All posts tagged: Martha Cooper

“S.T.O.C.K.S. & BOMBS” Opens with SKEME, TKid, Martha Cooper and Outlaw Arts

“S.T.O.C.K.S. & BOMBS” Opens with SKEME, TKid, Martha Cooper and Outlaw Arts

New York City is gradually opening up for business, and that includes art shows. Curator Robert Aloia has organized a small exhibition of graffiti writers including one of the few photographers who was there when the action was happening on the trains and in the yards during the 1970’s and 80’s, Martha Cooper. Martha has provided prints of her vintage photos that she took of the graffiti writers, Skeme and TKid decades ago when they were young and bombing the New York City subway trains. Skeme and Tkid are using the prints as canvases in a remix collaboration with Martha.

Martha Cooper and Skeme. Martha is holding a print from a vintage photograph of Skeme and TKid that she took in the early 80’s. The photo has been remixed by Skeme and TKid for the exhibition. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We stopped by the raw space which is serving as a pop-up gallery to give you a sneak peek of the exhibition while in the process of being installed. The lighting was not adjusted and not all the art pieces were yet framed or hung on the walls.

Mr. Aloia tells us that Snake 1, Terrible TKid, Olga, Martha Cooper, Kade198, and Skeme Originally slated for last year this show was manifested from the mind of graffiti writer Skeme to do a show where the artists were in charge. Some of the artists are working in the space to finish their works and for the first time ever Skeme, Tkid and Martha Cooper have signed prints of Martha’s photos of them.

This is the 6th event at the space- previously featuring art from Al Diaz, Queen Andrea, Janette Beckman. Todd James & Testify Books, Sue Kwon, Chris RWK, Dr. Revolt, Peter Paid, ASVP and JJ Veronis.

Mr. Aloia says, “The vibes at the space between the artists, myself, friends, and passersby have been so good we can’t wait to open to the public this Friday.”

Martha Cooper and Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper and Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with Robert Aloia, Skeme, and JJ Veronis briefly while they were preparing for the show.

BSA: How did you select such a diverse collection of artists across techniques genres and decades?
 
Robert Aloia: It was mainly SKEME’s idea and then we collaborated on who could be in it. So I’m going to give all the credit to him. I just helped edit the process

Martha Cooper and Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Does it feel like New York art culture is gradually waking up or did it never go to sleep?
Robert Aloia: I think for me it never went to sleep it’s the same for a lot of our collaborators and friends. And maybe to the general public it went to sleep a little bit. But it’s been vibrant – obviously during the beginning of lockdown it was dead for a little while.
 
JJ Veronis: Not for me. It’s been a great time for art and artists with all the boarded walls and everything – The legal and the illegal.
 
BSA:
How do you feel about doing those remixes with Martha’s work now after all these years?
SKEME: Well I think they’re great. I feel like Dorian Gray, man, looking at all those photos we’re coming up on 40 years since some of these pictures were taken. My favorite of course is the one with me and TKid. Because now we’re both old and a little pudgy, you know, but I love the photo and the fact that we are able to come back and celebrate our friendship. Marty is always on the spot with the right photo, at the right time to catch the moment.

Martha Cooper, Skeme and TKid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BSA: She has this uncanny ability to be at the right time at the right place.
SKEME: It’s not an accident. That’s what separates the great from the mediocre

Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 BSA: Robert told me that you initiated this exhibition a show where the artists are in charge. What does that mean in this circumstance?
SKEME: The artist is always in charge. It’s up to the artist to bring the creation to the venue. Even if you have a curator, and of course a curator’s job is very important right, but if the artist doesn’t bring potential or good works – what is there for a curator to pick from? You know it’s a symbiotic relationship man but the artist is always in charge to some degree.

Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: How do you know when you have reached the point where the work is finished?
SKEME: When it conveys what I’m trying to say. So this one, for example – when you look at this I want you to believe that the plane is flying. If you can look at it and believe that the plane is flying then I am done.

Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper and TKid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
TKid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
TKid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Olga (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Snake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Outlaw Arts Presents: “S.T.O.C.K.S. & BOBMS” A Group Exhibition. 205 Allen St. New York City. May 14th -23rd.205 Allen St. L.E.S. Fridays 5-9 pm Saturdays & Sundays 1-6 pm.

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In Memoriam: Jim Prigoff 1927 – 2021

In Memoriam: Jim Prigoff 1927 – 2021

James Prigoff signed all of his emails with one word in Spanish: “Paz.” (peace)

It was deliberate, intentional, and with that one word, he created a tag for himself that spoke to his commitment to peace on the street and across the world. Looking over his decades of dedication to exploring and documenting, one sees a sincere commitment to understanding and identifying with other cultures and embracing others as brothers and sisters.

James Prigoff in front of a portrait by Brett Cook Dizney, and images from Blade, How & Nosm, and Ron English (© James Prigoff)
Jim with graffiti King Blade at LA MoCA “Art in the Streets” exhibition 2009 (photo © James Prigoff)

Known foremost in the graffiti world for being the co-author of Spray Can Art with Henry Chalfant in 1987, he captured 100,000 photographs worldwide over five decades. His professional sense of curiosity and self-education drove him to persevere in his documentation of the graffiti scenes of the Western US but eventually spread worldwide.

