All posts tagged: Smells

Images of The Week 09.09.12

Our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Adeline, Cost, El Sol 25, JM, Joseph Meloy, Keely, LMNOP, Mr. Toll, No Sleep, NohJColey, Sanpaku, Sheryo, Smells, ICY & SOT, Shie Moreno,The Cretin, The Yok, and Werds.

Shie Moreno (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shie Moreno. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shie Moreno in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 hangs out with LMNOP (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Yok and Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Beautiful and awesome Adeline performs to celebrate NohJColey’s birthday at his opening last night. Better than Marilyn at the MSG for Jack. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Cretin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sanpaku (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From Wikipedia:

Sanpaku gan (三白眼) or Sanpaku (三白) is a Japanese term that means “three whites” and is generally referred to in English as “Sanpaku eyes”. The term refers to the iris being rather small, so that it only covers about two-thirds or less of the vertical axis of the eye; e.g. delineate an eye into four portions; the iris would only occupy one portion of the divided four sections; thus leaving the other three in white, hence “three whites”.

When the bottom of the white part of the eye, known as the sclera, is visible it is referred to as ‘Yin Sanpaku’ in Chinese lore. According to the myth, it represents physical imbalance in the body and is claimed to be present in alcoholics, drug addicts and people who over consume sugar or grain. Conversely when the upper sclera is visible this is called ‘Yang Sanpaku’. This is said to be an indication of mental imbalance in people such as psychotics, murderers, and anyone rageful. Stress and fatigue may also be a cause.[1]

In August 1963, macrobiotic pioneer George Ohsawa predicted that President John F. Kennedy would experience great danger because of his sanpaku condition. This was reported by Tom Wolfe in the New York Herald Tribune.[2]

People with sanpaku eyes may also be feared to be prone to violent or disordered behaviors.[citation needed] There is no evidence for this belief, however.

John Lennon mentioned sanpaku in his song “Aisumasen (I’m Sorry)” from the 1973 Mind Games album. It is also briefly referenced in William Gibson’s Neuromancer, as well as in Michael Franks‘ 1979 song “Sanpaku”, and in The Firesign Theatre‘s piece “Temporarily Humboldt County”.

Joseph Meloy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

No Sleep (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A message for William Wegman from a disaffected unknown feller. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Toll (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cost, Smells and Keely welcoming mat. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy and Sot. Special shout out to Joe’s buddy at Bushwick 5 Points for giving me a lift so I could get the right angle. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Fun Friday 08.10.12

Happy hot sticky Friday live from New York! Lots of cool stuff on the street and in the exhibition spaces this weekend – just bring a water bottle. Here are some of our picks for you on BSA.

1. Détournement, Carlo McCormick at Jonathan Levine (NYC)
2. Chris Stain and Joe Iurato at Mighty Tanaka (BKLN)
3. Peeta Solo at ArTicks (Amsterdam)
4. “You & Me” – Low Brow’s Second Group Show (BKLN)
5. Miss Van at Copro Gallery “Wild at Heart” (Santa Monica)
6. Part2Ism “New Horizons & Future Love Songs” at Red Gallery (London)
7. “Who’z Got Game!” ? at Sacred Gallery (NYC)
8. Numskull ,”Dance Like a Video, Sting Like a Gif” at Mishka (BKLN)
9. “Primeveal” group show Carmichael Gallery (LA)
10. Futura Live Painting  (Richmond, VA)
11. KFC Loves The Gays with John Goodman (Video)

 

Détournement, Carlo McCormick at Jonathan Levine (NYC)

Carlo McCormick, Paper Magazine Senior Editor and NYC cultural intuitor, is guest curator at the Jonathan Levine Gallery with a show titled “Détournement: Signs of the Times” Carlo has assembled an interesting list of artists to tell his story with the works of AIKO, Dan Witz, David Wojnarowicz, Dylan Egon, Eine, Ilona Granet, Jack Pierson, John Law (Jack Napier), Leo Fitzpatrick, Mark Flood, Martin Wong, Max Rippon (RIPO), Mike Osterhout, Posterboy, Ron English, Shepard Fairey + Jamie Reid, Steve Powers (ESPO), TrustoCorp, Will Boone and Zevs.

