All posts tagged: John Ahearn

“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.

“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”

Style Wars Car by NOC 167 with Door Open, Man Reading Newspaper, 96th Street Station, New York, NY, 1981. (photo © Martha Cooper)

He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.

Guerrilla Girls at Abrons Art Center, New York, 2015. (photo © Andrew Hindrake)

“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.

The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.

Lil’ Crazy Legs during shoot for Wild Style, Riverside Park, NY, 1983. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi Murakami. 

More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.

“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.


BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM

Curator: Roger Gastman

Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente

Producer: Ian Mazie & Pressure Point Creative


Tickets and hours of operation can be found at: BEYONDTHESTREETS.COM


FEATURED ARTISTS INCLUDE:

A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André ​Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER

The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.

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“Banana Kelly Double Dutch” Returns in the Bronx : John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres.

“Banana Kelly Double Dutch” Returns in the Bronx : John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres.

They’re doing Double Dutch again up in the South Bronx. Way up.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Restored to look like new, this is the third time that La Freeda, Jevette, Towana and Staice have taken their rope jumping game to this wall on Kelly Street and the spirit of their game and the culture are here as well. Based on the actual girls as models casted, the sculptors John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres recently restored them and placed them on the same wall that they first appeared on in 1982, a moment from New York’s history.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. The original installation of “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Their art practice in the public space has a fully engaged, activist quality – insisting as it does to herald the everyday heroes in a culture that tends to reserve public space to elevate figures from the military, the church, politics, literature and Pop Culture. Even the name of this piece refers to the community group that hosted the sculpture for many years, Banana Kelly.

With a somewhat radical art practice that claims public sphere for the public for forty years, the duo have made casts of people in the neighborhood for decades, in the process forming long relationships with the sitters and their families, and their extended families.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A curiosity for many on the street at first, a lot of folks first became familiar with the work as it was being performed – whether in workshops like the one Torres first saw Ahearn conducting in the storefront windows of the famous art space Fashion Moda or later at numerous block parties around the neighborhood.

Owing to his family connection to a sculpture factory, Torres had knowledge that Ahearn was missing and their yin/yang temperaments created a professional partnership balance that eventually has landed their work in places as far as Brazil, Taiwan, and Orlando, where Torres moved a number of years ago with his family.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

In the intervening years the Ahearn/Torres partnership has garnered attention in significant gallery and museum shows as a sociological hybrid, a captured record of life and culture that favors the unfamous, occasionally the famous. Humble as they are about their accomplishments and refreshingly reticent to be boastful, their combined projects have been collected by heavy hitters in the Street Art, hip-hop and contemporary art world.

Their sculptural portraits of the street have also been featured in exhibitions in the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Bronx Museum of the Arts , “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1, New York. In an interview with BSA Ahearn gives credit to his creative partner for some recent shows including “his two homages to his Uncle Raul’s Factory in the “Body” Show at the Met Breuer, and his magnificent funky “Ruth Fernandez” figure in Jeffrey Deitch’s “People” Show.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

What’s remarkable about this piece is not only that it has survived the constant changing of the New York City skyline but also the fact that photographer Martha Cooper was on hand to capture the bookends of the Double Dutch installation – the first one in 1982 and this new one in 2018. An anthropologist and ethnographer by heart and training, Ms. Cooper also captured many of the surrounding people and activities in the neighborhood during both of the installations and she generously shares them here with BSA readers to give a further appreciation of the time passed and the cultural relevance of the duo’s work.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA asked Mr. Ahearn a few questions and he provided some great insights into the production and life behind these Double Dutch girls.

BSA: Do you see girls and women playing Double Dutch much in the neighborhood this summer?
John Ahearn: Double Dutch has been a classic rope jumping style for a while, the double rope keeps things moving. It sometimes seems to be always be in fashion.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Your personal relationships with people in the neighborhood have figured prominently in your subjects. How does time change your perception of the original works?
John Ahearn: All the sculptures are some kind of collaboration with the specific people and the neighborhood. Time tests the validity of the intention and the expression. Art can lose meaning and look silly, or it can increase in its purpose and gain poignancy.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. The original stars of “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Your work captures so much action! Is that a particular goal for you?
John Ahearn: When I first saw Marty’s profound image of the real four girls in front of their sculpture, taken when it was first installed in 1982, I was shocked! I had emphasized the unique quality of each separate girl but Marty captured them as one piece, engaged in a solemn ritual of play, with all heads bowed to the center. I was moved to see her vision and it took me a few decades to look at the actual sculpture with full confidence.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. The classic photo of “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Why is it important to you to make art accessible to the people on the street?
John Ahearn: I need to feel that my perception includes the point of view of others.

BSA: What inspired you to refurbish this installation and how did you find La Freeda, Jevette, Towana, and Staice?
John Ahearn: I believe the girls are La Freeda Mincey (whose mother still lives in the building and came out to watch us reinstall the girls) Javette Potts, whose mother created the original girl’s dance group) Tawana Brown, and Staice Seabrine (with whom we are more regularly in touch)

In 1981, we were considering our first neighborhood commission at Fox St. and Intervale Ave. We took a composite 180 degree photo of the area. On all sides were burned out buildings, but one wall popped out in perfect condition with a surrounding block that was completely together. That was “Banana Kelly”, a community group committed to survival and improving the area, with the Potts family at the center of things.

