The winds of change are gathering force and weaving together – social, political, financial, environmental… and it is all being reflected in street art today. Ironically, because media in the US is addicted to money and misdirection and is completely disinterested in the poor and working class as a whole, thoughtful analysis that pops off city walls seems unadulterated, capable of giving you more truthful assessments of what is missing, what is out of whack, and who’s gotta take action. Your face here.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fu, AJ LaVilla, Antennae, Black Ligma, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, De Groupo, Hearts NY, Novy, Pork, Surface of Beauty, The Greator, Winston Tseng, X Rebellion NYC, and Zuli Miau.
We’re off the street now, the BSA team, as New York City goes into lock-down mode in the face of the global Covid19 virus pandemic.
know that our medical infrastructure will be overwhelmed, because it was broken
apart systematically into a thousand tiny pieces years ago. Unlike centralized
medical care that many other countries have, it has been only available to some
of us and usually at a great cost that outstrips our abilities to provide for
as New York faces the prospect of becoming completely overwhelmed for months,
we see that even basic testing, medical supplies, beds, and personnel cannot be
pulled together fast enough through a decentralized profit-based system. This
isn’t political – this is life. Unfortunately this is also death.
if we do get sick, we’re not even thinking of going to a hospital. If some of
our older friends and relatives get sick, we’re hoping that there will be
enough money and resources to serve their needs. But the signs are not good
here in the country with the highest GDP in the world. Makes you wish there was
Medicare for All right?
So, as long as we’re able, we’re going to publish work from the street. But for the first time since we began publishing 12 years ago, the new shots on the street will also need to come from you – since we are quarantined. Please send us what you see, what you capture – maybe out the window. But don’t put yourself at risk, or others.
We’re in the thick sticky summer of it now -with Street Artists flooding the walls with many new unpermissioned illegal works. From small scale and new kids on the block to large legal/commercial murals by more established names- the public space in New York is teeming again with new ideas.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street (or boardwalk), this time featuring Adreian Wilson, Bert MTA, Bia Ferrer, Blaze, Captain Eyeliner, El Sol 25, Faust, Gatos a Gatas, H Lucatelli, Homoriot, Jason Naylor, Jilly Ballistic, Libranos, Movimiento Petrushaus, My 2 Cents, Nomad Clan, Novy, Pork, Shin Shin, Subdude, and Tatyana Fazlilazadeh.
Springtime in New York! Crocuses, tulips, fire extinguisher tags! Ahh the joy of life! Happy Purim to the Jewish neighbors. Saal-e-no mobaarak (سال نو مبارک) Happy New Year to the Iranian neighbors. Yes, this is New York, where we disprove the notion that we can’t all get along. Every dang day. We also sing together on the train when its stuck.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Ardif, BustArt, Clipper, CNO PCU, Drinkala, JPS, Mattewythe, Nanos, Nubian, Pork, Rock, George Standpipe, and The Postman Art.
Here it is! Photographer Jaime Rojo of BSA selects a handful of his favorite images from his travels through 9 countries and around New York this year to present our 2018 BSA Images of the Year.
Seeing the vast expressions of aesthetics and anti-aesthetic behavior has been a unique experience for us. We’re thankful to all of the artists and co-conspirators for their boundless ideas and energy, perspectives and personas.
Once you accept that much of the world is in a semi-permanent chaos you can embrace it, find order in the disorder, love inside the anger, a rhythm to every street.
And yes, beauty. Hope you enjoy BSA Images of the Year 2018.
Here’s a list of the artists featured in the video. Help us out if we missed someone, or if we misspelled someones nom de plume.
1Up Crew, Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fujita, Adele Renault, Adrian Wilson, Alex Sena, Arkane, Banksy, Ben Eine, BKFoxx, Bond Truluv, Bordalo II, Bravin Lee, C215, Cane Morto, Charles Williams, Cranio, Crash, Dee Dee, D*Face, Disordered, Egle Zvirblyte, Ernest Zacharevic, Erre, Faith LXVII, Faust, Geronimo, Gloss Black, Guillermo S. Quintana, Ichibantei, InDecline, Indie 184, Invader, Isaac Cordal, Jayson Naylor JR, Kaos, KNS, Lena McCarthy, Caleb Neelon, LET, Anthony Lister, Naomi Rag, Okuda, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Pejac, Pixel Pancho, Pork, Raf Urban, Resistance is Female, Sainer, Senor Schnu, Skewville, Slinkachu, Solus, Squid Licker, Stinkfish, Strayones, Subway Doodle, The Rus Crew, Tristan Eaton, Vegan Flava, Vhils, Viktor Freso, Vinie, Waone, Winston Tseng, Zola
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Borondo – Mites Terram Possident
2. OS Gemeos: Artists in Residence
3. JR x Time: Guns in America Video
4. PORK Extinguisher on the Houston/Bowery Wall
BSA Special Feature: Borondo – Mites Terram Possident
In the rumbling terrain of our minds and emotions the topography is marked by our experiences; cutting ravines that fill with water and craters to get stuck inside and caves to repair to and trees to scale and balance in and feel the breeze. So mark making in the physical world strikes us an opportunity to make new paths, new memories, new associations.