Mining a vein that has been here in front of us all the time, the composition of the selected works reveals a powerful undertone about how we engage and communicate with our artwork, and hi-jack the messaging of others. Says McCormick, “We do not need to follow these signs, we need to make our own so as to find a way out of the mess we are in.”

It’s also one of the few shows that seamlessly blends Street Art and non-street art practices without needing to draw a distinction for its own sake. This show is now open to the public.

Posterboy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Chris Stain and Joe Iurato at Mighty Tanaka (BKLN)

Tonight at Mighty Tanaka Gallery in DUMBO the inevitable pairing of Street Artists Chris Stain and Joe Iurato finally takes place. With a show titled “Deep in the Cut” these two stencil artists will bring the knives out for the love of art and the perfection of their craft. Style and mannerism distinguish the differences between these two, and Stain has been at it much longer with a lot of work on the street, but metaphor and empathy to the human condition is the overlap in these guys work. Grab the F train to DUMBO and come see what new common ground emerges from this combination.

Chris Stain. An old all time favorite on the streets of Brooklyn. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Joe Iurato for Fountain Art Fair 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Peeta Solo at ArTicks (Amsterdam)

Italian Graffiti and Fine Artist Peeta has been writing his tag on walls, trains and many other surfaces since 1993. Like a few of his generation who have been stretching graff style past it’s outer limits and morphing it with abstraction, his work has slowing gelled into it’s own distinctive style. He focuses his lettering and his tag by feeding it through Chinese and Islamic calligraphy as a departure from the traditional Latin and Greek lettering. A collaborator of New Yorks RWK collective, he resides in Venice and tonight opens his solo show in Amsterdam at the ArTicks Gallery.

Peeta in Brooklyn with fellow RWK Chris. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“You & Me” – Low Brow’s Second Group Show (BKLN)

The Low Brow Artique Gallery in Brooklyn has decided to enter the matchmaking business and Saturday their second show titled “You & Me” artfully combines the work of two at a time. While many of these artists have worked collaboratively on the street in the past, crossing freely between sanctioned and unsanctioned Street Art and graffiti, the results of merging their styles and techniques always creates new creatures with the combined DNA. Sometimes it’s a mutt, and sometimes it is purebred brilliance. Artistic couplings here include: Cash4 & Smells, Chris & Veng (RWK), EKG & Dark Clouds, Matt Siren & Fenix, OCMC & This Is Awkward, Royce Bannon & Russell King, and Veng & Sofia Maldonado.

Sofia Maldonado and Veng collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cash4 and Smells collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Smells and Cash4 on the streets of Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Miss Van at Copro Gallery “Wild at Heart” (Santa Monica)

Miss Van, the French Street Artist and fine artist has a new solo show “Wild at Heart” in Santa Monica, California this Saturday at the Copro Gallery and the ladies are again strutting their stuff across her rich canvasses. Painting since the age of 18 Miss Van has chosen her appearances carefully while being very active within the smaller pool of female Street Artists, maintaining a continous presence with her unique doll-characters, a rich color palette and plenty of erotica.

Miss Van was included in the now famous “Art in the Streets” exhibition on April 2011 at MoCA Los Angeles.. April 2011. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also happening this weekend:

Part2Ism has a new solo show “New Horizons & Future Love Songs” at the Red Gallery in London, UK and it is now open to the general public. Click here for more details on this show.

Wanna know “Who’z Got Game!” ? Head over to the Sacred Gallery for this group exhibition opening today in Manhattan. Click here for more details on this show.

Numskull will “Dance Like a Video, Sting Like a Gif” at Mishka tonight in Brooklyn. Click here for more details on this show.

