All posts tagged: Nekst

“Beyond The Streets” Opens in New York : Beyond Labels, With Roots

“Beyond The Streets” Opens in New York : Beyond Labels, With Roots

Look Who’s Back in the Neighborhood

They used to run from the Vandal Squad in this neighborhood. Now people pay to see their art here.

Through the expansive glass wall on the 6th floor you can look down Kent Avenue to see the spot where a monster pickup truck with a heavy chain tied around a FAILE prayer wheel almost jackknifed on the sidewalk, gave up and sped away. Not that many Brooklynites saw that event in the 2000s – nobody walked here and few people drove through Williamsburg then except truckers looking for street walking ladies wearing high heels and spandex. Oh, and a serial killer.

Faile. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now visitors buy tickets to see a circular colonnade of FAILE prayer wheels here at 25 Kent – including the real estate developers and Wall Street professionals who displaced the community of artists whose work made the neighborhood attractive and “edgy”.

Along with Street Artists in this exhibition like Shepard Fairey, Bast, Swoon, Invader, Aiko, Dan Witz, Katsu, 1UP, and Lister, the FAILE duo put completely illegal artworks on walls under cover of night and threat of arrest in this same neighborhood then – transforming it with many others who are not in this show into an open gallery of the streets, placing Williamsburg on the map as New Yorks’ epicenter of the newly emerging Street Art scene. 

Swoon. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Nature of Graffiti and Street Art

As graffiti and Street Art are migratory and necessarily elusive by nature, this story is only one chapter in a volume of history that serious academics are now reconstructing and analyzing. With each passing year and published white paper, the practices of 20th century public mark-making are being examined in greater detail for archiving and for posterity. Not surprisingly, institutions, patrons, collectors, and brands are increasingly interested in this story as well.

When it comes to the anarchic subculture of illegal street art practice and its influence on society, there are non-stop ironies sprayed en route from verboten to Vuitton, and street culture has supercharged the imagination of the mainstream and high culture throughout history – that’s where the best ideas come from sometimes. Many seminal artworks from “the scene”, as it were, represent much more than what you are seeing at first glance. As art and cultural critic Carlo McCormick has described the iconic Shepard Fairey ‘Hope’ image in Art in America, many graffiti and Street Art works saved are “not a fleeting pop-culture sensation but simply the latest crossover hit in a long line of underground classics.”

The wide-ranging survey that is Beyond the Streets makes sure that you know where the roots are, and who many of the pioneers were. It is impossible to tell a complete story that includes scenes as diverse as west coast Chicano muralism, hobo graffiti, hip-hop commercial design, NY downtown artivism, Japanese low/hi contemporary, skateboard, tattoo, early train writing and a current romance with muralism, but BTS at least gives a serious consideration to each and offers you the opportunity to look further into them.

Martha Cooper with BGirl Rockafelka. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the help of photography documentation from people like Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Jim Prigoff, Lisa Kahane, Joe Conzo, John Fekner, Bill Daniel, Maripol, and Dash Snow, the crucial importance of this work provides needed interstitial and contextual information that enables myriad stories to be elucidated.

Joe Conzo. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Scale, The History

Exhaustive, no. Exhausting, possibly. Pace yourself.

 “I spent my life surrounded by graffiti and Street Art,” says the shows’ director Roger Gastman “and you could say that I have been obsessed with understanding the culture, its origins, and its evolution. It’s incredible to me how far it has come.”

With 150 artists whose practices span five decades and various (mainly) American subcultures displayed in a maze of new walls in this 100,000 sf, two-floor exhibition, the Beyond the Streets senior curatorial team includes Gastman, filmmaker/ graffiti historian Sacha Jenkins SHR, Juxtapoz Editor in Chief Evan Pricco, and author/ graffiti historian / graffiti writer David CHINO Villorente. Each curator brings core competencies and knowledge of the graffiti scene (Gastman, Jenkins, Villorente) as it has evolved to include the Street Art practice and an eventual move toward contemporary art (Pricco).

“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” says Villorente, who says his history as a graffiti writer compounds the impact for him. “I was glad that the show was coming to New York because I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I couldn’t have imagined it – especially when I think back on when I was writing on the trains and doing illegal graffiti. To have of show of this magnitude is really special.”

Mike 171. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

“We started writing in ’68 and here we are, fifty-one years later,” says Mike 171 as he gestures toward himself and crew writer SJK 171 when talking about how they began and continued writing their tags on the street in New York City. “This is the history right here,” he says, and you know you are about to be schooled about the plain realities of early graffiti writing. At the opening, you witness each guy tagging in a large dusty window here and realize the love for writing never actually stops.

“We were expressing something that was inside of us,” says SJK 171. “The streets were like ours,” he tells you against a backdrop of their work, Cornbread’s work, and of images full of one color, single line monikers that set the stage for the more colorful, character-driven pieces and burners a decade later, transforming trains into a rolling aesthetic symphony by the mid 1970s.

Cornbread. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo). Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One of the actual “whole car” writers of that period, Lee “LEE” Quinones, here recreates a “Soul Train” car side on a canvas that looks like it could easily wrap an actual MTA #2-line car that he used to slaughter with cans in the middle of the night at the train yard. When describing the new work he said he was intentionally keeping it simple – perhaps owing the style to his earlier practice.

Lee Quinones. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think this is one of Lee’s most amazing pieces,” says Charlie Ahearn, the director of the seminal 1982 “Wild Style” film that Quinones stars in. Ahearn self-produced that film which became an important distillation of the merging of graffiti with hip-hop culture during a pivotal moment in the history of both. Now also a professor of Hip-Hop, art, design, and documentary film making at Pace University, Ahearn is familiar with many of the artists work here, many relationships reaching back decades. “I told Lee that I liked that it was a one-off, that he painted all the color straight off without the embellishment, texturing, and all that stuff.”

