All posts tagged: NYC

Moniker Art Fair: Scenes From Behind The Scenes

Moniker Art Fair: Scenes From Behind The Scenes

“I try to make sure I’m presenting work from artists not necessarily because they’re popular,” Tina Ziegler told us a few weeks ago, “but because they are or have been influential and/or fundamental to urban & contemporary art’s growth.”

Herakut. Detail. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

That may explain why D*Face was nearly sprinting to his wall in Greenpoint yesterday while Egle Zvirblyte was mounting the brightly sexified animals  around the bar and the Skewville twins were sweating the details on their installation on a roll-down gate. Of course, since they are actual Brooklyn Street Artists the bros appeared as cool as the elevated JMZ train with the windows open.

For that matter, the action inside the exhibition spaces was also jamming, including Jasmine from Herakut, who was painting a passage in her distinctive handstyle across a booth here in this former merchant marine factory warehouse.

Hera of Herakut at work. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s the first Moniker International Art Fair in Brooklyn for the next four days with 27 exhibitors, a number of “artist residencies”, live mural painting, music performances by Princess Nokia, a “Street Heroines” talk with documentary director Alexandra Henry and a 5 Pointz history presentation with Meres One.

As the preparations for Moniker’s debut in NYC got underway we visited the location and found an energetic team busy at work helping the many artists and the galleries who represent them transfixed with the task of setting up shop, build the installations and paint the walls outside. Here’s a peek for you.

Jose Mendez at work. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jose Mendez. Detail. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at work for Moniker Art Fair in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face at work for Moniker Art Fair in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The amazing team at Swoon’s Heliotrope Foundation setting up. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skewville. Detail. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASVP setting up. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brusk. Detail. Jonathan LeVine Projects booth. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Derek Gores setting up. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MeresOne. Detail. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bom.K Detail. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Egle Zvirblyte. Detail. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Egle Zvirblyte. Detail. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Le Gran Jeu. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tina Ziegler. Chief instigator. Fair engine. Founder. Moniker Art Fair. Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Princess Nokia Putting Everybody in the Mood for Spring and Summer in Brooklyn


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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.22.18 – Focus on BKFOXX

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.22.18 – Focus on BKFOXX

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. Normally on Sunday we give you a hit parade of different pieces on the street so you can stay connected with the movement on the street. This Sunday we are looking at work-in-progress images of just one large piece by New York Street Artist BKFoxx, one artist of the current mural-making generation who draw inspiration from advertising, pop culture and photography, melding them together into a polished photo-hyperrealism.

An occasionally formally trained artist who joins the many professionally skilled artists who have put in the time on the current legal mural wall scene. Now travelling the world to paint at festivals as well as putting up walls in NYC, she is frank about her current home in Long Island and her roots, recently telling Graffiti Street “I’m from the suburbs. I was raised in a culture vacuum, so I’m just trying to learn as I go. It’s terrible.”

BKFOXX. Detail. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is a disarming admission perhaps for the hardcore graffiti scene that once characterized the New York street, but an otherwise perfect position for a globalized cultural hierarchy that been flattened by ubiquitous digital communications that obliterate boundaries. It’s a healthy message: we’re all trying to learn so bring your best game.

We have found a certain refreshing straightforward attitude among the late Millenials and first outliers of Gen Z that is not defiant to that “old” street order necessarily. Instead they seem ready to face the New Order of late capitalism with the communication tools that they have gathered and refined along the way.

BKFOXX. WIP. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While there has been a lot of hand-wringing by critics from the 1st wave (80s-90s) and 2nd wave (90s-00-10s) of graffiti/Street Art over the exploding mural movement for reasons rooted in hard-won scrappy street cred (and some nostalgia) no one is debating the New Muralisms’ powerful impact worldwide on public space, even if there is not yet appreciable critical discourse. From the old rebels turned gatekeepers there is a guarded and qualified appreciation yes, but probably not enough props are given for the new space that this muralism is creating for more artists and voices.

With a commercial eye toward the natural world and larger societal issues BKFoxx chooses subjects for their emotional impact and their ability to translates easily for an image-savvy audience whose endless hours of personal screen entertainment has produced an expectation for big budget Hollywood and consumer culture slickness with high-production values.

BKFOXX. WIP. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With much consideration and dedication to the craft of painting as well as content, this can be seen as a departure from the hit-and-run Street Art culture of a decade ago, one that can only be accomplished with many hours and days on a legal mural.