Today we recognize the personal sacrifice and pride that went into that publication or his subsequent publications and honor the dedication. With his efforts and others like him, the graffiti/street art/mural art cultures received much greater recognition and validation. Serious discussion of the contributions of these practices can be directly attributed to the massive platform his work provided the scene.  

Along with Subway Art by Chalfant and Martha Cooper, Spraycan Art is annually sighted as a powerful inspiration to thousands of artists worldwide who needed that encouragement to express themselves as artists. That alone is a reason to celebrate his life and be thankful for his work and deep dedication to the culture.

Spraycan Art by Henry Chalfant and James Prigoff and published by Thames & Hudson on September 1, 1987.
Jim Prigoff and Henry Chalfant at Chalfant’s retrospective Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987 at the Bronx Museum, 2019

It was in the early 1970s “I became fascinated with the political nature of the art in the streets,” Jim wrote in perhaps his last personally written essay and publication here on BSA Writer’s Desk just last month. The inaugural opinion/editorial of the monthly series provided him the opportunity to talk about his life, formal and street education, his observations of artists and movements in culture and politics during the last 7 of his 9-plus decades. A civil libertarian and champion of the rights for the equality of people across the spectrum, he was happy to make “good trouble” even suing the federal government over an unconstitutional surveillance program in the mid-twenty-teens.

An avid observer and analyst, we prized Jim as a friend and confidante because he knew how to connect the dots between larger socio-political movements and to put the art and artists within context. Astutely diplomatic and wise, he advised us on navigation and perspective in this vast creative world of graffiti, street art, and mural – lessons we will not forget. He also shared his theory about photographers being led by “the Graffiti Gods” with a smile and a glint in his eye.

Jaime Rojo, James Prigoff, Steven P. Harrington, 2015, NYC

His empathy was never far from any topic, despite his strident views and opinions. Even during this last year of Covid he wrote to check on us;

“Not an easy time to be shut down in NYC. Hope you are doing OK.”

Only two weeks ago Jim wrote to us with his concern that Gen Z was not getting vaccinated at the rate of the rest of the population and he wondered aloud if street artists were helping to reach out to them on the street.

Less able to travel as freely in recent years, he attended big exhibition openings near his home of Sacramento and Miami and New York – usually with one of his gentle and patient children pushing his wheelchair. Each time he was enthusiastic and opinionated and, well, joyful. Last summer, during Black Lives Matter protests across the country, he was thoroughly following events and their effects on art on the street. He was also eager to share what he found with the world.

In some 50 years of documenting public art, I have never seen such an outpouring of political images as I have personally witnessed in the streets of San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento, ” he said in this piece we published last June.

He shot photos from the open window of a car driving through Oakland, eager to share what he found – which we published. Jim often commented on our daily postings to us in emails – and we are proud that he shared his writing and photos on several occasions with BSA readers. Always more interested in people than profit, Jim understood our platform and mission better than many.

Our hearts are sorrowful to bid goodbye to Jim Prigoff now, but we are comforted to believe that he is joining his dear Arline, with whom he spent 72 years as husband and wife. An absolute pillar in graffiti, street art, and mural history, documentation, and archiving – Jim was a scholar, an ardent peace activist, an author, lecturer, community activist, a fervent supporter of so many, and a kind person. Our deep condolences to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, his graffiti/street art family, and his colleagues. We are grateful to have called him a friend.



Jim’s last published essay was on Brooklyn Street Art as the inaugural essay for BSA Writer’s Bench in March, 2021:

Portrait by Brett Cook aka Dizney, 2010.

“Graffiti Documenting and Divinity” by Jim Prigoff


Selected quotes from hundreds of social media commenters across Facebook and Instagram



“Jim’s good work is done, may he rest in peace.” Henry Chalfant


“Jim was so good to us. He allowed us access to hundreds of rare East Bay photos and couldn’t have been any more generous. Jim loved the East Bay and knew most of the writers by name. His only hope was that his photos would be seen and we intend to make that happen. Rest in peace to a great human being and true graffiti devotee. You will be missed. Much love, Will & Jake” from East Bay Archive


“The coverage Henry and Jim gave to Goldie in Spraycan Art provided a massive worldwide boost to his career and encouraged him to think globally.” Martin Jones


 “Pictures that meant so much to so many. Those pictures was part of so many people’s phase of growing up and becoming those who they are today. People such like myself. Thank you Jim.” Tatu Moisio


 “Spraycan Art was, is and will remain alongside Subway Art as the Bibles for anyone interested in graffiti. I’m from North-East Scotland, and it certainly had a huge influence in my life.

Not to mention being one of the most stolen books OF ALL TIME!😂

RIP Jim, and thank you.” Eddie Grady


 “A worldwide generation were introduced to a new breed of heroes who became a catalyst to our lives, and for those whose work was featured by Henry, Jim and Martha, their lives were forever changed. Take a moment to imagine a world where your work never existed… … that truly provides an awe-inspiring perspective. A life lived with huge contribution. Rest In Peace Jim!” Gordon Barrett



“We went on a 6 hour tour around Chicago together. Fascinating conversation about art and life, thru the years. Very enriching conversation for a youth of 17. A Gentleman and a Scholar truly. Risen In Perfection.” Tyr Dem


 “It’s so Strange. I was just going through Spraycan Art this morning.” Lars Skouboe


“I am saddened by the news of the passing of a champion of graffiti culture.” Gonzo 247


Spraycan Art introduced us to other graffiti legends in across the country and internationally.” Carlos Tiangco


“This guy gave us kids access to a culture that shaped us, our futures and our world. Thanks James / Jim Prigoff. 1927-2021.” Sunk One


The graffiti community lost an advocate and documentarian yesterday. Thanks for all your years of dedication to documenting us all Jim. He was one of a kind. I’m glad to have known him. Rest well.” Alan Ket


“Rest in Peace James Prigoff — Spraycan Art was the first book I ever looked thru as a teen to learn about graffiti. It is where I saw Lady Pink for the very first time!” Toofly


“This was our culture. What we offered the world. The birth of a culture. A culture that became a world wide phenomenon. Last night one of our documentarian passed. RIP James Prigoff. A great guy who shared with the world through his photos this culture we created. Yo James..

“AND WE DONT STOP!” TKid


“My Heart is still breaking from the passing of our friend and historian, author and photographer Jim Prigoff whom I was in constant communication with until 3 days ago.” Portia Gail McHenry-Ogburn



“This book changed the course of my life forever… as well as tens of thousands of youths across the world throughout the 80’s – 90’s. Thank you #JimPrigoff for your passion and dedication. #JimPrigoffForever.” Revok


“Saddened to hear of Jim’s passing, my condolences to his family and friends.” John “Crash” Matos


 “Wow. This is sad… he would stay at my dads house and do you Friday night slideshow sessions with popcorn when he would come to town.

Jim will would always remind me how lucky we are and to never throw food away. This has stuck with me to this day.” Carlos Rolon


“So sad to hear about the passing of one of the greatest – graffiti and street art photographer, author and peace activist Jim Prigoff.

I met him in Los Angeles where he took me on a tour to photograph graffiti. We shared a panel in the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). He supported me so much with my books, contributed an amazing photo of female graffiti artist Reminisce to my Graffiti Woman book and even wrote a foreword for my last book Street Messages.

Through him I ate the American version of coleslaw for the very first time.

He was an amazing and inspirational person. He influenced the whole world with his book Spraycan Art (together with Henry Chalfant), that sparked a main flame for the widespread graffiti fire.

Thanks so much for all the time you shared with me, my thoughts are with your family and friends. May you rest peacefully.

Paz.”

Nicolas Ganz


“I have so many photos and emails from Jim from over the years. This man was a force and driver in the culture. If he was a kid when writing started he would have been a writer for sure. It’s nice to read all the stories about the him. This photo of me holding his book is from the beginning of 2020 when he had a showing in San Francisco. I told him i couldn’t believe after all these years i didn’t have a signed copy from him. He hooked it up in classic Jim style. I salute you to a full impactful life and thank you for helping a lot of writers careers one way or another. Rest in power” Apexer


“Yea man heavy hearts right now. That book man was the west coast bible!” Aaron De La Cruz

“Our dearest Jim.

When we last saw you two weeks ago you said the single most amazing technological advancement (in your opinion) was the ability for photographs to be shared via email. You said that you imagined that it was even more impressive to you than the automobile had been to your parents. Despite your awe of the invention of digital photography and email, you took on this miracle as you did all things you were passionate about, with gusto.

How lucky are we that you lived you in the era of the modern day camera. You took an art form that was inherently temporary (graffiti) and made it permanent. You took an art form that was the voice of an entire generation, who could not find a platform to be heard, and shared their voice with the world. You knew that “Art is power” and you never failed to use your privilege in this world to ensure that that power could be amplified for change.

You are a legend, who left the world a better place not only through your photographs but also simply through your presence on this planet.

To us however, you will always be our Grandpa Jim and our very small world will forever be just a bit sadder everyday now that you are no longer an email away.

We love you.” Trisha F.



Jim’s family invites you to write and post photos, videos, and audio on their webpage, your comments, and remembrances. https://www.forevermissed.com/james-prigoff/about



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Martha Cooper Film Screening & Artist Talk at Fotografiska as Covid Restrictions Ease

Martha Cooper Film Screening & Artist Talk at Fotografiska as Covid Restrictions Ease

It was an auspicious night in New York City, but a very strange one also.

The governor of the state had cleared the way for movies to be seen in theater settings in March, although only at 25% capacity. Fotografiska, a premiere global photo gallery emporium, had invited us after the movie screening to speak with Martha Cooper onstage with Sean Cocoran from the Museum of the City of New York, but there was once catch: everyone had to wear masks. Maybe this has become normal for politicians, but it was odd for all of us. Later when graffiti writer/historian Jay Edlin and artist Aiko joined us onstage, we all were having more fun, but also felt even more claustrophobic.

Chalk it up to experience, as they say. And ultimately it was a true pleasure to share the new cut of “Martha: A Picture Story” by director Selina Miles as it is being released commercially in the US four and a half years after we first suggested to Selina that she might make a documentary about the celebrated photographer in September 2016 in Detroit. The audience appeared to enjoy the film, even though chairs were 6 feet apart, and we even had a book giveaway at the end.

We thank our hosts at Fotografiska for inviting us and for running a great event for Martha and all of us as we emerge from a year locked down.

“For this evening’s screening Martha Cooper was joined in live conversation by Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington, founders of the influential art site BrooklynStreetArt.com and curators of the current “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” retrospective exhibition at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin.

Moderated by Sean Corcoran, Curator of Photographs, Museum of the City of New York. Utopia Films’ Martha: A Picture Story is a portrait of trailblazing photographer Martha Cooper – an American photojournalist who became the first female staff photographer for the New York Post during the 1970s, later becoming best known for documenting New York City communities and the graffiti scene of the 1970s and 1980s. Director Selina Miles’ affectionate tribute to Cooper journeys viewers from her snapping shots on a motorcycle trip through east Asia in 1963 at the age of 20, to today, an influential icon to the global movement of street art.”



Recent reviews of “Martha: A Picture Story


The New York Times

‘Martha: A Picture Story’ Review: Snapshots of a Career
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/movies/martha-a-picture-story-review.html


ELLE
Martha Cooper Talks to Zoey Grossman about the Art of Photographing Street Art

https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/a35949029/martha-cooper-interview-zoey-grossman/

“Question: When you’re finding the moment within the environment you’re shooting in, do you always go up and ask the people you’re photographing if you can take their photo, or do you try and blend in?

Martha: It depends on the situation. Often if you ask first, you destroy the moment you’re trying to capture. My preference is to be a fly on the wall.


The Los Angeles Times
Review: ‘Martha: A Picture Story’ shares the joy of a septuagenarian NYC street photographer

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2021-03-17/review-martha-cooper-a-picture-story-documentary

“But it’s not just her great eye that makes her such an icon on the street art scene; it’s also her unique nerve that led to her photograph so many iconic moments for fans of graffiti, taking risks as she takes photos.”


The San Francisco Examiner
‘Martha: A Picture Story’ celebrates street art

“Documenting street art, which was vilified as an unsightly manifestation of vandalism at the time, Cooper demonstrated that it, in fact, involved imagination, skill, beauty and other qualities connected with art.”


Dazed
“Martha Cooper is the photographer documenting decades of NYC graffiti”
https://www.dazeddigital.com/art-photography/article/52085/1/martha-cooper-has-documented-this-outlaw-art-in-nyc-since-the-1970s

“But, back when Cooper first turned her lens on this ephemeral art form, it was truly anti-establishment. As a potent means of talking back to power, graffiti presented an opportunity for public self-expression and protest. “1977, the Bronx was burning down. No one really wanted to write that graffiti was an interesting thing. But I don’t want to shoot something that’s done with permission,” Cooper explains. ”It’s an outlaw art. That’s what makes it thrilling.”


Rogerebert.com
Nell Minow
https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/martha-a-picture-story-movie-review-2021

“Decades before the work was taken seriously by the art world, her focus helped the people creating the work think of themselves as artists and it inspired a generation of new artists to express themselves. One of the joys of this movie is seeing these young people treat Cooper as something between a rock star and their grandmother (“maybe mother” she tells one of them).”


See the movie now on Apple TV , iTunes, Altavod, and Amazon

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Berlin’s Urban Nation Re-opens: BSA’s Martha Cooper Exhibition Extended to May 2022

Berlin’s Urban Nation Re-opens: BSA’s Martha Cooper Exhibition Extended to May 2022

We congratulate our partners at the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin for the re-opening of the museum during these difficult times. We applaud their commitment to the arts and to the institution and the people who they serve, including the artists and the community both local and international. As curators of the critically acclaimed current exhibition “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” we are elated to know that more people are going to be able to enjoy the exhibition now extended until May 2022.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Currently on view at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo of BrooklynStreetArt.com Berlin, 2021. (photo © Nika Kramer for Urban Nation)

The URBAN NATION Museum will open for you again on March 16. Here’s what you need to know regarding your next visit:


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are limitations in place. As usual, admission is free of charge. However, access to the exhibition is currently only possible with a time slot ticket reserved not less than 24 hours in advance. Therefore, please book your time slot ticket at least one day before your planned visit to the museum.

BOOK YOUR FREE TICKET NOW

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Currently on view at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo of BrooklynStreetArt.com Berlin, 2021. (photo © Nika Kramer for Urban Nation)

Please also pay attention to the following:

▪️ Visitors will be admitted to the museum only with a booked ticket at least one day in advance via their digital ticket system.
▪️ A maximum of 12 people per hour are allowed to enter the museum. The maximum time spent in the exhibition is 60 minutes.
▪️ All visitors must register on-site with their contact details.
▪️ Access to the museum is only permitted with a medical face mask or FFP 2 mask.
▪️ A maximum of three tickets can be booked per person.
▪️ Guided tours and admission of groups of 5 or more are not possible for the time being.

