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“ALL BIG LETTERS” : Exhibition of Style, Tools, and Technique of Graffiti

“ALL BIG LETTERS” : Exhibition of Style, Tools, and Technique of Graffiti

It’s called ALL BIG LETTERS but it could easily be called ALL BIG DREAMS because the outward techniques, the history, and the tools of the trade of graffiti on display at Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery all lead to more internal aspirational matters.

All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadelphia, PA. (photo © Lisa Boughter)

Yes, the earliest New York and Philly graffiti writers of the 1960s took special pains and circumvented norms to get their message out, even if the message was simply their name or a street alias. But the drive to repeat it as often as possible in as many locations as possible spoke to grander dreams of recognition among peers and the addictively elusive effervescence of capturing “fame” on a public stage. Add competition, complexity, and clever innovation to the mix, and wall writers devised ever larger strategies to pursue and acquire those dreams.

RJ Rushmore, Editor-in-Chief of Vandalog, curates ALL BIG LETTERS at his alma mater Haverford College with this as one of his principal goals; helping viewers better understand the motivation behind the tag as well as the style and techniques used.

Faust. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

“I wanted to exhibit the mind of a graffiti writer in a gallery, and make that mindset understandable to your average gallery-goer,” he tells us. “To me, that means appreciating not just the finished piece, but how and why it came to be.”

By showing artists, works, photography, and tools that judiciously span the 50 or so years that mark the era of modern mark-making in the public sphere, Rushmore threads a story line that he hopes a visitor can gain an appreciation for in this art, sport, and quest for fame.

Faust . Curve. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

We spoke with RJ about the show to help BSA readers get a better appreciation for ALL BIG LETTERS and Rushmore’s own use of technique for communication.

Brooklyn Street Art (BSA): How have you tried to demystify graffiti for a more general audience?
RJ Rushmore: In a gallery full of “graffiti on canvas,” you’ll see some beautiful art, but you won’t actually learn that much about graffiti. All you’ll see are things that resemble the end result of writing. That can be stunning, but it’s not the right approach for a gallery with an educational mission. Just seeing the finished product does not give you a sense of how it was made. That’s still a mystery.

ALL BIG LETTERS takes writers’ tools and strategies as its starting point, which gives a more holistic vision of graffiti. The exhibition covers style, but also the tools writers use and the importance of strategies like repetition and innovation, or the ways that writers respond to architecture. Someone should be able to enter the exhibition with zero knowledge of graffiti and leave with the ability to see a piece on the street and understand roughly how that got there, why it’s there, and why it looks the way it does.

Curve. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What role does innovation play in the pushing of the evolution of writers’ techniques? Your text accompanying the exhibition describes the drive of competition that influenced Blade in developing his style in the 70s, for example.
RJ: Reading Blade’s book, it struck me that almost every change in his style was in response to what people were doing around him. When all it took to stand out was a simple two-color piece, that’s what he painted. When other writers were using four or five colors, he used seven. When the trains were crowded with graffiti and he was forced to paint over other writers’ partially-buffed or dissed pieces, he hid that old work with cloud backgrounds or his trademark blockbuster pieces. Blade was innovating, constantly staying one step ahead of the curve, and that’s why he stood out.

Graffiti is largely a game of one-upmanship, and innovation can happen in other ways too. The first writers to discover destructible vinyl stickers stood out because their stickers were so difficult to remove. Today, anybody can order destructible vinyl from Egg Shell Stickers. Destructible vinyl is still useful, and arguably makes stickers a more appealing medium, but it’s no longer novel. Or take COST and REVS. One of their greatest innovations was using wheatpaste and sticking their work on the backs of street signs and traffic lights. They dominated a physical space that most writers ignored.

Lee Quinones. Lee George Quinones/Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Martin Wong, 1994. 94.114.1  All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What is it like to watch the act of writing? How does “performance” enter into the equation? Katsu’s fire extinguisher tag seems like a polar opposite performance from one by Faust.
RJ: Writing is a performance, and graffiti is a kind of documentation of the performance. Writers have to climb fences, repel down buildings, and break the law in highly-visible places without being seen. I’m terrible at deciphering wildstyle graffiti or dense tags, but I love reading graffiti as a remnant of a performance, looking at a piece or a tag and trying to figure out how it happened.

KATSU and FAUST may be stylistically quite different, but whether you’re looking at a FAUST sticker or a KATSU extinguisher tag, you can appreciate that acts necessary to make them. KATSU’s extinguishers are a moment of epic lawbreaking. FAUST’s stickers are subtler. There’s the moment of putting up the sticker, but there’s also the intense focus and perfectionism that goes into making it, something that FAUST’s installation in ALL BIG LETTERS touches on. KATSU innovated mostly with tools, and FAUST innovated mostly with style. Their respective methods of getting up, their performances, reflect that.

Tools of the trade under plexi: All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: When you compare graffiti writing to hacking, in this case, a city, – wouldn’t it be smart for the government to hire these hackers to better understand their city in the way that the FBI and NSA are said to hire hackers to develop spy programs and national security measures?
RJ: I suppose most cities would think to hire former graffiti writers to learn how to combat graffiti. What I would love to see, as you suggest, is a city planner hiring graffiti writers to learn how to make cities more fun.

The people who have figured this out are advertising executives. Ever wonder why so many graffiti writers go into marketing and graphic design? It’s because that’s essentially what graffiti is. Writers were developing their own “personal brands” decades before social media made the concept mainstream. Writing is a competition for fame, which is basically what advertising and marketing is.

EKG on the left. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: When you talk about hacks, are you really describing how graffiti writers have often used ingenuity and adaptation?
RJ: I have to give Evan Roth credit for this whole idea of graffiti as a series of hacks. It’s the idea that writers often use things for unintended purposes. They use subway cars as canvases, because the cars travel all over the city. They use easy-to-carry spray paint for vandalism, when their intended use is modest arts and crafts. They use fire extinguishers, because they can create massive tags. So yes, it’s ingenuity, but particularly ingenuity around using existing things for new and unintended purposes. Montana Gold is not a hack. KRINK is not a hack. Egg Shell Stickers are not a hack. But all of those commercial products developed from, and improved upon, hacks.

EKG. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

BSA: What was one of your challenges in communicating a concept or idea with this exhibition?
RJ: If you’re walking in with zero knowledge, seeing a display case full of different spray cans or 140 different S’s on a wall might require some context to make sense of it all. We solved with wall text, and there’s a lot of wall text. So that’s a big ask that we make of visitors: look at the work, but also read the text we’ve put next to it.