BKFoxx sees with a photographers eye and sometimes directs the image to address subtext, even with biting critique: an American movie/tv culture that normalizes violence, the consumer acquisition mindset that reduces human interactions to superficiality, our disrespect for the same Earth that we depend on. It’s a credence built around the metaphoric image, whether with direct agenda or not, and BKFoxx is gifted at crafting some the strongest ones to communicate.

BKFOXX. WIP. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with her this week about her newest mural in Brooklyn, a fictionally realistic scene of actual bear cubs looking with curiosity at a patched up toy bear. We asked her a few questions in between her breaks.

BSA: The animals depicted in your work have the feel as if you personally know them. Do you know some of them?
BKFoxx: Some of them. The less wild ones. I try to take my own photos as much as possible, but it’s tough when you’re painting a grizzly bear.

BSA: How do you communicate with animals – through conversation?
BKFoxx: You communicate with animals the same way you do with someone who doesn’t speak a word of your language. And it’s difficult, but when you have a moment of understanding between you, it’s one of the best feelings.

BKFOXX. WIP. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: What do you think will happen when wildlife runs out of space because of increasing encroachment of human displacement of their habitat?
BKFoxx: I don’t know. I hope it doesn’t come to that. I think the thing people seem to miss is that their environment is everything around them, not one person or one place, but everyone and everything. Nobody lives in a vacuum. We are all affected by the world, no matter how far it seems from us sometimes. Taking care of the environment is taking care of ourselves.

BSA: There’s realism in your work but it goes beyond that. Your pictures are often imbued with social commentary. How did you become interested in social issues and why is so important for you to give them voice on your work?
BKFoxx: Social issues are just human issues. I paint things that I think, that I feel, affect me or people I care about. It’s actually hard for me to paint sometimes unless I am able to speak through it, I need to feel like there’s a reason for the work. And like I mentioned in the last answer, your environment is everyone. If I can improve the lives of the people around me, the quality of my own life will improve. And the world is so small these days, everyone is not too far away.

BKFOXX. WIP. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: There’s also a mild sense of humor in your work, a gentle wit about it. Do you agree and if so can you talk about it?
BKFoxx: Part of the challenge for me is being able to say something important and profound but also keep the image itself light. I want you to want to look at it and find it aesthetically pleasing, even it’s about something kind of negative. And I like things that are tongue in cheek and clever – life without a sense of humor is pretty terrible.

BSA: What is the biggest challenge to painting outdoors in the city besides the weather?
BKFoxx: Being (usually alone) in an uncontrolled environment and trying to focus all my energy on working at the same time. And honestly, being a female. But only because people take so many more liberties when interacting with women than men. I know people, mostly strangers wouldn’t be sneaking up on me and hovering a foot above my shoulder or grabbing me for a photo if I were a dude.

BKFOXX. WIP. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Who was your biggest influence when you were growing up?
BKFoxx: My dad. He is one of the best people I’ve ever met, everyone loves him – I’m very lucky to have him. He has always been incredibly supportive of anything I’ve wanted to do, and he really genuinely doesn’t care what I do as long as I am happy.

We used to play John Madden football on our Sega when I was a little kid. He would beat the crap out of me, and then at 60-0 he’d let me score and pretend I did it myself. I’d celebrate for a second, and then catch him smiling and throw a tantrum that he gave me any free points, which then made him laugh really hard. He’s my guy.

“Thanks so much to everyone who came to the opening and to everyone who supports my work!”

BKFOXX. WIP. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: When you paint you listen to music. What’s on your play list?
BKFoxx: All kinds of stuff, depends on my mood. I have a classical playlist, a hip hop playlist, an alternative playlist – just having something going helps me focus and block out the world around me a little bit.

BSA: Have you ever lived someplace else besides Long Island?
BKFoxx: I was born on Long Island and have always lived there – although I won’t always live in NY. I keep moving closer to the boroughs but New York City life is expensive and small – I need some space for paint. So sometimes I feel like I live in Brooklyn during the day and sleep on Long Island at night.


BKFOXX. Detail. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BKFOXX. JMZ Walls. Bushwick, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



LowBrow Artique is currently hosting a small exhibition by BKFoxx and she has created a limited edition print called “The Long Road Ahead ” for it.

