Sara Lynn-Leo. Well-placed, well-rendered, witty, insightful, incisive.
These are hallmarks of the miniature pieces of street art that New Yorker Sara Lynn-Leo has been putting up in many neighborhoods in alleyways, doors, dirty corners, magnet walls, street furniture, and lamp posts. Finding these offerings can be difficult. They may be tiny in size and often placed out of eye view.
Look carefully; her furtive insecure, and smart characters will wag their intellect at you, eliciting empathy and possibly delight if you are not too bitter and hardened. During a year where everyone you met had a meltdown or two, she melts with you.
Actually, the first one we found in Brooklyn was made of vinyl – maybe in 2019? She mostly works on paper now, and she’s been experimenting with collage. She’s a regular on the BSA Images Of The Week section and a previous special feature HERE.
Her appeal rests in grand part for her willingness to explore scabrous issues without lecturing or grandstanding and, as we mentioned, with humor. This week we found five new pieces on the streets of Manhattan…
Nowruz Mubarak! Happy Persian New Year to all the New York neighbors who celebrate it. Also, Happy Spring! Did you think it would never arrive? Already the birds are chirping in the trees, and the crocus is popping up from beneath the garbage and dog crap. That guy who lives downstairs named Manny and his brother are washing their car on the curb while blasting a mix from Marley Marl & Red Alert at top volume for the block to enjoy. All the while, there is a colorful parade of young bucks and shorties who are strutting around the neighborhood with big eyes and a burning flame of hope in their hearts.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: Almost Over Keep Smiling, City Kitty, D7606, Damien Mitchell, Ethan Minsker, Invader, LET, Matt Siren, Mort Art, NET, Rambo, Raw Raffle, Royce Bannon, SacSix, Sara Lynne Leo, Sticker Maul, Tram, Voxx Romana, and Winston Tseng.
Remember that time when your best friend’s boyfriend was installing a towel rack in the bathroom of their apartment, and he clumsily busted a hole through the wall, revealing a hidden room – which subsequently released a ghost who regularly appeared at the foot of their bed and slammed doors throughout their dwelling? We do. That’s why it was/was not shocking when a New York woman investigated the breeze emanating from her bathroom mirror. She took the mirror off the wall and discovered a portal to a three-room apartment.
Dude, if that happens to us, we’re not putting it on Tik Tok. We’re heading to Bed Bath and Beyond. In a space-starved city, newly discovered square footage is like finding gold bullion or bitcoin between couch cushions.
In other New York news, some street art neighborhoods are devoid of new works these days – perhaps because January and February are a frozen, mischievous purgatory that chases you inside in a normal year – doubly so when you’re on your 37th consecutive month of pajamas, Minecraft, and Chef Boyardee Beefaroni. Have faith; the next tumultuous 8 weeks of winter-spring-winter-spring weather will eventually coax the street artists and graffiti writers outside in a perennial sign of spring like the appearance of a robin on your windowsill.
Despite the paucity of prancing vandals at the moment, our Editor of Photography, Jaime Rojo, still managed to capture new art in the streets this week in Red Hook, Bushwick, Chelsea, and Bushwick – amongst the scores of closed restaurant huts that have besieged sidewalks citywide. Movie theaters will open for 25% capacity now, and perhaps the moribund restaurants will be coming back to life in this city that never quite sleeps.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adrian Wilson, Berkit, Binho, Blur, Captain Eyeliner, Colin Capernick, Comik, DYM Crew, Ethan Minsker, Know Your Rights Camp, Locs, Matt Siren, Paolo Tolentino, Sara Lynne Leo, Shark, Taboo, The Monks, and Tony De Pew.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. The weather has been beautiful in NYC and the organic art popping up on the streets is still forcefully advocating for social and political solutions amidst great upheaval, even while…
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Fujita, Almost Over Keep Smiling, Billie Barnacles, Black Lives Matter, Bosko, Detor, Downtown DaVinci, Eric Haze, Fumero, Insurgo, Marco Santini, Marina Zumi, Praxis VGZ, Sara Lynne Leo, and Who is Dirk.
The New York street artist who works under the moniker “Almost Over Keep Smiling” reinterprets slightly this Boston warning poster telling anybody who was black in a “free” state like Massachusetts or New York to stay away from the police because the federal government had passed a law empowering people to capture them and return them to slavery.