In this weeks first film we see Italian Street Artist and fine artist Borondo offering children the opportunity to carve into a building façade with forged metal tools here in the city of Malegno in the Province of Brecscia as part of his larger mural that references our pre-linguistic forms of communicating and story telling with images and symbols.
“I like that my murals have many interpretations, many layers of stratification,” says the artist and indeed this is one of the qualities that leads you to visit and revisit, to decode and to discover his work. He may be a mastermind creating many meanings for you to find, or he may be a providing a platform for discussion and interpretation, or he may be democratically inviting others to participate in this most public of art, this collective history. Seeing how the piece is embraced and surrounded here in the valley by these mountains, it returns us to the contemplation of our internal topography, while we contemplate the collaborative one.
OS Gemeos: Artists in Residence
Can you imagine such big artists as OS GEMEOS as artists in residence? At the Mattress Factory for the next year you can see the results and here the São Paulo brothers discuss their childhood, their processes of creation, their dream world, and their new installation called “Lyrical”.
JR x Time: Guns in America Video
Many have seen the mural on the Bowery Wall this week in New York and the 3 page fold-out on the cover of TIME, but not everyone is fully aware that the project is not in fact static – it is continuous movement. JR and his team captured hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours of video for this project and composited small videos together as one large live piece, which is currently on display at PACE gallery in Manhattan.
Read our coverage of the project and interview with the artiste here:
Other than that we have to say to New York, we love you because of your fabulous diversity – and the fact that you prove every day that we can all get along really well even though we are all kinds of cultures and languages and backgrounds.
If only those (primarily) old white men who are legislating from Washington and from corporate board rooms could see and appreciate the richness that we have here in New York – they might realize that they have been completely and utterly foolish and blind to their own people, which is all of us.
It feels like this swing to the right is not about ideology but about protecting power and wealth – and we’re witnessing the dying Old Boy network kicking and screaming to protect the system that has served them best. How else can you explain the contingency that once called themselves the moral majority today exhibit almost zero morality – being brutal, haughty, and defiantly cynical – and still getting support?
On a happier note, how about those Yankees M-I-RIGHT ?
So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Cash4, City Kitty, d.w. krsna, Dede, Izzrad, Kobra, Mark DiSuvero, Mer, Mr. Toll Troll, Mr. Tongue, Nitzan Mintz, Nobs, Onis, Pleks, Pork, Sickid, Stray Ones, and Subway Doodle.
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”
The spirit of New Yorks’ 5 Pointz graffiti/Street Art holy place has popped up in the same Queens neighborhood where it was demolished in 2014, and since last summer more than 50 local and international aerosol artists have been hitting a new project “Top to Bottom”.
The choice of “Top to Bottom”, a graffiti term that recalls 1970s trains painted their entire height, is no mistake as creative director James P. Quinn reveres the classic style and histories of those original writers like internationally and institutionally celebrated artists Crash and Daze, who have collaborated on a mural here.
Additionally, in yet another sign that the celebration of art on the streets is ever more ecumenical, Quinn and his project lead Geoff Kuffner are bringing the newer Street Artists who are expanding and defining the current era for art in the streets like Case Ma’Claim and Rubin 415. Not surprisingly, both of these artists started in graffiti, as did nearly every name here.
“I felt like a comfortable amount of space should be allocated to certain styles,” says Quinn as he describes the process of parceling out spots for the façade and roof of the 124,000-square-foot former warehouse. Truthfully, he tells us, not all the surfaces and shapes are attractive to graffiti artists, so a variety of styles is best.
“I tried to fit them in where I felt that graff writers could enjoy themselves and do something expansive. There are only a couple of spaces here that fit the epic, horizontally spaced forms of style writing. There are a lot of strange shapes to navigate as a painter here, rather than easy space to develop style as a writer.”