Urban Nation asks for your understanding of these measures, which will allow them to reopen the URBAN NATION Museum within the framework of the current regulations of the Berlin Cultural Administration.

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Currently on view at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo of BrooklynStreetArt.com Berlin, 2021. (photo © Nika Kramer for Urban Nation)

All information about Urban Nation’s current exhibition “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” can be found HERE.

If the Berlin-wide incidence rate rises above 100 per 100,000 inhabitants, we will be forced to close the URBAN NATION Museum again.

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Currently on view at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo of BrooklynStreetArt.com Berlin, 2021. (photo © Nika Kramer for Urban Nation)
“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Currently on view at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo of BrooklynStreetArt.com Berlin, 2021. (photo © Nika Kramer for Urban Nation)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Currently on view at Urban Nation Museum Berlin. Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo of BrooklynStreetArt.com Berlin, 2021. (photo © Nika Kramer for Urban Nation)
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BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2020

BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2020

It’s that time of the year again! BSA has been publishing our “Hot Lists” and best-of collections for more than 10 years every December.

In this year that has been so heavy and difficult for many of the BSA family we thought it would be inappropriate to do things the way we always do, out of respect for this moment. The one list that we feel good about this year of course is our shortlist of some of our favorite books from 2020 that you may enjoy as well – just in case you would like to give them as gifts to family, friends, or even to yourself.


From BSA:

Crossroads, the new monograph from Alice Pasquini is full of the young daring and confident girls and women whom have been traveling with her since she began painting walls around the world two decades ago.

Rendered in aqua and goldenrod and midnight, withstanding winds and rains, these figures are willing to be there as a testament to the daily walk through your life. A survey and diary of her works and experiences, her style is more human than international in its everyday appeal, advocacy gently advanced through the depiction of intimate personal dynamics and internal reflection.

Perhaps this quality alludes to the invitation of interaction, the ease of integration with the public space in a way that the cultural norms of her Italian roots influenced her.

“In Rome, where I grew up, everything is urban art. Any little fountain or corner was made by an artist. And there were always a lot of expressions of freedom in this city,” she says in an interview here with writer Stephen Heyman.

Alice Pasquini “Crossroads” Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy, 2019


From BSA:

Bill Posters knows his street art and activism history.

From Beuys’ practice of ‘social sculpture’ and John Fekner’s blunt upbraiding of urban planning hypocrisies to AIDS activists using street art to shame government homophobia and the paint-bombing of a Mao portrait that led to the arrest and torture of the artists/activists for counter-revolutionary propaganda, he’ll give you a solid foundation on precedence for this rebellious art life in “The Street Art Manual.”

He also knows how to yarn-bomb.

And myriad other techniques for freelance intervening in city spaces that you own, that all of us own, but which are often commandeered for commercial messages, political propaganda messages, or commercial-political propaganda messages – otherwise known as fascism.

“The Street Art Manual”; Rebel Artivism and Good Manners with Bill Posters

The Street Art Manual by Bill Posters. The Street Art Manual new US on-sale date is now Sept. 8th. 2020. Published by Laurence King Publishing Ltd. London, UK. 2020.


From BSA:

Taking a decade long view of your creative life can be astoundingly instructional if you are brave enough; perusing over the body of work that you have taken with eyes focused and blurred may reveal broad outlines and finer features of a creative life-path – a psychological mapping of the inner world and its outer expression with all its impulses, longings, expressions of received truths and newly discovered wisdom.

Franco Fasoli aka JAZ has looked over his last decade (2009-2019) of work as a street artist and fine artist and offers you the opportunity to examine his public and private side as well in this new two-volume compendium. Painting on the streets since the mid-nineties and his mid-teens in his hometown of Buenos Aires, the visual artist knew his path would be a creative one. His family and role models, comprised of well-schooled artists and educators, had provided a foundation of critique and appreciation for him to build upon from the earliest years.


Artist Franco JAZ Fasoli Goes “Publico Privado”

Franco Fasoli. Privado. Publico Privado. Jaz Franco Fasoli. 09-2019


From BSA:

Belgium’s ROA, whom we have featured in perhaps 30+ articles, put out his “CODEX” monograph this spring, and while sitting inside your lockdown we thought you would enjoy freeing your mind to travel the world with him.

A gypsy by nature, a naturalist by practice, he has investigated and heralded the animal world, complete with its heartless savagery. Accurately depicting many of the most marginalized and endangered specimens, this uncanny portraitist spooks you with the scale of his animals, draws you in to their presentation without guile.

Willing to let his work do the talking, ROA is still anonymous after more than a decade on the global street art stage. Following his own path, we recognize his achievements here, and wish him good travels wherever he goes.


ROA “CODEX” Reveals His Wild World Wanderings


From BSA:

In addition to lush photo spreads of Martha’s documentation over 6 decades, we have essays written by art critic, curator and author Carlo McCormick, UN Executive Director Jan Sauerwald, author and photographer Nika Kramer, author, curator, and Hip Hop historian Akim Walta, National Geographic chief photo editor Susan Welchman, curator of prints and photographs at the Museum of the City of New York Sean Corcoran, and the curators of this exhibition Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington.

