All posts tagged: Optimo

Box Trucks as Rolling Graffiti Marquees

Box Trucks as Rolling Graffiti Marquees

A ubiquitous sight throughout large cities like New York, the graffiti covered box truck has inherited the all-city art mantle from the subway train cars of thirty years ago with eye-popping collaborations and solo pieces rolling on rubber wheels and circulating through every neighborhood.

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UFO 907 Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Box trucks are like the freight trains of New York Streets,” says Bishop 203, a Street Artist and graffiti writer who has successfully managed to parse the visual languages of both into his work – which of course includes a box truck when he can get one. “It’s the best of all worlds. If I do a wall in Bushwick, that’s cool because people in Brooklyn can see it. But if I do a truck in Bushwick, it’s going to go through Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan – who knows?”

Rugged, dirty, grimey, half-rusted – these trucks are rather similar to freights now that you think about it. They do the grueling thankless work of moving everything through the streets, often barreling by at high speeds and careening around corners to meet deadlines. They are carrying everything – produce, baked goods, heavy appliances, iron, steel, glass, equipment for many industries, racks full of garments, crates full of flowers, even art… and if you are passing through most business districts in the middle of the day, you will see them backing into loading docks or double parked in the street with blinking lights, the back door rolled up, and guys and gals shuttling with dollies across the sidewalk to and from restaurants and bodegas.

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GenII, Oze 907 Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

While painting a box truck is not exactly the same as “going all city”, if your art is literally rolling throughout the entire metropolis in the same way that tracks once carried aerosol art for 1970s/80s writers who crushed train lines, you experience a feeling that is pretty golden. “It’s like a mobile billboard for hooligans,” says Bishop, only half joking.

Wherever photographer Jaime Rojo travels throughout the city looking for new shots, he is almost guaranteed to see a box truck. What began as a casual collecting of these rolling canvasses eventually is swelling into a full-fledged gallery. He’s not sure what he’ll do with all of them, but here’s a taste of some of the trucks to whet your appetite.

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DEK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cekis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cern (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ND’A (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SeeOne, ND’A (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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VLOK Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stem, Gano, VGL (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cope, Cano, JAOne (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Staino (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Staino, Rambo, Sevs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Staino, Fade AAMob (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ski, Optimo, Mok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jelly Fish (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ski, 2Ease, KA  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ski, 2Ease, Kepts, KA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jedi, Sae, Aven, Baal (in front of a mural by Faile) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ski, 2Ease, Velo, Fuk, Dred (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Deter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sevor, Ideal (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fame (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Reader, Abra, Mas, Boans (in front of a wall piece by Overunder) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ski, 2Ease (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lefty (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sincere thanks to Bishop203 and Bato for their assistance with identifying some of these artists.

 

 

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BSA Film Friday 01.11.13

BSA Film Friday 01.11.13

 

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

Now screening: A debut from UR New York, Cola de Farinha, Pigeon in the Venice of the North, En Masse in Miami MMXII, and a promo for “Working Class”.

UR New York Spends 10 Days in Miami

In this video debuting today on BSA, 2Esae and Ski Mst of UR New York spray, stencil, wheatpaste, play with kids from the Children’s Bereavement Center, flirt and give the finger at openings, cavort in front of the camera, and otherwise act a fool in pursuit of the one thing that made these trouble makers who they are, art.

Cola de Farinha – Brazilian Wheat-pasting

A small documentary interviewing some wheat-pasters in São Paulo, that gives an idea of how the scene takes on the personality and style of the culture. A unique opportunity to learn what it means to artists and how it is perceived as a means of communication.

Pigeon Wheat-pasting in the Venice of the North

Follow Street Artist Pigeon on an icy river in a canoe.

En Masse: Miami MMXII

The great collaborative feeling of working together on the streets is epitomized here with En Masse in Miami last month. Featured artists in their two week roll-through were;

Mke Maxwell, OverUnder, NDA, Omen514, ASquidCalledSebastian, Jason Botkin, Fred Caron, Melissa DelPinto, LezaOne, Alan Ganev, Dustin Spagnolia, Mas Paz, Optimo, Pat Lazzo, Marc PaperScissor, Carmelo Blandino, Five Eight, Pixel Pancho, Never 2501, Sam Parker, Samson Contompasis, Linsey Carron, Anne Preece, Victor Cox

“Working Class”

A brief taste of the new film about the work of artists Mike Giant and Mike Maxwell.

 

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Optimo : Hometown Primo in a Top Hat

Optimism Straight Outta NYC

BSA doesn’t spotlight too much graffiti because we’re not very smart about it, and there are a lot of geniuses on graff out there. Plus the S-A part of our name precludes much BS on the graff tip. But some artists straddle the edge of graff and Street Art, and one artist who keeps catching our eye because of his placement and the light-hearted comedic quality of his character is Optimo, sometimes referred to as Werds (depending where you are surfing).

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Short for Optimo Primo (best cousin), the graffiti artist Optimo grew up as a boy in Chelsea in the 1980s excited and ignited by the colorful graffiti he saw on trucks and trains around him.  As a true original New Yorker, he names some of his stylistic influences as 1990s graffiti writers including Wolf1, Revs & Cost, Seen, Reas, and Sabe.  His signature character has been on the streets since 2006, the American flag bandana as a symbol of free expression and the First Amendment, and the showman top hat something the artist likes to wear as well.

Now a full time artist selling his stuff on the streets of Soho, Optimo has showed his work in a gallery setting with a 40-piece show at  Revolution Studios in Chelsea last summer and in a group show at Brooklyn Fire Proof in Bushwick as well as Culture Fix on the LES in the fall. His soft spot is box trucks, which he says he’s painted over 100 of, according to his bio on Tumblr, and he aspires to retain his signature style of “optimism”.  Here is a BSA collection of images of work in New York and Miami by Optimo NYC.

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo. Werds (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Images Of The Week 10.17.10

Images Of The Week 10.17.10

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Our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Ski & Werds, Anera, Clown Soldier, Old Crow, Gaia and Radical!

Gaia. Outdoor mural at Brooklynite Gallery (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gaia. Outdoor mural at Brooklynite Gallery (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Clown Soldier (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Clown Soldier (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Montreal Street Art (Photo © Adolfo Bejar)
Montreal Street Art (Photo © Adolfo Bejar)

Anera. She hasn't been feeling friendly lately (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Anera. She hasn’t been feeling friendly lately (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Optimo, Mok and AdLib. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ski & Werds. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

DC (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Old Crow (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Radical (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Radical (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

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