We had a chance at Spring this week, and then it blew away. We’re back to the Antarctic for a few days.
NYC was inundated by art fairs as well, which was swell. Volta, Scope, Clio, Spring/Break – which was surprisingly not political or contentious, given its rather outsider status. Fair talk was glum, attendance was actually light at times, and most people where blaming you-know-who.
Perhaps that’s why Thursday’s opening of Trumpomania was packed and rather sweaty, although when you have 30 countries and 30 artists represented, you will probably fill the place. Even so, the energy was palpable, and guests freely “voiced their concerns”, as your high school guidance counselor might say, about a seemingly corrupt cabal that is practicing shock and awe on/upon the country daily.
One portly fellow at the show with a perspiring red face, beige cardigan, overcoat, and a backpack possibly containing an anvil, accosted us forcefully with champagne flute in hand to nearly yell for 10-12 minutes straight about Russians, cabinet heads that want to destroy their departments, Goldman Sachs, Exxon, the wall, book burning, impeachment, recusals, Jewish cemetery vandalism, teleprompter scripted calmness, possible alzheimer’s, and general viciousness. It was a Greatest Hits album minus the catchy hooks and clever phrasing – but with all the drums and guitar solos. (For you kids, an album was this flat wax disc that contained 9 songs you didn’t want and 1 song you did… oh never mind.) Just before he ignited into flames or triggered the heart attack which appeared to be imminent, we were mercifully interrupted and led away to look at OLEK’s pussy
art and Icy & Sot’s crocheted barbed wire fence piece.
Out on the streets of New York and elsewhere, artists are nearly yelling as well with their text based and figurative Street Art work. There appears to be no rest right now, and everyone is losing sleep or fighting or shaking their heads or “finding healthy strategies to achieve a sense balance” in a chaotic gritty abrasive beautiful city that somehow keeps racing forward no matter what the hell is going on.
City that never sleeps? We hear that.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Ann Lewis, Beast, BustArt, El Sol 25, Empty Boy, Epic Uno, Felipe Pantone, Icy & Sot, Jerk Face, King, Koralie Supakitch, Mikael Takacs, Nico Panda, OLEK, Sen2, Smells, Stinkfish, and UFO 907.
Icy an Sot
Dice the God
Schools out but we didnt pay attention to the teacher and drew pictures in class… and on the walls too. Now we’re all in detention. Lucky for us we have some friends joining us for this pop-up graffiti/ street art show!
While famed LA/Chicago/Detroit graffiti artists Revok and Pose are in town getting up on the Houston Street wall this week and many members of the MSK crew were in Bushwick doing tributes to Nekst over the weekend, New Yorkers have had the opportunity to talk with a lot of visiting friends who are in town in advance of the Revok/Pose dual show at Jonathan Levine this Saturday. As graffiti culture continues to assert its place in modern art history even while expanding and redefining itself on the street and in homes, galleries, and museums along a storied continuum, we are reminded again about the foundational role that graffiti has played in our aesthetic, helping to define urban culture and at least partially fueling the evolution of what we call a Street Art scene today.
As with most subcultures in a capitalist society, there are a fair amount of commercial influences swimming around and through the graffiti world too, the products and motifs employed to sell them somehow simplifying graffitis complex nature and diluting its emotional resonance for many. This is the water we’re all swimming in, however, and you could drown trying to fight it. Despite commercial pressures and their mutations, it is evident that the graffiti style is alive and well and building upon itself in new ways. For some, graffiti is analogous to the early punk scene for some others it could be inextricably tied to hip hop. But as it continues to morph into multiple subgenres it still seems perfectly clear that it is born from a scream, a helluva celebratory and defiant yell ; very individual, often powerful, it is tied to an agonizing drive to be heard and to be seen, to capture by hand something that is channeling by its own volition through your mind and from your gut. Probably. That incisive wisdom from BSA and $2.50 will get you a ride on the subway.