CURVE’s piece is a great example of that challenge and how we solved it. Without context, it’s beautiful and engaging as artwork. If you come in with pre-existing knowledge of graffiti, you can probably guess at what he’s trying to do. Without that knowledge, and without reading the wall text, you might miss that the piece is as much an artwork as a teaching device, a demonstration of all the different sorts of tools and styles that a writer might use to adapt to the surface they are writing on.

I’m not sure that lots of wall text is the perfect solution, but I think it means that ALL BIG LETTERS rewards the curious. We’re asking people to spend a few minutes in the gallery, because there is an argument being made, not just a bunch of cool stuff to Instagram.

Different artists. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

Different artists. All Big Letters curated by RJ Rushmore at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Philadephia, PA (photo © Lisa Boughter)

 

All Big Letters is currently on view at Haveford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Click HERE for more details.


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.02.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.02.15

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Did you see the blue moon over New York Friday night? Looked to be more crimson actually. Welcome to August and the hot sticky band of dirty grit that comes with it. Escape from New York if you can, even if it is just on a lawn chair in a park. NYC parks have a lot of free movies this summer and a huge array of free concerts all through the remainder of dog days. Naturally there is great deal of artful expression on the streets available on your way to and from the venue, very dramatic in its own way.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $howta, 52, Brolga, BustArt, Esteban Del Valle, Dain, Dasic, Don Rimx, Droid, JR, Julien de Casablanca, KFA, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Ron English, Rubin415, Sokar Uno, and Willow.

Top image above >>>  London Kaye. This is perhaps the artist’s largest piece and, as is the artist’s practice, it was made entirely with crocheted yarn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KFA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English. Hot Pink Temper Tot. Zephyr. For LoMan Art Fest 2015/L.I.S.A. Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain for LoMan Art Fest 2015/L.I.S.A. Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin415 . Dasic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle . Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bikismo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI. Portrait of Indian girl Dongria Kohnd. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI. Portrait of Iranian kid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Willow. Portrait of Rwandan child with Emu turban. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JR. Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia. For Mural Arts Program “Open Source” Series. (photo Steve Weinik. Courtesy Mural Arts Program).

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Sokar Uno (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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52 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Julien De Casabianca (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BustArt and shades of Lichtenstein in Basel, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Bustart)

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BustArt. Basel, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Bustart)

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Brolga goes skinny dipping to beat the summer heat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Felis traces flight patters with tape (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ben Felis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Droid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Baphomet (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Flying over New York State. July 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Cash For Your Warhol (CFYW) Says “No Questions Asked” in Philadelphia

Cash For Your Warhol (CFYW) Says “No Questions Asked” in Philadelphia

“No Questions Asked” says Hargo of this slyly-named collection of Cash For Your Warhol pieces opening this week at a small gallery in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. But you may want to ask a few questions of your own.

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The large CFYW billboard outside Penn Station in Philadelphia is more than an appeal, and less. Cash For Your Warhol. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

That’s the typical response that most viewers have when they see his printed plastic signs on telephone poles in desperate parts of town from Boston to New York to Miami to Los Angeles and many points in between. For six years the foxy Street Artist has been happily perplexing inquisitive and inquiring minds with evolving iterations of the sign he first placed on the lawn of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachussets at the height of the financial crisis.

“So it was in March of 2009, it was the bottom. It was also the time when the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis was having tremendous financial difficulty and they had announced that they were going to be selling their art collection.”

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He says these are the sorts of signs that appear in the more desperate parts of town. Cash For Your Warhol. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It is one of the best university art collections in the country, and people went nuts,” Hargo explains in a lumberjacked-cuffed-denim-bearded-flannel-plaid-drip-coffee shop a couple of blocks away from the newly installed show.

“So the first sign that I installed was actually on their lawn,” he says with a certain glint in his eye. “That sign got taken down and it is currently in the Rose Museum in the employee lunchroom I’m told. ”

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Image © Hargo

He knows his signs are collected directly off the street by all types of people – including a board member of the Warhol Foundation. Once the message catches the eye, certain people also feel compelled to call the number, which he eventually changed and connected to an answering machine. Listen to the messages on the phone installed at “No Questions Asked” and you’ll hear a randomized collection of the hundreds he’s collected so far. Sometimes they are simply confused, other times irate, or self aggrandizing. They warn him about vandalism or insult him for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes they inquire about selling art.

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Cash For Your Warhol. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think the Cash For Your Warhol thing is funny, and I think it’s okay for art to be funny. Sometimes people think that it has to be all serious and intellectual,” he says as he discusses the more surface emotional aspects of turning the low cost sales medium on its head – a continuous source of entertainment and education for the artist and those who follow his work. He doesn’t mind if people don’t get it or if they literally take the signs for themselves. He has amassed a collection of similar signs himself, and some of their designs are mashed together in a handful of one-of-a-kind pieces in the show as well.

BSA: What kind of signs do you collect and how many do you have?
Hargo: I have a couple hundred – I only want the ones that are plastic signs that are printed – and only those that have a phone number.

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Cash For Your Warhol. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: So even with those narrow parameters, it comes out to be 200 signs. That’s crazy.
Hargo: So wherever I travel – like I was in Florida and I collected a dozen of them. Before I go home I go to a UPS store and I mail them to myself. So I have “Cash for Your House’, “Cash for Your Junk Car”, um, but also “Tattoo Removal” is prominent. I have “Divorce $299”, “Insurance For Diabetics”, signs for Karate lessons, sports camps, dancing lessons.

BSA: Do the dancing lessons signs have a silhouette of a couple in a romantic embrace?
Hargo: Yeah, they’re like doing the tango or something.

BSA: So it is good that you are using these different signs to mash together in your own work.
Hargo: Yeah I think the last thing the people who made these signs expected was that someone would take this sign deliberately and blend it into one of these works.

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Cash For Your Warhol. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Part conceptual, part culture jamming, sociology and anthropology, many iterations of his signage is on display in this brief but tightly packed overview of the entire short career of CFYW – including the special new one in Spanish that features green and red ink  referencing the Mexican flag.

“It’s sort of the full collection,” he says, “and I made the new Spanish sign, which is larger format than previously but two sided. Each side is slightly different because when you pull the screens the ink is slightly different.”

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Cash For Your Warhol. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think a lot of people in Philly are not familiar with his work but they are getting excited about this show,” says LMNL Gallery curator RJ Rushmore, who tells about a further irony where a deli in Fishtown saw one his signs on the street and sent out a tweet about it. Hargo saw the tweet and sent them a sign as a gift – which they promptly put in the front window.

“I just find it so surreal,” says Rushmore, “that an actual store is displaying it in their window display – an artwork that is an advertisement for an art show about a guy looking to buy art.”

