All posts tagged: Sharp

“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

“Art Silos” Rise in the Harbor of Catania, Sicily

They’ve been here since the 1950s, these silos for wheat and corn on the harbor of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. 28 meters tall and facing the Ionian Sea, they are now some of the largest canvasses in Italy by a small group of international and local Street Artists.

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

The “Art Silos” project includes works completed during an eight month installation begun in June 2015 as part of Festival “I-ART” organized by “Emergence”, thanks to Angelo Bacchelli, curated by Giuseppe Stagnitta. The artists taking part in the project were Okuda (Spain), ROSH333 (Spain), Microbo (Italy), BO130 (Italy), VladyArt (Italy), Danilo Bucchi (Italy) and the duo Interesni Kaxki (Ukraine), mostly all from the graffiti/Street Art world. A separately organized but related project on the harbor-facing row of eight silos was completed by one artist alone, the Lisbon-based Vhils.

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

The project’s completion at the turn of the year culminated in one of the largest Street Art/Graffiti artists’ collective shows in Italy held in the city’s main public gallery Palazzo Platamone, entitled “Codici Sorgenti” (Source Code), which was curated by Stefano S. Antonelli and Francesca Mezzano from Rome’s 999 Contemporary Gallery.

There is talk about the possibility that this exhibition of about 60 artists work will tour throughout Europe with its message of the historic roots of modern graffiti and Street Art along with many of its most impactful practitioners pushing into the contemporary art world.

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

According to Arianna Ascione in Artsblog.it, the gallery exhibition was “divided into three sections that tell the birth, interactive development and consecration of the (graffiti/street art) phenomenon” Indeed, the list contains works by 108, A One, Augustine Iacurci, Alexis Diaz, Alexone, Bo 130, Boris Tellegen (aka Delta), Brad Downey, C215, Clemens Behr, Conor Harrington, Crash, Delta 2, Dondi White, Doze Green, El Seed, Ericailcane, Eron, Escif, Evol, Faile, Feitakis, Gaia, Herbert Baglione, Horfee, Interesni Kazki, Invader, Jaz, Jeff Aerosol, Mark Jenkins, Jonone, JR, Judith Supine, Kool Poor, The Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Lucy McLauchlan, Matt Small, Maya Hayuk, Mensanger, Miss Van, Momo, Moneyless, Peeta, Rammellzee, Retna, Roa, Seth, Philippe Baudelocque, Sharp, Shepard Fairey, StenLex, Swoon, The London Police, Todd James,Toxic, and the aforementioned Vhils.

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Interesni Kazki. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

Ironically the genre-melting inclination of so-called “urban art” has eroded the silo mentality of many who follow these art forms as they become known, followed, collected, and exhibited; As a metaphor “Art Silos” may more accurately refer to the past and the dogmatic separation of genres such as graffiti, tattoo, illustration, ad jamming, and Street Art for example.

Although not strictly what you might call public art either, the scale of “Art Silos”, with its major artworks that typically may take years to be approved in large cities elsewhere, is an occurrence routinely happening in cities around the world.

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Vlady Art and BO130. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

For us this is one more example of the “New Muralism” that is enabling Street Artists to do major works in public spaces via non-traditional routes. On par with a public art works of other committee-approved sorts, this silo project was a private/public collaboration that made selections, secured funding and permissions from the harbor authorities, city figures, politicians and the manager of the silos themselves, according to VladyArt, who along with Microbo is one of the artists and a resident of Catania.

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Vlady Art (photo © VladyArt)

He says the size of the project and the power of the imagery combined with the process of watching them go up has drawn a lot of attention to the area lately. “The people here were amazed by our speed and the large scale operation. Catania had no large murals like this… this was the very first time for Sicily. They can be seen from far away and even from taking off from and landing at the airport – or coming by cruise line on the sea. It seems that nobody really paid that much attention to this spot before, and everyone is talking about it now.”

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BO130 and Vlady Art. Detail. (photo © VladyArt)

To understand why a project of this nature can happen so quickly these days, look no further than the location. As we have recounted numerous times, often these efforts are deliberately programmed to draw attention to economically challenged areas as a way of encouraging tourism and investment.

In fact VladyArt says that this historic region and city that dates back many centuries before Christ is having a very challenging time economically and socially and could use positive attention from a crowd that appreciates art. “Catania is somehow the most dynamic city of Sicily, because of its industrial and commercial features,” he says.