John and Charlie Ahearn. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Charlie’s twin brother John Ahearn is represented here popping out from walls as well, his sculptures serving as authentic portraits of people you may easily have seen on New York streets over the last four decades. Casted directly on top of the people themselves in a technique he has perfected, the placement of the sculptures gives life to the space.

Star Writers, Immersive Environments, Foundations

Dabsmyla. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The individual clusters of work and canvasses by 1970s-80s train painters like Futura, Crash, Lady Pink, Freedom, Carlos Mare, Blade, Haze, and Daze and next gen graphic painters like Doze Green and Rime are complemented by a number of so-called “immersive” spaces here like the Mission Schools’ Barry McGee storefront with smashed window, and the Australian Pop duo Dabs & Myla’s eye candy floral walls with thousands of artificial fauna created in collaboration with Amelia Posada.

Myla. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Shepard Fairey. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The high-profile graphic activist Shepard Fairey’s 30 year career overview takes a large area and encompasses all elements of his street and studio practice, and Bill Barminski’s cardboard home is open for you to explore with a wry smile, remembering the security room installation he did at Banksy’s Dismaland a couple years earlier.

Bill Barminski. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You’re also treated to a full rolling wall of Craig Stecyk posters that brings you the sun and surf of California skate culture, sculptures by Mr. Cartoon and Risk, a kid-friendly illustrated room with crafting supplies for young fans on tables from HuskMitNavn, and an astute freight train culture educational display by writer/painter/sculptor Tim Conlon (complete with a mid-sized Southern Pacific freight on train tracks he and friends built), prints/photos by historian Bill Daniel, and original drawings by the man some call the King of Hobo Art, buZ blurr.

John Fekner. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“These are a self portrait as predicated on a first Bozo Texino person and I kind of changed the image around,” says Mr. blurr, a legendary figure in denim overalls, as he patiently describes his classic tag image of a railway cowboy.

“It is a writer motif – the pipe smoke is going up and then it is trailing back to signify movement as the train goes down the track,” he says. “I worked in the train yards and my job was as a brakeman. I had a little free time so I started making drawings. I made my first one on November 11, 1971,” he says as he recalls the state of mind that he was in at the time as he began to tag freights with the image and text that came to him clearly – and may have perplexed other travellers.

buZ blurr. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“They came from a confused state. I was questioning everything. I was putting kind of cryptic messages under my drawings. It was anybody’s guess as to its literal interpretation. I addressed some of them up to specific people but whether they saw them or responded to them, I wouldn’t have any idea.”  

Tim Conlon. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When it’s shipped in the crate its 550 pounds,” says Conlon as he stands by the 3-foot high freight car re-creation on tracks and ties that is hit with a couple of wild and colorful graffiti burners. “Here I’m going to show you something,” he says as he pulls back the roof to reveal the narrow coffin interior in rusted red. “So I’m going to hide some beer in here during the opening party. This is like the fifth one of these I’ve made,” and he proudly confides that one lives in the house of Robert Downey Jr.

Digging Deep to Take Risks

Not content to rest on laurels and previous formulas of success, the show keeps a freshness by presenting known entities pushing themselves further and taking creative risks; a reflection of that spirit of experimentation we have always prized on the street.

Graffiti writer Earsnot from Irak crew, now known professionally as Kunle Martin, said he had been making work for the gallery containing elements of graffiti, but felt they were too “safe”.

Kunle Martin AKA Earsnot. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Then my friend Dan said ‘you should go back to doing drawings,’” he says as he stands before figurative canvasses in black and white on cardboard. “I said ‘I can’t! It’s too hard! But eventually I began working in my studio five days a week, and I made enough for a show.”

Reflective of the attitude of Gastman toward artists in the community, he told Martin that if he made enough of them, he could place them in this show. “I think he was happy to hear that I was in my studio working. He’s been very supportive of it.”

Kunle Martin. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A fluorescent color-drenched graphic/photographic collage style is featured with plenty of space in large frames from Chicago’s Pose, who says he is letting photography and geometry lead him away from his previous pop collage style that may have reminded many of Lichtenstein. His inspiration here comes from his research into early photos of graffiti writers running from police “I was obsessed with John Naars photos and I have usually Norman Mailer as in inspiration. Some of these photo references are from the Philadelphia Inquirer,” he says.

Pose. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pose. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

New York’s Eric Haze also dares himself to take a new direction with three canvasses featuring a refracted piecing-together of imagery and memories of this city in monochrome. Based on black and white scenes of the city by photographer and NYC taxi driver Matt Weber, the scenes capture aspects that are culled from imagination and impression. The centerpiece canvas captures an iconic piece of the Williamsburg waterfront that has been removed in the last few years by developers; the signage of the old Domino Sugar factory by the Williamsburg Bridge.

Haze. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Haze said he meant it as a gift and tribute to his wife, actress and longtime resident of the neighborhood, Rosie Perez who used to see it along Kent Avenue as a kid.  “He’s not afraid to take risks. He’s not afraid to go in the studio and express what’s inside of him. When he brought me to the studio, he says, ‘I have a surprise for you’,” she remembers. “I saw the beginnings of the Domino painting and I was stunned into silence and I got teary-eyed.”

Rosie Perez. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Beyond Labels

An expanded version of the show that first mounted in Los Angeles last year, the collection is focused a great deal on the American history of graffiti with a balance of East/West coast graffiti history – in a way that may remind you of 2011’s “Art in the Streets” at LA MoCA. That makes sense, considering Gastman co-curated that show as well.