The Act was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a “slave power
conspiracy”. It required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be
returned to their masters and that officials and citizens of free states
had to cooperate. Abolitionists nicknamed it the “Bloodhound Bill,” for the dogs that were used to track down runaway slaves.
The Act contributed to the growing polarization of the country over the issue of slavery, and is considered one of the causes of the Civil War.
A special shout-out and respect today goes to the creater of the I (heart) NY logo and campaign, Milton Glaser, who passed away this week at 91. Many artists on the street today are aware of his other contributions to graphic design and illustration in the last fifty years or so. Rest in Peace.
In street art news, downtown Manhattan is still largely boarded up, so artists are taking advantage of the new canvasses. You see, there is a silver lining to everything if you look for it. Or a plywood one.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Daze, DPF Studio, Dragon 77, Hek Tad, Sara Lynne Leo, and Stikman.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! Happy Memorial Day Weekend in the US. Happy Eid-ul-Fitr 2020 to all our friends celebrating it, wherever you are. Wash you hands, practice social distancing, don’t fight with people over small things. It’s not worth it.
This week we have some new art from the streets that appears purposeful and dense with meaning – not beating around the bush these days. Maybe there is too much at stake, and artists know it too.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Caryn Cast, Cheer Up, City Kitty, Dylan Egon, Gane , Glare Rakn, Hearts NY, Praxis, and Sara Lynne-Leo.
Only two weeks ago we were making jokes here about the NYC plastic bag ban and Coronavirus. Now the city, state, and federal government are in official states of emergency. What will this city look like in another two weeks?
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring City Kitty, Erdogan Terrorist, Lego Party, Little Lucky, LMNOPI, Lunge Box, Messy Fart, Neon Savage, Sara Lynne Leo, The Mushroom, and Urbanimal.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street featuring Add Fuel, Almost Over Keep Smiling, BR163, Crash, Degrupo, Disordered, Early Riser, finDAC, Fours, Jason Naylor, Leleus, JL, Maya Hayuk, Obey, Sara Lynne Leo, Surface of Beauty, Telmo & Miel.
The pronounced disparities and hypocrisies of society are now on display and on parade in our politics, on our multiple screens, in our bank accounts, our hospitals, our music, our schools, our neighborhoods, and in our Street Art — which again proves an apt and reliable reflection of society, despite the fog.
While our politicians and political machines and corporate media and cultural institutions are now being questioned more openly and often for their alliances, their entrenched classism, and exploitation of the rank-and-file, you can see those dynamics reflected in the messages and alliances that are occurring in Street Art as well – and questioned more often as well.
Will a torrent of populism be unleashed? Will our institutions fall or further erode? Who knows. As ever, one must be vigilant to spot the colorful wolf in populist clothes, often right in front of you in black and white.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street featuring Adam Fu, Albertus Joseph, Anthony Lister, Captain Eyeliner, COSBE, CRKSHNK, JR, Poet Was Taken, Praxis, Sara Lynne Leo, Vivid Trash, Will Power, Wing, and WK Interact.
We’re up to our necks in deep frosty wind-whipping winter, and yet the Street Art right now is verbose, detailed, bright eyed, distinct, political, critical, stylish, dense, richly colorful.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Miami, and this time featuring Armyan, Captain Eyeline, Cash4, China, City Kitty, COMBO, CP Won, Food Baby Soul, Glare, Jaroe, Jaye Moon, Jazi, Marameo Universe, Plasma Slug, Rodak, Sara Lynne Leo, Smells, UK WC, and Winston Tseng.
The moment you think you understand the street is the moment you begin to lose touch. Behavior on social media is also about as reliable as your Uncle Oscar after he’s had a few too many frosted rum balls and rosy red holiday cocktails. First, he’s twirling Aunt Marge to the Beatles on the living room rug, next thing he’s headbanging with your cousin Teddy to Bon Jovi on the back porch – and later you regrettably see him getting his freak on with a Missy Elliott classic as he waits his turn at the pool table in the basement.
So we rely on the numbers to tell us what is popular with our readers, and not surprisingly, you like everything! Little tiny stickers, massive murals, 3-D sculptural elements, even Lizzo running for president. These are the top ten pieces that got retweeted, shared on Instagram, commented about on Facebook and read about on the site. It’s not scientific, and it’s skewed through the lens of BSA’s POV, but these hottest pieces are still an indicator of the sentiments and tastes of fans on social; sophisticated, insightful, critical, dark mooded, conscious and funny AF. You’re just our type!
