All posts tagged: Robert Aloia

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.14.24 / “Return2Burn” in Hunts Point, Bronx

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.14.24 / “Return2Burn” in Hunts Point, Bronx

Welcome to BSA’s Images of the Week. We decided to dedicate this weekly survey to the artists of “Return 2 Burn”, its organizers, and the streets that brought us here.

The new “Return 2 Burn” exhibition at the old train station in Hunts Point, Bronx, serves as a modern continuum of pivotal artistic moments from New York’s vibrant past, echoing the groundbreaking energies of the Fun Gallery, The Times Square Show, and initiatives by Collaborative Projects Inc. (Colab) and Fashion Moda. These seminal venues and events of the early 1980s, such as the Fun Gallery (1981-1985) and The Times Square Show of 1980, were instrumental in merging the diverse cultural and artistic energies of “uptown” and “downtown” scenes. They featured artists whose names would become prominent, like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Futura, Rammelzee, Crash, Jenny Holzer, and many others whose work intertwined and intersected with the emergent graffiti and street art movements against a backdrop of punk, hip-hop, and an unprecedented cultural fusion that was happening across the city.

This week, the art world mourned the loss of Patti Astor, the trailblazing founder of the Fun Gallery and a pivotal character in Charlie Ahearn’s iconic film “Wild Style.” Her legacy, which has deeply influenced the intersection of hip-hop, graffiti, and urban culture, remains a testament to her visionary impact on New York City’s vibrant art scene.

Buff Monster. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Return 2 Burn” builds upon this legacy by featuring contemporary and enduring artists from those earlier movements like Skeme, Tkid 170, Martha Cooper, John Fekner, and Al Diaz—who notably co-created SAMO tags and cryptic texts on the street with Basquiat—linking the historical narrative of New York’s street art from its inception to the present. These artists’ work stood alongside others such as Chris from Robots Will Kill, Indie, Buff Monster, UFO907, and Wane for the vibrant opening night, celebrating an ongoing narrative of experimentation and discovery in the street art/graffiti scene today across this city’s boroughs. The atmosphere was electric, charged with the energy of fans, collectors, storytellers, and historical figures of the graffiti and street art scene.

This collection of photos was shot while the exhibition was still being assembled—”work in process” shots. Their sometimes raw quality signals that the exhibition is a living entity produced by many hands; curator Robert Aloia says it is expected to evolve throughout the spring and summer.

Skeme. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The opening night crowd underscored the exhibition’s role as more than just a collection of artworks but also a gathering place for the community and a hopeful signpost for our collective creative future as we enter such uncertain times. It is a testament to the evolution of graffiti, street art, conceptual art, sculpture, public art, and muralism and their enduring significance in urban culture and public dialogue. The installed pieces—captured before the doors officially opened—are a diverse and dynamic reflection of the art movement, a snapshot of this moment at this location that recognizes the hundreds of artists whose work is on New York streets at any moment.

Through the visionary efforts of curators like Robert Aloia and Jennifer Giraldo of Outlaw Arts, and their collaboration with Majora Carter and James Carter of Bronxlandia, “Return 2 Burn” reminds us how exhibitions can serve as cultural synthesizers. The dedication of independent curators and organizers ensures that the legacy of New York’s unique art scene not only persists but also adapts and thrives, engaging new generations of artists and audiences alike. Moreover, the vital role of those who document, write about, and archive these events is crucial; without their work, such exhibitions’ rich history and transformative impact would not be preserved.

New York City has consistently nurtured subcultures by providing ample space, resources, and an environment conducive to growth—a spirit deeply embedded in the Punk D.I.Y. tradition. This creation of spaces for artists truly captures the essence of the city. And while we appear to be losing gallery spaces, we always have the streets. In New York City, D.I.Y. isn’t just a concept—it’s synonymous with NYC itself.

Skeme creating his latest for “Return 2 Burn”. Skeme, known as “Skeme the 3 Yard King,” is a prominent graffiti artist, celebrated within the graffiti community for his work in New York City during the movement’s early days. He was featured in the documentary “Style Wars,” a seminal film directed by Tony Silver and produced in collaboration with Henry Chalfant. The film is significant because it was one of the first documentaries to capture the graffiti subculture of New York City in the early 1980s.

The lineup includes: Aiko, Al Diaz, Austin Pinon, Basie Allen, BlusterOne, Buff Monster, Camella Ehlke, Cassandra Mayela, Chris RWK, Dr. Revolt, Faust, Ghost, Giz, Indie 184, JJ Veronis, John Fekner, Jon Burgerman, Judith Supine, Kade198, Lamour Supreme, Martha Cooper, Matt Siren, Modus, Peter Paid, Pork, Queen Andrea, Roycer, Saman & Sasan Oskouei, Sheryo & Yok, Skeme, Tkid, Totem, UF0907, VFR, and Wane One

Skeme. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Skeme. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faust. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
“With it being an old train station I wanted to acknowledge the history of the space and honor the Bronx and one of the pioneers. Especially when it came to characters and Tracy168”, says Chris from Robots Will Kill. Chris / RWK. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
John Fekner and Don Leicht. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
John Fekner and Don Leicht. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Al Diaz. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WANE. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
TKid170. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Skeme. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Indie 184. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lamour Supreme. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lamour Supreme. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
PORK. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pork did this fire hydrant message on the ceiling. He says, ‘Pa’lante’ – a Spanish slang word loosely translated as ‘onward,’ ‘go ahead,’ or ‘go for it’.”
JJ Veronis. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dr. Revolt. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dr. Revolt. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Roycer. Matt Siren. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
VFR. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Saman and Sassan Oskouei above, Pork below. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper. Casitas Project. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO907. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO907. Return2Burn. Hunts Point, Bronx. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“S.T.O.C.K.S. & BOMBS” Opens with SKEME, TKid, Martha Cooper and Outlaw Arts

“S.T.O.C.K.S. & BOMBS” Opens with SKEME, TKid, Martha Cooper and Outlaw Arts

New York City is gradually opening up for business, and that includes art shows. Curator Robert Aloia has organized a small exhibition of graffiti writers including one of the few photographers who was there when the action was happening on the trains and in the yards during the 1970’s and 80’s, Martha Cooper. Martha has provided prints of her vintage photos that she took of the graffiti writers, Skeme and TKid decades ago when they were young and bombing the New York City subway trains. Skeme and Tkid are using the prints as canvases in a remix collaboration with Martha.

Martha Cooper and Skeme. Martha is holding a print from a vintage photograph of Skeme and TKid that she took in the early 80’s. The photo has been remixed by Skeme and TKid for the exhibition. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We stopped by the raw space which is serving as a pop-up gallery to give you a sneak peek of the exhibition while in the process of being installed. The lighting was not adjusted and not all the art pieces were yet framed or hung on the walls.

Mr. Aloia tells us that Snake 1, Terrible TKid, Olga, Martha Cooper, Kade198, and Skeme Originally slated for last year this show was manifested from the mind of graffiti writer Skeme to do a show where the artists were in charge. Some of the artists are working in the space to finish their works and for the first time ever Skeme, Tkid and Martha Cooper have signed prints of Martha’s photos of them.

This is the 6th event at the space- previously featuring art from Al Diaz, Queen Andrea, Janette Beckman. Todd James & Testify Books, Sue Kwon, Chris RWK, Dr. Revolt, Peter Paid, ASVP and JJ Veronis.

Mr. Aloia says, “The vibes at the space between the artists, myself, friends, and passersby have been so good we can’t wait to open to the public this Friday.”

Martha Cooper and Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper and Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with Robert Aloia, Skeme, and JJ Veronis briefly while they were preparing for the show.

