All posts tagged: Kings County Bar

Fun Friday 06.03.11


1a. John Burgerman crosses Wburg Bridge with Bananas on head
1. BOS 2011 – Bushwick Open Studios This Weekend
2. 3rdEye(Sol)ation
3. “Surrealism” and “Bushwick Art Park”
4.  “Stay Gold” at Curbs & Stoops Active Space
5.  “Fine-Ass Art” at Kings County Bar
6.  GILF! Pop Up
7.  New Ludo “Green Beery” (VIDEO)

We really are so damn lucky to be here in NYC. The cultural offerings are always varied, plentiful, inspiring and in many cases FREE. Of course the rent is too high and your bedroom can accomodate a bed or a dresser but not both, but when you hit the streets the cultural stimulation never stops.

For example, newly arrived Noo Yawker Jon Burgerman practiced his good posture and accentuated his down jacket this spring by traipsing through the streets and across the Williamsburg Bridge balancing bananas on his head.


You see! The cultural richness on the street is never ending! (© Jon’s Flickr)

From Jon’s most recent and exhausting email, “Sometimes the things you see (on the street) are rather lovely, like the blossom on the trees and people outside drinking coffee and graffiti so fresh the paint is still wet.”

BOS 2011 – Bushwick Open Studios This Weekend

Hats off to the BOS crew who have laid the foundations for the new artists and curators to grow upon.

BOS ’11 – Bushwick Open Studios is in it’s fifth year and many newly minted blogs and curators are discovering this once desolate industrial pit. It’s still a pit, but at least it’s not so desolate — it also helps that high rents elsewhere have created this steady river of people flowing out of the L train Morgan stop.

Speaking of which;

IMPORTANT TRAVEL ADVISORY: The L train will NOT be running between Manhattan and Brooklyn for the entire weekend. Take the JMZ trains instead and you’ll still get dropped right in the middle of it.

Below are our picks, and while our focus is primarily on Street Art artists and events, please hit the BOS site to take a look at the complete list of events and shows:


Friday June 03



Jason Mamarella’s curated a group show featuring Billi Kid, Peru Ana Ana Peru, ASVP, Mike Die, Jos-L, dint wooer krsna, Quel Beast, Septerhed, Choice Royce, Kosbe, QRST, Trixtr Rabbit, Bankrupt Slut, CCB, Wisher 914, ZamArt opens this Friday at 3rd Eye(sol)ation 7-10 pm.

For more information, location and hours about this show click on the link below:

Saturday June 04:

“Surrealism” and “Bushwick Art Park”

Factory Fresh Gallery is offering two events:  “Surrealism”and “Bushwick Art Park”


Pufferella (image © courtesy of the artist)

twenty artists from the neighborhood wrestle their unconscious.

An exhibition at Factory Fresh for Bushwick Open Studios curated by Jason Andrew and Ali Ha.

Jim Avignon, Kevin Curran, Ryan Michael Ford, Paul D’Agostino, Ben Godward, Tamara Gonzales, Andrew Hurst, Rebecca Litt, Francesco Longnecker, Norman Jabaut, J.P. Marin, Brooke Moyse, Garry Nichols, Patricia Satterlee, Pufferella, Skewville, John Sunderland, Sweet Toof, Marjorie Van Cura & Veng


A one day community event June 4th, 1-7pm
Located at the proposed Bushwick Art Park on Vandervoort Place

Factory Fresh is sponsoring a street event with art and murals to showcase their entry on this year’s Festival of Ideas that the New Museum produced and staged at the Bowery early in May.


Skewville (image © courtesy of the artist)

Sculptures by Bast, Leon Reid IV, Specter, Skewville, Ben Godward, Infinity, Garry Nichols and El Celso. New Bushwick Art Park mural by Veng.

