All posts tagged: Rubin

Rubin: “Scandinavia / New York” Studio Works and Murals

Rubin: “Scandinavia / New York” Studio Works and Murals

An immigrant’s tale, Rubin’s, and a New York story as well. For his first artists monograph the Fin by way of Sweden brazenly tells you his story in a most deliberate and considered way. It’s brazen because it’s a truth that has taken him a long time to be ready to tell, ready to be vulnerable. It’s carefully considered because – that’s his style.


Rubin. Scandinavia / New York Studio Works and Murals. Dokument Press 2016

“New York is still very much a city of opportunities, but only if you are willing to work hard,” he says in the interview, and as you read his story of growing up in working class Sweden, treated as a second class Fin son of two guest workers living in a housing project, losing his father as an adolescent, running the streets and riding trains to nearby Gothenburg as a teen while the drug trade grew – you clearly get the idea that hard work is a lifestyle.

Along the way through his history to his current art on the streets you are regaled with the black and white geometric simplicity and spare dynamism of photography looking across roofs at brutalist architecture, down a long empty escalator at the tram station, up into the gray sky overtaken by a concrete water tower in his hometown Bergsjön, and across a detail of his own monochromatic mid-century modern abstraction on a canvas, spattered strategically to give gently curving geometric forms a crisp, celestial aura.


Rubin. Scandinavia / New York Studio Works and Murals. Dokument Press 2016

In fact it is when he takes a summer college class in photography as a young man that Rubin sights a shift in his worldview. His sharpened observation skills previously had been honed as a hell-raising graff writer and student of style, but now he was framing and containing and seeing the planes and the forms differently.

Seeing the book and speaking with him in person, you’ll quickly know that graffiti is at the root of his work today. Björn Almqvist, author, publisher, and editor of “Graffiti Burners”, also published by Dokument, offers a clear assessment of the graffiti writer who eventually stripped his style down and parlayed it into what we know today.


Rubin. Scandinavia / New York Studio Works and Murals. Dokument Press 2016

“Rubin spent the summer months with his grandmother in Finnish Lapland, but during the rest of the year his who existence revolved around the corner from Rymtorget, with the school and the tram stop only a couple of minutes away,” writes Almqvist. “Nearby was also the garage that Rubin and his friend discovered and transformed into Gothenburg’s most popular Hall of Fame. Rubin soon distinguished himself as a dedicated and skilled graffiti artist. He tried unusual styles and soon found his own forms of expression that inspred graffiti far beyond Bergsjön and Gothenburg. Art became his way of life, his identity and a way for him to relate to society.”


Rubin. Scandinavia / New York Studio Works and Murals. Dokument Press 2016

Years later Rubin still says that “everything originates from graffiti letters,” even though he tired of the restrictions and repetitiveness of simply writing his five letter tag- or five letters and three numbers: Rubin415. “I’ve been told that my style resembles traditional graffiti but with Scandinavian-style clean lines and shapes,” he says. Certainly he has attacked and regaled Brooklyn, Bronx and Manhattan and points around New York with this developing style over the last handful of years; murals indoors and outside, and a growing number of finished fine art works coming from his Brooklyn studio.

With an un-erring sense of color, the contained compositions offer an antidote to the chaotic quality of city living, but he carefully steps aside of any suburban pleasantry for the sake of safety. These are soaring city lights, swerving streetscapes, jutting smokestacks, rusted hulks, plump water towers, throbbing beams of light, hidden peeping entrances, refracted urban revelation.


Rubin. Scandinavia / New York Studio Works and Murals. Dokument Press 2016

Not only has Rubin quietly made a name for himself with an industrious string of projects that doesn’t seem to end, he has knocked out brick walls, construction fences, rooftops and even a church backyard with sensitivity to context, an awareness of modern design history, and a strength of conviction big enough to alter whatever environment he’s in.


Rubin. Scandinavia / New York Studio Works and Murals. Dokument Press 2016


Rubin. Scandinavia / New York. Studio Works and Murals. Published by Dokument Press 2016. Sweden.


Rubin exhibition Scandinavia / New York is currently on view at the WallsWorks Gallery in The Bronx. Click HERE for further information.

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“Welling Court” 2014, a Grassroots Mural Event Turns 5 in Queens

“Welling Court” 2014, a Grassroots Mural Event Turns 5 in Queens

When the revered graffiti holy place named 5Pointz in Queens, New York was buffed and slated officially for demolition last fall the collective response of the graffiti / Street Art fan base and community was horror and lament. Nonetheless, community persists, and art in the streets is stronger than ever in many cities, including right here in Queens which has played host to an ever growing grassroots exhibition on the walls for five years called Welling Court.


Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Imagined and produced by two advocates of creativity in the public sphere and run on a shoe-string budget, Welling Court is a series of 100+ walls throughout this largely working class neighborhood that feels like it perhaps has been overlooked by the rest of the city. With a mix of some of New York’s newest immigrants and families, the modest residential/light manufacturing neighborhood has had a eye-jolting injection of spirit and free art every summer since 2009.


Veng RWK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We look forward to this annual event for a number of reasons, among them: the unpretentious spirit of community creativity at work as tens of artist straddle ladders and stepstools side by side painting walls, the friendly inquisitive neighbors who hang out and discuss the art and prepare a variety of foods to share on folding tables in the middle of the street, and the unbridled enthusiasm of the kids who race through the neighborhood on foot, bicycle, scooter, even grocery cart.