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Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

“Having said that, please be aware that the south of Italy is no way wealthy or an easy place, despite its beauty and lucky location in the sun. Almost the whole city is rough, I can name a many neighborhoods where this is the case.”

So it is all the more remarkable that a multi-artist iconic installation can happen here in Catania and people are exposed to a grassroots-fueled art scene that is currently galloping across the globe.

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Lucamaleonte. Work in progress. (photo © VladyArt)

“Regular people around here don’t know much about the whole thing, street art and stuff,” says Vlady Art. “So, quite frankly they wouldn’t care much about Okuda, Vhils or Interesni. They never heard of them before and probably people will find hard to spell their names. They cannot catch the meaning or the purpose of this. They simply like what they see – they like this energy. They do get the ‘message’, the power of art.”

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Danilo Bucchi (photo © VladyArt)

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Okuda (photo © VladyArt)

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Microbo (photo © VladyArt)

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ROSH333 (photo © VladyArt)

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The Silos facing the city. (photo © VladyArt)

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Vhils on the side of the silos facing the water. (photo © VladyArt)

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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 in The Huffington Post.

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“The City As Canvas” Opens with the Collection of Martin Wong

“The City As Canvas” Opens with the Collection of Martin Wong

Last night the graffiti and early Street Art history from New York’s 1970s and 80s was celebrated by the City of New York – at least in its museum. Criminals and outlaws then, art stars and legends today, many of the aerosol actors and their documentarians were on display and discussed over white wine under warm, forgiving, indirect lighting.

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DAZE in the background sliced by a wall of cans at the opening of “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

“City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti From the Martin Wong Collection” is an exhibition as well as a book released last fall written by Carlo McCormick and Sean Corcoran, with contributions by Lee Quinones, Sacha Jenkins and Christopher Daze Ellis, and all the aforementioned were in attendance. Also spotted were artists, photographers, curators, writers (both kinds), art dealers, historians, family, friends, peers and loyal fans – naturally most fell into a few of these categories at the same time.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Futura2000-Zephyr-Martin-Wong-Collection-copyright-MCNY-Feb2014

“The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York welcome text with pieces by Futura 2000 and Zephyr to the right. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

“City as Canvas” is possible thanks to the foresight, eye, and wallet of collector Martin Wong, an openly gay Chinese-American artist transplanted to New York from San Francisco, which is remarkable not only because of the rampant homophobia and near hysterical AIDS phobia at the time he was collecting but because the graffiti / Street Art scene even today throws the term “fag” around pretty easily. A trained ceramacist and painter whose professional work has gained in recognition since his death of AIDS related complications in 1999, Wong is said to have met and befriended a great number of New York graffiti artists like Lady Pink, LEE, DAZE and Futura 2000, who were picking up art supplies where he worked at the Pearl Paint store – a four story holy place on Canal Street that thrived at that time.

 Brooklyn-Street-Art-Sharp-Paints-a-Picture-copyright-Martin_WongThe show contains black books full of tags and drawings as well as canvasses and mixed media Wong purchased, commissioned, and painted, including a portrait of graffiti artist Sharp wearing a respirator and standing before a canvas he’s working on entitled Sharp Paints a Picture (1997-98).

The mood at the museum was celebratory as guests looked at the 140+ works from Wong’s collection; a cross between an art opening and a graffiti trade show, with enthusiastic peers and fans waiting patiently to speak with, pose for pictures with, and gain autographs or tags in their black books from artists in attendance. The only officers that could be seen were holding back the line of guests to make sure there was no overcrowding of the exhibit.

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The famous Martha Cooper photograph of Dondi in action in the train yards. “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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A Keith Haring and LA2 collaboration at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

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Artist LA2 with Ramona “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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Keith Haring (Smiling Face) from 1982 at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

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Lee Quiñones speaking with a never ending stream of fans before his canvas Howard the Duck, 1988, at “The City As Canvas” (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

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Digital prints of images shot by photographer Henry Chalfant brought the trains alive. On top is an image of a train with Sharp/Delta 2 from 1981 and below is “Stop the Bomb” by LEE (Quiñones), 1979 at “The City As Canvas” exhibition at Museum of the City of New York. (photo via iPhone © Steven P. Harrington)

 

 

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Red Hot and Street: “Art in the Streets” Brings Fire to MOCA

brooklyn-street-art-banksy-jaime-rojo-moca-art-in-the-streets-huffpost-04-11-web-15Banksy’s Reliquary (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Yes, Banksy is here. The giant “Art in the Streets” show opening this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles gives a patch of real estate to the international man of mystery who has contributed greatly to the worldwide profile of this soon to be, maybe already, mainstream phenomenon known as street art. A smattering of his pranksterism is an absolute must for any show staking claim to the mantle of comprehensive survey and an excellent way to garner attention. But “Streets” gets it’s momentum by presenting a multi-torch colorful and explosive people’s history that began way before Banksy was born and likely will continue for a while after.