To learn more info bout this show please go to the gallery site at:

“Stay Gold” at Curbs & Stoops Active Space

Opening party Saturday 7-10 pm at Curbs & Stoops Active Space


QRST “Clay County” (image © QRST)

The group exhi­bi­tion fea­tures Don Pablo Pedro, Nathan Pick­ett, QRST, Quel Beast and Vahge.

“Fine-Ass Art” at Kings County Bar

Kings County has hosted a number of street artists for shows at this dark haunt for about four years and tonight a few more get their shine on. You may also coax a a go-go girl or boy onto the bar to add to the visual candy on the walls. Man, that’s some fine-ass art.

brooklyn-street-art-el-sol-25-kings-county-bar-bushwick-open-studios-2011El Sol 25 (image © courtesy of the artist)

Fine-Ass Art will feature: Quel Beast, QRST, El Sol 25, Gilf!, Rimx, Alden, Alicia Papanek.

For more information about this show click on the link below:

GILF! Pop Up

One of the newer Street Artists Gilf! on the scene pops up out of the pavement to give you a personal look in this intimate setting.


GILF! (image © courtesy of the artist)

Gilf! Pop Up Gallery
107 Forrest Ave btw Flushing Ave and Central Ave (across from
English Kills Gallery)
Friday 7-9
Sat 12-9, opening reception from 7-9
Sun 12-7

New Ludo “Green Beery” (VIDEO)

The latest video from Parisian Street Artist Ludo:

Ludo will be part of the BSA curated show “Street Art Saved my Life: 39 New York Stories” this August in Los Angeles.

Ludo “Green Beery” by Laurie Grosset

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Quel Beast: Street Art, Hip Hop, and Cross-Undressing

Quel Beast: Street Art, Hip Hop, and Cross-Undressing

Quel Beast. Chicky in Chelsea (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Feeling cocky in Chelsea. Quel Beast (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


BSA guest writer Robin Grearson talks about herself, the Street Artist Quel Beast, and the unknowable beast within.

I headed to Bushwick’s Wreck Room last week to talk to Quel Beast about art and see how he’s doing.  He’s pasting up some work indoors this week, at Kings County, and a new street piece was almost ready for Chelsea.  The Wreck Room is an unpretentious spot where secrets flow easily, and so, over beer and fried pickles, Quel Beast confided to me his frustrations, some obsessions, and what he would do if he couldn’t make art. But he remained quiet about the street piece, which made me nervous.


Quel Beast. Detail (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Quel Beast. Detail (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Until today, I hadn’t seen it. It’s a woman; full length, but cocky. She taunts passers-by to check her out once, maybe twice.  She’s not wearing much. That much I remembered. She’s like his Chelsea kiss, or, postcard: Dear Art Crawlers. With love from Brooklyn, Quel Beast.

He shows me on his iPhone some of the portraits for the show, called “Back That A$$ Up,” after the Juvenile/L’il Wayne song and video. It’s hours, many beers, two more locations and some wine later, before I ask about the Chelsea girl. Quel Beast answers offhandedly that she’s…weird. I’m sure he knows a better word because he says it like it’s a question. He’s into the piece, and says it exemplifies the direction he sees his style heading. But his question mark says, maybe I’ll hate it, a possibility I hadn’t considered.

I posed for the photo he’s working from to create her. So she’s me, and she’s not. I start wondering if, while painting testosterone-soaked me, her sneer has maybe gotten to him. But then, art is supposed make you feel something, which is the conversation we’ve been having. And I wonder what I will feel when I see her.

Quel Beast (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Quel Beast (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Quel Beast compares art to music, harshly. Placed side by side, art gets its ass kicked. “Art isn’t good enough,” he says, with reverence for music’s power to evoke feeling, stir memory and stir senses. People quickly filter out tags and stickers as visual noise, he points out, adding, “You don’t have a personal experience with someone’s name, the way you can with music.”

“I hate art. Art sucks,” Quel Beast declares, and we laugh. He’s describing his exasperation with the impossibility of art to realize his ideal of it.