Unsponsored by brands and run by community elbow grease, Welling Court brings lots of Street Art / graffiti / public art enthusiasts and almost no police presence or crime for that matter. Breaking their own record this June at 127 painted walls, organizers Garrison and Alison Buxton help hook up the opportunity and artists are happy to take advantage of it. Here is just a relatively small selection of images taken by photographer Jaime Rojo at Welling Court 2014.


Fresh from graduation and walking in front of a RHAK gate. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Joe Iurato and Rubin collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


R.Robots (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Sub (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kaffeine at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kaffeine (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Toofly (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cern (photo © Jaime Rojo)


LMNOPI at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MRC (photo © Jaime Rojo)


John Ahearn temporary installation with a Dennis McNett wheat paste from last year as a background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


John Ahearn working on the details of the live casting he did of Roger Smith. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


John Ahearn. More to be done with this Roger Smith piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pyramid Oracle at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Greeg Lamarche, Wane and Trap (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Not Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cekis (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cake and Ryan Seslow collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bishop203 with an old Flying Fortress in the middle gate. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Ellis G, Joseph Meloy and Abe Lincoln collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alice Mizrachi (photo © Jaime Rojo)


PRVRT (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gregg Lamarche (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Damien Mitchell at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Christopher Cardinale (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fun! Fun! Fun! (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!



This article was also published on The Huffington Post



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Images Of The Week: 06.08.14

Images Of The Week: 06.08.14



Dude and Dudette it’s not even officially summer (June 21) but New York streets are off in the deep end of the public pool with all these new backflips and cannonballs and arched dive art in the streets. Can someone please say UNPRECEDENTED? Everybody jump in!

Here our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Bifido, Case Ma’Claim, City Kitty, Crummy Gummy, Dain, Damien Mitchell, Dee Dee, EC13, FKDL, JAZ, Jerk Face, Lambros, Mark Samsonovich, Pixel Pancho, Pyramid Oracle, Rubin, SheWolf, Skount, Solus, UAI, and Zio Siegler.

Top Image >> Case Ma’Claim and Pixel Pancho collaboration for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


A sonic POP reverberated through the streets this week when this duet happened between Case Ma’Claim and Pixel Pancho at The Bushwick Collective. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Lambros combined nightmares into this one hideous hybrid. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dain is dressed for success. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Damien Mitchell pays tribute to the divine Nina Simone at The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pyramid Oracle levitates sagely. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mark Samsonovich. This happened to me one time when I ate an entire bag of jelly beans and then washed them down with orange soda. Same thing. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mark Samsonovich. We come in peace. Would you like a banana? (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bifido. New conceptual piece form his series “Don’t Forget To Play” in what appears to be an abandoned and derelict public park in Naples, Italy. (photo © Bifido)


SheWolf (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Looks like FKDL was in town this week with his mix of 1950s nostalgia and idealized female collages. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Detail of FKDL wall for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Crummy Gummy features out of work actor ET looking for options on the streets of Los Angeles. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


The Irish Solus left a love letter to BK and The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Skount new street work in Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jerk Face and the Cookie Monster for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin for The Bushwick Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EC13 new piece in Huetor Vega, Spain. The artist continues to explore his non-figurative expressions with new mediums and surfaces. This placement is immaculate. (photo © Patricia Fernandez)


Zio Siegler (photo © Jaime Rojo)


JAZ is seen here at work in Berlin on his new mural in conjunction with his solo show currently on view at the BC Gallery.  (photo © Phillipp Barth)


Jaz. The completed mural in Berlin.  (photo © Phillipp Barth)


Untitled. The Empire State Building photographed from Brooklyn, NY. June 2014. Via Instagram and iPhone. (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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“Done!” Murals from Rubin, Aakash, & Hellbent : Domino Walls Part II

“Done!” Murals from Rubin, Aakash, & Hellbent : Domino Walls Part II

“Done!” comes the text from Rubin, who is floating on his scissor lift six feet above the line of people down Kent Avenue that is cued along Aakash Nihalani’s new wall for the public opening of Kara Walker’s exhibit in the Domino factory warehouse.

Swear to the Sugar Gods: Not 10 minutes later “Done” arrives again on our phone screens, this time from Hellbent, signaling that his ginormous 476 foot mural is complete as well – three weeks, several rainstorms, and a five borough bike tour elapsing since he and his team started.


Hellbent. Process shot taken during the Five-Borough Bike tour. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Our Domino Walls project hit this finish line this weekend, and although there is at least one more wall to be revealed a little later in this phase, we thought we’d get these shots out to BSA readers so you’d have closure on our progress post last week.

It’s been a dope project and each one of the artists has told us some good information about the thinking and inspiration behind their pieces, their links to geometric forms and futurism –  so we’ll share some of that for you too. Also we want to give a shout out to the Walentas family, who funded this project and who we’ve known since we worked as artists, volunteers, fundraisers, exhibitors in DUMBO during the 90s and 00s. They have always provided platforms for creative types to get their stuff out there into the community. Here’s another.