John Ahearn’s drawing of Martha’s photo. 2011. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Later there was a block party at Kelly St. that featured an “African Dance” group of girls, including Javette Potts, the granddaughter of Mr. Potts. It was at that time that we had a notion to have the four girls play Double Dutch for the image.

This is actually the second time we have repaired the sculptures. By 1986, the ravages tearing up the Bronx had reached the little park that Banana Kelly had built on the corner. All the bricks were torn up, and some kids were heaving them at the Double Dutch sculptures. Parts of the figures were breaking.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1986. (photo © Martha Cooper)

At the same time, Rigoberto’s Uncle Raul’s Statuary Factory had burned down and all our molds related to the three murals had been stored there and were lost. So we removed the Double Dutch sculptures from the wall, and took them to our studio to restore them. We reinstalled them higher than before with a slightly different design.

Meanwhile, the devastated block which Banana Kelly faces (south) was transformed into a huge park. All the buildings had been torn down heading north to Longwood Avenue. The design of the 2nd version of the sculptures (see Marty’s photo) looks very nice to me now, but it had always annoyed me.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. A gallery version of “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” at Alexander & Bonin Gallery in Manhattan. NYC 2014. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The tiny “park” site at Kelly St. eventually was fenced off and abandoned, awaiting future use. Sometimes old sculptures in their neighborhood locations can be very satisfying and true. But it always seemed that the Double Dutch should be returned to their original design.

Recently the lot was sold to the new Catholic Nursing facility next door, to be rebuilt as their parking area. We wanted very much to keep the sculptures on the same wall and this seemed like the right moment.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. La Freeda, Javette, Towana and Staice back at the studio waiting to be restored. NYC 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

TATS CRU homage to John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. Detail. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 


Frankie Smith
“Double Dutch Bus” 1981

” ‘Double Dutch’ is a tribute to all the girls in the world, especially the girls on my block. I’ve been watching them for 25 years. They use their mothers’ clotheslines to play the game – it’s an art. It’s a tribute to them – they’re really good at it.” – Frankie Smith to Dick Clark on American Bandstand.

Malcom McLaren
“Double Dutch” 1983

All over the world high school girls
Take to the ropes and turn them slow
Starts a beat and a loop
They skip and jump through the hoop
They might break and they might fall
About the gals from New York City
They just start again
Start again

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 07.02.17

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.02.17

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

4th of July weekend here in New York so we are headed to a barbecue and a frisbee game. Maybe to the Jersey shore for some sun. Happy 4th ya’ll! Looks like the country needs to take itself back from the corporate overlords – if we want to declare the US to be independent ever again.  Right now we’re in trouble, gurl – and everyone knows it!

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Banksy, Clint Mario, Crash, El Sol 25, Felipe Pantone, FinDAC, Hopare, Hot Tea, Invader, John Ahearn, Logan Hicks, Mark Jenkins, Resistance is Female, SaxSix, and Sonny Sundancer.

Top image: Sonny Sundancer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hopare. Urban Art Fair NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn(photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Crash. Urban Art Fair NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Clint Mario (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SacSix for Welling Court 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mark Jenkins. Urban Art Fair NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Logan Hicks. Urban Art Fair NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#resistanceisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#resistancisfemale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy’s corner at Urban Art Fair NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FinDac. Urban Art Fair NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hot Tea tribute to Laser Burners (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader. Urban Art Fair NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Summer 2017. Manhattan, NYC. June 2017.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Coney Art Walls Class of 2017

Coney Art Walls Class of 2017

With ten fresh new murals, Coney Art Walls 2017 has made its official debut for summer. Starting this past weekend with the Mermaid Parade in full swing with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein as Queen and King and aquatic beauties in shimmering costumes wending their way through the pavement paradise by the sea.

The new Crash wall welcomes you to summer 2017 at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today we bring you the class of 2017; all ten new walls at Coney plus a re-freshed one by sculptor and Street Art pioneer John Ahearn.Mr. Ahearn re-casted fresh sculptures of his Boy in the Beach With Divers piece which he debuted at last year’s edition of Coney Art Walls. With fresh paint and fresh bodies the piece looks even more stunning this year.

Another updated blast from the past, Lee Quinones brings back a mural he first completed on a handball court back when he was hitting trains on the MTA 38 years ago. The center word “Graffiti” reminds us where this scene sprang from.

Lee Quinones in action at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lee Quinoes. “Graffiti 20/20”. “If The Battle Chooses You. Choose What You Battle With” reads the caption on top of the mural. Lee recreates an updated version of his original “Graffiti 1979” mural painted on a handball court on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which he updated as “1990” and climbed down it in the opening of “Wild Style”, directed by Charlie Ahearn. Bringing the graffiti explosion back for a third time, you see he’s already planned ahead three years. This is one of the new walls for Coney Art Walls 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lee Quinones. Coney Art Walls 2017. Lee shows us a photo of the original mural that was featured in the book “Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in NYC” by Craig Castleman published in 1982 by MIT Press. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain’s mural for Coney Art Walls 2017 integrates a photo taken by Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A side view of John Ahearn’s casted sculptures mounted on his wall at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn before his work. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ad from Skewville tightens the line. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skewville. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ganzeer. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marie Roberts seeks shelter from the sun as she works on her mural for Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marie Roberts. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain and his team at Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Drain. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alexis Diaz does fine line work on his creature for Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alexis Diaz. Work in Progress. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shantell Martin. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mark Bode. Coney Art Walls 2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Sculptor John Ahearn Brings Iconic New Yorkers to Streets to Meet the Neighbors

Sculptor John Ahearn Brings Iconic New Yorkers to Streets to Meet the Neighbors

When you want to experience the neighborhoods of New York, you go walking on our streets. When you want to study the people who are New York, you go to John Ahearn.

