All posts tagged: SAMO

“Cash Is King II” is Rolling In It at Saatchi in London

“Cash Is King II” is Rolling In It at Saatchi in London

Now that corporate and global debt has surged to an all-time high, posing unprecedented risk to the value of all money, it’s a sweet and sour nostalgia that drives you into your purse or wallet to pluck out a thin colorful slice of that rumpled paper fiat currency to buy yourself a beer at your local pub.

Bitcoin may be coming, and plastic is fantastic but in some parts of the world, cash is still king. And it rules everything around you.

Icy & Sot. Last Supper Five Dollar Bill (photo courtesy of the curators)

Right now you can see a collection of these banknotes from around the world developed as a series of canvasses at London’s Saatchi Gallery – mutated and defaced and adorned by graffiti and Street Artists, along with a series by Iranian born Aida Wilde, who uses banknotes from Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria.

Penny. Picasso Ten Pound Note (photo courtesy of the curators)

Cash is King II, a sequel to last years Cash is King – the brainchild book and exhibition of artists Robert Osborne and Carrie Reichardt, the show opened this week to an appreciative crowd who appeared to really enjoy seeing bills reimagined.

Jef Aerosol. Arts Can’t Buy Me Love (photo courtesy of the curators)

Curators Susan Hansen and Olly Walker share these images here with us and tell us they’re also happy that Ms. Wilde’s sales are going to benefit the Help Refugees organization so they are able to continue their work around the world. Not surprisingly perhaps, “Many of these banknotes represent some of the countries that have seen the highest numbers of people become refugees in recent years,” says Hansen.

Olly Walker. Process shot. (photo courtesy of the curators)
Aida Wilde. And We Walk Eritrean. Process shot. (photo courtesy of the curators)
Al Diaz. Samo Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
1 UP Crew. Tag Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
Anthony Lister. Zero To One Hundred Real Quick Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
Bortusk Leer. Art Is Not Serious (photo courtesy of the curators)
Caroline Caldwell. Oil Money Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
John Fekner. Greed Dollar (photo courtesy of the curators)
Cash Is King 2: Money Talks. Opening night. (photo courtesy of the curators)

Aida Wilde’s work will available for sale on the Saatchi website from 2pm on Tuesday the 20th of August. All proceeds will go to support Help Refugees’ work around the world.

Cash is King II: Money Talks features works of art executed on banknotes, an exhibition curated by Olly Walker of Ollystudio.

Cash Is King 2: Money Talks is currently on view at the Saatchi Gallery in London installed in the Prints and Originals space until September 8th. Otherwise, click HERE to view and purchase available works of art.

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0907 Feels Like “The Radiant Child” in Beijing

0907 Feels Like “The Radiant Child” in Beijing

The resonance of Brooklyn/New York Street Arist Jean Michel Basquiat continues to amaze us, in his reach, in his relevance to people who he may have never imagined that he would inspire. Today we bring you 0907 in Beijing, who is telling us that he went on many spots throughout the city with his new cardboard composite work – a stencil that captures his feeling about an artist on the other side of the world who lived and died, perhaps before he was born. As an additional cultural mashup, he employs the vocabulary of a secondary Street Art, Shepard Fairey.

And Mickey Mouse for good measure.

0907. Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)

“One day I watched a movie called “Basquiat,” he tells us, “and another called is ‘Ridiculous Years’ I had some insight into the age of his life. So I made a poster which borrowed Obey’s style.and I posted these on my city. At that moment I felt I am the radiant child in my city.”

0907 Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)
0907 Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)
0907 Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)
0907 Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)
0907 Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)
0907 Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)
0907 Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)
0907 Radiant Child. Beijing, China. (photo © 0907)
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BSA Images Of The Week: A Collection Of PRIDE

BSA Images Of The Week: A Collection Of PRIDE

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising in the West Village in Manhattan, we are giving the spotlight this Sunday to the many artworks that have been created by dozens of artists from all over the world in the city over the past weeks. Some of them are commissioned works and others are illegally placed on the streets, regardless of who made them or under whose sponsorship they were created or if they were placed illegally the important thing is to realize that the struggle for recognition, acceptance, and justice didn’t just happen because somebody was willing to give that to us.

