All posts tagged: Persons of Interest

BSA Galavanting, The New Year and You

BSA Galavanting, The New Year and You

BSA galavanted through the streets last year and here we re-paste our recent newsletter to BSA readers. Sign up for it if you like. Here’s the original.

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Happy New Year from BSA!

From Berlin to Norway to Rochester and Mexico, Faile to Swoon to Ron English to Dan Witz and Gilf!, BSA was in museums, galleries, artists studios, at festivals, on panel discussions, on stages, on TV, radio, in theaters, and of course in the street.

Here are some highlights of the some of the amazing things BSA did with you in 2015. We sincerely thank you for your support and send love to you and yours in the new year!

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In ’15 BSA Created “Persons of Interest” with UN in Berlin
Brought 12 Brooklyn Street Artists to Berlin with “Persons of Interest” show for Urban Nation Museum (UN)/ProjectM7

Reviews in:
Juxtapoz, VNA, Hi-Fructose, Huffington Post, Butterfly

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The (almost) complete “Persons of Interest” crew courtesy ©Sandra Butterfly

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BSA Presented “On the Radar” in Coney Island
With Jeffrey Dietch’s Coney Art Walls program at Coney Island Museum for Coney Art Walls, we presented 12 artist to watch who are on our radar.

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BSA Presented Faile at the Brooklyn Museum
A beautiful experience to be a part of the FAILE exhibition from its earliest planning stages to its full summer run at Brooklyn Museum, the cherry on top was to host an in-depth presentation and conversation with Faile’s Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil and BKM curator Sharon Matt Atkins in front of an enthusiastic Brooklyn audience.

Aside from The Pope landing in New York at the exact time people were traveling to the show and some microphone difficulties at the beginning of the show, it was a complete and total thrill for us. See the full video on LiveStream here.

What Happened with BSA + FAILE at the Brooklyn Museum?

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Steven P. Harrington, Patrick Miller of Faile (top), Sharon Matt Atkins, Patrick McNeil, and Jaime Rojo (image © by and courtesy of The Dusty Rebel) (@DustyRebel on Instagram)

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BSA Joined Swoon to Inaugurate Her New Heliotrope Foundation
The tenacious and visionary Street Artist grounded her dreams in a formal foundation in 2015, allowing her to pursue even greater reach in her growing projects in New Orleans, Haiti, and Braddock, PA. We were honored to interview her and to help celebrate the official beginning of The Heliotrope Foundation with the help of special guest and board member Kaseem Dean aka Swizz Beatz.

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Callie Curry (aka Swoon), Kasseem Dean (aka Swizz Beatz), Jaime Rojo, Steven P. Harrington inaugurate The Heliotrope Foundation

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photo ©Daniel Feral

BSA Hosted Martha Cooper, Bortusk Leer, and Herman De Hoop at Nuart Plus
For presentations from each of the guests and panel discussion on the intersection of “Play” and public space at NUART 2015 in Stavanger, Norway.

Read our published essay for the academic conference at Nuart: “TECHNOLOGY, FESTIVALS AND MURALS AS NUART TURNS 15

NUART 2015 Roundup: A Laboratory on the Street

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Jaime Rojo, Harmen De Hoop, Martha Cooper, Bortusk Leer, Steven P. Harrington at Nuart Plus (©MZM Projects)

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Banksy Does New York Took Us to Theaters Around the World
Good News: The movie got on NetFlix, iTunes, in festivals, and in theaters in cities around the globe
Bad News: People think we have a museum

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We Flew Over World’s Largest Mural
Flew by helicopter above the world’s largest mural by Ella and Pitr in Stavanger, Norway with two of our most admired photographers; Martha Cooper and Ian Cox. Thanks Nuart!

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Ella & Pitr © Jaime Rojo

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Ian Cox, Martha Cooper, Jaime Rojo getting ready to fly over Ella & Pitr in Norway (photo selfie ©Ian Cox)

We presented BSA Film Friday Live at MAG Gallery
Under the direction of Jonathan Binstock at University of Rochester Museum the MAG Gallery hosted us during the Wall\Therapy festival.

