Curator and artist Ryan Seslow has pulled off an overview of art on the streets and the practices employed, minus the drama. So much discussion of graffiti, Street Art, and public art practice can concentrate on lore and turf war, intersections with illegality, the nature of the “scene”, shades of xenophobia and class structures; all crucial for one’s understanding from a sociological/anthropological perspective.
“Concrete to Data”, opening this week at the Steinberg Museum of Art on Long Island, gives more of the spotlight to the historical methods and media that are used to disseminate a message, attempting to forecast about future ways of communicating that may effectively bridge the gap between the physical and the virtual.
Seslow has assembled an impressive cross section of artists, practitioners, photographers, academics, theorists, and street culture observers over a five-decade span. Rather than overreaching to exhaustion, it can give a representative overview of how each are adding to this conversation, quickly presenting this genre’s complexity by primarily discussing its methods alone.
Here is a sneak peek of the the concrete (now transmitted digitally); a few of the pieces for the group exhibition that have gone up in the last week in the museum as the show is being installed.
You think that maybe the animated GIF is the equivalent of graffiti on the digital wall?
Artist Ryan Seslow has been experimenting for a little while with that hyper eye-blitzing looping tag called the animated GIF – and today you’re getting splendid platter of GIFs like holiday cookies glistening before you. With bright visual references to graffiti history, culture and art, Seslow manages to simplify the vernacular in a poppy way that pushes the work into a playful cartoon realm – like the stuff on subway cars in the 70s. If the connection to Street Art isn’t clear, he has also been doing artful collaborations with a number of figures you may have seen on the street and in subway stations.
“It has been great fun so far working with Cake and Jilly Ballistic and we are making more!” says Seslow of this collaborative approach to GIF making. “I wanted to work with them both because they have great contrasting work that translates well on the street, subway tunnels and as digital images online.”
So far Seslow has been “trickling out the gifs one at a time” on his blog and as a project with RJ Rushmore of the blog Vandalog. They will be exhibiting their project entitled “Encrypted Fills” at the end of January for Concrete to Datain the Steinberg Museum of Art. Seslow’s GIF animations will include a host of other graffiti and Street Artists including Stinkfish, Broken Fingaz, General Howe, Caroline Caldwell, Abe Lincoln Jr., Gaia, Enzo & Nio, John Fekner, Olek, Ryan Seslow, Swampy, Peter Drew, Adam VOID, Rone, Enzo Sarto, and Leon Reid IV.
In the meantime all these jolting lights may make you think of the first night of Hannukah (tonight) as well as all the Christmas lights that are blinking from apartment windows overhead wherever you go on the street. Enjoy!
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. Shepard Fairey’s Wall in Little Italy
2. ARYZ for CityLeaks
3. Robots Spraying Out the Window – Jeff Soto
5. NO AD: NYC
6. Edoardi Tresoldi “Pensieri” For street art festival “OLTRE IL MURO” in Sapri, Italy
7. Ryan Seslow / Adam Void * Handstyles
BSA Special Feature:
Shepard Fairey’s Wall in Little Italy
Produced by Element Tree, this is the video by Serringe that just came out a couple of days ago of Shepard Fairey’s recent installation in New York.
ARYZ for CityLeaks
From the CityLeaks Urban Arts Feastival in Cologne, Germany, here is ARYZ speaking about the largest skeleton he’s every painted.
Robots Spraying Out the Window – Jeff Soto
This car manufacturer placed robots in a car to spray the walls to give their product some street cred. While they are busy patting themselves on the back we’re reminded of many street art autonomous innovators who have done this kind of work on the streets before, like Mudlevel, who created the Robo-Rainbow three years ago (below). Self-funded experimenters have jerry-rigged bikes, scooters, contraptions, machines, even drones to spray paint onto walls over the last decade so this brand hasn’t pioneered anything new necessarily. Possibly they just saw the Alexander McQueen robots spraying a dress in 1999.
Cool project nonetheless and props to artist Jeff Soto for his continued good work.
A splendid look at street ingenuity and over-thinking the simplest job. Clap your hands for MUDLEVEL.
NO AD: NYC
Augmented reality continues to grow into the consumer world and this app will help you to replace those pesky print messages foisted into the public space with, oh, art.
Perhaps soon when you scan one of those hideous new all-car subway advertising campaigns it will trigger a full car piece by Lee Quinones! Now that’s an idea worth pursuing!