John Ahearn. Delancy Street Denizens (on John Ahearn imagination). Delancy Street, NY. January 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
From left to right: Chin Chih Yang, Coleen Fitzgibbon and daughter Kelly Otterness, Steve Cannon, Juanita Lanzo, Pat Place, James Fuentes and Lee Quinones.

For nearly forty years on the streets of New York this artist has been casting New Yorkers and attaching them to walls for all to see, to watch, to talk to, to argue with. In all our self-possessed and artful individual non-homogeneity, with our multitude of languages, accents, trades, styles, opinions, attitudes, and dreams John captures us, and then shares us with the neighbors.

Long before “Humans of New York” presented the idiosyncrasies in this crazy enigmatic rat trap of a city, sculptures by John Ahearn were capturing a certain bluntly tender honesty of the character of his sitters and their family members and, in doing so, giving them a certain immortality that few could claim.

John Ahearn. Chin Chih Yang, Coleen Fitzgibbon and daughter Kelly Otterness. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

That kind of honesty may get you in hot water occasionally of course, as a public art installation during the early 1990s once revealed, when Ahearn sculpted everyday street people from his Bronx neighborhood and dared elevate them as worthy of public display. The incident caused vitriol and pearl clutching and chest pounding and a lot of spilled ink in the The New Yorker, so splendid and nerve-strumming were his honest portrayals of New Yorkers.

It also revealed latent here-to-fore unspoken prejudice, pride, racism, and classism and put it all muddily and bloodily on parade; in other words, an American story. The writer Jane Kramer rightly asked in that article’s title “Whose Art Is It?” – a lengthy piece which was later published as a book. As many artists who take their inspiration from the street and who give their work to the street will tell you, Ahearn had already answered that question of whose are it is. It’s yours.

Chin Chih Yang a native Taiwanese artist whose performance art sounds the alarm for the planet. He was cast on the sidewalk at 56 Delancey St. 5/4/15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A brand new installation this month on Manhattan’s Lower East Side by Ahearn again elevates your neighbors to a recognized position of prominence, recalling local cultural history and those of our families. As his custom of working within context demands, this line up of people is as significant as their location. A post punk musician from the downtown scene that flourished here when artists flooded this neighborhood and the city was broke, a colorful performance artist, a gallerist, a hometown all city 1970s train writer, John’s own lady pregnant with their child. These are personal stories of life in this city, here on the wall while the cars and taxis and delivery box trucks and tractor trailers roar and halt and honk and rumble by 24 hours a day.

John Ahearn. Artist and graffiti writer Lee Quinones, childhood and early adult life cast from 1986 in Mr. Ahearn’s Bronx studio. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The life on Delancey Street is the aim of the work. Friends from Colab took over a building there in January 1980 and proclaimed it “The Real Estate Show,” says Ahearn of the touchstone illegal show that happened four blocks from this new installation on James Fuentes Gallery. It is almost like he’s reflecting wistfully on that earlier time with this new choice of subjects recalling the art scene in this part of town – as if the geography of the city might invoke the hallmark Bohemian spirit that has been steadily and mercilessly stamped out by shiny bulldozers of impossible rents and dull luxury hotels serving rooftop cocktails.

The seminal “Real Estate Show” opened on the last day of 1979 and closed the first day of 1980 by force of city officials, who are said to have padlocked the art inside the building and out of reach of everyone, including Ahearn. The show and the events surrounding it highlighted the same issues that struggling artists in many cities are facing across the country today; trying to develop alternative spaces in a hostile rental market, city agency bureaucracy, largely absent institutional support, murky grey areas of legality/illegality, crime, real estate speculators, intimidation and of course, gentrification.

John Ahearn. Filmmaker Coleen Fitzgibbon and daughter Kelly Otterness cast 6/15/15 at her nearby Ludlow St. studio. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The police shutdown of that show galvanized the artist community and became part of the Downtown art scene lore and along with three other LES galleries James Fuentes himself made an homage to The Real Estate Show in 2014. Fuentes also posed for one of these new sculptures for “Delancey Street” while at one of those galleries, Cuchifritos, located down the block. Ironically, Fuentes is further connected to the work of Ahearn by dint of growing up in the early 1980s directly across the street from an Ahearn public sculpture mural called “Bronx Double Dutch” (1981-82), a casted mural of girls jumping rope that still hangs there today. (see below)

Ahearn had begun his public sculptures only a year or two earlier in 1979. “I was casting faces of neighbors at Fashion Moda in the Bronx in 1979 and people passing on the street would stop and watch,” he says. After meeting the nephew of a guy who owned a nearby statuary factory, John and Rigoberto Torres began to work together as a team.

John Ahearn. Steve Cannon, poet and founder of Tribes cast nearby at his home (with Bob Holman) 3/13/15 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I gave Rigoberto some materials and he cast some friends on the sidewalk on his block at Walton Avenue,” he says of the partnership that lasted a number of years. “I moved to Rigoberto’s block soon after.” Both built their craft and confidence and community ties by setting up a long-time public presence working on the street and eventually set up a studio together on Dawson Street to begin making a series of permanent fiberglass culture murals.

