All posts tagged: Jaye

Looking at 5Pointz Now, Extolling a Graffiti Holy Place

While famed LA/Chicago/Detroit graffiti artists Revok and Pose are in town getting up on the Houston Street wall this week and many members of the MSK crew were in Bushwick doing tributes to Nekst over the weekend, New Yorkers have had the opportunity to talk with a lot of visiting friends who are in town in advance of the Revok/Pose dual show at Jonathan Levine this Saturday. As graffiti culture continues to assert its place in modern art history even while expanding and redefining itself on the street and in homes, galleries, and museums along a storied continuum, we are reminded again about the foundational role that graffiti has played in our aesthetic, helping to define urban culture and at least partially fueling the evolution of what we call a Street Art scene today.

MERES. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As with most subcultures in a capitalist society, there are a fair amount of commercial influences swimming around and through the graffiti world too, the products and motifs employed to sell them somehow simplifying graffitis complex nature and diluting its emotional resonance for many. This is the water we’re all swimming in, however, and you could drown trying to fight it. Despite commercial pressures and their mutations, it is evident that the graffiti style is alive and well and building upon itself in new ways. For some, graffiti is analogous to the early punk scene for some others it could be inextricably tied to hip hop. But as it continues to morph into multiple subgenres it still seems perfectly clear that it is born from a scream, a helluva celebratory and defiant yell ; very individual, often powerful, it is tied to an agonizing drive to be heard and to be seen, to capture by hand something that is channeling by its own volition through your mind and from your gut. Probably. That incisive wisdom from BSA and $2.50 will get you a ride on the subway.

Zimer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA will never be versed enough to speak authoritatively about graffiti culture, nor do we pretend to – it is so vast and storied and sort of outside our wheelhouse. But seeing all this graff action this week brings our minds to a place like 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens. Begun as Phun Factory and eventually changing its name, this 200,000 sf factory building cannot be overestimated in its impact visually over two decades as well as for the community service it has provided for many artists, young and older, to practice, experiment, and even hit a level of mastery of their craft.  We won’t call it a Mecca, as we’ve been schooled that some of our brothers and sisters think that’s disrespectful – So we’ll just call it a Holy Place for many here and around the world. An ever evolving canvas viewable from the street and passing trains, many a tourist has made the pilgrimage to check it out; a touchstone for the true New York, and perhaps one that is disappearing.

Sen2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the fevered pitch of cries from fans and community for the preservation of 5 Pointz runs up against the dual realities of a crumbling infrastructure and an increasingly  desirable location for real estate development, we all reluctantly cede that the writing is probably on the wall (pardon the pun). Absent a deep-pocketed philanthropist who wants to preserve it (Jay-Z?) or a groundswell of citizenry demanding public seizing of private property (torches and pitchforks anyone?), you have to know that this can’t last forever despite what many see as its importance and relevance to this culture, history, and this time. But really, just take a look around this spot. If you are here now, or are planning to come soon, you know that 5Pointz has the power of a beacon for many; a living thriving vessel for the creative spirit to be expressed in myriad ways, many personal. All hail 5Pointz and those who have made it successful all these years.

Here is a small collection of more recent images of 5Pointz.

Shiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Blob (photo © Jaime Rojo)

See TF (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ZMOGK . Shiro on top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toofly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bishop203 . Bisco203 . Leais203 Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Yok . Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . KKade Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pablo Mustafa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monsieur Plume . Raid Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spidertag (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kram (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spud (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Help (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Grafik (photo © Jaime Rojo)

el Seed . Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Color at 5Pointz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Much respect to Meres and to all the writers on this epic wall and whole compound. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!

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Museums Go Outside to Play With the Kids

Shots from “Ideas City”

As museums continue to look for ways to bring in the kids, they are finding that one way to do it is to go outside and play with them.

Last year The Brooklyn Museum had a really successful GO at engaging people with community-curated programming that put people in touch with the young artist scene that has transformed the BK in the last decade or so. Similarly the New Museum Ideas City is making extensive outreach to connect the disconnected phone-poking Millenials and X’ers to the brilliant and quirky creative community that makes Manhattan the live breathing beautiful beast that it is. This is the kind of meaningful museum programming that can make the city feel inclusive, asking you to participate with your own snapping synapses and probing inquiries about the nature of things.

Inside and Outside. Raumlabor, Spacebuster. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When it comes to encouraging personal participation in the public sphere, nothing is more democratizing for an event than to bring it directly into the street.  This is an exhibition that is not roped off, doesn’t charge an admission fee, has no dress code, has no gate keepers. It actually invites you to engage, to converse, to consider, question, and decide merit on your own. – Not to mention the transformative affect it all has on public space and our perception of our place in it.

Raumlabor, Spacebuster. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For us the second installment of the Ideas City really hit its peak this weekend as the culmination of more than a hundred independent projects and public events spilled into the street and onto walls.  For the sunny Saturday Streetfest set along the sidewalks and in nearby park space in the refreshingly dirty, loud, and un-tony Bowery section of Manhattans Lower East Side, people celebrated the public aspect of citizenry and interacted with projects and tested the ideas of artists, architects, poets, technologists, historians, community activists entrepreneurs, and ecologists. And there were some street artists around too.

Here are some of the scenes that caught the eye of our favorite BSA photographer, Jaime Rojo, who was feeling pretty inspired by the events.

