All posts tagged: Shakespeare

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.18.17 / Selections From Welling Court 2017

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.18.17 / Selections From Welling Court 2017


“All’s Well That Ends in Impeachment #ShakespeareInTheTrump

“The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.”

“Twelfth Bankruptcy #ShakespeareintheTrump

New York’s jewel of free theater in Central Park is actually trending on Twitter, believe it or not. The production of Julius Ceasar features a Trumpian-looking lead character and it has inflamed people who haven’t heard of Shakespeare – which means a large swath of pretty/handsome bobble heads on US TV. The cautionary story actually has referenced modern leaders in productions historically in theaters in recent years and as a rule. There is even a story about Orsen Wells directing a version with actors in Nazi uniforms in the 20s or 30s.

More recent productions have included an Obama lookalike (“Caesar is cast as a tall, lanky black man” ) and a Hillaryesque woman in a white pantsuit, so why people are scandalized we don’t know. Two protesters actually stormed the stage Friday night during the performance, and lily-livered brands like Delta Airlines and Bank of Russia have pulled their financial support of the production. This is what happens when the Arts are cut out of a generation of schools, sisters and brothers.

And in other polarized news, the planned protest (and performance piece) in front of the Houston-Bowery wall is still scheduled for this afternoon. Artists and organizers have been reaching out to tell us about the protest along with possible other demonstrations which have been kick-started by the controversial choice of artist David Choe by Goldman Arts to paint the wall. Rape, Rape Culture, the normalization of sexual abuse, predatory behavior and attitudes toward women, and related issues will be in the discussion due to Choe’s own involvement in a possible rape scenario by his own account and his subsequent muddy explanations about it. Choe’s public apology yesterday via Instagram may have altered the calculus slightly but the bigger issues still prevail and many opinions on social media still question Goldman’s silence on the topic. Meanwhile, the wall has pretty much been dissed completely.

Finally, the drama of the Welling Court mural festival, which we actually do not know any drama about and which brought all sorts of community murals to this Queens working class neighborhood for the 8th year last weekend. We got out there to shoot a number of the walls without the crowds for you this week, and here’s a selection below.

So here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring A Visual Bliss, ASVP, Below Key, Cey Adams, Crash, Daze, Dek 2 DX, Dennis McNett, Dirt Cobain, Eelco Virus, Eyez, EZO, Ghost Beard, I am Eelco, John Fekner, Jonny Bluze, LMNOPI, NYC Hooker, Patch Whisky, Queen Andrea, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Rob Sharp, Sean 9 Lugo, and Toofly.

Top image: Dennis McNett. Detail. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dennis McNett. Detail. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rob Sharp. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOPI. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Fekner. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Visual Bliss collab with Sean9Lugo. Detail. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Visual Bliss . Sean9Lugo. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I Am Eelco. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Queen Andrea. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cey Adams. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Fekner. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

#dek2dx. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

EZO. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

NYC Hooker. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Daze . Crash. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

TooFly. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dan Witz. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASVP. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ramiro Davaro-Comas. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Below Key. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Patch Whisky . Ghost Beard. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Johnny Bluze. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


EYEZ. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dirt Cobain. Welling Court Art Project 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Astoria, Queens. June 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Skount “To Be Or Not To Be”, Sarah Bernhardt & James Lafayette

Skount “To Be Or Not To Be”, Sarah Bernhardt & James Lafayette

Skount is debating whether to be or not in this adaptation of a hundred plus year old photo of Sarah Bernhardt, who holds the court jester Yorick’s skull in hand. A grave contemplation of suicide that leads the Hamlet character to contemplate the great leveling force of death on all stations and classes, this particular depicting of Shakespeare has had a profound effect on Skount.


Skount. Würzburg, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Skount)

“This photo has always been poetic for me since I first saw it,” he says, “I see in the photo a woman with a really special life that is intense, hard, full of difficulties and now finally a satisfactory life,” he says of the James Lafayette photograph that was possibly taken at the turn of the 20th century.

“To be or not to be,” is perhaps the most noted excerpt from the play and is

also the title of Skounts’ mural for Street Meet at Mainfranken Theater in Würzburg, Germany. See below the original photograph and the artists’ initial sketch for the wall.


Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet. (public domain, James Lafayette)


Skount. Würzburg, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Skount)

HAMLET: To be, or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
To die, to sleep–No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished.
To die, to sleep–To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,


Skount. Würzburg, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Skount)


Skount’s original sketch for the mural (© Skount)


Skount. Würzburg, Germany. July 2015. (photo © Skount)

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Miss Bugs Top Feature on Huffpost ARTS Today

The “Parlour” Show Produces Some of the Most Riveting Scenes of the Summer

If you missed the BSA inteview of UK Street Art duo Miss Bugs a little while ago, you can read the interview and vote on your favorite shot on the slideshow on the Huffington Post Arts page. Special thanks to Miss Bugs, Rae & Hope at Brookynite Gallery, and Kimberly Brooks.


Leave a comment or vote on your favorite Miss Bugs slides from this remarkable installation here.

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Miss Bugs in Brooklyn: Girls, Sex and a Car Crash in the Forest

A horrendously stunning car crash, windshield smashed in by a wooden stump, a shard of white light cutting sharply through a smoke cloud which rises to eerily announce the arrival of UK Street Artists Miss Bugs in Brooklyn.  In “Parlour”, their first solo on view right now in Bed Stuy, the backyard diorama is a plastered paper perimeter of gnarled and murky indigo off road forest, a haunting backdrop to the cut-out distorted and riveting forms who break the 4th wall toward you with intent.


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The curvaceous ladies are cousins of the street pieces Miss Bugs places with great care publicly, cut outs that fade into their surrounding and pop out from it, undulating and teasing and riveting, a perfectly charged counterweight of sex to the violent metal and glass carnage before you. Throughout the inside gallery and backyard installation, Miss Bugs plays with a scale slightly larger than life, giving imperious and distantly cool figures a personal, almost intimidating immediateness.

brooklyn-street-art-miss-bugs-jaime-rojo-brooklynite-gallery-07-11-web-1The front room of “Parlour” at Brooklynite Gallery with Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The distortion of the forms and come hither stand-offishness is softened and sweetened by saturated pop colors and cleverly patterned replications of art you have seen somewhere else. Always willing to take appropriation to new heights, Miss Bugs gladly incorporates signature elements of other artists works into their distorted and sensuous forms, weaving them into the hair, tattooing them across the skin, wrapping their ladies with a body conscious knitted brocade.


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking with the royal “we”, the very anonymous Miss Bugs talked with Brooklyn Street Art about “Parlour”:

Brooklyn Street Art: What was the genesis for “Parlour” in general and this outdoor installation in particular?
Miss Bugs:
We wanted it to be a place that unsettles you… The concept of the ‘Parlour’ exploits the idea that the art establishment plays on people’s desires, whether for money, beauty, sex or ownership. We’ve always looked at these themes within our work, so here we continue to question them. However, this time, we wanted to extend the ideas beyond the work and have the pieces viewed in their own theatrical space making us see the works’ symbolism in a different, darker light. We place our own fictional characters in the middle of the space. ‘The Madam’ is here with her open eyes; to convey ourselves as part of this sometimes strange and seedy world.

The outside installation grew from the concept that the parlour is being protected by a few souls and that this can be a twisted place, full of contradiction… We suppose it’s a nightmare or maybe just a bad dream! Comparisons can be made throughout the show between our ‘Parlour’ and the real world of the art establishment. Just depends how deep you want to scratch!


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How was it to install your work in Brooklyn this time around?
Miss Bugs
: It’s great to show in New York especially Brooklyn, we love it… Just to spend time walking around soaking it all up is brilliant. Since we were kids we saw and heard Brooklyn in music, film and art, so it feels great when we’re here and it always makes us feel at home!