It happened because a lot of people before us dared to challenged the establishment and fought to change the cultural norms, the laws in the books and ultimately the perception from the society at large. People suffered unspeakable evil and pain at the hands of unmoved gatekeepers and power brokers. People died rather than living a lie. People took to the streets to point fingers at those who stood silent when many others were dying and were deemed untouchable.

People marched to vociferate and yelled the truth and were arrested and marked undesirable. Many brothers and sisters who were much more courageous than we’ll ever be, defied a system that was designed to fail them and condemn them. Restless souls confronted our political, business, media and religious leaders right in their front yards with the truth and never backed down.

So we must pay homage to them. We have what we have because of them. We owe it to them and we need to understand that it was because of their vision, intelligence and fearless actions that the majority began to understand that without them and their help we would never get equal treatment. Equal rights. Equal opportunities.

So yes let’s celebrate, dance and sing together but let’s feel the pain of those who can’t join in on the celebrations because today still they are on the margins, hiding in the shadows, being cast out from their families and communities and even killed and tortured. Let’s remember that the job isn’t done, indeed far from it. Many countries still have in their laws harsh punishment for those that don’t conform to their established norms. Let’s keep the fight on, the light on, the courage on, the voices loud and the minds open. Happy Pride.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street (or boardwalk), this time featuring Aloha, Buff Monster, David Puck, Divine, Fox Fisher, Homo Riot, IronClad, Jason Naylor, Joe Caslin, JPO, Meres One, Nomad Clan, Ori Carino, Royce Bannon, Sam Kirk, SAMO, SeeTf, and Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.

seeTF portrait of Taylor & Lauren with Meres One’s heart shaped rainbow. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Homoriot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Joe Caslin. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Dusty Rebel. Hope Will Never Be Silent. In collaboration with #KeepFighting (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Buff Monster. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Aloha for Art In Ad Places in collaboration with The Dusty Rebel. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
David Puck. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Royce Bannon (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jeremy Novy (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JPO. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jeremy Novy (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jess X Snow for Art In Ad Places in collaboration with The Dusty Rebel. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Homo Riot & Suriani. “Pay It No Mind”. Mural restored. The image on the center is of Marsha P. Johnson 1945 -1992. She was a founding member of Gay
Liberation Front. She was an AIDS activist with ACT UP and co-fonder
of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries). Miss Johnson was in the forefront during the Stonewall Inn Riots fighting for gay rights when gays didn’t have any rights and they weren’t fashionable and “scrubbed clean” for their prime time on T.V. Suriani used Mr. Richard Shupper’s portrait of Ms. Johnson (pictured below) as an inspiration for his art. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Iron Clad (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nomad Clan. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From Tatyana about this piece: “Some of Us Did Not Die. We’re Still Here. – June Jordan, Black, bi-sexual, activist, poet and writer. .

Last fall I met with members of @griotcircle, a community of LGBTQ+ Black and brown elders for my residency with @nycchr. I got to speak with them about their lives and some things that came up were the challenges of being Black and gay in New York years ago, like having to travel in groups because queer folks would be attacked for walking alone. Or not being served at restaurants because they were also black. “

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
SAMO. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sam Kirk. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ori Carino. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Meres One. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Fox Fisher for Art In Ad Places in collaboration with The Dusty Rebel. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Sneak Peek of “Beyond The Streets” Now Mounting in Brooklyn

Sneak Peek of “Beyond The Streets” Now Mounting in Brooklyn

Hammering the display walls, sanding off the plaster bumps, the whirring and popping of construction drills: Two assistants are helping 1970s NYC subway writer Lee Quinones lay out a #2 train-car-length canvas on the floor while you are distracted by the Empire State building puncturing the Manhattan cityscape across the East River, a sweeping vista through the glass walls of this new high-rise in Williamsburg.

“Hello?” Martha Cooper takes a phone call at Bill Barminski’s fantasy installation in progress where each object has been crafted from paper and cardboard. Beyond The Streets, Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nearby Cornbread’s notebook hangs next to his signature, a potent visual reverberation across five decades from graffiti’s Philly roots.

Elsewhere there are the sounds of woodsaws and metal clanging accompany the one-line drawings of freight-writer buZ blurr as historian Bill Daniel is completing his comprehensive mini-exhibition within this massive exhibition. With trains and photos and modern relics of American rail lore on display, this crucial antecedent of modern-day aerosol “writing” emerges and blows its chimes as well. This is a particular slice of the graffiti story that Mr. Daniel may describe, as he does in The Secret History of Hobo Graffiti, as “the dogged pursuit of the impossibly convoluted story of the heretofore untold history of the century-old folkloric practice of hobo and railworker graffiti.”

