This time of year, it is hard to find people in Manhattan on the weekends – they’re “weekending” in the Hamptons, darling.
Not exactly the original setting you might associate with graffiti, street art, hip-hop, punk rock, zines, and underground art culture but where else can curators Evan Pricco and Kim Stephens sell these works on paper while sipping cool drinks poolside?
“Beyond the Streets” carries the mobile party to Southampton Arts Center this Saturday with a wide swath of styles – 500 works from over 100 artists in an art fair-sized venue. It may remind you of the Urban Air Fair tried in Manhattan in summer 2017, but this one has something that one didn’t: Roger Gastman.
If it’s here, it’s because it is quality work and has a connection to the roots of these subcultural scenes usually as well. Expanding now to the more nebulous category of Contemporary, you may be surprised to see more accessible interpretive variations on the themes. Let’s see that paper, people.
Artists include: Action Bronson, Addam Yekutieli, agnès b, AIKO, André Saraiva, Andrew Schoultz, Andrew Thiele, Andy Rementer, Aryz, Bert Krak, Brandon Breaux, Broken Fingaz, Bryant Giles, Camille Walala, CES, Cey Adams, Charlie Ahearn, Chloe Early, Chris FREEDOM Pape, Clark Fox, Cody Hudson, Conor Harrington, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Daniel Rich, David “Mr StarCity” White, DAZE, DEFER, Emily Manwaring, Eric Haze, Ermsy, Escif, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Fucci, Greg SPONE Lamarche, Gustavo Zermeno, Hilda Palafox, House 33, HuskMitNavn, Ian Reid, Icy & Sot, Jaime Muñoz, Jamilla Okuba, Jane Dickson, JEC*, Jeremy Shockley, Jillian Evelyn, JK5, John Konstantine, Julian Pace, KATSU, KC Ortiz, Kelsey Brookes, Khari Turner, Kime Buzzelli, LeRoy Neiman, Linas Garsys, Liz Flores, Lucy McLauchlan, Lujan Perez, Maripol, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Marshall LaCount, Matt McCormick, Maya Hayuk, Michael Vasquez, MIKE 171, Mister CARTOON, Neena Ellora, Nehemiah Cisneros, Nettie Wakefield, NUNCA, Otto183, Paije Fuller, Paul Insect, POSE, Rebecca Morgan, Reko Rennie, Rello, Richard Colman, RISK, Ron English, Ryan McGinness, Sage Vaughn, Saladeen Johnson, Scott Campbell, Sean from Texas, Senon Williams, Shantell Martin, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, Sofía Enriquez, SNOEMAN, Spacebrat, STASH, Steve ESPO Powers, SWOON, TAKI 183, The Perez Bros., Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Troy Lamarr Chew II, Umar Rashid, Victor Reyes, Wasted Rita, Wulffvnky, Yarrow Slaps, Yusuke Hanai, ZESER, ZOER and 45RPM.
BEYOND THE STREETS on PAPER July 17—August 28, 2021 Southampton Arts Center, Southampton, New York, 11968
They used to run from the Vandal Squad in this
neighborhood. Now people pay to see their art here.
Through the expansive glass wall on the 6th floor you can look down Kent Avenue to see the spot where a monster pickup truck with a heavy chain tied around a FAILE prayer wheel almost jackknifed on the sidewalk, gave up and sped away. Not that many Brooklynites saw that event in the 2000s – nobody walked here and few people drove through Williamsburg then except truckers looking for street walking ladies wearing high heels and spandex. Oh, and a serial killer.
Now visitors buy tickets to see a circular colonnade of FAILE prayer wheels here at 25 Kent – including the real estate developers and Wall Street professionals who displaced the community of artists whose work made the neighborhood attractive and “edgy”.
Along with Street Artists in this exhibition like Shepard Fairey, Bast, Swoon, Invader, Aiko, Dan Witz, Katsu, 1UP, and Lister, the FAILE duo put completely illegal artworks on walls under cover of night and threat of arrest in this same neighborhood then – transforming it with many others who are not in this show into an open gallery of the streets, placing Williamsburg on the map as New Yorks’ epicenter of the newly emerging Street Art scene.