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Os Gemeos Untitled. Detail  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

To continue reading about this exhibition go to The Huffington Post ARTS by clicking on the link after the image below.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-WEB-MOCA-Streets-Huffpost-Arts-Banner

Direct link to article on HuffPost Arts

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FUN FRIDAY 04.08.11

Fun-FridayThis weekend brings a Spring bounty of delicious  Street Art related openings in many cities across this great country of ours. But FIRST, this OLD SKOOL Romanic Boogie Down Production …

Pump Up the Sculpture Jam from SAM3

Sticker Phiends in AZ

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Tempeh is a soy product and meat substitute originally from Indonesia. Tempe is a city in Arizona that is hosting the 4th giant Sticker Phiends show tonight. Stickers continue to grow in influence in Street Art and in private collections in black books and refrigerator doors and this is a cool show that gives them away and sells them. They have limited edition “Sticker Phiends” tee-shirts designed by Brooklyn street art collective Robots Will Kill. Also cold beer. Possibly tempeh too because Chris RWK is a good veggie.

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FREE HANDOUTS provided by our sponsors
ALL ART for $ale!
Limited Merch for $ale!
Drinks with ID – 21+

Opens at 8pm April 8th!
Cartel Coffee Lab
25 w. University Dr.
Tempe, AZ.
480-225-3899

Some of the names include:

Abcnt, Age, Dolla, DumperFoo, Dissizit/Slick, 123 Klan,Griffin One, Clown Soldier, Mad One, Mat Curran, MBW, 20 MG, Obey, Pez One (U.K.), Sike’, U.W.P., Seizer One

*********************************************************************

Martha Cooper Remixed

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How & Nosm interpret Martha Cooper’s original photo from the 1970s (both photos © Martha Cooper)

The Carmichael Gallery will be throwing a memorable opening party for Martha Cooper’s REMIX show and, lazy hyperbole aside, this one is one NOT to miss.

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Photographs by Martha Cooper

with

Original remixes of these photographs in a range of media by Aeon, John Ahearn, Aiko, Bio, Nicer & B-Gee, Blade, Blanco, Mark Bode, Burning Candy, Victor Castillo, Cey, Cekis, Claw, Cosbe, Crash, Dabs & Myla, Anton van Dalen, Daze, Dearraindrop, Jane Dickson, Dr. Revolt, Shepard Fairey, Faust, Flying Fortress, Freedom, Fumakaka, Futura, Gaia, Grotesk, Logan Hicks, How & Nosm, LA II, Lady Pink, Anthony Lister, The London Police, Mare 139, Barry McGee, Nazza Stencil, Nunca, José Parlá, Quik, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, Sharp, Skewville, Chris Stain, Subway Art History, Swoon, T-Kid, Terror161 and more.

Carmichael Gallery

5795 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

April 9 – May 7, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 9, 6-8pm

Click on the link below for more information regarding this show:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=19900

Cern YMI in Greenpoint by Gandja Monteiro

ROA at White Walls in SF

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Image of ROA in Salton City (© and courtesy of White Walls)

In San Francisco ROA will have his opening at the White Walls Gallery with his iconic paintings of nature’s marginalized animals in large scale. Ever the hard worker, ROA paints non stop year round all over the globe on surfaces that are challenging, like this one on the side of a mobile home. If you have only seen his art on line and if you are in San Francisco this Saturday, it’s your turn!

For more information about this show contact the gallery.

White Walls Gallery

835 LARKIN ST.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. 94109

Phone: 415.931.1500

Chor Boogie in Washington DC

While the Rich Man Party of NO! brings the country to a halt in the Capitol, Chor Boogie will be bringing much needed healing color to Washington DC at The Fridge Gallery.

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The Fridge Gallery Presents: Chor Boogie “This Aint No Place For No Hero” (Washington, DC)

For more information about this show click on the link below:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=19952

Chor Boogie is an artist, a conceptual genius, a street romantic, a master of illusion and technique, Chor Boogie is an original. His works can be described as having healing effects by his unique and unmatched use of color, which brings greater meaning and understanding to his works. Every vibrant piece has a story attached to it. Chor Boogie’s colorful paintings are attracting A-list celebrities, art galleries and museums. Originally from San Diego, the artist known as Chor Boogie currently resides in San Francisco but is an internationally known artist and has traveled extensively to exhibit his work around the world.

