September is the perfect time of the year for Street Art in NYC – and shout out to the NYTimes who ran a double spread and video this week with images of Street Art and graffiti you can see here every week – including the great MOMO piece in Dumbo that was commissioned by Two Trees, and walls from the Bushwick Collective, 5 Pointz, Welling Court, Hunts Point, Coney Island and more. Seeing the collection made us think about how much BSA really covers throughout New York and the world every month and that made us happy as Bill DiBlasio, the apparent next mayor of NYC.
Also it was cool this week to step back and see everybody at the “Wild Style” 30th Anniversary free show in the park by the East River – to see so many people including Lee Quinones, both Ahearn brothers, Cold Crush brothers, Lady Pink, Fab Five Freddy, Futura, Mare 139, Jane Dickson, Lisa Lee, Patti Astor, Joe Conzo, Martha Cooper, among others – and Busy B, who reminded us that the early days of hip-hop were about “peace, love, unity, and having fun”. Yeah, we’re on board for more of that.
Stay tuned this month for exclusive BSA coverage of Nuart ’13 in Stavanger, Urban Forms in Lodz, Faile at the Dallas Contemporary, a number of new gallery shows with the new crop of artists on display, and even a chance for BSA to meet you in Bushwick at a special event on the 19th, wink wink.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week including Amanda Wong, Bunny M, Case Maclaim, Dede, Droid 907, Freddie 111 Street, Gilf!, Josh McCutchen, Judith Supine, Meer sau, Phetus, Phlegm, PRVRT, r1, Reme821, SARZTKG, and Vexta.
“The piece is made of reclaimed plastic bottles that were assembled in a large wire mesh,” says South African installation artist r1, who created this piece in a way that reminded us of the El Anatsui show this year at the Brooklyn Museum and on the Highline. “Community and street art seems to work well together,” r1 says when recalling the spontaneously posing kids who arrived to get in the picture.
Meer Sau shares these smiles with BSA readers this week, where a crosswalk is emblazoned with some words of encouragement. He did the installation and then stood around waiting to see what expressions he could capture. “Everybody wants compliments,” Sau explains.
The big sticking points for most people were Number 2, which a lot of people guessed was Os Gemeos, and Number 4 which some thought was Neckface or Royce Bannon.
But don’t feel bad if you didn’t get them all – nobody did. Our winner is Sandrine from Montreal, Quebec, who was the first person to guess 7 out of 8 correctly (she guessed #4 was Neckface). Congratulations to Sandrine and your original and signed piece from Chris of Robots Will Kill will be in the mail Monday!
Thanks everybody who participated. We’ll have another contest soon!
Yo homey, still doing a Snoopy dance on the subway this morning because your favorite Street Art blog was up on HuffingtonPost.com yesterday. Arianna Huffington is one of the few straightforward truthtellers in a storm of darkness year after year, and this is like when it is your turn at Double Dutch and Malcolm McLaren happens to be walking up your block. Okay, big difference is I don’t wear striped red disco shorts and grew up on a farm upstate and never heard of Brownsville or Buffalo Girls till “Duck Rock” came out —but otherwise it’s totally the same yo.
Alexis Trice "Mediocre" Image courtesy of Mighty Tanaka
Thursday, June 17th 6pm – 9pm
Friday, June 18th 6pm – 9pm
68 Jay St, Suite 416
Brooklyn, NY 11201 (F Train to York St)
Mighty Tanaka is pleased to bring you our latest installment entitled Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, a six-person group show that exposes our individual insecurities and transcends our personal observations. Through representations of introverted wonder and inner chaos, each artist offers a unique balance of emotion and integrity, which provides them with the proper tools to create their personal iconic styles.
Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell encourages the viewer to closely examine the turbulence of humanity and, in turn, challenges the visitors to look more closely at their own personal commotion and understanding of life’s social constructs. The exhibition provides a voyeuristic look at the personal interpretation and experience of the artist’s life and how they choose to relay it to an audience.
Featuring the art of Robbie Busch, EMA,KOSBE, Josh McCutchen, Skewville and Alexis Trice this New Century art show brings together artists of various disciplines and techniques in order to express a common theme that is congruent to us all.
Friday, June 18, 2010 – 6:00PM-9:00PM, and closing July 9, 2010
Factory Fresh Presents: Pufferella “I know You Are But What Am I” and Josh Mccutchen “Polymetrochromanticism”
It’s only a one-week show folks, and Adam has built a sit-n-spin ride that will make you blow all that Genesee Cream Ale like Linda Blair around the front gallery, so you don’t want to miss this opening!
Before we go to the show, a little background; Street Artist Pufferella has played a pivotal role in the New York Street Art scene by running Orchard Street Art Gallery for 7 years with Ad Deville on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, opening the doors and clearing the way for many aspiring graffiti writers and street artists to show their work in a new public setting, many for the first time.