“Primeveal” a group exhibition including Emol, Stinkfish and Zio Ziegler opens tomorrow night at the Carmichael Gallery in Culver City, CA. Click here for more details on this show.

Futura will paint live in Richmond, Virginia this Saturday.

Screen Shot from Futura’s Hennessy NYC Video.

Master Graffiti Artist and fine artist Leonard “FUTURA” is touring the country to promote this project with a spirit maker and this Friday he will stop in Richmond, Virgina where he will paint live on a canvas inside the ABC Store located at 101 North Thompson Street. The live painting will commence at 2:00 pm.  It is a rare opportunity to catch Futura in action.

A recent ad featuring Futura for this campaign (not a sponsor)

KFC Loves The Gays with John Goodman

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Low Brow Artique Presents: “You & Me” A group exhibition. (Brooklyn, NYC)

You and Me

Smells . Cash4 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Low Brow Artique is proud to present You & Me, which examines the collaborative element within the street art community. The exhibition will be open to the public from August 11th to September 1st, with an opening reception on August 11th from 6 to 9pm. The gallery presents the work of Cash4 & Smells, Chris & Veng (RWK), EKG & Dark Clouds, Matt Siren & Fenix, OCMC & This Is Awkward, Royce Bannon & Russell King, and Veng & Sofia Maldonado. Inspired by the stylistic changes that occur when two artists create work together, You & Me brings together duos that can naturally be seen in the streets of New York as well as a few who have come together specifically for the show.

The collaborative element of the street art and graffiti scenes are constantly developing. Sometimes inspired by friendship, sometimes by a piece an artist sees while putting up their own work, this element has the power to change the way both artists think about their styles, use of space, and other factors in the art-making process. By coming together to create one piece, the artists also provide a unique experience to those who take notice of their work in the streets. For You & Me, Low Brow Artique is recreating that elated feeling you get when you see two of your favorite artists working together.

Over the past decade, Veng has collaborated with numerous artists, including members of his crew Robots Will Kill. When working with fellow crew member Chris, a palpable change can be seen in how both artists paint. Flowing back and forth between the realistic and cartoon-like, this work is contrasted by how Veng’s work evolves when painting with Sofia Maldonado. For example, when creating art together live for an event, the pair’s art takes on a hard-edged feel as Sofia’s bold shapes and outlines define the background. By placing the work of Veng collaborating with two different artists, You & Me depicts how sharing a canvas with two distinctly different artists can influence one artist’s practice.

However, probably the most ubiquitous partnership in the world of illegal art is none other than Cash4 and Smells. While the direct influence the two artists have on one another may not be as apparent as it is with others in the show, it is the cohesive vision that Cash4 and Smells display that makes them memorable. In addition to this vision, their roller tags can be seen from most above ground trains while their stickers, tags, and characters permeate every space within reach of the ground. With their carefully designed fonts and strong presence, Cash4 and Smells are a definitive partnership in New York City.

By representing artists from both the street art and graffiti worlds, You & Me gives viewers a taste of the partnerships that are seen in the streets. While there are plenty yet to still be discovered, we hope you will join us in celebrating a few of our favorites.

Low Brow Artique

143 Central Avenue

Brooklyn, NYC 11221

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Leaping Underground : Graff and Performance Art for New York’s Explorers

Andrew H. Shirley Throws a Party for Leap Year

There would be no above ground scene in New York without the abiding underground scene. Furtive, secretive, accessible by invitation or last minute word of mouth, art parties and performance have always supplied a forum for expression, inspiration, and a release of raw energy. Without idealizing too much, these are frequently places where the petri dishes for future movements are mixed, or at least experimented with. Not exactly galleries or performance venues, these spaces converted for one-night-only can be a great place to party, see something new, and let your mind loose with friends.

