All posts tagged: NYC

Jake Genen: Urban Zoology

Jake Genen: Urban Zoology

New York is a Zoo.

How many times have you heard that? The animal kingdom has nothing on our subways, which can present a parade of species at all hours, from the scaley to the furry to the creatures covered with multi-colored feathers.

Jake Genen. Welling Court Mural Project 2019. Queens, NY. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As anthropomorphic art became a trend in the 2000’s we began to see animals and humans merge in street art. The artist named Vinz Feel Free certainly comes to mind for his sexualized birds. Even early Gaia (circa late 2000s) used pigs, horses, roosters heads on human bodies, and a handful of other artists combined features cleverly on the street as well.

So it is again exciting to find that artist Jake Genen has recently postered his own curious campaign of surrealistic images that look like something from a mad scientist’s laboratory of the late 1800s perhaps. Posed as serious studio photos in period costume, your imagination is set aflame, imagining a world where full-size human-rabbits might sit for a formal shot. Although George Bush spoke of humananimal hybrids in 2006 at his State of the Union speech, we still haven’t seen evidence of such dastardly commingling of species. But keep your eyes open in the subway, bro.

Enjoy these wheat-pasted posters of Mr. Genen’s campaign at this years’ Welling Court community Street Art event in Queens.

Jake Genen. Welling Court Mural Project 2019. Queens, NY. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jake Genen. Welling Court Mural Project 2019. Queens, NY. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jake Genen. Welling Court Mural Project 2019. Queens, NY. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jake Genen. Welling Court Mural Project 2019. Queens, NY. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jake Genen. Welling Court Mural Project 2019. Queens, NY. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jake Genen. Welling Court Mural Project 2019. Queens, NY. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jake Genen. Welling Court Mural Project 2019. Queens, NY. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Please follow and like us:
Read more
BSA Images Of The Week: 03.24.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.24.19

Springtime in New York! Crocuses, tulips, fire extinguisher tags! Ahh the joy of life! Happy Purim to the Jewish neighbors. Saal-e-no mobaarak (سال نو مبارک) Happy New Year to the Iranian neighbors. Yes, this is New York, where we disprove the notion that we can’t all get along. Every dang day. We also sing together on the train when its stuck.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Ardif, BustArt, Clipper, CNO PCU, Drinkala, JPS, Mattewythe, Nanos, Nubian, Pork, Rock, George Standpipe, and The Postman Art.

As the banner says…unidentified artist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pray…for Pork (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Three tacos con Pork por favor…(photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mattewhyte (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Standpipe (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ARDIF (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tank, gas pump. What’s the connection? Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rock in Bilbao (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Drinkala for 212 Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Clipper . Nanos in Bilbao. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bustart (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CNO PCU (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Word! (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nubian (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JPS apparently was in NYC again. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“Personality, I mean that’s what counts, right? That’s what keeps a relationship going through the years. Like heroin, I mean heroin’s got a great fucking personality.” The Postman Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The end (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Bilbao, Spain. March 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Please follow and like us:
Read more
The Postman Art

The Postman Art

The Street Artist called The Post Man is delivering celebrities to the city’s streets lately, usually with a cityscape inside of them. The campaign of high saturation portraits are part of one that is often in street art practice: parading, adoring, exulting our pop culture icons, alive or dead. They somehow represent the culture, these reoccurring personas, these musicians, poets, actors, – they have superseded their categories and become part of our common dreams.

Marilyn, Elvis, Amy, Jimi, Nile Rodgers, Philip Seymour Hoffman (as Truman Capote): some of these are part of a golden circle of intermittent images that year after year we all circulate, share, wear, frame, hang on a wall, send in the mail. This time The Post Man is bringing them directly to the streets for your entertainment.

The Post Man Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Post Man Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Post Man Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Post Man Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Post Man Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Post Man Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please follow and like us:
Read more
The Word On The Street. Oh, Word?

The Word On The Street. Oh, Word?