The Fridge is located at

516 8th Street, SE

REAR ALLEY

Washington, DC 20003

David Ellis and Blu in a collaboration of a loop video from 2009

Yo Son the Boyz from Queens are Comin out With New Jams Next Month!

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Carmichael Gallery Presents: Martha Cooper “Remix” (Culver City, CA)

Martha Cooper
brooklyn-street-art-martha-cooper-remix-carmichael-gallery

Photographs by Martha Cooper

with

Original remixes of these photographs in a range of media by Aeon, John Ahearn, Aiko, Bio, Nicer & B-Gee, Blade, Blanco, Mark Bode, Burning Candy, Victor Castillo, Cey, Cekis, Claw, Cosbe, Crash, Dabs & Myla, Anton van Dalen, Daze, Dearraindrop, Jane Dickson, Dr. Revolt, Shepard Fairey, Faust, Flying Fortress, Freedom, Fumakaka, Futura, Gaia, Grotesk, Logan Hicks, How & Nosm, LA II, Lady Pink, Anthony Lister, The London Police, Mare 139, Barry McGee, Nazza Stencil, Nunca, José Parlá, Quik, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, Sharp, Skewville, Chris Stain, Subway Art History, Swoon, T-Kid, Terror161 and more.

Carmichael Gallery

5795 Washington Blvd

Culver City, CA 90232

April 9 – May 7, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 9, 6-8pm

For Immediate Release:

Carmichael Gallery is pleased to announce Martha Cooper: Remix, an expansive group show featuring highlights from Martha Cooper’s photographic archive and works by over 50 artists who have created their own unique interpretations of her iconic, historically significant imagery. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday, April 9 from 6 to 8pm with Martha Cooper and several of the participating artists in attendance. The exhibition will run through May 7, 2011.

Martha Cooper, Photographer of Art on the Streets for Six Decades

Written by Steven P. Harrington, this article is featured in tasj vol ii – issue v.

The daughter of a Baltimore camera store owner, Martha Cooper’s romance with photography began in the 1940s when bobby-soxers and penny loafers were the sign of edgy youth culture. Her dad, an amateur photographer himself, gave his small girl a camera and together they hit the streets in search of adventure. “Yeah, my father used to take me out and we would take pictures. That’s what I thought photography was…we were just looking for pictures,” she recalls. Six decades later, Cooper is still looking for pictures; meanwhile, many works from her archive are cited as pivotal recordings of the birth of hip-hop culture and its plastic art form, graffiti.
During the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, Cooper earned a Bachelors of Art degree in Iowa, taught English for the Peace Corps in Thailand and rode a motorcycle from Bangkok to obtain a graduate degree at Oxford. As a freelancer and staff photographer in Japan, Maryland and Rhode Island in the early 1970s she moved to the media and art center of New York City to catch bigger fish. Landing a job on the staff of The New York Post in 1977, she discovered that the resistant and competitive boys club of photographers there were reluctant to countenance this scrappy young woman shooting hard news stories and Studio 54 celebrities.
Hungry for discovery, Cooper would spend her time to and from assignments in bombed-out neighborhoods, where she took pictures of kids entertaining themselves with games they devised on the street, often with the humblest of materials. It was during one of those trips that she stumbled on graffiti and the members of its community. She met a young boy who suggested she photograph the work she was seeing, then showed her a stylized drawing of his name, or piece, in his notebook.
Then he asked her if she wanted to meet “The King”.
Following this lead to Brooklyn, Cooper met Dondi, the citywide-famous graffiti writer who kept a published photo of hers in his black book because its background contained one of his graffiti throw-ups. Cooper quickly realized that she had stumbled into a lively street culture and became an avid student of the teen writers she befriended. By the time she took her last news picture for the New York Post in 1980, her primary desire was to capture as many pieces, tags, and trains as she possibly could find. Today, she remarks on her near-obsessive devotion to documenting New York’s graffiti: waking before dawn to hit the street, waiting five hours for a freshly painted #2 train to pass with the sun at her back and countless secret adventures with vandals in train yards, evading transit police in order to pursue a shot.
Joining efforts with fellow graffiti photographer, Henry Chalfant, Cooper proposed putting together a book of their documentation. The pair endured multiple rejections from publishers while lugging around a big “dummy” book with their pictures glued to the pages. Eventually, however, they landed a deal and Subway Art was published in 1984. Although not an immediate success, it came to sell half a million copies and established itself as a holy book for fans, aspiring artists and art historians worldwide. By the time the 25th anniversary edition was published in 2009, generations of graffiti and street artists had been influenced by it and the hip-hop culture Cooper and Chalfant had captured had gone global.

