The ebullient brilliance of the street is what lifts us up in this time of disarray and misdirection. Our collective cognitive dissonance, fed by hired mercenary disinformationists of the oligarchy and their corporate armies, tells us that truth is foggy, or even a lie. No wonder the preponderance of surrealists who are spraying the streets these days. They are merely a reflection of this war on our minds, a war by the way, that you and we are not winning.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Miami, and this time featuring A Lucky Rabbit, Bunny M, Caratoes, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, Insomniak Crew, Koalas of NYC, Lauren YS, The London Police, W3r3on3, and Zio Ziegler.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend! – we are smack in the middle of it today.
Colloquially thought of as the first weekend of summer in the US, it is also the first weekend when there are lifeguards at the beach. Since New Yorkers love to head to the Jersey Shore (no offense Coney Island) we thought we’d regale you with some fresh shots this week of cool murals on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Most of these are part of the “Wooden Walls” a program created by Jenn Hampton, co-director of Parlor Gallery, who tells us that it was inspired by the destruction of a hurricane here that pulled up so much of the wooden boardwalk that is iconic to the shore experience here.
“I started doing it after Hurricane Sandy because they were all these boards up from the devastation,” she explains. “It kind of reminded me of when you go into an artists’ studio and there are little excerpts of paintings that the artist is working on. Some may feel sad because they see unfinished paintings – but for people who are creative it creates excitement because it is about ‘what’s to come.’”
She’s always trying to bring art
to the public space, so this devastation prompted her to write proposals to
start the program and it worked. “It’s weird that it took a natural disaster
for me to get funding for an art project!” she laughs. Five years of steadily
growing the list of artists, the project now includes local, national, and
internationally recognized street artists.
Wooden Walls producer Angie
Sugrim says that this project is as personal as it is public. “Jenn
and I both feel a deep sense of stewardship in our community and this project
and all it entails are our way of giving back and helping to grow what we love
about our town. We both are eternal believers in the power of art and seeing it
help to transform Asbury Park.”
“I try to curate it from
the eyes of a six-year-old and a 20-year-old and a 80 year-old – because we get
such a diverse crowd on the boardwalk,” says Hampton. “I just want to make sure
that there is art in that spirit of creation next to the ocean. I think that
there is something really poetic about.”
Time and the elements have begun
to fade and weather the walls, but she thinks it just adds character.
“I think people get too
attached to public art,” she says. “The impermanence of it makes it really
special and you have to see it and engage with it – Mother Nature will take it
back when it wants!”
So here’s our weekly interview with the street (or boardwalk), this time featuring Ann Lewis, Art of Pau, Beau Stanton, Dee Dee, Fanakapan, Haculla, Hellbent, Indie 184, James Vance, Jessy Nite, Joe Iurato, Lauren Napolitano, Lauren YS, Logan Hicks, London Kaye, Porkchop, RC Hagans, Rubin 415, and Shepard Fairey.
*The classic 1973 album from Bruce Springstein, “Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ” – more HERE
“Shine is a good example of a mural project when the community is involved,” says an organizer Iryna Kanishcheva, who has had a great deal of experience working with Street Artists in the last few years, including a very successful program in Kiev.
Regarding this Floridian community she says, “They started in 2015 with many local artists and family-friendly public activities. The event received good support from the community, so much so in fact that produced more murals next year.”
Included this year are names you’ll find familiar like Cryptic, Hueman, Joram Roukes, Lauren YS and Yok & Sheryo. You’ll also find a fair share of local talents at SHINE because the festival makes a point to keep the mix local and international.
“They try to keep the ratio 5:10 local artists versus traveling artists, thanks to curator Chris Parks,” says Kanishcheva.
“A few years ago Axel painted a mural in Atlanta and he used a portrait of a boy – a random image from the Internet. Months later he received an email from a man in the original photo – his sister had alerted him to it after spotting it in a magazine. Axel Void kept in touch with him and even developed an idea for the film, show and canvas series. One of them is here in the ‘Inside In’ collection.”
Axel Void & L.E.O.,Cryptic, Daniel “R5” Barojas, Herbert Scott Davis, Hueman, James Oleson, Joram Roukes, Jose Mertz, Jujmo, Lauren YS, Mikael B, Ricky Watts, Sentrock, Sam Young, Stephen Palladino, Suarezart, Thirst & Zulu Painter, Vitale Bros., Yok & Sheryo.
We wish to thank Iryna Kanishcheva for sharing her observations and photos with our BSA readers. Please visit http://kanishcheva.com/ to learn more about Ms. Kanishcheva projects.
This week BSA is in Detroit with our hosts 1XRun for the Murals in the Market festival they are hosting with 50+ artists from various countries and disciplines and creative trajectories. In a city trying to rise from the economic and post-industrial ashes it is often the dynamic grassroots energy and vision of artists that sets the tone for how the community evolves.