Sometimes we refer to Street Art as part of an ongoing conversation. Who will argue?

Whether it is clever wordplay, a lovelorn cry, a dire warning, or raging rant, artists are addressing us with their written texts in public space.

RERO. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A reflection of our collective state, our worries, our values, our unquenched fires, when you happen upon these words they are as much a part of the public as they are personal.

Somehow, even if we do not know what they mean exactly, they deserve to be seen and heard. Photographer Jaime Rojo shares with BSA readers some of his recent collected missives on the streets.

What do you have to say?

WRDSMTH. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sara Erenthal. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Venom. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SacSix. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Boring N.Y. Co. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Boring N.Y. Co. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Boring N.Y. Co. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DmirWorld. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DmirWorld. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Loveism. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Tipsy Gardener. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (can’t read the tag). Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Timothy Goodman, Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Captain Eyeliner. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Captain Eyeliner. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Captain Eyeliner. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Wordy Rappinghood, by Tom Tom Club (1981)

Words in papers, words in books
Words on TV, words for crooks
Words of comfort, words of peace
Words to make the fighting cease
Words to tell you what to do
Words are working hard for you
Eat your words but don’t go hungry
Words have always nearly hung me.

Please follow and like us:
Read more
Joe Russo, BSA Wishes And Hopes For 2019

Joe Russo, BSA Wishes And Hopes For 2019

As we draw closer to the new year we’ve asked a very special guest every day to take a moment to reflect on 2018 and to tell us about one photograph that best captures the year for them. It’s a box of treats to surprise you with every day – and conjure our hopes and wishes for 2019. This is our way of sharing the sweetness of the season and of saying ‘Thank You’ to you for inspiring us throughout the year.


Today’s special guest:

Joe Russo, Brooklyn-born former graffiti writer now photographer, Joe captures Street Art, celebrities, big name music heroes, and entertainment portraits ..always on a relentless pursuit to capture the raw energy, beauty, and emotion of everything he shoots.


I first met and photographed Portuguese Graffiti / Street Artist Alexandre “VHILS” Farto on July 11, 2018 in New York City. He was in town to release a special limited edition artist label Hennessy bottle. While here, the good folks at L.I.S.A. Project had lined up a wall at 140 Elizabeth Street for him to create / install his latest mural. The subject of the mural is of the late RUN DMC Jam Master Jay’s son TJ Mizell as part of his ‘Scratching The Surface’ project.

To understand VHILS’ process is something to be seen in person. Using a myriad of power tools, chemicals, chisels, hammers and sometimes even pryotechnics / explosives, he carves through and peels back layer upon layer of brick, stucco, plaster, etcetera to reveal his latest subject matter. The artist believes that ‘destruction is a form of construction’.

I am almost inclined to believe that this philosophy is being mirrored and applied currently in the political chaos that we here as Americans are currently enduring and trudging through…after all of the chaos, digging and probing; when the dust settles…what beauty, infrastructure, message, will be revealed.

Photographer: Joe Russo

Artist: Vhils

Location: Manhattan, NYC

Date: July 2018

Please follow and like us:
Read more
El Sol 25 Mashes Figures on Street Poster Exhibition in The LES

El Sol 25 Mashes Figures on Street Poster Exhibition in The LES

New York Street Artist EL SOL 25 has again delivered a campaign of quality adult illegal Street Art in the city after touring recently through Montreal and the French Quarter in New Orleans. The life-size collaged figures this time are printed and pasted without trimming to the figure, possibly a more slap-dash approach than the past – and definitely quicker.

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

A full collection of them also appeared in one location last month in Tribeca as an open-air exhibition of his work on the walls of the Freeman Alley in The LES of Manhattan. A dead end for pedestrians, the short narrow street takes you instantly back to an earlier New York to see these chaotic charlatans, bare breasted bobs, their limbs and eras arranged dyslexically, impossibly, charmingly. On this “magnet wall” for vandals this is one of the few spots still left in Manhattan where the artistically inclined come to experiment and leave a mark – a gallery, if you will.