Artist and party planner Andrew H. Shirley threw a sort of impromptu bash a week ago to celebrate the occasion of February 29th, and he invited some artists/graff heads to hit up the space like Smells, Cash4, UFO, Gen2, R2, and Fade. The abandoned warehouse feeling was juxtaposed by some rather ornate furniture, and eventually everything got tagged – since the scheduled installations included a surprise visit from Net, Krt and Serch. “Kind of a random perfect line up,” reports Shirley of the artists, “It ended up being really proper.”

Cash4 sets the scene, and Fade offers a seat.  Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

Once the visual aesthetics were laid the performances were clear to go for the small enthusiastic collection of fans that braved the cold night and they were rewarded with an eclectic mix of energetic shows by Beef, Jogyo, Fake Hooker, Japanther, and Ninjasonik. Shirley was really happy with the turnout –  “A great crowd of heads braved the sh*ttiest night of the winter to be part of the Leap Year Party,” he says.

BSA: What was the party all about?
Andrew H. Shirley: I’ve had a telepathic calling to throwing a leap year party for a few years, and one day while hanging with Robbie from Fake Hooker, we talked about leap year, and how we couldn’t remember anything fun ever happening on that day .I took it upon myself to try and make a holiday out of this. Evolving out of the ideas we came up with, Beef and Fake Hooker planned a tour which began at Death by Audio in brooklyn and ended on leap year at the El Dorado.

BSA: Who did you hook up the venue and the painting part of the show?
Andrew H. Shirley: Party professional SPAM was stoked that February had an extra day to party this year and pointed our idea in the direction of the El Dorado space. The el dorado is an amazing space; it’s totally reminiscent of the type of space you’d find in the Lower East Side, like the Lounge on 11th and Avenue A circa 1995.  It’s totally grilled out in scrawls and tags, really grimey, old New York. It’s a free for all. The dude who runs El Dorado is actually not into graffiti at all – he hates it. Because the place was pretty grilled, I asked if I could have some heads come and do some walls and he was cool with it.

In addition to the artists and performers, shout outs go to Laura Kaplan for Japanther’s costumes and Devi Mambouka for Jogyo’s makeup and costumes. The Superior Bugout did promotion and thanks to photographer Tod Seelie for sharing his images.

JOGYO imparting knowledge. Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

Smells, Cash4, UFO, Gen2, R2, 907 Crew, Fade, Net, Krt and Serch.  Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

 

For all you underground Marie Antoinettes, a regally appointed couch adorned by UFO 907 with a wall piece by Smells.  Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

Hitting the high notes! (photo © Tod Seelie)

A sideways blastoff from UFO and the 907 crew.  Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

Fashion Week isn’t just for Paris you know! 11 Years in the underground and standard bearers for an ever changing Brooklyn scene, Japanther modeled organic fashions by Laura Kaplan for their performance. (photo © Tod Seelie)

Fade feels nostalgic for a 1980 sex party.  Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

Duo Ninjasonik reliably rocked mics with their nasty and funny rhymes, bringing an electrifying performance in the midst of the party. (© Tod Seelie)

A welcoming and cozy seating arrangement. Principal decor supplied by Gen2 of the 907 Crew. Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

I have an announcement before I blast your eardrums! (photo © Tod Seelie)

Smells, Cash4, UFO, Gen2, R2, 907 Crew, Fade, Net, Krt and Serch.  Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

Ninjasonic taking it home.  Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

Smells, Cash4, UFO, Gen2, R2, 907 Crew, Fade, Net, Krt and Serch.  Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

 Leap Party 2012 at El Dorado (photo © Tod Seelie)

 

 

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The Superior Bugout Presents: “Leap Year 2012 Party Time” Art, Walls and Music (Brooklyn, NY)

Leap Year 2012

The Superior Bugout is very stoked to present a really tight line up of amazing musicians / artists for this night, wednesday 10pm at the el dorado in brooklyn (976 grand st). come out and celebrate the new party holiday LEAP YEAR 2012!!!
with:
JAPANTHER
NINJASONIK
FAKE HOOKER
JOGYO
BEEF
and DJ DIRTYFINGER

with art walls by SMELLS / CASH4 / FADE AA / R2 / GEN 2 / UFO 907

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Images of the Week 01.08.12 Miami Special Part II

Here is the 2nd half of the Miami images we captured for you from the massive blocks long street installation party called Art Basel this year. Most of these pieces are legal, many are not. You can call them Street Art, but not all are actually on the street and many could also be classified as murals.