Detroit rocked in many ways this week, not least because Roula David and Jesse Corey know how to manage a big moveable feast of walls and artists and food and lodging and parties and openings and donuts and a print business and gallery and still manage to have quality time with Oscar, their four year old chocolate pug-mix master who pretty much goes wherever he wants and investigates the scene.
Together David and Corey and the team spread their wings wide to make sure everybody gets taken care of, and we salute their talent and passion. The 1XRun crew, and there are like 20 of them, don’t mess around when getting equipment and cold water bottles and cans of paint and ladders to the artists, along with a hundred other small and large favors and forms of assistance that make this thing run smoothly. And kindly.
The details can really make the difference, in life and in art of course. Today we’ll show you some of the details of a few pieces that resonate from this years collection of vibrating visuals on the street in this part of east Detroit. And you can see that some murals are close to being finished as well. A selection of the completed walls will follow soon from this successful second year of Murals in the Market.
Exclusive shots today for you from Nychos and Lauren Ys in with his “Battlecat” and her “Night Flight” in Providence, Rhode Island. With styles that are complimentarily in some of their fantasy based origins, you can discern differences in personal style. As you might guess, these two artists have also collaborated successfully on pieces, most recently in Brooklyn a couple of months ago.
For these pieces that were curated by their hosts from Inoperable Gallery, the two artists were thinking about species of animals that are disappearing due to climate change and man-made threats to their existence. Nicholas Platzer, who curated for the project, tells us that the news on television and the Internet during the days they were painting these was full of talk about racism, violence, division – but that’s not what he was feeling.
Neither were local kids. “The community around us was welcoming, excited, positive, and enamored with the murals. What started as a project to raise awareness for endangered species became more about the unification of people through art and the sustainability of mankind,” says Nicholas.
“Scientists, psychologists, surgeons…in the end we’re all driven by a similar curiosity.”
This month has been a whirlwind in New York for Austrian Street Artist /fine artist /illustrator named Nychos and he’s made quite the iconic impression. Anchored by a show that opened last weekend of canvasses and illustrations at Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea named “IKON” and assisted by a co-branded sculptural event with the Vienna Tourist Board, the surreal dissectionist didn’t rest there.
In the weeks leading up to and after these events he also managed to hit a number of walls in Coney Island, Bushwick, and Jersey City…oh and he knocked out a box truck as well.
In addition to pulling out an astounding sculpture of Sigmund Freud looming over a couch that drew a crowd to the foot of the (also iconic) Flatiron Building at 23rd and 6th, the afterparty and reception featured Dominic Freud, the great grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, who surmised that if he were alive today he would definitely have wanted to put Nychos on his couch.
Indeed the you may wonder about the mind of this sharp-knifed artist who has decided to diverge from the realm of slicing open animals and fantastic creatures to taking apart cultural and pop-cultural icons for his fascinating painted science experiments.
With a free hand on the can and rarely a sketch, and an athletic kineticism that verges on dance, this artist is fully in his zone, at times delivering what one important art world figure described to us as a “virtuoso” performance, even when he’s de-boning Ronald McDonald. Among his new subjects on walls and canvas are included such recognizable figures as Batman, Darth Vader, Mickey Mouse, Elvis, Marilyn, Motörhead’s Lemmy, and the Statue of Liberty.
Yes, it is grotesque, and yes, some of these subjects were actual people. Additionally, there is a comical dark side in it’s glossy finish and stylized splash, with perhaps a greater critique of consumerist entertainment culture and more than a touch of sadism. This is the pretty gore that is familiar to an un-shockable generation raised by vampires. You know who you are.
We asked the celebritic internist to talk about his work and his prodigious program across NYC and he gave us an inside look at the heart and mind of Nychos.
Brooklyn Street Art:You like to open things up and look inside. Would you consider yourself more of a scientist or psychologist? Nychos: I consider myself an artist. But yeah, the question is justified. Scientists, psychologists, surgeons…in the end we’re all driven by a similar curiosity.
Brooklyn Street Art:Usually you depict primarily factual arrangements of organs and systems – but you also include a huge amount of movement and activity and emotion! How do you feel? How does a viewer feel? Nychos: People who see me paint often tell me that it’s like watching an entire performance, so you could say the movement is not only in the piece or only me, it’s a synergy of both. I feel like the viewer can recognize these (e)motions in the finished piece as well.
Brooklyn Street Art:Is this work intellectual or emotional? Or both? Nychos: Both. In my eyes, a creative process always includes intellectual and emotional content. Both aspects are fuelling each other. At least that’s what I see in my work.