Hellbent. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I like how you can trick the eye using geometric shapes, shadows, and patterns and color in my newer paintings. I think what Poesia has been talking about and organizing around with Graffuturism is something that I feel aligned with in street work and mural work and in the urban contemporary setting. It is a kind of return to abstract art. Graff has gone through lettering, to characters, to pictoral, and now we are coming into abstraction and that’s the stuff that I’m into right now,” says Hellbent.

“So I’m seeing a lot of work that is coming out of eastern Europe, in Poland, and a scattering of these guys in America and central Europe and it is work that I’m drawn to and influenced by.  I think Graffuturism is a kind of good term for what is going on right now – it’s a subset of all these other different things that are going on in the streets.”


Hellbent. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you tell us anything about the neighbors taking great interest in the paintings. We’ve heard you have some new fans.

Hellbent: Yes, I’m really happy to say that the Hasidic community has been really behind what’s going on here.  I’ve had some really great conversations with them while we’ve been painting.  It’s been really nice to hear that and I like to see my audience broadening a bit like that. I think a lot of people are just happy to see something besides this green wall, actually.


Hellbent. Tools of the trade. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent. North View. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent. North view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Hellbent. South view. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalani. Shot taken during the Five-Borough Bike tour. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalani. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: You’ve always been interested in sort of pulling geometry out of  spaces and revealing it. Is that right?
Aakash Nihalani: Kind of. I mean I think more often than not it is highlighting the space that is already there. So it’s not necessarily creating a new space its more about highlighting the space that already exists, I guess.

Brooklyn Street Art: As you have gone bigger, has it been a difficult transition?
Aakash Nihalani: I wouldn’t say difficult, but I work with tape and I don’t work with paint and this is all paint, so in that sense it is out of my medium realm.  Having tried spray paint now – I’m really not interested in murals and painting.  Yeah, I definitely prefer tape over paint for sure.


Aakash Nihalani. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: I would think so – when I’ve seen you working with it (tape) it just seems to flow out of your thumb.
Aakash Nihalani: Yeah.

Brooklyn Street Art: So it feels like you are “painting” with tape.
Aakash Nihalani: Yeah exactly. I mean this is too, it’s fun. It’s a good challenge to try to figure out a process that fits and will work for the clean lines that I’m going for.

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think of this as a mural?
Aakash Nihalani: I don’t think so. I don’t know what I would call it. I would say it is still an installation.


The long lines for Kara Walker past Aakash Nihalani. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalani (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin. Shot taken during the Five-Borough Bike tour. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin at work on his wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rubin: I try not to look back but in the mid-nineties I was one of the most active writers in Sweden and I have my photo collection with me here and I’ve been working on it for years, trying to scan the images and I realize that a lot of the stuff I’m doing now, without really thinking and knowing it, started in the mid nineties. So I did a lot of abstract. The geometrics has always been there, the craftsmanship – being able to do straight lines, – a lot of the stuff. So I like to sample myself I guess. I also try to think of it in terms of music a lot.

Brooklyn Street Art: Really? What music is influencing this wall?
Rubin: It may sound weird but two of my influences have been Kraftwerk, which may seem obvious, but also Nina Simone. I’ve been listening to her music a lot. I’ve been listening to her while creating a lot of my sketches.


Rubin at work on his wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: It makes a lot of sense. The composition of the whole wall is like a music diagram.
Rubin: Like the rhythm in a piece, it has to start with the intro, getting into the verse, then in the middle it gets busy with the chorus, then you get a bridge, the song gets to breathe a little bit, and then you have the outtro so its all the same between music and art.  It’s different tools to express – some ideas work better as paint and some as audio.

Brooklyn Street Art: I can see Kraftwerk in this epic minimalist cleanly structured classical approach – so that is the overall sweep, and the scale. But in addition there are the more organic forms, the color, warmth, the gentleness and strength – that part comes from Nina Simone?
Rubin: Yeah and the melancholy, her lyrics – she dealt with a lot of hard stuff and yeah, she has affected me a lot.


Rubin’s epic mural effectively mimicing the city view on both sides of the East River. North View. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So it is like you’ve been discovering your own past.
Rubin: Yeah, and it also relates to when I started deconstructing my work

Brooklyn Street Art: When you were doing graffiti?
Rubin: Yeah, and then moving to working more large scale I had to adapt my work so that I can still work fast. It suits me so well. It is also is about balance, it can’t be too geometric so it’s always a struggle so that is why I try to keep my work free hand – so I don’t use projectors and stencils. I started using the chalk line more because it’s a time saver, but also I try to keep it analog and organic and physical. It can’t be too sharp – there has to be a more human element.


Rubin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Yes, well you have some more organic forms in this also.
Rubin: Yeah but at the same time there is no right or wrong so you have to be true to yourself, whatever feels right for you.

Brooklyn Street Art: Did you like the Italian Futurists show at the Guggenheim?
Rubin: Yeah! I was very very emotional. It was very overwhelming. There was also another side of it, a political aspect, that was very radical.


Rubin. A southern view as visitors to the Kara Walker exhibit “Subtlety” cut in just before his wall begins . (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Domino Walls is a project supported by Two Trees Management, the firm that is developing the Domino Sugar Factory site, and under the guidance of Lisa Kim, Cultural Affairs Director.  BSA is acting as the curatorial advisor on this project.