BSA: How did you select such a diverse collection of artists across techniques genres and decades?
Robert Aloia: It was mainly SKEME’s idea and then we collaborated on who could be in it. So I’m going to give all the credit to him. I just helped edit the process

Martha Cooper and Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Does it feel like New York art culture is gradually waking up or did it never go to sleep?
Robert Aloia: I think for me it never went to sleep it’s the same for a lot of our collaborators and friends. And maybe to the general public it went to sleep a little bit. But it’s been vibrant – obviously during the beginning of lockdown it was dead for a little while.
JJ Veronis: Not for me. It’s been a great time for art and artists with all the boarded walls and everything – The legal and the illegal.
How do you feel about doing those remixes with Martha’s work now after all these years?
SKEME: Well I think they’re great. I feel like Dorian Gray, man, looking at all those photos we’re coming up on 40 years since some of these pictures were taken. My favorite of course is the one with me and TKid. Because now we’re both old and a little pudgy, you know, but I love the photo and the fact that we are able to come back and celebrate our friendship. Marty is always on the spot with the right photo, at the right time to catch the moment.

Martha Cooper, Skeme and TKid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: She has this uncanny ability to be at the right time at the right place.
SKEME: It’s not an accident. That’s what separates the great from the mediocre

Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 BSA: Robert told me that you initiated this exhibition a show where the artists are in charge. What does that mean in this circumstance?
SKEME: The artist is always in charge. It’s up to the artist to bring the creation to the venue. Even if you have a curator, and of course a curator’s job is very important right, but if the artist doesn’t bring potential or good works – what is there for a curator to pick from? You know it’s a symbiotic relationship man but the artist is always in charge to some degree.

Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: How do you know when you have reached the point where the work is finished?
SKEME: When it conveys what I’m trying to say. So this one, for example – when you look at this I want you to believe that the plane is flying. If you can look at it and believe that the plane is flying then I am done.

Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Skeme. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper and TKid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
TKid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
TKid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Olga (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Snake (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Outlaw Arts Presents: “S.T.O.C.K.S. & BOBMS” A Group Exhibition. 205 Allen St. New York City. May 14th -23rd.205 Allen St. L.E.S. Fridays 5-9 pm Saturdays & Sundays 1-6 pm.

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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.


Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist


Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory


Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013


Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan


Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings


Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right


4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can


Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC


Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion


Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York


Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York

This weekend the NYPD police precinct is hosting a graffiti and street art show, and the public is welcome to see every floor completely swimming in aerosol and plastered in wheat-paste.

Admit it, it is not often you receive an invite like that.


Pesu (center), Pixote (left) and Bill Claps Morse code writing the history of the building on the walls. (right) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“When this precinct was built it was a very bad, very poor neighborhood. When the cops came in there was a lot of brutality and there was a lot of corruption,” says curator Robert Aloia of this building architected for the NYPD in 1863 and closed down fifty years later. A quick search on the web shows a history of thuggery born of Dickens. Records at the time of closure indicated there were 9,500 arrests annually and this tiny slice of Manhattan alone had 37 brothels.

So why not have a graffiti show here before tearing it down, right?.


Savior, El Mundo, Ben Angotti, Depoe, Esteban Del Valle and Chris Soria. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So you literally could hit every wall here and it wouldn’t matter because it is coming down at the end of the month?
Robert Aloia: Yeah the inside walls. The outside walls they don’t want us to touch.

In a twist of events pulled from a satire, one of the artists on display this weekend was arrested this month in Brooklyn and spent the night in jail before seeing a judge. The following day he came to this precinct and hit up some walls with impunity.


Savior, El Mundo, Ben Angotti, Depoe, Esteban Del Valle and Chris Soria. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It’s just amazing that these artists can put their time, their money, and their talent into something that is just coming down,” says Aloia while touring us through rooms and stairways during one of the four visits we made for these exclusive first images, “ and it is only going to be seen for a certain amount of time.”

Hellbent has his own room. So does Rambo. Cash4 and Matt Siren are sharing one together, as are Sheryo and the Yok. Elle spent an entire night in hers watching her black wax sculpture melting away with the candles she planted in it. An unconfirmed story says it is a sculpture cast of the elusive Judith Supine.

“She painted it black, melted it and filmed it,” says Aloia.