“It’s both a historical and current look at where the culture went and where it started and how widespread it is,” says co-curator Evan Pricco, who perhaps provides a lynchpin view toward the big name Street Artists who continued to push expectations in the 2000’s on streets and in commercial galleries around the world. “With the space spread over two floors it has a way better curatorial sense. I also think it does compete with museums because it shows that this kind of work is on the same level. You kind of have to present it in a way that feels very institutional and archival.”

So is Beyond the Streets a graffiti show or a Street Art show or a contemporary art show? For artist Kenny Scharf, who first gained attention during the heyday of Downtown Manhattan’s art scene that benefitted from an interlude where rents were dirt cheap and Wall Street was on a cocaine high, there is no need to categorize what kind of art this is.

Kenny Scharf. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“You know I never liked labels or titles anyway so even back in the early 80s I was pegged like ‘oh you’re a graffiti artist,’” he says. “People feel the need to title and label so I’ll let them to continue to do that but I don’t fit into any of them and I don’t want to. I want to fit into all of them and none of them.”

Beyond the Streets opened June 21 and continues through the summer.

MADSAKI. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Blade and Doze Green. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Katsu. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gajin Fujita. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faith XLVII. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
John Ahearn. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jane Dickson. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Witz. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew…it’s always a good thing to have your friends near by when you need them the most… Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)ork. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cleon Peterson. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Conor Harrington. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Felipe Pantone. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Beastie Boys. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nekst . Risk. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bast . Paul Insect. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Invader. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ron English. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Patrick Martinez. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dust tagger. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper with Freedom. Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
What’s left and soon to be gone of the old Williamsburg’s waterfront right across from Beyond The Streets New York. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper’s work as exhibited at Beyond The Streets New York

Beyond The Streets NYC is now open in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the general public and will run until August 2019. Click HERE for schedules, tickets and details.

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BSA Images Of The Week 06.19.16

BSA Images Of The Week 06.19.16

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No we’re not worried about Donald Trump falling from grace, as in the new piece by Ron English leading the show this week. That’s not the point, people. It’s that we have fallen so far that a guy like this can get so close to the White House.

By the way, Nychos is killing it in New York right now. Pieces in Coney Island, Bushwick, a truck side, a Freud sculpture at the Flat Iron, a new show at Jonathan Levine this week, a couple other walls planned including one at MANA.  He’s very impressive in technique and work ethic. A shout out to the fellas who are capturing the action at Chop’em Down films. Top notch!

Meanwhile, we have a LOT of summer to enjoy. Get going!!!

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 18ism, AskewOne, Balu, CDRE, Dabs & Myla, GIZ, KAS, City Kitty, Myth, Nekst, Nychos, OG23, Rime MSK, Ron English, and Vik.

Our top image: Ron English brings Donald Trump as Humpty Dumpty on a wall – in collaboration with The Bushwick Collective and Mana Urban Art Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Giz and Bart kick it with the Smurf next door for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dabs & Myla for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vik for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AskewOne MSK for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RIME MSK for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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OG23 for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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18ism for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Indelible Funk  for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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AskewOne. Nekst tribute for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos “Translucent Heart Attack” for The Bushwick Collective and Mana Urban Art Projects. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos. Dissection Of Sigmund Freud Flatiron Plaza. NYC. Vienna Therapy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos. Dissection Of Sigmund Freud Flatiron Plaza. NYC. Vienna Therapy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nychos. Dissection Of Sigmund Freud Flatiron Plaza. NYC. Vienna Therapy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kitty City with Balu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CDRE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CDRE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CDRE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kas. Brussels, Belgium. June 2016. (photo © KAS)

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Untitled. Manhattan. June 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.17.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.17.14

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This weeks “21st Precinct” show of graffiti and street art style mural / installation work did blow some minds for sure, as did last nights official opening – mostly because of the great display of work on four floors. But additionally all sorts of paranoia was afoot when people began writing on social media and to us that they really thought this was a sting operation of some sort.

Aside from the fact that we clearly said in our postings on BSA and Huffpost that the building had long since been decommissioned as a precinct and we were simply focusing on the irony of the facts, minds and nerves were blown nonetheless. Truth is, this is a good show with some thoughtful pieces and installations and not surprisingly, many thematically addressed the contentious relationship some have with the police traditionally. But there is lots of other stuff too and it is worth your time. Just don’t get arrested. Kidding!

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring APC Crew, Art is Trash, Bishop203, Castellaneta, Chekos, Cruz, Foxx Face, Franksy, Gaia, Hek Tad, JJ Veronis, Lorenzo Maza, Mark Samsonovich AKA Love is Telepathic, Melty Cats, Mr. PRVT, Mr. Toll, Nekst, Opiemme, Pixote, Shantell Martin, Skrew, UR New York and Wolfe Metal Work, Tommy Wolfe.

Top Image >> Mark Samsonovich says open your mind, although it looks like someone blew this guys. See the video of the Delfonics at end of posting if that song is running through your brain now. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shantell Martin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JJ Veronis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wolfe Metal Work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skrew, Nekst taken from a fast moving train:-) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HEK TAD (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Art Is Trash with some friends in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. PRVRT for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Foxx Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Deconstructed Beauty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. We won’t open it until 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Franksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Franksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Melty Cats (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Opiemme and Chekos for Street Like Rainbow Festival in Castellaneta, Italy. (photo © courtesy of the artists)

“Who is he? Who is that other one?”

“These are the questions that people asked most often while Chekos and I were painting in Castellaneta.
Ernest Hemingway, Sean Connery, Sigmund Freud, Steve Jobs, Padre Pio, Van Gogh, Giuseppe Verdi, George Clooney, Lenin, Cavour, Garibaldi…are some of the guesses.