Read Part I of this posting here:

Hellbent, Rubin, and Aakash Nihalani In Progress on Domino Walls in BK



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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Hellbent, Rubin, and Aakash Nihalani In Progress on Domino Walls in BK

Hellbent, Rubin, and Aakash Nihalani In Progress on Domino Walls in BK

Williamsburg once ran heavy with renegade Street Art; names like Faile, Swoon, Bast, Shepard Fairey, Gaia, NohJColey, Judith Supine, Momo, Elbowtoe, Dain, DarkClouds, Matt Siren, Armsrock, Dennis McNett… well you get the point. Add about 40 more names and you can begin to re-construct the explosion that happened here mostly because industry had died and artists in the 80s and 90s and early 00s flocked to the previously industrial maritime neighborhood for space to create art, mount exhibitions, and have lots of free sex. Just checking to see if you were paying attention.


Hellbent at work on his portion of the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now almost 10 years into a North Brooklyn rezoning and construction boom (with a small break for the Great Recession) some of those same street artists are actually invited to paint walls in the same neighborhood – by landlords, advertisers, developers, and businesses. The Domino Sugar Factory, long an employer and symbol of industry on the river is now beginning a humungous decade-long renovation with new buildings planned while retaining the old refinery building on the site. Before buildings started coming down last summer these mammoth green construction walls went up, creating this sort of municipal/industrial sealed green monotony for five blocks on Kent Avenue.


Hellbent at work on his portion of the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Today Hellbent, Rubin, and Aakash Nihalani, three artists who have been doing work in the streets for much of this time (and who have each made inroads into the gallery system), are each taking on their largest projects ever and culling more friends and buckets and cans and courage than ever to knock out these prodigious paintings. We’re calling it “Domino Walls” because we’re clever at naming things and we’re acting as “curatorial advisors” because hey, that’s what we do. BSA has a history of working with community and arts institutions, small and large, to give a variety of street artists a voice and to introduce them to greater audiences. This project provides a showcase to some of the strong voices who are familiar with working on the streets and who are pushing that language in new directions.


Hellbent. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A lot of urban art academics and critics have been talking about this new hybrid of art on the street that is sometimes called ‘graffuturism’ and we are very gratified to present a few of the new practitioners on the street who reflect it. Employing geometric shapes, deconstruction, abstraction, minimalism, even Op Art techniques, this quickly shifting movement unites graffiti, street art, and contemporary; at once futuristic while paying tribute to art movements more than a hundred years old. With MOMA’s “Inventing Abstraction” show last year and the Guggenheim’s “Italian Futurists” show right now, we feel like our 2012 show “Geometricks” right here in Brooklyn was actually just ahead of the curve. Putting Hellbent, Aakash, and Rubin together on massive walls in Williamsburg feels like this is right on time for this decade.

So we’ll tell you more about the project and each artist a little later but we wanted to show you the progress thus far so you know what is going on on these giant walls. If you are planning to see the astounding Kara Walker show that opens this week on the site and features more sugar than you can consume during a month of Halloweens – you’ll also definitely be seeing some rockin’ eye candy in progress right on the street here as well.


Hellbent. Detail of one of the stencils. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“We all work in different ways but in a similar abstract nature and that is kind of why we are here together.  It shows a little of the arc of abstraction and the different sort of forms you can go with.  We’re all pretty geometric at the same time – using the power of the clean line and using optical tricks,” says Hellbent as he and his team are on their 9th day knocking out a nearly 500 foot long piece called We Walk (REM).

“I like the way Jaime (Rojo) described this wall when he said I was changing the shape of the wall through color and pattern and repetitions and that the visual effect pushes you forward. I think that more or less describes the movement for me at this moment and it is what I have been doing.”


Aakash Nihalani at work on his portion of the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Aakash doesn’t typically work with paint and stencils, preferring his trademark bright masking tape method of revealing geometry in public spaces but he is going huge here for his piece tentatively titled Spaced. “I don’t have a lot of roots in graffiti, I mean, we share the same territory and spaces.  But I don’t liken myself to a graffiti artist per se.  I mean it does make sense that after a certain amount of time in a period of an art movement that it is bound to start deconstructing and abstracting, concentrating more on the form instead of the content. So I guess that kind of makes sense and I guess my work sort of fits in with that evolution, so its definitely part of that, but it is not intentional.”


Askash Nihalani letting the sky bust through on this work in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash and his assistant at work on the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalani. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin at work on his portion of the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One of the most active graffiti writers in Sweden in the 1990s, Rubin has been deconstructing his earlier work and uncovering his Finnish/Swedish DNA. For his block long Resistance V. Acceptance, he says “I’m busy looking forward – I’m very much influenced by the Futurist movement , the Bauhaus. It’s also really natural for me growing up in Scandinavia – I grew up with the streamline and the IKEA – so it is like a parallel with the minimalism of Scandinavia so when I discovered the whole Futurist movement it made perfect sense,” he explains.