This is the grassroots sort of festival that rings true to us these days and the down-to-earth volunteers and organizers of this event, along with those of our associates at Urban Nation (UN), made this a highlight of the summer.

WALL\THERAPY 2015 : Surrealism and The Fantastic

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Steven P. Harrington at MAG Gallery for Wall\Therapy (photo ©Jason Wilder)

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BSA moderated 1st panel for 1st event of 1st edition of LoMan Festival
“OMG Is this Street Art?” was the name of our panel with guest panelists Ron English, Gilf!, Dan Witz, and Jonathan Levine.

LoMan Art Festival Launches Its First Blast in NYC

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Ron English, Ann J Lewis, Dan Witz, Jonathan LeVine, and Steven P. Harrington for first LoMan festival event in August (photo ©Rodrigo Valles‎).

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BSA in Berlin Radio Interview with Vantage Point
We talked about Jay-Z, Bowie, Bushwick, the democratization of Street Art, cultural imperialism, the UN and what it is like to bust out a blog seven days a week and still keep your mind and heart open to discovery.
Listen to it here on Vantage Point and Soundcloud:

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BSA completed its fifth year in partnership with The Huffington Post in June 2015 (225+ articles) and was translated in Spanish on El Huffington Post, in French on Le Huffington Post, in Italian on L’Huffington Post, in Korean on Huff Post Korea, in Portuguese on Brasil Post, and in Greek for Huffington Post Greece.
BSA posted every single day and did 23 interviews and studio visits and published articles about street art in 103 cities
BSA was reference or appeared in the media in The New York Times, The Today Show, Le Monde, Agence France Press, German Rbb Tv, Borås Tidning, El Diario, El Heraldo, ArtNet News, Juxtapoz, VNA, Hi-Fructose, and others.
BSA’s Director of Photography Jaime Rojo took more than 10,000 images and we picked 143 as BSA 2015 Images of the Year.
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Special thank you to photographer Martha Cooper and Nuart Festival director Martyn Reed for the banner image from this years festival.

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See the Gallery Show! The BSA-UN PM/7 Pop-Up Exhibition

See the Gallery Show! The BSA-UN PM/7 Pop-Up Exhibition

Behind the Scenes for the Brooklyn-Berlin Pop-Up

Last Saturday the 14th the public was invited to an open reception to meet the artists who had flown to Berlin to create new portraits for Urban Nation (UN), curated by BSA.

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Don Rimx checks his original illustration on his phone while creating much larger color version on the wall at the UN Gallery Pop-Up show (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The companion show for “Persons of Interest” at the UN Gallery is a pop-up show by the same Brooklyn artists whose portrait works were in the windows of the future museum but there were two important differences from those installations:

1. The artist had no limitations or guidelines regarding the subject or style of their chosen piece
2. The installation was to be mounted directly on the wall and not for sale.

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Don Rimx (photo © Jaime Rojo)

After asking each artist to research and select their “person of interest” for the main windows and façade of the UN, it only seemed fair that we put no restrictions on the content or inspiration for their other piece for the opening to allow more free expression.

While we like gallery shows that sell art it felt much more natural to see the artists hit the walls directly as they would on the street – from floor to ceiling and side by side, they created a sort of continuum that lead out of the gallery doors out to the walls of this much-decorated city.

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Don Rimx “Ache”, a bendicion in the spirit of his birthplace of Puerto Rico.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

Because these new artworks will have a limited run that ends in their destruction, the experience for the gallery goer of viewing them is an acknowledgement that the roots of this art-making practice embraces its ephemeral quality.

Something about that fact makes the work more immediate, more consequential, knowing that the work you are viewing on the street may not be there tomorrow. Each one of these artists knows this on the street, something another kind of artist may find difficult to accept or incorporate into their thinking.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In the first couple of days everyone was recovering from serious NY-Berlin jet lag, and a handful of the artists were wearing the same clothes they arrived in while  waiting for their luggage that was stuck in Düsseldorf because of a strike by bag handlers. One artist missed his plane, others got a little lost on the metro, and there were two lost phones – but these are small problems once you are confronted with a blank wall next to 11 peers on which to create something amazing.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is a prospect full of opportunities and maybe a little bit of anxiety, but each artist brought their A-game and knew they were in a supportive environment. They also created it – reaching out to help with a brush or a ladder or can of paint, a word of advice and some problem solving too. Ultimately they were total professionals with skillz to lay down. By adapting and excelling at their work, the collective effect that this eclectic harmony produced clearly energized the crowd that overflowed onto the sidewalks Saturday night.

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Cake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The result on the gallery walls is an acid rainbow pop of personality, metaphor, text, pattern, socio/political commentary, activism, and a tribute to ancestors. Each artist brought their individual style and approach to gallery walls in much the same way that appears on the street. For a few it was the first time meeting while others were long-time friends and clearly some were fans of each others work.

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One coincidence that sort of blew us away was that Don Rimx and Specter both told us that their pieces were meant to be a “blessing” to their hosts; Rimx featuring a re-worked traditional image of a Puerto Rican grandmother and overflowing bucket of water – “the source of life” he said, and Specters post-modern repetition of leaves from a plant that he said you would bring someone as a gift. Neither had consulted with the other or us, and yet both mounted these pieces side-by-side.

Any day you get to work with artists is a good day – especially driven dynamic talented ones who are always challenging themselves, digging deeper to pull out something that speaks, that means something. These few precious days in Berlin with these few artists were very good days indeed for us and we hope for them too.

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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NohJColey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon’s undulating biomorphic and ornate paper cuts were at center stage of the gallery, wrapped around the columns in the middle of the room.(photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olivia from Swoon’ Studio working on the installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter took off his shoes to create but remained in his long-johns while waiting for his luggage to arrive a day and a half after him. This plant was understated and yet commanded attention – this guy is one of the most intellectually adventurous in his street practice, easily sliding between mediums and concepts. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain prepped his wall by tagging the surface multiple times in multiple colors and mucking it up with a roller – effectively bringing the street into the gallery so he could paste his new longer form enigmatic collage portrait on it and within the sea of colors and texture. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain likes to work alone so he took his body parts and pieces into the adjacent store room to assemble and reassemble, spray, color, cut out, selectively damage or damask – a process that allows for experimentation and discovery while the artist relies on some intuitive guidance to get to the final piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dain and Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Some place in there you’ll find Chris Stain at work on his piece – an artist whose work always reflects the people you see on the street and in your neighborhood. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain brings a bit of Brooklyn to Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia’s gallery piece was directly related to his portrait of Fereshta Ludin that he completed for the “Persons of Interest” window installation. An artist who makes a fulsome study of his subject matter and the historical/social/political/anthropological factors that surround it – Gaia here incorporated the marching mass of right wing anti-Islamic Pegida demonstrators as a backdrop to a disembodied draped head scarf, a symbol of religious expression by Muslim women. Posted on the front, with dropped shadow to pop it forward, is a published interview with Ms. Ludin -who attended the opening reception last Saturday, meeting the artist and us in person for the first time. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia, Ms. Farestha Ludin and Steven P. Harrington (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia and Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 and the German translation of “Here today, gone tomorrow”, his reference to the ephemerality of the graffiti/street art game, and perhaps larger existential considerations. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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For some, these are two essential products to survive while painting in a foreign country (or at home) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot used this opportunity to create something more abstract than the work that they are known for, which can be quickly understood. According to a few people at the opening, they liked it more than the brother’s typical work for that reason, so it was successful in that respect. Icy explained that it is a crouching figure with a mashup of a destroyed city within it. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nice Keds dude… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake . Swoon . Dain  . Gaia . Chris Stain  CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon . El Sol 25 . Esteban Del Valle . NohJColey . Gaia CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx . Specter . Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Project M/7 “Persons Of Interest” Street level exhibition and the Pop-Up show are currently on view and free to the general public at:

URBAN NATION
Bülowstraße 97
10738 Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany

Opening Hours
Monday-Friday 10.00 -18.00

 http://www.urban-nation.net/

 

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Specter and Sally Montana – “Persons of Interest”

Specter and Sally Montana – “Persons of Interest”

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BSA is in Berlin this month to present a new show of 12 important Brooklyn Street Artists at the Urban Nation haus as part of Project M/7. PERSONS OF INTEREST brings to our sister city a diverse collection of artists who use many mediums and styles in the street art scene of Brooklyn. By way of tribute to the special relationship that artist communities in both cities have shared for decades, each artist has chosen to create a portrait of a Germany-based cultural influencer from the past or present, highlighting someone who has played a role in inspiring the artist in a meaningful way.
 