Maybe you already knew this, but it only occurred to us during this exhibition and surfing through his ever-entertaining Instagram page that El Sol must be a Kiss fan – or he has been pilfering a stack of Hit Parade or Circus magazines from 1974. Of course the maligned/praised glam/heavy rockers wouldn’t mind putting on a bit of rouge or silver lame, so EL SOL is working with kindred spirits when mashing eras and genres and roles and gender roles.

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

It’s a mangled fashion show for Spring/Summer 2019: Here’s Peter Criss with a Hawaiian Lei around his neck, partially obscuring a Suicidal Tendencies sleeveless T, an undersized fishing cap perched pill-box style on his head, Paul Stanley’s head on an illustrated hockey player torso and bare legged loincloth, and Ace Frehley finishes off the presentation with his piece de resistance of a extended butterfly wings and bold geometric V-neck over a full white fur collared buttery yellow lounging robe over full legged slacks. You don’t get to say “slacks” enough these days. No sign of Gene Simmons, but he is always around the corner, sticking his tongue out, no doubt.

Actually this is all perfect timing as KISS has just announced its “End of the Road Tour” today. Announcing their retirement sounds a little premature considering they are only in their mid-late sixties and the Rolling Stones are still touring regularly while in their nineties, if we’re not mistaken.

Anyway, enjoy this new show in NYC by one of its most imaginative Street Art/graffiti talents.

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25. Freeman Alley, NYC. (photos © Jaime Rojo)

Please follow and like us:
Read more
JR on Houston Wall, at PACE Gallery, on Cover of Time Magazine with “Guns In America”

JR on Houston Wall, at PACE Gallery, on Cover of Time Magazine with “Guns In America”

On a day in the United States with yet another mass shooting, this one at a synagogue in Pittsburg, JR has introduced a new massive artwork that talks about guns in America, a seemingly intractable, unsolvable issue that makes the country rank as one of the most violent year after year.

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Pace Prints. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It’s a metaphor of what’s happening in the US,” says photographer, filmmaker, Street Artist, and social commentator JR, who has just installed a new mural on the Houston Wall in New York City on a sunny Friday where hundreds of curious New Yorkers stop and examine the new artwork while heavy trucks, honking cars, and periodic police and fire alarms whiz by.

The night before at Pace Gallery in Chelsea the conservatively stylish French art phenom hosted an unveiling of the same image, rather a composited video of 245 separately shot moving images, projected across a huge wall in the space for guests to contemplate. A masterstroke of art and sociology, “The Gun Chronicles: A Story of America” presents opinions and perspectives from Americans across the range – hunters, victims, law officers, medical professionals, religious leaders, politicians, activists, surviving family members.

JR x Time “Guns In America” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As we gaze at the quietly glowing and slowly moving images, we comment to the artist that it has a strangely calming and hypnotic quality, considering the range of deep feelings and emotions that the topic of gun violence engenders throughout the country, including many of these subjects. He tells us that he didn’t necessarily know the individual stories of everyone he was filming at the time of the sessions, but “I was aware of the emotions that were happening in many of the subjects. They were quite strong.”

By providing this very thorough collection of voices to be heard inside of one project, the artist enables viewers to truly countenance the complexity of a wrenching topic that much of the talking-head media flatly reduce to its simplest polarity. He walks on the sidewalk and rides in the lift carefully scanning the faces of the subjects and talks with the handful of them who have travelled here with him to watch the installation. In a way, JR is doing the job that many have been unsuccessful at; contemplating the vast grey area and finding common ground.

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Pace Prints. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: When you went into the project did you have one idea of the issue, but after completing it something perhaps changed in your mind about it? Was there something voiced by others that helped you understand how volatile the issue is?
JR: I think that when I got into this project I knew very little about the issue except what I heard in the media and it was really hard for me to understand, being French. To see how little kids could have access to such firearms and to see that such drama can happen across the country. So I really went naively trying to understand from every angle, every perspective, trying to learn from the people’s narrative, from the people’s story, and to hear what they have to say.