Edoardi Tresoldi “Pensieri” For street art festival “OLTRE IL MURO” in Sapri, Italy
A permanent installation of electro-welded net for Oltre il Muro festival, in Sapri, Italy, bends perception depending on the angle it is seen from, especially when shot by drone.
Grafideo = Graffiti + Video * Ryan Seslow / Adam Void * Handstyles
In their second collaboration, this Street Art and graffiti duo offer up their latest experiment combining their interests and skills and feeding them through a series of texturing. “This is what happens when new-school meets old-school, when technology collides with the primal. Real life distortion of spray tags & letter styles merged with animated gifs & overlay filters.”
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.
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.
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.
A night time escape captured by El Pacino and Tanguy Bombonera appears to accompany Italian bruta expressionistas Cane Morta in a large scale night time collabo with Ema Jons while traffic whizzes by obliviously.
Virtuous Reality * Adam Void and Ryan Seslow
To file under experimental: a collaboration by practitioners of art in the street that merges the styles of both Adam VOID and Ryan Seslow. Sound and vision chops together a pastiche of images to lull you to sleep and to jolt you awake you from your hypnotic solid state dream life.
In Memory of Shawn Whisenant by Spencer Keeton Cunningham
“You can grab your skateboard and your camera and go outside, and the world is yours,” says Whisenant to the camera as he describes one of the perfect days in the street.
A fine and poignant tribute to artist, skater, photographer and friend to many on San Francisco’s streets, Shawn passed away earlier this month. The stills, music clips, interviews and commentary give a sense of the open approach he had to creativity, to art making, to others – and here these reminders of him are pulled together in an endearing and regardful way. Our thoughts go out to Shawn’s family and friends during this time.
Garrison and Alison Buxton have spent countless hours, elbow grease and their own money to make this huge non-commercial Welling Court Mural Project happen 4 years in a row – giving free walls to a few hundred artist during that time.
Cost to us: Zilch, Zero, Nada
Cultural workers extraordinaire with a Rolodex list as long as the banquet table at an Italian wedding, these two have given more Street Artists artists more free opportunities than a block full of GO-GO bars. Wait, that didn’t sound right. But you get our point.
If not, here’s the point: Go pledge 10 bucks or a hundred bucks to their fundraiser for all the fun and true community spirit they have brought people for the last four years.
After you pledge some money to their Indiegogo come back here and enjoy brand new images of the 4th Annual Welling Court installation. It may be the last time. And then all we will have left are logo-smothered festivals sponsored by cool “urban” lifestyle brands, real estate agents, energy drinks, and/or the Chamber of Commerce and The Daughters of the Revolution. Jeez that’ll be fun, won’t it?
“These Boots Are Made for Walking” Nancy Sinatra (VIDEO)
Pure Evil Goes Pop! Saturday at Corey Helford (LA)
Ludo in Rome Saturday
Ryan Seslow and Borbay
Cheap Art at the Affordable Art Fair This Weekend in LA
FAILE ON FILM: From Ride5 Films (VIDEO)
RETNA with Primary Flight in Miami (VIDEO)
Herakut for NUART 2011 (VIDEO)
En Masse at “Art San Diego” 2011 by Fred Caron (VIDEO)
First we’d like to ask that all the Ladies get up from the desk and do some strutting around the office in high heel boots. That should liven up an otherwise grey winter day right? Come on boots, start walkin’ !
Pure Evil Goes Pop! Saturday at Corey Helford (LA)
Inspired by the relative ease of reproducing masterworks by so-called “copy villages” in China, as well as the reductivist assessment the market does to an artist’s body of work, Street Artist Pure Evil is knocking out versions of Jackie and Liz with black eyes dripping to the floor, just for fun.
Says the artist, “Edward Albee’s film ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ starring Taylor and Burton brilliantly illustrates a nightmare couple who use alcohol to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other. I was amazed at the film and so I did a painting of ‘Richard Burtons Nightmare’ / Liz Taylor’ and a print in 2 POP colourways and 2 months later, Liz died…”
Pure Evil Goes Pop! Opening on Saturday at Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City, Los Angeles.
For further information regarding this show click here
Cheap Art at the Affordable Art Fair This Weekend in LA
Almost 300 emerging and established artist show work this weekend in LA at the Affordable Art Fair. With prices from $100 to up to $10K. Be on the look out for C.A.V.E. Gallery at booth C-8 and for Thinkspace Gallery on booth B-9.