The hefty hardcover, a richly illustrated and modernly designed book, is timed for release simultaneously with the exhibition opening this Friday, October 2. In addition to the essays, we have 40 quotes about Martha from her peers, artists, authorities in photography, folklore, graffiti, and Hip Hop, along with long-time friends and her family. The cover of the book features a photograph rarely seen of graffiti writer Skeme train surfing in NYC taken by Martha in 1982. The introductory texts to each of the 10 sections are written by author and curator Christian Omodeo.


“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”


Published by Urban Nation Museum Berlin & Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo
.


From BSA:

To accompany the exhibition “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a substantial catalogue has been released to support the show and place the artist in context with his time as well as his influence on the future as it pertains to contemporary art and so-called art in the streets.

Accessible and erudite, the catalogue unpacks the social connections, the various emerging music, art, and performance sub-scenes of “Downtown” and “Uptown” New York culture, the opaque underpinnings of the dominant culture, and the urban syntaxes that formed this young Brooklyn artist and his work in the 1970s and 1980s. To faithfully set the stage for this story; to conjure the atmosphere, the moment, the context that Basquiat evolved himself into, you would need to create an interactive urban theme park with an impossible set design budget, a cacophonous sound-music map, a handful of public policy and political advisors, an anthropologist, a warehouse of costumes, too many actors, too many attitudes, and even more drugs.

Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation. Published by MFA Publications on the occasion of the exhibition currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Edited by Liz Munsell and Greg Tate with contributions by J. Faith Almiron, Dakota DeVos, Hua Hsu, and Carlo McCormick.


“Writing The Future”: Basquiat , Broken Poetics, and the NYC Cultural Context


From BSA:

With precision and guile Sandra Chevrier has painted a female world that is sophisticated, unreachable and appealing, whether painted on canvas, street mural, or stuck to a wall in the margins of a city. The characters who are punching and pouncing and swooning across her faces are reflective of her own hearts’ adventures, seamlessly rolling and intermingling with those epic storylines and dust-ups with superheroes and villains of yesterday.

Perhaps it is because of this sense of inexactly placed nostalgia, in “Cages” we are aware of the ties that bind us, the roles that we hold – whether chosen or imposed – and we’re rooting for these Chevrierotic women to win – as they scream and cry and swing for the rafters, looking for the way out.

“A dance between triumph and defeat, freedom and captivity, the poison and the cure,” stands the ambivalent quote on the page facing her black and white photo by Jeremy Dionn.

A closeup of her face, her hand horizontally obscures the lower half, her index finger raised to allow Sandra to see, to study and assess. Without question this artists’ work is more than autobiographical – these expressions offer a stunning sense of mystery, an understanding at the precipice, an adventure-ready to occur.

Sandra Chevrier: Cages. Published by Paragon Books and designed in San Francisco, CA. by Shaun Roberts. August 2020.

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Martha Cooper “I Don’t Scare Easily” – ArtNet

Martha Cooper “I Don’t Scare Easily” – ArtNet

We’re featuring a great interview today from Martha Cooper – whose career retrospective we curated this year at Urban Nation in Berlin. We particularly love the title. Because its true.

‘I Don’t Scare Easily’: Martha Cooper on Crawling Her Way Through Train Tunnels to Become One of the Leading Photographers of Graffiti – on tArtnet

“In a photography career that spans six decades, Martha Cooper has broken boundaries and defined genres. She became the first female staff photographer at the New York Post in 1977 and shot seminal images of graffiti and the burgeoning hip hop scene during its infancy.

Now, Cooper is being honored with largest retrospective of her work to date. “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures,” opening this weekend the Berlin’s Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, charts the artist’s photography, from the pictures taken with her very first camera, which she got when she was in nursery school, in 1946, through the present day.

Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, founders of BrooklynStreetArt.com, the show includes images from Cooper’s many books, which feature such as bodies of work as her photographs of women’s breakdancing competitions (We B*Girls); of traditional Japanese tattooist Horibun I at work (Tokyo Tattoo 1970), and the streets of gritty 1970s-era New York City (New York State of Mind).”

Martha Cooper in the Martha Cooper Library at Berlin’s Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art. Photo Nika Kramer/Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art.

“But it was graffiti that inspired Cooper’s best-known work, immortalized in the 1984 book Subway Art, which she published with fellow photographer Henry Chalfant. Cooper was drawn to the tracks by the desire to save for posterity these fleeting artistic creations, which were unlike anything she had ever seen.”

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THE INTERVIEW AND ARTICLE WRITTEN BY Sarah Cascone for ArtNet.

Martha Cooper, 180th Street platform, Bronx, NYC (1980). Photo ©Martha Cooper.

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” at the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, Bülowstraße 7, 10783 Berlin. Check the museum’s website for details and hours of operation.

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Hyuro, May She Rest in Peace

Hyuro, May She Rest in Peace

Painting on the street for only eleven years, artist Tamara Djurovic made a sterling impression wherever she created her cerebral diagrams, empathic figures, dream-like compositions, frank diary entries, societal critiques and sly metaphors – most often in a monochrome palette.