The Nature of Graffiti and Street Art
As graffiti and Street Art are migratory and necessarily elusive by nature, this story is only one chapter in a volume of history that serious academics are now reconstructing and analyzing. With each passing year and published white paper, the practices of 20th century public mark-making are being examined in greater detail for archiving and for posterity. Not surprisingly, institutions, patrons, collectors, and brands are increasingly interested in this story as well.
When it comes to the anarchic subculture of illegal
street art practice and its influence on society, there are non-stop ironies
sprayed en route from verboten to Vuitton, and street culture has supercharged
the imagination of the mainstream and high culture throughout history – that’s
where the best ideas come from sometimes. Many seminal artworks from “the
scene”, as it were, represent much more than what you are seeing at first
glance. As art and cultural critic Carlo McCormick has described the iconic
Shepard Fairey ‘Hope’ image in Art in
America, many graffiti and Street Art works saved are “not a
fleeting pop-culture sensation but simply the latest crossover hit in a long
line of underground classics.”
The wide-ranging survey that is Beyond the Streets makes sure that you know where the roots are, and who many of the pioneers were. It is impossible to tell a complete story that includes scenes as diverse as west coast Chicano muralism, hobo graffiti, hip-hop commercial design, NY downtown artivism, Japanese low/hi contemporary, skateboard, tattoo, early train writing and a current romance with muralism, but BTS at least gives a serious consideration to each and offers you the opportunity to look further into them.
With the help of photography documentation from people like Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Jim Prigoff, Lisa Kahane, Joe Conzo, John Fekner, Bill Daniel, Maripol, and Dash Snow, the crucial importance of this work provides needed interstitial and contextual information that enables myriad stories to be elucidated.
Exhaustive, no. Exhausting, possibly. Pace yourself.
spent my life surrounded by graffiti and Street Art,” says the shows’ director
Roger Gastman “and you could say that I have been obsessed with understanding
the culture, its origins, and its evolution. It’s incredible to me how far it
With 150 artists whose practices span five decades
and various (mainly) American subcultures displayed in a maze of new walls in
this 100,000 sf, two-floor exhibition, the Beyond the Streets senior curatorial
team includes Gastman, filmmaker/ graffiti historian Sacha Jenkins SHR, Juxtapoz
Editor in Chief Evan Pricco, and author/ graffiti historian / graffiti writer David
CHINO Villorente. Each curator brings core competencies and knowledge of the
graffiti scene (Gastman, Jenkins, Villorente) as it has evolved to include the
Street Art practice and an eventual move toward contemporary art (Pricco).
“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” says Villorente, who says his history as
a graffiti writer compounds the impact for him. “I was glad that the show was
coming to New York because I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I couldn’t have
imagined it – especially when I think back on when I was writing on the trains
and doing illegal graffiti. To have of show of this magnitude is really
“We started writing in ’68 and here we are, fifty-one years later,” says Mike 171 as he gestures toward himself and crew writer SJK 171 when talking about how they began and continued writing their tags on the street in New York City. “This is the history right here,” he says, and you know you are about to be schooled about the plain realities of early graffiti writing. At the opening, you witness each guy tagging in a large dusty window here and realize the love for writing never actually stops.
“We were expressing something that was inside of us,” says SJK 171. “The streets were like ours,” he tells you against a backdrop of their work, Cornbread’s work, and of images full of one color, single line monikers that set the stage for the more colorful, character-driven pieces and burners a decade later, transforming trains into a rolling aesthetic symphony by the mid 1970s.
One of the actual “whole car” writers of that period, Lee “LEE” Quinones, here recreates a “Soul Train” car side on a canvas that looks like it could easily wrap an actual MTA #2-line car that he used to slaughter with cans in the middle of the night at the train yard. When describing the new work he said he was intentionally keeping it simple – perhaps owing the style to his earlier practice.
