All posts tagged: New Orleans

Swoon “The Road By Walking” and Artist Talk with BSA

Swoon “The Road By Walking” and Artist Talk with BSA

An Inside Look at The Imagination and Energy of Swoon and “The Road By Walking”

This is how the road is made. Swoon invites you to take another step with her.

It’s been an enormous success this week for Street Artist Swoon as she launches her Heliotrope Foundation to bring the values and vision of her long-term community-based projects under one roof. Beginning with a packed private opening Wednesday with enthusiastic guests clamoring for a new print and to see a large selection of drawings, visitors also poked their heads around intricate small scale models of her centerpiece projects and into selfies with Swoon and Heliotrope board member Swizz Beatz.



Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Since the earliest days of seeing Swoon’s wheat-pasted cutouts on New York streets passersby could tell that these waters run deep and are full of stories and a committed sense of our collective inherent responsibility to uphold our neighbor and to seek to re-balance.

The Road By Walking show allows you to personally contemplate the baseline commitment the artist is making to the fate of others whose lives have been struck by disaster – whether natural, as in the case of the earthquake in Haiti or the hurricane in New Orleans, or the man made economic disasters that leave communities worldwide suffering in their wake, as in the de-industrialized town of Braddock, Pennsylvania.


Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Without lecturing or preening, Swoon consistently demonstrates how using your talents, whatever they are, can transform – first through imagination, then through boots on the ground. With very dedicated teams of volunteers and talents alongside, in front of and behind her, Swoon keeps making new roads.

The Road By Walking, which is again open today and free to the public, allows fans of street art and social activism an opportunity to come face to face with how small scale artistic interventions can plant and nurture seeds of lasting change.


Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA is proud to invite you to meet the artist today as The Road By Walking culminates in an Artists Talk with BSA and Swoon at a special reception tonight, where we’ll be learning about her plans for Heliotrope Foundation and specifically about Braddock Tiles, The Music Box, and Konbit Shelter.

We can’t wait to meet you! It is a free event and space is very limited so please RSVP so we’ll know you are coming.

(Please see all the links at the end of this post, including the RSVP button and online bidding)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. Maquette for Braddock Tiles Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. Interior view of maquette for Braddock Tiles Project in Braddock, PA.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. Interior view of maquette for Braddock Tiles Project in Braddock, PA.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. Maquette for New Orleans Music Box Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. Maquette for New Orleans Music Box Project. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. Maquette for Knobi Shelter Project in Haiti. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon. The Road By Walking. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Harrington-Rojo-Swoon-Road-By-Walking-Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 9.57.14 AM

Online bidding is still open! PADDLE8.COM/AUCTIONS/HELIOTROPE


Please consider Donating to The Heliotrope Foundation

The Road By Walking
Benefit Gallery Show for the Heliotrope Foundation


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13 from 2013 : Luna Park “A Closet Rail Nerd in New Orleans”

13 from 2013 : Luna Park “A Closet Rail Nerd in New Orleans”


Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image from a Street Art or graffiti photographer that brings a story, a remembrance, an insight or a bit of inspiration to the person who took it. For the last 13 days they will share a gem with all of us as we collectively say goodbye and thank you to ’13.



Well known and regarded photographer and documentarian of the graffiti and Street Art scene, Luna Park has a voracious appetite for combing the bushy overgrown abandoned areas in the margins of our urban landscape in search of a perfect tag, throwie, burner. An enthusiastic and knowledgeable expert on the graffiti scene, her thousands of images made her a lot of Internet friends and fans when Flickr blew up and she now authors The Street Spot with Becki Fuller. Today Luna tells us about a spring ’13 adventure she had that included a trip to the rail yards in New Orleans.


Read. New Orleans 2013. (photo © Luna Park)

READ in New Orleans

~Luna Park

In early spring of 2013, I made a pilgrimage to New Orleans. The trip marked the end of a year of personal hardship and it was important to celebrate this milestone by escaping from New York. New Orleans had been on my mind since my last visit in 1993.