For such a short career, how is it possible that she enabled her work to speak volumes to us and about us from so many walls? And how can we not feel shaken by her passing today?

Hyuro. Living Walls Atlanta, USA. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Born in Argentina and living for many years in Spain, she created her nom de plume Hyuro from her given family name. After first working with street artist Escif she was warmly adopted by an ever-growing street art family, her subtle humor and elegant self-effacing demeanor rather effortlessly opening doors over time to paint murals on the streets of the Americas, Europe, Africa… Her practice was studied, her process intentional, her dialogue with the passerby sincere.

Now she has passed in Valencia after struggling with a long illness for years, leaving behind a family, close friends, and many fans. You can also safely say she leaves a legacy as an artist, a colleague, and a person. We raise a toast to Hyuro, with many thanks, and if you can hug somebody, tell them they are loved.

Hyuro. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hyuro. Valencia, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Hyuro. 20 x 21 Murals. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hyuro. Transit Walls. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
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Martha Cooper and BSA and “The New Humanity” 2021

Martha Cooper and BSA and “The New Humanity” 2021

So eager are we to rid ourselves of this year 2020,
some of us are already laying plans for humanity in 2021.

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

“I really hope that we can put together the things that we have seen and the lessons that we have learned and work together so that we can achieve justice and equality for all,” says photographer Martha Cooper in this new video for “The New Humanity”, an art project by Lavazza for 2021.

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

The video, shot by BSA’s Editor of Photography Jaime Rojo, follows Martha as she shows us the new project that she took on in response to being cooped up in her apartment this year.

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

Shooting regularly out of her Upper West Side apartment window Martha captured thousands of people passing by a particular bench that she has officially adopted. The text on the placard is a joint effort by Cooper and Steve Harrington, the Editor in Chief of BSA, who proposed a few options for it at Martha’s request in the summer of 2018.

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

Ultimately, she liked Steve’s “writer’s bench” idea, since it is a graffiti term and Martha’s well regarded for her preservation of graffiti culture history with her photography. Together they tailored her selection to its current form on a plaque which many New Yorkers have strolled in front of, sat upon, eaten lunch next to, and spent peaceful summer moments of golden slumber beneath.

“A writer’s bench of my own, a place to plan more adventures as I gaze upward to the windows of this captivating city.”

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

In “The New Humanity 2021” calendar 13 photographers present their take on a possible vision the theme, each expressing their personal viewpoints and styles. Included along with Cooper are David LaChapelle, Simone Bramante, Martin Schoeller, Ami Vitale, Christy Lee Rogers, Steve McCurry, Joey L., Carolyn Drake, Denis Rouvre, Eugenio Recuenco, Charlie Davoli, and TOILETPAPER.

Alongside and in addition, there are 6 cultural “ambassadors” in the campaign – our personal favorite is true New York activist, performer, and poet Patti Smith. Don’t miss her performance of “Because the Night” that will send chills down your spine.

To see more about Martha and the whole campaign, check out



An overview of the New Humanity 2021 / Lavazza Calendar.


80 years ago the great actor and philosopher Charlie Chaplin delivered a “Final Speech” in the movie The Great Dictator. The words are so appropriate to our time that the speech could have been written today, as we slip into the Greater Depression and a rise of fascism in many corners of the world. We only hope we will find and retain our humanity again.




Editor note: Lavazza is not an advertiser with BSA, although Jaime did enjoy shooting video of Martha for her contribution to their campaign.

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“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Installation and Opening Night Shots.

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Installation and Opening Night Shots.

Fully booked and fully celebrated, the weekend long celebration of the Martha Cooper career retrospective opened with great success and great reviews as it has been heavily covered by media in print, online, and radio. Because of Covid restrictions the museum can only accommodate a certain number of guests at a time but so far all tickets have been claimed each day. Please be sure if you are going to grab a free ticket online at Urban Nations’ website.

We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to photographer and BSA collaborator Nika Kramer for sharing her photos with us.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. Mick La Rock and Falk. The Livestream hosts. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. Stiftung Berliner Leben President, Dr. Hans-Michael Brey, Urban Nation Museum Executive Director, Jan Sauerwald and, Gewobag CEO, Markus Terboven. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Artist and photographer Petra Branke. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. SETH Mural inspired by one of Martha’s Photos from her book Street Play. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. SETH Mural inspired by one of Martha’s Photos from her book Street Play. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
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“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” – Sneak Peek at the Book

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” – Sneak Peek at the Book

As we prepare to open the Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures exhibition this weekend, we wanted to let you know that we are publishing a handsome catalogue with UN to accompany the show.

In addition to lush photo spreads of Martha’s documentation over 6 decades, we have essays written by art critic, curator and author Carlo McCormick, UN Executive Director Jan Sauerwald, author and photographer Nika Kramer, author, curator, and Hip Hop historian Akim Walta, National Geographic chief photo editor Susan Welchman, curator of prints and photographs at the Museum of the City of New York Sean Corcoran, and the curators of this exhibition Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington.