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.15.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.15.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. First we have a series of politically themed and powerfully timely images of ICY & SOT installations from their involvement with the third edition of the Crystal Ship Art Festival in Ostend, Belgium. With forced immigration caused by the war industry providing armaments to everyone including your cousin Judy, the even more disgusting flipside of all this is the xenophobic nationalism that is now spreading in various countries, treating refugees and immigrants like crap.

So Icy & Sot give us here the security fences that create prisons for people to keep them inside and out and, perhaps taking a page from Ai WeiWei, a floating vest installation in the local park – complete with the artists in a boat and daffodils on the grassy knolls. Right after that we have another life-vest themed piece, a mural by Gaia entitled “Requiem for Migrants, Requiem for the Liberal Order”.

Thanks to photographer Butterfly for her contributions here.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Barlo, Gaia, Icy & Sot, Not Art, Sidka Nubian, and the Reading Ninja

Top Image: The Reading Ninja (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Ostend, Belgium.  (photo ©Butterfly)

Icy & Sot. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Icy & Sot. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Icy & Sot. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Leopold Park. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Icy & Sot. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Leopold Park. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Icy & Sot. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Leopold Park. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Icy & Sot. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Leopold Park. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Icy & Sot. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Leopold Park. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Gaia. “Requiem for Migrants, Requiem for the Liberal Order”. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Gaia. “Requiem for Migrants, Requiem for the Liberal Order”. The Crystal Ship Art Festival 2018. Ostend, Belgium. (photo ©Butterfly)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sidka Nubian (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NOT ART (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Barlo. “The Pet of the Archeologist” HK Walls 2018. Hong Kong.  (photo © Barlo)

Barlo. “The Pet of the Archeologist” HK Walls 2018. Hong Kong.  (photo © Barlo)

Untitled. Spring 2018. NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pejac: An Illusionary Tree Grows from the Bricks In Brooklyn

Pejac: An Illusionary Tree Grows from the Bricks In Brooklyn

The Spanish Street Art illusionist Pejac is in Brooklyn for a hot minute and he has been knocking back bricks to create a reversed relief that catches the attention of people passing by. The wall is a brick façade typical of many Brooklyn neighborhoods, but this one appears to have grown a tree this week.

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Perhaps he chose this symbol because the promise of spring has inspired him, or because this Bushwick neighborhood remains industrial and would benefit from some more of nature’s influence. For us it’s all about context so it is good to see that a tree grows in Brooklyn.

 

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pejac. The Bushwick Collective. Brooklyn, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.25.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.25.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Sharp tongued and defiant, that’s the way we like our young people, and Gen Z has a lot of loud mouthed articulate and savvy ones who are not going to be fooled out of gun control, if yesterdays marches in NYC and hundreds of cities are any indication. As Spring officially arrived in New York on Thursday, we are expecting even more action in the streets from artists and activists each passing day now.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets (and elsewhere), this week featuring Adam Fujita, Anthony Lister, Balu, Banksy, Baron Von Fancy, Bifido, Dain, Dede, Gane, GlossBlack, Hoxxoh, JerkFace, Kuma, Lacky, Nitzan Mintz, Paper Skaters, Pussy Power Posse, Ratanic, RESP, Shock, and Texas.

Top Image: GlossBlack in collaboration with Klughaus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gane . Texas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Baron Von Fancy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Balu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Balu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Balu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Balu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lacky. Built to Mob (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dede . Nitzan Mintz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Resp . Shock . Kuma (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy no more… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

08AM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We can’t read the signature on this massive wall. Help please. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pussy Power Posse (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ratanic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jerkface (photo © Jaime Rojo)

HOXXOH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bifido “We Are Only Guests” in Volos, Greece. (photo © Bifido)

Paper Skaters (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. New York City. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.18.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.18.18


BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

A quick recap of two big stories of the week in cold New York: Revok’s lawsuit against retailer H&M for using his work, done illegally, in an ad campaign was answered this week by a counter lawsuit from them. It set off a backlash among Street Artists on social media and elsewhere, garnering a large number of stories in media outlets large and small. Others have said everything we would have – except that whether this suit is withdrawn or not, there is still question whether the matter of illegally done artworks will be copyright protected in the future or not. We like how Juxtapoz has covered the topic HERE.