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: The imagery gives off sex, cars, alcohol… what are some of the messages you are working with?
Miss Bugs: All these elements we try and show in a warped way; For example, placing glamorous but distorted nudes next to a burnt-out car, which hopefully makes us question our desires and see them differently! When we got the car into the gallery and we realised just how horrific a smashed up car is, it had a sadness about it which we hope we were sensitive to with our cut out figures. The installation of the woodland clearing we wanted to be experienced at night to create a haunting and again unsettled atmosphere, but the smoke machine could have done this job by itself …


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: You borrow from different artists and other cultural art forms (including Shakespeare in one instance) and incorporate many of those images into your work. How do you go about selecting the images? Are they your favorite artists or is it purely aesthetic?
Miss Bugs:
The list of artists that we ‘stole’ from and remixed for this show is massive…Hannah Hoch and Kurt Schwitters, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Vera Lehndorff, Gustav Klimt, Picasso, Mc Escher, Man Ray, David Lynch, Mel Ramous, Takashi Murakami, Leonardo De Vinci, Banksy, Warhol, Stanley Kubrick

We’ll stop now but the list goes on!  You have to look harder for some of them and others can be staring you in the face but sometimes still go unnoticed as they’re seen out of context. Playing with ideas of how we view artwork and how much of its reasoning we understand.

We look at links between the artists and their working methods throughout history. Artists that would not normally be considered to sit alongside each other are then remixed together showing just how the working style of (for example) Keith Haring can gel together with Picasso, and how artists from very different periods in time and culture are using very similar approaches, often where you wouldn’t expect to see it.

Here we’ve selected elements of artists whose work goes someway in helping us tell our own story within ‘Parlour’… Suppose we’re like some sort twisted museum curator cramming the world’s greatest artists together into a small room for an orgy, then throwing some classical writers and iconic film directors in for good measure!


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Panoramic view of the outdoor installation (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Bugs. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Miss Bugs “Parlour” is currently on view at Brooklynite Gallery. Click below for more information.

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Brooklynite Pairs Emerging Talents : “STEALTH: ARTISTS ABOVE THE RADAR”

Brooklynite Pairs Emerging Talents : “STEALTH: ARTISTS ABOVE THE RADAR”

THE NETHERLANDS & TEXAS join forces for a new art show in New York! Could you find greater opposites? How about

Sarah Palin and Angela Merkel ? Judas Priest and Dan Deacon ? Shakespeare and the Cast of “Jersey Shore”?

The invitation for Stealth

The invitation for Stealth Above the Radar (by Derek Shumate)


Brooklynite Gallery is pairing Collin Van Der Sluijs, a Dutchman from the Netherlands, with Derek Shumate from Houston for Saturday’s “Stealth: Above the Radar” show, and these two share one thing in the eyes of the gallery.“We strongly felt that these two emerging artists deserved a bigger stage to showcase their exceptional talent,” says Rae McGrath of the Bed Stuy venue. Enough said.

The gallery has championed under-exposed artists in the past, and this time they bring two guys whose minds are Cuisinarts of colorful cultural and historical references, spilling out and across their canvasses.  Each guy has a different set of figures and forms, animal and mineral, calligraphy and patterns, but there is a similarity in assembly, self referencing, and even in their processes.

BSA had an opportunity to talk to both artists, see some of the new work that will be shown, and find out more about them.

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Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe your style of painting?

Collin Van Der Sluijs: Most of the time I’m working on paintings about my life, so for me it’s autobiographical work that I make. I take little aspects (or big ones) from my daily life, and I translate them into my images.

Collin Van Der Sluijs "Float"

Collin Van Der Sluijs “Float” (courtesy Brooklynite)

Derek Shumate: My style? Usually I tell people “Mixed-Medium” or “Abstract” but I feel as if it’s much more than that. At times I feel like we’re all going through similar experiences, facing dire straits and that this artwork pouring out is a result of this energy. We’re all bombarded with information on a daily basis and multi-tasking to survive in this confusing world that seems to be speeding off the rails.

Derek Shumate "Make it Rain"

Derek Shumate “Make it Rain” (courtesy Brooklynite)

Brooklyn Street Art: Both of you guys’ work contain many different elements, ranging from figures to textures to shapes and text. Can you talk about how you assemble your work, or how you decide on what is included?

Collin Van Der Sluijs: Basically, some elements appear in my work during the process of making it. Sometimes I also erase things when they don’t match with the things that are happening in my head.



A view inside Collin’s studio.

Derek Shumate: I don’t really have a defined process. Basically I’m always gathering bits and particles of things I like that come through my life and I spend vast amounts of time filtering it out into what you see. A lot of the elements in my larger paintings are fragments of prints and other works I’ve done in the past. I’ll also mix in stuff from my childhood sketchbooks.