After losing their lease due to greedy landlords, they moved to Bushwick in Summer 2008 to open Factory Fresh, another gallery that opened it’s arms to emerging and better-known street artists and fine artists. On her own, Pufferella has quietly established her own fine art work, consisting primarily of sewn pieces that may be more traditional flat “canvasses” or full-blown soft sculptures.
Taking a break from the sewing machine, Pufferella shows us the inner sanctum of her office at Factory Fresh, which is carefully hung with fabric pieces for the show, effectively blocking all eyes from seeing in the window or over the counter.
The collection of new pieces are brightly colorful, boldly warm. The shiny solid shapes and figures are stiffly posed in simple arrangements, floating in awkward proximity to one another, creating a momentary scene or flash of action. Sewn on lush fabrics, they can take special importance because of the spareness in number and bluntness of geometry.
It’s when these pieces are finished and seen together as a group that Pufferella can get overwhelmed with their significance and she questions if she has been too open as an artist. Speaking about her art and her life, a dual set of impulses emerge – frequently warring with one another. It may be this ongoing conflict that gives many of the pieces a raw energy that is captured in action.
Brooklyn Street Art: I don’t see as much sexual activity in this show as I thought I would.
Pufferella: Oh, yeah? There’s I’d say a good third of the show has those themes. There are some other things going on. Like the tigers! They are so cute I want to take them home with me.
Brooklyn Street Art: So, about these various couples in positions… do you like to imagine sexual relations in unusual places?
Pufferella: I think these are all personal things. Stuff I’ve done or things I think about. I’m very private but I’d say I’m a little wild in certain places.
Brooklyn Street Art: Well, this is the thing; You feel like it is very private and yet you are holding an exposition of it in a very public way.
Pufferella: Isn’t that what art is? Aren’t you supposed to put your soul into it? If I was like, “what am I doing?” then I would produce graphic design. So for me it is that pure. I’m not doing it to sell it, necessarily. So that’s why it’s like, “I think it would be funny if cotton candy fell in love with carrot.”
Brooklyn Street Art: Do you ever have problems or fights with your sewing machine?
Pufferella: Yeah, I mean, I have to oil it, take care of it. I know what the problems are. That sewing machine is like my baby.
When stuff falls out of place, like the pins fall out or I get sliced by stuff, I get pissed. Like when stuff moves and you get a ripple and you have to go back… I spend a lot of time fixing stuff. But I also know what I’m doing wrong. There’s a backing that I’m supposed to put on all of this and my mom gives it to me. She’s like, “Why aren’t you using this?” but I don’t like the way it comes out. It comes out so “crafty”.
So I like it to be a little messed up. Like those kinks and things, I think for me, are what really keeps it “art”. I don’t know.
Brooklyn Street Art: So it’s an effect that you don’t like when you see it, like it has too much of a “finished” quality.
Pufferella: Well, I come from quilters too, and I went to art school and they didn’t because they were farm people who made beautiful quilts, to keep them warm, and they did them nicely. So, I try to differentiate. I know what that (quilting) is, and I’ve tried but I’ve come close.
Brooklyn Street Art: You are afraid of becoming too “crafty”?
Pufferella: Definitely. I think people expect this work to be “craft”. It’s like “appliqué” – like what’s the defining line between me and appliqué? Very little, but I’m hanging on to it.
Brooklyn Street Art: Right, there is a fine line… where suddenly someone is saying, “Can you make a pillow for me?”
Pufferella: And I have done that. Like I did Abe Lincoln Jr.’s bird. But I made it poop and poop-balls came out of it. Yeah the other thing that makes it “art” is the idea. I think when people make quilts they look at patterns.
A Cat and Dog scene from Pufferella’s 2005 show at Pink Pony (Image courtesy Pufferella)
Brooklyn Street Art: Some of these themes are related to circus or performance or childhood fantasy? Pufferella: Yeah, I guess that I feel like it is always coming back to those things. Like my 2005 show at Pink Pony, where I made a circus. I guess that is just what I think about a lot. Funny, carnivale, freaks. I feel like I’m very normal on the outside but very weird on the inside.
Brooklyn Street Art: Can you give me three adjectives? Pufferella: For me?
Brooklyn Street Art: Don’t think about it. Pufferella: Shiny. Giggly. Dark.
Brooklyn Street Art: Okay. Pufferella: Like I think there is that dark humor to everything.
Brooklyn Street Art: Like “Funhouse” humor. Pufferella: Yeah.
