her. Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Toll. I’m telling you, it’s so hot you could fry an egg on the street! Sunny side up please. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Laverne found that her new summer ensemble was surprisingly breezy as she picked up the telephone. Ned looked up guiltily and pretended not to have been staring. Smile You Are Beautiful (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nick Walker (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kremen. Like a Fish Out of Water. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It was like you could see the entire city inside of him, just beneath his skin. He stared at me dead-eyed and said, “I own these streets.” Kremen. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jay Shells (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Me. You heard it. Rock it!  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown. Kaleidoscopic Collage (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Entes y Pesimo in Germany (photo © Entes y Pesimo)

Entes y Pesimo in Germany (photo © Entes y Pesimo)

Bad Cat Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miss Me does a tribute to Billie Holiday’s song “Strange Fruit”, reminding us of the racism that is part of the American legacy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lady Liberty as native American. Miss Me (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Native American and superhero. Miss Me (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled (photo © Jaime Rojo)

* Lyrics above from “Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful. #1 this week in August 1966


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


Please follow and like us:
Read more