Secondly, Banksy has been in New York pulling our chain again, putting up new works in the city and announcing them on his social media, then putting them up without announcing them? Regardless, photographers and fans are racing to capture images. Who knows how long this visit lasts or what trick is up his sleeve next.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets (and elsewhere), this week featuring Adam Fujita, Banksy, Don Rimx, Hox Hoh, K-Nor, Naomi Rag, Timothy Curtis, and Zehra Doğan

Top Image: Banksy? We’ll have to wait…(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy. Detail.  A tribute. A plea. A denunciation. A well used example of the artist’s platform to bring awareness of the plight of artists who dare to set themselves free with their art. Depicted here is Ms. Zehra Doğan an editor and journalist from Turkey. She is presently serving time in jail for painting Turkish flags on a painting showing destroyed buildings and posting the painting on Social Media.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy. Free Zehra Doğan. NYC Houston/Bowery Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy. Detail.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Naomi Rag. Red Rose in Spanish Harlem. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
It is a special one, it’s never seen the sun
It only comes out when the moon is on the run
And all the stars are gleaming
It’s growing in the street right up through the concrete
But soft and sweet and dreaming…” Jerry Leiber & Phil Spector

Naomi Rag. Hope for the Spring… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toy Ass…Toys are Not Us… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

HOX XOH (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita (photo © Jaime Rojo)

K-Nor (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Timothy Curtis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles…Home Run… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. March 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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DAZE: “Daily Commute”, Solo in NYC

DAZE: “Daily Commute”, Solo in NYC

Most people commute to and from work. Some spend hours caught in rush hour traffic, trapped in their cars. Others use their bikes or skateboards or a bobbing, roaring ferry. Some lucky ones just walk. In New York City most commuters use the subway and the buses to get to their offices, kitchens, stores, classrooms, campuses, and after a while, the commute disappears.

On trains and buses we are packed like sardines, avoiding eye contact, keeping to our phones and books or staring at our shoes or out a window. Maybe you get a seat, otherwise you sway back and forth tethered to a silver bar, banging into others, observing or zoning out.
On your commute you may have serendipity, a discovery, a newly germinated idea.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Subway Interior” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You may feel ill, or fall asleep, or become riveted by an evesdropped conversation. Children’s faces pressed against windows, parents catching a catnap, helping with homework, putting on eyeliner. Actors practice lines, others rehearse standup routines. Lust is awakened, love blooms, loneliness aches.

The act of commuting in NYC is rarely solitary. Or quiet.

A lifelong New Yorker, artist Daze has found inspiration in the train lines the way many authors do, relishing and memorizing details. Since hitting up trains in the golden 70s-80s era, he has never lost his love of the daily commute and the millions of idiosyncracies. Now in his first ever solo exhibition in New York City, Daze returns to the subways and streets for inspiration, bringing vibrancy and color and a few ragged edges.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “242nd Street” Detail. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For “Daily Commute” the artist revisits some familiar spots, paying tribute to known and unknown characters in a familiar way of someone who knows the city very well, without condescension or sentimentality but with the respect for a city that takes you and shakes you and throws you away and embraces you and comforts you and reads you a line from a play or a poem. If you’re lucky.

We spoke to the artist about his love for his city and his experience on its streets:

BSA: You have never lost your love for New York and its public spaces. Can you talk about something that stays true about the city decade after decade?

DAZE: I think of New York as always being a rather inclusive and diverse city. It has a long history of both that continues till this day. These are a couple of the ingredients that would make it difficult for me to live anywhere else.In choosing subject matter I am always searching for examples that represent these qualities.

BSA: The palette for many of these new works is bright and saturated with vibrant color, even though the actual city can be more subdued and grey. Is this emotion, or possibly imagination at work?

DAZE: I actually have two approaches to creating the “look” of my paintings. One is a more monochrome affect which is usually in greys,whites,and blacks. They are part of a series I call the” Grey Scale paintings” although because there are little bits of color they are not truly monochromatic. These paintings are based on black and white photo’s that I shoot on film.

The other approach is to use make work that is more color saturated. I begin with a color that will establish the overall look or mood of the painting and then work from there. I think that even though my paintings are very urban there can sometimes be something tropical about them.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Midtown” 2016.  P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Rush Hour Reflection” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Blue Portal” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: When looking at many of the paintings it strikes the viewer that perhaps you are attracted to portals, small viewers that allow one to see further inside a situation.

