Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Bob J, Bradley Theodore, Damon, EC13, Jerk Face, KK, L’amour Supreme, Martin Parker, Nick Walker, Rockit, Sampsa, Shok 1, Swoon, Tava, and Tripel.
As part of his ongoing “Urban Hacking” project about “Banksters”, Martin Parker sends these images where someone climbs a ladder to rearrange the letters on a facade. Read more about his “Banksters Project” on his blog.
This year represents a high-water mark for current Street Artists being represented at the New York fairs if what we have just seen over the last couple of days is any indication. For those who have been following the trajectory of the new kids we’ve been talking about for the last decade, the room is rather getting a lot more crowded. Only a handful of years ago names that produced blank stares at your forehead and a little sniff of dismissal are garnering an extra lingering moment near the canvas and snap of the cellphone pic, complimentary champagne flute in hand.
With the gusts of wind provided by a couple of recent auctions, optimism about an up-turning economy, and even the Banksy one-month residency, it is not hard to imagine that we have some “overnight” stars in the midst of this constellation, but it is really anyone’s guess.
While we are certainly aware of it, we don’t dedicate too much ink to the commercial aspect of the Street Art scene, preferring to learn the lingua franca of these artists who have developed their narrative and visual style before our eyes, to celebrate experimentation, the creative spirit, and to give a pedestrian view of the street without being pedestrian.
But just as neighborhoods like Bushwick in Brooklyn, El Raval in Barcelona, LA’s downtown Arts District, and parts of London, Berlin, and Paris have been transforming by gentrification, we would be remiss if we didn’t note the more frequent raising of commercial eyebrows all around us when the topic turns to Street Art. It’s not a fever pitch, but can it be far off? There is already a solid first tier that everyone can name – and the stratification is taking shape below it.
Buffeted by blossoming sales of works by early 2000s Street Artists and the burgeoning of lifestyle companies now appropriating this cultural wealth and transforming it into “content” that helpfully couriers all manner of merch from spirits to soda, sneakers, and electronic smoking devices, we are looking for our seat belts as there a major shift in popular acceptance and critical embracing of 21st century Street Artists up ahead.
As for the streets, the flood is going to continue. Street Art is Dead? Yes, we’ve been hearing this since 2002…
Here’s a brief non-specific and uneven survey of only some work showing this weekend by current or former Street Artists and graffiti writers – perhaps a third of what you can see in the New York fairs and satellite galleries.
Summer has been pretty stellar for those passersby on Brooklyn streets and here we have a great selection of installations including a couple from Dennis McNett, who posed a nine foot guy perched over traffic on Flushing Ave. Also notable is a new installation on the Williamsburg Bridge by Hot Tea using hundreds, maybe thousands of colored yarn strands washing over the pedestrian walkway in waves of color – not to mention the axonometric tags on fences that require you to stare and turn your head to finally see them. Finally you might want to check out the first really large scale piece that took N’DA days to complete in Bushwick, all by hand and on to top of a ladder. Cool lion, although those cherries really just look like big balls, right?
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week including Blanco, Buff Monster, Dain, Dennis McNett, Hot Tea, Judith Supine, Lamour Supreme, Misery, ND’A, Nychos, Pyramid Oracle, ROA, Rusty Rehl, Sheryo, Stikman, Tristan Eaton, and YOK.
Hells yes, it’s the invasion of the art fairs in New York – and all the associated events around them, including Bushwicks Beat Night and Williamsburg’s Arts Not Fair in the People’s Republic of Brooklyn and many galleries have special programming planned for the weekend around the city. The big fish is the Armory, which is apparently taming itself down a bit if last nights opening was any indication, and their door is a hefty $30 – boutique indeed. But the hardy street art fan never pays anyway, from what we’ve seen.
Also this weekend are Fountain,PooL Art, Scope New York, Volta , Art Now, and Theorize which are more affordable or free and can be a lot more interesting frankly. Or, just hang out on the street with your bagged container and check out the street art on selected streets and abandoned lots in neighborhoods like the L.E.S, Bowery, Chelsea, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Red Hook, Long Island City, Dumbo. It’s cheap and you might get invited inside for a party if you bring a couple cans of beer. As you know, it doesn’t cost money to access the creative spirit.
1. Armory Arts Week
5. Lisa Enxing at Le Salon d’ Art
6. Ambush Gallery, “Project 5, Volume 4”
7. “Beat Nite”
8. “Hyper/Hypo” at Secret Project Robot
9. OBLVN “100 Paintings at Klughaus Gallery
10. Jef Aerosol “Hot Spots” @ Galerie Austral
11. Street Artist Ives.One (Video)
For further information regarding Armory Arts Week click here
This year Fountain has provided a 200 foot long wall for a slew of Street Artists, including Chris Stain, Know Hope, GILF, Imminent Disaster, Joe Iurato, LMNOP, Elle, ShinShin, LNY, Cake, En Masse, Sophia Maldonado, Hellbent, Radical! and Wing. See some behind the scenes photos posted yesterday here.
Fountain include a great line up of galleries that promote, support and represent Street Artists including: Kestin/Ray Gallery, Mighty Tanaka Gallery, The Market Place Gallery and Marianne Nems Gallery.
The Brooklyn gallery Mighty Tanaka will be having a greatest hits collection of work by almost everyone in their stable of untamed horses. One of the best walls is the dual red white and blue side by side 3-D sculptural wall installations by Skewville and Miguel Ovalle – including swords on the bottom of the Ovalle piece for the kids.
Featured at Might Tanaka are Abe Lincoln Jr. Adam Leech, Adam Void, Alexandra Pacula, Alice Mizrachi, Andrew H. Shirley, Burn 353, Cake, CAM, Celso, ChrisRWK, Conrad Carlson, Criminy Johnson, Curtis Readel, Don Pablo Pedro, Drew Tyndell, ELLE, Ellen Stagg, EVOKER, Flying Fortress, Gigi Bio, Gigi Chen, Greg Henderson, Hellbent, Hiroshi Kumagai, infinity, JMR, Joe Iurato, John Breiner, Katie Deker, Lamour Supreme, Masahiro Ito, Matt Siren, Max Greis, Mike Schreiber, Nathan Pickett, Nathan Vincent, NEVER, Peat Wollaeger, Robbie Bush, See One, Sofia Maldonado, TooFly, UFO, Vahge, VengRWK, VIK with exclusive murals by Miguel Ovalle & Skewville.
For further information regarding Fountain Art Fair click here
Carmichael Gallery from Culver City, CA will be exhibiting new works by Aakash Nihalani.
Thursday night it was a true gathering of the tribes –
Old Skool, Art Skool, Graff Crews, Street Art, Hipsters, Hip-Hop, Electro, Blue-haired, Blue themes, Critics, Kids, Collabo’s, Lolitas, Lotharios, Murals, Markers, Canvasses, Cans, Wheatpaste, Stickers, Sculpture, and Script. This might just be what community looks like. Every where you turned, the senses were flooded, and cellphones and electronic gadgetry were revealed for what they lack in the competition for connectedness and D.I.Y. inspiration.
Surpassing many of the street art group shows of the past few years, this one was obviously very organic and full of love, rather than hype.
When Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force finally picked up their mikes and Martha Cooper broke off from signing books with Henry Chalfant to expertly weave with her camera, the crowds’ momentum was already in full swing. No one can doubt that this scene, whatever label you care to give it, is on fire right now and the creative spirit is at work in the belly of the people.
Good luck tracking it’s trajectories.
Thanks to the Combine and the talented Jazz Beaulieu for the images below: