All posts tagged: Little Italy

LoMan Art Festival Launches Its First Blast in NYC

LoMan Art Festival Launches Its First Blast in NYC

In a Street Art story rich with irony, Lower Manhattan has just hosted its first official mural festival.


Space Invader (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s not that the island has been bereft of murals of late – the Los Muros Hablan festival in Harlem has been through a couple of iterations way uptown, Brooklyn has the Bushwick Collective, and Queens has been hosting the Welling Court Project.

The irony lies in the fact that this Lower Manhattan Arts Festival (LoMan) is really the first codified effort to highlight the work of graffiti and Street Art creators in a section of NYC known from the 1970s-90s for the free-range street stylings of artists like Jean Michel Basquiat, Al Diaz, Keith Haring, Dan Witz, Jenny Holzer, Richard Hambleton, John Fekner, WK Interact, REVS/Cost, and artist collectives like AVANT, among many others.


A major coup of sorts, LoMan exhibited the sculpture of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that mysteriously showed up in a New York park this spring by Andrew Tider and Jeff Greenspan (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

In other words, on this baked concrete slab of downtown New York that was once a creative cesspool and Petri dish for on-the-street experimentation calling upon all manner of art making, today’s newly arriving young artists have no dream of moving in. In fact, most have fled in search of affordable rent.

Now the entrepreneurial spirit of a couple of guys, Wayne Rada and Rey Rosa, is luring artists back into Lower Manhattan, if only to paint a mural and help the tourist trade in Little Italy. That is how the L.I.S.A. Project (Little Italy Street Art) began three years ago, bringing in about 40 artists – a list that includes big names and small with varying degrees of influence on the current scene.


Dain and Stikki Peaches (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Despite the historically inhospitable demeanor of hard-bitten and often bureaucratic old New York greeting him at many junctures, Rada has had some measured and great successes along the way, convincing local wall owners to give a  mural a try and raising funding from local businesses and art fans to help artists go larger.

So LoMan Fest’s first edition has finished this year, and along with a few volunteers, a smattering of helpful partners, and nearly continuous negotiations with local building owners, art supply companies, cherry picker rentals, and a collection of local and international artists, Rada and Rosa have pulled off a new event. Impressively it included large murals, smaller street installations, a couple of panel discussions, some live music performances, outdoor film screenings, a sticker battle, a live painting battle, live podcasts, a graffiti zine table, and a sculpture garden in an emptied parking lot on Mulberry Street.


Damien Mitchell (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Struggle would be a good word. But like anything else when you are starting something for the first time you are spending a lot of time putting systems in place,” says Rada of the process. “There have been interesting challenges with the building owners and with the artists but when it is all said and done it has been all worth it.”

For a scene that was initiated by autonomous un-permissioned art-making on private property, the process of organizing graffiti and Street Artists to do approved pieces on legal walls may try the patience of the rebels who look on mural festivals as lacking ‘street cred’. But Rada sees it differently.


Tatyana Fazlalizadeh expands on her campaign with brand new portraits for “Stop Telling Women to Smile.” (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

“You know there are people in this world that don’t appreciate this and I just want people to enjoy the pieces as long as they can. Isn’t the fun part of street art that moment when you turn the corner and discover it? That’s really what we are trying to do here. For me it’s a collaborative process of trying to find them a spot – which is also normally something bigger where they can take their time and really think it out. In turn, when that work is complete their existing fans enjoy it, and also it helps them get new fans.”


Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

A final irony is that LoMan is joining a long list of Street Art-inspired mural festivals worldwide that you might have thought New York would have been near the front of.

Brooklyn Street Art: I imagine you’ve seen the rise of Street Art festivals and you’ve seen the character perhaps of specific festivals in different parts of the world. Do you think there is something specific about New York’s current Street Art scene that has a personality or specific voice?
Wayne Rada: First of all I studied every single festival out there from Pow! Wow! to Nuart, every single one. I’ve also had conversations with people who coordinate those festivals so that I could do a better job with this. I just feel like New York is, and this is grandiose to say, the nexus of the universe for the art world. It just seemed there was something missing and it made sense to have something here.”


Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Given the history and the populations of NYC, maybe the strength is the diversity of styles and international artists who are drawn to this particular city to drop a piece throughout the year on rooftops, under bridges, on abandoned lots and doorways. After a minute, Rada decides that this may be what makes a festival like this distinctly New York.

“So in the art world there are so many artists and there are so many Street Artists – and Lower Manhattan especially is represented by something like 126 different cultures and many different races and languages that make up downtown,” he says, “so it makes sense to try to be as diverse as possible and have as many of those voices represented as we could – men and women, all ages, and all walks of life.”

Here’s your first look at LoMan, but it won’t be your last. Rada and Rosa tell us they already have 2016 all planned.


Art Is Trash typically uses actual trash found on the street to create impromptu dioramas (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Art Is Trash (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ron English added a pink “Temper Tot” shortly before LoMan commenced. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nicolas Holiber uses found wood to create a new “Venus” (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nicolas Holiber. “Mars” (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hanksy (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sonni (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


The DRiF pimping a statue of David. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


As in “The Lower East Side” by Russell Murphy (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Faith47 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Buff Monster (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Buff Monster (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


BD White and JP Art (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gilf! (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ori Carino (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


A new sculpture by Leon Reid IV (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tats Cru in monochrome (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


J Morello (Photo © Jaime Rojo)


At press time the works of ASVP, Beau Stanton, Crash, Solus and Ludo were either not completed or had just begun. We’ll bring you these pieces on a later article.

To learn more about the LoManArt Fest click HERE

Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


This article is also published on The Huffington Post



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Images Of The Week: 10.13.13

Images Of The Week: 10.13.13


Welcome! Now Go Home! That’s what Tony Carapachio at the corner deli used to say about all the foreigners moving into the neighborhood. Sounds like a lot of the comments being directed at Banksy by locals, although their voices are primarily drowned out by clicking iPhones.

The pie is big enough for everybody, and in a city where 176 languages are spoken by kids in our schools, we can probably handle new voices on the street. Our Banksy-related favorite development this week was the small pack of entrepreneurs who were selling access to his stencil on a wall in East New Yawk for $20 a pop. Nice! They’re not the first or the last who will endeavor to profit from his work.

Also this week came the definitive news that 5 Ptz in Queens will be razed in favor of a new condo development. It is privately owned and has transformed into a graffiti holy place over the last decade and a half, and while you could see the final outcome being something like this, many had held out hope that it would be preserved or saved by a rich Robin Hood sort of character – like Jay Z or even Banksy.

Tweet from @ajayjapan 11 Oct “I wish Banksy would save 5 Pointz while he’s in town. #banksytotherescue

and @xblaze23 11 Oct “It would be dope if Banksy did something at 5 Pointz considering the end is near. #banksyny

You may remember our photo essay from earlier in the summer about 5 Ptz.  The good news is that they say the new space will set aside 10,000 square feet for graffiti.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Case MaClaim, Christian Nagel, Dase, Dasic, Effy, El Sol 25, Ever, Seed, Tristan Eaton, Zed1.

Top image > Seed. 5ptz, Queens, NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Zed1. Welling Court, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Zed1. Welling Court, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Christian Nagel. 5ptz, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Effy. 5ptz, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dase. 5ptz, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EVER (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tristan Eaton for L.I.S.A. Little Italy, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dasic and friends at 5ptz, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Manhattan, NY 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


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Fun Friday 11.09.12

What a week! Have a great Friday everybody.

1. Ron English “Crucial Fiction” at Opera (NY)
2. “Museum of Curiosity” at Black Rat (London)
3. “RELIEF” – A Brooklyn Fundraiser Tonight – Helping New Yorkers with an Art Auction
4. “High Class Trash”, Dotmasters at Reed Projects
5. “The Art of Comedy Art Crawl” (NYC)
6. Know Hope and “The Weight” (LA)
7. Lara Zombie and her “Blue Bird Lobotomy (NYC)
8. Krause Gallery has a new show featuring Hanksy (NYC)
9. “Once Upon A Time in The West” at Maximillian Gallery (West Hollywood)
10. JURNE has “Keys To The City” at Klughaus Gallery  (NYC)
11. Jurne: “Keys to the City” (VIDEO)
12. OLEK “You Can’t Fool” (VIDEO)
13. Balai Seni Visual Negara (BSVN) (VIDEO)

Ron English “Crucial Fiction” at Opera (NY)

The new solo show by Ron English,”Crucial Fiction” is now open at Opera Gallery in Manhattan. The pop surrealist continues to mine the heroic and dark images of his childhood imagination and of those around him, technically masterful 3-D contortions pulsating with mischief and an attitude of play. Street Artist, commercial artist, anti-commercial artist, culture jammer, pop culture enthusiast; English continues to explore to the delight of his fans.

Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Museum of Curiosity” at Black Rat (London)

An unusual group exhibition titled “The Museum of Curiosity” is now open at Black Rat Projects and includes a new installation titled “Dream Reliquary” by Brooklyn based Street and Fine Artist SWOON. The show also includes American artist Butch Anthony along with Tessa Farmer, Candice Tripp, Nancy Fouts, Giles Walker, Jessica Harrison, Taylor Shepherd, Delaney Martin and Oscar Rink. A very personal show for Black Rat owner Mike Snell, you also get to see as well centuries old taxidermy and a hippo skull, among other curiosities.

Butch Anthony “CEO2LED” installation in Rossyln, Virginia. (image courtesy © Butch Anthony official site)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“RELIEF” – A Brooklyn Fundraiser Tonight – Helping New Yorkers with an Art Auction

Making Deals Zine and Trumbull Studios have teamed to put together a silent auction and raffle with the proceeds to bring relief to Sandy’s victims. They reached out to dozens of artists and friends to donate art for this cause. The event aptly titled “RELIEF” will take place today at the Trumbull Studios in Brooklyn. Please come out, have fun, purchase art and help those that are in need. Click on the link below the image for a full list of participating artists.

All proceeds from the sales will go to designated charities for the victims of Hurricane Sandy: New York Cares (, Red Hook Initiative ( and the Red Cross (

For further information and full artists list click here.

“High Class Trash”, Dotmasters at Reed Projects

In Stavanger, Norway the Reed Projects Gallery new show opens tonight with The Dotmasters “High Class Trash” solo show.

For further information regarding this show click here.

“The Art of Comedy Art Crawl” (NYC)

Hit the streets with Vandalog and The New York Comedy Festival, who are teamed to produce a number of murals in Little Italy in the Lower Manhattan. There will be an art crawl,  “The Art of Comedy Art Crawl” to be precise this Saturday, Nov. 10 where Street Art fans are going to be guided to appreciate the newly installed pieces by Ron English, Gilf! and Hanksy.

Gilf! in Little Italy for The Art of Comedy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this event click here.

Know Hope and “The Weight” (LA)

The Israeli based Street Artist named Know Hope has a solo show called “The Weight” opening tomorrow at the Known Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Know Hope unique characters and words come together on walls and found wood as entire poems. His art aims to lighten the burden of living, while contemplating it’s weight.

Know Hope struggles with Phlegm on the streets of Manhattan. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also happening this weekend:

Lara Zombie and her “Blue Bird Lobotomy” solo show is now open to the general public at Broome Street Gallery in Manhattan, NY. Click here for more details on this show.

Krause Gallery has a new show featuring Hanksy called “Young Puns 2 – Now With More Pun”. Now open to the general public in Manhattan, NY. Click here for more details.

The new group exhibition “Once Upon A Time in The West” at Maximillian Gallery in West Hollywood, CA opens tomorrow with new works by Andy Appleton, Mauro Caputo, John Carr, COL, COPE2, DD$, DeeKay, Dog Byte, Richard Duardo, Rene Gagnon, Gregos, Listak, Devin Liston, Septerhed, Smear, Steven Swimmer and Tazroc. Click here for more details on this show.

Klughaus Gallery in Lower Manhattan will give JURNE the “Keys To The City” at the opening of his solo show tomorrow. Click here for more details on this show.


Jurne: “Keys to the City” (VIDEO)

OLEK “You Can’t Fool” (VIDEO)


Balai Seni Visual Negara(BSVN), Malaysia for ART BOOK FAIR 2012 (VIDEO)


A good use of duct tape on the street in Indonesia. – And an effective way to engage the public.

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