DAZE: The use of portals is almost voyeuristic. It’s the old looking out at the contemporary. I got the idea for this from my memories as a child. The subways had these portal shaped windows on all of the doors. I really enjoyed looking out of them and watching the neighborhoods change as I rode by.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Jackson Heights” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Masquerade, W.H. in Times Square” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: One of your opus pieces in this show, which we had the pleasure of seeing at its genesis in studio a little while ago, features an iconic personality who creates his own splendid costumery, and has for years.

DAZE: The subject of the painting,” Masquerade” is Wendell Headley. He is an artist that I’ve known since my early days at Fashion Moda gallery in the Bronx circa 1982. When I first met him he would come into the gallery wearing these elaborate outfits that he made himself and just hang out. People would donate clothes and he would take the clothes apart, reconstruct them, and give them new life. He is not only a brilliant designer but truly a living sculpture.

Wendell is not someone that is trying to perform, his life is his art. I had wanted to do a portrait of him for a long time but I would only run into him sporadically in different areas of the city, usually highly populated areas.

One evening I ran into him in Times Square and I photographed him for a bit. It was really great because in the midst of all these people dressed up as Disney or Marvel comic book characters he was just being himself. He was embodying his art and that’s what defines him. I have a lot of respect for him as a creative.

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Generations” 2017. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Can you speak about P.P.O.W and its connection to the graffiti and Street Art scene and what it means to you to be having your solo show here?

DAZE: PPOW is an amazing gallery that is very much like a family to me. I was close friends with many of the artists that they show and represent so it feels very natural to be there. I’ve watch them grow over the years from The east village scene in the 80’s until now and always respected what they do and how they present exhibitions, no matter how difficult.

Being represented by them continues the dialogue I’ve had with people like Martin Wong and Charlie Ahearn. I don’t think they see my work as “graffiti”. I’m not trying to do graffiti paintings. There are elements of it that appear within the layering of my paintings but my work is more about the the urban diaspora of New York and what I have lived here.

 

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Times Square blizzard” 2016 P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. “Interior of an IND Subway Car” 2017.  P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis. P.P. O. W. Gallery. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris DAZE Ellis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


DAZE “Daily Commute” is currently open to the general public at P.P.O.W. Gallery at 535 West 22nd Street in NYC. Show closes on March 17th.

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Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

In a ruling that many graffiti and Street Artists interpret as a validation of their artwork and which may spawn further legal claims by artists in the future, Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block, a United States Federal Judge for the Eastern District of New York, awarded $6.7 million in damages to a group of 21 artists in the high profile case of the former graffiti holy place in Queens called 5 Pointz.

Under the leadership of artist and organizer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, also a plantiff, the award is in response to a suit that cried foul on the overnight destruction of multiple artworks on building walls without consultation or notification of the artists.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Citing provisions of the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act that grants artists certain “moral” rights, the artists claimed that their artworks on the 5 Pointz compound that was owned by real estate developer Jerry Wykoff were protected and should be afforded certain rights and considerations.

Arts and intellectual property lawyers and judges will now be examining the implications of the ruling and citing it as an example in arguments about art created on walls legally and possibly those created illegally as well. In a city that prides itself as being a birthplace of graffiti and Street Art, many artists and wall owners must ask themselves if there will need to be an additional layer of agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For today the plaintiffs will celebrate the win and derive a sense of validation for their works at the compound that hosted an organic evolution of works by local, national, and international graffiti and Street Artist for nearly two decades under tacit or explicit agreement with the owner.

“I am happy to see my art form recognized as true art,” says Mr. Cohen in an article from Hyperallergic today, and ultimately that is the message that the graffiti writers and Street Artists will take from the story. Others will argue that this is gentrification issue of developers profiting from and then dismissing the artists who bring attractive buyers to a neighborhood. Now that a dollar value has been attached, a certain audience will also begin to again consider the intrinsic value of those artworks in the streets that they dismissed as pure vandalism with little other merit.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of the nearly 1,000 comments posted yesterday on our initial Facebook post about the decision, it is evident that many people still see this kind of art primarily as illegal vandalism and opine that a ruling like this is only adding credibility to criminal behavior. In that argument it is helpful to remember that these artists all had permission to paint.

Undoubtedly additional legacies of the ruling will play out in coming months and years. For the moment, it looks like the artists won this time, which is a seeming rarity during a time when technology has created a nearly unmitigated “Wild West” landscape of rights and responsibilities when it comes to aesthetic expression.


