All posts tagged: Lee Quinoes

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

BSA “Images Of The Year” for 2017 (VIDEO)

Of the thousands of images he took this year in places like New York, Berlin, Scotland, Hong Kong, Sweden, French Polynesia, Barcelona, and Mexico City, photographer Jaime Rojo found that Street Art and graffiti are more alive than every before. From aerosol to brush to wheat-paste to sculpture and installations, the individual acts of art on the street can be uniquely powerful – even if you don’t personally know where or who it is coming from. As you look at the faces and expressions it is significant to see a sense of unrest, anger, fear. We also see hope and determination.

Every Sunday on BrooklynStreetArt.com, we present “Images Of The Week”, our weekly 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 2017.

Brooklyn Street Art 2017 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

Artists included in the video are: Suitswon, Curiot, Okuda, Astro, Sixe Paredes, Felipe Pantone, Hot Tea, Add Fuel, Hosh, Miss Van, Paola Delfin, Pantonio, Base23, R1, Jaune, Revok, Nick Walker, 1UP Crew, SotenOne, Phat1, Rime MSK, Martin Whatson, Alanis, Smells, UFO907, Kai, Tuts, Rambo, Martha Cooper, Lee Quinoes, Buster, Adam Fujita, Dirty Bandits, American Puppet, Disordered, Watchavato, Shepard Fairey, David Kramer, Yoko Ono, Dave The Chimp, Icy & Sot, Damien Mitchell, Molly Crabapple, Jerkface, Isaac Cordal, SacSix, Raf Urban, ATM Street Art, Stray Ones, Sony Sundancer, ROA, Telmo & Miel, Alexis Diaz, Space Invader, Nasca, BK Foxx, BordaloII, The Yok & Sheryo, Arty & Chikle, Daniel Buchsbaum, RIS Crew, Pichi & Avo, Lonac, Size Two, Cleon Peterson, Miquel Wert, Pyramid Oracle, Axe Colours, Swoon, Outings Project, Various & Gould, Alina Kiliwa, Tatiana Fazalalizadeh, Herakut, Jamal Shabaz, Seth, Vhils, KWets1, FinDac, Vinz Feel Free, Milamores & El Flaco, Alice Pasquini, Os Gemeos, Pixel Pancho, Kano Kid, Gutti Barrios, 3 x 3 x 3, Anonymouse, NeSpoon, Trashbird, M-city, ZoerOne, James Bullowgh, and 2501.

 

Cover image of Suits Won piece with Manhattan in the background, photo by Jaime Rojo.

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Exploring From Coney To Harlem: Fresh Art on The Streets This Summer in NYC

Exploring From Coney To Harlem: Fresh Art on The Streets This Summer in NYC

Summer brings people out onto the streets. New Yorkers especially love to congregate on corners, stoops, public parks and plazas, sidewalks and on the streets to soak in the sun and the excitement of summer after its long winter season. With that in mind we want to point you to what’s new on the streets of the city when it comes to Street Art and Graffiti, scenes that are constantly reinventing themselves and moving.

Here are five destinations with fresh new murals and Street Art painted this year that you can track down and enjoy on your own in an afternoon. Take a break by sitting on a stoop or a bench and enjoy the sounds and energy of each neighborhood and have a hot dog or a slice of watermelon, a slice of pizza – maybe an Italian ice!

Case Maclaim and Pixel Pancho updated their collaboration for this year’s edition of The Bushwick Collective Block Party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn.

This 6 year old project spearheaded by Bushwick native Joe Ficalora continues to host international artists on walls spread on five blocks in this gentrifying neighborhood of Brooklyn. With more than a dozen freshly painted murals that were completed for this months annual block party, the cheek-to-jowl collection of murals feels like a treasure hunt of global styles all here to show off their best. While we still have the L train you can take it Jefferson et voilà!

Logan Hicks and Joe Iurato updated their collaboration for this year’s edition of The Bushwick Collective Block Party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Coney Art Walls in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

In its third year, Coney Art Walls is an initiative of Thor Equities and in a curatorial collaboration with art maven Jeffrey Deitch….This year’s edition of Coney Art Walls brings ten freshly painted murals by American and international artists to add to the collection of 30 or so murals painted during the past two editions. Here you will see an eclectic mix of 1970s era train writers to some of today’s multi-conceptualists take on the broader theme of Coney Island, its characters, its rides, its foot long hot dogs.  A plethora of trains will take you there and be prepared to enjoy native graffiti in the “wild”on walls throughout the roughly 45 minutes train ride as your view rises on the elevated tracks. Take the N, Q, F, and D trains to Coney Island.

Lee Quinones. “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)

Chris Stain’s mural for Coney Art Walls 2017 integrates a photo taken by Martha Cooper on a New York street in the 1980s with an ocean swell of graffiti washing up around the young lovers. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Welling Court Mural Project in Queens, NY.

The most community oriented among all of the festivals taking place in NYC, Welling Court just completed its 8th edition this month a part of Queens that feels ignored, yet now strangely is getting some high-end real estate?  With a less-structured program and a philosophy of inclusiveness the project attracts a diverse group of local, national and international artists seeking to participate and interact with these neighbors, some of them New Yorks’ newest members, in a weekend-long genuine summer block party. Located in Welling Court in Long Island City in the borough of Queens the walls spread over five blocks or so and can be accessed via the N train to 30th Ave. Take a bus to Welling Court or walk for about 15 minutes on 30th Ave towards the East River.

LMNOPI. Welling Court Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dennis McNett. Detail. Welling Court Mural Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

The L.I.S.A. Project NYC in Little Italy and The Lower East Side.

This Mural Program is the brainchild of Wayne Rada and Ray Rosa, who host artists from all over the world to come and beautify the old neighborhoods of Little Italy and parts of the Lower East Side both in Manhattan. Because its Manhattan and space and turf are contested, you’ll find the works scattered and surprisingly integrated into spots – evoking the element of “discovery” that organic Street Art and graffiti produces.

Not necessarily located on a specific set of blocks the murals are more spread out on several streets in and around Little Italy and can be reached taking a number of subways lines. We’ll advise you take the B or the D trains to Grand Street Station and make your way to Mulberry Street where you’ll enjoy large murals by Ron English and Tristan Eaton and a number of smaller pieces. As you wander, walk, stroll, or crawl through Little Italy you’re bound to discover big and small pieces that run a spectrum of Shepard Fairey, JPO, BKFoxx, KanoKid, The Drif, and Buff Monster.

Kano. L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face. L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monument Art in El Barrio, Harlem.

Monument Art really concentrates on large high quality murals for El Barrio in NYC. Beginning in 2015 a dozen international artists were invited to paint for two weeks including massive murals by ROA, El Mac, Celso, Ever Siempre, Faith 47 and others others. This year German artist Case Maclaim was invited to paint one highly realistic mural on a school wall located at 310 East 113th Street. Take the 6 train to 110 Street and walk north on Lexington ave towards 113th street.

As you make your way north you’ll see some of the murals painted in 2015.

Case Maclaim. Work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Case Maclaim. Work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Case Maclaim. Monument Art. El Barrio, Harlem. NYC. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Spring / Break 2017 : This Years’ Times Square Show in Corporate Office Space

Spring / Break 2017 : This Years’ Times Square Show in Corporate Office Space

Braving the crowds at the 2017 Spring/Break show means meandering the floor plan of former corporate offices and encountering the daydreams of artists who usually work as temps here. After traversing the un-grand lobby and showing your ID, this high-flying glass and steel Times Square fantasy flips the lights on the funhouse as soon as the doors open to Greg Haberny’s elevator bank installation of hundreds of rough wooden sculptures dangling overhead while a hardcore soundtrack rams you through the glass doors to the reception area.

Greg Haberny. Detail. Curated by Ambre Kelly . Andrew Gori . Catinca Tabacaru. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This curator-focused show never allows you to be bored, ensuring an alternate-world full of possibility, often delivering on its promise, sometimes fooling you. Like a beehive of compartmentalized activities and scenarios playing out in a fractured psyche, you find comedy, fluid sexuality, bejeweled fantasies, a satiric art-factory performance, D.I.Y. cardboard set design, light illusions in closets, wide photographic vistas, costumed performers, photo shopped hyperfantasy, Basquiat photos by his ex-roommate, and fully immersive environments like a live barbershop delivering dramatic haircuts with multi-screened secret surveillance in the backroom – tracking movements and conversations here and on the street below.

Alexis Adler’s photos of her room mate Jean-Michel Basquiat. Curated by Jane Kim. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo by Jaime Rojo)

While the aesthetic/mythic/pop culture influences are Diluvian and flattening our traditional hierarchies in this information age, shows like this also highlight our level of distraction – and test your ability to edit. It’s not as libertine or scummy as you would expect from a Times Square show in a what looks like a former den of lawyers, but then Times Square is not the flawed and blinkered glam and muck and whirl that it once was. Although who knows what lurks behind those brightly Disneyesque and moldy fur costumes…

Here is a pile of laundry from one perspective. From another it is an anamorphic portrait of activist Hellen Keller. Noah Scalin. Curated by Dawne Langford. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Noah Scalin. Curated by Dawne Langford. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ask Jane Dixon, whose “Male Nourished” paintings of men and their dicks fill an office and overlook the action on the street below. She says she is rather celebrating men’s continuous love affair with their genitalia and portrays them as nearly obsessive relationships.

Jane Dickson. Curated by Michelle Loh. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dixon knows these scenes better than most since she and husband Charlie Ahearn made their own Times Square home movies out the window and overlooking the street action in this famous nexus when gangs beset passersby, drugs were not delivered to your door via text message, arcades were dark  rooms full of pinball machines, and hookers and Johns were just “locals”. Dixon is also an alum of the famous “Times Square Show” mounted with 100 artists in 1980 in a massage parlor on 41st and 7th Avenue. The show later became regarded as a turning point in New York low/hi art and uptown/downtown culture with a list of young artists who became well known in certain circles; Tom Otterness, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kiki Smith, Jenny Holzer, Kenny Scharf, Nan Goldin.

Jane Dickson. Curated by Michelle Loh. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For a moment you can forget the high rents that have driven most of these artists out of Manhattan and into the crowded lofts of Brooklyn, Queens, even Jersey. Quirky, searching, forcefully unique and hoping for a break. The excitement among these 150 curators and 400 artists is palpable on opening night and you want these visionaries to succeed, and indeed they do through this dark lookingglass. Many themes continue out to the street, and for a few boisterous moments this chaotic labyrinthine in fluorescent glow mimics the streets below.

Lee Quinones takes a US propaganda ad which he salvaged from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and adds modern military bombing of Babylon as a backdrop. Curated by Sara Driver. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lee Quinones. Detail. Curated by Sara Driver. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A barbershop in the front, a surveillance room full of screens in the back. Curated by Eve Sussman . Simon Lee. Barbershop. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cate Giordano creates an apartment of papier mache. Curated by Suzanne Kim. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Michael Zelehoski. Curated by Che Morales. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

David Kramer. Curated by Ambre Kelly . Andrew Gori. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist, writer, publisher and jazz saxophonist Noah Becker does a self portrait against a backdrop of Basquiat. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Curated by Carole Vobe playfully displays that great leveling force of death. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tamara Santibañez and a monochrome hand-drawn teen bedroom from the 1980s. Curated by Justin De Demko. Spring / Break Art Show 2017. NYC, 02-2017 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Check out Spring/Break 2017 March 1-6.

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“ALL BIG LETTERS” : Exhibition of Style, Tools, and Technique of Graffiti

“ALL BIG LETTERS” : Exhibition of Style, Tools, and Technique of Graffiti

It’s called ALL BIG LETTERS but it could easily be called ALL BIG DREAMS because the outward techniques, the history, and the tools of the trade of graffiti on display at Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery all lead to more internal aspirational matters.

All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadelphia, PA. (photo © Lisa Boughter)

Yes, the earliest New York and Philly graffiti writers of the 1960s took special pains and circumvented norms to get their message out, even if the message was simply their name or a street alias. But the drive to repeat it as often as possible in as many locations as possible spoke to grander dreams of recognition among peers and the addictively elusive effervescence of capturing “fame” on a public stage. Add competition, complexity, and clever innovation to the mix, and wall writers devised ever larger strategies to pursue and acquire those dreams.

RJ Rushmore, Editor-in-Chief of Vandalog, curates ALL BIG LETTERS at his alma mater Haverford College with this as one of his principal goals; helping viewers better understand the motivation behind the tag as well as the style and techniques used.

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

Faust . Curve. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

We spoke with RJ about the show to help BSA readers get a better appreciation for ALL BIG LETTERS and Rushmore’s own use of technique for communication.

Brooklyn Street Art (BSA): How have you tried to demystify graffiti for a more general audience?
RJ Rushmore: In a gallery full of “graffiti on canvas,” you’ll see some beautiful art, but you won’t actually learn that much about graffiti. All you’ll see are things that resemble the end result of writing. That can be stunning, but it’s not the right approach for a gallery with an educational mission. Just seeing the finished product does not give you a sense of how it was made. That’s still a mystery.

ALL BIG LETTERS takes writers’ tools and strategies as its starting point, which gives a more holistic vision of graffiti. The exhibition covers style, but also the tools writers use and the importance of strategies like repetition and innovation, or the ways that writers respond to architecture. Someone should be able to enter the exhibition with zero knowledge of graffiti and leave with the ability to see a piece on the street and understand roughly how that got there, why it’s there, and why it looks the way it does.

Curve. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What role does innovation play in the pushing of the evolution of writers’ techniques? Your text accompanying the exhibition describes the drive of competition that influenced Blade in developing his style in the 70s, for example.
RJ: Reading Blade’s book, it struck me that almost every change in his style was in response to what people were doing around him. When all it took to stand out was a simple two-color piece, that’s what he painted. When other writers were using four or five colors, he used seven. When the trains were crowded with graffiti and he was forced to paint over other writers’ partially-buffed or dissed pieces, he hid that old work with cloud backgrounds or his trademark blockbuster pieces. Blade was innovating, constantly staying one step ahead of the curve, and that’s why he stood out.

Graffiti is largely a game of one-upmanship, and innovation can happen in other ways too. The first writers to discover destructible vinyl stickers stood out because their stickers were so difficult to remove. Today, anybody can order destructible vinyl from Egg Shell Stickers. Destructible vinyl is still useful, and arguably makes stickers a more appealing medium, but it’s no longer novel. Or take COST and REVS. One of their greatest innovations was using wheatpaste and sticking their work on the backs of street signs and traffic lights. They dominated a physical space that most writers ignored.

Lee Quinones. Lee George Quinones/Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Martin Wong, 1994. 94.114.1  All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What is it like to watch the act of writing? How does “performance” enter into the equation? Katsu’s fire extinguisher tag seems like a polar opposite performance from one by Faust.
RJ: Writing is a performance, and graffiti is a kind of documentation of the performance. Writers have to climb fences, repel down buildings, and break the law in highly-visible places without being seen. I’m terrible at deciphering wildstyle graffiti or dense tags, but I love reading graffiti as a remnant of a performance, looking at a piece or a tag and trying to figure out how it happened.

KATSU and FAUST may be stylistically quite different, but whether you’re looking at a FAUST sticker or a KATSU extinguisher tag, you can appreciate that acts necessary to make them. KATSU’s extinguishers are a moment of epic lawbreaking. FAUST’s stickers are subtler. There’s the moment of putting up the sticker, but there’s also the intense focus and perfectionism that goes into making it, something that FAUST’s installation in ALL BIG LETTERS touches on. KATSU innovated mostly with tools, and FAUST innovated mostly with style. Their respective methods of getting up, their performances, reflect that.

Tools of the trade under plexi: All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: When you compare graffiti writing to hacking, in this case, a city, – wouldn’t it be smart for the government to hire these hackers to better understand their city in the way that the FBI and NSA are said to hire hackers to develop spy programs and national security measures?
RJ: I suppose most cities would think to hire former graffiti writers to learn how to combat graffiti. What I would love to see, as you suggest, is a city planner hiring graffiti writers to learn how to make cities more fun.

The people who have figured this out are advertising executives. Ever wonder why so many graffiti writers go into marketing and graphic design? It’s because that’s essentially what graffiti is. Writers were developing their own “personal brands” decades before social media made the concept mainstream. Writing is a competition for fame, which is basically what advertising and marketing is.