Now is a perfect window of opportunity to go see these as many will be buffed in the next few weeks and months, as property owners sell the buildings or decide they didn’t actually dig the art as much as they thought they would. Within a decade or so, this area in Miami will most likely be less enthused with and even hostile toward graffiti and Street Art in general, but the red carpet is laid out at the moment. Artists are flocking from all over the world to jockey for walls, hoping to be seen by potential fans and collectors, or at least to hang out with peers and make new friends. This is a moment on a timeline and, for right now, the colors, patterns, textures, messages and lucid dreams are pulsating on walls everywhere; a mountain of creativity set free.

So here are more than 50 images in our interview with the street, this week featuring 2501, Adjust, AM, Andrew Schoultz, Art Basel 2011, AWR, Bask, Ben Eine, Bik Ismo, Buff Monster, C215, Chris Stain, Clown Soldier, Col, Cope, Dabs&Myla, Des, Ema, Emo, Entes Pesimo, Ethos, Ever, Florida, Gaia, Interesni Kazki, Jade Uno, Jaz, Joe Iurato, Liqen, Miami, Michael DeFeo, Neuzz, Nomade, Nomads, Nunca, Pancho Pixel, Pez, PHD, Pi, el Pancho, Primary Flight, Remote, Retna, Roa, RONE, Shark Toof, Shiro, Smells, Spagnola, Stormie Mills, Vhils, Wynwood Walls, and Zed1.

With special thanks to all the people who helped us out, showed us around and provided insight and background, especially the good folks from Primary Projects and Wynwood Walls.

Liqen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Liqen’s metaphoric mural of miserable corporate finance workers in a labyrinthine maze may have been the singular most powerful and timely image this year.   (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Liqen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

International star Vhils and crew created a few signature portraits using his very original method of destruction and creation, a low relief sculpture that emanates from the wall (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rone’s model looked skyward from a few locations on the street. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now, why is that? Smells Like Junk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA and Ben Eine hit up this little corner spot with Primary Flight. The unusual free-standing structure called “The Living Room” has played host to a number of graffiti, mural, and street artists over the last few years, and this year also featured a pop-up piano ensemble performance. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JAZ (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Neuzz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Assume Vivid Astro Focus killed this wall last year and it still looks fresh. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Famed duo Assume Vivid Astro Focus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

New Jersey’s Joe Iurato (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jade Uno . Entes Pesimo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia and C215 appeared frequently with one another this year on the street. This one is bookended by some Nomade posters (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia, C215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bik Ismo, a custom hot rod, and of course a couple of appreciative dudes. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zed1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Despite relative domestic tranquility, sometimes Felix and Ana were not sure if they were seeing the same thing. Ever (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Retna stretched his alphabet tall, and tucked in many tributes to local friends. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Interesni Kazki . Liqen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki and Liqen combined forces on this mural referencing the world wide web. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki . Liqen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Interesni Kazki . Liqen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Michael DeFeo lit up a desolate spot under the highway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ethos (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Emo, PHD, Remote (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Emo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ema (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A killer repetition from Des (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dabs & Myla collaboration with AWR (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Col on a bed of seafoam blue (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Stain brought some friends from New York and Baltimore. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This bull head popped out at discrete locations. Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bask bolted to a post. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stormie Mills (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One of the few blatantly political pieces from Spagnola, with additional commentary added by a third party. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This Shark Toof appears to be whispering something to Anthony Lister. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho kind of killed it.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pez is on multiple surfaces everywhere. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nunca (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nunca (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cope crushed repeatedly. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Clown Soldier stands guard at the gate. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Buff Monster . Cope (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2501 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Andrew Schoultz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Andrew Schoultz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