“Moving to working more large scale I had to adapt my work so that I can still work fast. It suits me so well. It is also is about balance – it can’t be too geometric so its’ always a struggle so that is why I try to keep my work free hand – so I don’t use projectors and stencils. I started using the chalk line more because it’s a time saver, but also I try to keep it analog and organic and physical. It can’t be too sharp – there has to be a more human element”


Rubin and one of his assistants at work on the wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin’s detail of his sketch for the project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read Part II of this project here:

“Done!” Murals from Rubin, Aakash, & Hellbent : Domino Walls Part II


BSAPlease 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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New High-Water Mark for Street Art at Fairs for Armory Week

New High-Water Mark for Street Art at Fairs for Armory Week

This year represents a high-water mark for current Street Artists being represented at the New York fairs if what we have just seen over the last couple of days is any indication. For those who have been following the trajectory of the new kids we’ve been talking about for the last decade, the room is rather getting a lot more crowded. Only a handful of years ago names that produced blank stares at your forehead and a little sniff of dismissal are garnering an extra lingering moment near the canvas and snap of the cellphone pic, complimentary champagne flute in hand.


Hellbent at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the gusts of wind provided by a couple of recent auctions, optimism about an up-turning economy, and even the Banksy one-month residency, it is not hard to imagine that we have some “overnight” stars in the midst of this constellation, but it is really anyone’s guess.

While we are certainly aware of it, we don’t dedicate too much ink to the commercial aspect of the Street Art scene, preferring to learn the lingua franca of these artists who have developed their narrative and visual style before our eyes, to celebrate experimentation, the creative spirit, and to give a pedestrian view of the street without being pedestrian.

But just as neighborhoods like Bushwick in Brooklyn, El Raval in Barcelona, LA’s downtown Arts District, and parts of London, Berlin, and Paris have been transforming by gentrification, we would be remiss if we didn’t note the more frequent raising of commercial eyebrows all around us when the topic turns to Street Art. It’s not a fever pitch, but can it be far off? There is already a solid first tier that everyone can name – and the stratification is taking shape below it.


Herb Smith (previously Veng RWK) at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Buffeted by blossoming sales of works by early 2000s Street Artists and the burgeoning of lifestyle companies now appropriating this cultural wealth and transforming it into “content” that helpfully couriers all manner of merch from spirits to soda, sneakers, and electronic smoking devices, we are looking for our seat belts as there a major shift in popular acceptance and critical embracing of 21st century Street Artists up ahead.

As for the streets, the flood is going to continue. Street Art is Dead? Yes, we’ve been hearing this since 2002…

Here’s a brief non-specific and uneven survey of only some work showing this weekend by current or former Street Artists and graffiti writers – perhaps a third of what you can see in the New York fairs and satellite galleries.


Rubin at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fumero at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gilf! and Icy & Sot at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EKG and Lamour Supreme at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Alice Mizrachi and Jon Burgerman at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris Stain and Rubin at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


See One and Chuck Berrett/Nicole Salgar of Cargo Collective at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


JMR and Cake at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vicki DaSilva at Fountain (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pose at Volta (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vinz at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Amanda Marie at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tip Toe at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


El Mac at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Know Hope at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cope at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Aakash Nihalini at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Banksy and friends at Scope (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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Street Artists At The Fairs For Armory Week NYC 2014

Street Artists At The Fairs For Armory Week NYC 2014


Not quite spring, the Art Fairs are arriving in New York ahead of the tulips. We strolled the impossibly long aisles and peered into the booths to find the folks who have at other times been called “Street Artists”. This weekend they’ll be fine artists, and the list is quite a bit longer than years past as the professionalization of the street continues.

Shows like the Armory, Scope, Volta, and Fountain are good testing venues to see the commercial viability for many of these artists and some have foregone representation – preferring to foot the bill on their own. Since walking the streets to see their work requires multiple layers and hats and gloves – traipsing through the fairs can be far preferable than dirty old Brooklyn streets. It’s also nice to see how some of these folks look in a tie or a blouse – or even just hit a comb. Here below we include some possible gems for you to hunt down.



Pace Prints

How & Nosm at Pier 92


How Nosm at Pace Prints (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For The Armory Show Art Fair location, dates, times, booth numbers, etc… click HERE



Andenken Gallery

Amanda Marie, VINZ


Vinz at Andenken Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Black Book Gallery

Judith Supine, WK Interact, Ben Eine, Cycle, James Reka, Cope2, Indie184, Shepard Fairey


Judith Supine at Black Book Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

C.A.V.E. Gallery

PEETA, Pure Evil


Pure Evil at C.A.V.E. Gallery (image courtesy the artist)

Fabien Castanier Gallery

Speedy Graphito, Mark Kenkins, RERO


Speedy Graphito at Fabien Castanier Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Fuchs Projects

Rafael Fuchs, Aakash Nihalini, Skewville


Skewville at Fuchs Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Krause Gallery

Ben Frost, Hanksy


Ben Frost at Krause Gallery (image courtesy the gallery)

Moniker Projects

Beau Stanton, Ben Eine, David Shillinglaw, Greg Lamarche, Jon Burgerman, Pam Glew, Ron English,  Muffinhead, Keira Rathbone.