EKG on the left. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: When you talk about hacks, are you really describing how graffiti writers have often used ingenuity and adaptation?
RJ: I have to give Evan Roth credit for this whole idea of graffiti as a series of hacks. It’s the idea that writers often use things for unintended purposes. They use subway cars as canvases, because the cars travel all over the city. They use easy-to-carry spray paint for vandalism, when their intended use is modest arts and crafts. They use fire extinguishers, because they can create massive tags. So yes, it’s ingenuity, but particularly ingenuity around using existing things for new and unintended purposes. Montana Gold is not a hack. KRINK is not a hack. Egg Shell Stickers are not a hack. But all of those commercial products developed from, and improved upon, hacks.

EKG. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What was one of your challenges in communicating a concept or idea with this exhibition?
RJ: If you’re walking in with zero knowledge, seeing a display case full of different spray cans or 140 different S’s on a wall might require some context to make sense of it all. We solved with wall text, and there’s a lot of wall text. So that’s a big ask that we make of visitors: look at the work, but also read the text we’ve put next to it.

CURVE’s piece is a great example of that challenge and how we solved it. Without context, it’s beautiful and engaging as artwork. If you come in with pre-existing knowledge of graffiti, you can probably guess at what he’s trying to do. Without that knowledge, and without reading the wall text, you might miss that the piece is as much an artwork as a teaching device, a demonstration of all the different sorts of tools and styles that a writer might use to adapt to the surface they are writing on.

I’m not sure that lots of wall text is the perfect solution, but I think it means that ALL BIG LETTERS rewards the curious. We’re asking people to spend a few minutes in the gallery, because there is an argument being made, not just a bunch of cool stuff to Instagram.

Different artists. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

Different artists. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

 

All Big Letters is currently on view at Haveford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Click HERE for more details.


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.13.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 12.13.15

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As the snow birds flew back to NYC this week from their Miami art debauchery with dark circles under their eyes and paint under their nails we tossed them right back in the roiling red & white mash of SantaCon in the streets, 2 more politicians going to jail, and the alleged hunk-hiring Bronx priest resigning from his parish. You can really feel the spirit of Christmas and Hannukah all around.

BSA was proud to co-sponsor the talk with DAZE, LEE Quinones, and Jane Dickson for the special reception at DAZE’s “The City is My Muse” show currently on exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, hosted by Sean Corcoran. The three are vital to the historical thread that reaches back to NY’s earliest graff days and it was evident from seeing their newest works as they each presented them on screen that they refuse to be nostalgic about the city – but prefer to be on top of it. Case in point was Lee’s opening the following night that showcased his new mural on the ceiling at the Indigo Hotel – his Sistine Chapel if you will.

P.S. We’ll be at MCNY with DAZE March 2 – mark your calendar.

Invader finished his 42 piece wave of tile installations in New York, according to reports, Banksy struck out with political pieces addressing immigration and xenophobia (videos at end of this posting), and Gilf! wrapped the façade of a Williamsburg bar with “gentrification in progress” tape to mark its death by market forces. As artists continue to grapple with socio/political events, the art of the street keeps mutating forward.

Side note: “Images of the Week” takes a hiatus for the next few weeks thanks to special Holiday programming. It returns in 2016.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Banksy, Bunny M, City Kitty, Cost, Daze, Dee Dee, Gilf!, Invader, Jaye Moon, Jordan Seiler, KET, Labrona, Lee Quinones, Lex56, Mint&Serf, Never, Pet Bird, Read, Sipros, Specter, Wing, and WK Interact.

Top Image: Sipros and a father of surrealism for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter in Paris. (photo © Specter)

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Specter in Paris. (photo © Specter)

Specter was in France last month with FKDL and Upian, among others. Here are some examples of paintings and ad takeovers in Paris as well as an abandoned factory called La Rodia in Besancon. The Brooklyn based artist tells us that “It was a trying time to be there but supporting my friends and creating some colorful distractions was more important.”