AM (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adjust (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Work to Do” is on Schedule for March 26 at The Combine

Collaboration is the Piece
Collaboration makes the total Piece (collage and design Anna Robie, photos Jazzmine Beaulieu)

Royce Bannon and the Endless Love Crew

have been working hard and probably playing a little too, and the group show they have engineered is a quick primer on what street art is looking like at the moment in Brooklyn, and elsewhere. The show inaugurates a hallowed creative space for artists in Soho and christens it with a new name, The Combine, at 112 Greene Street in Soho.

The theme of the show, “Work to Do” pays a tribute to words and works of the new president in this land, and Afrika Bambaataa has written a new song with the same name, which he’ll be performing when he reunites with the Soulsonic Force at the opening.

See more about the show and our interview with Royce here.

“We have to work like our future depends on it, because it does” – Barack Obama

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Royce and ELC Workin’ in a Combine

Royce and ELC Workin’ in a Combine

112 Greene Street Revived by Street Artists

Like Obama says, we’ve got work to do, people.

Royce Bannon and a diverse team of talented street artist/graff writers are taking the challenge seriously: Revive the artists’ space in Soho that boasts a proud history and restore it to the constructive, collaborative, democratic roots of a real artists’ community; one that will have a mission of giving back, as well as re-establishing a laboratory for discovery.

These are times for bold actions of hope, and all hands are on deck for a show opening this month called “Work to Do” at 112 Greene Street in Soho, a place that first flourished in the years before the Reagan Revolution.

A Monstrous Welcome to a New Era for 112 Greene Street (Royce Bannon)

A Monstrous Welcome to a New Era for 112 Greene Street (Royce Bannon)

Long before Soho became a jewel encrusted haven for high-end couture, over-priced “foodie” groceries, hi-jacking delis, and exclusive password private clubs, the wild-eyed artists were the only people interested in the abandoned buildings south of Houston, and north of Canal. In the decade of the 1970’s, during a financial crisis when a Republican president told our bankrupt city to “drop dead”, that he would veto any bailout for a cash-strapped NYC economy, Soho was a largely abandoned carcass of warehouses and lifeless factories. As is so often the case, it was the perfect playground for the innovative talents of artists and art students needing cheap raw space to create and coalesce and eventually re-start the engine of cultural growth. Like the Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick neighborhoods in Brooklyn today, Soho in Manhattan was a pounding heart in a hurting city that was drained by an energy crisis, sapped by a costly possibly illegal war on foreign soil, and duped by the ponzi-schemes of corporate titan opportunists at home.

112 Greene Street in Soho was the original home of 112 Workshop, a raw space open between 1970 and 1980, offering exhibition space for installation and performance for the new generation of conceptual artists who emerged from the radicalized minds and cultural upheavals of the previous decade.

With artists having complete control to curate their shows, the space put on challenging and inspirational work of hundreds of people. During the life of this laboratory it produced a list of influential performers and artists that helped shape the cultural cityscape over next 30 years, including names like Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Joseph Beuys, Louis Bourgois, Chuck Close, Spalding Gray, Phillip Glass, Fran Lebowitz, Jeffrey Lew (co-founder), Gordon Matta Clarke (co-founder), Richard Mock, Richard Serra, William Wegman.

A spirit of collaboration and lively exploration returns to this space on March 26 when street artists well known in North Brooklyn today clear out the moribund basement space at 112 Greene and electrify the walls with a new era of youthful big ideas – and with thanks to those who came before in this hallowed space.

