Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. Humask & Shadow _ Light off/Light on. Tuco Wallach Pacifico 2. Bastardilla: La lingue dei carciofi 3. Saber: Escaping Los Angeles. From Chop ’em Down Films
BSA Special Feature: Humask and Shadow
For artist Tuco Wallach the street art story has nearly always been a family affair that mixes easily with his Humask campaign. His psychological treatise on man’s relationship with himself and society and masks may be internal, but the actual street practice is often externalized to include friends and family to create, place, document the new works that go into the public places. Here, as a chill holiday recording of a moment, we see the intimate and precise care that goes into his process – a process that is open and welcoming, and participatory. He says the video is about wood cabins, family, shadows, lights, friends, and Humask.
Humask & Shadow _ Light off/Light on. Tuco Wallach Pacifico
Bastardilla: La lingue dei carciofi
In the depths of New York winter, we like to escape to that sticky and warm time in summer when the air and the bees buzzed in unison, the thick richness of the days and nights, lingering in reverie. At the time we called it Bastardilla in Love With Bees and the Taste of Summer in Stornara, Italy. We dare you not to fall in love or at least be enchanted.
Saber: Escaping Los Angeles. From Chop ’em Down Films
“You can tell a lot about a city just by reading its walls.” Okay, Saber, you have our attention. And it’s shot by Chop ’em Down films? We’re there. Here the graffiti writer and fine artists narrate the police state of the LA during one of its more dismal periods caught on camera – and the record of a constant state of uprising.
Now a grand don of graffiti looking back, he sees the fall of LA hasn’t halted, only intensified, but his heart is still in it. He has become performative, crystalizing the movements of his work and his history into a gestural full-body modern performance; rebellious and distraught and yet full of passion – his own evolution from the street to the studio to the street again.
Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.
“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”
He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.
“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.
The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.
Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an
additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along
with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys
installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary
Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large
scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi
More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.
“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.
BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM
Curator: Roger Gastman
Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente
A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER
The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.
Niels Shoe Meulman on the cover of The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
“Writing”, as in the graffiti sense of the word, has become quite tastefully adventurous of late, as calligraffiti pushes and pulls it in height, dimension, finesse. Evolved from our first recorded history, the modern stylizing of the letter form is as fascinating and wild as it is domesticated, the mundanity of your particular tag now veritably swimming in many depths and swirling currents, weaving complex melodies, hitting notes previously unheard.
JonOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
This was inevitable, now that you think of it, this organic and ornate practice of making your mark, and the freedom to explore it came from the street. Mark-making indeed. You can call it “The Art of Writing Your Name,” as have the authors/artists Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl.
Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.
Poesia The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Graff writers in the mid 90s Munich scene, both had developed their individual styles beyond the classic street vocabulary, now evermore interested in discovering new materials, forms, processes, influences. Just released this summer, this new collection confidently illustrates what until now may have been evident to only a few; the aesthetics of writing have expanded and permutated far beyond their own roots in graffiti, tattoo, traditional calligraphy.
“Every artist brings a different approach with their calligraphy artwork,” says perhaps the most prominent of the genre today, Niels Shoe Meulman, who blazed into the publishing world with his tome “Calligraffiti” in 2010 after bringing his practice to the street and gallery. “We all come from different experiences and have different things to say.”
SheOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Indeed the list here includes the literal interpretations to those so far dissembled as to appear purely abstract, the aerosoled, the inked, the drippy, the purely light, the monstrously brushed acrossed floors and rooftops, the molded and bent and aroused into sculpture. Here the letter form is stretched to its limits, far beyond its relevance as part of codified language, more so the malleable warm putty in the hands of the artist, molded and mounted and even mystifying in the service of energy, kineticism, emotion.
“I start with quite randomly placed fat cap tags on the white surface,” says German author/artist Hartl to describe his particular technique, “then I overpaint it like 80% with slightly transparent paint, tag the wall with markers, overpaint that layer again, then I do stickers and posters, rip parts off again, repeat all these steps again and again until I’m happy with the result.”
Said Dokins The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Without doubt many will find inspiration in these nearly 300 pages, these insightful interviews with artists like Stohead, Usugrow, Saber, Kryptic, Faust, Carlos Mare, L’Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Poesia, Tilt; the forward by Chaz Bojorquez, the singular, at times stunning, photos and supportive texts.
Made for “graffiti fanatics, hand lettering fans, street art junkies, calligraphy lovers, and type enthusiasts”, co-author Christian Hundertmark edited the respected “Art of Rebellion” series and he knows his audience and this slice of his culture. The 36 artists are not the only ones representing this evolution in calligraphy, but they are certainly some of the finest.