“I think this is one of Lee’s most amazing pieces,” says Charlie Ahearn, the director of the seminal 1982 “Wild Style” film that Quinones stars in. Ahearn self-produced that film which became an important distillation of the merging of graffiti with hip-hop culture during a pivotal moment in the history of both. Now also a professor of Hip-Hop, art, design, and documentary film making at Pace University, Ahearn is familiar with many of the artists work here, many relationships reaching back decades. “I told Lee that I liked that it was a one-off, that he painted all the color straight off without the embellishment, texturing, and all that stuff.”
Charlie’s twin brother John Ahearn is represented here popping out from walls as well, his sculptures serving as authentic portraits of people you may easily have seen on New York streets over the last four decades. Casted directly on top of the people themselves in a technique he has perfected, the placement of the sculptures gives life to the space.
Star Writers, Immersive Environments, Foundations
The individual clusters of work and canvasses by 1970s-80s train painters like Futura, Crash, Lady Pink, Freedom, Carlos Mare, Blade, Haze, and Daze and next gen graphic painters like Doze Green and Rime are complemented by a number of so-called “immersive” spaces here like the Mission Schools’ Barry McGee storefront with smashed window, and the Australian Pop duo Dabs & Myla’s eye candy floral walls with thousands of artificial fauna created in collaboration with Amelia Posada.
The high-profile graphic activist Shepard Fairey’s 30 year career overview takes a large area and encompasses all elements of his street and studio practice, and Bill Barminski’s cardboard home is open for you to explore with a wry smile, remembering the security room installation he did at Banksy’s Dismaland a couple years earlier.
also treated to a full rolling wall of Craig Stecyk posters that brings you the
sun and surf of California skate culture, sculptures by Mr. Cartoon and Risk, a
kid-friendly illustrated room with crafting supplies for young fans on tables
from HuskMitNavn, and an astute freight train culture educational display by
writer/painter/sculptor Tim Conlon (complete with a mid-sized Southern Pacific freight
on train tracks he and friends built), prints/photos by historian Bill Daniel, and
original drawings by the man some call the King of Hobo Art, buZ blurr.
are a self portrait as predicated on a first Bozo Texino person and I kind of
changed the image around,” says Mr. blurr, a legendary figure in denim
overalls, as he patiently describes his classic tag image of a railway cowboy.
is a writer motif – the pipe smoke is going up and then it is trailing back to
signify movement as the train goes down the track,” he says. “I worked in the
train yards and my job was as a brakeman. I had a little free time so I started
making drawings. I made my first one on November 11, 1971,” he says as he
recalls the state of mind that he was in at the time as he began to tag
freights with the image and text that came to him clearly – and may have
perplexed other travellers.
came from a confused state. I was questioning everything. I was putting kind of
cryptic messages under my drawings. It was anybody’s guess as to its literal
interpretation. I addressed some of them up to specific people but whether they
saw them or responded to them, I wouldn’t have any idea.”
it’s shipped in the crate its 550 pounds,” says Conlon as he stands by the 3-foot
high freight car re-creation on tracks and ties that is
hit with a couple of wild and colorful graffiti burners. “Here I’m going to
show you something,” he says as he pulls back the roof to reveal the narrow
coffin interior in rusted red. “So I’m going to hide some beer in here during
the opening party. This is like the fifth one of these I’ve made,” and he proudly
confides that one lives in the house of Robert Downey Jr.
Digging Deep to Take Risks
to rest on laurels and previous formulas of success, the show keeps a freshness
by presenting known entities pushing themselves further and taking creative risks;
a reflection of that spirit of experimentation we have always prized on the
writer Earsnot from Irak crew, now known professionally as Kunle Martin, said
he had been making work for the gallery containing elements of graffiti, but
felt they were too “safe”.
“Then my friend Dan said ‘you should go back to doing drawings,’” he says as he stands before figurative canvasses in black and white on cardboard. “I said ‘I can’t! It’s too hard! But eventually I began working in my studio five days a week, and I made enough for a show.”