And it is interesting because you find a lot of common ground between people. There is fear, fear of the other, what people might say about them or about their beliefs and actually what I realized when you listen to a lot of the stories was that a lot of people would agree on a common ground that certain people should not have access to certain firearms and they would almost all agree to a certain regulation. It’s just that that conversation is not really happening. So I hope that this mural can be one part of starting that conversation between people.

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A collaborative project with TIME magazine, the three-page fold out cover of the November 5th edition features a carefully diagrammed listing of all the participants on the reverse side. The website created for the project gives more depth into each individual.

By clicking on the person a visitor to the site will learn their name, age, and position professionally or in life – along with a concise recorded statement from the person. The voices are resolute, halting, tender, defiant, wisened, sobbing, proud.

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The editor of the magazine Edward Felsenthal, recalls on the website that the cover of the magazine in June of 1968 also featured a contemporary artist for that time, Roy Lichtenstein, who “marked a series of heart-breaking assassinations” with his artwork on the cover with the title “The Gun in America.”

The artwork now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and is as relevant 50 years later as the day it was published, with the new pluralic title of “Guns in America” today possibly referring to the measureless proliferance of weapons in the US over the intervening five decades, the $13.5 billion dollar revenue of guns and ammunition sold annually and the 263,223 full-time jobs related to the firearm industry. Guns are America.

“I shoot competitively all over the country… ,” says Rob Vadasz, 44, “a firearm is as engrained in our culture as almost any other part of the American story and it’s not something that can be turned off,” says a stern looking white man with short hair who is listed on the website as an agent for the U.S. Border Patrol in Tampa, Florida.

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Amy Dillon, 38

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and firearms instructor / Summerville, South Carolina

“We’ve been afforded certain rights by our constitution..”

Omni Jahwar, 17

High school student / Grand Prairie,Texas

“I go to school fearing that my life may be taken in Pre-Calculus or Astronomy..”

Candace Fleming, 40

Youth mentor and training director, Urban Specialists / Desoto, Texas

“My first encounter with guns was when my father was shot and killed in the head. I was five years old..”

Sung Song, 42

Respiratory therapist and U.S. Army veteran / Dallas, Texas

“My experience in the Army and in the military has helped shaped how I feel and think about the gun control debate..”

Brittany Fairchild, 30

Emergency-room nurse / Dallas, Texas

“I was in charge on the night of the police shootings. It is a very difficult subject to talk about. It’s a night that I will never forget.”

Michael Foreman, 65

Trauma surgeon / Dallas, Texas

“I deal with it professionally, taking care of victims of gunshot violence… I also am what most people would refer to as a “gun nut”.

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dianna Muller from Tulsa, Oklahoma stands in front of the JR mural on Houston Street:

“As a woman I really feel like the bottom line is, the gun issue is a woman’s issue, it’s the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if a 250 pound man is trying to kick in my door and eventually does, I have a way to defend myself. I don’t have to be a victim, and I do not have to get raped, and I do not have to get murdered, I do not have to get beat up. I don’t want that on anybody so I really want everybody to know how to protect themselves”.


JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Lauren Hartnett of Staten Island, New York stands in front of the JR mural on Houston Street:

“As an advocate for the second amendment it gives me a different perspective on a lot of other issues that have been brought up and are a high topic of discussion. One of those being feminism and women empowerment, and in my opinion nothing is more empowering, or nothing screams feminism like a woman being capable and able to take care of herself and protect herself and her family”.


JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Antong Lucky from Dallas, Texas stands in front of the JR mural on Houston Street:

“Once I got out of prison I began a war to end the cycle of gangs and guns in our community. I wanted people to understand that we got a lot of stuff in common than we do against each other and that we needed to work together. A lot of times in this culture you can never find the common thread, the common cause because we are so busy screaming our point and trying to be right. I wanted to make sure that for me and for my kind in order to be able to find the right solutions you have to be able to listen, you have to be able to talk and you have to be able to find a common ground and agree on a common ground.”


JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. The team who helped JR installed the mural on the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. JR shown here with Jessica Goldman Srebnick of Goldman Global Arts and owner of the Houston Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR x Time “Guns In America”. Houston / Bowery Wall. New York City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


For more on this project and to know about each of the subjects featured on the photograph and to listen to each of their stories and opinions on the issue click on the link below:

http://time.com/guns-in-america/

 

 

Please follow and like us:
Read more
“Banana Kelly Double Dutch” Returns in the Bronx : John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres.

“Banana Kelly Double Dutch” Returns in the Bronx : John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres.

They’re doing Double Dutch again up in the South Bronx. Way up.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Restored to look like new, this is the third time that La Freeda, Jevette, Towana and Staice have taken their rope jumping game to this wall on Kelly Street and the spirit of their game and the culture are here as well. Based on the actual girls as models casted, the sculptors John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres recently restored them and placed them on the same wall that they first appeared on in 1982, a moment from New York’s history.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. The original installation of “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Their art practice in the public space has a fully engaged, activist quality – insisting as it does to herald the everyday heroes in a culture that tends to reserve public space to elevate figures from the military, the church, politics, literature and Pop Culture. Even the name of this piece refers to the community group that hosted the sculpture for many years, Banana Kelly.

With a somewhat radical art practice that claims public sphere for the public for forty years, the duo have made casts of people in the neighborhood for decades, in the process forming long relationships with the sitters and their families, and their extended families.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A curiosity for many on the street at first, a lot of folks first became familiar with the work as it was being performed – whether in workshops like the one Torres first saw Ahearn conducting in the storefront windows of the famous art space Fashion Moda or later at numerous block parties around the neighborhood.

Owing to his family connection to a sculpture factory, Torres had knowledge that Ahearn was missing and their yin/yang temperaments created a professional partnership balance that eventually has landed their work in places as far as Brazil, Taiwan, and Orlando, where Torres moved a number of years ago with his family.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

In the intervening years the Ahearn/Torres partnership has garnered attention in significant gallery and museum shows as a sociological hybrid, a captured record of life and culture that favors the unfamous, occasionally the famous. Humble as they are about their accomplishments and refreshingly reticent to be boastful, their combined projects have been collected by heavy hitters in the Street Art, hip-hop and contemporary art world.

Their sculptural portraits of the street have also been featured in exhibitions in the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Bronx Museum of the Arts , “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1, New York. In an interview with BSA Ahearn gives credit to his creative partner for some recent shows including “his two homages to his Uncle Raul’s Factory in the “Body” Show at the Met Breuer, and his magnificent funky “Ruth Fernandez” figure in Jeffrey Deitch’s “People” Show.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

What’s remarkable about this piece is not only that it has survived the constant changing of the New York City skyline but also the fact that photographer Martha Cooper was on hand to capture the bookends of the Double Dutch installation – the first one in 1982 and this new one in 2018. An anthropologist and ethnographer by heart and training, Ms. Cooper also captured many of the surrounding people and activities in the neighborhood during both of the installations and she generously shares them here with BSA readers to give a further appreciation of the time passed and the cultural relevance of the duo’s work.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA asked Mr. Ahearn a few questions and he provided some great insights into the production and life behind these Double Dutch girls.