Lek & Sowat The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
L’Atlas The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Tilt The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Carlos Mare The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Faust The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.
Artists included are Chaz Bojorquez, JonOne, Niels Shoe Meulman, Poesia, Cryptik, SheOne, Said Dokins, Stohead, Usugrow, Patrick Hartl, Lek & Sowat, L’Atlas, Tanc, Mayonaize, Soklak, Mami, Tilt, Blaqk, Soemone, Jan Koke, Jun Inoue, Vincent Abdie Hafez / Zepha, Carlos Mare, Egs, Simon Silaidis, Faust, Luca Barcellona, Bisco Smith, Creepy Mouse, Defer, eL Seed, Rafael Sliks, Saber, Pokras Lampas.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
1. Ugangprosjektet 2015 in Drammen, Norway. A Film by Selina Miles
2. Crack & Shine in São Paulo. A film by Will Robson-Scott
3. Perseverare : Zes and Saber in Downtown LA
4. SatOne: Insomnia
BSA Special Feature: Ugangprosjektet 2015 in Drammen, Norway.
UGANG2015 in Drammen, Norway had two weeks of murals from Street Artists and graffiti writers in late August. A relatively new event curated by local graffiti artist Eric Ness Christiansen (Eazy), the program is already slamming. A small town of 70,000 about 40 minutes from Oslo, they know how to take care of details, including inviting the inimitable Selina Miles to come and shoot it. Any questions?
Crack & Shine in São Paulo. A film by Will Robson-Scott
Vino, Cekis, Peter, Frs, Lead, Stile, Os Gemeos, Finok, Coyo, Caur, Ise, Nunca, Mind, Toes, Remio, and Twist are all featured in this atmopheric assemblage of traffic, extinguishers, kites, and futbol from São Paulo. Part vandal/part street poetry, you can get a sense of the family that grows up together here, choosing each other and pursuing a collective addiction.
Perseverare : Zes and Saber in Downtown LA
“We were painting this neighborhood before it was even coined the Arts District,” says Saber as he talks about the new burner he and Zes paint in LA’s Downtown “Arts District,” the very name of which drips from his lips with disdain. Neighborhoods are changing across the world with the assistance of art and artists and it causes a hell of a lot of fingerwagging and accusations. Meanwhile these two are painting a gesture toward the history of a city with the hope of striking a positive note as well.
“At the beginning of October, the project Stadt.Wand.Kunst hosted another artist. Munich-based artist Rafael Gerlach aka SatOne created a mural in Mannheim titled „Insomnia“. SatOne – born in Venezuela1977, living in Munich since the age of two – dipped his big toe into the world of graffiti in 1991, when he began trying out different writing styles in an abandoned factory site near his home. After studying graphic design and testing the waters at different graphic design agencies, SatOne has worked as a freelancer for the past 15 years, illustrating, photographing and creating murals and exhibitions around the world.”
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
Saber and ZES/MSK in Downtown LA
Lush and Dscreet in Amsterdam
Cranio in Shoreditch, London
BSA Special Feature: VHILS: Diorama
A tuning fork mystery infused background soundtrack suspends the slowly rotating portrait by Vhils as you hover above and within it like an alien discovering the topography of a vast cityscape. The laser cut Styrofoam enables such an exquisite experience for discovery that feels otherworldly, and then you think, “but how do I clean this when the dust builds up?”
A. Don’t be so plebeian, B. canned air, C. when was the last time you dusted anything, I’m the one who keeps this apartment clean. You just track in dirt from the streets. I just mopped this floor!
In this other video for the EDP foundation from Vhils, we see a further exploration of materials and construction in reverse. With the echoes of its history washing around, the subway car is dismantled; a furtherance of the concepts that the Street Artist employs in the process of creation.
Saber and ZES/MSK in Downtown LA
Its the simple things in life that make summer in the city such a blast. Like spraying paint with a fire extinguisher and collaborating with your bud on a wall while the sun shines. What’s not to like?
Lush and Dscreet in Amsterdam
And on a different note, the menacing brilliance of this outlaw reeks of mockery and societal unraveling. Yet, sexy and funny and built on a pop culture series of references that you have forgotten or never heard of. You had us at Tricky Dick.
Cranio in Shoreditch, London
In what has evidently been turned into a commercial wall that advertizes with Street Art, this four panel Shoreditch spot is next to continuous traffic and gets plenty of eyeballs. Cranio is featured here popping up and down ladders with a soundtrack of peppy celebration music to promote a gambling site with images of sports.
When you live in certain cities you are accustomed to the sort of cat and mouse game that municipalities play with graffiti taggers/writers with the cancelling out of one another’s work with paint. Today we take a look at a legal mural by Saber and Zes in Los Angeles that aims to capture the action between the untamed madness and wild markings of the writer and the blocky beige paint blobs that redact those markings from the visual cityscape, a practice many refer to as “the buff”.