Related stories:

Judge Awards Graffiti Artists $6.7M After 5Pointz Destroyed

Judge Rules Developer Must Pay 5Pointz Graffiti Artists $6.7M

https://qz.com/1107031/new-yorks-5pointz-graffiti-artists-are-suing-a-real-estate-developer-for-destroying-their-work/

Looking at 5Pointz Now, Extolling a Graffiti Holy Place

5Pointz. Meres. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . Kkade . 5Pointz, Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Esteban Del Valle. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zeso . Meres. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kram. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.21.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.21.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

The streets across the US were again flooded with justifiably angry, determined women yesterday. Nothing we can say here will do justice to the enormity of the crowds protesting in 250 cities on the first anniversary of the inauguration, nor the range of political and social fronts that are being contested.

Clearly the world stage has been thrown off kilter by the the erosion of trust and confidence in this government, in the economy, in the fraying social fabric, the attacks on people and the earth. “The decline in confidence in the U.S. president has been severe in some countries since Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017,” says FactCheck.org, and it “is especially pronounced among some of America’s closest allies in Europe and Asia, as well as neighboring Mexico and Canada,” the Pew Global Attitudes Project found. That’s in only one year.

Oh, did we mention that the US has a government shutdown right now?

Today we chose the top image by Alex Senna to symbolize the people who are in the shadows who are hiding and who think we don’t know they are there and that no one is looking out for them. Immigrants across the country are being threatened, yet exploited day after day – afraid to go to the police or even hospitals when abused by employers, by family members, by misguided racists. We see you and we hear you. As a nation descended from immigrants, the indigenous, and the enslaved, we remember our history. Similarly, people who are being sex trafficked, or who are unable to speak up because of financial restraints, religious restraints, psychological restraints. We see you.

Heavy topics, but these are the streets, our streets, all of us. Roberta Smith said this week in The New York Times when reviewing the Outsider Art Fair; “Art Is Everywhere”. We’ll widen that sentiment and say that art is for everyone, and the street is more than ever a perfect place to see it.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Ai WeiWei, Alex Senna, Cholula, Ernest Zacharevic, Fontes World, Mr. June, Retna, Roman, Stray Ones, Terry Urban, and Zola.

Top Image: Alex Senna ( photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ai Weiwei. “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”. NYC wide multimedia/multi site exhibition for Public Art Fund. Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Art Council (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Terry Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Fujita and Fontes World collaboration brings to mind our recent article about artists endless fight for affordable housing in NYC Indeed a Dying Breed. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ernest Zacharevic fills the space with a cube. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist in Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paris (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zola (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn vs Everybody (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Retna in Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Román in Cholula, Puebla. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. June for The Buschwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This public ad campaign against fur borrows from the street art stencil technique. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified Artist in Mexico City. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Untitled. January 2018. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.14.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.14.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

A celebrated American, the New York poet Langston Hughes, leads off this edition of BSA Images of the Week, with a firebox posting of a portion of his work “Oh Let America Be America Again.” A part of the Harlem Jazz Age that gave birth to a freedom of expression and heralded fame for many black and brown artists across artistic disciplines, it was Hughes that spoke to the depths and sorrows and aspirations of the human experience here with such poetry. We don’t know who brought his words to the street here, but the timing could not be better.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Abe Lincoln Jr., Anthony Lister, Apexer, Borondo, Katsu, Langston Hughes, Paul Kostabi, SacSix, and Willow.

Top Image: A poem by Langston Hughes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Apexer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anthony Lister in Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Borondo. Padre Cruz Neighborhood. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist. Lisbon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abe Lincoln Jr. Phone booth ad takeover. LES, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abe Lincoln Jr. Phone booth ad takeover. LES, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Abe Lincoln Jr. Phone booth ad takeover. LES, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Willow (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SacSix and FAME. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Paul Kostabi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Katsu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Katsu (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. East Rive, NYC. January 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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J. Demsky and Brad Howe Unite “Off The Wall”

J. Demsky and Brad Howe Unite “Off The Wall”

Sophisticated and poppy palette-play coupled with a mid century affection for abstract geometry? Meet the night-glo arcade color selections and graphically charged motion of a 90s inspired digital graffiti artist.

Brad Howe and Demsky, both internationally known on the street and inside gallery walls, are separated by two decades but united by a desire to define the aesthetics and experience of public space.

J. Demsky – Brad Howe off the Wall. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Their intersections and contrasts are on display in a double-solo show at New York’s GR Gallery with examples of two and three dimensional optical play, similar to the diversionary activities that they both employ on the streets.