Today we talk to Specter and ask him why he chose his person of interest, Sally Montana.

Specter is multi-disciplinary on the street, including sculptural installations, photography, and hand-painted large-scale one-off wheat pastes. It was the latter practice that first drew us into his personal stories and portraits on the streets in the 2000s, enlarged versions of people you might meet in the neighborhood. There was the guy with a grocery cart full of recyclable bottles, the food delivery dude on a bicycle, the burly homeless gent wrapped in a red blanket.

These are everyday people on the streets of Brooklyn, and Specter elevates them for passersby to stop and consider.

For his PERSON OF INTEREST Specter is painting another Brooklyn artist as a way of honoring the thousands who have made a thriving and buoyant scene in the 1990s-2010s in neighborhoods like Bushwick, Gowanus, BedStuy, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint – similar in many ways to Berlin’s neighborhoods of Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg, Schöneberg and Mitte.

To find his portrait subject, Specter just looked next door to his studio. “Sally Montana is my neighbor. She is from Germany but lives in Brooklyn and is a professional photographer and one of the nicest people anyone could ever meet. The reason I choose her is because I feel she embodies this project. The connection between NY and Berlin art communities being the two of the largest in the world and the back-and-forth sharing of people and influences from each others cultures.”

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Specter in Brooklyn  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Specter in Brooklyn  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Check out the Facebook page for PERSONS OF INTEREST

See Full Press Release HERE

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Esteban Del Valle and George Grosz – “Persons of Interest”

Esteban Del Valle and George Grosz – “Persons of Interest”

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BSA is in Berlin this month to present a new show of 12 important Brooklyn Street Artists at the Urban Nation haus as part of Project M/7. PERSONS OF INTEREST brings to our sister city a diverse collection of artists who use many mediums and styles in the street art scene of Brooklyn. By way of tribute to the special relationship that artist communities in both cities have shared for decades, each artist has chosen to create a portrait of a Germany-based cultural influencer from the past or present, highlighting someone who has played a role in inspiring the artist in a meaningful way.
 
Today we talk to Esteban Del Valle and ask him why he chose his person of interest, George Grosz.

An interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn, Del Valle has been rendering figures and scenarios on walls here and in his native Chicago, San Antonio, Kansas City, Spartanburg – even at 5 Pointz, the graffiti holy place in Queens that was recently buffed and destroyed. A performance artist in the public sphere as well as painter, his complex stories run deep with his contemplations on an imbalanced world. His is an activist approach to tearing apart and rebuilding to reveal influences, emotions, and motivations. In these ways and others he is not unlike his selected subject, George Grosz, a pivotal figure in Berlin’s Dada movement.

A German artist known especially for his drawings of people as caricature during the roaring days and nights of Berlin’s 1920s, Grosz was acerbic, crude and corrosive in his depiction of corruption and abuse of power. Eventually moving to New York and settling down in Bayside, Queens, the artist continued his work as a painter and cultural critic. For his portrait of Grosz, Del Valle inserts the artist into Grosz’ own 1926 painting, Eclipse of the Sun, along with ex Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley and some headless businessmen. Too much to describe here, Grosz can speak for himself:

My drawings expressed my despair, hate and disillusionment, I drew drunkards; puking men; men with clenched fists cursing at the moon. … I drew a man, face filled with fright, washing blood from his hands … I drew lonely little men fleeing madly through empty streets. I drew a cross-section of tenement house: through one window could be seen a man attacking his wife; through another, two people making love; from a third hung a suicide with body covered by swarming flies. I drew soldiers without noses; war cripples with crustacean-like steel arms; two medical soldiers putting a violent infantryman into a strait-jacket made of a horse blanket … I drew a skeleton dressed as a recruit being examined for military duty. I also wrote poetry. —Grosz  Friedrich, Otto (1986). [note] Before the Deluge. USA: Fromm International Publishing Corporation. pp. 37. [/note]

“I believe art is inherently powerful,” says Del Valle, “and that power can be used to reflect and reshape reality. Much like I aspire to do, George Grosz used satirical imagery to call attention to social inequalities while blurring the line between illustration and painting. His poignant content and aesthetic seems just as relevant today as it did in post 1920’s Berlin.”

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Esteban Del Valle in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle in New York (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Check out the Facebook page for PERSONS OF INTEREST

See Full Press Release HERE

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GAIA and Fereshta Ludin – “Persons of Interest”

GAIA and Fereshta Ludin – “Persons of Interest”

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BSA is in Berlin this month to present a new show of 12 important Brooklyn Street Artists at the Urban Nation haus as part of Project M/7. PERSONS OF INTEREST brings to our sister city a diverse collection of artists who use many mediums and styles in the street art scene of Brooklyn. By way of tribute to the special relationship that artist communities in both cities have shared for decades, each artist has chosen to create a portrait of a Germany-based cultural influencer from the past or present, highlighting someone who has played a role in inspiring the artist in a meaningful way.
 
Today we talk to GAIA and ask him why he chose his person of interest, Fereshta Ludin.

It has been nearly 12 years since Afghanistan-born German Muslim school teacher Fereshta Ludin won the right to wear her headscarf in the public school system and the topic remains very hot around the country. For one thing, eight German states forbid the practice and as the website DW reported “the verdict’s results continue to spur controversy and leave some asking what is more oppressive: wearing a headscarf or excluding those who do?” . If this teacher and Afghanistan advisor/minister had tried to get a job as a sales clerk at Abercrombie and Fitch in the United States, Ms. Ludin might have been part of a headscarf case before the US Supreme Court this spring.

Street Artist Gaia typically studies the society and culture in which he paints murals and depicts figures who reflect the history and forces of change and stasis that characterize that neighborhood, town, or city. A leader in what we’ve been calling the New Muralism, Gaia has produced these amalgams of symbols, history, and persons – these glocalized paintings – around the world in cities from Seoul to Perth to Honolulu to Baltimore to Miami and Johannesburg, among others in the the last five years.

Since his earliest days as a Street Artist in Williamsburg and Bushwick, Brooklyn, Gaia has engaged the personal, social and political with his artistic ability; first as linotype prints, later as full-blown aerosol murals. So it is no surprise that he chooses as his subject for this show a figure who has held a pivotal role in the evolution of a necessary conversation in classrooms, boardrooms, courts and the court of public opinion. It is here in the public sphere that Gaia has always drawn inspiration and energy and returned it back with an impetus to spark examination, discussion and debate.

“The proposal for ‘Persons of Interest’ features a portrait of Fereshta Ludin superimposed over a sky and images of peace,” Gaia says.  “I chose to focus on Fereshta Ludin because of her advocation for multicultural understanding and cooperation in the face of intense national debate regarding the sphere of religious expression in German politics.”

 

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A Gaia lino print piece based on a photograph by Martha Cooper in Baltimore, 2011 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia in New Jersey 2015 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAIN and Marlene Dietrich  – “Persons of Interest”

DAIN and Marlene Dietrich – “Persons of Interest”

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BSA is in Berlin this month to present a new show of 12 important Brooklyn Street Artists at the Urban Nation haus as part of Project M/7. PERSONS OF INTEREST brings to our sister city a diverse collection of artists who use many mediums and styles in the street art scene of Brooklyn. By way of tribute to the special relationship that artist communities in both cities have shared for decades, each artist has chosen to create a portrait of a Germany-based cultural influencer from the past or present, highlighting someone who has played a role in inspiring the artist in a meaningful way.
 
Today we talk to DAIN and ask him why he chose his person of interest, Marlene Dietrich.