The work came from Chekos’s idea, a reflection on the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. We tried to bring the spectator to have an experience close to a personality test, with an iconographic work that recalls the Rorschach test. The words “Stereotype” in the center of the composition refer to the process that brings people to recognize different famous people.” ~ Opiemme

 

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Mr. Toll at “The 21st Precinct” for Outlaw Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bishop203 x Lorenzo Maza x APC Crew at “The 21st Precinct” for Outlaw Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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URNewYork at “The 21st Precinct” for Outlaw Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pixote at “The 21st Precinct” for Outlaw Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Phil at “The 21st Precinct” for Outlaw Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cruz x URNewYork at “The 21st Precinct” for Outlaw Arts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. August 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Didn’t I Blow Your Mind? The Delfonics

 

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San Francisco Survey : Street Art and Graffiti

San Francisco Survey : Street Art and Graffiti

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,” so says Charles Dickens in the opening paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities, and who can’t believe it is true that he was speaking of today? Whether you are Darnay or Carton, that books two protagonists, this is the prism through which you will see the twin beasts of wisdom and foolishness in all the writings on the walls in our cities.

Easily dismissed for decades by the classists as the uncouth scribblings of the unschooled, the graffiti that persisted throughout train yards and tunnels and cities globally also developed and deepened, expanded and metamorphosed. Once simply seen as outright rebellion, the language around the graffiti scene has  transformed, and with reason. Today sometimes clumsily grouped under the moniker “street art” or “urban art” graffiti and its family gets a second view, and a third; while academia and theorists and philosophers grapple to come to terms with a language they didn’t create, cannot compose in, but endeavor to learn.

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Reyes (photo © Brock Brake)

Meanwhile it is collected, traded, reproduced, emulated and imitated. For its part, new generations of freewheeling graffiti and its practitioners and celebrants continue unabated; uncommissioned, un-permissioned, and despite ever more apoplectic attempts by municipalities and technologies to silence it, it continues to speak.  Further confounding, some of its denizens have taken up arms and laid in the same bed with that most benign and good-willed pillar of public art, the legal mural.

Today we go to San Francisco, one of our most pricey cities, to see what the aerosol writers are saying currently. With new shots that capture part of this moment by photographer Brock Brake, we see that the language of the street and even the row house have become as multitudinous as the dominant culture and as perplexing as it is sometimes powerful. Or not. Are these the best of times?

“..in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only,” says Dickens.

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Niels Shoe Meulman. Detail of ‘ununhappy times’, a larger piece by the calligraffitist. (photo © Brock Brake)

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“Familia” by Reyes (photo © Brock Brake)

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Nekst . Jade (photo © Brock Brake)

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A tribute to a deceased and well loved graffiti writer named Nekst by Steel (photo © Brock Brake)

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Steel MSK (photo © Brock Brake)

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Andrew Schoultz. Detail (photo © Brock Brake)

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Andrew Schoultz (photo © Brock Brake)

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Andrew Schoultz RIP Jade. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Toro (photo © Brock Brake)

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Atomik (photo © Brock Brake)

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Treas (photo © Brock Brake)

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Steel . MSK . d30 (photo © Brock Brake)

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d30 Crew (photo © Brock Brake)

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Ich (photo © Brock Brake)

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Jurne . Amanda Lynn . Mags (photo © Brock Brake)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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This article was also published on The Huffington Post

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Touring the Other Side of Town, A Taste of Asheville Graffiti

Touring the Other Side of Town, A Taste of Asheville Graffiti

When you first pull into a new town you have to trust your personal barometer; a series of individual metrics you have devised over time with which to measure its personality and state of mind.

For example, you may see how good the grilled cheese and tomato is at the diner, inquire whether there is an organized bowling league, ask if there are any dive bars with jukeboxes. Also is there an Olive Garden, can you buy fireworks, do children wear helmets when riding bikes, do tween girls wear Uggs, how many confederate flags are in the windows, what is the overall ratio of skaters to jocks, choppers to fixies, lawnmowers to yard furniture, tacos to fish-n-chips, tracksuits to chinos, tattoos to sports bras, pigtails to pigs?

It’s a personal formula, a mix of criterion that helps you to measure the world, and if we could be so bold, would help somebody else measure you.

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Nekst and Gus Isrich’s portrait. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Our featured photographer today is known for checking out things like home made and semi-professional signage that announces important stuff in front of the VFW, Bob’s Big Boy, the car wash, and Latoya’s House of Hair.

Of special interest are those illuminated roadside box signs with the easy-slide letters that are always falling off – like the ones preaching hellfire out front of The First Baptist Church of Baconbit.  Clever upcoming sermon titles aside, if the church is offering marriage counseling on Thursdays at 6:30 or concealed weapons classes every second Monday at 7 pm or the Men’s Pancake Breakfast coming up on Saturday, Geoff feels like he’s getting some very important information to parse together about a community.

Naturally, he also likes to sample the local graffiti. And that is why we are here today, dearly beloved.

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Cash4, Avoid, Valet and Rezu (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

When Hargadon told us he was heading to Moogfest in Asheville, North Carolina a few weeks ago he also surmised he might check out its graff spots. Organic and locally grown, this aerosol outcrops on certain spots around town, especially the abandoned warehouses and back alleys in the River Arts District. Geoff loaded up his camera card and came back with a treasure trove. Not only that, he found local graffiti expert Mr. Zen Sutherland, who himself is a gold mine on the subject of aerosol and who helped ID the creators of these fine graffiti images.

Our sincere thanks to both for this great taste of Asheville. Burp.