Faust (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you thought of the irony behind the fact that this is a former police precinct and many of the artists would have been running away from this place instead of trying to get into it?
Robert Aloia: That is true, I didn’t think of that aspect of it really, but the gallery area was the actual holding cell.

Brooklyn Street Art: So how did you draw these people together?
Robert Aloia: Every show I’ve done I start with my friends, and then it’s friends of friends, and that’s it. It’s just about one degree of separation.

In the last three years the New York native has curated a number of shows heavily weighted with graffiti artists and Street Artists, primarily on Manhattan’s Lower East Side at bars, event spaces, and venues with downtown history like Fuse, White Box, and La Mama.


Vexta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A bartender and DJ who has mixed with a lot of New York nightlife and street life without becoming hardened, Aloia and co-curators like Erik Foss and Ricky Powell have been doing sometimes star-studded yet unassuming one-off shows the past few years with Street Art names like Bast, Supine, and Aiko and some of the newer kids like N’DA and Icy & Sot.

“I am from New York and I always knew a lot of graffiti artists, that’s how I ended up getting into it. I was just lucky enough to have access to some venues to do stuff.”

Brooklyn born, Aloia’s been on the LES since the 80s, which explains his devotion to the memory of “outlaw parties” where people would set up an illegal bar and a pumping sound system in improvised celebrations at unsanctioned locations. Outlaw parties and pop-up speakeasies still exist of course, but more often they are in Brooklyn now as Manhattan is shoving artists out by the truckload.


Vexta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For “21st Precinct” he’s called in nearly 50 artists from as far away as Japan, Australia, California, and nearby New Jersey. The mix of artists is eclectic and sometimes quite powerful like the tribute to SAMO (Basquiat) in the gallery by his co-conspirator Al Diaz, and the dark room built by Swedish photographer Jesper Haynes which features images from the downtown New York in the Reagan era.

“I definitely always have a mix with fine art, photography, installation, but you know I always have old-school graffiti artists and street artists,” he says as he looks over the four floors of thickly gritty splendor by renowned and unknown.

For those lucky enough to see the show in this venue this weekend or next, “21st Precinct” is a quintessential New York minute, a steamy grimy melting pot of authentic attitude that begs to differ and perhaps stick a finger in your chest just before the wrecking ball hits. Thank Aloia while you’re there. Not surprisingly, the new building that replaces this one will be for…..wait for it…. luxury residences.


Jesper Haynes (photo © Jaime Rojo)


KET (photo © Jaime Rojo)


N Carlos J (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Li-Hill (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Li-Hill (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rambo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rambo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


URNew Yrok (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rae (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Shiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)


bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ASVP (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris RWK (center) URNew York (left) ASVP (right). (photo © Jaime Rojo)


NEPO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Matt Siren . Cash4 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Amanda Marie (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nick Tengri (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Joseph Meloy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bishop203 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Yok and Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Iena Cruz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


X-O (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Justin Carty (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Curb Your Ego (photo © Jaime Rojo)


OUTLAW ARTS Presents: “The 21st Precinct”
Curated by Robert Aloia & VNA Mag

The show will be in the old 21st Precinct located on 327 East 22nd Street. More information HERE.

Contributing Artists:

Adam Dare, Al Diaz, Amanda Marie, ASVP, Bad Pedestrian, Ben Angotti , Bill Claps, Bishop203, Bunny M., Cash4, Chris RWK, Chris Soria, Coby Kennedy, Curtis Kulig, D. Gaja, Danielle Mastrion, Dasic, Dizmology, Duel, ELLE, Erasmo, Esteban del Valle, Faust, Ghost, GIZ, Hellbent, Hue, Icy & Sot, Iena Cruz, Jesper Haynes, Justin Carty, Ket, Lexi Bella, Li-Hall, Lorenzo Masnah, Matt Siren, Mr. Toll, N. Carlos Jay, Nepo, Nick Tengri, Pesu, Phil, Pixote, RAE, Rambo, Ricardo Cabret, SAE, Savior Elmundo, Shery-o & The Yok, Shiro, Tone Tank, URNY, Vexta, X-O.

Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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