In the intervening years, Martha Cooper never stopped shooting. Her love of serendipity on the street and the exploration of cultures led her to publish thousands of photos in books such as R.I.P.: Memorial Wall Art, Hip Hop Files 1979-1984, We B*Girlz, Street Play, New York State of Mind, Tag Town, Going Postal, and Name Tagging. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, Natural History, and Vibe. While she is still shooting graffiti, street art and the occasional break dance competition today, Cooper’s current project involves documenting people and events in Sowebo, a drug-riddled neighborhood in her birthplace of Baltimore.

Steven P. Harrington is editor-in-chief of BrooklynStreetArt.com and co-author (with Jaime Rojo) of Brooklyn Street Art and Street Art New York, both by Prestel Publishing. He and Jaime Rojo are also contributing writers on street art for The Huffington Post.

About Carmichael Gallery:

Founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Seth and Elisa Carmichael, Carmichael Gallery focuses on a select group of artists breaking ground in painting, mixed media, photography and sculpture. Their annual program consists of a series of solo and group exhibitions that document the progress of these artists.

For information on current, past and upcoming shows, visit www.carmichaelgallery.com. For additional information and press materials on this show, please contact the gallery at art@carmichaelgallery.com and

+1 323 939 0600 and Andi Baker at andi@carmichaelgallery.com.

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Martha Cooper, Photographer of Art on the Streets for Six Decades

Martha Cooper landed in LA yesterday and will spend the next week installing her photos and their remixed new versions beside them, even flanking hers like stereo speakers. Since the press release has gone out we thought we’d share with you the bio written by Steven P. Harrington and the promo photo by Jaime Rojo which will appear in a special issue of The Art Street Journal dedicated entirely to her to come out this week.

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Martha and Pablo at home, with a portrait of her sitting on a train car with camera in hand painted by Os Gemeos overlooking the scene. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper, Photographer of Art on the Streets for Six Decades

Written by Steven P. Harrington, this article is featured in The Art Street Journal vol ii – issue v.

The daughter of a Baltimore camera store owner, Martha Cooper’s romance with photography began in the 1940s when bobby-soxers and penny loafers were the sign of edgy youth culture. Her dad, an amateur photographer himself, gave his small girl a camera and together they hit the streets in search of adventure. “Yeah, my father used to take me out and we would take pictures. That’s what I thought photography was…we were just looking for pictures,” she recalls. Six decades later, Cooper is still looking for pictures; meanwhile, many works from her archive are cited as pivotal recordings of the birth of hip-hop culture and its plastic art form, graffiti.

During the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, Cooper earned a Bachelors of Art degree in Iowa, taught English for the Peace Corps in Thailand and rode a motorcycle from Bangkok to obtain a graduate degree at Oxford. As a freelancer and staff photographer in Japan, Maryland and Rhode Island in the early 1970s she moved to the media and art center of New York City to catch bigger fish. Landing a job on the staff of The New York Post in 1977, she discovered that the resistant and competitive boys club of photographers there were reluctant to countenance this scrappy young woman shooting hard news stories and Studio 54 celebrities.

Hungry for discovery, Cooper would spend her time to and from assignments in bombed-out neighborhoods, where she took pictures of kids entertaining themselves with games they devised on the street, often with the humblest of materials. It was during one of those trips that she stumbled on graffiti and the members of its community. She met a young boy who suggested she photograph the work she was seeing, then showed her a stylized drawing of his name, or piece, in his notebook.

Then he asked her if she wanted to meet “The King”.

Following this lead to Brooklyn, Cooper met Dondi, the citywide-famous graffiti writer who kept a published photo of hers in his black book because its background contained one of his graffiti throw-ups. Cooper quickly realized that she had stumbled into a lively street culture and became an avid student of the teen writers she befriended. By the time she took her last news picture for the New York Post in 1980, her primary desire was to capture as many pieces, tags, and trains as she possibly could find. Today, she remarks on her near-obsessive devotion to documenting New York’s graffiti: waking before dawn to hit the street, waiting five hours for a freshly painted #2 train to pass with the sun at her back and countless secret adventures with vandals in train yards, evading transit police in order to pursue a shot.