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Nomad offers this petulant ascertainment on a post (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Dogman (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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This area is known locally as Trackside Gallery. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Valet, Stuk, Ahgen, Trek, Unknown. Also a car that might have a pack of Salem 100s in the glove compartment. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Berth. In the foreground and installation by a sculptor who studied at the University of Blairwitch (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Ahgen, Uret, Dogman (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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TFL Crew, Gus Isrich and helpful handle and hashtag. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Fisho, Amanda Wong, Sicr, Sjay (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Uret, Valet, Relek (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Firey Hell and damnation with Berth, GTB, Gyser, Gus Isrich, Wins. In the background the original burning monk by Dustin Spagnola. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Gus, Tribute to Hal, Valet, Fowl, Ahgen, Houla. On the background Dustin Spagnola’s tiger. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Fowl (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Uret (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Eaws (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Still Life with Chairs and Graff. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Marze, Fowl, Ruin (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Kagn, Valet, Tribute to a fallen artist. Building 10 (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Connie, Valet, Aside, Dogman (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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15 Murals and a Submarine: Amsterdam’s Urban Art Scene Now

15 Murals and a Submarine: Amsterdam’s Urban Art Scene Now

We’re very pleased today to take BSA readers to Amsterdam, where the graff/Street Art continuum reaches back more than three decades and where the vibrant scene still remains fresh and relevant right now. We’re very thankful to Ed Little and Alex Pope for taking the initiative to present the scene here for us and to give us valuable context about Amsterdam’s Urban Art Scene. If you don’t know, now you know.

By Ed Little and Alex Pope

Amsterdam has always been progressive in welcoming Urban Art. This March, artwork by Banksy was projected on the Dutch National Museum (the Rijksmuseum), in support of Syrian refugees. More than thirty years earlier, New York graffiti artists such as Seen, Dondi, Blade, Quik, Rammellzee and Futura 2000 were given their first taste of success in the high brow art world by Amsterdam gallery owner Yaki Kornblit. In 1986, Keith Haring did a commissioned mural for the Museum depot. Even before the arrival of the Americans, Amsterdam had a uniquely homegrown punk graffiti scene.

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Fefe Talavera (photo © Ed Little)

By being exposed to the New York artists so early on, Amsterdam graffiti ignited and burned on well into the nineties. Amsterdam writers like Shoe and Delta, along with foreign partners Bando and Mode 2, spread the Crime Time style throughout Europe. In 1992, the city temporarily stopped cleaning subways because of toxic chemicals in the cleaning material. The writers completely took over the subways, creating a scene reminiscent of 1970s New York, as Amsterdam bathed in graffiti euphoria.

Today’s street art and graffiti scene is relatively small, and not pushing the envelope as much as it once was. That is not the say Amsterdam doesn ́t get down anymore. Feast your eyes on a selection of commissioned murals, illegal burners and creative get ups that Amsterdam has to offer.

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Fefe Talavera (photo © Ed Little)

Here is a double header by Brazilian female artist Fefe Talavera, painted as part of the 2012 RUA Festival. The RUA Festival aims to show urban and contemporary Brazilian art next to institutionalized art of museums and galleries. According to the artist, the two heads represent two Indians wearing animal masks. The vibrant tribal color scheme really stands out against the dull grey backdrop, and is a good reminder of what a little bit of paint can do for a building.

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Zed1 (photo © Ed Little)

This is a mural by Italian artist Zed1 at creative hotspot café Roest, home of Max Zorn ́s Stick Together festival. Awesome incorporation of the building window into the depicted scene, which reads as a critique of the current cost of living.

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ETHOS (photo © Ed Little)

Here is another Brazilian mural in Amsterdam, painted by Ethos for the 2011 edition of the RUA Festival. Once again, masks are a big part of the artwork, which fits well with Ethos’ surrealist style. The mural itself functions as an awesome mask for an otherwise pretty shabby looking squat.

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Adnate x Andersen (photo © Ed Little)

Here is Australian artist Adnate along with Morten Andersen from Denmark. Nice clash of Adnate ́s photorealist style of characters and Andersen ́s abstract geometrics. Painted for the Kosmopolite Art Tour, next to an insane burner by Dems UB which unfortunately is no longer there to be seen.

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Vrankrijk (photo © Ed Little)

The legal squat Vrankrijk is one of the focal points of Amsterdam ́s squat scene. The Lichtenstein type BOOM! is a clear representation of Pop Art, which was also used as a vehicle by Fab 5 Freddy to push graffiti into the American higher art sphere in the late seventies.

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Inkie (photo © Ed Little)

Here is a commissioned work by Englishman Inkie from 2012. Painted on what was once an always tagged up parking entrance. The wall on the right was painted later on, as the original was reclaimed by street bombers, who tagged it again within no time, even crossing out the artist ́s website with the word ́toy ́. The Inkie was left untouched, probably out of respect.

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Niels “SHOE” Mulman and Adele Renault (photo © Ed Little)

A good example of calligraffiti here by Amsterdam graffiti legend Shoe. Brushstroked fill in, outlined by black spraypaint. Though Shoe ́s calligraffiti style is so uniquely his, it reminds us of that Amsterdam ́s 1970s punk graffiti feel. Pigeon portrait by Adele Renault, who went on to have a pigeon inspired exhibit at Shoe ́s Unruly Gallery.

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Rammellzee Memorial Wall (photo © Ed Little)

Above is a Rammellzee memorial wall by Shoe and friends from 2010, paying homage to the evo griller. Rammellzee was one of the twelve New York graffiti artists who each had a one month solo exhibit at Yaki Kornblit ́s gallery in the early 1980s and who would inspire Shoe and eventually many other writers worldwide to pursue a career in the streets and the fine arts world.

