Your local hardware store could also be the next “It” neighborhood gallery if they take Joe Franquinha’s lead.
The second generation owner of Crest Hardware in Brooklyn’s north side has been launching an art show for the last few years in this former working class neighborhood that began swimming with artists a decade ago. While the hardware based theme is sometimes stretched beyond plausible connection and Joe’s curatorial method stretches to every artistic ability, the elitists who once mistakenly sniffed at the idea of an art show in a hardware store now find themselves needing to stop by if only out of curiosity, or a pack of light bulbs.
And what will they see? Among the mop handles and caulking guns they’ll find work that surprises, disarms, causes a chuckle, and sometimes even looks amazing. Regardless of your expectations, you will not be bored by this collection of about 300 pieces and you’ll find work by some pretty well-known names also. You might also meet Joe and Liza’s pig, a local celebrity named Franklin.
Here are some images from The Crest Hardware Art Show just opened this week.
The “Super PAC” are characters of the 2012 presidential election portrayed as characters in the Batman mythology. Obama as Batman, Romney as Bane, Gingrich as Penguin, etc… Presidential elections and summer blockbuster movies have become the same thing. There is an epic battle of good vs evil and the fate of the world is up for grabs,” says the artist.
Street Art continues to keep its vertiginous trip towards total recognition and full popularity among the masses. This trend was solidified with the recent news that upon this week’s visit to the White House, David Cameron, the newly minted British Prime Minister, presented The Obamas a painting by Ben Aine. Mr. Aine is one of the most visible street artists working today in England. The painter was chosen by Mr. Cameron’s wife, Samantha, to give to the Obamas. Mr. Aine is said to be one of Mrs. Cameron’s favorite artists.
A Concept for a gallery show inspires one street artist to try an on-the-street experiment.
Billi Kid recently completed his version of a shoe-shine box to contribute to the unusual show that Bed-Stuy gallery Brooklynite opens next week, and he decided to take his box a step further.
Billi Kid’s contribution to the shinebox show also doubled as an experiment on the street (photo courtesy the artist)
The 100 artists, mostly street artists, have created their own version of a shoe-shine box, a metaphor for the entrepreneurial spirit. “Having been born in a third world country, Colombia, I have seen many a kid making a living shining shoes,” says Billi. “They hustle a modest living out of their shoeshine boxes. It is a testament to the human will to survive that these kids stretch their craft day and night to simply put food on their table. That is, if they even have a table.”
Billi Kid is a bit of an entrepreneur himself so he used his shine box on the street to sell some of his artwork. In New York City, as a result of street artists winning a fight with the Giuliani administration in the late 1990’s to sell their art on the streets, you are allowed set up a table and sell your own artwork without fear of reprisal.
“I took Brooklynite’s challenge to heart and set out to see if I could actually put food on the table working out of my “SHINEBOX,” says the artist. Taking into account overhead costs for creating his postcards, “I figured that I would need to sell at least 16 postcards per hour @ a $1.00 each to make $8.00 dollars in profit an hour.”
Traffic was pretty good on his spot near the park, and a number of people stopped to look at his signature political-personality postcards featuring the likes of George Bush, Sara Palin, and Michelle Obama. Within a couple of hours, 20 postcards of Billi Kid’s had sold, and the short-lived experiment ended up with Billi and his cameraman in a nearby pizza joint eating the profits. Luckily, there was money left for the subway home.
AND HE MADE A PROMOTIONAL VIDEO WITH THE EXPERIENCE