Reflective of the attitude of Gastman toward artists in the community, he told Martin that if he made enough of them, he could place them in this show. “I think he was happy to hear that I was in my studio working. He’s been very supportive of it.”
color-drenched graphic/photographic collage style is featured with plenty of
space in large frames from Chicago’s Pose, who says he is letting photography
and geometry lead him away from his previous pop collage style that may have reminded
many of Lichtenstein. His inspiration here comes from his research into early
photos of graffiti writers running from police “I was
obsessed with John Naars photos and I have usually Norman Mailer as in
inspiration. Some of these photo references are from the Philadelphia Inquirer,” he says.
New York’s Eric Haze also dares himself to take a new direction with three canvasses featuring a refracted piecing-together of imagery and memories of this city in monochrome. Based on black and white scenes of the city by photographer and NYC taxi driver Matt Weber, the scenes capture aspects that are culled from imagination and impression. The centerpiece canvas captures an iconic piece of the Williamsburg waterfront that has been removed in the last few years by developers; the signage of the old Domino Sugar factory by the Williamsburg Bridge.
Mr. Haze said he meant it as a gift and tribute to
his wife, actress and longtime resident of the neighborhood, Rosie Perez who
used to see it along Kent Avenue as a kid. “He’s not afraid to take risks. He’s not afraid to go in the
studio and express what’s inside of him. When he brought me to the studio, he
says, ‘I have a surprise for you’,” she remembers. “I saw the beginnings of the
Domino painting and I was stunned into silence and I got teary-eyed.”
An expanded version of the show that first mounted
in Los Angeles last year, the collection is focused a great deal on the
American history of graffiti with a balance of East/West coast graffiti history
– in a way that may remind you of 2011’s “Art in the Streets” at LA MoCA. That
makes sense, considering Gastman co-curated that show as well.
“It’s both a historical and current look at where
the culture went and where it started and how widespread it is,” says
co-curator Evan Pricco, who perhaps provides a lynchpin view toward the big
name Street Artists who continued to push expectations in the 2000’s on streets
and in commercial galleries around the world. “With the space spread over two
floors it has a way better curatorial sense. I also think it does compete with
museums because it shows that this kind of work is on the same level. You kind
of have to present it in a way that feels very institutional and archival.”
So is Beyond the Streets
a graffiti show or a Street Art show or a contemporary art show? For artist
Kenny Scharf, who first gained attention during the heyday of Downtown
Manhattan’s art scene that benefitted from an interlude where rents were dirt
cheap and Wall Street was on a cocaine high, there is no need to categorize
what kind of art this is.
“You know I never liked labels or titles anyway so
even back in the early 80s I was pegged like ‘oh you’re a graffiti artist,’” he
says. “People feel the need to title and label so I’ll
let them to continue to do that but I don’t fit into any of them and I don’t
want to. I want to fit into all of them and none of them.”
Streets opened June 21 and continues through the summer.
Martha Cooper’s work as exhibited at Beyond The Streets New York
Beyond The Streets NYC is now open in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the general public and will run until August 2019. Click HERE for schedules, tickets and details.
Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.
“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”
He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.
“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.
The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.
Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an
additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along
with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys
installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary
Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large
scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi
More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.
“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.
BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM
Curator: Roger Gastman
Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente
A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER
The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.
Banksy has ventured into the entertaining resort business. One that would possibly be your last resort.
A scathing social and political critique of any number of targets that routinely come under the purview of this artist/curator/commentator/showman, this big tent brings everyone inside for a beating. Rampant capitalism, civic hypocrisy, the war industry, advertising deceit, an encroaching police state, environmental destruction, the widening gap in social equality, xenophobia with its inherent racism, and our insatiable penchant for sunny denial are a partial list of woes addressed. If you don’t feel sickened or guilty after visiting Dismaland perhaps you could affect a certain smugness that says, “Finally, someone is talking about all of these important issues that I’ve been going on about.”