Today on a warm summer day you can find John on the street in the summer in the Bronx, or out at Welling Court in Queens, or a Street Art festival in Baltimore, casting the people who are calm enough to stick straws up their noses and be draped with wet plaster and to remain still until it dries.

John Ahearn. Juanita Lanzo artist and mother of John’s son Carlos was originally cast naked in 5/13/09, but was “clothed” for this presentation in 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Even in 1980 it was a challenge for children to complete a sitting for him. “It became a point of pride for young kids to demonstrate their confidence,” he says, blue eyes smiling. “The little kids would come up to us and say “Let me do it! I’m ready!’ and I would say “No, you’re not ready, you have to wait!” When Ahearn talks with his infectious enthusiasm, you know he’s giving as much energy to his work as he is getting from it and he can tell you countless stories about the people he has profiled, what kind of work they do, who they are married to, where they went to school.

John Ahearn. Monxo Lopez. The Bronx. January 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Just this past Saturday on the blue bricked wall over a tire shop near his studio in the Bronx Ahearn installed his most recent portrait of a neighbor whom he has known for years. Monxo Lopez went to school with John’s wife Juanita in Puerto Rico and he is a social organizer and professor who lives nearby the tire shop, John tells you. Posing in the Bronx ‘resistance’ gesture that also recalls the borough’s letter “x”, Lopez had been trying to get John to make this of him for a couple of years, but the scheduling didn’t fall into place.

The newest work is just as authentic as ever, distilling personality, stories,  relationships and inferred community in the same way that all of John Ahearn’s sculptures do.

John Ahearn. Monxo Lopez. The Bronx. January 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I always liked this tire shop better than my studio space nearby because it is so social. It’s loud and bustling,” he says with something you could may interpret as glee.

“Everyone is yelling and telling jokes all day,” he says. “The owner, Mike, and I are friends – I wanted my sculpture to share this great space and Mike liked the idea.”

John Ahearn. Pat Place, crucial punk guitarist (Contortions, Bush Tetras) cast nearby at her home in 6/17/15. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn. James Fuentes born in the neighborhood, early childhood in view of the “Bronx Double Dutch” mural. Cast as “Homeboy” 4/22/14 as part of his “Real Estate Show” homage. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn. “Bronx Double Dutch at Kelly Street”. The Bronx, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The photo above shows the “Bronx Double Dutch” mural mentioned in the caption below James Fuentes photo. The mural which was erected around 1981 – 1982 at Intervale Ave and Kelly St depicts four local girls, Frieda, Javette, Towana and Stancey at play as part of Mr. Ahearn and Mr. Torres series Homage to The People of The Bronx.

 

John Ahearn. “Bronx Double Dutch at Kelly Street”. The Bronx, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn. “Life on Dawson Street” From left to right: Thomas, Barbara, Pedro with Tire, and Pat and Lelana at Play. The Bronx 1982- 83. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn. “Life on Dawson Street” From left to right: Thomas, Barbara, Pedro with Tire, and Pat and Lelana at Play. The Bronx 1982- 83. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Real Estate Show Poster by Becky Howland

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BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2016 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2016 (VIDEO)

brooklyn-street-art-images-of-the-year-2016-dface-jaime-rojo-740

Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Dresden, Moscow, Marrakesh, Detroit and Miami, photographer Jaime Rojo found that the figurative image still stands prominently in the Street Art scene – along with text-based, abstract and animal world themes.

Surprisingly the scene does not appear to be addressing the troubled and contentious matters of the political and social realms in a large way, but the D.I.Y. scene keeps alive and defies the forces of homogeneity with one-of-a-kind small wheat-pastes, stencils, sculptures, and aerosol sprayed pieces alongside the enormous and detailed paintings that take days to complete.

Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our regular interview with the street. Primarily New York based, BSA interviewed, shot, and displayed images from Street Artists from more than 100 cities over the last year, making the site a truly global resource for artists, fans, collectors, gallerists, museums, curators, academics, and others in the creative ecosystem. We are proud of the help we have given and thankful to the community for what you give back to us and we hope you enjoy this collection – some of the best from 2016.

Brooklyn Street Art 2016 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

1Up, Above, Adele Renault, Alaniz, Amy Smalls, George Vidas, GEN2, Apexer, BordaloII, Buff Monster, C215, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Super A, David Choe, D*Face, Duke Riley, El Sol 25, Sean 9 Lugo, EQC, Faile, Faith47, Faust, Shantell Martin, Felipe Pantone, Hueman, Droid907, Icy & Sot, InDecline, Invader, JJ Veronis, Jilly Ballistic, John Ahearn, JR, London Kaye, Louis Masai, MadC, Marshal Arts, Mongolz, MSK, Rime, Myth, Nina Chanel, Optic Ninja, Otto Osch Schade, Panmela Castro, Plastic Jesus, QRST, Reed b More, Remi Rough, REVS, Self Made, Sharon Dela Cruz, Maripussy, Specter, Stikman, Strok, Swoon, Ted Pim, Thievin’ Stephen, Farin Purth, Thomas Allen, Tobo, Uriginal, Vermibus, Vhils, Wing, Yes Two, Zola.

The artist featured on the main graphic is D*Face as shot by Jaime Rojo in New York.