J. Demsky – Brad Howe off the Wall. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A collection of 20 works including paintings, sculptures and installations, “Off the Wall” keeps the focus on interaction with the wall, even though the Californian Howe may be better known for his abstract sculptures, his public art commissions and his Calder-inspired installations.

Demsky’s time-travel to an early virtual place that is optically elegant and illusionary taps a nostalgia for the period when he became a graffiti writer in Spain.

The interplay of these strong singular voices is charged in this common space and is often full of motion.

J. Demsky off the Wall. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

J. Demsky off the Wall. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

J. Demsky off the Wall. Detail. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

J. Demsky off the Wall. Detail. GR  Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Brad Howe off the Wall. Detail. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brad Howe off the Wall. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brad Howe off the Wall. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brad Howe off the Wall. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Brad Howe off the Wall. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brad Howe off the Wall. Detail. GR Gallery, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

J. Demsky – Brad Howe off the Wall is currently on view at the GR Gallery in Manhattan, NYC. Click HERE for further information.

 

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Felipe Pantone Hits NYC Streets and GR Gallery with Solo “Planned Iridescence”

Felipe Pantone Hits NYC Streets and GR Gallery with Solo “Planned Iridescence”

Street Artist Felipe Pantone opens a new show tonight and gifts two new outside walls to NYC. BSA talks to him and GR gallery director Alberto Pasini about the exhibition.


An established studio in the north-eastern Italian town of Sacile since the late 1970s, the Studio d’Arte GR has specialized in Kinetic, Op, and Programmed art for decades. Curating what they estimate to be over 300 shows worldwide over that time, their GR Gallery is relatively new to New York, opening in 2016 with a 40 piece group show spanning the most unusual and dynamic techniques of the genres.

As it turns out, they are here just in time to offer a show to Argentinian/Spanish Street Artist Felipe Pantone, who has been expanding upon a geometric graffuturism vocabulary that the last decade has set free on the streets in cities around the world.

Felipe Pantone for St. ART Now in the Lower East Side. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Already a recognized and rising name due to his ocular experimentations with graffiti, video, sculpture, computer graphics, digital and other visual glitchery, Pantone is defining while discovering – tonight with “Planned Iridescence,” his debut solo New York exhibition.

The 1600 square foot gallery in the Bowery gives plenty of room for movement to the 14 pieces that include wall collages and sculpture, each using some of the experimental patterns and visually vibrating elements you’ve come to expect, yet are still surprised by.

The iridescence referred to is in the form of panels of controlled synthetic oil spills, cut into shimmering quadrilaterals, deliberately placed within a a neat cluster of visual tremor. In addition to the indoor exhibition, Pantone has created two new murals in the neighborhood, welcome gifts to a city that never tires of being blown away by new talent.

Felipe Pantone for St. ART Now in the Lower East Side. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with Pantone about his work inside and outside, his optic/kinetic influences and his evolutionary approach to learning.

Brooklyn Street Art: So much of your work is capturing the optical/informational/technological chaos we are countenancing daily. Do you think you are mastering the chaos, or reflecting it?
Felipe Pantone: I am trying to reflect it. I’m not trying to send a message but to propose questions. Some people look at my work and they find it overwhelming, loud, strident. Some other people relate to its dynamism, the speed, and find that it might even evoke the way they interact with the world and our modern cities.

Felipe Pantone for St. ART Now in the Lower East Side. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Part of the graffiti writer life is about disrupting a space, taking it, claiming it. Your Street Art also can be described as disruptive, competing for attention. Is this true?

Felipe Pantone: Graffiti was my first way to show my work immediately, for free, and worldwide, before the Internet was available for everybody. Graffiti is to art what H&M is to fashion, or what Ikea is to furniture: disposable, ephemeral, but a true product of our times. Thanks to my quest to claiming my space on the street I found the style that today has become my work, and now everything makes sense to me because I feel like a true product of my times myself, and as an artist one should always be oneself.

BSA: You’ve talked about your work as belonging to the present. With its references to 1960s/70s optic art, a low-fi video recalling 80s art installations, and graphics reminiscent of 80s/90s early consumer computer paint programs, could you also say you are recognizing the past?
Felipe Pantone: The fact that Op-Art explored movement in the 60s is something that has always attracted me irrationally but it’s also something that today I include in my work intentionally to convey dynamism. I usually have elements that might remind you of 80s computers graphics to bring some sort of technological idea, but it’s not in my interest to talk about the 80s or 90s in particular.