Brooklyn Street Art:We associate your work with the animal kingdom, but you are slicing Sigmund Freud open here in New York – What will we all be studying? Nychos: I’d suggest you tell me afterwards. I can only say that “Dissection of Sigmund Freud” and my exhibition “IKON” at Jonathan Levine Gallery are a good way to announce that I’m going to set a focus on human anatomy in the future.
Brooklyn Street Art:Does Ronald McDonald actually eat his own food or is mostly whole grains and salads and fresh wheat-grass juice. Nychos: Good question. I’m gonna ask him when I see him next time.
Brooklyn Street Art:OneTeas, Ron English and Banksy have all bashed McDonalds a number of times with their work – why is that brand so hateable? Nychos: Well, I’d say McDonalds is just the embodiment of all these fast food chains, so the criticism does not only refer to this specific brand, but to all of them. McDonalds just made a damn good job with burning this weird clown into our brains and with it the bitter taste of today’s dining culture.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1.La Pintura. Graffiti Documentary. Trailer
2. Saving Banksy: Trailer
3. Spencer Keeton Cunningham and Lauren YS go “Batty”
4. Wall To Wall: Benalla, Australia
BSA Special Feature: La Pintura. Graffiti Documentary. Trailer
“You cannot totally enslave human nature. We will always thrive.”
“The city probably hates us. I don’t give a fuck about them because they are all as corrupt as shit.”
La Pintura is a newly released graffiti documentary (series) about the motivation, purpose and commitment of Latin and South African graffiti writers, and the context is helpful for understanding the risks that are taken as well as the drive to “get up” repeatedly. This story has been attempted many times – La Pintura looks like an action film driven by storylines and examination of social factors that form the subculture.
Saving Banksy: Trailer
Another Banksy-driven documentary, of which there will probably be enough for a festival before it’s all over. This one focuses on the people who endeavor to take them off the street to sell.
Spencer Keeton Cunningham and Lauren YS go “Batty”
Because, you know, who doesn’t want a Zombie Bat to get wall time? With their colorful personalities and riveting stories? These two Melboune based artists recently did this one and made a video to capture it.
Wall To Wall: Benalla, Australia
A haven for slick murals by commercial painters and illustrators and Street Artists in Benalla, Victoria , Wall To Wall is a successful venture by a mural business to bring new art to the streets and hopefully more commercial work for the artists and organizers. Great choice of the WAR mix at the beginning.
Art Basel has wound up another successful year in Miami and artists, dealers, buyers and sun seekers have departed. In their wake the streets of Wynwood have sustained yet one more onslaught of murals from an international mix of graffiti writers, street artists, and large format illustrators as the Street Art scene’s thick syrup of spontaneity hardens into a slick shell of commercial opportunity. The average working person with two jobs (or no job) may not have noticed that there is a fabulous boom in this economy for some, and the bubbly is flowing all around fairs like this, out into the streets, into the galleries, receptions, cocktails, and celebrity DJ appearances. While it lasts Brock Brake takes BSA readers through the brand sponsored cloud of opportunity and keeps the focus on what made Street Art interesting to begin with; the artists and their work. We think you’ll dig his photos and for the first time here, an essay in his words:
Miami’s Art Basel might be the world’s largest summer camp for artists. Every year, artists, galleries and enthusiasts from around the world come together in one place to paint, party and socialize. With a never ending list of desired activities and events during the week, it’s impossible to see and do it all. And many of the artists whose work towers on the walls of Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood have been there a week or so longer than anyone.
You know you’ve made it to the right neighborhood coming from the airport when all you see from the highway are large murals and roadside graffiti…and you’re most likely stuck in traffic.
Every single street in Wynwood was filled with artists from various parts of the world who all share one goal: to create. Artist like Meggs, Word To Mother, Hush, Spencer Keeton Cunningham, Lauren Napolitano, Aaron Glasson, Pose, Cleon Peterson, Ron English, Rone, Swoon and many others were all present and active.
It was hard not to get distracted by all of their process while walking from event to event. I spent a total of three full days in Wynwood documenting, visiting some walls more than once. It’s impossible to see it all.
When the fairs close around 7pm, the streets of Wynwood and South Beach explode. There are live painting events like Basel Castle and Secret Walls, pop up galleries, live concerts by hotel pools and, of course, The Deuce; South Beach’s best dive bar beehive of visiting artists.
I’m grateful for my annual “camp” reunion trips to Miami. Reconnecting with old friends you haven’t seen in years while making plenty of new ones. It’s fun to see that as the years go by, everyone is just as much a kid as you remember them. You see the same friend throughout the week wearing the same shirt for four days covered in paint, with no shower or sleep. All of these artists work very hard to do what they do and that’s why I do what I do.