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The London Police (photo © Ed Little)

Here’s a large London Police commissioned mural on the Prinsengracht canal. Adopted Amsterdammers The London Police paid for their first stay in Amsterdam with t-shirts and art, and have made a comfortable living off their art ever since. The mural is located next to the street oriented Go Gallery, which has an original London Police mural from their earlier Amsterdam days.

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C215 (photo © Ed Little)

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C215 shown here with Kid Acne (photo © Ed Little)

Above are two subtle works by regular French visitor C215. The first one was painted with permission from the same Dutch family that first gave the London Police a roof over their heads. The second one is located near Amsterdam’s NDSM werf hall of fame. C215’s romantic works seem to make icons out of regular folks, which is probably why they are at their best when they are visible in the streets for everyone to see.

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Jorit. Vincent Van Gogh (photo © Ed Little)

Italian-Dutch artist Jorit did this Vincent Van Gogh portrait. The technically very impressive photorealist depiction of Van Gogh didn’t fair well with everybody, as someone gave his 2 cents by writing “Vincent wouldn ́t approve” in the bottom corner. While Jorit’s photorealistic Van Gogh may be very opposite to the subject’s impressionist style, we wanna say that we do approve. Please note that Van Gogh ́s eyeliner was also added by a third party.

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Delta (photo © Ed Little)

Here is an illegal burner by Amsterdam graffiti legend Delta from 2006. When Delta returned to graffiti in the 90s, he blew up big with his 3-D styles, which lead to a very successful career in the arts. Staying true to his roots, he remains active in his hometown streets while killing it in the galleries and even the architectural world.

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ROA (photo © Ed Little)

An early work by international superstar ROA from the mid 2000s; While it is undeniably a ROA, it is awesome to see how his style and eye for detail have developed. It is part of an original mural that also featured Bue the Warrior and Chase. The wall was mostly repainted, but the ROA has been left untouched.

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Leno, Twice and Gear (photo © Ed Little)

Above is some illegal wildstyle graffiti by the most prolific Amsterdam duo of the new millennium, Twice and Gear, along with colorful blockbuster letters by subway and trackside killer Leno on an old submarine nearby the NDSM hall of fame. Bastardilla and Stinkfish are on the bottom as well.

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NEKST tribute. (photo © Ed Little)

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Nekst Tribute (photo © Ed Little)

From Banksy projections to illegal wildstyle graffiti, all of the different aspects of today ́s modern urban art landscape are still a part of Amsterdam ́s creative daily routine. But for a city known for its liberal feel, it would be nice to see Amsterdam embrace urban art even more and reclaim its previous position as ahead of the worldwide pack.  In order to do so, we will always keep an eye on the streets.

 

We thank Alex and Ed for this sharing this good work with BSA readers.

© Text Alex Pope © Photos Ed Little

To see more Amsterdam Street Art and read interviews with the artists click Keep It Hush

 

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BSA Film Friday: 04.11.14

BSA Film Friday: 04.11.14

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. URBAN ART 2014 on Auction
2. Building Detroit – Revok, Nekst, Pose
3. Sheryo and Yok in Indonesia
4. Coachella Walls: Date Farmers by Medvin Sobio
5. Spaik and Libre. Mexico City 2014

BSA Special Feature: URBAN ART 2014 on Auction with Artcuriel

A film by Jérémy Jaoui

This is what it looks like now; a powerful visual documentation and summary of one plainly commercial aspect of this moment in the evolution of graffiti art/ Street Art/ urban art – and its collectability with a growing global artworld fan base. The video follows Artcuriel and it’s personable auctioneer Arnaud Oliveux as the crowd gathers and clinks glasses, listens to speeches, views live art-making and inspects a collection of fine art created by graffiti and Street Artists which will soon be auctioned.

As one observer notes while thumbing through the show catalog “Urban Art is becoming something real!” Now the vulgar rap lyrics that describe sexual acts to a beat which accompanied the visuals of the artists in the gallery are replaced with rarefied classical strings and no percussion when we enter the auction room where commerce takes place.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Screenshot-Artcuriel-auction-2014-740Excitement in the packed house is palpable and the auctioneer is the entertaining and electrified ringmaster, with poised assistants tensely perched on the telephone with international bidders.

“With an artist like LUDO, Arnauld is being very avant-garde,” says a knowledgeable admirer while we see the piece reach a record price to applause and pieces are placed on the mantel by men in white gloves. “Urban Art is now happening as we wanted it to,” says Monsieur Oliveux to us from his desk.

Well edited and skillfully presented, the film by Jaoui Jérémy gives you a rare glimpse into a world far removed from the street yet inextricably tied to it – where one time vandals become art stars, collectible artists, performers and celebrity endorsers.  It’s your call whether it is a celebration or an indictment, and perspectives will vary according to where you sit, but here the elements are all on parade before your eyes and presented in a passionate way.

 

Building Detroit – Revok, Nekst, Pose

The graffiti and Street Art scene in abandoned Detroit is “thriving like I don’t think we’ve seen in the US for quite some time,” observes artist Pose, one of the few writers/artists who is straddling the street and commercial gallery world. “When you leave something and don’t care about it, we come here.” It’s a rallying cry for painters, a cautionary statement for authorities that encapsulates one of the primary dynamics of the graffiti/street art/public art scene.

But then Pose offers an additional sentiment that gets missed in these often simplified arguments. “We care about it, we’ll paint it all day.”

From MOCA in LA to MOCAD here, where both Revok and Pose have created large scale works, the institutional recognition of the contribution of the art form is remarkable. Simultaneously the freewill act of it a few blocks away from the museum has greater implications from a legal aspect.