Vintage anti-graffiti posters from a private collection. Beyond The Streets Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s an apt descriptor for Beyond The Streets as well. This multi-artist graffiti/Street Art-influenced exhibition directed by the discerning shepherd and seer Roger Gastman that is now mounting over two floors and 100,000 square feet in North Brooklyn tackles an endlessly convoluted evolutionary path. He says the size and composition of the exhibition has slightly changed since its first mounting last year in Los Angeles, and he is acutely aware that its location is in the city that claims a huge part of the graffiti genesis story, carrying perhaps a steep level of expectations.

Not that he has reason to worry: there are more hits here than a blowout at Yankee Stadium.

Lady Pink. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Like the blast of colors and pieces at a sunny Saturday afternoon Meeting of Styles jam, this show of many writers, photographers, documenters, collectors, painters, vandals, and attitudes won’t disappoint. You can see and construct your own version of a celebratory story that illustrates and reveals surprising ways that the street subculture has left its mark indelibly on the mainstream, yet often stayed separate.

From the Beastie Boys wigs worn in the “Sabotage” music video to the camera Joe Conzo used to shoot the Cold Crush Brothers, to the MDF and cardboard pay phone by pop sculptor Bill Barminski, and Dash Snow’s hi-low societal slumming photographs depicting sex, drugs, rhyming and stealing, visitors easily will have a flood of images and histories to author their own convoluted version of the graffiti and Street Art tale.

John Ahearn with a detail of Swoon’s wallpaper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Swoon. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Al Diaz (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dabs of DabsMyla at work on their installation in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper discussing the options to hang her photos with a production assistant. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Aiko. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mr. Cartoon installation in progress. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Beastie Boys…there’s more here…much more… (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Detail of Shepard Fairey’s 30th Anniversary retrospective installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 05.12.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.12.19

You are not alone.

In an era where people may feel more under attack, more alienated, more disconnected from one another (despite “always on” connectivity), comes this new campaign from Dirty Bandits, “You Are Not Alone”. New York walls have been popping up recently (see above) with this message and somehow it completely resonates, hopefully just in time to remind someone struggling.

Brooklyn based lettering artist Annica Lydenberg of the design company Dirty Bandits tells us that this was an idea she came up with her best friend who had recently published a memoir about living with anxiety disorder. The he murals are intended to have broad appeal and offer support to anyone who feels misunderstood, victimized, or abandoned.

She tells us that people need to know “they are not the only ones struggling with mental health. My wish is to be seen as an ally, for not only mental health, but to the many communities who do not feel supported.” She says the campaign is not strictly commercial, although it is certainly not anonymous and some funding came from a media concern. But we agree that it is a very worthwhile message, can actually help people and if you want to learn more go HERE.

As long as we are on the topic, please call these numbers right now if you need help:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Worldwide Suicide and Crisis Hotline numbers:
http://suicidehotlines.com/international.htm

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Suicide Hotline
1-866-488-7386

Teen suicide hotline
1-800-USA-KIDS (872-5437)

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fu, Cash4, Dirty Bandits, Elms, Icy & Sot, Jason Naylor, Mad Villain, Maia Lorian, Rude Reps, SAMO, Sinned, Smells, Soar, UFO907, Victor Ash, and Winston Tseng.

Top image: Dirty Bandits (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Victor Ash for Street Art For Mankind. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor for #youarenotalone campaign. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Adam Fu for #youarenotalone campaign. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dirty Bandits for #youarenotalone campaign. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ufo 907 & Heck (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rude Reps (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sinned (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mad Vaillan (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cash 4 . Smells (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cash 4 . Soar (photo © Jaime Rojo)
One smile, four eyes. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elms with friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Abe Lincoln Jr. in collaboration with Maia Lorian. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Samo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Seen on the streets of Manhattan…you’ve been warned! (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Abstraction. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 08.05.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 08.05.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring AJ LaVilla, Boy Kong, BunnyM, ColpOne, Cycle, Haculla, Jappy Lemon, JR, Lungebox, Raddington Falls, RX Skulls, SacSix, SAMO, Sheryo, The Yok and Winstont Seng.