Royce Bannon, core member of the collective ELC (Endless Love Crew), is curating an audacious and boundless graphic cavalcade of street art styles to christen the historic space that honors the creative spirit. While ELC has a rotating roster that sometimes totals as many as 9 artists with a variety of styles, the currently active members of the ELC for this project will be Abe Lincoln Jr., Anera, El Celso, infinity, and Royce Bannon. With everyone working collaboratively, the “Work to Do” show pays homage to the new president and embraces a new reality that artists and creatives in the city are feeling right now.

The 112 Greene Street space is christened The Combine with this inaugural show. Steve Loeb and John Robie are creating The Combine to provide a new environment for the exhibition of art; an alternative to the traditional gallery opening and exhibition, transforming static work into multi-media, performance oriented events.

Detail from Kosbe at "Work to Do" (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Detail from Kosbe at “Work to Do” (photo Steven P. Harrington)

On a recent sunny Saturday, with Soho sidewalks anxiously trampled with tourists dragging shopping bags out of Prada, Dean & Deluca, and the Apple store, Royce and Chris from Robots Will Kill are laboring below street level on work for the new show. Descending the stairway you hear the blasting remixed hip-hop jams, see the spray-painted names along the walls claiming space for pieces; Ad Deville of Skewville and U.L.M. have staked their real estate, as has Cake and the Smart Crew. Others have already created pieces on their wall allotment; a 7 foot tall Mochni from Veng on the landing, a chaotic collage from Kosbe as you hit the floor, a manic back wall collaboration with Deekers, infinity, and Celso.

A complete history of 112 Workshop

A complete history of 112 Workshop

Royce sits at his makeshift table of plywood and saw-horses, pouring over a large book about 112 Workshop, marking its’ pages with post-its, and eyeballing every available inch of the entire basement space, thinking about how to fill it, and with whom. His phone keeps ringing, but he’s concentrating on the long rectangular room. He’s loving this moment, and proud of the work his friends have put into the space. Chris from RWK climbs a ladder to lay-in the first wash of color that will build the backing of… perhaps a robot?

Did you hear the new one about Octomom? (Royce Bannon, Dain, and Avoid Pi) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Did you hear the new one about Octomom? (Royce Bannon, Dain, and AVOID Pi) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

The mottled concrete floor is marked with blue tape where a stage will be built for Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force on opening night, and the backdrop wall is already claimed by an undulating AVOID Pi tentacle, some Dain wheatpasted portraits that well up with fluorescent tears, and some smart-aleck monsters from Mr. Bannon himself, and a space remains for Abe Lincoln Jr.. Walk past a stack of plywood into a makeshift rectangular “gallery” room where many 3’ x 8’ foamcore canvasses lean – soon to showcase Deekers, infinity, Celso, and Royce pieces and hung in the windows of a music store further north of here.

Brooklyn Street Art: So who decided to put on this show?
Royce Bannon: Steven Loeb (composer, arranger, producer) and John Robie (composer, musician and record producer). They both have really extensive resumes in the music industry that go back to the 70’s – have worked with so many great musicians and artists that have impacted most of us – Kurtis Blow, Public Enemy, James Brown, LL Cool J… and a lot more. This is their space, and they’ve given me full control to make this show rock.

This is how we do it (Chris from Robots Will Kill) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

This is how we do it (Chris from Robots Will Kill) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you get involved?
Royce Bannon: They hit me up on MySpace about a year ago, I guess. They knew about ELC and liked our work. About November or December they asked me if we could throw an ELC show and I was like “Sure!” We got together and had lunch and they showed me the space. It was a mess when I saw it. It was full of a bunch of wood, tables, broken furniture, junk… it was basically used for storage, hadn’t been used for anything I guess for years.

Brooklyn Street Art: Are they planning to use the space after the show?
Royce Bannon: Yeah, they are turning it into an event center, mainly for charitable events. They want to make money, but they want to give back as well. This will be the first kind of event that is following that approach.

Brooklyn Street Art: So they first contacted you to do an ELC show, but you actually know a lot more people who can do work in a space like this.
Royce Bannon: Yeah exactly, they were like “we like ELC” and I said, “This is a lot of room to fill for just ELC, so why not invite people who I admire, and some of their friends and we can just crush this whole place up?”