I was eager to reconnect with this special place in American history, to finally meet in person kindred spirits I’d previously only known online, and to hunt down as much graffiti as possible within a short timeframe. New Orleans was eye opening, a contradiction in terms, at once deeply ravaged and depressed, yet at the same time vibrant and full of life.

The rail lines which make up the backbone of the city are visually and also very much audibly omnipresent. Standing on an overpass overlooking this massive freight yard was a strangely euphoric experience. There were unfettered sight lines to several (!) entirely new-to-me Read pieces. And as a student of graffiti history and a closet rail nerd, the proximity to so many freight trains – the modern day successors to the painted NYC subways – filled me with tremendous awe and respect. Watching these steel behemoths come and go was a beautiful and for me very necessary reminder that life carries on – cherish it and embrace the beauty around you.

A very heartfelt thank you to Steve and Jaime for their ongoing friendship and support!

Artist: Read

Location: New Orleans, 2013.




Check out our Brooklyn Street Art 2013 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo here.


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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: 10.11.13

BSA Film Friday: 10.11.13



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

Now screening: DASIC, Posterboy, Don Rimx, Swoon,The Yok and Sheryo, and BANKSY Entrepreneurs Make NYC Proud.

BSA Special Feature: DASIC

This short film is directed and produced by two brothers from the Bronx named Ruben Perez and Dan Perez, who profile Dasic, a native of Chile who was influenced as a youth by the volatile political climate in the country and the hip-hop scene of the 1990’s.  A teen tagger who then went on to study architecture in college Dasic was drawn back to painting on buildings instead of designing them.

Now living and working in Brooklyn, Dasic has displayed a wide experimentation with styles incorporating a commercial sense of surrealistic magic dream sequences, the representational, the figurative, and an eye for design oriented graphics. As many artists on the scene today, he is not sure whether he is a graffiti writer, street artist, or mural painter. Like many artists we speak with on the street every day, he questions the need for those distinctions at all. “I believe in all my styles, I just try to keep the same energy,” he says.

Posterboy “How To Beat Meat on The Subway”

Posterboy is back, at least we think it’s that Posterboy. The schoolboy humor of the title tells us it is probably the same boxcutter jester who fooled with commercial ads in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Playing with a straight edge and grid configuration this time, he slices and rearranges a poster of a suburban chain deli more as a decorative meat pattern or flesh quilt than the cyber plastic surgery you may associate with Posterboy’s celebrity culture cutting of the past.

Diaspora Spanish Harlem: Don Rimx De La Calle

During the big Los Muros Hablan NYC festival this summer, Don Rimx tore up a huge wall for a number of days to create a mural – gathering the attention of many of the neighbors and visitors to el barrio. Here is a celebratory video that records the scope of the job and the community who supported his gift to the city.


Swoon: Dithyrambalina-Musical Architecture For New Orleans

Musical architecture is a grand experiment that went all right. With Street Artist and fine artist Swoon as the lead visualist, the idea of a musical building in a lot in New Orleans grew into a vision of a modular traveling interactive musical performance that attracted an eclectic range of musicians in its embrace.  Once again, Swoon wholistically summons the creative spirit, points our noses in the direction of recycling what we have, finding value in our stories, working collaboratively as community. Next question?

The project is alive, and you can be a part of it if you like.

Click here to help Swoon and her team of artists and producers to bring art to New Orleans


The Yok and Sheryo in England

The Yok writes to tell us that he and Sheryo were in London town a little while ago with the Propa Stuff team for an event in Cambridge and the White Canvas Project. A pastiche of snippets, a visual and audio travelogue, herewith is a new video record of their work and play there.

BANKSY Entrepreneurs Make NYC Proud

The ongoing “residency” by Street Artist Banksy plods forward into its eleventh day – exactly as long as the U.S. government shutdown. Coincidence?

Each day brings some new news about the phantom Banksy – and if the celebrity-loving culture can’t help itself but to frolic through the streets on a treasure hunt for whatever he announces next on his website, you just KNOW some flimflam man is gonna try to make a buck off of it.  Yes, professor, that’s the genius of capitalism!