But even as he’s describing most art as dismissible in contrast to music, he is a little distracted, scanning stickers and tags on the tables and walls, naming the artists. “Why can’t art do what music can do?,” Quel Beast wonders, and lays down a gauntlet.  “An artist has a responsibility to reach out and grab someone the same way a ridiculously awesome song does.”

So it’s natural that Quel Beast’s portraits would have music in their souls; for him, “Back That A$$ Up” is the track that conjures the flow and energy of shared experience that he aspires to render in his paintings. But the series is no fan letter: Quel Beast is looking through the video’s lens at his own agenda. He’s retrofitted his painted subjects as though they were plucked from frames of the video, undressed them, and reversed the gender roles.

Quel Beast (© Jaime Rojo_

Quel Beast (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


He designed the portrait series as his inquiry into the source of our judgments. Where do conclusions come from, for instance, about a two-dimensional woman who may be posturing instead of pouting but in other ways remains unknowable? “Why is it that just because you put your body into certain positions, people will assume anything about you, your identity or your sexuality?,” Quel Beast asks, without knowing the answer.

Juvenile and L’il Wayne provide Quel Beast with audio inspiration for his paintings, but their lyrics tow the misogyny-and-hetero line. Quel Beast reveals only a cool nonchalance about this apparent collision of cultures. By co-opting the rappers’ revelers in an effort to unlock an insight or two on identity politics, won’t Quel Beast ostensibly alienate those fans who would be drawn to a show inspired by hip hop? The more secrets he tells me, the more a picture emerges of someone who doesn’t mind making people uncomfortable.

Early this morning, Quel Beast showed me the Chelsea girl. She has my straight, boyish hips, and a casual, male confidence that is impervious to judgment. Within that masculinity, though, something remains defiantly feminine. He looked at me and said with a shrug,  “If there’s one thing I learned from rap, it’s how to deal with haters.” —Robin Grearson



Quel Beast, “Back That A$$ Up”, October 16, 10 PM, Kings County, 286 Siegel Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206.

Robin Grearson is an independent writer and essayist living in New York. She has written for The New York Times.

Robin Grearson:

Quel Beast:,

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Open Studios and the Street

Graff started on the street, I think.  Street art started in the studio.

Main difference. That was easy, right?

Now graff keeps going into the studio, the gallery, the museum.  And now we are watching as fine art, or some approximation of it, is continuallly leaving the home studio (kitchen table), gallery, collective, etc. and flooding the streets.  The explosion of street art is having it’s effect and the opinions it produces are as varied as, um, people.  The point is that the veil has been punctured, and the creative spirit is not willingly being confined today. Everything and everyone is becoming a hybrid.

Last weekend in a neighborhood in Brooklyn that’s home to a lot of variety at the moment – Bushwick –  a three day Bushwick Open Studios event took place, featuring over 200 open studios, live music, parties, workshops, panels, student art shows, puppet shows, the whole enchilada.  Don’t worry, it’s not all high-minded, or necessarily thought provoking. It’s just an indication of where we are moving. It’s impossible to see everything so you just have to pick and choose a few of your favorites and see which way the slimey wind leads you.

Started off at “2012” the new show at Factory Fresh featuring the work of graff/street art youth – the place was pretty young and sweaty and full of excitement, and parts of the inside looked like it could have been outside – plywood, tags, partial messages, and organized chaos.  Sorry for the crappy pics from the phone, but you get the idea.

A wall of 9"x9" wood pieces with work by Faro, Bloke and Avoid.

A wall of 9"x9" pieces by Faro, Bloke, and Avoid. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Faro, UFO, others that you may know at "2012" at Factory Fresh (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Faro, UFO, others that you may know at "2012" at Factory Fresh (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Bad Kids, Krink markers  (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Bad Kids, Erotic Kids, Charles Barkley, Krink markers (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Apple, Aiko, Anarchist, Arriviste, Artist, Avoid

A is for Apple, Abbreviation, Aiko, Anarchist, Arriviste, Artist? In this case, probably it's for Avoid (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Then Kings County Bar also hosted a show that night for ELC and their new collaborations, which were kind of hard to see because it was, uh, a dark bar.  Also there were other gyrating distractions that may have taken patron’s focus off their art show.  Included in the show were Royce Bannon, Anera, Infinity, Celso, Abe Lincoln Jr., Ad Deville, Dark Clouds, and Matt Siren.