For further information, complete list of exhibitors, schedules and directions go to the Affordable Art Fair site here
GALLERY EXHIBITION “Street Legal – Gratiffyti: Seslow & Borbay on Canvas”
A notion verses the actuality of street art – two varying concepts, yet one in the same. By way of color, collage, composition and explosive impressionism; artists Borbay and Ryan Seslow delve into the pulse of “Gotham”, on canvas, on board, off the tax payers ledger. This exhibition biopsies the street art experience, with no mention of the inside, or outside, of a box.
When: January 22 – February 23
Where: The Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery Iona College Arts Center
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 22, 1:00- 3:00 pm Meet the artist Gallery Tour: Thursday, February 16, 6:30 pm
As we start a new year, we say thank you for the last one.
And Thank You to the artists who shared their 11 Wishes for 2011 with Brooklyn Street Art; Conor Harrington, Eli Cook, Indigo, Gilf, Todd Mazer, Vasco Mucci, Kimberly Brooks, Rusty Rehl, Tip Toe, Samson, and Ludo. You each contributed a very cool gift to the BSA family, and we’re grateful.
We looked over the last year to take in all the great projects we were in and fascinating people we had the pleasure to work with. It was a helluva year, and please take a look at the highlights to get an idea what a rich cultural explosion we are all a part of at this moment.
The new year already has some amazing new opportunities to celebrate Street Art and artists. We are looking forward to meeting you and playing with you and working with you in 2011.
The neighborhood of Park Slope in Brooklyn is better known for beautiful Brownstones, impossible parking, towering maples, social liberals and baby strollers than graffiti or street art.There is one commercial strip down the upper middle of this town-y enclave,with delis and bagel shops and The New York Times on Sunday –and aside from the occasional mural or stickered paper-box, not a whole lot of Street Art action.
On a recent sunny Saturday on 5th ave and Union Street, you may have seen a window display that made you think of street art. In fact, you can see it from the street, and local artist Ryan Seslow is a huge fan of the New York Street Art scene.
Park Slope window installation by artist Ryan Seslow as a satelite to “Programmed”
Brooklyn Street Art: Tell us about yourself.
Ryan Seslow: My name is Ryan Seslow. I’m a multidisciplinary artist living and working in New York. I am also a professor of fine arts teaching studio courses between 4 colleges here in NY and I’m always involved in several different projects at once, it seems, either as an artist, curator, or both.
I feel like I’m 3 or 4 different kinds of artists all trapped into one body. I have more energy than I usually know what to do with, so I love to exercise that on artistic potential and experimentation. Making art from a very young age, my real love for art came from the inspiration I found in 1980’s graffiti, public art, and cartoons. Martha Cooper’s “Subway Art” was, and still is, one of my all-time favorite books.
I was a teenager when the b-boy movement got a hold of me. My entire family is from various parts of Brooklyn, so weekends and summers were spent combing the streets looking for inspiration, while trying to mimic the works I saw.
The original “Subway Art” book by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant
Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about “Programmed” and what it’s about?
Ryan Seslow: I was recruited to do a satellite installation for “Programmed“, a show about rethinking the relationship with these electronic objects in our lives that we no longer use. The concept of the show was to synthesize the use of obsolete electronics into your work. It touches areas of recycling and the ephemeral existence of many things in today’s world.
I had already been doing this in another commercial window space for a few years, so the fit was nice and exciting. The owner also had this great public window space that he wanted to use to showcase my installation-based works, rather than just filling the space with redundant advertising so we collaborated ideas on the use of the space.
In both projects I wanted to inspire and reach the general public of Park Slope with colorful installations that would show a variety of traditional art techniques as well as more non-traditional works. The context of the commercial window space was perfect to contradict what is essentially public work.
Artist Ryan McIntosh’s piece from the “Programmed” exhibit, made from hard drives, is called “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall” (image courtesy www.cultofmac.com)
Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about some of the materials you used and their significance.
Ryan Seslow: The materials are intuitive manifestations and representations of what can be used to make ART. I’m all about the allowance of communication and self-expression. The curators did ask me to emphasize the use of obsolete electronics. The Mac Support Store (the installation site) is also a hub for the recycling of used computer parts.
