Only two weeks ago we were making jokes here about the NYC plastic bag ban and Coronavirus. Now the city, state, and federal government are in official states of emergency. What will this city look like in another two weeks?
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring City Kitty, Erdogan Terrorist, Lego Party, Little Lucky, LMNOPI, Lunge Box, Messy Fart, Neon Savage, Sara Lynne Leo, The Mushroom, and Urbanimal.
The moment you think you understand the street is the moment you begin to lose touch. Behavior on social media is also about as reliable as your Uncle Oscar after he’s had a few too many frosted rum balls and rosy red holiday cocktails. First, he’s twirling Aunt Marge to the Beatles on the living room rug, next thing he’s headbanging with your cousin Teddy to Bon Jovi on the back porch – and later you regrettably see him getting his freak on with a Missy Elliott classic as he waits his turn at the pool table in the basement.
So we rely on the numbers to tell us what is popular with our readers, and not surprisingly, you like everything! Little tiny stickers, massive murals, 3-D sculptural elements, even Lizzo running for president. These are the top ten pieces that got retweeted, shared on Instagram, commented about on Facebook and read about on the site. It’s not scientific, and it’s skewed through the lens of BSA’s POV, but these hottest pieces are still an indicator of the sentiments and tastes of fans on social; sophisticated, insightful, critical, dark mooded, conscious and funny AF. You’re just our type!
November was “Native American Heritage Month” in the US and has been since 1990 and ironically the growing right-wing extremism of the intervening decades appears to have further erased our collective knowledge of native peoples – so it’s the perfect time to find this new campaign of local natives on the streets of New York by Street Artist LMNOPI.
9. Abe Lincoln Jr. & Maia Lorian. A Presidential Parody
The public takeover of ‘street furniture’ and advertising kiosks continues as artists demand back the mindspace and public space that is sold or given to corporate advertisers or propagandizers. This duo brings complementary skills to the old phone booths with their own brand of political satire.
8. Okuda & Bordalo II Collaboration in Madrid.
This Frankenstein duet on the streets of Madrid caught our eye this spring and you liked it too. By Spain’s Okuda and Portugal’s Bordalo II. Madrid, March 2019.
7. Oak Oak in Bayonne, France.
A small stencil in Bayonne, France from Oak Oak resonates in its cheerful satire of pompous crass man-boys with bombs.
6 Lula Goce for NRNY Artsy Murals /Street Art For Mankind
The Swan and the falcon depicted on the mural are actual residents of New Rochelle. They came and liked what they saw and decided to stay and raise their families there. A fitting real story as New Rochelle is a town where immigrants are welcomed and are an important part of the community.
5. I Heart Graffiti “Lizzo for President”
A campaign for singer/songwriter/ rapper Lizzo capitalized on the stars meteoric rise in 2019 to the top of many charts. Considering the number of Democratic challengers on the debate stages this summer and fall, it seemed plausible that she was actually running. If she promised Americans to help the poor and working-class yet assured her corporate donors to screw them once in office, she could get elected too.
4. Judith Supine’s Luxury Cowboy/girl Ad Take Over
The brilliant collage surrealist Judith Supine was back with a new lasso this year, skillfully misleading audiences on the street with his free associations equating luxury fashion brands and 20th-century cancer product advertising. It’s a match made in Hell!. Welcome!
3 Nafir at Urban Spree in Berlin
Iranian Street Arist Nafir left this Instagram alienation indictment hanging in a hidden spot at Berlin’s Urban Spree playground this year, and for some reason, it struck a chord with many.
Do you want to talk about it? We’re not joking about suicide.
2. “Outings Project” for Urban Nation Museum in Berlin
It began as a way of bringing fine art pieces from inside the museum to the Street, and “The Outings Project” has brought hundreds of artworks out into the daylight this way for a decade or so, thanks to French artist Julien de Casabianca. These particular dark angels have been cast out of heaven and are just about to hit the ground across the street from Urban Nation Museum, Berlin.
1. Sara Lynne-Leo struck a chord with her pain commentary on the streets of NYC
A relative newcomer to the streets in New York, Sara Lynne-Leo keeps her small scale pieces well-placed, if your eyes are open. A comedian and social observer, her character’s pains and insecurities are played out in magnified emotional tableaus that quickly capture the severity and make light of it at the same time. This one must have really captured the zeitgeist of a troubled time across modern societies, where one pretends a wound is made bearable with an optimistic sunny perspective, even if the situation may be life-threatening.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Berlin, and this time featuring AJ LaVilla, Bisco Smith, Blek le Rat, Damon, Tito Ferrara, Key Detail, Lee Quinones, Surface of Beauty, Jeremy Novy, 7DC and LMNOPI.
November has been “Native American Heritage Month” since 1990 and ironically the growing right-wing extremism of the intervening decades appears to have further erased our collective knowledge of native peoples – so it’s the perfect time to find this new campaign on the streets of New York by Street Artist LMNOPI.
A self-started campaign similar to many
done by the artist in the last decade, this one is more closely in alignment
with the rights of indigenous people. These new wheat-pasted works are in
Manhattan and Brooklyn – the large ones hand-made and one of a kind, the
smaller ones mostly silkscreen prints.
On a Bushwick door you’ll encounter a
member of Dongria Kondh, an Indigenous tribe that lives in the
Nayamgiri mountains of eastern India, the artist tells us.
“They’ve been living on that mountain
since the beginning of time as far as they know and in fact believe the
mountain is God and it gave birth to them, millenniums ago. They are still
living a simple sustenance lifestyle gathering food and medicine from the
forest. Making their shelters from the forest. They have fiercely resisted a
corporation called Vedanta who wishes to mine their mountain for Bauxite; to
Nakoa Wolf Momoa is the image of the
young fella making a hand signal – which is actually a symbol of Mauna Kea, a
sacred site for the Kanaka ‘Oiwi (Native Hawaiian). Multinationals have
disregarded the Mauna Kea and have built telescopes on their native lands and
are now laying plans to build a large one there.
“Building this telescope would violate
‘free, prior and informed consent’,” says the Street Artist, “as laid out by
the United Nations in regard to Indigenous Communities worldwide.”
“There has been an encampment; a
blockade of the road that leads to the summit for many months now.”
In one sense of modern New York movie/rap-lyric lore, you assume that Brooklyn is soaked with blood. Truthfully, the origins of the borough is less about mobsters and more about invasion. most people don’t talk about the native peoples who first lived here, like this portrait framed inside a bricked window in Bushwick.
“He’s a reminder to all who pass here
that the land here was stolen from the original inhabitants,” says the artist.
In fact it was the Lenape people who lived in the area known as the Canarsee.
Lenapehoking was the name of the entire region in and around NYC before the
Dutch colonized it (ed. note: I write
this as I sit in Amsterdam).
LMNOPI tells us,“Many of the main roads
that exist now, like Bushwick Avenue, for example, were built on top of Native
trails. It’s good to acknowledge these things and to think about them as we go
about our days.”
Finally we have Greta Thunberg, the
teenage climate activist who has received so much international
attention in the last year or so. “She has managed to mobilize literally
millions of youth and adults worldwide to demand action on the climate crisis,”
says th artist. “She represents a marginalized community of people on the
spectrum of autism. She calls it her ‘super power’.”
Have you noticed the number of faces and eyes that are pasted, painted, drawn on the Streets right now? Maybe they are an indicator that many more of us are truly paying attention and that we see how close the danger is, even if we don’t know exactly what to do.
The first step of course, is to pay attention. Turning off the corporate controlled media helps.
What do you see?
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Arkane, CP Won, Dylan Egon, Eyebrows, Greta Thunberg, Himbad, Hiss, Little Rickey, LMNOPI, Lungebox, SacSix, Sara Lynne Leo, Soten, The Postman Art, and Who is Dirk.
Meanwhile the art on the streets that we keep finding in NYC tells us that a lot of people are in love, in lust, or looking for some sort of tenderness. Call it early spring fever but the feels are out there in some of these new pieces this week.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring #Dysturb, Adam Fujita, Bunny M, Dead Bradshaw, Jax and Dean, Kai, LMNOPI, Mr. Djaul, Pers Anders-Petterson, Pop Artoons, Rime MSK, The Hypsit, Theodoru, Vitruvian Truth, and Vondom Labs.
Dysturb is a collective of photojournalists, writers and artists formed in 2014 to promote their own work and to highlight contemporary global issues around the world such as women’s rights, the environment, equality etc… A lofty endeavor with its heart in the right place which we support wholeheartedly. The group brought their new campaign to the streets of NYC this week. The issue this time is female genital mutilation.