A quick way to cut through a crowded bar

A quick way to cut through a crowded bar is to tiptoe across the top of it. (photo (cc) Hrag Vartanian)

Following a rainy Friday, the rest of weekend was nice. In fact, a new Bishop 203 appeared out of nowhere on this abandoned building, like an urban flower.

Bishop 203

Bishop 203 with a black heart (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Pocket Utopia had it’s last show this weekend, featuring a 16 foot tall fiberglass monster that dispensed beer in the back yard, a performance by artist/musician/dynamo Andrew Hurst in the basement that was viewable through a hole drilled in the floor, and this large scary portrait by Kevin Regan. You might recognize the revolutionary jowls. It’s not street art, per se, but certainly we’ve seen this king of photographic mutation on the street in the work of MBW, Judith Supine, Dain, Bast, and others.

Kevin Regan (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Kevin Regan at Pocket Utopia (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Speaking of Judith Supine, English Kills was showing a large piece by said street artist called “God of Mars”  Chris Harding, visionary owner of the space, explained that this is the biggest canvas Supine has ever done, and that numerology figured into it’s actual dimensions to bring good luck to the piece.

Chris points out a detail on the Judith Supine piece (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Chris points out a detail on the Judith Supine piece (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Large new canvass by Judith Supine "God of Mars" (courtesy English Kills)

Large new canvas by Judith Supine (courtesy English Kills)

Later, after too many beers, we stumbled into a salon of 20-something Illinois settlers (Illinois in the House!), a true sign of the everchanging makeup of the music and art scene. An appreciate audience of 50+ people were spread out over salvaged furniture (and one in a bathtub) to listen to old timey folk inspired singers and bands.

Rockin the autoharp, which is slightly older than wearing trucker caps

Rockin the autoharp, which is slightly older than wearing trucker caps (photo Steven P. Harrington)

While thumping house music from down the block and the occasional police siren wafted in the cracked 4th floor factory windows, singer-songwriters plucked on autoharp, glockenspiel, electric guitar, and a variety of hand held percussion instruments.  The really remarkable part was the lack of manic cell-phone snapping, texting, or Twittering among such an assembled group of youthful beauty during the performances. They appeared to be paying attention.  Is that even POSSIBLE?  Maybe this was a movie set. Or maybe Illinois artist-peeps are just more respectful.  I was going to try to get through this paragraph without mentioning Sufjan Stevens, but there, I’ve said it.  Baahhhhhhhhhh!

The tunes were folky, but she did say "f*ck" quite a few times in one song.

The tunes were folky and relationship-centric, but she did say "f*ck" a few times in one song, so that's what gives it the edge. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

So there you have it, one shard of a giant shattered crystal mirror that is Bushwick.  The torch is passed again to a new generation of weirdos and misfits to develop beauty.  Since most of the real estate developers are trying to hatch their stalled projects in Billyburg and lure in more “consumers”, maybe the recession has bought some time and the multi-feathered flock of “creatives” will continue to fly here for a while.  That way the nests will stay affordable, and the space aplenty.

The art on the street, naturally, has plenty to say on these and other matters…

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“Cheap Shots” show by ELC at Kings County

The street art collective known as ELC (Endless Love Crew) and other
street art stars will be hitting Kings County Bar for an art show of
extreme proportions. This show will open in conjunction with the Arts
In Bushwick’s yearly “Bushwick Open Studios” event which is sure to
rock Brooklyn!

Participating artists include:
royce bannon
abe lincoln jr
ad deville
dark clouds

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