Joining efforts with fellow graffiti photographer, Henry Chalfant, Cooper proposed putting together a book of their documentation. The pair endured multiple rejections from publishers while lugging around a big “dummy” book with their pictures glued to the pages. Eventually, however, they landed a deal and Subway Art was published in 1984. Although not an immediate success, it came to sell half a million copies and established itself as a holy book for fans, aspiring artists and art historians worldwide.

By the time the 25th anniversary edition was published in 2009, generations of graffiti and street artists had been influenced by it and the hip-hop culture Cooper and Chalfant had captured had gone global.

In the intervening years, Martha Cooper never stopped shooting. Her love of serendipity on the street and the exploration of cultures led her to publish thousands of photos in books such as R.I.P.: Memorial Wall Art, Hip Hop Files 1979-1984, We B*Girlz, Street Play, New York State of Mind, Tag Town, Going Postal, and Name Tagging. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, Natural History, and Vibe. While she is still shooting graffiti, street art and the occasional break dance competition today, Cooper’s current project involves documenting people and events in Sowebo, a drug-riddled neighborhood in her birthplace of Baltimore.

********************

Steven P. Harrington is editor-in-chief of BrooklynStreetArt.com and co-author (with Jaime Rojo) of Brooklyn Street Art and Street Art New York, both by Prestel Publishing. He and Jaime Rojo are also contributing writers on street art for The Huffington Post.

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brooklyn-street-art-martha-cooper-remix-carmichael-gallery

Photographs by Martha Cooper

Martha Cooper ; Remix

with

Original remixes of these photographs in a range of media by Aeon, John Ahearn, Aiko, Bio, Nicer & B-Gee, Blade, Blanco, Mark Bode, Burning Candy, Victor Castillo, Cey, Cekis, Claw, Cosbe, Crash, Dabs & Myla, Anton van Dalen, Daze, Dearraindrop, Jane Dickson, Dr. Revolt, Shepard Fairey, Faust, Flying Fortress, Freedom, Fumakaka, Futura, Gaia, Grotesk, Logan Hicks, How & Nosm, LA II, Lady Pink, Anthony Lister, The London Police, Mare 139, Barry McGee, Nazza Stencil, Nunca, José Parlá, Quik, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, Sharp, Skewville, Chris Stain, Subway Art History, Swoon, T-Kid, Terror161 and more.

Carmichael Gallery is pleased to announce Martha Cooper: Remix, an expansive group show featuring highlights from Martha Cooper’s photographic archive and works by over 50 artists who have created their own unique interpretations of her iconic, historically significant imagery. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday, April 9 from 6 to 8pm with Martha Cooper and several of the participating artists in attendance. The exhibition will run through May 7, 2011.

Click on the link below to read BSA interview with Martha Cooper:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=19366

Carmichael Gallery

5795 Washington Blvd

Culver City, CA 90232

April 9 – May 7, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 9, 6-8pm



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“Whole in the Wall” Opens with Fanfare

NYC Graff as Historical Touchstone
International Street Art Stars
Train Writers turned Fine Artists
High Culture/Street Culture Mashups
Corporate Logos and Celebrity Collectors

If that is not enough variety for you, then you have just been spoiled by too many years living in the center of a cultural and media capital.

You’ll be glad the former photo studios, two blocks north of Manhattan’s West Side Rail Yards, are generously spacious because you’ll need headroom to contemplate the variety of messages that Chantal and Brigitte Helenbeck, Parisian gallerists, are bringing to Hell’s Kitchen for a month.

For Chantal, “The street art style and story is distinctly American. It became a global phenomenon”. Her sister Brigitte agrees and asks her to translate to the visitor, “Yes, it is about movement, and color, it is very free and for this we say it is very American.”

Trains, geometric shapes, and natural beauty on Coney Island (Daze) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Trains, geometric form, fills, and natural beauty on Coney Island (Daze) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Amidst the flurry of 11th hour installations all over this temporary gallery, the sisters say that they see graffiti and “street art” on a continuum with other schools in contemporary art and art history in general. Chantal observes as she looks around the cavernous 12,000sf upper floor at the “Whole in the Wall” exhibition that the kids that used to be “Bad Boys” (and girls) of graffiti back in the 70’s are now warm and friendly adults who are great to work with. Better yet, many continued to develop their skills and have truly become “great studio artists”. “It is important that their talent and recognition is seen and documented with the art world,” she says.