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Cash For Your Warhol. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The longer he continues with the CFYW project, the greater the layers of irony and commentary, and the more fulsome is the tribute to the projects namesake Warhol, who became famous by appropriating and elevating the mundane for consideration as art.

“There are numerous ways in which the viewer could relate to CFYW,” he explains, “and I don’t want my views to narrow or shift that experience. It’s part prank, yes, but also part outsider art, part art as commodity, part commentary on the 1%, part performance, part interaction with the viewer, part parody, and, as you pointed out, part Warhol homage. It can be light and funny, or complex and serious – take your pick. I want the viewer’s experience to be open-ended.

“It’s a street art project in the literal sense, because it often goes on the street, but I deliberately don’t abide by traditional street art ‘rules’ because some of those are kinda silly, and I don’t feel I need to follow them in order for the project to succeed. Ideas around permission, fabrication, acceptable media, a gallery presence, hanging off a building with a roller – I feel that sorta stuff doesn’t apply to me because I’m not actually trying to be a street artist.”

Okay, if you say so. No questions asked.

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Cash For Your Warhol. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Cash For Your Warhol AKA CFYW “No Questions Asked” will open on April 10 at the LMNL Gallery in Philadelphia. Click HERE for further details.

 

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Philadelphia Mural Arts, A Golden Age

Philadelphia Mural Arts, A Golden Age

It is a rainy day in Philadelphia, but you can’t tell it by listening to Jane Golden.

After 30 years and countless meetings with community groups, artists, city agencies, elected officials, volunteers, and donors, the founder and Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has developed a perpetual advocacy style that leans decidedly toward axioms that tell you the glass is half full. No painting is happening on walls in the city of brotherly love today, but the phones are still ringing in this agency of 50, and as Golden sees it, the community is still being served by their educational programs and a remarkably wide variety of outreach efforts.

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Jetsonorama and Ursula Rucker “You Go Girl” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Art and graffiti have been parlaying with their cousin, the community mural, in recent years thanks to the growing popularity worldwide of the former so we thought this would be a great opportunity to learn about the largest and most successful version of the latter.  What we found was that we share an underlying philosophy toward and an awe of the creative spirit, however it is expressed.  In 2011 BSA curated a gallery show in LA with 39 artists called “Street Art Saved My Life” after hearing enough artists and graffiti writers express a similar sentiment over the previous 10 years or so. So it should not have been a revelation to find that Jane Golden is known to repeat an analogous mantra that summarizes her work here in Philadelphia: “Art Saves Lives”.

Initiated as an anti-graffiti campaign by the city in 1984, the program originally made the common mistake of equating a style of art-making with illegally made works. With time, education, and outreach to the graffiti-writing youth she met in the streets, Golden gradually helped the city to begin to make a distinction between aerosol art and vandalism. As graffiti writers and others were invited to participate in the mural program, interact with the community, and to get paid for their work, the city witnessed a slow and gradual metamorphosis to becoming a capital of public art revered by many.

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Joe Boruchow “Watchtowers” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A trained artist and political science scholar, Golden never embraced the so-called “Broken Window Theory” that typecasts people as it pertained to graffiti writers and instead she shepherded that creative instinct among artistic types whom she met into creating work that gives back.

“I think that it is almost the opposite of the “broken window” stereotype,” she says, “This is about opportunity and possibility. It is opening up a window that wasn’t previously open in a way that people hadn’t anticipated.” She talks about the impact the Mural Arts Program has with its tireless outreach to engage neighborhoods in the decision making process about what work goes where, and she guarantees you that the overall effect is greater than a pretty picture.

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Eric Okdeh “Family Interrupted”” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I have seen it in communities where there was support for the project, but maybe not universal support. Then the mural goes up and suddenly there’s this ripple effect. When people start talking about it, connecting with it, thinking about other things and then sometimes thinking about things that are totally unrelated to us but if you were to do a diagram of the various outcomes, you know that it started with us.”

One example is a mural in the late 1980s that enlivened a neighborhood and inspired a community group to form and eventually become a powerful force of advocacy for the needs of neighbors. “When we did this “peace” mural the neighborhood reclaimed the space and then they bought a house from the city for a dollar and turned it into a headquarters. Then they lobbied for more art, then they lobbied for educational programs,” she says as she describes the evolution of a community that may have once felt like prey to a vocal one that now comes to speak to her students a the University of Pennsylvania about topics like economic development.

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Christophe Hamaide-Pierson of Assume Vivid Astro Focus  “All Very Amazing Fingers” Mural Arts Program in collaboration with Goldman Properties. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’m not saying that what we do is a panacea for all that ails the city but the catalytic role that art plays can’t be discounted because it is igniting something in us; it’s transformative. Art engages people in a way that just doesn’t happen in their day-to-day life. We want to help change the city and we feel that art is part of it.”

A particular threshold sighted for Street Art into the mural arts program was when artist Keith Haring painted “We the Youth” here in 1987, and that mural became part of the city in such a strong way that Mural Arts undertook a painstaking restoration of it a few years ago, as it has with many murals.  It wasn’t unusual in those early years of the program for murals to be done without proper consideration for life of the paint or the surface it was on.

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Keith Haring “We The Youth” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the Keith Haring mural the stucco was in such a bad shape we had to almost re-do the entire surface and that was an extensive process of peeling layers off. We wanted to make sure as we were restoring it we were remaining true to the original that Keith painted and it had to be done with incredible care, love and integrity. So we took its restoration and preservation really seriously and because it was necessary to do it right, we re-routed some funding from new projects to restoration.”

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Keith Haring “We The Youth” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Procuring funding for the many Mural Arts programs is an original model that other public arts programs have looked at – a balance of public and private that has enabled it to grow and support artists as well as the city itself – a system of securing funding that Golden describes as sort of an art in itself. “We are a city agency and we have gotten to a point where our budget is 35 % city and the rest is non-city funding through foundations, corporation and individuals earned income. It is an interesting hybrid model but that city part still resonates.”

She describes the alchemy of going to private donors as well as testifying about her budget before the city periodically. “We formed a board, we got our own 501c 3, and I just went underground,” as she describes the additional funding that enables multiple programs and actually pays artists a fair price for their work – something that the majority of Street Art festivals and various real estate holders are very reluctant to do – to the tune of nearly $2.2 million a year.

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Kenny Scharf. Mural Arts Program in collaboration with Goldman Properties. Philadelphia, PA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Someone told me about this art festival recently and said that they are paying the artists 300-500 dollars to do a major work and I said ‘What?’” she says incredulously, and scoffs at the idea that artists would work simply for “exposure”.  “We pay our interns! We pay our middle school students in the summer. Seriously? Everybody here is getting paid.” Granted, it isn’t always as much as they would like to pay an artist, but she makes sure the artists understand the full scope of the project before asking them to commit.