Brooklyn Street Art: Did you go to state fairs, or county fairs when you were a kid? Pufferella: Yes, and I think I have that dual nature because my parents were raised on farms, but then they moved and raised us in a different life. We traveled and did all these things that they didn’t really do. So I think there is that dual thing. Like sometimes they were having us milk cows but then taking us to New York City. It was always that way. I grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, which is just outside New York. I did the whole club thing at 16, but I had these roots where I would go back to Michigan and see my Grandma.
Brooklyn Street Art: Did you tell me this is the ideal woman? Pufferella: “The Perfect Wife” Yeah, that piece is about how I don’t feel like I get heard a lot of times. Like I have to say stuff a bazillion times. I might as well be like a video game playing and I might as well have my shirt off. That’s the whole thing with guys. Like I might as well just be serving drinks, playing music, with the mute button on.
Brooklyn Street Art: What about this powerful image? Can you describe her? Pufferella: “You Must Be This Tall To Ride” – this porn pose, like she is stripper dancing, but giving you a rule. It’s like a sign for entering an amusement park ride. So the top of the leg would indicate the height the person must be, and then the other meaning could be for sex. Like it could say “to ride me”, but it doesn’t. That one came about from preparing for a show I was supposed to do with Thundercut and Gaëtane (Michaux), but it got cancelled. So we were all supposed to do a sign.
Brooklyn Street Art: So it is this “come-on” pose coupled with this rejection at the same time.
Pufferella: It is, isn’t it? It could be used for a boy or a girl. She’s very bold. I think that’s the boldest piece I’ve probably done, with all that hair.
Brooklyn Street Art: It’s full of energy and action and movement and power. Pufferella: Yeah, it’s funny, I have a hard time looking at that one. Sometimes when I’m all done, I actually cry. I don’t really like my work.
Brooklyn Street Art: Really?
Pufferella: Yeah, like I had a breakdown. Just looking at all of it and what it all means, and really kind of having that put in your face, in a way, it’s like “maybe this is the reality”. Like “What am I trying to say? Why is this what comes out of me?”
Brooklyn Street Art: It’s revelatory, perhaps.
Pufferella: Yeah, I guess. Like I do the drawing, and I guess it doesn’t mean as much as what it ends up being in the end when it comes to life.
Brooklyn Street Art: That’s interesting how it causes discomfort and emotional turbulence. Pufferella: Yeah, I probably wouldn’t do this show if I could back out now. Now that it’s all ready to go I would probably not show it. Because it is like “what am I doing?” The work is very personal I guess.
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Pufferella has been sewing creations for the front room and Josh McCutcheon will be showing himself publicly for the first time in the back room.
And now for your viewing pleasure, a promotional video for the show done by Pufferella’s dearest friends at PLAZTIK MAG
The Artwork of Josh Mccutchen
Josh McCutchen lives and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn and this is his debut show at Factory Fresh. His narrative works are about mythology, science & technology, social commentary, body image, polymorphic shapes, and abstract urban landscapes.
As a television personality Josh hosted “Does This Look Infected” on MTVU network from 2005-2007. When he’s not painting modern masterpieces, Josh is the host, writer, producer, and editor of the Josh McCutchen Show. You can see him in action at http://www.youtube.com/joshmccutchen
For a limited engagement of one week only, come see the magical land of Pufferella. With all new work, she turns the front room of Factory Fresh into a circus specially made to host her latest fabric creations.
With Rides and Amusement provided by her friends Skewville and Plaztik mag, this is one show not to be missed.
Pufferella has been making Fabric creations since 2002 and has been involved with the Skewville missions even longer. Her work deals mainly with sexual relations and the afterthoughts. She is the woman behind the creation of Orchard Street Art Gallery in NYC and Factory Fresh Art Gallery in Brooklyn. Her work has been shown in both solo and group exhibitions throughout NYC, California, Dublin and London. www.pufferella.com
Sweet dreams of summer and banana splits
Polymetrochromanticism The Artwork of Josh Mccutchen
Josh McCutchen lives and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn. This is his debut show at Factory
Fresh. His narrative works are about mythology, science & technology, social commentary
and body image. He also works with polymorphic shapes, and abstract urban landscapes.
Josh is also a television personality. He hosted “Does This Look Infected” on MTVU network
from 2005-2007. When he’s not painting modern masterpieces, Josh is the host, writer,
producer, and editor of the Josh McCutchen Show. You can see him in action at http://www.youtube.com/joshmccutchen
You may have thought that the giant sucking noise you heard was all the street art being pulled down to Miami this week (or Miss California’s video tape turned up to 12).
Have NO Fear – Mighty Tanaka is Here!
Partners Alex Emmart and Caleb James are proud to introduce MIGHTY TANAKA, the gallery
Brooklyn’s Street Art Scene is so gargantuan that we can afford to let Half the Borough go to Art Basel this week and we still have enough amazingly clever artists to OPEN A BRAND NEW GALLERY TONIGHT – which will be packed thank you very much.