Of course I recognize the past, I’ve always been really curious about what happened in history, but it’s not my intention to talk about history in my work.

Felipe Pantone. Detail. Planned Iridescence. GR Gallery. NYC. October, 2017. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Is art a means of transmission, and if so, what is your art transmitting?
Felipe Pantone: I intend to talk about what I understand about the world as a person that travels constantly and lives intensely.

BSA: The current speed of technology and the volume of images that we are consuming must be met with new skills for processing them or at least editing them. What skills are you learning?
Felipe Pantone: I try my best to keep myself up to date with all the new techniques that I think are interesting for my work. I studied fine arts, mostly model painting and sculpture. So everything else I learned online: design programs, 3D, video editing, photography, film. I’m working with CNC and laser cutters, UV printers, vinyl cutters… but there’s so much still to be learned!

We live in exciting times.

**************************

Felipe Pantone. Planned Iridescence. GR Gallery. NYC. October, 2017. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with GR Gallery Director Alberto Pasini, who sees the work of Pantone as an evolution of other optic/kinetic artists, some of them founders and masters, whom they have represented in the past such as Bruno Munari, Gianni Colombo, Giovanni Anceschi, Davide Boriani, Getulio Alviani, and Dadamaino.

Luckily, these movements of Street and Optical art have coalesced just at the right moment and there are already a few eye-popping players, enabling a new generation to push the boundaries on the street and here in the gallery setting; all fusing together striking elements of graphic design, lettering, and an endless sophisticated manipulation of geometric shapes.

BSA: Why did you decide to give Felipe his first solo exhibition in NYC?
Alberto Pasini: We made contact with Felipe in the last two years because he represents the new generation of this movement. He is the one who is bringing this art movement established in the 60’s back to life. So that’s why we picked him, why he picked us and why we have started this collaboration.

Felipe Pantone. Planned Iridescence. GR Gallery. NYC. October, 2017. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: We are constantly bombarded with images. How in your opinion does Felipe integrate into his work the chaos that we see on our daily lives and what we experience on TV, billboards and the news?
Alberto Pasini: Felipe obviously pays attention to light and movement but he also brings the Optical and Kinetic Art to the next level and brings it up to date because he takes a lot of inspiration from the street, from the billboards, from TV.

Nowadays our lives are heavily influenced by Social Media, computer design and technology – so this is what he brings in his art and how he keeps up to date and how he re-invents Optical and Kinetic Art.

 

Felipe Pantone. Detail. Planned Iridescence. GR Gallery. NYC. October, 2017. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: How many artworks will comprise this exhibition and can you talk about the medium?
Alberto Pasini: There will be 14 pieces. With this exhibition Felipe is introducing for the very first time a brand new series on this new body of work. This is the first time he is working with this new kind of material.

Basically he adds to his normal material, which is enamel, plastic, and aluminum – different elements, which are made of several overlapping layers of plastic that are printed and carved. All these overlapping elements give the viewer the illusion of an optical interference. They give the sensation of movement even when they are not actually moving.

BSA: So the art moves when we move?
Alberto Pasini: Absolutely. The art changes according to our eyes. It changes according to the environment. It changes according to the illumination. It changes according to our reference point. The art then becomes very interactive, especially with the sculptures. When the viewer goes around them they change color and the interaction is even stronger.

Felipe Pantone. Detail. Planned Iridescence. GR Gallery. NYC. October, 2017. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone. Planned Iridescence. GR Gallery. NYC. October, 2017. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: What’s the difference between this new series and what he has shown in his previous group shows in this gallery?
Alberto Pasini: Basically the difference is in the materials. Before he was just painting on aluminum or on board. Now there’s this new element which gives the viewer the actual sensation of movement. The people attending the exhibition will be able to experience the making of this series in a video which will be shown at night in the window of the gallery so people walking on the street will be able to see his process.

We are very proud of this exhibition and also for the fact that this is the first time Felipe is presenting this new series. This is his best work to-date. I also like the fact that this exhibition is not constrained just inside the gallery but it is also outside on the street. He’s painted two walls in the neighborhood close to the gallery.

Felipe Pantone. Planned Iridescence. GR Gallery. NYC. October, 2017. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Felipe Pantone “Planned Iridescence” opens today at the GR Gallery in Manhattan. For further details click HERE

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