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Artists Bring 22 New Murals to “Coney Art Walls 2016”

Artists Bring 22 New Murals to “Coney Art Walls 2016”

Just in time for this weekend’s Mermaid Parade, London’s D*Face is finishing up “Live Fast Die Young,” his beauty-and-the-zombie comic couple sipping an ice cream float at the soda counter. Austrian surrealist slicer Nychos has completed his dissection of a Ronald McDonald-ish character without a sketch; running, jumping, nearly flying through the air with aerosol in hand, flinging the spent cans over his shoulder blindly to skitter across the pavement. Baltimore-based freeform anthropologist Gaia is cavorting with passersby who want to take cellphone selfies in front of his painted wall that depicts exactly that; selfies taken in Coney Island.

This is a modern version of the multi-mirror funhouse in mural form, and Coney Art Walls is bringing it again.

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Nychos. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

22 new murals on standing slabs of concrete join a dozen or so that were retained from last summer to present an eclectic and savory selection from the old-school and the new. When it comes to art in the streets, a salty luncheonette of city-style treats is on a large public platter these days, with names like graffiti, street art, urban art, installation art, public art, fine art, even contemporary art. For some of those hapless gatekeepers of any of these respective categories, this show in this location presents degrees of discomfort and anger as many subcultural roots are now brought into the light in tandem with one another in a public display – funded by a real estate firm. For the artists and majority of fans, however, the trend is more toward delight and gratitude.

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Nychos. The London Police photo bomb. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While you are unpacking that, consider that lead curator Jeffrey Deitch has often proved very adept at plumbing the aesthetic margins of our culture while rearranging and intermingling the parties, helping the viewer to appreciate their differences. This outdoor exhibit co-curated with Joseph Sitt provides a venue for a wide audience to contemplate the range of expression that New York streets have had over the last few decades, including a few artists who are trying this manner of expression for the first time.

As the Thunderbolt, Steeplechase, Cyclone and Wonder Wheel spin and swerve nearby and overhead, sending screams and personal projectiles into the ocean breeze, you have this paved lot full of paintings to peruse, lemonade in one hand and the cotton-candy-sticky hand of a sunscreen-slathered child in the other. Here you’ll see a large two-walled corner smashed with Coney Island themes by Bronx graffiti masters Tats Cru (Bio, BG183, and Nicer), a selection of hand-drawn wheat pasted portraits of Coney Island youth by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and 4 full-form sculptures by John Ahearn creating a modernist view of divers on the beach .

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Nychos. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tooling elsewhere through the loose labyrinth you come upon a monochromatic cryptically patterned tribute to Brooklyn-born Beastie Boys vocalist Adam “MCA” Yauch by Brooklyn tagger/train writer/artist Haze and a seemingly lighthearted abstractly collaged wall of mermaids by fine artist Nina Chanel Abney, whose work is currently on the cover of Juxtapoz. There is also a spectacular underwater-themed symmetrical fantasy topped by pylons bearing the likenesses of characters from “The Warriors” film by artist duo The London Police, and a stenciled “Last Supper” featuring heads of world currency playing the disciples and George Washington as Jesus sprayed across the face of a huge dollar bill by Iranian brothers Icy & Sot.

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Pose. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We often travel streets and neglected spaces in cities looking for signs of freewill artistic expression and often the creative spirit surprises us as it can be expressed in so many ways with emotion, agenda, and idiosyncratic point of view. It may be the plurality of voices one experiences surfing the Internet or the multi-cultural nature of living in New York with a continuous river of fresh arrivals mixing in with established and old-timers every day, but one comes to expect this variety of viewpoints and rather naturally creates accommodation for inclusion that celebrates without negating – and in many ways Coney Art Walls does that as well.

Oppositional viewpoints are present if you look: There are coded messages and obvious ones, critiques of corporate hegemony, issues of race, commentary on police relations, sexuality, religion, capitalism, community, the languages of advertising, movies, music, entertainment, local history, and examination of roles and power structures.

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John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When tooling around this collection, you may wonder what, then, are the commonalities of this survey. Certainly there are the recurring references to Coney Island lore and aspects of performance and flimflam, oddity, fantasy, even the erotic. Naturally, there are elements of natural wonder as well, perhaps expected with the proximity to the beach and the ocean and the history of this place as a vacation getaway.

Aside from this, the connective tissue is what we frequently identify as what is distinctly New York – the plurality of voices. Arguing, making fun, praising, preening, bragging, lambasting, mocking, singing. Despite the continuous attempts by others to divide us, we’re strangely (very strangely), beautifully united.

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Jeffery Deitch with John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“11 Instagram Posts”, by Gaia. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Haze. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Haze. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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D*Face. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts has multi-generational roots here and her work makes you stop and study it. She has painted many visions and views around the neighborhood, and is considered the artist-in-residence. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Marie Roberts. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The London Police. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AIKO. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AIKO. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AIKO. Side A. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Originally from Japan, Brooklyn’s AIKO has a double sided stencil sonnet to the romance of the sea. With “Tale of the Dragon King and Mermaids in Water Castle” Aiko tells a new version of Urashima Tarō, an old Japanese legend about a fisherman who rescues a turtle and is rewarded for this with a visit to Ryūgū-jō, the palace of Ryūjin. Says Aiko, “This piece speaks to my and all women’s fantasies; chilling hard super sexy in the beautiful ocean with friendly dragon who is super powerful and a smart guy – they are about going to water castle having good time.”