Mighty Tanaka Gallery, a labor of love turned a reality with the vision of Alex Emmart, who has been toiling behind the scenes for a couple of years to build a rather strong and fairly eclectic collection of art and artists – many of them fresh out the gate.
Alex also confesses to creating this new gallery in the neighborhood of Dumbo partially to force himself to get off his couch and go to work instead of running his nascent biz out of his apartment. He’s been painting a newly built gallery space in the Brooklyn neighborhood by the water between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and nearly all his clothes are covered with white paint and his brain has fried, but tonight’s the opening and he is ready.
Avoid (from the Inflation Project) (courtesy Mighty Tanaka)
The inaugural show “Hybridism” gives a nod to oft-expressed opinion these days that the walls between street art and fine art are continually dissolving – as fine art hits the streets and street art hits the living room over your couch.
Emmart brings to the game an education in museum studies, the experience of curating a handful of shows that explore the street-graff-fine art continuum, and a solid dedication to building relationships based on respect.
This too, may be a glimpse of the future of the art world where gallerists treat people fairly and are respected because of it. Just ask any of the nextgen Millenial artists he is working with.
At this auspicious opening, a statement of hope amidst an economy gone ape-crazy, Emmart takes the moment to share the credit on his Facebook page; “Mighty Tanaka studio is one of the finest and most exciting spaces I know of due to the hard work of committed individuals. A VERY BIG thanks to Garrett Wohnrade, Caleb James, Adri Cowan, Mari Keeler, Heidi Alasuvanto, Insuh Yoon, John Michaels, the Mighty Tanaka featured artists and everyone else who has supported Tanaka during this transition. You all inspire me.”
Reginald Pean “Gentlemen of Leisure” (courtesy Mighty Tanaka)
Mighty Tanaka Presents: Hybridism: Where Raw Meets Refined Premier Exhibition in New DUMBO Gallery Space presents an array of mediums, techniques
New York, NY – November 24, 2009 – Mighty Tanaka (http://www.mightytanaka.com) is proud to announce Hybridism, the premier show within its new DUMBO project/gallery space, opening with a reception on December 3, 2009 through January 7, 2010. There’s a growing creative movement that we’ve dubbedHybridism: a blend of both street art and fine art – a hybrid – as the raw meets the refined. It is the juxtaposition of genres, which both compliments and conflicts; the balance between these otherwise artistic opposites. Hybridism, the show, captures a collection of both twisted fine art and underground street art in a span of mediums: vivid photography, collage, and rich oil & acrylic paintings on everything from canvas to found wood.
Alex and Caleb have been working so hard to make this thing happen!
From classic oil paintings of alcohol-blurred nightlife, a squirrel riding a two-headed goat, and a trippy diorama of the industrialization age, to street-style satanic mummies, tribal paintings on book covers, and graffiti-influenced silkscreens on newspapers – Hybridism displays the atypical and the urban within one space.
“I always look to accentuate the idea of hybridism, and of pairing opposites together; this will be common thread in all of my shows, despite their varied themes,” says Mighty Tanaka owner and curator, Alex Emmart. “My goal? To bring this burgeoning and exciting artistic movement to the next level.”
Featured artists include: Adam Miller, Alexandra Pacula, Alexis Trice, AVOID pi, Bruno Perillo, Destroy and Rebuild, Don Pablo Pedro, FARO, Hellbent, Infinity, JMR, John Breiner, Josh McCutchen, Katie Decker, KOSBE, Lionel Guzman, Mari Keeler, Miss Marlo Marquise, Max Greis, Mike Schreiber, Peter Halasz, Reginald Pean, Robbie Busch, Royce Bannon, Skewville, Vinny Cornelli.
Mighty Tanaka’s Hybridism opening reception coincides with DUMBO’s Culture 411 First Thursday Gallery Walk on Thursday, December 3, 2009, from 5:30PM-8:30PM at Mighty Tanaka Studio on 68 Jay Street, Suite 416, Brooklyn, NY 11201. # # #
About Mighty Tanaka
Mighty Tanaka (http://www.mightytanaka.com) is Alex Emmart and Caleb James: an independent curatorial organization dedicated to the advancement and integrity of the urban arts. Through the utilization of skilled curating and various media techniques, we strive to create a stable foundation for artists operating within the urban environment. Mighty Tanaka is driven by urban inspiration and is clearing the way for this emerging art movement to expand beyond the city walls and into our personal lives. Our mission is to provide a myriad of curated and production services.
Mighty Tanaka Studio 68 Jay St., Suite 416 Brooklyn, NY 11201 Hours: M-F 12PM to 7PM, weekends by appointment only Office: 718.596.8781
For questions, info or interviews, please contact Alex Emmart at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 596-8781.