Cake waits for friends from her Crew (Cake) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Waiting for the Smart Crew (Cake) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Brooklyn Street Art: Have you had to tell people “no” since this roster started filling up?
Royce Bannon: Yes, (laughs) I’ve been telling people “no” a lot, and that’s really hard. What I’ve been telling them is to hold on, and once everybody paints, there will be other smaller or tight spots where they can do “fill-ins’, cause some people like those smaller spots too.

Brooklyn Street Art: Looking at this giant space, you are giving people a lot of real estate; these spaces look like 8’ by 8’ chunks of wall. That’s pretty generous.
Royce Bannon: Yeah definitely, why not? The spaces are claimed, and we’ve got lots more space to do, and about a third of it is done already.

Brooklyn Street Art: Are people excited to be in the show?
Royce Bannon: Yeah, very excited, I think it’s gonna be like a madhouse in here. It’s about 4,000 square feet floorspace.

This place is Smokin'! (detail from Kosbe) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

This place is Smokin’ ! (detail from Kosbe) (photo Steven P. Harrington)

Brooklyn Street Art: You have been working long hours to accommodate all these artists?
Royce Bannon: Yeah, since mid-January I’ve been here like 12 hour days, sometimes late at night. First we had to clean up the space, figure out what materials we wanted to keep. We’re using everything they had left here and re-purposing it, cause “why not”. Better than throwing it away. Like my monsters are cut out of some bookshelves (laughs). They’ve been supplying us with whatever tools we need, gave us a bunch of paint. So with extras, like ladders and tools, I just go to them and we can get to work. They are really supportive of us, plus they’re collectors.

Brooklyn Street Art: So some of the artwork is going to be on sale?
Royce Bannon: Yes, I think some of the people are going to actually put their artwork on top of their pieces. We’re going to make a little gallery (gesturing to a 10’x 14’ room) – I think some people are going to put their stuff in there. We’re going to cover the floor, I think, in fake grass… brighten the space up a little bit. But we still got a lot of work to do.

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

In planning for the new show, Royce and all of the artists have been inspired by the words of the 44th president:

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. It has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up.

For more info on ELC and its members:
ELC
Royce Bannon
infinity
El Celso
Abe Lincoln Jr.
AnerA

So far the lineup for the show includes: Endless Love Crew, Moody AA, Cabahzm, Cake, 2Easae, Avone, Chris RWK, Veng RWK, Brando * Nev1 * Sinatra Smart Crew, AVOID pi, infinity, Deeker, Keeley, El Celso, Dain, Pufferella, Skewville, Royce Bannon, AnerA, Abe Lincoln Jr., Ellis Gallagher AKA Ellis G., Matt Siren, Overconsumer, Kosbe, Aiko, Abby Goodman, Alone art, Bast, Ben Jackson, Bobby Hill, Buildmore, C. Damage, Chris Brennan, Christopher Gordon, Dark Clouds, Deeker, Destroy and Rebuild, Erica Faulke, Keely, Pufferella, OHM, Smells, Stikman, U.L.M.

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“Work to Do” show at 112 Greene Street

Royce Bannon and a diverse team of talented street artist/graff writers are taking the challenge seriously: Revive the artists’ space in Soho that boasts a proud history and restore it to the constructive, collaborative, democratic roots of a real artists’ community; one that will have a mission of giving back, as well as re-establishing a laboratory for discovery.

These are times for bold actions of hope, and all hands are on deck for a show opening this month called “Work to Do” at 112 Greene Street in Soho, a place that first flourished in the years before the Reagan Revolution.

Read the Brooklyn Street Art Post for this event here

A Monstrous Welcome to a New Era for 112 Greene Street (Royce Bannon)

A Monstrous Welcome to a New Era for 112 Greene Street (Royce Bannon)

Endless Love Crew

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