Despite the negative association many still have with graffiti and Street Artists a fair number have been joining in with the Mural Arts Program in recent years. With known and respected Street Art blogger RJ Rushmore joining the enterprise as Communications Manager two months ago, you can expect to see perhaps a few more names from the Street Art scene on the walls as time goes forward.

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Steve ESPO Powers “Love Letter” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The Street Artists are inspired by Mural Arts and we are inspired by them,” says Golden, who is enthusiastic about this subtle programming shift that she began a few years ago with the encouragement of people like real estate developer Tony Goldman, who was credited with transforming neighborhoods like Manhattan’s Soho and Miami’s Wynwood District, and whose company acquired 25 properties from 1998 through 2003 in Philadelphia, according to the Goldman website.

“When (graffiti and Street Artist) Steven Powers contacted me to work together and he had this great idea, I said ‘I totally want to work with you’,” she says of his multi-building text project “Love Letters” that you can view from an elevated train line.  There weren’t any rules that say I couldn’t – we just need to get funding.” Of course it was as simple as Powers may have originally thought because the neighborhood also needed to be consulted, a practice Golden will not waver from.

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Steve ESPO Powers “Love Letter” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Steve couldn’t believe he had to go to community meetings and I said ‘but you have to’.” As it turned out, the neighborhood had no interest in love letters. “We don’t want to talk about love. We are actually really angry at the city because the mass transit agency has shot down one of the major thoroughfares for repair work'” she remembers.

Some also didn’t understand the idea of text-based artwork rather than representational or figurative work. “’This isn’t a Mural Arts mural’, some folks in the neighborhood remarked. And I said ‘There isn’t really such a thing as a Mural Arts mural – its about creativity and its impact on the world’ and people then interestingly enough started to open up. They started to talk to Steve about their past, about what they did love about their neighborhood, about their memories and history and stories. It was fantastic and so it was a different kind of process and it had power on its own. That was a clue to us that we had built up 20 years of goodwill and we can now take risks as long as we are respectful and that will never change. It paid off because it opened the door for us to think differently about how we work.”

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Shepard Fairey “Lotus Diamond” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

She speaks as well about some of the other Street Artists from recent years. “Then we had Shepard (Fairey), and Chris Stain and How & Nosm,” she recalls. “I think their art is terrific and when they are here I want them to be a role model for the kids. Like How & Nosm – they were role models. They couldn’t have been nicer, kinder to our kids. Here are guys who started writing graffiti on walls and now they are traveling the world with their art and that is a fantastic message. For our kids to know that Shepard started out as a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, that he was doing stickers, and that now he’s got a big design firm, it was important. We do have an entrepreneurial division at Mural Arts and Shepard is a role model for them.”

Sometimes the value of the project is not simply monetary but goes far deeper, which explains the level of commitment many have shown. We asked Golden to describe a couple of projects that have been personally satisfying for her, and we share one here that illustrates the entirely holistic approach Golden and the Mural Arts program take to art in the streets.

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Cesar Viveros and Parris Stancell “Healing Walls” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

She describes what evolutionary process contributed to the creation of a series of “healing walls” that depict all the members of community who are affected by crime; the criminal, the victim, and all the people they touch. Of  the many outstanding aspects of the project, one is that the people who are involved, including the offender, are deeply involved in its creation.

“We did a project with crime victims, victim’s advocates and prisoners in our mural class. We decided to start work in the prison.  The men in the class said they wanted to do outdoor murals. I said ‘you are lifers, you are never getting out, how in the world are you going to do that?’” she says as she describes a solution that enabled the artwork of the prisoners to be mounted on the mural walls. “We work a lot on parachute cloth, so we thought we could do this, we can work inside and take it outside.”

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Cesar Viveros and Parris Stancell “Healing Walls” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The rallying together of the participants was not always smooth as the project began, she says, as the raw emotions and torn lives at times overwhelmed the process of creating the mural and voices of discontent threatened to capsize the project. “So I went to the Pennsylvania Prison Society, and I did research and designed a project called “Healing Walls” and I said ‘We are going to bring together everyone to talk about the impact and consequences of violent crime, because when crime happens everyone loses.”

In a process emblematic of the painstaking lengths Mural Arts goes to seek common ground, Golden describes where the main obstacle to the project lay. “So we asked everyone in this group from all different walks of life to come together to create a series of murals about this.  We are going to work partially in the prison, we’ll work in a church in the neighborhood, we are going to work here at the Mural Arts offices and we are going to work in some schools. Then the project started and it was contentious,” she says.

“No one wanted to get along because everyone had their story;

‘My pain is bigger.’

‘I’m from the neighborhood and we are scarred.’

‘Our neighborhood has been victimized.’

And no one understands the pain of the victim; The victim said, ‘I lost everything.’ Then the prisoner said, ‘I have been in pain since I was young. I’m filled with remorse.’ ”

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GAIA. Mural Arts Program in collaboration with Goldman Properties. Philadelphia, PA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After each party was heard and the project threatened to fall in disarray, an unexpected outcome began to emerge, says Golden.

“Then eventually, over time, we started to create together. We’re in a giant auditorium and we have tons of tables. On each table we have crime victims, victims advocates and prisoners.  Then people started to say, ‘Can you pass the glue? Can you pass the brush? What about my shape? Then what happens was kind of miraculous because people began to listen to each other as they painted together. Eventually people were like ‘You know what? We really need to come together. We all want a safer city. What can we do about it and people started brainstorming – People behind the walls and people on the outside.”

“Then the murals went up and we had a dedication at this church and tons of people showed up. People’s whose sisters and brothers were incarcerated were there, victims were there, the Department of Corrections came and there was a major conversation about redemption and rehabilitation and giving people a chance. It sort of tapped into people’s humanity that no one had articulated.”

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How & Nosm. Mural Arts Program in collaboration with Goldman Properties. Philadelphia, PA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Thirty years and a few thousand painted walls are only some of the outcomes of a program like this, but countless more are told in the generative effects, the rippling of waves of the efforts by artists and community. Those outcomes are impossible to measure or to quantify, even though we try.