The store had this enormous mountain of stuff to choose from and I was drawn to the keyboards right away because keyboards are objects of serious potential; amazing tools and an intermediary means of infinite communication. Each keyboard has the potential of writing the next great literary novel or the next great resolution to help the world. The keyboards connect both the familiar and unfamiliar imagery in the installation, maybe helping the viewers create narratives between the pop icons and the technology.
“I love making art. I’m pretty much obsessed with the process of generating things. I love learning new skills, not so much to isolate the skill itself, but more to integrate it into what I am already doing. I like to test the potentials of things,” Ryan Seslow.
Brooklyn Street Art: How long did it take you to prepare for this, and do the installation?
Ryan Seslow: This installation was built in less than two hours – It is an art practice in itself.
My installations are all intuitive and immediate. I have been working pretty large for about 10 years now so the energy that goes with setting up an installation is always thrilling and I like the challenge of working with the space. Each piece is created individually, so they must hold up that way first, but the installations are 100% modular. Every piece must ultimately fit and work together as a whole by means of form, color and content.
Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think of this as street art?
Ryan Seslow: I do think of this installation as street art. I have been a lover and a participant in the medium of street art for a long time. I may be a lot more careful about when and where I put my work up than I was 10 years ago; that knowledge comes from past experiences. Art forms should be embraced as ongoing expanding things, by seeing the potential of why and how they can fit the foundation of where they began. This exercise itself forms ideas and allows for expansion.
The work is right on the street, the viewers are those walking by on the side walk, or driving by in their cars. It has been framed in glass and protected to a degree. I find this interesting as well. I anticipate more museums and galleries doing this in the future as the context of public art develops and artists continue to push its limits.
Brooklyn Street Art: Do you have any favorite Street Artists whose work you follow?
Ryan Seslow: I love and follow several street artists on a daily basis. I’m a big fan of the BSA site as well as the Wooster Collective. Some of my favorite artists are John Fekner, Michael DeFeo, Gaia , Jeff Soto, Abe Lincoln Jr., Miss Van, Faile, Bast, Robert Williams, Lady Pink , Fafi, Gary Baseman, Tim Biscup, Barry McGee, Swoon, and so many more, too many to name!
Ryan used computer pieces, paper, film, and this image of Jackie Kennedy on the screen of a monitor for the installation.
Brooklyn Street Art: How does Jackie Kennedy figure into the piece?
Ryan Seslow: Funny, Jackie O and JFK have always left this long-lasting impression on me. When the John F. Kennedy assassination was brought up to me in the 5th or 6th grade, in a history class, it never left me. I recall being really freaked out by the way I was interpreting the whole event. As time went on, by the time we got into high school, we were shown the actual assassination film itself (you know the one). At least once a year, I seek to find old and grainy images of the couple. I think they represent some form of the ephemeral with in me. They remind me that our stay here on this planet is not forever, it activates this crazy gratitude to and for all things.
60 second silent collage of the Kennedys.
Brooklyn Street Art: Do you ever hang out and spy on people who have stopped to look at your installation?
Ryan Seslow: Nah, not too much spying, but I do get people who approach me and ask some interesting questions from time to time. Kids seem to be big fans on a regular basis! I have gotten several independent commissions this way, just by creating live art that invites the public to participate by simply talking to me. I am always left with a memory of the experience.
Brooklyn Street Art: You’ve done drawing, painting, stenciling, collage, even sculpture – is there something you haven’t tried but would like to?
Ryan Seslow: That is a great question. I love making art. I’m pretty much obsessed with the process of generating things. I love learning new skills, not so much to isolate the skill itself, but more to integrate it into what I am already doing. I like to test the potentials of things. I would love to do more with the synthesis of street art, public sculpture, experimental film and collaborations.
Actually, this is what I mean; I want to collaborate more with other artists. There is so much to learn when you work with other people, which is one of the main reasons I became an art professor.
Detail from the installation by Ryan Seslow
Brooklyn Street Art: What’s the next project you’ll be working on?
Ryan Seslow: Got several things going on right now. I’m teaching 8 courses this semester, so teaching is a bit more demanding than usual. I’m also curating a special video art/experimental documentary program for The Streaming Festival in the Netherlands , working on an installation series for public art in Jericho Plaza in Long Island, a group video art stills project in Denmark, participating in MagMart in Naples, and I’m part of a top secret underground stencil project.