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AIKO. Side B. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nina Chanel Abney. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nina Chanel Abney. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nina Chanel Abney. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mister Cartoon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jessica Diamond. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh photographing her subjects. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tatiana Fazlalizadeh. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Crash. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BIO – Tats Crew. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NICER – Tats Crew. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BG183 – Tats Crew. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tats Crew. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sam Vernon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sam Vernon. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Timothy Curtis. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Timothy Curtis. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Martha Cooper. Coney Art Walls – 2016 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coney Art Walls
2016 New Artists: Nina Chanel Abney, John Ahearn, Timothy Curtis, D*Face, Jessica Diamond, Tristan Eaton, Gaia, Eric Haze, Icy & Sot, London Police, Nychos, Pose, Stephen Powers, Tats Cru, and Sam Vernon. Returning artists who created new works: Lady Aiko, Mister Cartoon, Crash, Daze, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Marie Roberts. 2015 Murals on display: by Buff Monster, Eine, Ron English, How & Nosm, IRAK, Kashink, Lady Pink,  Miss Van, RETNA, eL Seed and Sheryo & Yok. There are also three community walls.

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.29.16

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.29.16

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Woo hoo! Dip your toe in the ocean and the official beginning of summer in NYC. It’s Memorial Day Weekend and it is hot outside and Coney Island is already crowded and has new works this week from John Ahearn, Nina Chanel Abney, Tristan Eaton and more to come. Also you can hear that ice cream truck jingle in some neighborhoods, a welcome sound that will cause batty-ness in the brain after hearing it the 300th time.

Prospect Park and Central Park and hundreds of smaller parks around the city have barbecues and frisbees and refreshments and naps under trees. There is even the smell of marijuana wafting through the streets again. Also there’s a new Strokes album projected on the wall above Futura’s on Houston (soon to be refreshed), there’s a Ramones exhibit at the Queens Museum, and international artists are showing up to paint at the Bushwick Collective street party next weekend. Until then, let’s go up on the roof – you may see Duke Riley’s LED lit birds over Wallabout Channel at dusk. It all kind of feels like the 1980’s, minus the hair spray.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Aiko, Jins, John Ahearn, Lapiz, Nether, Nick Walker, Nina Chanel Abney, Pose, TurtleCaps, Saone, Sipros, Stavro, Stikman, Stu, Such and Turtle Caps.

Our top image: Fine artist and muralist Nina Chanel Abney for Coney Art Walls 2016. Coney Island, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn for Coney Art Walls 2016. Coney Island, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pose for Coney Art Walls 2016. Coney Island, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aiko. Side A. For Coney Art Walls 2016. Coney Island, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Aiko Side B. For Coney Art Walls 2016. Coney Island, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nick Walker (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lapiz for KURA Festival. Wittenburg, Germany. May 2016 (photo © Lapiz)

“Sigmar Gabriel (the German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy) is riding a Leopard 2 tank. The tank is for sale (a little price tag is showing a €) and is painted in the colors of the German Flag (black, red, yellow). Gabriel is holding up a sign that reads ‘Nie wieder Krieg *’ (‘No more war *’). Running away from the tank is a family of refugees.” – Lapiz

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Sipros. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sipros. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Such. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zaone. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zaone. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stu. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jins. The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. White people ruined Bushwick. Discuss. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NETHER from last year. That’s what is all about out here. Survival. Baltimore. (photo © Pat Gavin)

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NETHER. Baltimore. (photo © Nether)

“A woman stands in water, half submerged, holding a withering lotus flower as the sky, lit by a rising sun and a setting moon, pans from darkness to light. The lotus in this setting symbolizes strength and courage when getting through life’s hardest obstacles such as addiction. The character is trying to save the lotus, which reflects her beauty and strength, as it is losing its pedals into the darkness. Her half-hidden face is slightly turned towards the light showing that she is turning towards help to revive her inner beauty and spirit. The obscured face speaks to the recovering addict’s battle with shame, anonymity, and pride for overcoming addiction due to public stigma. The 303 stars painted into the sky pay homage to the 303 people that died from overdoses in the last recorded year in Baltimore including a friend of mine.” – Nether

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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C3 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TurtleCaps and Stavro.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Brooklyn, NY. May 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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“Welling Court” 2014, a Grassroots Mural Event Turns 5 in Queens

“Welling Court” 2014, a Grassroots Mural Event Turns 5 in Queens

When the revered graffiti holy place named 5Pointz in Queens, New York was buffed and slated officially for demolition last fall the collective response of the graffiti / Street Art fan base and community was horror and lament. Nonetheless, community persists, and art in the streets is stronger than ever in many cities, including right here in Queens which has played host to an ever growing grassroots exhibition on the walls for five years called Welling Court.

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Imagined and produced by two advocates of creativity in the public sphere and run on a shoe-string budget, Welling Court is a series of 100+ walls throughout this largely working class neighborhood that feels like it perhaps has been overlooked by the rest of the city. With a mix of some of New York’s newest immigrants and families, the modest residential/light manufacturing neighborhood has had a eye-jolting injection of spirit and free art every summer since 2009.

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Veng RWK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We look forward to this annual event for a number of reasons, among them: the unpretentious spirit of community creativity at work as tens of artist straddle ladders and stepstools side by side painting walls, the friendly inquisitive neighbors who hang out and discuss the art and prepare a variety of foods to share on folding tables in the middle of the street, and the unbridled enthusiasm of the kids who race through the neighborhood on foot, bicycle, scooter, even grocery cart.