Our top image: The Yok & Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cycle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cycle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cycle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Winstont Seng (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SAMO©4 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This is the same newsstand…not sure about the artist… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This is the same newsstand…not sure about the artist…but it looks like RX Skulls… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

but no one was interested in the facts. They preferred the invention because this invention expressed and corroborated their hates and fears so perfectly.” ~ James Baldwin, from Notes of a Native Son.

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

RX Skulls (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An old Haculla gate… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jappy Lemon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Boy Kong (photo © Jaime Rojo)

bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lungebox (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Street Terror”, ColpOne (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pussy Power Chocho with ColpOne (photo © Jaime Rojo)

AJ LaVilla (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist’s hand drawing. Original. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’ll go with just RAD this time… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SacSix takes on a classic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SacSix takes on a master… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Saturday is Good for SAMO in China as Imagined by 0907

Saturday is Good for SAMO in China as Imagined by 0907

Street Artist 0907 is somewhere in China today with this new multiples stencil of Jean Michel Basquiat as shot by Andy Warhol. If you had a doubt about the global appreciation of these artists on the street, here’s at least one answer.

0907 tribute to SAMO in China. (photo © 0907)

0907 tribute to SAMO in China. (photo © 0907)

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Basquiat Through The Eyes Of Fellow Artists on the Street

Basquiat Through The Eyes Of Fellow Artists on the Street

The response to our pieces on BSA and Huffpost yesterday has been sort of overwhelming – with people writing to us and commenting and sharing the article in large numbers on social media. Last nights pre-opening party at the museum was also enthusiastic, and although we don’t do the name-dropping thing much, we were gobsmacked to see members of his family at the dinner as well as many of the “Downtown” crowd from that era who were charming and celebratory as we listened to Director Arnold Lehman and the two curators describe the show and the process of putting it together.

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Jeff Aerosol on a rooftop in Brooklyn. January 2010 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

If this personal and virtual traffic is any indication, the new Notebooks show is already a huge hit. Of course Jean-Michel Basquiat AKA ©SAMO AKA Basquiat continues to be an inspiration to a number of artists on the street as well. To mark the upcoming exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum Basquiat The Unknown Notebooks officially opening tomorrow April 3rd, here we present you with a handful of images from our archives with tributes to the influential Brooklyn graffiti writer/ street artist / contemporary artist.

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Zimad in Bushwick, Brooklyn. December 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tomoo Gokita on the streets of Brooklyn. April 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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KOBRA on the streets of Brooklyn. October 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Al Diaz remembers his writing partner as SAMO© at “21st Precinct”. Manhattan. August 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Collectivo FX. Sassuolo, Italy. September 2013 (photo © Collectivo FX)

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TYNK. Manhattan. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

Basquiat’s Notebooks Open at The Brooklyn Museum

As lines continue to blur in fields of art and technology (and everything else) it is easier to see Street Art as an online/on-street diary, a forum for speech making, a laboratory for testing ideas, a publishing platform for the dispersing of truths and lies and theories and maxims and slogans and aphorisms. A timely new exhibition of personal notebooks by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat further affirms the direct relationship between the personal and the public voice of one New York expressionist, revealing lesser-known aspects of him as artist and individual.

A teenage poet on New York streets, Basquiat used his own brand of graffiti to pursue his own brand of fame. His text was intended in part as a visual element but unlike graffiti writers who produced ever more expressive tags during that heated moment in New York graffiti history, Basquiat also sought an audience who may be hip to his cerebral wordplay of poetry that puzzled and enticed – a foxy style of William Burroughs-inspired automatic writing he adapted for his own uses.

 

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Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, now running at The Brooklyn Museum until August 23rd, the genius of his fragmenting logic is revealed as a direct relationship between his private journals and his prolific and personally published aerosol missives on the streets of Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side neighborhoods in the late 1970s and 1980s.

These notebooks were for capturing ideas and concepts, preparing them, transmuting them, revising them, pounding them into refrains. In the same way his text (and glyphic) pieces on the street were not necessarily finished products each time; imparted on the run and often in haste, these unpolished missives didn’t require such preciousness.