“This particular style is an homage to this visual conflict that we see everyday on our city’s walls,” Saber tells us of this mural painted on a new art supply store that just opened in downtown LA. He says that the tension between the two forces is what gave energy to the project that used tools like a fire extinguisher, a bug sprayer, and that nice buff color, along with a fair number of fatcaps. Saber says it was a bit of an experiment.
Explaining the approach, Saber tells us they kept their state of mind loose while testing the uncontrolled quality of the substance applicators they were employing. “Usually these tools are used for bombing so the idea that we kept in mind was that there are no mistakes,” he says. “Any mark made on the wall only adds to the layers creating the tension between tagging, color and the beige of buff. Our goal was to capture samples of this conflict that takes place in the urban environment between tagging, handstyles and the relentless buff. Eventually the buffing took on a life of it’s own, almost turning into clouds that were weaving in and out of the scrawls.”
The west coast graffiti celebrity Saber continues to build heavy layers upon his work, carved and chipped away to reveal what is underneath, a personal archive partially on display. It is a fitting metaphor for the residual buildup of a life and the identities that one assumes, curiously all amalgamated into one slightly grizzled presentation. Here the bombastic history of his throw-ups, burners, and tags are transformed into calligraphic letterforms and entwined with the symbolic patterning of a national flag. The muted industrial palette and battered and worn textures and finishes indicate that this has been a hard journey, but not without flourishes of beauty and flashes of style.
Rostarr’s less showy graphic symbolism may be due to a more conservative formative youth and plays more clearly with the letterform as pattern and rhythm. The New York artist shows passion in the repetition, restricting the palette to two hues and laying in a calligraphic line and a visual beat that feels solid and confident but still human. Like Saber’s work, it feels very personal, studied, and purposefully imperfect. Without the multiple layers, it is more a contemporary diary, cleanly raw and open for you to read.
The Seventh Letter presents #ARTSHARELA
Opening reception: March 1, 2013 | 8 – 10pm
Show runs: March 1 – April 7, 2013
Art Share LA
801 E 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90013
A celebration of Street Art curated by Casey Zoltan of Known Gallery, featuring gallery pieces & outdoor billboards from noted Los Angeles artists: Saber, Patrick Martinez, Rime, Victor Reyes, Pose, Sage Vaughn, Willie T, Shepard Fairey, Risk, Push, Revok, Zes, Sever, Augustine Kofie and Vizie.
One of the best parts about a celebration of Street Art culture like Nuart in Norway is that there sometimes is an opportunity to speak with and listen to people who make it their mission to put it into context. New York art critic, curator, editor, and writer Carlo McCormick has an exhaustive knowledge and enthusiasm for the scene that evolved on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1970s and 80s concurrently with the evolution of graffiti into a celebrated art form. As Street Art continues apace, having perspective on some of its precursors is imperative and McCormick knows how to bring it alive.
To hang out with Carlo on the street is a joy because he can ground your current observations with his knowledge of their antecedents and yet become as equally appreciative of the new artists on todays’ scene whom he hasn’t heard of. During this talk he gave this year at Nuart in a very conversational somewhat meandering unscripted way, Carlo reveals the mindset that is necessary to keep your eyes open and appreciative of the new stuff without feeling territorial or enslaved to the past. We appreciate him because he recognizes that the march of graffiti, street art, public art, and it’s ever splintering subsets is part of a greater evolutionary tale that began before us and will continue after us.
“As I do my best as a really bad scholar to investigate this history of graffiti and mark-making – kind of prior to the official history – the greatest evidence that I find of stuff is in the real canon of fine art photography. Just about every famous photographer turned – I mean it’s not incidental – turned their attention to this illicit anonymous practice., ” Carlo McCormick at Nuart.
Now you have heard it all! – A graffiti artist taking the big beige buff to his own large 20 foot long piece. Yet another performance by Saber, who can safely add conceptual to the adjectives that describe his work as artist.
“I’m coming from the future. And the future that I experience is grey and beige and the artwork is destroyed and our history is gone and eradicated,” says Saber during his performance at the Nuart 2012 festival that invites Street Artists from around the world to paint walls in this European Capital of Culture, the oil-rich city of Stavanger, Norway.