Cheerfully cynical and sarcastic, this magic kingdom is most successful when you are challenged to reconsider a behavior or position – and with 50 or so invited co-exhibitionists, some whose bodies of work are substantial on their own, Banksy clearly intends to challenge you and indict you with a relentless barrage of over-the-top funhouse symbolism and metaphor. If, for example, you are enthralled by those American right-wing Christian Halloween “Hell House” installations that feature pregnant teen girls in stirrups and sallow-faced gay HIV-positive patients in hospital beds you’ll cherish the harrowing Banksy path to salvation. Alas, there may be no salvation, sorry.
Here you can see bright yellow bathtub ducks swimming in an oil spill, there you can play paparazzi with the other flashing bulbs recording Cinderalla’s overturned carriage crash. Next, get a load of the toy boats dangerously overloaded with refugees and the knife-wielding butcher eye-balling the horses he’s riding with on the merry-go-round. If Disneyland clobbers you with candy-covered bromides and implausibly rosy fantasy, Dismaland brings you to the edge of the abyss of man’s folly and gently nudges you to fall into it. Or jump.
Particularly effective to the experience are the grim and listless personnel who mind the grounds and offer no clear or meaningful help. Not quite menacing, they could just be impersonating sullen teens. Perhaps they are buckling under the weight of low wages and dim opportunities on the horizon or are simply humiliated by the balloons some are made to carry that say, “I’m an Imbecil”.
On a particularly gray and dreary day periodically warmed with the sun, the photographer named Butterfly made her pilgrimage to this nightmare fairy tale by the seaside for the big opening and below she shares with BSA readers her images and observations on the pop-up exhibition to help us all feel a bit of the dreadful experience first-hand.
Weston-Super-Mare is a British seaside town, 30 minutes from Bristol, where families spend the day out donkey riding, visiting the Seaquarium or trying arcades at the Pier while kids build sandcastles on a muddy beach in miserable weather.
Rumors had been circulating for weeks about big installations being built in the former Tropicana, a derelict lido closed since 2000 which once hosted the biggest outdoor swimming pool in Europe. The rumblings and the build up to the announcement to the show was phenomenal, along with the conjecture: Is it a film set? Is it a show? Is it a fair? Is it art?
Finally we know: This is Banksy’s biggest show to date: Dismaland. It is, according to promotional materials “is a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism.”
Moving towards Contemporary Art, the show is billed as a ‘Bemusement Park’. The global scale, diversity of installations, artworks and participating artists is unprecedented with 50 contemporary artists from 17 countries aiming to exhibit contemporary art and raise discussion about consumerism, political and environmental issues and to spur people to take action.
1000 lucky local people were invited to experience Dismaland before its’ opening to the general public. Concurrently the online ticket sales failed miserably, with the website crashing all day and earning it the award of ‘the most disappointing new website’.
We first enter the premises through a cardboard security control room built by Bill Barminksi where the security staff asks the most random questions. After the clearing security, doors open to a sinister derelict place with trash, paper on the floor and mud. It almost looks like a dump. The surrounding staff members are dressed in pink hi-vis (vests) and are looking bored, miserable and haggard. Some are holding David Shrigley’s ‘I’m an Imbecile’ balloons. When asking questions, they respond by whispering messages that are beyond understanding. Customer service is below standard and not responsive at best.
Surrounded by murky water with a dumped riot van that has been transformed into an impromptu water fountain, a decrepit fairy-tale castle ‘shows how it feels to be a real princess’. A sinister scene of a Cinderella pumpkin crash sculpture is lit up by the swarm of paparazzi, with flashing cameras taking photo after photo of the tragic crash scene, echoing Princess Diana’s death. You may also pose with it and have your souvenir photo of the experience.
The amusements are purposely confusing – as they don’t let you win. An ESPO sign reads
‘WINNING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED’. Arcade fans attempt miserably to score some of the bling necklaces by shooting spray cans, only to realize that they are screwed to the wall.