BSA: Do you see girls and women playing Double Dutch much in the neighborhood this summer?
John Ahearn: Double Dutch has been a classic rope jumping style for a while, the double rope keeps things moving. It sometimes seems to be always be in fashion.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Your personal relationships with people in the neighborhood have figured prominently in your subjects. How does time change your perception of the original works?
John Ahearn: All the sculptures are some kind of collaboration with the specific people and the neighborhood. Time tests the validity of the intention and the expression. Art can lose meaning and look silly, or it can increase in its purpose and gain poignancy.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. The original stars of “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Your work captures so much action! Is that a particular goal for you?
John Ahearn: When I first saw Marty’s profound image of the real four girls in front of their sculpture, taken when it was first installed in 1982, I was shocked! I had emphasized the unique quality of each separate girl but Marty captured them as one piece, engaged in a solemn ritual of play, with all heads bowed to the center. I was moved to see her vision and it took me a few decades to look at the actual sculpture with full confidence.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. The classic photo of “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1982. (photo © Martha Cooper)

BSA: Why is it important to you to make art accessible to the people on the street?
John Ahearn: I need to feel that my perception includes the point of view of others.

BSA: What inspired you to refurbish this installation and how did you find La Freeda, Jevette, Towana, and Staice?
John Ahearn: I believe the girls are La Freeda Mincey (whose mother still lives in the building and came out to watch us reinstall the girls) Javette Potts, whose mother created the original girl’s dance group) Tawana Brown, and Staice Seabrine (with whom we are more regularly in touch)

In 1981, we were considering our first neighborhood commission at Fox St. and Intervale Ave. We took a composite 180 degree photo of the area. On all sides were burned out buildings, but one wall popped out in perfect condition with a surrounding block that was completely together. That was “Banana Kelly”, a community group committed to survival and improving the area, with the Potts family at the center of things.

John Ahearn’s drawing of Martha’s photo. 2011. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Later there was a block party at Kelly St. that featured an “African Dance” group of girls, including Javette Potts, the granddaughter of Mr. Potts. It was at that time that we had a notion to have the four girls play Double Dutch for the image.

This is actually the second time we have repaired the sculptures. By 1986, the ravages tearing up the Bronx had reached the little park that Banana Kelly had built on the corner. All the bricks were torn up, and some kids were heaving them at the Double Dutch sculptures. Parts of the figures were breaking.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 1986. (photo © Martha Cooper)

At the same time, Rigoberto’s Uncle Raul’s Statuary Factory had burned down and all our molds related to the three murals had been stored there and were lost. So we removed the Double Dutch sculptures from the wall, and took them to our studio to restore them. We reinstalled them higher than before with a slightly different design.

Meanwhile, the devastated block which Banana Kelly faces (south) was transformed into a huge park. All the buildings had been torn down heading north to Longwood Avenue. The design of the 2nd version of the sculptures (see Marty’s photo) looks very nice to me now, but it had always annoyed me.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. A gallery version of “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” at Alexander & Bonin Gallery in Manhattan. NYC 2014. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The tiny “park” site at Kelly St. eventually was fenced off and abandoned, awaiting future use. Sometimes old sculptures in their neighborhood locations can be very satisfying and true. But it always seemed that the Double Dutch should be returned to their original design.

Recently the lot was sold to the new Catholic Nursing facility next door, to be rebuilt as their parking area. We wanted very much to keep the sculptures on the same wall and this seemed like the right moment.

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. La Freeda, Javette, Towana and Staice back at the studio waiting to be restored. NYC 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

TATS CRU homage to John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. Detail. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres. “Banana Kelly Double Dutch” The Bronx, NYC. 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 


Frankie Smith
“Double Dutch Bus” 1981

” ‘Double Dutch’ is a tribute to all the girls in the world, especially the girls on my block. I’ve been watching them for 25 years. They use their mothers’ clotheslines to play the game – it’s an art. It’s a tribute to them – they’re really good at it.” – Frankie Smith to Dick Clark on American Bandstand.