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Specter in Besancon. (photo © Specter)

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Read More (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Inva…sions are Cost…ly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lex56. Noted. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jordan Seiler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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For Dotty & Pearl (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wing (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The company you keep… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Labrona and Ket in Montreal. (photo © Labrona)

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Labrona and Ket in Montreal. Detail. (photo © Labrona)

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Labrona in Montreal. (photo © Labrona)

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Mint & Serf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Detail of Lee Quinones’ inventive ode to New York at a newly opened hotel in the LES. The artist, who grew up in the hood was commissioned to paint on the ceiling of the hotel’s reception room a map of the neighborhood to which he attached painted “poloroid” portraits (sourced from previously existing photographs) who lived and played on those streets “Between Two Bridges”. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Daze standing in front of a portrait of him taken decades ago. This piece is currently being exhibited at Chris “Daze” Ellis: The City is My Muse at the Museum Of The City of New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tom Warren with Christopher “Daze” Ellis
Portrait of Daze with Tags, 1983, Acrylic on Gelatin silver print

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Jaye Moon has a sense of “awe” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Never created this memorial to Peter Caroll AKA Pet Bird, who passed away suddenly in September. We love you Peter…and you too Never. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Balloons. Manhattan, NYC. November 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From The Guardian:
“Street artist Banksy has painted a depiction of Apple founder Steve Jobs on a wall in a migrant and refugee camp in France known as the Calais ‘Jungle’. The artist, who has never revealed his identity, released a rare public statement challenging the perception that migrants and refugees from Syria are a drain on Western economies, UK media reported”

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“The City As Canvas” Opens with the Collection of Martin Wong

“The City As Canvas” Opens with the Collection of Martin Wong

Last night the graffiti and early Street Art history from New York’s 1970s and 80s was celebrated by the City of New York – at least in its museum. Criminals and outlaws then, art stars and legends today, many of the aerosol actors and their documentarians were on display and discussed over white wine under warm, forgiving, indirect lighting.

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DAZE in the background sliced by a wall of cans at the opening of “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

“City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti From the Martin Wong Collection” is an exhibition as well as a book released last fall written by Carlo McCormick and Sean Corcoran, with contributions by Lee Quinones, Sacha Jenkins and Christopher Daze Ellis, and all the aforementioned were in attendance. Also spotted were artists, photographers, curators, writers (both kinds), art dealers, historians, family, friends, peers and loyal fans – naturally most fell into a few of these categories at the same time.

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“The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York welcome text with pieces by Futura 2000 and Zephyr to the right. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

“City as Canvas” is possible thanks to the foresight, eye, and wallet of collector Martin Wong, an openly gay Chinese-American artist transplanted to New York from San Francisco, which is remarkable not only because of the rampant homophobia and near hysterical AIDS phobia at the time he was collecting but because the graffiti / Street Art scene even today throws the term “fag” around pretty easily. A trained ceramacist and painter whose professional work has gained in recognition since his death of AIDS related complications in 1999, Wong is said to have met and befriended a great number of New York graffiti artists like Lady Pink, LEE, DAZE and Futura 2000, who were picking up art supplies where he worked at the Pearl Paint store – a four story holy place on Canal Street that thrived at that time.

 Brooklyn-Street-Art-Sharp-Paints-a-Picture-copyright-Martin_WongThe show contains black books full of tags and drawings as well as canvasses and mixed media Wong purchased, commissioned, and painted, including a portrait of graffiti artist Sharp wearing a respirator and standing before a canvas he’s working on entitled Sharp Paints a Picture (1997-98).

The mood at the museum was celebratory as guests looked at the 140+ works from Wong’s collection; a cross between an art opening and a graffiti trade show, with enthusiastic peers and fans waiting patiently to speak with, pose for pictures with, and gain autographs or tags in their black books from artists in attendance. The only officers that could be seen were holding back the line of guests to make sure there was no overcrowding of the exhibit.

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The famous Martha Cooper photograph of Dondi in action in the train yards. “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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A Keith Haring and LA2 collaboration at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

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Artist LA2 with Ramona “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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Keith Haring (Smiling Face) from 1982 at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

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Lee Quiñones speaking with a never ending stream of fans before his canvas Howard the Duck, 1988, at “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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Digital prints of images shot by photographer Henry Chalfant brought the trains alive. On top is an image of a train with Sharp/Delta 2 from 1981 and below is “Stop the Bomb” by LEE (Quiñones), 1979 at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

 

 

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