Some local families were confused with Banksy’s Mediterranean Boat Ride, where the public can drive robotic boats of migrants amongst floating bodies. Kids tried to play on Paul Insect‘s overcrowded sandpit while others were desperately looking for disappearing golf balls on the impossible Mini Gulf course. Families enjoyed rides on the merry-go-round without noticing a butcher sitting next to a hanging horse draining blood with cardboard boxes marked Lasagnes (a nod to a horse food scandal in 2013).
Alongside the rides, contemporary artworks are displayed throughout the site. There is also a large indoor space hosting 3 galleries with a selection of some of the best contemporary art. A circus tent features a freak show of strange animals from Polly Morgan and Dorcas Casey to a unicorn by Damien Hirst and a Banksy animatronic rabbit that makes the magician disappear.
The seaside and funfair themes have been given a certain twist as well: A statue of a woman being attacked by seagulls (Banksy), a giant ice cream cone (Ben Long), a wooden carved horse sculpture (Maskull Lasserre), a beach ball floating above razor sharp knives (Damien Hirst), a seaside painting showing a mother and child playing on the sand unaware of the tsunami of detritus coming toward them (Banksy).
Environmental issues and relationships between human and nature are also highlighted with artworks from Paco Pomet and Josh Keyes. A Banksy killer whale sculpture is jumping out of a toilet peace. Other topics addressed are on war, geopolitics, and the Arab Spring. Artists from Palestine and Israel are displayed side by side. Within the Guerilla Island, the dome presents of series of activist banners from all over the world, including drawings from Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani.
A bus turned into a touring Museum of Cruel Objects curated by Dr. Gavin Grindon educates the public on surveying the role of design for social control, including CCTV. And you can sign up to one of the union stalls for action. Finally there is the mind-blowing model village installation by James Cauty called The Aftermath Dislocation Principle.
The evening turned into a big party with live music while a massive show of fireworks sealed the official opening. I found the experience to be overwhelming with so much artwork to discover and actions to be taken.
Winter has been beating New York with a stick this week, but there’s still new Street Art going up – you just might miss it because you are rushing home to get warm. Also we have a smattering of shots from other cities this week to give you an idea of what’s up.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Bifido, Bradley Theodore, BustArt, Claudio Ethos, Clet, Gore-B, GumShoe, Jilly Ballistic, Li-Hill, Mark Samsonovich, Mr. One Teas, Paul Insect and SeeTf.
A powerful group of images this week as we do a drive by on Labor Day Weekend in New York. We know it’s the last weekend of Summer but hell no! I’m gonna have another strawberry ice cream out on the stoop.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alma’s, Anthony Lemer, Arnaud Montagard, Alice Pasquini, Bast, BLY, Cesar Mieses DALeast, Dek, Jerk Face, Paul Insect, Pete Kirill, Ryan McGinness, Sean9Lugo, Seymour Chwast, Solus, Swil, Tripel, Willow, Wing, and You Go Girl!
“This is my latest wall, painted in Syracuse, Sicily with the support of the Istinto Naturale cultural association,” says Alice Pasquini of this new tableau.
“Titled ‘The myth of Arethusa and Alpheus’ it was inspired by the spring of Arethusa in Ortygia (Syracuse), a body of fresh water close to the seashore. The legend says that the nereid Arethusa, trying to escape the advances of the river god Alpheus, fled by turning into a stream, eventually breaking ground in Ortygia where Alpheus found her and was able to mingle in her waters.” ~ AP
Let the mingling begin! Although you have to admit that she doesn’t look like she’s quite committed to the idea.
Here it is! Our 2013 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.
Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year, snapped one second before he was singled out of a New York crowd, handcuffed, and stuffed into a police car – sort of like the Banksy balloons he was capturing.
“Among all the thousands of photos I took this year there’s one that encapsulates the importance of Street Art in the art world and some of the hysteria that can build up around it,” he says of his final shot on the final day of the one month Better Out Than In artist ‘residency’ in NYC this October. It was a cool day to be a Street Art photographer – but sadly Rojo was camera-less in a case of mistaken identity, if only for a short time.