BSA: It appears that you can use the art as a vehicle and you are a bit of an anthropologist, ethnologist, sociologist –  so along with your formal education you are getting many degrees as you go in the process.
Jane Golden: I believe in what we are doing, that art making is really about access, justice and equity. That’s the real deal for us, a lot of it. But I love this merging of worlds but you are right in order to do this work it is anthropology, sociology, urban planning, urbanism its everything…

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Steve ESPO Powers “Love Letter” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When people think of mural arts I want them to think: ‘They have a little budget, they do tons of work, they are relevant to my life and they are impactful,’” says Ms. Golden. “And that, I think, is important and that connects me to something else that I have seen especially over the last five, six, or seven years. That is that when it comes to solving societies’ more intractable problems – we can never discount the role of innovation and creativity to make a difference when our traditional interventions have failed us.”

And then we go out and ride the train and look at more murals in the rain.

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Steve ESPO Powers “Love Letter” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers “Love Letter” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers “Love Letter” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Steve ESPO Powers “Love Letter” Mural Arts Program. Philadelphia, PA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

To learn more about the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program click HERE

BSA would like to thank Ms. Jane Golden for her generous time with us and also Mr. Brian Campbell and RJ Rushmore for their gracious hospitality, guided tour of the murals and lunch.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article was also published on The Huffington Post

Screen-Shot-HuffPost-Philadelphia-Mural-Arts-Sept-25-2014-09-25-at-5.10

 

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X-O and Amanda Marie Go To Philadelphia

X-O and Amanda Marie Go To Philadelphia

‘Beautiful Times – Philly Stop’

As we follow the “Beautiful Times” summer tour of X-O and Amanda Marie we find them in the city of brotherly love laying down layers of stencils and building out abandoned places with found object constructions. All tolled, the number of completed projects in this city made it the most prodigious of the tour so far.

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Amanda Marie at a Community Garden. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

First off they took a nice tour of Steve Powers ‘Love Letters’ murals that he did a couple of years ago with the Philadelphia Mural Project, and worked with that program to create their own project – something X-O refers to as an #emogarden called ‘High 5 Times’. Most likely that is about walking on stilts, we’re guessing.

As another project Amanda made some time to create a ‘camping’ scene in one of the many community gardens that dot the city of Philly, thanks to friends at HAHA x Paradigm, a magazine and gallery respectively. “Painting in the community garden was a good match for the ‘Beautiful Times’ vibe,” says X-O.

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Amanda Marie at a Community Garden. Detail. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

On their next investigation the two went on the hunt for more destitute architectural decay and hit the jackpot when X-O “found a beautiful demolition / construction site that had a super good sunken window temporarily covered in plywood,” he says excitedly. Did anyone mind that he created a new piece with various pieces of wood in the framed ventana? “The owners were happy to get a ‘lost object’ piece for the space,” he says, “and the neighbors are happy to have something more interesting than blank plywood to look at.”

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X-O at a Community Garden for Mural Arts. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

Moving along, the two found “Tattooed Mom,” and they thought they were in a celestial graff palace.  “If the paint store equals the candy store, then ‘Tattooed Mom’ equals the playground,” he exclaims the legendary graff writer / Street Artist hangout on South Street. “The whole upstairs is completely smashed with tags and pieces and a constantly shifting smorgasbord of aerosol madness,” says X-O.

Here Amanda Marie made some more urban ‘camping’ vignettes while X-O gave a Hanksy piece of his namesake actor some gender-reassignment surgery. “I dropped in a field of flowers behind him and updated his substantial forehead with the slogan ‘I Like Your Girlfriend’.”

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Amanda Marie at work on the street. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

The last thing that got done before we split town was a big beautiful total street move from Amanda where she painted a few of her ‘Pretty Baby’ images on 5th street just a half block off of South Street … a really nice match of image with the hodge podge coloring of the empty building behind it,” X-O says.

“For both Amanda and me, one of the most impressive things about Philly were all of the walls that have been left exposed when adjacent buildings are torn down,” he says. It looks like the great experience with the mural program and these more organic adventures have gotten their wheels turning on even larger ideas for Philadelphia in the future.

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Amanda Marie. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

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X-O. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

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X-O. Detail. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

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Amanda Marie at Tattooed Mom. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

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Amanda Marie at Tattooed Mom. Detail. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

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Amanda Marie at Tattooed Mom. Detail. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

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X-O at work at Tattooed Mom. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

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X-O at Tattooed Mom. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

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X-O gives Hanksy a make over at Tattooed Mom. Beautiful Times. Philadelphia. August 2014 (photo © courtesy Amanda Maire and X-O)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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Images Of The Week: 12.15.13

Images Of The Week: 12.15.13

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Here is our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Ainac, Andreco, Axel Void, bunny M, Col Walnuts, FX Collective, Finbarr DAC, Killy Kilford, Kremen, LNY, Meer Sau, Mr. Toll, Rubin, Square, Starfightera, and Swoon.

Top image >>> OK this piece is signed and we should be able to decipher the tag. But we couldn’t. So help us out. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SQUARE and bunny M collaboration. All hand painted, one of a kind piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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SQUARE and bunny M collaboration. Detail. All hand painted, one of a kind piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Finbarr DAC and Starfightera collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Finbarr DAC and Starfightera collaboration. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Finbarr DAC and Starfightera collaboration. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Meer Sau. Salzburg, Austria. “Never stop being childish,” he says.  (photo © Meer Sau)

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Artist Unknown. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Also, a nice framed piece. Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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An LNY and Axel Void collaboration for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon’s Studio. A quick demo from Swoon showing her guests at her Holidays Party the 101 of lino prints. She invited her guests to get in on the action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon’s Studio. Two test prints hanging out to dry. This is a brand new piece of a steel worker from Braddock, Pennsylvania. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A sculptor who places his work in public space, here is Andreco at work in his studio. Italy. (photo © Andreco)

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Andreco. The completed sculpture installed for Sub Urb Art 2 in Turin, Italy. (photo © Andreco)

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Ainac repurposes the image of Darth Vader to illustrate three ways to deny evil. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Let us prey. Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kremen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Robert Janz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Col Walnuts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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FX Collective. “Distributor of Ideas” Process shot. Italy (photo © FX Collective)

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Killy Kilford (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rubin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Red Hook, Brooklyn. December, 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSAPlease note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA 

 

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Thinkspace Gallery and Gallery 309 Present: LAX/PHL A group Exhibition. (Philadelphia, PA)

‘LAX / PHL’
Thinkspace invades Philadelphia

Opening Reception(s):
Sat, May 11th 6-10PM and Fri, June 7th 6-10PM

Exhibit will run May 11th through June 21st

Taking place at:
Gallery 309
309 Cherry Street in the Olde City area
Philadelphia, PA
www.gallery309.com

Los Angeles based gallery Thinkspace has teamed up with Gallery 309 in Philadelphia, PA to present ‘LAX / PHL’. This special group exhibition has been curated by Thinkspace to further introduce our roster to the City of Brotherly Love. Featuring new works from over 40 artists from around the world and an installation from Philly’s very own NoseGo, the exhibition will run from May 11th through June 21st with opening receptions scheduled for Saturday, May 11th (6-10PM) and Friday, June 21st (6-10PM).