Unsponsored by brands and run by community elbow grease, Welling Court brings lots of Street Art / graffiti / public art enthusiasts and almost no police presence or crime for that matter. Breaking their own record this June at 127 painted walls, organizers Garrison and Alison Buxton help hook up the opportunity and artists are happy to take advantage of it. Here is just a relatively small selection of images taken by photographer Jaime Rojo at Welling Court 2014.

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Fresh from graduation and walking in front of a RHAK gate. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato and Rubin collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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R.Robots (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sub (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaffeine at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaffeine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Toofly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cern (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MRC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn temporary installation with a Dennis McNett wheat paste from last year as a background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn working on the details of the live casting he did of Roger Smith. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn. More to be done with this Roger Smith piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pyramid Oracle at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Greeg Lamarche, Wane and Trap (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Not Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cekis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake and Ryan Seslow collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bishop203 with an old Flying Fortress in the middle gate. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ellis G, Joseph Meloy and Abe Lincoln collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Mizrachi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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PRVRT (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Lamarche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Damien Mitchell at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Christopher Cardinale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fun! Fun! Fun! (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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This article was also published on The Huffington Post

 

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Images Of The Week: 03.30.14

Images Of The Week: 03.30.14

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BSA-Images-Week-Jan2014

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Adam Dare, Bunny M, COL Wallnuts, Don’t Fret, Icy & Sot, JMR, John Ahearn, Judith Supine, Michael McKeawn, Miss Me, Mr. Toll, Paper Skaters, Pyramid Oracle, and What is Adam.

Top Image >> Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Judith Supine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Col Wallnuts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Adam Dare (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jim McKenzie (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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What Is Adam (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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What Is Adam (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Paper Skaters (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JMR for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn. Florant 2013. Plaster portrait of Florant Morellet, the colorful restaurant owner and business pioneer in the Meat Packing District of Manhattan installed at the High Line Park for the BUSTED Series. The portrait was inspired by the 16th century painting of Bacchus by Caravaggio. John Ahearn of course is a crucial link between public art and street art in New York and has been for thirty years or so, aligning his work and practice with actual people who live in our neighborhoods – especially in the Bronx. Mr. Florant, a longtime fixture and heart of the Meat Packing District, abandoned Manhattan for Bushwick, Brooklyn last year.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Michael McKeawn “Winter Laundry”. Look closely and you’ll see that this is an installation of rather large clothing. photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Me produces a rather elaborate tribute to you know who. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Miss Me (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dont Fret (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Catch the Love (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. East River, NYC. January 2014. (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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Woodward Gallery Presents: “From The Street Up” A Group Exhibition. (Manhattan, NYC)

Woodward Gallery

From the Street Up
July 6 – July 31, 2013

From the Street Up is a selection of celebrated urban artists who concentrate their creativity without walls. For centuries, humans leave tracks, symbols, and objects to record their location, time, and experience. It is an ancient form of documentation.

Woodward Gallery invited Artists Royce Bannon and Cassius Fouler to co-curate the exhibition. Each of the featured Artists are noted for their Public or Street art: John Ahearn, 
Michael Alan, 
Richard Hambleton, 
Robert Janz, 
NohJColey, 
Miguel Ovalle, 
Leon Reid IV, 
Skewville, Gabriel Specter, 
Stikman, and
 UFO.

 

http://woodwardgallery.net/exhibitions/ex-street_up.html

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Baltimore Opens Its Walls To Street Art

Abstract geometrist and Street Artist MOMO is still sweeping across a massive brick wall in his cherry picker as he leads Open Walls Baltimore across the finish line with more than twenty artists and murals spread across these blocks straight off “The Wire” TV series.

 

 

MOMO. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. Stay tuned for process shots of MOMO’s wall on BSA tomorrow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Oh, man, he’s really getting it down over there,” says local pigeon trainer Tony Divers, who is looking out his back door past the bird’s coop at the new 5-story MOMO piece coming alive in the empty lot next door. Mr. Tony, whose pigeons have also had a starring role in the series, himself became the subject of a massive building-sized portrait by Jetsonorama two blocks up the street.

 

VHILS. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Welcome to Open Walls Baltimore.

New York Street Artist Gaia had been racing his fixie around this town since he started studying at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) a few years ago. In between trips back home he began hitting walls with his large scale paste-ups on sides of some of the abandoned buildings that comprise entire blocks in this city. Somewhere along the way he gradually fell in love with the neighborhood and it’s lively conversations on the stoop, secret speakeasies on the weekend, and eclectic shows with Dan Deacon and the Wham City Arts Collective.

Freshly graduated, the talkative 23 year old artist with a natural knack for organizing decided to stay in B’more and plot a Street Art revitalization of sorts. With Ben Stone and Rebecca Chan of Station North Arts & Entertainment as partners, the trio secured monetary backing and city support for 20 artists to come and paint murals this spring.  When asked if the grand outlay of almost a hundred thousand dollars is a civic/private program, Gaia is quick to answer, “Totally private. I guess you could call it civic because they’re non-profit.”