The group uses the streets as their vessel to disseminate the information and to create awareness but in the process they ignore a basic tenet of the rules of the street: Respect the art that already exists on the walls. We spotted a couple of their billboard sized prints wheat pasted on top of long running murals by respected artists like Iranian brothers Icy & Sot, shown above and American/Berlinian painter James Bullough below. These are rather careless placements from visitors who don’t respect the local culture – especially in a city that has so many construction sites with plenty of available empty plywood walls. We’re sure you are all fabulous, but you are not the only ones.
Brexit deadlock is like a thorn in the side of the UK people this week, Trump is shutting down the US government partially here for almost a month (to celebrate 2 years in the White House?), the ‘Yellow Vests’ are striking through France for the 10th weekend, its going to get very cold tonight in New York, and your cousin Marlene is back from the local Women’s March with fire in her eyes and hope in her heart. As usual, the streets are alive with Street Art and graffiti, and we’re bringing it to you.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring 2501, Add Fuel, BirdCap, BustArt, C3, City Kitty, Cranio, Duster, Edu Danesi, Fafi, Frances Forever, Jaeryaime, Kram, LMNOPI, Mark Jenkins, Neon Savage, Os Boys, Pez, Rx Skulls, Sickid, Tatiana Fazlalizadeh, UFO 907, and Zaira Noir .
Street Art often reflects the people who live in a city; its’ interests, values, aspirations, ongoing debates, sentiments. With the resident of the White House in a sustained attack mode toward the poor and the brown skinned among us – the least empowered people in modern America – it’s a foregone conclusion that Street Artists are going to answer back in this city that is long celebrated as the capital of the “great American melting pot” of immigrants.
If our country is in a crisis – and by many accounts it is – it certainly isn’t due to the immigrants and the asylum seekers. You might want to look above on the power pyramid, instead of below.
Street Artist LMNOPI has rendered the human story behind the rhetoric on New York streets for most of the 2010’s – gradually evolving her style and acuity for nuance. Here are examples from a more recent campaign that brings us face to face with the people whom the misled poor are being hoodwinked into blaming for their misfortune.
In these small hand-colored drawings she captures the faces of those who are knocking at our door asking for help. Granted, LMNOPI is partial to the story, but do these folks look like the cause of the problems we are facing as a society?
Aretha Franklin’s voice was on many radios and car stereos in Brooklyn yesterday. You could hear her riding on the Freeway of Love from a passing delivery van on Flushing Avenue, rocking steady at a barbecue in Marcy Projects, saying a little prayer for you out through someones’ open window in leafy Fort Greene.
There was other music on the street to be heard, sure, – it was a sunny summer day in BK, ya’ll. But Aretha kept appearing, and reappearing, taking us to church, and sometimes bringing us to tears. Her impact on the streets was felt because of her indomitable, soaring and searing voice giving voice to women of color and because of her respected work in civil rights dating back to Martin Luther King Jr. – at times when being proud to be black was a radical act all by itself.
May Aretha’s voice never leave our streets because even though many changes did come, many of us still believe real change is still gonna come. The Queen of Soul is gone, but her soul lives on!
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Alien Mail, Captain Eyeliner, El Cekis, Ghost Beard, LMNOPI, MenaceTwo, Mr. Dis-Satisfied, Osiris Rain, Patch Whisky, Reza Piece, Sipros, Stray Ones, and Trap.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 1UP Crew, Amanda Browder, Antennae, City Kitty, Dirt Worship, Dragon76, Jason Naylor, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Makatron, Sheyro, The Yok, and Trap.
New York, New York, in the thick of summer. The heat is heavy with humidity, smells of hotdogs, marijuana, perfume, piss. The flat screen sunglasses now on every sweet face hide the glances and stares of the voracious, the vacuous, the visionary, the vexed, and those voluntarily enraptured by romance. Again we take refuge under a tree, on a bench, in the grass with our dog, in the frozen food section with our kids, on the sunbaked and garbage strewn sand in Coney Island, on the fire escape with our swollen-lipped and rosy cheeked lover. And everywhere is art and architecture and stoop sales and thumping music and jackhammers and the swooping yell of “gooooooooaaaaaaaalllll!” from a nearby sports bar during this month of the World Cup.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Alex Proba, Arkane, Blanco, City Kitty, David Hollier, Invader, Irak, Jason Naylor, LMNOPI, Mowcka, Phoebe New York, Renee Caoulette, Rubin 415, Staino, and Stikman.