David Shillinglaw at Moniker Projects (image courtesy the artist)

Natalie Kates Projects

Skullphone, Swoon


Skullphone at Natalie Kates Projects (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ThinkSpace Gallery

Know Hope


Know Hope at ThinkSpace (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vertical Gallery

Stormie Mills, My Dog Sighs


Stormie Mills at Vertical Galler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For SCOPE Art Fair location, dates, times, booth numbers, etc… click HERE



Jonathan LeVine Gallery



Pose at Jonathan LeVine Gallery (image courtesy the artist)

For VOLTA NY Art Fair location, dates, times and booth numbers, etc… click HERE



Fumeroism, Jay Shells, Leon Reid IV, Vicki DaSilva are all showing at Fountain this year


Vicki DaSilva at Fountain (image courtesy the artist)


Fumero at Fountain (image © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Folk Art

Adam Suerte


Adam Suerte (courtesy Urban Folk Art)

Street Art Installation curated by Mighty Tanaka

Alex Emmert will be curating the Street Art Installation and he has invited Chris Stain, Alice Mizrachi, Skewville, Cake, Chris RWK, Joe Iurato, Rubin, EKG, Gilf!, Omen and LNY.


Rubin will be part of the installation of Street Artists at Fountain Art Fair (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For Fountain Art Fair location, dates, times, etc…click HERE


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The Power of Color via Street Art, Graffiti, and Murals

The Power of Color via Street Art, Graffiti, and Murals

No doubt it is the grey days of late winter that is making us think about this as we brace for the next snowstorm, but today we’re considering the impact that Street Art color has on architecture that never asked for it.

We’re not the first to think of hues, shades, tones, and palettes when it comes to the man made environment of course, but it does strike us that most of the buildings that are hit up by street art and murals today were designed by architects who never imagined art on their facade.


Os Gemeos in Boston. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Modern architecture for some reason is still primarily grey, washed out greens, beige, eggshell, snore.

“Color is something that architects are usually afraid of,” said internationally known and awarded architect Benedetta Tagliabue in an interview last May about the topic of color.  A generalization probably, and you can always find exceptions of colorfully painted neighborhoods globally like the Haight in San Francisco, La Boca in Buenos Aires, Portafino in Italy, Guanajuato in Mexico, Bo-Kaap in Capetown, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the Blue City of India, but many of those examples speak to color blocking and pattern.


Interesni Kazki in Baltimore. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’ve been looking at the power of Street Art to reface, re-contextualize, re-energize, and re-imagine a building and its place in the neighborhood. Some times it is successful, other times it may produce a light vertigo. The impact of work on buildings by today’s Street Artists and muralists depends not only on content and composition but largely on the palette they have chosen. It sounds trite, and self-evident perhaps, but much of Street Art is about color, and primarily on the warm scale first described by Faber Birren with his OSHA colors and color circle in the 1930s .


Faile in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Birren developed his color system with the observation that artists favor the warm colors more than the cold, from the violet side of red and extending beyond yellow because “, their effect is more dynamic and intense and because the eye can, in fact, distinguish more warm colors than cold.

It’s common now to think of 21st century Street Art as the graffiti-influenced practice that primarily activates the detritus of the abandoned industrial sector blighting western cities in the wake of trade agreements that sent all the jobs to lands without protections and regulations. While that is definitely the sort of neglected factory architecture preferred for “activation” by many graffiti artists and Street Artists alike, we also see more curious couplings of color with the delicately ornate, the regal, or even modernist structures today thanks to artists being invited, rather than chased.


Shepard Fairey in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The results? Abstractionist, cubist, geometric, letter-based, illustrative, figurative, text-based, outsider, folk, dadaist, pop.  One common denominator: color.

“The environment and its colors are perceived, and the brain processes and judges what it perceives on an objective and subjective basis. Psychological influence, communication, information, and effects on the psyche are aspects of our perceptual judgment processes,” writes Frank H. Mahnke in his recent piece for Archinect. The author of Color, Environment, & Human Response has made it his mission to explore psychological, biological effects of color and light and to help creators of the man-made environment make good choices.

Whether all of these choices are good, we leave up to you. But it is worth considering that Street Artists have been part of the conversation on the street for decades now, making powerful suggestions to architects and city planners , so maybe it’s worth taking another look at what they’ve been up to lately.


Ever in Baltimore. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Escif in Atlanta. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kenton Parker and Roa in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


LUDO in Chicago. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister in Los Angeles. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Kobra in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Smells, Cash4 and Spiro in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Don Rimx in El Barrio. Harlem, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Agostino Iacurci in Atlanta. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Barry McGee in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jaz and Cern in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pose and Revok in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rime, Dceve and Toper in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pixel Pancho in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Deeker and David Pappaceno in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Reka in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


RRobots in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOMO in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Skewville in Brooklyn, NYC with an old NEKST tag on top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


3ttman and Elias in Atlanta. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chris Stain and Billy Mode tribute to Martha Cooper in Brooklyn with ROA on the water tank. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Os Gemeos in Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


JMR in Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Greg LaMarche in Brooklyn, NYC. (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!

This article was also published on The Huffington Post




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The 2013 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

The 2013 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

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.


What’s everybody looking at? Jaime Rojo’s favorite image of the year at the very end of the Banksy brouhaha. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now, for the Video

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.

Brooklyn Street Art 2013 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

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.

Read more about Banksy’s last day in New York here and our overview of his residency in the essay “Banksy’s Final Trick” on The Huffington Post.