With this special exhibit we aim to shed light on the burgeoning New Contemporary Art Movement that was birthed in Los Angeles and continues to spread out the world over, gaining momentum and winning over new devotees at an astounding rate. With roots firmly planted in illustration, pop culture imagery, comics, street art and graffiti, put quite simply the New Contemporary Art Movement is art for the people. Come discover your new favorite artist and find out why Thinkspace is regarded as one of the torch bearers of the New Contemporary Art Movement.

Featuring an installation from NoseGo and new works from:
Aaron Nagel
Adam Caldwell
Allison Sommers
Ana Bagayan
Antony Clarkson
Brett Amory
Catherine Brooks
Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker
Curiot
Dabs Myla
David Cooley
Dave MacDowell
Derek Gores
Drew Young
Elliot Brown
Erica Rose Levine
Erik Siador
Esao Andrews
Gaia
Ghostpatrol
Hans Haveron
Jacub Gagnon
Jason Thielke
Jeremy Hush
Jonathan Wayshak
Joram Roukes
Karla Ortiz
Kelly Vivanco
Kevin Peterson
Kikyz 1313
La Pandilla
Linnea Strid
Liz Brizzi
Mari Inukai
Mary Iverson
Meggs
Michael Ramstead
NoseGo
Paul Romano
Pixel Pancho
Rod Luff
Sarah Joncas
Seamus Conley
Seth Armstrong
Shark Toof
Stella Im Hultberg
Stephanie Buer
Timothy Karpinski
Tony Philippou
Yosuke Ueno

http://thinkspacegallery.com/shows/2013-05-lax-phl/

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The James Olivier Gallery Presents: NoseGo “Colossal The Small” (Philadelphia, PA)

The James Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition of 2013: Colossal The Small, a show featuring Philadelphia artist Yis “NoseGo” Goodwin will be on view from March 30 to May 4th with an opening reception on Saturday March 30, 6-10pm.

Yis Goodwin, also known by the moniker “NoseGo”, creates whimsical composite creatures that can only derive from an energetic, childlike imagination. Goodwin’s works are simply meant to be fun, revealing his vibrant visual language and engaging sense of adventure. His paintings are seemingly spontaneous, featuring animals, cartoons, and other characters interacting in visually alluring combinations. Although the artist mixes realism, illustration, as well as street and pop art, his works flow together as if the viewer were in a strange yet wonderful dream. Goodwin’s creations transport the viewer into a world all his own that is often difficult to walk out of.

https://www.facebook.com/events/432884933463154/

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Fun Friday 11.02.11

VOLUNTEER TODAY AND THIS WEEKEND – RESOURCES AVAILABLE

Happy Friday Everyone!

This is not a typical Friday and not very fun in New York and for much of the east coast as we continue to grapple with the results of the storm called Sandy. New Yorkers always help each other get back on our feet and this time it is again heartening to see so many people volunteering and doing what they can to bring this city back. Our art listings this week take a 2nd place to our listings for places you can go to get help, and things you can do to volunteer.

LOOK FOR THE FULL LIST OF ART EVENTS AFTER THESE VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES.

Food and Water Distribution Locations http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html

Donate Storm Supplies: Donate extra food, water, and batteries to local shelters and food banks. Search here to find a food bank near you.

Volunteer in Local Shelters: Contact shelters directly for volunteer needs. Find your local emergency shelter location here: http://gis.nyc.gov/oem/he/index.html.

Volunteering The Mayor’s Office has stated that the best way to find out how to volunteer is to register with NYCService.org and you will get notified of opportunities. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook

Brooklyn Volunteer Opportunities Sign-up http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/irene/volunteer

Red Hook Initiative is seeking donations at 767 Hicks Street (at West 9th)  “Please bring donations of food, flashlights, candles, water pumps, generators. Many buildings in the neighborhood will likely not have power for the next 4-5 days.” For more information call, (347) 770-1528 or email redhookrecovers@gmail.com

Clean up at BWAC / Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition in Red Hook on November 3rd & 4th: “This Saturday and Sunday we hope to clean out all the trash and debris. This includes much of the sheet rock as well as anything destroyed. If anyone has a portable generator, long extension cords, or work lights, we would like to borrow them. Anyone and everyone is needed for this effort. We will be starting at 10AM on Saturday. RSVP/questions: bwacinfo@aol.com

The MoMA and PS1 curator Klaus Biesenbach is helping to organize relief efforts in the Rockaways Saturday: http://bit.ly/WcFgWD Biesenbach plans to meet volunteers outside the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research building at 4 West 54th Street at 10am on Saturday, and then will drive people and supplies out to the Rockaways.

Donate to families in the Rockaways now-Sat. Nov.3rd 9:30-11am. El Puente is collecting donations of clothing/supplies/nonperishable food for affected families in the Rockaways, now through Saturday. Drop-off location: El Puente Headquarters, 211 South 4th St. (@Roebling) in Williamsburg BK 11211

Donate clothing and food items in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn today Nov. 2.  The Arab American Association of NY is collecting clothing and food items for donation. “All clothing donations should be washed & all food items must be sealed. We will deliver items to three Brooklyn shelters – Brooklyn Armory, FDR High School, and the Caton School” Please drop off items to 7111 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 between 10am-6pm today until 2pm Friday, November 2ed. Contact: faiza.aaany@gmail.com

Help cleanup New York City Parks http://on.nyc.gov/Pp0v3n  to volunteer in our parks this weekend. Help clean up Prospect Park Nov. 2ed, 3ed, 4th: Volunteer with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to aid in the cleanup and recovery of Prospect Park this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11/2 – 11/4), clickthis link to sign up.

 

The American Red Cross

Red Cross: The Red Cross is seeking volunteers over 16 and who are able to lift 50 pounds and comfortable working in stressful situations. Email them at staffing@nyredcross.org

Give Blood – Hurricane Sandy has caused the cancellation of 100 blood drives in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, a shortfall of 3,200 blood and platelet donations that would otherwise be available for those needing transfusions.

Volunteer at a Hurricane Sandy Shelter – The American Red Cross is specifically seeking individuals over 16 years of age that can carry 50 lbs to volunteer at local New York Red Cross Shelters.

Donate Money – You can choose to donate money to the Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting their website or texting REDCROSS to 90999.