Malcom McLaren
“Double Dutch” 1983

All over the world high school girls
Take to the ropes and turn them slow
Starts a beat and a loop
They skip and jump through the hoop
They might break and they might fall
About the gals from New York City
They just start again
Start again

 

Please follow and like us:
Read more
One Night in NYC with 1UP, Martha Cooper, Ninja K : Book Release and Movie Screening

One Night in NYC with 1UP, Martha Cooper, Ninja K : Book Release and Movie Screening

Berlin’s notorious 1UP Crew hits Ridgewood Saturday night along with graffiti/Street Art patron saint Martha Cooper to celebrate the first city in their US tour for their new book with co-shooter Ninja K.

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

A hot summer night pop-up is available only one night at Superchief and we’ll be there with you to eyeball the new book, get it signed, and screen the new 1UP movie. Bring your juice box kiddies!

We reported HERE on the launch of this book in Berlin at Urban Spree back in May. New York peeps have an opportunity to see a Pop-Up exhibition and book signing at Superchief Gallery in Ridgewood, NY this Saturday, July 21st. Click HERE for all the details…

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

 

Martha Cooper & Ninja K: One Week With 1UP opens this Saturday at Superchief Gallery in Ridgewood, NYC. Click HERE for all the details.

Please follow and like us:
Read more
BSA Images Of The Week: 07.08.18 Selections From Welling Court 2018

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.08.18 Selections From Welling Court 2018

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

“Anxiety is normal in an unjust society” says the new piece by Disordered in Welling Court, Queens, a working class neighborhood of New York where the latest Ad Hoc mural party was held a couple of weekends ago under the direction of Garrison Buxton. He started this festival with his former partner Alison Buxton nine years ago to create community here with a number of artists from across the graffiti/Street Art spectrum, and it has always been a great day to see families and kids interacting with artists on the street.

Anxiety rings true when the giveaways to business interests for nearly four decades under both dominant parties have gradually placed folks like these in this neighborhood constantly in fear of missing the rent, the grocery bill, the car payment, the cost of providing for their kids.

Some companies adore this dynamic exactly the way it is because when you are always feeling anxiety about losing your job and worried about paying the bills you won’t speak up to notify anyone when your boss is dumping poison in the river or placing his hand upon your seat. Imagine working so hard and getting paid so little that you are still relying on public assistance, as Walmart is known for now. Anxiety is normal for many today, and it is reflected in the art on the streets as well.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Cern, Caleb Neelon, Col Wallnuts, Damien Mitchell, Daze, Disordered, FKDL, Hellbent, JCBK, Joe Iurato, John Fekner, Lena McCarthy, LMNOPI, Maria Wore, Michel Velt, Never, NYC Hooker, Praxis, Queen Andrea, Robots Will Kill, Rubin415, Seeone, and Toofly.

Top image: Joe Iurato . Rubin 415. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Fekner. Don Leicht.  Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Disordered. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Michel Velt. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Queen Andrea. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lena McCarthy . Caleb Neelon. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daze . Crash. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JCBK. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Praxis. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Never. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hellbent. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Col Wallnuts . WaneOne . EpicUno. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hooker. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SeeOne. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toofly. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Robots Will Kill. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cern. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FKDL. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Damien Mitchell. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maria Wore. Welling Court 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please follow and like us:
Read more
Tristan Eaton and Summer “Intermission” on the Bowery/Houston Wall

Tristan Eaton and Summer “Intermission” on the Bowery/Houston Wall

And now its time for a mid-year intermission to pause and reflect upon the events that have happened in the first act. We’ve had plenty of treachery, intrigue, jailbirds and back alley suspense. Clearly it is time for a serendipitous summer romance, with Tristan Eaton as director.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An historic reenactment of sorts, this scene is usually full of its own drama; the painting of the Houston Wall in Manhattan appears once again on this drive-by screen, crammed with special effects as multi-talent Tristan Eaton explodes for days with the coursing traffic roaring and halting and honking and rumbling behind him.