BSA will never be versed enough to speak authoritatively about graffiti culture, nor do we pretend to – it is so vast and storied and sort of outside our wheelhouse. But seeing all this graff action this week brings our minds to a place like 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens. Begun as Phun Factory and eventually changing its name, this 200,000 sf factory building cannot be overestimated in its impact visually over two decades as well as for the community service it has provided for many artists, young and older, to practice, experiment, and even hit a level of mastery of their craft. We won’t call it a Mecca, as we’ve been schooled that some of our brothers and sisters think that’s disrespectful – So we’ll just call it a Holy Place for many here and around the world. An ever evolving canvas viewable from the street and passing trains, many a tourist has made the pilgrimage to check it out; a touchstone for the true New York, and perhaps one that is disappearing.
As the fevered pitch of cries from fans and community for the preservation of 5 Pointz runs up against the dual realities of a crumbling infrastructure and an increasingly desirable location for real estate development, we all reluctantly cede that the writing is probably on the wall (pardon the pun). Absent a deep-pocketed philanthropist who wants to preserve it (Jay-Z?) or a groundswell of citizenry demanding public seizing of private property (torches and pitchforks anyone?), you have to know that this can’t last forever despite what many see as its importance and relevance to this culture, history, and this time. But really, just take a look around this spot. If you are here now, or are planning to come soon, you know that 5Pointz has the power of a beacon for many; a living thriving vessel for the creative spirit to be expressed in myriad ways, many personal. All hail 5Pointz and those who have made it successful all these years.
Here is a small collection of more recent images of 5Pointz.
Here’s our weekly interview of the street, this week featuring $hota, Armer, bunnyM, C215, Curtis Kulig, DAO, Demian Smith, Essencia, Gyser, Irade, Joseph Meloy, Judith Supine, Love Me, Meres, Monsieur Plume, Patch Whiskey, Raid Crew, Mr. Blob, Robert Janz, SEN2, Shiro, Smogk, Spagnola, Theo David, and Thomas Buildmore .
We’ve seen a lot of fat cats, but never one this big. French Street Artist C215 finished it this week on a wall in the 13th arrondissment of Paris. Demian Smith, founder of Underground Paris, says the chat géant is “part of the neighborhood’s strategy to create an alternative tourism industry in this pretty ugly, working class area in the south of Paris.” – Not the first time that Street Artists have perked a place up, just usually not on this scale. The strategy has so far included murals by Shepard Fairey, Inti, and Vhils, he says. Special thanks to Théo David for sharing these exclusive shots for BSA readers.
VOLUNTEER TODAY AND THIS WEEKEND – RESOURCES AVAILABLE
Happy Friday Everyone!
This is not a typical Friday and not very fun in New York and for much of the east coast as we continue to grapple with the results of the storm called Sandy. New Yorkers always help each other get back on our feet and this time it is again heartening to see so many people volunteering and doing what they can to bring this city back. Our art listings this week take a 2nd place to our listings for places you can go to get help, and things you can do to volunteer.
LOOK FOR THE FULL LIST OF ART EVENTS AFTER THESE VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES.
Volunteering The Mayor’s Office has stated that the best way to find out how to volunteer is to register with NYCService.org and you will get notified of opportunities. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook
Red Hook Initiative is seeking donations at 767 Hicks Street (at West 9th) “Please bring donations of food, flashlights, candles, water pumps, generators. Many buildings in the neighborhood will likely not have power for the next 4-5 days.” For more information call, (347) 770-1528 or email email@example.com
Clean up at BWAC / Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition in Red Hook on November 3rd & 4th: “This Saturday and Sunday we hope to clean out all the trash and debris. This includes much of the sheet rock as well as anything destroyed. If anyone has a portable generator, long extension cords, or work lights, we would like to borrow them. Anyone and everyone is needed for this effort. We will be starting at 10AM on Saturday. RSVP/questions: firstname.lastname@example.org”
The MoMA and PS1 curator Klaus Biesenbach is helping to organize relief efforts in the Rockaways Saturday: http://bit.ly/WcFgWD Biesenbach plans to meet volunteers outside the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research building at 4 West 54th Street at 10am on Saturday, and then will drive people and supplies out to the Rockaways.