Oh no! Complexity to contemplate.

 

Sheryo and Yok in Indonesia

“Sheryo and The Yok go to Indonesia to learn batik and sculpture” says their description but we think they may already know a thing or two about both. Here they are line illustrating with hot wax, adding a third dimension in clay to characters with phallus noses, and hitting up random walls throughout the city and on the beach with aerosol. Like any good guests, they make sure to credit their hosts here, which is real nice.  Oh yes, and there’s a gallery show at Turner Gallery in Purth March 21 – mentioned at the very end.

 

Coachella Walls: Date Farmers by Medvin Sobio

Hey man, ¿Qué haces? For this Coachella street-art-related event the dude Medvin Sobio is setting the scene again with  unscripted social outtakes and interactions are positioned as the main story – and he is framing it with this jukebox music. Yes, this is where The Eagles are national treasures, Marvin Gaye is a nice reminder of a time when singing about the environment could still get airplay, and MJ is always a party starter. Errrbuddy get up!

Spaik and Libre. Mexico City 2014

Part of a commercial gig for a traveling corporate electronic dance music festival, Spaik and Libre knock out a colorful wall while participants pile onto the big lot in DF for the multi-screen festivities.

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The Power of Color via Street Art, Graffiti, and Murals

The Power of Color via Street Art, Graffiti, and Murals

No doubt it is the grey days of late winter that is making us think about this as we brace for the next snowstorm, but today we’re considering the impact that Street Art color has on architecture that never asked for it.

We’re not the first to think of hues, shades, tones, and palettes when it comes to the man made environment of course, but it does strike us that most of the buildings that are hit up by street art and murals today were designed by architects who never imagined art on their facade.

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Os Gemeos in Boston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Modern architecture for some reason is still primarily grey, washed out greens, beige, eggshell, snore.

“Color is something that architects are usually afraid of,” said internationally known and awarded architect Benedetta Tagliabue in an interview last May about the topic of color.  A generalization probably, and you can always find exceptions of colorfully painted neighborhoods globally like the Haight in San Francisco, La Boca in Buenos Aires, Portafino in Italy, Guanajuato in Mexico, Bo-Kaap in Capetown, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the Blue City of India, but many of those examples speak to color blocking and pattern.

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Interesni Kazki in Baltimore. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’ve been looking at the power of Street Art to reface, re-contextualize, re-energize, and re-imagine a building and its place in the neighborhood. Some times it is successful, other times it may produce a light vertigo. The impact of work on buildings by today’s Street Artists and muralists depends not only on content and composition but largely on the palette they have chosen. It sounds trite, and self-evident perhaps, but much of Street Art is about color, and primarily on the warm scale first described by Faber Birren with his OSHA colors and color circle in the 1930s .

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Faile in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Birren developed his color system with the observation that artists favor the warm colors more than the cold, from the violet side of red and extending beyond yellow because “, their effect is more dynamic and intense and because the eye can, in fact, distinguish more warm colors than cold.

It’s common now to think of 21st century Street Art as the graffiti-influenced practice that primarily activates the detritus of the abandoned industrial sector blighting western cities in the wake of trade agreements that sent all the jobs to lands without protections and regulations. While that is definitely the sort of neglected factory architecture preferred for “activation” by many graffiti artists and Street Artists alike, we also see more curious couplings of color with the delicately ornate, the regal, or even modernist structures today thanks to artists being invited, rather than chased.

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Shepard Fairey in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The results? Abstractionist, cubist, geometric, letter-based, illustrative, figurative, text-based, outsider, folk, dadaist, pop.  One common denominator: color.

“The environment and its colors are perceived, and the brain processes and judges what it perceives on an objective and subjective basis. Psychological influence, communication, information, and effects on the psyche are aspects of our perceptual judgment processes,” writes Frank H. Mahnke in his recent piece for Archinect. The author of Color, Environment, & Human Response has made it his mission to explore psychological, biological effects of color and light and to help creators of the man-made environment make good choices.

Whether all of these choices are good, we leave up to you. But it is worth considering that Street Artists have been part of the conversation on the street for decades now, making powerful suggestions to architects and city planners , so maybe it’s worth taking another look at what they’ve been up to lately.

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Ever in Baltimore. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Escif in Atlanta. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kenton Parker and Roa in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LUDO in Chicago. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Anthony Lister in Los Angeles. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kobra in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Smells, Cash4 and Spiro in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx in El Barrio. Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Agostino Iacurci in Atlanta. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Barry McGee in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jaz and Cern in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pose and Revok in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rime, Dceve and Toper in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pixel Pancho in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Deeker and David Pappaceno in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Reka in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RRobots in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MOMO in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skewville in Brooklyn, NYC with an old NEKST tag on top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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3ttman and Elias in Atlanta. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode tribute to Martha Cooper in Brooklyn with ROA on the water tank. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Os Gemeos in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JMR in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Greg LaMarche in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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BSA Film Friday: 01.10.14

BSA Film Friday: 01.10.14

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. Vhils x Pixel Pancho in Lisbon
2. How Nosm in Lisbon
3. NEKST FOREVER from Pose & Revok in Detroit
4. Knarf, Mafia and Fresh Max “3500” in Vienna
5. Bisser in London “Last Breath I” at Blackfriars Cafe

BSA Special Feature: Lisbon Double Feature from Underdogs
Pixel Pancho x Vhils
and How Nosm

Two beautiful videos in a row this week from the platform called Underdogs. “Underdogs is an international working platform based in Lisbon, Portugal that aims at creating space within the contemporary art scene for artists connected with the new languages of urban visual culture.” Since one of the original organizers is Street Artist Vhils, it makes sense that these two videos capture that additional essence of the experience of art making, the discipline, the dedication, the drive.  The camera work, editing, and story telling are fresh and above par here.