Lee Quiñones at work (photo Jaime Rojo)
Lee Quiñones at work (photo Jaime Rojo)

A prime example of that observation could be Lee Quiñones, who is busily running up and down an aluminum ladder preparing a 12′ x 14′ canvas that couldn’t be more of a departure from his style back in the days of Sly Stone and Richard Nixon. A subway train writer as a teen in the 1970’s, his later exhibitions and studio work placed him in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum. The piece he’s working on for this show speaks to a sinister, more complex time using animal symbolism so often seen in the 00’s.

Up close to this canvas, it is an imposing thick dark forest of trees where the sprouting leaves and fallen, swirling fragments are actual dollar bills. Popping forward at you from the center comes the menacing protagonist; a realistic wolf in businessman’s clothing lurking from behind a tree in horn-rimmed glasses, looking at you with a dead-eye stare.

Wolf detail of work by Lee Quiñones (photo Jaime Rojo)
Wolf detail of brand new work by Lee Quiñones (photo Jaime Rojo)

As you talk to Mr. Quiñones, it’s easy to see that he cares deeply about his work, and he spends a great deal of time thinking about it, re-working it in his mind, and relating with it on an emotional level. The metaphor Lee had in mind this time is the children’s story “Little Red Riding Hood” and, as he points to parts of the canvas, you can see the story as it applies to any number of scams and backroom deals that clutter the business pages and Senate hearings these days. You might think of the same connection between financial crisis and the meager options for a teen in New York’s 1970’s while he describes the power brokers that created the current environment. Conspiratorially, he reveals that when the lights are out, the wolf’s eyes actually glow in the dark. He also says this piece is not finished but he’ll know when it is.

“Art is tricky, you know, you gotta look at it a lot,” the Puerto Rico-born painter says, “Then it tells you ‘Stop! Leave me alone! I’m done.’… I talk to my art, I spend time with it.”

"I was thinking of putting Madoff over here" (photo Jaime Rojo)
“I was thinking of putting Madoff over here”

He contrasts the life and the approach to creative work back in the “wild style” days and now; “My studio is not this big but it’s pretty big so I can step back and take a look at it. When I was painting trains 35 years ago I only had like this much space (holding his hands a yard a part) and I had this big 40 foot (long) train in front of me. …. I had no luxury of looking at it from a distance, or time. But that’s also where I get my nocturnal practice. I can actually stay up four nights without sleep, no problem. And I’ve been up three days now.” A broad smile breaks across his face as he announces this feat of endurance and commitment.

Be careful handling the ivy (photo Steven P. Harrington)
It really DOES grow on trees. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

There is so much exuberance and so much to see at this show that A.D.D. seems like an excellent processing mechanism – Ramellzee’s sculpture on a highly ornate fifteenth century credenza, a French dude in a suit holding forth about the geneology of a chair, Plateus moving briskly across the floor gazing upward at the multiple canvasses and downward upon his high-gloss contorted letter sculptures, Henry Chalfants’ screen prints of miniature trains spread out on some bubble wrap, NYC’s Sharp amiably chatting with Brazillian Nunca (recently at the Tate), stencil godfather Blek le Rat sneaking outside for a cigarette where Blade is showing off the 1972 creme colored roadster he’s restoring, and, quietly, the Banksy rat glances over his shoulder.

The selections of artists for this show are not meant to be comprehensive, as is evidenced by the lack of any number of current European street artists, and almost complete lack of artists from today’s New York. What impact “Whole in the Wall” will have on current “street art” and graff movements is hard to say, but it is an often inventive way of drawing the connections and revealing the threads in a storyline that continues to be told.

Rammellzee and King Louis (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Meet you on the Kings Highway! Rammellzee and King Louis mashup (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Martha Cooper prints waiting to be hung (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Martha Cooper prints waiting to be hung (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Who let the dog in the mansion? (Blek le Rat) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Okay, who let Sir Duke in the mansion? Don’t let him lick the gold leaf again! (Blek le Rat) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Armed nationalism on Sesame Street (Icon) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Armed nationalism on Sesame Street (Ikon) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Chalfant
Henry Chalfant silkscreens Blade (in the show) and many others on these metallic plates that clearly evoke the subway trains of the 1970’s and 80’s. (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Helenbeck Gallery

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Whole in The Wall: 1970 – Now

May 29 to June 27, 2009:

“Whole In The Wall: 1970 – Now”

Blek Le Rat

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Masters from the 1970s NYC graf movement (Blade, Crash, Daze, Jonone, Quik, Lee Quinones, Rammellzee, Sharp) and European art stars (Victor Ash, Banksy, Blek le Rat, Ikon, Sozyone, Plateus) are among 19 painters, sculptors and photographers showing contemporary works in “Whole In The Wall: 1970 – Now”. It’s an unprecedented, museum-quality, 150-piece exploration of street art’s ongoing transition to, yes, fine art. The pieces are all original and rare; many are new.

piece by Sharp courtesy Helenbeck Gallery
The show is an ambitious, two-story, 25,000-sf installation on Manhattan’s industrial West Side, juxtaposing street artworks with authentic 17th Century antiques. It will be an unprecedented presentation.