Quinn and Kuffner give a couple of visitors a tour around the entire block on a gray day where heavy fog hangs in the air obscuring the top half of Manhattan and they excitedly recall stories about the many installations in this first project of their newly formed Arts Org NYC. Using the word “garden” often, Quinn reiterates that this project for them is a “proof of concept” for bigger projects that will spread further through the city. “Ultimately I’m approaching it as a mural project,” says Quinn, who has organized mural programs a number of times since the 1990s. “It’s just a beginning.”
Street Art has evolved into districts of murals in cities as a gentrification device in the last five years and despite the critique that it is often used for economic development, many urban art watchers would also agree that we’re in the middle of a renaissance of public/private art. Quinn says he wants to capture part of the public’s new interest and make it grow. “I’d like to leverage the current hype and acceptance of mural painting to open up doors to people – old women, young kids, everybody.”
The neighborhood itself feels like it is in transition but it is not clear where it is heading. With Silvercup Studios and the number 7 subway line nearby and MoMA PS1 within a 10 minute walk, a quick survey reveals mixed light industry, sweatshops, corner delis, and the occasional strip club. Below the off-ramp of the Queensboro Bridge, which sweeps past the “Top to Bottom” exhibition, you will see first and second generation immigrants from the areas’ latin and African communities walking by, and Quinn reminds you that the Queensbridge Projects where Hip-Hop storyteller NAS grew up is just a short walk from here.
Conversation turns to plans for more focused programming on the walls in Phase II, possible fine art shows with local gallery spaces, and ultimately a city-wide mural project that offers art and art-making to greater audiences, including school kids.
“I do feel like murals get focused in certain locations but I feel like the entire city as a whole is still suffering. Huge demographics aren’t getting the painting,” he says, invoking the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. “I feel like my ‘I Have a Dream’ speech about this project is that I hope it gets to the point where 10 year-olds can have as much access to a neighborhood as developers.”
Does he think that projects like this are pawns for business interests to draw investments into the neighborhood and push poorer populations out? “You can debate whether or not we are opening the way for more shiny condos… but that shit is happening whether we do this or not. For me the importance is keeping us here; So we’re not totally pushed out 30-45 minutes away from here”
Because of its proximity to the now destroyed 5 Pointz, where hundreds, perhaps thousands, of urban artists painted a much larger block repeatedly for two decades, we ask Quinn if he’s concerned with comparisons.
“I’ve always managed other projects like this in my own style and my own way. There are comparable aspects and I have nothing but a huge sensitivity and respect for Meres and 5 Pointz,” he says, referring to the artist and de facto director of the hallowed spot. “It’s comparable only because it’s a building and it’s in Long Island City. But this is only a jump-off. I want to do way more projects like this across the city.”
As the business partners walk past new pieces by DMote, Li-Hill, Icy & Sot, and Jick, the topic of the historically strained relationship between graffiti writers and Street Artists appears to be addressed head-on by the project by the inclusion of all manner of painter. The guys say that it is less of an issue than some people would have you think. As a long-time artist and muralist and curator of projects like this, Quinn says he’s over the supposed rivalry of the two camps, and sees mainly just one camp these days.
“I don’t know what the fans of graffiti or Street Art have any problem with. To me it’s all awesome.”
Happy Mothers Day to all the moms, mommies, mama, mas, mutters, madres, and variations on loving female caregivers out there. Thank you sincerely from the bottom of our hearts.
Been a huge week for New York with yet another round of art fairs that no one has ever heard of and a few that you are familiar with, all crammed and crawling with buyers, collectors, fans, surveyors, looky-loos. Also it looks like the action on the street, both commissioned and uncommissioned, is coming on fast and furious. You try to catch it while it happens, and yet somehow in a city like New York, you know that there are hundreds of new pieces that you missed because everything is blooming seemingly overnight and April showers have brought May murals, tags, throwies, wheatpastes, stencils, street art, graffiti, stickers and cellphones hoisted into the air to capture it all!
Here our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Billi Kid, Billy Mode, Chris Stain, Chris Uphues, Cristian Sonda, COL Wallnuts, Cre8tive YouTH*ink, Dailey Crafton, Faluja, Grosseling, Joseph Bottari, Kazy, Lillewenn, Manuel Huth, Martha Cooper, Mender, Mover, Olek, Pork, Sober, Zola, and Zura.
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.