The hefty hardcover, a richly illustrated and modernly designed book, is timed for release simultaneously with the exhibition opening this Friday, October 2. In addition to the essays, we have 40 quotes about Martha from her peers, artists, authorities in photography, folklore, graffiti, and Hip Hop, along with long-time friends and her family. The cover of the book features a photograph rarely seen of graffiti writer Skeme train surfing in NYC taken by Martha in 1982. The introductory texts to each of the 10 sections are written by author and curator Christian Omodeo.

At 230 pages, the new book is published by Urban Nation Museum For Urban And Contemporary Art, Berlin, and Steven P. Harrington / Jaime Rojo (BrooklynStreetArt.com). The book will be available for sale at the museum’s gift shop and on view for you to peruse in the Martha Cooper Special Projects room.

Designed by Krimm Studios in Berlin, the project was greatly shepherded by Dr. Anne Schmedding, who edited with us along with Martha. The entire project was carefully managed by the brilliant Christiane Pietsch. Our sincere thanks to everyone who has worked studiously alongside us this year during many Covid-caused complications to produce a handsome tome we can all be proud of.

More about this project in a future posting.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures
Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo

Opening weekend

Opening:

Friday, October 2nd, 2020: 8 – 11 pm

Extended opening hours:

Saturday, October 3, 2020: 10 am – 10 pm

Sunday, October 4, 2020: 10 am – 8 pm

URBAN NATION Museum, Bülowstrasse 7, Berlin-Schöneberg

Livestream Opening Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures

Click HERE for more details about the exhibition.

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SETH Completes Indoor Mural for “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” at Urban Nation Berlin

SETH Completes Indoor Mural for “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” at Urban Nation Berlin

With less than one week to go before the opening of our exhibition MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin the installation of the exhibition is well underway. Under the watchful eye and guidance of Michelle Houston and her team at YAP (Yes And Productions), the 400 printed photos, 1400 digital photos, 260 collected artifacts, 35 artists original artworks, one commissioned indoor mural, one new 24-video environmental installation, 10 black books, journals, passports, SIM cards, 8 audio voice recordings, a huge stickerboard, and a timeline covering 1943-2020 are all being installed throughout the entire museum.

Seth Globepainter. Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum. Berlin. (photo @Michelle Nimpsch /YAP)

A career retrospective, this one has been carefully planned with a rich offering of items for those who love photography, those who are avid fans of graffiti and street art, those who are scholars of the art forms and practices in public space, and for the families with kids who are looking to spend an afternoon being entertained and educated.

Seth Globepainter. Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum. Berlin. (photo @Michelle Nimpsch /YAP)

One highlight of the exhibition will be the brand new two-story high site-specific indoor mural by French artist SETH, who has created a new interpretation of one of Martha’s photographs from the 1970s, effectively bridging two of the ten sections of the exhibition entitled “Street Play” and “Martha Remixed”.

Seth’s photo of Martha Cooper when he and she collaborated on a project series in Haiti recently. © SETH

SETH understands Martha’s long time interest in photographing kids creating their own world with their imaginations, their own games, play-acting out scenarios in public space in city streets and empty lots. Photos in the exhibition from Haiti bridge several visits Martha made there, first in 1978 and recently in 2018 – this most recent visit with SETH to collaborate on a project with one another.

We wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise for you but we would like to share with you a handful of detail shots of the mural in progress. We’ll unveil the original photo and the full mural on October 2nd.

Seth Globepainter. Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum. Berlin. (photo @Michelle Nimpsch /YAP)

You are invited to the Official Opening of “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”, which will be streamed LIVE online and have all sorts of special guests and feature a tour of the exhibition, interviews, and documentary material with Martha herself – beginning at 8 pm Berlin time Friday, October 2nd.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures
Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo

Opening weekend

Opening:

Friday, October 2nd, 2020: 8 – 11 pm

Extended opening hours:

Saturday, October 3, 2020: 10 am – 10 pm

Sunday, October 4, 2020: 10 am – 8 pm

URBAN NATION Museum, Bülowstrasse 7, Berlin-Schöneberg

https://urban-nation.com/livestream-martha-cooper-taking-pictures/

Click HERE for more details about the exhibition.

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BSA Images of the Week: 09.13.20

BSA Images of the Week: 09.13.20

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring CAM, David F. Barthold, JJ Veronis, Martha Cooper, Poi Everywhere, REVS, SoulOne, Tones, UFO 907, Winston Tseng, and WK Interact.

Tones (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tones. Wolf Pack. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tones tribute to SoulOne (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Poi Everywhere (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)
David F Barthold (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JJ Veronis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JJ Veronis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
REVS SuperSport has been updated one more time. This piece has been running for more than a decade going from black to silver to red and blue. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO 907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. ACAb (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
As it’s become customary every year, the FDNY honored their fallen brothers and sisters who rushed to save the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in NYC 19 years ago. Hundreds of firemen in uniform gathered at the Firemen’s Memorial Monument at Riverside Park in Manhattan. The names of the 343 members of the New York City Fire Department who were killed at the site of the attacks were read. In addition to those killed 19 years ago, 227 firemen have died of illnesses related to their rescue and recovery efforts at the WTC, their names were read as well. Riverside Park, Manhattan, NYC September 11, 2020. (photo © Martha Cooper)
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