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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Images Of The Week: 12.15.13

Images Of The Week: 12.15.13




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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Artist Unknown. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Kremen (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Robert Janz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Col Walnuts (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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


Killy Kilford (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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



<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSAPlease 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!<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA 


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The “Aqueduct Murals” Are Off and Running!

The “Aqueduct Murals” Are Off and Running!

“He’s pissed off. He’s like… he has an attitude. He’s ornery. In my work I’m always looking to relate my own feelings to the images that I see and try to express them through painting.”


Chris Stain and Katherine Huala at work on their first collaborative piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain is looking at a black and white photo of a victorious and defiant jockey covered in mud – a guy named Webber who raced “Broiler” at Aqueduct – and talks about why he is immortalizing the fella in paint for this thoroughbred race track that turns 120 years old next year.

“So when I saw him I was like, ‘Yeah I feel like that sometimes, most of the time, ninety-five percent of the time.’ ”

Any seasoned wagerer knows it is a bit of a gamble to work with graffiti and Street Artists – untamed and unbridled as they can be – but Street Artist Joe Iurato has corralled a small herd and coaxed them inside off the streets for this one race. The Aqueduct Murals are out of the gate and if last nights marathon of painting was any indication, the odds are good they will all hit the finish line by Saturday.


Chris Stain found this vintage photograph as an inspiration for his collaborative piece with Katherine Huala.  Jockey Weber finished second place on his horse “Broiler”, and it looks like it was a rainy and muddy day at the track here in 1941 in Jamaica, Queens. Original photographer unnamed. (This photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Equestrian racing, jockey related – the only criteria they gave us was they wanted to see something that was more in the spirit of the place,” says Joe as he looks around the mainly beige walls of the facility in Queens that is filling with aerosol fumes as the clock nears midnight. He still has to get up on a cherry picker and get working on his collaborative mural with Logan Hicks, but as the organizer, Joe discovers he needs to make sure all the other artists are getting taken care of first – its all part of the care and feeding of Street Artists.

Tomorrow night the opening bell on the reception rings at 6 pm at Aqueduct with a DJ and a print release with all the artists in attendance and Ellis G doing some live chalk drawings, but for right now Joe is looking at some peeling paint and figuring out how to seal it.

“They gave us a photo bucket that was full of about 300 pictures from the past 60 years,” he says of the racetrack reference material that roughly half of the artists are using in their murals. “We were able to use any of those and a lot of them were just brilliant.”

The international and locally-based artists all are taking different approaches – and the distances they have traveled vary from South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Italy, Texas, California, New Jersey….and even hometown Queens and Brooklyn guys like Stain, Skewville, and Hicks. In the middle of the progress last night BSA got some shots as some of the pieces were galloping along – some are on the backstretch while a few just started out of the gate.

Participating artists for The Aqueduct Murals include : Logan Hicks, David Flores, Chris Stain collaborating with Katherine Huala, Rubin, Faith 47, Skewville, JMR, LNY, Ian Kuali’i, Shai Dahan, Zed1, Joe Iurato, ThenOne, and Reka.


Chris Stain and Katherine Huala. Chris working on their piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Reka. Detail of his piece in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I’m trying to experiment a little at the moment and in terms of colors I’m just doing strictly gray scale,” says Melbourne Street Artist REKA, who is normally known for his use of vibrant oranges and reds in his tightly fluid character-based street work.  “Also this is something a bit more messy, a bit more dynamic anyway – I’m allowing more room for error and be more playful.”

“I want to show the movement in the racing – sections of the horse and the jockey – to show more of the human element and the connection between the rider and the horse. I don’t paint realistically – so that is my representation of the horse.”


Reka at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Zed1 at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Italian Street Artist Zed1 stays monochromatic in his palette also but his metaphor is entirely different. “I prefer you see when you finish because it is a surprise !” he says while revealing to us in a conspiratorial tone what the humorous scene will eventually depict. Don’t worry folks, it’s all clean and respectful.


Zed1. Process shot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: This doesn’t look like a horse.
Rubin: No. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a horse just because it is a race track.

The least representational of the murals draws a clearer connection to its location and proximity to the city with more abstract depictions of the roaring crowd and the city skyline.  Roaring twenties of last century meld well with the spattered street inflections of early teens 21st century here.

“I kind of flipped those Art Deco inspired lines from being horizontal to vertical and so it is my way of paying tribute to New York,” says the Greenpoint, Brooklyn based Swedish artist who says he never tires of going on the roof to look at Manhattan across the East River.


Rubin at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


David Flores and assistant at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LA’s David Flores used to go to the races at Santa Anita when he was a kid. “but nothing major, we didn’t bet or anything like that,” he says as he steps back to compare his rendering to the piece on the wall. The composition combines the jockey image from a photo from the track with a new mask and a horse and hand from two other sources. “I kind of married them together,” he says of the scene. “I had to make it the way I wanted with a lot of diamonds and stars and stripes – you know how they wear their gear so it’s all colorful.”

Normally more abstract, this wall by Flores is literal in its depiction, but with an illustrators eye. Has he worked with animals in his work much? “I have worked with animals a couple of times but nothing of this scale – or horse racing and I’m super excited because I’m a fan of the sport. I’m stoked on it now.”