Released two hours later after the actual car-jumping trespasser was charged, Rojo was happy to hear the Chief Lieutenant tell his officer “you’ve got the wrong man”, to get his shoelaces back, and to discover this photo was still on his camera. He also gets to tell people at parties that he spent some time in the holding cell with the two guys whom New York watched tugging down the B-A-N-K-S-Y.
When it came to choosing the 112 images for the video that capture the spirit of the Street Art scene in ’13, we were as usual sort of overwhelmed to comb through about ten thousand images and to debate just how many ‘legal’ versus ‘illegal’ pieces made it into the mix. Should we include only images that went up under the cover of the night, unsanctioned, uncensored, uncompromised, unsolicited and uncommissioned? Isn’t that what Street Art is?
Right now there are a growing number of legal pieces going up in cities thanks to a growing fascination with Street Art and artists and it is causing us to reevaluate what the nature of the Street Art scene is, and what it may augur for the future. You can even say that from a content and speech perspective, a sizeable amount of the new stuff is playing it safe – which detracts from the badass rebel quality once associated with the practice.
These works are typically called by their more traditional description – murals. With all the Street Art / graffiti festivals now happening worldwide and the growing willingness of landlords to actually invite ‘vandals’ to paint their buildings to add cache to a neighborhood and not surprisingly benefit from the concomitant increase in real estate values, many fans and watchers have been feeling conflicted in 2013 about the mainstreaming that appears to be taking place before our eyes. But for the purposes of this roundup we decided to skip the debate and let everybody mix and mingle freely.
This is just a year-end rollicking Street Art round-up; A document of the moment that we hope you like.
Ultimately for BSA it has always been about what is fresh and what is celebrating the creative spirit – and what is coming next. “We felt that the pieces in this collection expressed the current vitality of the movement – at least on the streets of New York City,” says photographer and BSA co-founder Rojo. It’s a fusillade of the moment, complete with examples of large murals, small wheat pastes, intricate stencils, simple words made with recycled materials or sprayed on to walls, clay installations, three dimensional sculptures, hand painted canvases, crocheted installations, yarn installations etc… they somehow captured our imaginations, inspired us, made us smile, made us think, gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it.
A Dying Breed, Aakash Nihalini, Agostino Iacursi, Amanda Marie, Apolo Torres, Axel Void, Bagman, Bamn, Pixote, Banksy, B.D. White, Betsy, Bishop203, NDA, Blek le Rat, br1, Case Maclaim, Cash For Your Warhol, Cholo, Chris RWK, Chris Stain, Billy Mode, Christian Nagel, Cost, ENX, Invader, Crush, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Dase, Dasic, Keely, Deeker, Don’t Fret, The Droid, ECB, el Seed, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Faile, Faith 47, Five Pointz, Free Humanity, Greg LaMarche, Hot Tea, How & Nosm, Icy & Sot, Inti, Jilly Ballistic, John Hall, JR, Jose Parla, Judith Supine, Kremen, Kuma, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Love Me, Martha Cooper, Matt Siren, Elle, Mika, Miss Me, Missy, MOMO, Mr. Toll, Nychos, Okuda, Alice Mizrachi, OLEK, Owen Dippie, Paolo Cirio, Paul Insect, Phetus, Phlegm, Revok, Pose, QRST, Rambo, Ramiro Davaro, Reka, Rene Gagnon, ROA, RONES, Rubin, bunny M, Square, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swoon, Tristan Eaton, The Lisa Project 2013, UFO 907, Willow, Swill, Zed1, and Zimer.
Here is our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 500m, Ainac, Bask, Bishop203, CB23, Edapt, Fin DAC, Hot Tea, Jilly Ballistic, Labrona, Leghead, Medico, Nester, Nico, Paul Insect, Poop Culture, Starfightera, and Tony DePew.