Donate to families in the Rockaways now-Sat. Nov.3rd 9:30-11am. El Puente is collecting donations of clothing/supplies/nonperishable food for affected families in the Rockaways, now through Saturday. Drop-off location: El Puente Headquarters, 211 South 4th St. (@Roebling) in Williamsburg BK 11211
Donate clothing and food items in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn today Nov. 2. The Arab American Association of NY is collecting clothing and food items for donation. “All clothing donations should be washed & all food items must be sealed. We will deliver items to three Brooklyn shelters – Brooklyn Armory, FDR High School, and the Caton School” Please drop off items to 7111 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 between 10am-6pm today until 2pm Friday, November 2ed. Contact: email@example.com
Help cleanup New York City Parkshttp://on.nyc.gov/Pp0v3n to volunteer in our parks this weekend. Help clean up Prospect Park Nov. 2ed, 3ed, 4th: Volunteer with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to aid in the cleanup and recovery of Prospect Park this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11/2 – 11/4), clickthis link to sign up.
The American Red Cross
Red Cross: The Red Cross is seeking volunteers over 16 and who are able to lift 50 pounds and comfortable working in stressful situations. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Give Blood – Hurricane Sandy has caused the cancellation of 100 blood drives in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, a shortfall of 3,200 blood and platelet donations that would otherwise be available for those needing transfusions.
Volunteer at a Hurricane Sandy Shelter – The American Red Cross is specifically seeking individuals over 16 years of age that can carry 50 lbs to volunteer at local New York Red Cross Shelters.
Donate Money – You can choose to donate money to the Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting their website or texting REDCROSS to 90999.
Donate Money – AmeriCares delivers medicines and medical supplies to disaster areas, and as of yesterday was deploying a mobile medical unit to affected areas in Connecticut.
The Salvation Army
Donate Money – The Salvation Army is currently on the ground in New Jersey helping with relief efforts, according to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Food Bank for New York
Donate Money – The Food Bank for New York provides food and emergency meals to New Yorkers, and as of last night was planning to continue distribution on Tuesday. You can donate money by simply texting FBNYC to 50555. If you wish to volunteer, check with and contact your neighborhood pantry or kitchen via the Food Bank for New York’s website.
Donate Money – The ASPCA will assist and rescue the thousands of animals affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) takes donations to rescue and shelter animals affected by the storm. According to spokesperson Emily Schneider, the group’s efforts are currently focused in the New York City area, where nearly 240 animals are staying with their owners in pet-friendly Red Cross shelters. The ASPCA is also setting up a distribution center in Syracuse, New York with 4,000 sheltering units, which contain pet food, crates, food bowls, toys, and anything else an animal may need. They’re also standing with water rescue units should they be called.
The Humane Society of the United States
Report – The HSUS has a 24-hour hotline for New York evacuees to report pets that were left behind. The number is 347-573-1561.
The Bowery Mission Has Current Needs
Financial donations — They are serving three times as many as normal, and will need to restock food and resources once we have power.
Help provide food for 200 people at a time (make and/or get and drop off at the Mission – 227 Bowery)
Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drop them off
Trays of cooked food, ready to be served
Large amounts of Gatorade and Iced Tea – Currently only serving water
Gasoline for generators that are providing emergency power — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street), 45-51 Avenue D (between 4th and 5th Streets), or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
Blankets at The Bowery Mission Transitional Center — Please deliver to 45-51 Avenue D (between 4th and 5th Streets) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
Sweatshirts, Large and XL coats and hoodies, men’s jeans and boots, at The Bowery Mission — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
Pantry items such as sugar, oatmeal, coffee, rice, potatoes — Please deliver to 227 Bowery (at Prince Street) or our Administrative Headquarters at 132 Madison Ave. (Madison & 31 St).
For those who want to send other kinds of help, the American Red Cross collects funds and coordinates blood donations. The organization sheltered more than 3,000 people across nine states during the worst of the storm. You can donate $10 by phone by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.
The United Way has created a regional fund for communities hit by Sandy. They’re asking for donations at uwsandyrecovery.org. Donors can also give $10 by texting RECOVERY to 52000.
Volunteers in New Jersey are being coordinated through an emergency response hotline, 1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397). Alternate numbers, for when the hotline isn’t staffed, include 609-775-5236 and 908-303-0471 or emails can be sent to Rowena.Madden@sos.state.nj.us.