David Flores. Sketch for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


LNY. Detail of his piece in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

New Jersey Street Artist LNY took something with history and shot with the older film based technology and manipulated it with a current digital and returned to the hand rendered painting form to create it on a wall.

“Yeah, especially this,” he says as he rolls a thin screen of crimson over his composition, ” – doing washes is a super traditional technique”

The subject matter for LNY speaks to the regimented hierchy of class that permeates the traditions of racing. “Its always been about social status and that became really apparent when I came here,” he says as he describes his choice of outfielders he researched as subjects.

“The outfielders are the guys that go out there and if a horse goes crazy – they are kind of the cops of the field – so basically they are staff,” he says of the well-dressed horsemen in the original image he started with. “I just got some really nifty iPad apps that cost nothing but they let you transform images so I’ve been having a lot of fun with those and I’m basing my mural on that.”


LNY at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


LNY created this digital collage mock up which  served as template for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Shai Dahan at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: I guess it is not that far a stretch for you to paint a couple of horses!
Shai Dahan: “No! I’ve been painting nothing but horses for the last three years”

The LA-New York- now Sweden based artist has been painting his interpretation of Swedish Dalecarlian horses which are traditionally red, so he is making sure to include on in his Aqueduct piece.

Brooklyn Street Art: Had you seen races before?
Shai Dahan: No, this was my very first time
Brooklyn Street Art: What was your impression?
Shai Dahan: It’s very cool.  To actually see them race – just to see the quickness and the power and the movement of it is really fascinating and inspiring. I wanted to create some kind of forceful movement to get people out to the racetrack. The graffiti background is to represent the feel of New York, and all the bright colors.


Sahi Dahan at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ThenOne working on the background color for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

New Jersey’s ThenOne says has been a graffiti artist for 16 years and he likes his lines to be crisp and  tight. Using his favorite red and black palette he brings perhaps the most historical equine references to the new collection at the race track and skillfully alludes to the practices from the modern graffiti scene he came up from.

ThenOne’s black Arabian horses are silhouetted in a decorative arrangement that recalls his Persian ancestry as depicted in pottery and ceramics and textiles while also recalling the early cave paintings that many art historians trace as ancestors to the Street Art/graffiti practices of today.

As long as the stylized stallions are as close to his original sketch as possible, he’ll be happy. “My style graffiti-wise is I like to be as clean as possible,” ThenOne says, “So the graphic and the clean work perfectly for me.”


ThenOne. Sketch for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Joe Iurato at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Organizer and artist Joe Iurato is up on his lift, masking out his collaborative piece with Logan Hicks. In between his other responsibilities, he’s planning to paint too.


Skewville at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Art wordsmith Squewville grew up in Queens so his trip here was one of the shorter ones. The text based entreaty he is taping out here will say “Update Your Status”  – in one short phrase bringing the track into the “social” sphere. The well known slogan for people using sites like Facebook also doubles as a reference to the incoming status of races as the bets and odds are displayed across screens and horses cross the finish line.


Skewville at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Logan Hicks working on his stencils for his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Brooklyn based Logan Hicks is prepping for his seven layer stencil that will depict a crush of horses in the thick of the race (not seen here). First he is applying a patterned background to his collaborative piece with organizer and Street Artist Joe Iurato.


Logan Hicks at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Originally from Hawaii, artist Ian Kuali’i is laying in the abstractly energetic background for his sliced paper piece that will float over it.

“I’m going to paste up a cutout. It’s about three quarters of the way done, “ he says as he describes a finished piece that will incorporate collage of actual vintage Aqueduct posters from the past and themes relating to horse husbandry and the thrill of the race.


Ian Kuali’i at work on his piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Tomorrow, Saturday the 23rd  a reception will be held for the artists at the Aqueduct Racetrack to celebrate “Aqueduct Murals”. The event is free and open to the public. Click HERE for all the details.


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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Images of The Week: 09.22.13

Images of The Week: 09.22.13


First day of Autumn, Yo! And we have been harvesting images for you as we enter the new season in NYC. Here is our weekly interview with the street, including CAM, Dasic, Icy & Sot, ILL, Jessie and Katey, MAD, MOR, Paolo Cirio, Pigeon, Rambo, Rubin, Stefan Sagmeister, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Yuko Shimizu.

Top image, a new billboard with some sage street life advice from RAMBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


True that. Tatyana Fazlalizadeh from her project “Stop Telling Women To Smile” (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dasic. Detail of a wall in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Paolo Cirio. “Street Ghost” Series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Paolo Cirio. “Street Ghost” Series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Paolo Cirio. “Street Ghost” Series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Paolo Cirio. “Street Ghost” Series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jessie and Katey. Richmond, VA. (photo © Jessie Unterhalter)


CAM. Detail for Dumbo Walls Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


CAM. Detail for Dumbo Walls Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Yuko Shimizu and Stefan Sagmeister for Dumbo Walls Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Yuko Shimizu and Stefan Sagmeister for Dumbo Walls Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pigeon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia shares with you this sketch for his upcoming installation at Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, TX. (photo © Gaia)


Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MOR (photo © Jaime Rojo)


MAD (photo © Jaime Rojo)


ILL (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Untitled. Harvest Moon over Manhattan. NYC. September, 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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