 

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Untitled. Circa 1987. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The art collector Larry Warsh lends these eight notebooks that span 1981-1987, 160 pages in all, for you to scan and contemplate. New to most audiences, they also feel familiar. While they do not provide a play-by-play account of his daily affairs, they do provide insight into his state of mind, interests, and creative process. Knowing his reputation for being very aware of his public perception, you may wonder how private these were in his mind if he was at least partially writing for a greater audience here sometimes as well.

But these are definitely his voice. Even in lengthier poetry pieces, Basquiats’ reductive approach to writing produces the same clipped cadences that appeared on walls and gallery paintings, a process of addition and subtraction that he could eventually pare down to one word that would command a canvas.

“Famous”.

 

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Famous. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A two sided, free standing piece from 1982 midway through the gallery space gives a bittersweet focus to one of his aspirations, as well as to his application of photocopies of his own work in multiples on the canvas – a replication/repetition technique from commercial wildposting that was popularized on walls and lamp posts by graffiti writer/street artists like Revs and Cost in New York in the 90s.

“I think this show points out that the conceptual and poetic side of JMB’s work is central to and integrated with his more overtly visual and expressionistic paintings,” says Tricia Laughlin Bloom, who worked in collaboration with Dieter Bucchart, Guest Curator in organizing this exhibition. “He enjoyed exploring the play between text as visual sign or symbol and the layers of historical, sociological, personal meaning that words activate.  Some of the very restrained word drawings and notebook entries are intensely expressionistic, for instance, without the use of gesture or color.”

 

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Famous. 1982. Detail. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The notebooks are part of a larger offering of paintings, drawings, and moving image in this well balanced show that keeps the focus on the writer and painter of text while placing it in the greater context of all his work. Included here are drawings of his fictional character Jimmy Best, for example, who appeared in early SAMO© street writings and elsewhere as an ongoing and developing narrative that hinted at his self image.

Most riveting for the new generation of writers may be the film clips shot in 1980-81 during the filming of New York Beat (released in 2000 as Downtown 81). Not true documentary footage, it nevertheless captures the artist outside mark-making in a determined, self-aware, sometimes hesitating manner across walls with letters and lines of simple black aerosol.

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Famous. Verso. 1982. Basquiat:The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Moving into “the City” from his middle class Brooklyn home as a teenager in the late 70s, you have to wonder how or if his street practice with friend Al Diaz had been influenced by the students and workers who wrote slogans, epigrams, maxims, in black aerosol letters during the Paris uprisings of 1968. Quick passages on the street then like “Sous les paves, la plage” (under the paving stones, the beach) also played with text and sometimes cryptic meaning in ways similar to his on city walls and in these notebooks. Neatly penned, his was a deliberate meditation and experiment with words – a process that allowed you to see the deletions and additions, fully part of the finished product.

“We were presented with the rare opportunity to exhibit Basquiat’s notebooks, which offer fascinating access to his thoughts and process,” says Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, when talking about the decision to mount Notebooks.

 

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Untitled. 1980. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of course its not the first time Street Artists have been featured meaningfully here. Under the guidance of Director Arnold L. Lehman the Brooklyn Museum has shown a serious and committed interest in highlighting the contributions of artists whose practice comes directly from the streets of New York and its graffiti/Street Art traditions; including the huge Basquiat show a decade ago, the Graffiti show in 2006, the more recent Keith Haring show, Swoon’s Submerged Motherlands last year, Olek’s display at the annual Artist’s Ball, and the upcoming Faile exhibit this July, which will also feature their collaboration with Bäst. For Matt Atkins, this show is in perfect alignment.

“The Brooklyn Museum has had a commitment to showing artists whose work embraces contemporary culture. Basquiat seamlessly synthesized the world around him in his art, including elements culled from the streets, music, literature, history, and more,” she says.

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Untitled. 1986. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It has been 27 years since Basquiat died at the age of 27. Somehow you can imagine that mathematical equation appearing here on one of the larger canvases; dense with symbols, sentence fragments, lists and formulas. Sifting through the tenuously connected word constellation it occurs to you that people like Basquiat and Burroughs and the Beats were forebears of the post-Gutenberg dislocation of text from its moorings  one that we all swim in  with passages and words and texts floating to us and past us from multiple screens of varying sizes throughout each day.

As this stream of messages blurs from the intensely personal to the public spheres, this show confirms how the art-making process for the street has always been rich with storytelling, even if not evident at first. A show of this moment, seeing these notebooks first hand will complete a cycle for many.