Derek Shumate "Live Forever" (courtesy Brooklynite)

Derek Shumate “Live Forever” (courtesy Brooklynite)

It really depends on the mood of the piece. I start by putting down a few layers of colors and take it from there. Once I grasp a concept I start to hide little relevant elements as I build up the piece to something that works for me compositionally. Regardless, every piece contains various mediums such as inks, oils and acrylics. It’s almost as if I’m just attempting to harmonize everything I’ve got onto the surface at hand.


Collin Van Der Sluijs "Infinity" (courtesy Brooklynite)

Collin Van Der Sluijs “Infinity” (courtesy Brooklynite)


Brooklyn Street Art: Collin, you have talked about consumer behavior and it’s affect on your work. How does it impact your work?
Collin Van Der Sluijs: I grew up in a small village and it’s still fun to see big cities. I travel a lot but it always surprises me when there is a 70% off sale sign in the window of a big shopping mall and I see everybody lines up like sheep. You know what I mean? I think about this and its’ visual communication. I like it and hate it at the same time. I think of these kind of things when I work.


Derek Shumate "JWB" (courtesy Brooklynite)

Derek Shumate “JWB” (courtesy Brooklynite)

Brooklyn Street Art: Derek, you use a lot of collaged pieces and textures and the occasional figure. Do you ever think of doing portraiture?

Derek Shumate: Sometimes. I’ve had ideas to do a series of different people like politicians, pop icons and other people of influence. I feel as if I’m heading more in that direction because there’s so much going on in the world right now and I want to put these people that are in charge into a new light, so-to-speak. You’ll probably see more portraiture from me in the future.


Derek hanging out on a fire escape working out ideas in a sketchbook. (image courtesy the artist)

Derek hanging out on a fire escape working out ideas in a sketchbook. (image courtesy the artist)

Brooklyn Street Art: Does Street Art influence you in any way Collin?
Collin Van Der Sluijs: Well, not really to be honest, I’m basically a studio artist. In 1999 and 2000 street art was big in my town, but a lot of people put like 3 stickers up somewhere and build a reputation out of that. That’s lame. There are some people I admire in the street art scene, but I think I can count them on my ten fingers.


One of Collins' studio

One of Collins’ pieces in the studio references the effect of consumer garbage on the innerworkings of natural life.

Brooklyn Street Art: How about you Derek, does Street Art play a part in your creative life at all?

Derek Shumate: Most Definitely. The streets of Brooklyn to be specific.
I lived in New York for a few years and I would walk the streets on a daily basis, absorbing not only the art but also the weathered architecture and other surfaces.
I’d document and participate in the organic, collaborative atmosphere we were all creating.


Derek doing a Waldo (image courtesy Derek Shumate)

Doing a Waldo (image courtesy Derek Shumate)

I felt at home with creativity and potential everywhere I’d look. I’d never before interacted with my environment in such a way. I’ve got photo collections of all the street art and graffiti I admire from different cities I’ve visited over the years. However, nothing that I’ve found has the charm that exists in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Street Art: Collin, what’s your favorite part of the creative experience?

Collin Van Der Sluijs: When things go wrong. Then, with a little adjustment I can make it good again, or better. Small things like that put the strawberry on the cake, for me.


Collin-Van-Der-Sluijs "Ephemeral"

Collin-Van-Der-Sluijs “Ephemeral” (courtesy Brooklynite)

Brooklyn Street Art: Collin says he likes when things go wrong! Derek, what’s your favorite part of the creative experience?

Derek Shumate: Finishing the piece! Well, not really. That’s a great feeling but of all the other parts I’d have to choose that moment where I’m completely lost in the piece and absolutely nothing else in the world matters. I’m sure anyone who creates is familiar with this amazing feeling.


Derek painting a bucket in his studio.

Derek at work in his studio.

But like Collin, I also like it when you totally f*ck something up but then later you realize it was the most perfect mistake that could have ever happened because it leads you in directions you never thought you’d venture to and takes your skills and pieces to new heights.

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CLICK THIS INVITE to go to Brooklynite

CLICK THIS INVITE to go to Brooklynite


Collin Van Der Sluijs •  Derek Shumate
Feb. 13 – March 6
Brooklynite Gallery
334 Malcolm X. Blvd.
Brooklyn, New York 11233

Collin Van Der Sluijs

Derek Shumate

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