And as long as people are breathlessly in pursuit of the new installations and offering myriad opinions congratulating and/or deriding the show master at work in New York, we say “What the Hell!” . It’s a lot cheaper than seeing “Gravity” in 3-D, and at least it gets people off their butts and out in the street!

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“Dithyrambalina” Swoon’s New Musical House in New Orleans

Brooklyn based Street Artist and fine artist Swoon continues her indefatigable exploration of public and private space, sculpture, and culture in her journey on this earth – now she’s in New Orleans with a new project along with a number of local artists and musicians – and you can be a part of it too.


Swoon with her team enjoying a good laugh in New Orleans (photo © courtesy Swoon)

“I have a project underway in New Orleans which is the creation of a musical house — a kind of larger than life music box which will also be a house, an art center, and a celebration of New Orleans — it’s rebuilding, and it’s musical culture. I’m totally excited about it.

brooklyn-street-art-swoon-Dithyrambalina-night-new-orleans-1 Swoon “Dithyrambalina” ; a working model for the “house” (photo © courtesy Swoon)

To see her vision come to completion she has teamed with The New Orleans Airlift, a multi-disciplinary arts organization that produces and facilitates innovative artistic opportunities for New Orleans-based artists locally and around the globe. The end result will be an interactive sculpture or a “house” that will also function as a musical instrument.

According to Delaney Martin, the director of New Orleans Airlift, Swoon’s latest project Dithyrambalina is a collaboration with a growing group of local and national sound artists and musicians. The project; a three-story, forty-two foot high house to be built in New Orleans will function as a permanent, interactive  sound sculpture.  Swoon is calling it “musical architecture”.


Swoon on the streets of New Orleans (photo © courtesy Swoon)

You can be a part of the project if you like by checking out Swoon’s Kickstarter page and giving a couple of bucks. BSA supports this innovative project and encourages you to consider it too.

Click on the link below to continue reading for complete information on this project  and to see more images of Swoon on the streets of New Orleans:

KICKSTARTER: Swoon needs help to complete this project. Please click on the kickstarter link below and donate:

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Street Artist Purth Takes “The Deleras” Cross Country

The fine artist and Street Artist named Purth has been completing an urban installation of her family this winter in Austin, Boston, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, and New Orleans . Not literally her blood relatives, the oversize portraits of females are mirrors of her emotional journey and echoes of relationships she may have experienced coupled with ones she is creating for her future. Coupled with bits of prose that ground them somewhat, these women are strong and searching.

This kind of internal migration is not unusual for a painter in scanning the horizon for something however the actual physical distance run, with it’s long spaces of time and travel in between, is.  It’s also something that Street Artists around the globe are setting a new standard for by completing installations in towns and cities around the globe much like a campaign. In her dog-eared travelogue, Purth carries ruddy hued people from her fluid imagination and raises them amidst abandoned rubble; high enough to be seen from a distance.

brooklyn-street-art-purth-McGrath-1-webPurth “The Deleras” group in an abandoned train yard east of Boston. (Photo © Heather McGrath)

Having completed roughly the first half of the installations for “The Deleras Project”, she shares these images before Purth hits the road again to complete it with installations in Oakland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati.

With the completion of “six months on the road, (with) snow storm & tornadoes endured, a car accident survived, and life affirming environments broken into,” the artist took a moment to chat with Brooklyn Street Art about her project:


Photographer Heather McGrath and a friend assisting Purth after installing The Deleras. East Boston (Photo © Purth)

Brooklyn Street Art: Who are the individuals depicted on your paintings?
Purth: Each piece was created from different sources of inspiration: references of old photographs I’ve been collecting for years, reflections … perhaps of someone’s lover, someone’s child. There will be ten once the work is completed, all of women, young & old, scattered across the country, & each installed with a single stream of thought. The writing is sourced in a very similar way … some pulled from found material, some from the words I was lucky enough to hear uttered; fragments to create a whole. I guess in my mind, they have become the women they are now. Completely independent of the remnants that built them up or who they are to me personally. I hope that for them … the right to stand on their own.