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Untitled. 1986. Detail.. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We had an opportunity to speak further with one of the curators, Tricia Laughlin Bloom, about Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks.

Brooklyn Street Art: Often we think of the work we see on the street as part of a continuum, a conversation back and forth between the artist and the passerby. How does this exhibition illustrate the continuum that extends from private neatly penned journals to public aerosol missives?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: Going through the exhibition you find a lot of similarity between the voice he used in his street writing and in his notebooks, that also extends to his word paintings. Fragments of SAMO text recur in larger scale works that we have included, and many of his notebook passages read like they could have been SAMO texts.

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Untitled. 1986. Detail. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe the dynamic between yourself and the guest curator Dieter Buchhart and how it informed some of your joint decisions for presenting the work?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: Dieter brought the initial checklist together as Guest Curator, and we shaped it together from there. We both felt it was important that the show be about the notebooks—that the paintings and drawings should be carefully selected to compliment the notebooks and not overwhelm, and to highlight Basquiat the poet and thinker AND visual artist. Getting the right number of works and the precise balance was a long process, and many conversations.

Brooklyn Street Art: How has preparing this exhibition changed or affected your perception of his work in the intervening ten years since the “Basquiat” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, if at all?
Tricia Laughlin Bloom: I was always a fan, and I loved the 2005 show, but I feel I understand him better and my admiration has deepened after the opportunity to work with the notebooks. It’s more intimate in scale and the whole experience feels more personal.

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All Beef. 1983. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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All Beef. 1983. Verso. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. 1982-83. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. 1982-83. Detail. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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From left to right: Untitled (Crown) 1982. Tuxedo. 1982. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Famous Negro Atheletes. 1981. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Antidote. 1981. Untitled (Ego) 1983. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo taken from the video Downtown 81 Outtakes. 2001. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo taken from the video Downtown 81 Outtakes. 2001. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Brooklyn Museum. April 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks is organized by Dieter Buchhart, Guest Curator, with Tricia Laughlin Bloom, former Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum and current Curator of American art at the Newark Museum.

With special thanks to Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Sharon Matt Atkins, and Sally Williams.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum opens on April 3, 2015 to the general public. Click HERE for further details.

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, 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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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.09.14

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.09.14

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It’s a free-for-all bag of mushrooms this week – or psychedelic toads to lick, in the case of Don’t Fret, who starts us off with a 2014 NYC tourist dressed head to toe in an Ebola suit. Naturally, he still has a fanny pack. Also notable are the new bus stop takeovers by Spector, who makes his new and subtly startling installations more contextual than you’ve seen before.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Borf, Bunny M, Cali Killa, Don’t Fret, Eelco Virus, Esteban Del Valle, Evoke Fym, Gold Dust, Matthew Reid, June, Knarf, Meer Sau, Not Your Police Dept, SAMO, Senz, Specter, The Broke MC, and This is Awkward.

Top Image >> Dont Fret displays his trademark wit on the streets of Brooklyn with this NYC tourist. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dont Fret…follow his advise at your own peril… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Eelco Virus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EVOKE Fym on the left with “Don’t Give Up” and Esteban Del Valle piece in progress on the right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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I Am Matthew Reid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter takes your brain up a notch in these brand new bus stop takeovers that frame the exact scene they are a part of, demonstrating that art is everywhere you look, and bus stops are incredible new vehicles for expression. Talk about an outdoor gallery…. Ad take over (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Specter. Ad take over (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Knarf new piece in Paris, France. (photo © Knarf)

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Knarf and MeerSau collaboration in Chinatown in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (photo © Knarf)

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JUNE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gadfly NYC. Not Your Police Dept. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gold Dust (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Senz. Samo . The Broke MC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cali Killa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cali Killa at the Woodard Outdoor Project (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Borf does a rare Rothko gate for the soon to open Castor Gallery in the LES. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This Is Awkward (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Brooklyn, NYC. November 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Images of the Week: 04.13.14

Images of the Week: 04.13.14

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Street Artists have been exhibited in museums before so Swoon’s “Submerged Motherlands” doesn’t break ground because of its presence inside a grand institution, even if said institution also holds one of the largest collections of Egyptian art, and is also hosting the largest US exhibition of Ai Weiwei next week, for example.