The official website for “Whole In The Wall”: www.helenbeckgallery.com

Facebook group “Whole in the Wall” by Helenbeck Gallery – Paris

Brooklyn Street Art Interview with the Co-Curators of this show

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Whole In The Wall: 1970 – Now”
Friday, May 29 through Saturday, June 27
11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesdays through Saturdays; or by appointment
529-535 W. 35th St. @ 11th Ave. (former Splashlight Studio)

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“Whole in the Wall” interview with the Co-Curators

“Whole in the Wall” interview with the Co-Curators

“WHOLE IN THE WALL: THE LARGEST AMERICAN & EUROPEAN STREET ART EXHIBITION IN NEW YORK – ARTISTS FROM THE 70’S TO NOW”

That’s a grand claim, and the Helenbeck sisters are going to try to back it up in June. The curators of this show are planning to pair New York writers from the 70’s and 80’s with European street art stars of the 00’s and present them in Louis XIV drawing rooms furnished with genuine articles from the period.

The show’s  numbers are grand too; 150+ pieces, 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, 40 years of art.  Promising to shake collectors and historians awake to the relevance of graff and street art in the continuum of fine art, it remains largely unknown what impact this show can have on the street. At the very least, it’s a bold courageous approach to further the ongoing conversation about Street Art’s relevance to the art world.

In the midst of installation, the co-curators of the show, Brigitte & Chantal Helenbeck, give us some insight about their approach and what they hope people will get from the “Whole in the Wall”;

Brooklyn Street Art: Why does this show juxtapose theses genuine antiquities, originally created for the upper classes, with an art form more frequently associated with the working class?

Brigette & Chantal: We think that Street Art has become a real part of the contemporary art scene.  By juxtaposing these Street Art pieces with antiquities we would like to underline the entrance of contemporary street art in the history of art.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you pick one particular pairing of an artwork and an interiors setting in this show that made you laugh with glee?

Brigette & Chantal: We never really laughed, but were often amazed and surprised to notice how two genuine and high quality works of art create a balance and a force between them, no matter which time they belong to.  The audience always finds the pairing interesting.

Brooklyn Street Art: As you know, New York (particularly Brooklyn) is currently experiencing an explosion of new street art.  Are there any particular street artists of the new crop whose work excites you?

Brigette & Chantal: We are in New York also to discover this new crop, which one day we can maybe bring to Europe so that people can discover their works in future exhibitions.  We cannot put out a name, but the spirit of our gallery, which has been an experimental territory for young or acclaimed artists, has definitely been thrilled by the extreme creativity of young artists here in New York.

Brooklyn Street Art: As co-curators and twins, have you had the same vision for this show, or do your tastes differ a great deal?

Brigette & Chantal: We are alike and very different at the same time, but we function as a team and all our final decisions are a mix of our sensitivities and tastes. We find a way to agree at the end, and what people see is a jigsaw version of the two of us.

Brooklyn Street Art: A show of this vast scope must take a huge amount of planning, logistics, and effort.  What has been the most surprising part of the process for you?

Brigette & Chantal: To discover New York in a different way, definitely. We learn from people here every day and this turns out to be an extremely interesting experience. This is the logical direction of our professional path, and also part of a journey that we’ll continue in the future.

Brooklyn Street Art: Popular perception of graff and street art continues to evolve.  When people walk away from the show, what you like them to be thinking?

Brigette & Chantal: We would like them to see that these artists and their works have their place in the contemporary art field and they are part of the future history of art.  We are satisfied when people enjoy our exhibitions and discover new forms of art and new talents. This exhibition in particular is very alive, full of movement, colorful, like the Americans are, and like this city remains despite this difficult economic crisis worldwide.

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Whole in the Wall: 1970 to Now

Friday, May 29 to Saturday, June 27
Open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesdays through Saturdays
529-535 W. 35th St. @ 11th Ave. (former Splashlight Studio)

Helenbeck Gallery

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