Purth. Detail of Delera. Abandoned brewery directly across from the Roxbury projects in Boston. (Photo © Heather McGrath)



Purth in Cincinnati. A slightly damaged Delera (due to bad climate conditions). She is included “as she is beautiful” (Photo © Zach Fein)

Brooklyn Street Art: Why are you traveling around the country putting them up on abandoned walls and buildings?
Abandoned spaces have a pronounced hum to them. They are shed, in a sense, but are still heavy with profound undercurrents that I believe can be tapped into … & reinvented. It seems completely fitting for me to search out these spaces as possible locations for the work even if they ultimately make home above, along side, or in areas close by. In regards to the distance covered … we have gaps that need to be bridged. I see them as shepherds and black sheep. It’s my responsibility to find them home.


Purth. “Opal” “I swear there are diamonds …. hundreds of them …
everywhere” East Austin, on the corner of E6th & Chicon. (Photo © Andrew Ashmore)


Purth. “Patricia the Beater” “I will grow …fiercely, love”, New Orleans. (Photo © Zack Smith)

Brooklyn Street Art: What is the genesis of this project?
Purth: The first, Delera, was created at an intense, pivotal moment in my life. I became very weak around the end of 2009 and I began painting her like a child screaming at an overbearing parent. In the simplest sense, I was depicting the strength I needed to rediscover in myself. Once she was suspended and I saw her upright for the first time, she literally took my breath away. Something so intimate, so tender, and so sincere towering over me … it was like gold leafing vulnerability and then lighting the shit on fire.

She was the first, the idea for the others quickly followed.


Purth. “Lu” “Take my breath away”. Brooklyn, NY. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)



Purth took this shot a few weeks into her trip hoping this would be her home for the next five months. (photo © Purth)

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QRST and His “Patron”

The Personal Story is the Story.

Often people like to refer to what’s happening on the streets today like it’s a homogenized “scene” in which a number of actors are somehow coordinated and in agreement, acting in concert with a predetermined speed and direction to deliberately affect Street Art’s evolution. While you may spot certain themes and influences that are common within the ever mutating scene, it’s important to know that for an individual street artist, usually the whole experience boils down to the personal story, and everything else that emanates from it.

Street Artist QRST recently completed and installed this piece in New Orleans and it’s topic and symbolism could not possibly be more personally meaningful.


QRST “Patron” Detail (photo © QRST)

His largest piece to date,”Patron” is a tribute to QRST’s father, a biology professor who studied the behavior of bees and wasps and whom he lost to cancer when the artist was a teenager. With this piece QRST attempts to examine “the manner in which a parent, and a father specifically, shapes a person and their view of the world”. He also points out how the memories that we have of the loved ones who have left us can change and fade with time and often all we have left are symbols that helps us connect with them. When QRST talks about this hand painted wheat paste as tribute and catharsis, you can tell that he thinks a lot about his father, his view of the world, and the symbols that remain as he makes his own marks upon it.


QRST “Patron” Detail (photo © QRST)

Here’s how he talks about it;

“I guess I am ‘Canonizing’ him in my mind with symbols that I associate with him. The person that he actually was evaporates over the course of time until he’s just a symbol, in a manner very similar to a saint in Catholicism. New Orleans felt like the perfect place for him with its brand of Catholicism, saint devotion, Caribbean and West African religious aspects all coming together in a strange and magic place with it’s own dark and long held traditions, ceremonies and celebrations. It felt like the ideal, polytheist environment to place my own devotional piece.”


QRST “Patron” Detail (photo © QRST)

“As to the specific iconography, most everything here is deliberate. There are a number of references to sex and virility, the bees being obvious (though also a personal symbol for me; he was a biology professor that specifically studied the behavior of bees and wasps); his hand gesture similar to a sexual reference though he’s actual spelling P and A in sign language, both the first two letters of the word “patron” and also spelling “pa”; his fingers are covered in pollen (which again references bees, but also the male half of a haploid reproductive system). He’s  approximately seven and a half feet tall with the advantage of being about two feet off of the ground to begin with – this also relates to a fatherly figure in general.