AmeriCares

Donate Money – AmeriCares delivers medicines and medical supplies to disaster areas, and as of yesterday was deploying a mobile medical unit to affected areas in Connecticut.

The Salvation Army

Donate Money – The Salvation Army is currently on the ground in New Jersey helping with relief efforts, according to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. 

Food Bank for New York

Donate Money – The Food Bank for New York provides food and emergency meals to New Yorkers, and as of last night was planning to continue distribution on Tuesday.  You can donate money by simply texting FBNYC to 50555.  If you wish to volunteer, check with and contact your neighborhood pantry or kitchen via the Food Bank for New York’s website.

The ASPCA

Donate Money – The ASPCA will assist and rescue the thousands of animals affected by Hurricane Sandy. 

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) takes donations to rescue and shelter animals affected by the storm. According to spokesperson Emily Schneider, the group’s efforts are currently focused in the New York City area, where nearly 240 animals are staying with their owners in pet-friendly Red Cross shelters. The ASPCA is also setting up a distribution center in Syracuse, New York with 4,000 sheltering units, which contain pet food, crates, food bowls, toys, and anything else an animal may need. They’re also standing with water rescue units should they be called.

The Humane Society of the United States

Report – The HSUS has a 24-hour hotline for New York evacuees to report pets that were left behind. The number is 347-573-1561.

The Bowery Mission Has Current Needs

  • Financial donations — They are serving three times as many as normal, and will need to restock food and resources once we have power.
  • Help provide food for 200 people at a time (make and/or get and drop off at the Mission – 227 Bowery)
    • Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drop them off
    • Trays of cooked food, ready to be served
    • Large amounts of Gatorade and Iced Tea – Currently only serving water
  • Gasoline for generators that are providing emergency power — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street), 45-51 Avenue D (between 4th and 5th Streets), or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
  • Blankets at The Bowery Mission Transitional Center — Please deliver to 45-51 Avenue D (between 4th and 5th Streets) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
  • Sweatshirts, Large and XL coats and hoodies, men’s jeans and boots, at The Bowery Mission — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
  • Pantry items such as sugar, oatmeal, coffee, rice, potatoes — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).

Additional Links and Resources

Red Hook Recovers

Lower Easy Side Recovers

Astoria Recovers

Brooklyn Based: How to Help

Brokelyn: How to Help

Rockaway Relief

Food Not Bombs: Sandy Relief

The Week: How to Help

Art in American: Chelsea Galleries Hit Hard by Storm Sandy

Free Showers and Exercise at New York Sports Clubs 

For those who want to send other kinds of help, the American Red Cross collects funds and coordinates blood donations. The organization sheltered more than 3,000 people across nine states during the worst of the storm.  You can donate $10 by phone by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

The United Way has created a regional fund for communities hit by Sandy. They’re asking for donations at uwsandyrecovery.org.  Donors can also give $10 by texting RECOVERY to 52000.

New York:

New York Cares

Long Island Volunteer Center

New Jersey: Jersey Cares 1-800-JERSEY7

Volunteers in New Jersey are being coordinated through an emergency response hotline, 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397). Alternate numbers, for when the hotline isn’t staffed, include 609-775-5236 and 908-303-0471 or emails can be sent to Rowena.Madden@sos.state.nj.us.

Rhode Island: Serve Rhode Island

Massachusetts: Boston Cares

And Now Our Street Art Listings for Fun Friday

1. New York Kings at Pure Evil (London)
2.”Stikman 20.1″ Opens in Philadelphia Tonight
3. EVOK “Ordinary Things” in Detroit
4. “Four” Group Show at Loft F (Boston)
5. Dale Grimshaw’s”Moreish”  Signal Gallery in London
6. ARD*POP-UP 2012 Festival in Oslo, Norway
7. Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam showing Finland’s Graffiti Artist EGS
8. JonOne solo show “Beautiful Madness” at Fabien Castanier in Studio City, CA
9. All City Canvas: The Short Film (VIDEO)
10. Chris Dyer in Montreal (VIDEO)

New York Kings at Pure Evil (London)

“New York Kings” is the title of the new group exhibition at the Pure Evil Gallery in London featuring COPE2, INDIE 184, BLADE, STAY HIGH 149, SEN2, FUZZ ONE, POEM, BOM5, RD 357, DECK, and EASY & JOZ . In London for the first time in over a decade, a unique exhibition of the godfathers of graffiti art using new york subway maps as their canvas to tell their 30 year story while remaining true to their roots. this is a rare opportunity to see examples of a genre that is often temporary by its very nature.

COPE on the streets of Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Stikman 20.1” Opens in Philadelphia Tonight

Enigmatic Street Artist STIKMAN has a solo show titled “Stikman 20.1” opening today at the Stupid Easy Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. You might not see him if you to the opening but you sure will see his vast artistic output on display. For 20 years Stikman has been putting his art on the streets based on this one character presented in so many different ways and situations, with humor, wit and poignancy – more recently they have appeared with a lot of Mondrian influences.  Most people never tire of discovering these rigid little fellers as they turn a corner, look up a sign post, cross a street, admire an architectural detail on a building.

Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

REVOK “Ordinary Things” in Detroit

REVOK is a son of Detroit and the Library Street Collective Gallery is welcoming him with a solo show titled “Ordinary Things” opening tonight. The things may be ordinary, but what he makes with them are not. Assembling and fashioning found objects and materials he shows a fastidious attention to detail and an acute sense of balance, harmony and color.

Revok on the streets of Mimai (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Four” Group Show at Loft F (Boston)

Unveiling his new portrait of a certain candidate in Tuesday’s race, Dave Tree is showing in a group show titled “Four” at the Loft F Gallery in Boston, MA. This show opens today.

Dave Tree (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also Happening this weekend:

Dale Grimshaw‘s show “Moreish” is now open to the general public at the Signal Gallery in London, UK. Click here for more details on this show.

ARD*POP-UP 2012 Festival in Oslo, Norway is now underway until Sunday Nov. 04 with the participation of renowned Street Artists including: CODEROCK (NOR), M-CITY (POL), PHLEGM (UK), PEZ (SPA), KENOR (SPA), ZOSEN(SPA), CHANOIR (FRA), GALO (BRA),
SUB LUNA (ISL), ACHOE (NOR), MARTIN WHATSON (NOR) and DOT DOT DOT (NOR). Click here for more details on this festival.

Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands is showing Finland’s Graffiti Artist EGS in a solo show with works on paper and sculptures. This show is now open to the general public. Click here for more details on this show.

JonOne solo show “Beautiful Madness” at the Fabien Castanier Gallery in Studio City, CA opens tomorrow. Click here for more details on this show.