Gaia. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Armed with a budget and Gaia’s knowledge of Street Artists on the scene, the team was able to garner a wide collection of artists to create murals. When Baltimore native and famous graffiti/hip-hop photographer Martha Cooper agreed to shoot it all, Gaia knew OWB was going to be a hit. Large walls were pretty easily secured with help from the City of Baltimore and sponsors helped with paint and services. From March to May the neighborhoods of Station North and Greenmount West have played host to internationally known Street Art names of the moment like Vhils, Sten and Lex, Swoon, Jaz, MOMO, and Interesni Kazki getting up on walls alongside a list of local and regional talents.

 

Chris Stain and Billy Mode. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The reviews and interactions between the organizers, artists and local residents have generally been positive in this part of town where the drug trade has filled the vacuum since all the factories died and communities were destroyed. With “art as a gentrifying force” being a huge discussion, these hippy kids have formed community in bombed out factory buildings here over the last decade and a burgeoning artists community has somehow sustained itself tenuously through the rigors of a ruthless recession. Programmatically OWB is not entirely new as a cultural stimulus but this sort of “jump-start” approach to engendering a creative renaissance by public/private development may be watched carefully by other cities as a possible formula to imitate.

Sten & Lex. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For the upbeat organizer/curator of the project, it’s been extremely gratifying and an eye opener to be accountable to such a range of interests, “I learned that murals can be a little threatening to people and bring out their latent fears and that the parties you think who are going to be most afraid generally might not be,” Gaia explains, “and the ones you think might be the most into it – provide the most criticism.”

“For example the artists community turned out to be the one that was most afraid of being a gentrifying force and was most critical of the project. And all the legacy residents were generally not bringing that up, even if I asked them,” he says.

 

Sculptor John Ahearn performs a live casting of a couple. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Two young art fans watch in wonderment as Mr. Ahearn applies the liquid rubber to cast the mold. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Ahearn’s street installation of previous casts. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist Nanook, also a student at nearby MICA and a logistical lynchpin for OWB, created his own mural that strikes at the historic manufacturing base that once provided a livelihood for the people who lived in many of these abandoned buildings. For him, the artist’s role is to connect the lines between past and present, “And so it’s just about bringing back these signifiers to the neighborhood. Especially for this housing area that was built to house the people who were working at these factories. It has been interesting to meet the people who are old enough to have worked at these factories – they actually worked at the coat factory and the rudder factory and the bottling factory down the street.”

As he smokes and points to the gears and the large hand on his mural, Nanook also talks about the former coat factory two blocks away that is now being renovated to be a magnet art school, and the possibility that work by creatives can create help neighborhoods re-imagine a future, “I think most artists are intermediaries for the communities they reside in.”

 

Swoon. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As we tour around the streets with Ms. Cooper, we make sure to hit the hot graffiti spot in town, an alley she’s known for more than 50 years and one that has provided uninterrupted opportunity for exploration with an aerosol can for many artists who start out here. “Usually there are people painting back here and there’s often somebody doing a fashion shoot back here,” she remarks while snapping images of tags and colorful pieces. “There was a “Wild Style” reunion here a few years ago with Charlie (Ahearn), and they painted all kinds of stuff. It’s fun and they all come to this – because there really aren’t too many locations to do this”

While we watch a handful of 20-year-olds pulling cans from backpacks and arranging them on the cracked concrete in front of a wall, we talk to Jeremy, a local Baltimore artist who also makes puppetry and masks. He says he likes the effect that OWB has been having on the neighborhood. “It’s an interesting project. It’s nice to see a kind of subtle but effective change. Baltimore is kind of rough. But because (OWB) is there it invokes something different and the space actually is transformed.”

On a Friday evening at a block party celebrating the completion of the final wall, Gaia is happy with how it has turned out, and pleased with the multiple conversations he’s been able to have with people in the community about murals, walls, pigeons, paint, and wheat-paste. “My only curatorial process was matching the artists with walls and sites that I thought would be pertinent and I thought would really work with the artists’ process – that was my biggest goal and it succeeded.”

Interesni Kazki. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ever. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JAZ. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JAZ. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Freddy Sam. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Specter. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maya Hayuk. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Josh Van Horn. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Overunder created a new facade within the facade of this building and a tribute to a local resident, Dennis Livingston. Says Gaia, “OverUnder is remarkably improvisational and really works well with children and people and is super engaging.” Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Overunder.Dennis Livinston. Detail. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mata Ruda. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Doodles. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jetsonorama’s portrait of Mr. Tony as he watches his pigeons in the sky. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Jetsonorama and Nanook collaboration from a Martha Cooper photograph. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Jetsonorama and Nanook collaboration from a Martha Cooper photograph. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Jetsonorama and Nanook collaboration from a Martha Cooper photograph. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nanook’s wall in progress. Open Walls Baltimore 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Open Walls Baltimore includes the following artists: Gaia (Baltimore), Momo (New Orleans), Doodles (Port Townsend, WA), Maya Hayuk (New York City), Ever (Buenos Aires, Argentina,  Overunder (Reno, NV), John Ahearn (New York City)
Specter (Montreal), Mata Ruda (Baltimore), Josh Van Horn (Baltimore) , Caitlin Cunningham (Baltimore) , Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn (Baltimore), Freddy Sam (Capetown, South Africa), Intersni Kazki (Kiev, Ukraine),
Gary Kachadourian (Baltimore), Chris Stain (New York City, Baltimore), Billy Mode (Baltimore),  Jetsonorama (Arizona), Swoon (New York City), Sten and Lex (Italy), Nanook (Baltimore), Jaz (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and Vhils (Portugal)

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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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