It’s Friday yo! Tomorrow starts December but the tree is already up at Rockefeller Center and the city is flushed with wide-eyed tourists bumping into each other and we are busy touring graffiti covered abandoned buildings smashed with paint balls. It’s all good. Here’s some ideas for dope stuff to check out this weekend.
1. “Out of Chaos” Paul Insect (NYC)
2. “Organized Chaos” CYRCLE (LA)
3. The RAMMELLZEE Galaxseum (NYC)
4. VINZ “Batalla” (Chelsea)
5. DALeast “Powder of Light”
6. ROA by Makhulu (VIDEO)
7. “Dominant Species” by ROA (VIDEO)
8. IBUg Festival of Urban Art and Culture (VIDEO)
9. “Eyez Open” with Peat Wollaeger (VIDEO)
Paul Insect “Out of Chaos” (NYC)
London based Paul Insect has his “Out of Chaos” solo show at Opera Gallery in Manhattan.
For further information regarding this show click here.
To read our piece on a CYRCLE studio visit click here.
The RAMMELLZEE Galaxseum (NYC)
The Childrens Museum of the Arts is a good place to go to see the innerworkings of the visionary graffiti writer who turned his imagination into a galaxy. This kind of art-making gives inspiration to adults and kids because he fashioned toys and warships and costumes from everyday objects that were not expensive, and his output of mythic Gothic Futurism gods, heros, villains and storylines over three decades lays bare your excuse for not being creative.
It’s about the same price as a movie but the comprehensive collection of the artists work and the self-esteem mission of the museum is priceless. The Rammellzee Galaxseum is a great place to visit for an afternoon with the kids in your tribe and explore free expression – inside where it’s warm and your imagination can fly.
VINZ “Batalla” (Chelsea)
The VINZ solo show “Batalla” opens Saturday night at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Manhattan. This Spanish Street Artist plays with the realities of humans, using his own photographs of nude models and animals to construct hybrids by playfully merging their bodies with striking results.
Parisian Street and Fine Artist LUDO shared these exclusive images of his new installations outside Paris. Says the artist, he decided to see how his stuff would look outside the typical urban settings. Also, he just wanted to get out of the city, “just the need for fresh air,” he says.
Street Artist and fine artist Dan Witz is prepping for his part in a new group show titled “Bedlam” in the deep recesses of London with Lazarides Gallery. “We’re doing this huge thing in the tunnels below the Old Vic – should be massive,” he tells us with some thrill in his email voice. It’s good to hear Dan happy, because his work can be so dark. Just back from Frankfurt where he worked with Amnesty International to highlight the human rights and justice work that organization does for all of us, these new images on the streets of London are the Street Art component of Witz’s practice that is quietly compelling and unsettling.
Certainly the aim of these pieces is not to put us at ease, to “Keep Calm and Carry On”. The figures behind the glass are depicted as imprisoned or trapped, and your second glance at them will leave you disconcerted and troubled. Witz goes where many artists won’t or can’t in his explorations of the human condition and man’s inhumanity – reminding us that art can serve more than to just send us home happy and content. It can also connect us with a truer sense of the world, provide a bit of grounding and remind us of the work that needs to be done. With this work Witz give a voice to those who don’t have words to express their suffering.
Our thanks to Dan for sharing these super fresh images exclusively for BSA readers.
Dan Witz in Frankfurt for Amnesty International. Frankfurt, Germany 2012. Work in Progress. All artworks by Dan Witz. Photos by Dan Witz and Hans-Juergen Kaemmerer.
Lazarides is mounting “Bedlam” in a maze of tunnels below Old Vic beginning October 09, evoking the historic mental asylum. “Bedlam over the years has become synonymous with madness, chaos and pandemonium, it seemed like the perfect theme for a world gone mad. Be afraid.” -Steve Lazarides. Participating Artists include: Vhils, Conor Harrington, Doug Foster, Ian Francis, Kelsey Brookes, Karim Zeriahen, Klaus Weiskopf, Lucy McLauchlan, Artists Anonymous, Michael Najjar, Till Rabus, Jonathan Yeo, DAn Witz and Antony Micallef.