The action unfolds and cameras are ablaze as documentors are there to capture it, including the stalwart Martha Cooper, the in-flight Zane Meyer, and our own private-eye Jaime Rojo.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan’s cunning recombinative practice of recalling images from pop, television, cinema, and advertising languages, selecting many of their most emotionally charged aspects in exquisite fullness is all leveled here with a tropical lushness almost never found in this forbidding city, safely encased behind a protective gloss.

It’s the nostalgic stuff of marquees and beige canvas directors chairs, patterned jacquard wall tapestry, crimson velvet curtains, butter soaked popcorn, sticky floors and a certain smokey Saturday matinee reefer madness. This all once reigned in cinematic and tawdry Manhattan; mixing showgirls and space scientists and dames with sex-workers and 25 cent peepholes. Of course, the glam and the grind are all still here in Gotham – they’ve just become uberized and swiped right.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Eaton’s influences from Sunset Boulevard and Detroit’s motor city grit translate well here in the thick of our own version of mid-summers’ insouciance. It’s all hustle, hormones, and a finely pulsating particulate matter that sticks to you; a humid cloud of complex desires clinging to your skin, now flickering in warm succulence as you ride by on your wheels.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our guy on the street rolled past the one-man show many times over the past couple of weeks to check on progress and mingle with the ever-more-gilded gentry that frequent the sidewalks/runways here. Cuffed tonal highwaters, PVC wedges and fugly white dad sneakers aside, New Yorkers still walk the walk and have a certain respect for their Street Art, if only to pose before it for the 1,000th selfie.

The affable showman Eaton is not shy for the endlessly inquisitive fan, either – ready to layer on additional color and texture. For this particular intermission, our summer romance will continue long into autumn’s golden glow.

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton photo bombs Jessica Goldman, Sheryo and Martha Cooper. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tristan Eaton. Houston/Bowery Wall. Manhattan, NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Please follow and like us:
Read more
BSA Images Of The Week: 07.01.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 07.01.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

This week’s edition of BSA Images Of The Week is heavy with messages, especially on the subject of refugee children and our responsibility to keep them safe. Family Values, as we once heard on a near daily basis here, are apparently not to be mentioned when applied to certain families according to the people pulling children away from immigrants – certain immigrants anyway.

New York streets had people marching yesterday about these families, and our top Street Art image by Ernest Zacharavic features little kids set afloat figuratively. As Mexico elects a new president today, the US Supreme Court looks rightward with Kennedy’s resignation last week. Meanwhile the country will celebrate “liberty and justice for all” this week – and the streets are thick with politics like we haven’t had in a while.

On a practical, art-making level, we have also noticed the prevalence of wheat-pasted posters on the streets this spring/summer. Whether mass-printed or labor-intensive one-off paintings, wheatpasting is a practice that has been a staple since we began documenting the arts on the streets worldwide. We are glad to see that the ‘paster, like the humble one-color stencil, hasn’t lost its appeal in the face of the current fascination with big murals.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adage, AJ LaVilla, Baron Von Fancy, Boutros Buotros Bootleg, C3, Damon NYC, Drsc0, Ernest Zacharevic, Indie184, Jason Naylor, Jeff Henriquez, LMNOPI, Praxis, Simon (Xi An), REVOK, Tristan Eaton, Unapologetically Brown Series, and Voxx.

Top image: Ernest Zacharevic sets these kids afloat in Manhattan (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ernest Zacharevic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

AJ Lavilla (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Unapologetically Brown Series (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Indie184 for 212Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adage (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Damon NYC for 212Arts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jeff Henriquez (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Baron Von Fancy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

VOXX (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Boutros Buotros Bootleg (photo © Jaime Rojo)

REVOK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

\

Adage (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Simon (Xi An) somewhere in China. (photo © Simon)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The wheat pastes above and below remind us of the early works of Faile and Bast…on the streets of Williamsburg. It’s fun to see their influence on the streets today.

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

drsc0 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Praxis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C3 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. An spectator taking in Tristan Eaton’s crafty work at the Houston/Bowery Wall. NYC. June 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Please follow and like us:
Read more