1. New York Kings at Pure Evil (London)
2.”Stikman 20.1″ Opens in Philadelphia Tonight
3. EVOK “Ordinary Things” in Detroit
4. “Four” Group Show at Loft F (Boston)
5. Dale Grimshaw’s”Moreish” Signal Gallery in London
6. ARD*POP-UP 2012 Festival in Oslo, Norway
7. Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam showing Finland’s Graffiti Artist EGS
8. JonOne solo show “Beautiful Madness” at Fabien Castanier in Studio City, CA
9. All City Canvas: The Short Film (VIDEO)
10. Chris Dyer in Montreal (VIDEO)
New York Kings at Pure Evil (London)
“New York Kings” is the title of the new group exhibition at the Pure Evil Gallery in London featuring COPE2, INDIE 184, BLADE, STAY HIGH 149, SEN2, FUZZ ONE, POEM, BOM5, RD 357, DECK, and EASY & JOZ . In London for the first time in over a decade, a unique exhibition of the godfathers of graffiti art using new york subway maps as their canvas to tell their 30 year story while remaining true to their roots. this is a rare opportunity to see examples of a genre that is often temporary by its very nature.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Stikman 20.1” Opens in Philadelphia Tonight
Enigmatic Street Artist STIKMAN has a solo show titled “Stikman 20.1” opening today at the Stupid Easy Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. You might not see him if you to the opening but you sure will see his vast artistic output on display. For 20 years Stikman has been putting his art on the streets based on this one character presented in so many different ways and situations, with humor, wit and poignancy – more recently they have appeared with a lot of Mondrian influences. Most people never tire of discovering these rigid little fellers as they turn a corner, look up a sign post, cross a street, admire an architectural detail on a building.
For further information regarding this show click here.
REVOK “Ordinary Things” in Detroit
REVOK is a son of Detroit and the Library Street Collective Gallery is welcoming him with a solo show titled “Ordinary Things” opening tonight. The things may be ordinary, but what he makes with them are not. Assembling and fashioning found objects and materials he shows a fastidious attention to detail and an acute sense of balance, harmony and color.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Also Happening this weekend:
Dale Grimshaw‘s show “Moreish” is now open to the general public at the Signal Gallery in London, UK. Click here for more details on this show.
ARD*POP-UP 2012 Festival in Oslo, Norway is now underway until Sunday Nov. 04 with the participation of renowned Street Artists including: CODEROCK (NOR), M-CITY (POL), PHLEGM (UK), PEZ (SPA), KENOR (SPA), ZOSEN(SPA), CHANOIR (FRA), GALO (BRA), SUB LUNA (ISL), ACHOE (NOR), MARTIN WHATSON (NOR) and DOT DOT DOT (NOR). Click here for more details on this festival.
Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands is showing Finland’s Graffiti Artist EGS in a solo show with works on paper and sculptures. This show is now open to the general public. Click here for more details on this show.
JonOne solo show “Beautiful Madness” at the Fabien Castanier Gallery in Studio City, CA opens tomorrow. Click here for more details on this show.
Over three decades ago, the mean streets and projects of Philly, Detroit & NYC began to blossom bright with spray-painted tales and tags of inner-city ‘hoodrats armed with spray cans, innate artistic talent, and a way with words and imagery whether it be spoken or drawn that demanded to be seen and heard.
The best became known as graffiti kings, a title not easily won. this small band of guerilla artists, innovators of a now global art form are one of the few to earn the right to incorporate the crown image in their art or above their tag, through accruing the highest number of tags in the most difficult to access places or most openly defiant public spaces.
Stylish, subversive, in-yer-face political and social comment perpetrated by anonymous tagsters using the city and its transport systems as their urban canvas. now banned from street and subway, the new york kings have found another way to express themselves, more contained this time but no less ironic.
In London for the first time in over a decade, a unique exhibition of the godfathers of graffiti art using new york subway maps as their canvas to tell their 30 year story while remaining true to their roots. this is a rare opportunity to see examples of a genre that is often temporary by its very nature. Even more special is the limited availability to own a work of urban art that is also a piece of history.