Over the last decade Street Artist DAIN has made many famous actresses from the silver screen his muse in his collages for the streets of Brooklyn: Betty Davis, Liz Taylor, Audrey Hepburn…all popular icons from an era he didn’t grow up in but has a fascination for. For him, the women of that era exemplified a time of demure glamour, one that didn’t need to disrobe to draw avid attention, leaving something to your imagination. His modern remixes that jump from walls and pop out of doorways on the street invariably grab the eye and garner a second look, creating a new sense of mystery that can seem futuristic and nostalgic at once.

The Brooklyn native and former graffiti writer told us that he thinks he gained his appreciation for mid-century Hollywood aesthetics from listening to his parents talk about their favorite stars and points to them as an influence on his work.I guess it was maybe my folks. They’re from Brooklyn – Coney Island. And they’re kind of caught up in that. One of my favorite movies is On the Waterfront. I remember being a little kid and my father telling me ‘You gotta see this movie’,” he says. “I love that stuff. I love black and white. You use your imagination in black and white.”

Born in Leberstrasse 65 on the Rote Insel in Schöneberg (now a district of Berlin) in 1901, Dietrich became a star of screen, stage, and music with a career that some would easily call legendary. While she became an American in 1939 and continued her career giving concerts and appearing in movies around the world into the 1980s, she also famously included in her singing repertoire a song called, “Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin” (“I still keep a suitcase in Berlin”).

“I chose Ms. Dietrich because she was one of the most famous German American actresses. She had a style and look that were both glamorous and exotic. I love the fact that she continually reinvented herself – not only within acting but as a show performer later in her career,” says DAIN

 

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DAIN in Brooklyn, 2011 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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DAIN in New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Charles Bukowski  – “Persons of Interest”

Chris Stain and Charles Bukowski – “Persons of Interest”

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BSA is in Berlin this month to present a new show of 12 important Brooklyn Street Artists at the Urban Nation haus as part of Project M/7. PERSONS OF INTEREST brings to our sister city a diverse collection of artists who use many mediums and styles in the street art scene of Brooklyn. By way of tribute to the special relationship that artist communities in both cities have shared for decades, each artist has chosen to create a portrait of a Germany-based cultural influencer from the past or present, highlighting someone who has played a role in inspiring the artist in a meaningful way.
 
Today we talk to Chris Stain and ask him why he chose his person of interest, Charles Bukowski.

Street Artist Chris Stain picks German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer Charles Bukowki as his Person of Interest and it’s not hard to tell why. In his stencils and projection paintings Stain has recalled the struggles of the working class in the US, a background similar to his own youth in Baltimore, Maryland. “I want to convey an authentic contemporary document that illustrates the triumph of the human spirit as experienced by those in underrepresented urban and rural environments,” he has said when describing his work.

Bukowski championed a grizzled hardscrabble unromantic depiction of everyday life that was informed by his own family dynamics upon moving to Los Angeles as a child with a funny accent and an abusive father. His stories gave an up-close view of ordinary lives of many of America’s poor, richly bleak with beauty in the ugliness, dread and drudgery – along with observations about coping mechanisms that could be self-destructive. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”,[note]Wikipedia, Charles Bukowski[/note]  a typically dismissive and classist review of his work by mainstream press, but his multiple novels, short stories, and other writings were highly valued for giving voice to many fans who saw their own lives reflected in his art. He also showed that he had of a sense of tough humor.

“I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.” – from Ham on Rye

“If I bet on humanity, I’d never cash a ticket.”

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid one are full of confidence”.

“I do think that poetry is important though, if you don’t strive at it, if you don’t fill it full of stars and falseness.”

“I started reading the works of Charles Bukowski about 20 years ago,” says Chris Stain. “I can’t say I agree with all of his opinions but what keeps me returning to his books is his sheer honesty as he relates to the common people. Throughout his literary embellishments he maintains a certain amount of hope that I believe everyone can relate to as they traverse life’s pain and wonder. I feel honored to be able to create a portrait of this German born American poet in his homeland. “

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Chris Stain in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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