All posts tagged: Spagnola

Graffiti, Stencils, and Quickie Weddings: Dispatch From Asheville N.C.

Graffiti, Stencils, and Quickie Weddings: Dispatch From Asheville N.C.

“Are you the minister?”

“I am not that, sir,” he answered, “I’m the vacuumer.” Our short tour ends abruptly as the loud whir of the cleaning machine rises to meet the southern-fried rock classic on the sound system here at Fleetwood’s in Asheville, North Carolina. Ours, and his, is a quick sweep through this small city of 90,000 in the Blue Ridge Mountains known for its progressive ideas, punk squats, Thomas Wolfe, and a harmonious alliance between sanctioned murals, organic street art, and graffiti.

Getting the chapel in shape (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

En route through town to the edge of the French Broad River, which flows 218 miles northeast from Rosman, NC up to Knoxville, Tennessee, we see the signposts of hippie/skater/crafter/artist community along the two laneway. Here’s a coffee shop, there’s an art gallery, over there is a radical bookstore with Black Lives Matter signs in the old plate glass windows.

Asheville bookstore signs in the window (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

Here at Fleetwoods’, you can rummage around vintage ceramics and fur-collared coats, and belly up to the small bar, and of course, get married. Advertising itself out front as a Rock N Roll Wedding Chapel and Bar, they are happy if you come to shop, drink, and get married – after passing the motorcycles, banana seat bicycles, and long thin cat laying in the sun near the side door.

Asheville’s Fleetwoods: Rock N Roll Wedding Chapel and Bar. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Asheville welcome cat (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

On one clothing rack near the gold velvet chapel, there is a wide selection of used wedding dresses to rent for the occasion.

“Usually there’s a few a month,” says the friendly vacuumer. “Sometimes there’s a few a day. In fact, we got one coming up at 2 pm if you want to see it.” It’s certainly tempting, and the porcelain rooster on the bar points to the cocktail sign, where you can order an Electric Chair, Witch’s Tit, Starry Eyes, or, most appropriate, a glass of Love Potion, made of champagne, cranberry juice, blood orange bitters, and a CBD sugar cube.

Cash bar for the weddings. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Asheville weddings in a hurry (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

As sweet as that entreaty is, we hit the road and head for the hippies down by the river. We find old converted factories that now house artist studios, and galleries, and cleverly named eateries. It’s not as pretentious as it sounds – it’s actually a warm and welcoming vibe. We head for the railroad tracks and get lost wherever the graffiti gods lead us. We’re happy to find some splendid examples of style writing, some smart social critiques, and a number of political stencils with an attitude. Here are some of the findings, or as some here might say, “the pickens”, which were not slim!

Till death do us part in Asheville (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Louie Valentine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Louie Valentine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Louie Valentine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Louie Valentine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ian The Painter (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ian The Painter and Ishmael. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Aspect, Melto, Ishmael, and Creed. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Various artists (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Various artists (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Spagnola (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Spagnola (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Spagnola (photo © Jaime Rojo)
GWG (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Various artists (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gus Cutty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gus Cutty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gus Cutty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gus Cutty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gus Cutty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
DS (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sain (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sain (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sain (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Bushwick Is Hot Now. Hurry!

Bushwick Open Studios is Paved With Street Art

Brooklyn’s already percolating artists neighborhood called Bushwick continues to thrive despite the circling of real estate agents, lifestyle brands and celebrity chefs. Born in the mid-late 2000s as it’s older sister Williamsburg to the West began to professionalize, this noisily industrial and dirty artists haven got a reprieve from gentrifying forces when the deep recession slowed the rise of rents for artist spaces, which remained still relatively cheap by Manhattan’s standards. Today the area boasts a diverse influx of artists, students, cultural workers, and entrepreneurs who are experimenting and collaborating on projects and shows.

Spagnola (photo © Jaime Rojo)

That radical economic downturn probably also nurtured the nascent Street Art scene here, which was one of the early outliers of a cultural influx as artists and explorers began to skateboard to the local delis and stare at laptops for hours in the one or two cafes that offered  Wi-Fi. Outcroppings of this new art movement combined with old-school graffiti to pop up on selected concrete and corrugated walls, signposts, and deteriorated blocks where the authorities were disinterested and the neighbors only partially curious in their activities.

