It’s always a fun week when The New York Times quotes Brooklyn Street Art, like today’s riveting analyses of one New York celebrity outlaw everyone can agree upon, Flaco the Owl. So this week, we will not insult the corporate legacy press because we are in league with them, obviously.
Here is our weekly interview with the street: this week featuring Faile, Homesick, Below Key, Degrupo, UNO, Dirty Bandits, Pear, MeresOne, Qzar, BG183, NYC Hooker, Tats Crew, Albertus Joseph, Rari Grafix, Notice, Toney, Fear, Horn, Lare, and OTM Crew.
“…. At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.” – Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York 1852
Remember when you used to say that things were DOPE until you saw your cousin get hooked and spiral downward unglamorously? DOPE took on a new connotation after that. Maybe we have to stop saying, “Yo, that girl is FIRE!” because, you know, fire. That thing that is scorching the Earth, but not because of Climate Change, you freak.
But the graffiti and street art we have been finding here: some of these are FIRE!
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Arcadio, Benjamin Keller, BMC, Cdre, Ditty, Luke Dragon, LWart, Mena, MeresOne, MHI, MoiOne, Rat Rockster, RH Doaz, and Scartoccio.
Nomadland won the Oscar for the best movie this year, a fact that you may not know because A. The Oscars are nearly completely irrelevant, and B. Covid era-awards programs have been the equivalent of watching your dad unclogging the kitchen drain. An unvarnished story about a growing ecosystem of Americans living in cars, trucks, and RVs in parking lots across the country, Nomadland toes a line between blaming neo-liberal vulture capitalism/ de-industrialization of the last 40 years and dipping into the American myths of people who just want to live their life free and unencumbered.
Meanwhile, in New York more people are finding the rent to be too high and are moving into RVs, according to The Daily News this week. In the article they speak with Giovanni, a first responder whom we were probably clapping for last year when he was saving lives from Covid.
In the article Giovanni says, “I was an EMT… you want to talk struggling‚ that was really rough,” he explained. “I had to have somebody rent out my living room just to be able to cover the rent. That’s how hard it was. After doing that for three, four years, I was like, I’m done with this. I quit. I’m over it.”
“I went to college, I did pretty much everything that I was told I was supposed to do in order to have a good life. And it didn’t turn out that way,” he explained.
As the moneyed Real Estate kingpins are fighting against extending a rent moratorium in the city to August 31 and to end moratoriums across the country, you have to wonder where everyone will go once the stimulus checks have dried up, inflation kicks in, and landlords evict people.
Meanwhile, we’re following the street art in a number of neighborhoods in New York this week – and wondering where the topical or political works are. The current generation who are putting work on the streets may venture into politics, but only identity politics. BLM, trans rights, that sort of thing.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: 2 Much, Armyan, Cautious5, Cekis, City Kitty, Cramcept, Denton Burrows, GIZ, Healer, Homesick, Leviticus, LNE Crew, Lunge Box, MalincheArt, MeresOne, MrBbaby, No Sleep, Paul Richard, Ponzi, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Smart, and Stikki Peaches.
Where is the People’s Bailout? Why has the bailout that was promised to small businesses already run out? Why is congress on vacation? Why is Biden staring up at the wall like he’s concentrating on a dead spider? The people are dying, running out of food, the economy is dying, businesses are dying. The Post Office, starved and bad-mouthed for years by the capitalists who want to kill it, is finally dying. Do we realize which direction the US is being dragged by the oligarchs and their one party corporate Republicrat-Demoblicans?
Jeez, that only took 50 years. “Stonewall Riot Apology: Police Actions Were ‘Wrong,’ Commissioner Admits”, cooed the New York Times this week. Of course the NYT headline at the time focused on how the helmeted, armed police were affected, rather than the couple of hundred citizens who they harrassed, intimidated and beat up for being many shades of LGBTQ – “Four Policeman Hurt in Village Raid”. Thankfully Macy’s and HSBC bank and all the corporations ran to the rescue of those folks in 1969 and throughout the 1970s and 1980s, 90s, right?
Aside from the multiple lessons we all continue to learn in the fights for people’s equality across society and in our institutions, one lesson comes through loudly and clearly: real, meaningful change almost never comes from the top down. Social, political, and economic justice comes from the grassroots, rank-and-file, everyday people fighting day after day, year after year.
That’s why we keep our eyes on graffiti, Street Art and all manner of expression on the street – its proven to be a reliable source for the vox populi.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring CANO, Carl Paoli, Dain, David Puck, El Ergo, FKDL, Infynite, Isabelle Ewing, Justin T. Russo, Little Ricky, Meres One, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Sara Lynne Leo, Screwtape, SeeTF, Skewville, Solus, and Stray Ones.
Meanwhile new stuff is popping off in Ridgewood, Queens, where some of the stuff below is from, proving that the scene is still incredibly relevant to artists and fans alike.
So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Boy Kong, Chris RWK, City Kitty, Chance Paperboy, Damien Mitchell, Jaye Moon, Kashink, Kirza, K Liu Long, MeresOne, Myth, Raf Urban, Rx Skulls, Square, Squid Licker, Gane, Texas and Zimad.
“I try to make sure I’m presenting work from artists not necessarily because they’re popular,” Tina Ziegler told us a few weeks ago, “but because they are or have been influential and/or fundamental to urban & contemporary art’s growth.”
That may explain why D*Face was nearly sprinting to his wall in Greenpoint yesterday while Egle Zvirblyte was mounting the brightly sexified animals around the bar and the Skewville twins were sweating the details on their installation on a roll-down gate. Of course, since they are actual Brooklyn Street Artists the bros appeared as cool as the elevated JMZ train with the windows open.
For that matter, the action inside the exhibition spaces was also jamming, including Jasmine from Herakut, who was painting a passage in her distinctive handstyle across a booth here in this former merchant marine factory warehouse.
It’s the first Moniker International Art Fair in Brooklyn for the next four days with 27 exhibitors, a number of “artist residencies”, live mural painting, music performances by Princess Nokia, a “Street Heroines” talk with documentary director Alexandra Henry and a 5 Pointz history presentation with Meres One.
As the preparations for Moniker’s debut in NYC got underway we visited the location and found an energetic team busy at work helping the many artists and the galleries who represent them transfixed with the task of setting up shop, build the installations and paint the walls outside. Here’s a peek for you.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adnate, Ben Angotti, Cekis, Cesism, Damien Mitchell, Danielle Mastrion, Dirt Cobain, Evan Paul English, Gongkan, Li-Hill, MeresOne, UFO 907, Vince Ballentine, and You Go Girl!