He’s standing in a pile of books as a symbol of learning, teaching, and science, but also as a reference to St Albert the Great, the patron saint of science (and also teaching to some extent) who is generally shown with a book or tome. The books with bees and wasps on the covers are self explanatory at this point I suppose. Some aspect of their latin names are included in several instances, which again relates to both science and the canonizing aspects together. “Sceintia vulgaris” is a really poor way to write “common knowledge” in Latin (which works doubly well, as it’s close enough to get the point across without being pedantic) which is again a reference to teaching, or making knowledge less secret or esoteric. This also relates to my entire understanding of the influence that he had on me: science and reason and nature being the benevolent and humbling magic of the universe; The magnificence of the world around us, the cause to celebrate and be reverential, not because someone else claims secret knowledge of an angry deity telling me what to do and what not to do. The book with the hammer and saw is a reference to Joseph, the patron saint of fatherhood, the tree is a reference to family and ancestory.

I don’t think I’ve ever installed anything this large before. All tolled he’s about 9 or 10 feet tall, so the very top is about 11 or 12 feet off of the ground. Thankfully I had two eager assistants, but I still managed to almost fall off of the foot stool we were using resulting in the minor damage to the ‘Q’ in the banner and a tiny bit of damage to one of the books. He feels already well worn in, like he’s been there for some time, which I quite like. Overall I’m fairly pleased. ~ QRST

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Robyn Hasty On The Road Exploring the “Homeland”

Robyn Hasty (AKA street artist Imminent Disaster) has hit the road in pursuit of her Homeland project, a photographic journey through the margins of the Great Recession United States.


Austin, TX (photo © Robyn Hasty)

In these images from Austin, Texas and New Orleans, she begins her portraiture series with what we hope will be many dispatches from the road between now and June, when she expects to complete this exploration of places and people.  When looking at these images, it is helpful to recognize that they are not from an app on an Iphone – the wet-plate process was invented around 1850 and begins with bromide, iodide or chloride salts dissolved in collodian – and gets more complicated from there.  The laborious process requires a thoughtful approach to the subject, and the results can be stunning, mythic, or even heroic in character and atmosphere in Hasty’s  hands.

This cross country “Homeland” trip is financed by donations to her Kickstarter project. While she has reached an initial goal in the first phase, the needs will most likely be double what was originally estimated. Please continue to donate to Robyn’s kick-starter campaign at this link – she still has about 12 days to go before it expires.


Austin, TX  (photo © Robyn Hasty)


New Orleans (photo © Robyn Hasty)


Robyn Hasty. New Orleans (photo © Robyn Hasty)


“Rusty” (photo © Robyn Hasty)

Please click on the link below to donate:

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Street Artist QRST Goes to New Orleans to Give BP and us a “Thwack”

With people actually advocating off-shore drilling as an option to pull down recently inflated gas prices at the pump, this timely reminder from Street Artist QRST talks about April showers nobody looks forward to. On a recent visit to New Orleans, whose gulf coast shore and fragile ecosystem were converted into the Big Greasy last year, he brought along some of his familiar animals. This time he wheat pasted some of them, wearing some familiar symbols, along the Bay water neighborhood, a place that he thinks was a good place contextually for his characters.


QRST “Right Tool for the Job” (photo © QRST)

According to QRST, he doesn’t want to point fingers just at the oil company that created the largest off shore environmental disaster in US history. With the piece called “Complicit”, he thinks everyone involved in an oil-driven economy should consider their role, and it’s effect on animals and the environment.


QRST “Complicit” (photo © QRST)

“This is about my part in everything that happens in the world,” he says. The title is ‘complicit’, the bird is hung with my name, it’s a casualty of my lifestyle. I’m claiming him and I, much like everyone else that wails and gnashes teeth about the state of the world, but whom continue to do essentially nothing.  I flew in an airplane to New Orleans where I climbed into my friend’s car and we drove it to this spot so I could paste his elegy to the wall”.

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