November was “Native American Heritage Month” in the US and has been since 1990 and ironically the growing right-wing extremism of the intervening decades appears to have further erased our collective knowledge of native peoples – so it’s the perfect time to find this new campaign of local natives on the streets of New York by Street Artist LMNOPI.
9. Abe Lincoln Jr. & Maia Lorian. A Presidential Parody
The public takeover of ‘street furniture’ and advertising kiosks continues as artists demand back the mindspace and public space that is sold or given to corporate advertisers or propagandizers. This duo brings complementary skills to the old phone booths with their own brand of political satire.
8. Okuda & Bordalo II Collaboration in Madrid.
This Frankenstein duet on the streets of Madrid caught our eye this spring and you liked it too. By Spain’s Okuda and Portugal’s Bordalo II. Madrid, March 2019.
7. Oak Oak in Bayonne, France.
A small stencil in Bayonne, France from Oak Oak resonates in its cheerful satire of pompous crass man-boys with bombs.
6 Lula Goce for NRNY Artsy Murals /Street Art For Mankind
The Swan and the falcon depicted on the mural are actual residents of New Rochelle. They came and liked what they saw and decided to stay and raise their families there. A fitting real story as New Rochelle is a town where immigrants are welcomed and are an important part of the community.
5. I Heart Graffiti “Lizzo for President”
A campaign for singer/songwriter/ rapper Lizzo capitalized on the stars meteoric rise in 2019 to the top of many charts. Considering the number of Democratic challengers on the debate stages this summer and fall, it seemed plausible that she was actually running. If she promised Americans to help the poor and working-class yet assured her corporate donors to screw them once in office, she could get elected too.
4. Judith Supine’s Luxury Cowboy/girl Ad Take Over
The brilliant collage surrealist Judith Supine was back with a new lasso this year, skillfully misleading audiences on the street with his free associations equating luxury fashion brands and 20th-century cancer product advertising. It’s a match made in Hell!. Welcome!
3 Nafir at Urban Spree in Berlin
Iranian Street Arist Nafir left this Instagram alienation indictment hanging in a hidden spot at Berlin’s Urban Spree playground this year, and for some reason, it struck a chord with many.
Do you want to talk about it? We’re not joking about suicide.
2. “Outings Project” for Urban Nation Museum in Berlin
It began as a way of bringing fine art pieces from inside the museum to the Street, and “The Outings Project” has brought hundreds of artworks out into the daylight this way for a decade or so, thanks to French artist Julien de Casabianca. These particular dark angels have been cast out of heaven and are just about to hit the ground across the street from Urban Nation Museum, Berlin.
1. Sara Lynne-Leo struck a chord with her pain commentary on the streets of NYC
A relative newcomer to the streets in New York, Sara Lynne-Leo keeps her small scale pieces well-placed, if your eyes are open. A comedian and social observer, her character’s pains and insecurities are played out in magnified emotional tableaus that quickly capture the severity and make light of it at the same time. This one must have really captured the zeitgeist of a troubled time across modern societies, where one pretends a wound is made bearable with an optimistic sunny perspective, even if the situation may be life-threatening.
Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! Welcome to October – the time when the leaves turn yellow and orange and when your local pharmacy is selling Halloween candy and Christmas decorations because why the hell not? We’ve got The Actual Joker in the White House ready to shred all pretense of civility and rule of law before a terrified nation, not that he was holding that down at all.
Makes us think of the sentiment of this new Street Art piece below by Sara Lynne-Leo. “Why are you still holding on?”
But we know the answer — Because the grand finale of this burning dumpster fire will be huge! – friggin’ ratings will be off the charts for this one, dawg. Plus the Demopublicans have already lined up the Warren White House so we know what’s coming on TV next on DNC.
** chomps popcorn, smacks lips
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring DAK, Dede Bandaid, Dee Dee, Demure, Dirk, Don Rimx, Insurgo, Invader, Jeff Henriquez, Jona, Muebon, Neckface, Nite Owl, Nitzan Mintz, No Sleep, Panda Bear, Salami Doggy, Sara Lynne Leo, Seemerch, Unify Art, and WK Interact.