Pixel Pancho and Vhils for Underdogs. Lisbon 2013

How & Nosm for Underdogs. Lisbon 2013

NEKST FOREVER from The Seventh Letter: Pose & Revok

With baritone narration from Pose about the impact of one guy on many, this video relates the level of respect the late graffiti artist Nekst had among his peers. Together with Revok and other members of the MSK crew you’ll see them knock out one of the biggest tributes yet in Detroit.

 

Knarf, Mafia and Fresh Max “3500” in Vienna

KNARF, MAFIA and FRESH MAX spent the last 3 months working on a 3500 square meter wall complex near Vienna. Here is a brief overview of their process. They will also be releasing a book on the 24th documenting the project, sketches, and images of the entire painted building.

 

Bisser in London “Last Breath I” at Blackfriars Cafe

A local cafe of 35 years is going to be torn down with the entire building it has been housed in Southwark (South-London). Artist Bisser did an installation,  a “one-off beautification” last month to say goodbye to the place. As it turns out, an entire project has been spawned to create more work by more artists in the building before it is slated for demolition. This video is the first of the series for “The Last Breath Project”

More about the project here: lastbreathproject.co.uk

 

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Steel Gives Firepower to NEKST and Lango Sees Red in San Francisco

Steel Gives Firepower to NEKST and Lango Sees Red in San Francisco

Here’s a quick shot from Hemlock Alley in San Francisco as Steel pays an explosive tribute to Nekst and the talented tattooist Lango lets the crimson power flow like a system of veins waving like flames across the wall.  The collaboration brings to life a street that looks like it otherwise may be losing some of it’s energy.

Thanks to Brock Brake for sharing these images with BSA readers. Extra points for the red water hose lying on the sidewalk that gives Lango a third dimension.

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Steel and Lango. Detail. San Francisco, CA. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Steel and Lango. Detail. San Francisco, CA. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Steel and Lango. Detail. San Francisco, CA. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Steel and Lango. Detail. San Francisco, CA. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Steel and Lango. Detail. San Francisco, CA. (photo © Brock Brake)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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On the Shoulders of a Wizard : Os Gemeos and Mark Bode In SF

On the Shoulders of a Wizard : Os Gemeos and Mark Bode In SF

We continue our San Francisco street diaries with BSA contributing photographer Brock Brake and a mural from Os Gemeos and Mark Bodé, who together include a glorious technicolor tribute to Cheech Wizard and the illustration work of Mark’s dad Vaughn. First off a multi-colored hoodie popping through the trees with a can and “with a JADE throwie on his hat”, says Brake. Not shown are his Nekst belt buckle and a TIE button.

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Os Gemeos pay tribute to Nekst and Jade in San Francisco. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Os Gemeos collaborate with Bode in San Francisco. Detail. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Os Gemeos collaborate with Bode in San Francisco. (photo © Brock Brake)

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Os Gemeos collaborate with Mark Bode in San Francisco. (photo © Brock Brake)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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MSK Crew and the 2013 Summer Family Reunion in Brooklyn

MSK Crew and the 2013 Summer Family Reunion in Brooklyn

Before we lose the warmth of the sun we wanted to reflect on one of the largest graffiti shows curated under one theme that was mounted this summer right on the streets of Brooklyn by members of the long-running graffiti crew known as Mad Society Kings, or MSK. It’s a Summer tradition for many families to convene at a selected location to enjoy a familial get-together and as the writers and painters of MSK consider themselves a very tight family spanning a few generations, they, like many American families, decided to have their own Family Reunion.

Naturally there were lawn chairs, aerosol cans, and razor wire.

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FASR MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gathering across three sprawling blocks in Bushwick just ahead of the July 4th holiday and while the Houston Wall in Manhattan was poised for takeover by members Pose and Revok, all the MSK uncles and aunts and cousins gathered before corrugated metal and cinder block walls in the still-industrial neighborhood to create a pre-fireworks display of their own. Adding to the reunion feeling, many of the folks seemed to be from out of town and had traveled a distance so you really got the idea that pretty soon there would be a kickball game, a pig rotating on a spit, and grandma MSK wheeling by handing out colorful pinwheels on sticks to the kiddies.

What made this reunion so remarkable was not just the variety of styles on display but the unanimity of the theme; each piece was dedicated to their recently departed brother, the writer NEKST, who passed away in the winter months.  Graffiti culture and community murals have been intertwined for as long as anyone held a spray can, with lists of the departed sometimes on display in a neighborhood for years as memorial, so the outpouring of love and creativity on these walls really was at its best.

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El Kamino MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We decided to wait until the dog days and the picnics were officially over to turn the spotlight on these walls and say goodbye to all the great memories of Summer 2013 on the streets of Brooklyn, and to give witness to the power of memories that we all have of people we’ve lost. These tributes are rendered in an explosion of color and styles – but all with the same idea, with the same name, with the same person in mind. Themed shows like this also allow the viewer to compare and contrast and better appreciate the more subtle and obvious differences in style, technique, and approach.

The results are a stellar sampler of some of the best graffiti writers working today on the streets.  Full of force, character, attitude, color, shape, dimension and craftsmanship, here is a selection by photographer Jaime Rojo for you to see. All of them are still up in Bushwick if you are out on a bright Saturday – they are just a short walk from the L train on the Morgan stop.

 

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Cease MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TRAV MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Omens MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rime MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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REVOK MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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POSE MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Vizie MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skrew MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DMOTE MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DMOTE MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steel MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Owns MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KC ONE MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Navy8 MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wane COD MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dabs & Myla MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

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