Far from the city of Los Angeles, where he has been outspoken against various shades of intolerance over many years as artist and activist, and far from New York City, where he last month organized the skywriting campaign in blue skies over the region in support of public arts funding in the US, the sharp tongued Saber went for pure drama at the group show opening in September. His target in this case was the use of the term “no tolerance” that has been heard more often in recent years along with it’s cousin “zero tolerance”, proclaimed by certain elected and unelected standard bearers wildly across the spectrum when addressing issues as diverse as law enforcement, drug use, education, sexuality, truancy, religious expression, reality TV, fashion choices, and various forms of art on the streets. Seizing the zeitgeist, some liberal folk will even talk about having a sort of “zero-tolerance” for intolerance. The fear addressed by Saber of course is the misuse of these terms that can verge on hyberbole and lead to a sort of blanket fanaticism when miss-applied. “If they want to continue to elect political figures that use the words ‘no tolerance’ then the world they are going to see is going to have a very ugly future,” the high intensity Saber says in this video during his simple performance.
As PR and ad agencies and political campaigns will tell you, the way any topic is framed will lead to a public perception and eventually even public policy – “war on cancer” is much more galvanizing than “medical research into methodologies for curing various conditions classified as cancer” for example. As with any single-phrase campaign, each of us knows that it is shorthand for something greater and the issue is often far more complex and weighty than a slogan like “War on (your word here)” can thoroughly address. But the lacerating style of Saber’s in-show demonstration here is probably meant to be a blunt counterweight to the over-simplified arguments against all manner of public art that stylistically smacks of an illegal kind.
Essentially this is one more argument for free speech and free expression. Clearly this case of wild handed and stylized graffiti artwork inside a gallery at the invitation of it’s organizers is approved and encouraged. Saber’s concern here is a future where the demonizing of this style of work (or any artwork) in or outside the gallery could begin a slide down a slippery slope where certain art is regulated, banned, even criminalized. It sounds extreme, but stranger things have happened in human history, and this artist makes a very public show of it.
UPDATE: BSA exclusive new footage courtesy of video artist Chris Jordan plus new images from Jaime Leo, Eszter Klajman and Chris Jordan.
New York’s skies got majorly tagged today. And Mitt Romney got called out in front of 8 million people as a #GOPFail
New Yorkers who looked up from stoop sales, soccer games, and strolls across the Brooklyn Bridge saw graffiti artist and fine artist Saber flying five planes in formation across sunny Sunday skies with messages castigating the presidential candidate for his plans to kill funding for cornerstone arts programs like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Public Radio (NPR), the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).
As the planes spelled out #DefendTheArts over Manhattan, Saber explained to BSA in a phone interview, “Basically I’m calling out Mitt and any other politicians who are cutting arts funding because they are actually cutting jobs that are an engine to our economy. Not to mention the effect these programs have on creativity and inspiration.” One dot-matrix style message said “Protect NPR PBS NEA from cuts” while another offered the Twitter hashtag simply entitled “#MittRomneyHatesArt”.
As one of a handful of high profile graffiti/street artists in the US who have taken the national stage with their social and political commentary, Saber has “gone big” before, but never on this scale and never over New York City in an hour and a half display that he estimated could be seen over a 20 mile radius. “NYC is the art center of the world,” Saber says, “It is quite a good feeling to be able to spread this public message.”
BSA Exclusive Raw footage by Video Artist Chris Jordan shows artist Saber spraying the sky over Manhattan (VIDEO)
The extremely wealthy Republican candidate Romney told Fortune last month that in addition to scrapping the new national health program that is offering medical care to millions, he intends to cut funding to major arts programs if he is elected, saying of the arts programs, “I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own.”
Rather than relying simply on the generosity of patronage, Saber thinks that the government and society at large benefit from investing in artists in an increasingly “creative economy” – many of whom he called out in the sky today, including artists, writers, poets, designers, actors.
Taking his campaign to social media with the #DefendTheArts hashtag this time, Saber very visibly entered the national fray during the healthcare reform debate of 2009, saying that the existing for-profit system cut out people like himself, uninsurable because of his epilepsy. Today grassroots activism that emanated from downtown NYC has expanded the conversation and he acknowledges those voices who have focused attention on Romney and the so-called 1%. “We’re making sure to fly directly over Zucotti Park with a big ‘Occupy Wall Street’ message, because that’s what New York is too.”
Amid the political messages skywritten by Saber are shout outs to friends and graffiti artists who have passed; a nod to the roll-call community memorial walls that graffiti and street artists have done in cities for decades. This new way of “getting up” also has Saber waxing poetic as he sees the effect his fresh tags have at 34,000 feet as they melt into the blue canvas over most of NYC. “It’s almost like I’m painting in the sky – it has a really beautiful effect when a fresh one lays over the one that is fading away.”
As the planes made long oval trips over Manhattan, the East River, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and back, the normally tough stuff graff guy couldn’t really mask his enthusiasm, “I’m really excited about it!”