Children playing bball with the Spacebuster in the background. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist Hellbent took a spin on the box truck idea with his new “Mix Tape” Series. New Museum. Ideas City 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist XAM installed on the street a number of his custom architected homes for the urban bird. The Urban Habitat Project. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Todd Lester. Trust Art Installation. New Museum. Ideascity 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Draw Something. Yes, it’s an ad for an app, but at least people are encouraged to participate by drawing, so that’s good. On the side walk for Ideas City 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed and Jaye did their calligraffiti/graffiti installation as part of World Nomads Tunisia. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist ND’A installed a new piece on the Influx In Flux/Centre-fuge project. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Yuri Velez painting live for Influx In Flux/Centre-fuge. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

CRUZ.  Influx In Flux/Centre-fuge. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Detail of an installation sprayed by stencillist MOR.  Influx In Flux/Centre-fuge. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cram Concepts in motion.  Influx In Flux/Centre-fuge. New Museum. Ideas City 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DEMER.  Influx In Flux/Centre-fuge. New Museum. Ideascity 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sofia Maldonado & Ray Smith. Detail. Influx In Flux First Street Green Park. New Museum. Ideas City 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sheryo and Yok. Detail. Influx In Flux First Street Green Park. New Museum. Ideas City 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The student group Cre8tive YouTH*ink. Centre-fuge. First Street Green Park. New Museum. Ideas City 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cre8tive YouTH*ink. Centre-fuge. First Street Green Park. New Museum. Ideas City 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DARK. A random stencil along the Street Fest route. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!

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eL Seed and Jaye in New York Nomadically

eL Seed and Jaye in New York Nomadically

Tunisian-French Street Artist eL Seed is in New York right now to showcase his unique hand at calligraffiti, a genre of graffiti that has steadily grown in the last few years as traditional graffiti writers have tried their hand at differently stylized executions of lettering. Together with Jaye, a more traditional graffiti writer from Tunisia, the country that began the Arab Spring two years ago, eL Seed is spraying a number of messages in his own adaptation of Arabic on walls in New York for just over a week.

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Born in Tunisia in the early 1980s and raised in Paris, the quick witted and thoughtful eL Seed calls well known calligraffiti artist Niels Shoe Meulman “a legend” and looks forward like a true fan to meeting Retna, even as his own painting exploits in the last couple of years include an enormous script on Tunisia’s tallest minaret, a high profile design gig with luxury brand Louis Vuitton, and a just completed 52 mural project on Salwa Road that features his own graffiti inspired calligraphy honoring Qatari culture and life.

“I spent nearly four months there, and painted almost one kilometer of wall,” he says of the project that traced his progress with a blog and enabled him to teach eager art college students how to use an aerosol can.

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As a culturally bi-national artist who travels increasingly often, it is fair to say eL Seed is one of the new Street Art nomads who now regularly travel from city to city across the globe hitting walls. Maybe that’s why New York feels normal to him.

“I feel like everybody is a nomad in New York. You come, stay, and you leave, you know?” he says while we stand across the street from the still-wet wall he is completing on the Lower East Side with Jaye. What does this hot pink curvilinear script edged in red with the dropped shadow say? “Yeah in Arabic it says ‘We should all be nomads. We should cross ideas the same way we cross streets and cities.’ ”  He sites the Cuban painter and poet Francis Picabia fro inspiring the text. The installation, and another one at 5 Pointz with Meres in Queens next weekend, are both part of “The World Nomads Tunisia” festival organized for the fifth time by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I like a lot of pink and black,” he says as he surveys the new wall, which combines his stylized calligraphic lettering with the bubbled aesthetic of Jaye’s early graffiti style that many associate with NYC trains in the 70s. The new collaboration is just the sort of fusion that a multicultural city like New York is accustomed to, and one that it thrives on. “It is a good mix because we both represent a tradition of sorts. What I do is more related to very old traditions, what Jaye does is more relevant to our time, more modern. But the mix is a good combination, you know?”

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you experienced any negative reactions or attitudes while you have been painting?
eL Seed: I was a bit scared to come here and paint some Arabic after what happened in Boston, and actually people have been coming and treating me very well. They are totally open-minded and they accept it in a positive way. That is how we can break stereotypes. Some guys even said, “Yeah, we need more of that”. You know when a white American man comes to you and says, “I would like to see more of that”, you know, I say “Oh that’s cool”.

Brooklyn Street Art: Yeah it’s a good sign, right?
eL Seed: Yeah, it’s pretty good.

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This weekend you can check out a new wall eL Seed and Jaye will be doing in Long Island City at 5Pointz in collaboration with Meres One, one of New York’s well known graffiti writers and founder of the revered graffiti holy place. On Sunday May 12th you will have the opportunity to view their new work during a celebratory reception from 6-8pm at 5Pointz as well.

In the meantime they hope to hit a wall with the Bushwick Collective and maybe a couple of other walls this week before eL Seed heads back to Paris for two more walls waiting for him, including a project that’s already featured Shepard Fairey and most recently, C215. Also a nine story building by the river.

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’m glad that in Paris they are finally accepting my work,” he says as he recalls his first attempts to get permission to paint walls in the city that prizes it’s unique culture and heritage. “Last year they said ‘We cannot have Arabic script in Paris,’ ” he recalls as he remembers having a hard time getting people to agree to his calligraffiti.

Why the seemingly sudden change in political winds, he cannot say for sure. One might guess that it has something to do with word getting around about his collaboration with Luis Vuitton, the French luxury brand that has collaborated recently with Street Art names like Aiko, Retna and Os Gemeos and has more on the roster for future projects.

Whatever the reason, he wants to take his game up a notch. “Now I have two big walls, so that is good.” How would he challenge himself? “Maybe I can develop a new alphabet,” he smiles.

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

eL Seed and Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The project is sponsored by The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and offers opportunities for an exchange of ideas about urban revolutions.
To learn more about World Nomads Tunisia 2013, please click here.

 

A video from eL Seeds’ recently completed project in Doha in Qatar.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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!

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