What surprised us most this week as the Brooklyn Museum threw open its doors to a seven story installation that includes a tree, a gazebo, and two boats that sailed the Adriatic was the rapid rate that this artist has gone from running the streets under cover of night of Brooklyn plastering her linotypes to being invited inside to spray the walls of the Brooklyn Museum with a fire extinguisher. The total time elapsed between her first hand cut paper wheat paste on tattered walls and Friday’s opening was a decade and a half. That is noteworthy in itself, and worthy of someone’s exhaustive examination, but suffice to say that you have to have vision and commitment to pull this off.

Here are new images from the exhibit along with our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Cost, Elbow-Toe, London Kaye, Myth, Nick Walker, Paul Richard, Swoon, and Tava.

Top Image >> Swoon “Submerged Motherlands” exhibition now open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Submerged Motherlands” exhibition now open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Submerged Motherlands” exhibition now open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Swoon “Submerged Motherlands” exhibition now open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read our interview with the artist this week – “Swoon: Submerged Motherlands”, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Museum.

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Elbow Toe goes over himself and he feels a bit nostalgic. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Nick Walker. Dona Isabel is a member of the undead. She is coming home after a night of blood hunting on the LES.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. A new tribute to SAMO and Andy Warhol. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye calling it right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Have You Seen Me? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Paul Richard. Discuss (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tava (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Her face carried some unseen burden as she swallowed down her shot and our eyes connected from across the room,” Eduardo Jones (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lord have mercy. COST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Save the bees peeps! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled.  NYC Winter 2013 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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BSA Film Friday: 05.31.13

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening: Las Calles Hablan : Street Art in Barcelona, RONZO Goes pre-historic with Skatersaurus, SAMO© by Aaron Rose and Thomas McMahan.

BSA Special Feature:
Las Calles Hablan : Street Art in Barcelona

“Las Calles Hablan is a story about discovering a hidden world, an extraordinary subculture and the struggle between an artistic community painting for freedom of expression and an increasingly restrictive dogmatic government,” says Justin Donlon as he speaks about this hour long documentary he made with Silvia Vidal Muratori and Katrine Knauer.

An educational and unpretentious study of the spectrum of Street Artists and techniques currently at play in Barcelona, the team traces  the scene through personal observations and their network of local and international artists, local gallerists, and their connections globally via the Internet.


The film traces the trajectory from the Street Art/graffiti’s emergence at the end of the 70s following the Franco dictatorship and the rise of international hip-hop culture through the 90s into a sort of freewheeling golden era in the early 2000s. It also explains the current unease with the city, the professionalizing of the artists through a growing gallery practice, and the collaborative initiatives of some community leaders with artists.

Taking a straightforward documentary approach, the motivations and inspirations of current artists on the scene are presented without much of the exaggerated myth-making that more commercial hype vehicles often contain. Included in the examination are how community and local citizens and authorities have taken a constructive role in facilitating space and opportunities for some artists here and elsewhere, while the definition and appetite for illegal work ebbs and flows.

Featured artists:Zosen, Mina Hamada, Kenor, Kram, El Xupet Negre, Debens, Fert, Dase, SM172, Ogoch, Kafre, Aleix Gordo, Meibol, Eledu, C215, H101, Miss Van, Btoy, El Arte Es Basura, Konair, Gola, Vinz.

(Image above a screenshot of Vinz © Las Calles Hablan)

RONZO Goes pre-historic with Skatersaurus

A quickie with RONZO, who quickly demos how his latest charactor, the Skatersaurus, is created and installed.

SAMO© – Jean-Michel Basquiat
By Aaron Rose and Thomas McMahan

An electric train switch clicking and collaged short of distressed city clips paying homage to the free floating and cryptic phraseology of Basquiat as his street writing alter ego SAMO© . This new video directed by Aaron Rose and Thomas McMahan is a thrill cut to a New York graffiti era ever more cast in amber, a choppy popping scratching archival image soaked indictment/celebration of conformist chaotic consumerist culture and the struggle to pay the bills, backed by a mechanical nihlist beat you can pop and lock to while name-dropping like Fab Five Freddy.  Don’t push me cause I’m close to the Vogue.

Music by N.A.S.A. featuring Kool Kojak, Money Mark and Fab Five Freddy
Animations by Maya Erdelyi and Alexis Ross

 

 

 

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