All City Canvas: The Short Film (VIDEO)

Chris Dyer in Montreal (VIDEO)

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Images of the Week 09.23.12

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets (and sometimes inside), this week featuring new shots of Barry McGee, Buttless Supreme, Dain, Elle, Etnik, Ive One, Jose Parla, Kashink, Klepto, Matt Siren, ND”A, Overunder, Pork, Swil, This Is Awkward and Zor.

Looks like Elle and Matt Siren tried their hand at a fire extinguisher tag and they both make a splash in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Klepto collab with This Is Awkward. “I Tried to be Good”. It has been years since the last time we saw a piece by these artists on the streets of NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Barry McGee’s massive wall as it’s going up on the Mark Morris Dance Company building in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Barry McGee masive wall going up on the Mark Morris Dance Company building in Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Barry McGee massive wall going up on the Mark Morris Dance Company building in Brooklyn. Stay tuned for final shots coming soon. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ND’A has this way of making heavy things look like they are being hurtled through the air. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Remember when you first started wearing glasses to school an people started to call you “four eyes” ? Kashink (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Who would Jesus stop and frisk? Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Thinking of Moo. This cow looks so wistful and reflective, doesn’t it? Ives One in Amsterdam. (photo © Ives One)

Swil is looking more alien by the week. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Had to give you some shots of this amazing José Parlá mural in the lobby of the new Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Fisher Building. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

José Parlá at BAM Fisher Building. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

José Parlá at BAM Fisher Building. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

José Parlá at BAM Fisher Building. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

José Parlá at BAM Fisher Building. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Overunder (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Overunder (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Overunder. Hamlet was selling the palace and held an open house. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Etnik in Italy pays tribute to the Gramophone. (photo © Etnik)

Buttless Supreme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zor made a canvas of single post office stickers to create this whole piece (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zor. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pork reclaims his rightful spot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon’s “Pearly Beauty Shop” at See / Exhibition Space (Queens, NYC)

Swoon Pearly Beauty Shop

Swoon hosts Pearly’s Beauty Shop

Hosted at See//Exhibition Space
25-25 44th Drive
Long Island City 11101

Saturday, September 8
Salon and Beauty Shop: 7pm-midnight
Party: 7pm onward
Admission: $20; Salon Services: $5-500 Tickets: www.pearlysbeautyshop.eventbrite.com

The artist Swoon hosts a pop-up salon/party of ecstatic aesthetic embellishments to support the creation of a community activated arts center in North Braddock, PA.

Pearly’s Beauty Shop – A full service salon like no other.

Join us for an evening of celebration and artistic pampering from head to toe. Pearly’s Beauty Shop is a full service unisex salon and party all in

one. Artists will do you up and you will dance it out.

How it works: You pick an option from our menu of salon services. Nails done by a painter? Hair diorama by a sculptor? Makeup by a conceptual artist? Performance artist paraffin dip? No matter your desire, one of our artists will attend to your every need.

Look and be looked: You’ll find our salon stations throughout the party, with revelry all around. DJ’s Dirty Finger, Manhate, and 3 Kings International Sound will make your body move and your fresh coat of glam shine while you explore indoor and outdoor dance parties, music, installations and performances by Roofeeo, Shenandoah Davis, Lady Circus’ Anya Sapozhnikova, Audra Pace, Yea, Well, Whatever, all situated in a stunning visual landscape.

The party benefits the re-envisioning of a formerly abandoned church to become a community resource and an arts destination. All our artists are donating their time and skills for the night, including Mickalene Thomas, Dzine, Dustin Yellin, Swoon, Duke Riley, Natalie Frank, K8 Hardy, Chris Stain, Michael Anderson and many more.

Special Thanks to Rockrose and chashama.

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Curly Curates “This Art is so Street” A Group Exhibition At Stupid Easy Gallery. (Philadelphia, PA)

Curly

 

 

Street Artist Curly Steps Indoors, Curates “This Art is so Street” at Stupid Easy Gallery

Curly, one of North America’s most prolific sticker artists, will make his first foray into the mainstream art world by curating This Art is so Street at Philadelphia’s Stupid Easy Gallery. Tired of boring and uncomfortable gallery experiences, Curly has set out to make This Art is so Street an unsurpassable group show of street artists’ work. Opening September 7th, This Art is so Street is sure to be a can’t-miss affair.

This Art is so Street brings the work of eight of the world’s top street artists together for the first time under one roof. For some of these new contemporary masters, it will be their first time exhibiting in Philadelphia. In addition to Curly’s own paintings, there will be never-before-exhibited artwork by Mr. Brainwash, LNY, NoseGo, Don Pablo Pedro, Darkclouds, The Yok and Sheryo. The international lineup represents street artists from around the globe, including Philadelphia’s very own NoseGo and France’s favorite-son Mr. Brainwash, who also starred in Banksy’s film Exiting Through the Gift Shop

When Stupid Easy Gallery owner Thomas Buildmore offered Curly a solo show at the gallery, he turned it down in an effort to help out his fellow street artists. Instead, Curly decided to curate This Art is so Street and show the work of other great street artists by curating the best group show of street artists to have ever been seen in a gallery.

The reclusive and anonymous Curly has this to say about the show: “When Buildmore approached me about showing at Stupid Easy, I thought it was beneath me. After all, I can just sell my work privately directly to clients. Then I realized that there are a lot of street artists out there who don’t have that privilege and intricate understanding of the art market. So I figured that it was time to enter the gallery world, if only to shepherd along a few of my friends. This Art is so Street is, without a doubt, the best show I could have possibly put together. You will be blown away and buy things, lots of things.”

Thomas Buildmore says, “I could not be more excited about This Art is so Street. Putting together a group show of artists who do street art was a brilliant idea. Street art, or urban art as some prefer to call it, is the most important art movement since cubism, and the artists in This Art is so Street are at the forefront of the movement. Curly is a genius in both art making and curating.”

This Art is so Street opens September 7th with a private view from 5pm to 8:30pm and runs through September 30th. Stupid Easy Gallery is located at 307 Market Street, Philadelphia PA, 19106 and is open by appointment (email stupideasyideas@gmail.com).

 

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For more information on This Art is so Street or to arrange an email-interview with Curly, please contact Laurence Feinberg at laurencefeinberg@gmail.com.

 

About Curly

 

After years of dabbling in street art, Curly got serious in late 2010 and began a mission to saturate the streets of Philadelphia with his stickers. Since then, thousands of unique handmade Curly stickers have wound up on newspaper bins and signposts around Philadelphia and other cities around the world. Thanks to his winning combination of humor and style, Curly considers himself to be the world’s greatest living street artist. In 2012, he even branched out to digital art,

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