It’s an age-old New York story by now; a neglected or winding down post industrial neighborhood reacts to the incoming and odd-looking artists with a sort of bemused affection, happy that at least the block is getting some attention for a change. Puzzlement eventually leads to familiarity and then buying you a sandwich – and then asking you to paint a mural inside his foyer. While national and international Street Artists were already making Bushwick a stopping point thanks to some of the earliest galleries like Ad Hoc and Factory Fresh, the scene recently got newly shot in the arm by a local resident who is facilitating much desired legal wall space to a crowd of artists who otherwise would be hunting and hitting up less-than-legal spots.  Not to worry, there are plenty of aerosol renegades and ruffians scaling walls at night too; this is New York after all, yo.

Zimad (photo © Jaime Rojo)

But for now the Bushwick Collective, as it is newly christened by wall-man Joe Ficalora, has infused an adrenaline rush of creativity inside and outside the area that is roughly bordered by Flushing Avenue, Starr Street, Knickerbocker Avenue and Cypress Avenue.  The Collective has guidelines on content (nudity, politics, profanity) so the works are not completely unfettered in the true spirit of Street Art/graffiti, but most artists are happy for the luxury of time to complete their work and not look over their shoulder. With a selection of murals that are densely gathered and easy to walk through, the new collection has attracted attention from media folks (and tour guides) on the main island brave enough to venture into the gritty wilds of Brooklyn for a Street Art safari.

As Bushwick hosts its 7th annual open studios cultural event this weekend, intrepid pedestrians who march through opening parties, rooftop DJ jams, dance performances, live bands, transcendent costumery, sidewalk barbecues, open fire hydrants and more than 600 open artist studios will also be buffeted by a visual feast on the streets themselves. As long as the L Train is running (fingers crossed) you can just get off at the Morgan stop. From there it should be pretty easy for any curious art-in-the-street fan to be regaled with big and small works of graffiti, Street Art, tags, wheat-pastes, stencils, rollers, murals, and ad hoc installations all day and night.

Trek Matthews (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A shout out to Arts In Bushwick, an all volunteer organization that has steadily grown and fostered an open sense of community inclusiveness each year for Bushwick Open Studios and to the many volunteers who have contributed greatly to the success of many of the cultural workers here.  Without an open studios event many of these shy and quirky artists and performers would simply have stayed unknown and unknowable.

So far Bushwick still has the unbridled imperfect D.I.Y. enthusiasm of an experiment where anything can happen, but grey ladies with kooky bright colored spectacles have already begun to flip it over to inspect it with one hand while pinching their nose with the other, so savor this authentic moment.  Ethereal by nature, you know the Street Art scene is never guaranteed to you tomorrow – neither is the mythical artists bohemian hamlet of New York’s yesteryear.  For now we’re hopping on our bikes to catch a golden age of Bushwick before it’s repackaged and sold back to us at a price we can’t afford.

The first series of images are walls from the Bushwick Collective, followed by a series of walls that you may also see in the neighborhood.

MOMO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Solus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alice Pasquini (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toofly and Col Wallnuts (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stik (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Billy Mode and Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Nard (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Overunder and LNY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pixel Pancho (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brett Flanigan and Cannon Dill (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gats (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sheryo and The Yok (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here are a series of walls not related to Bushwick Collective.

ECB (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A portion of a wall by the 907 Crew, Sadue. Don Pablo Pedro, Smells, Cash4, and Keely (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Phetus (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rubin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Peeta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BR1 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Apolo Torres (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris, Veng, RWK and ECB (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cruz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

KUMA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Free Humanity (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Keely and Deeker (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kremen (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For a full list of activities, studios, schedules and directions for Bushwick Open Studios 2013 click HERE.



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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Images of the Week: 04.21.13

Here’s our weekly interview of the street, this week featuring $hota, Armer, bunnyM, C215, Curtis Kulig, DAO, Demian Smith, Essencia, Gyser, Irade, Joseph Meloy, Judith Supine, Love Me, Meres, Monsieur  Plume, Patch Whiskey, Raid Crew, Mr. Blob, Robert Janz, SEN2, Shiro, Smogk, Spagnola, Theo David, and Thomas Buildmore .

Top image > Spagnola (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brand new Judith Supine on the rocks. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sen2 at 5Pointz. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

$howta and DAO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

$howta and DAO. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Thomas Buildmore and his homage to Gaugin at Woodward Project Space. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215 big cat in Paris. (photo © Théo David)

We’ve seen a lot of fat cats, but never one this big. French Street Artist C215 finished it this week on a wall in the 13th arrondissment of Paris. Demian Smith, founder of Underground Paris, says the chat géant is “part of the neighborhood’s strategy to create an alternative tourism industry in this pretty ugly, working class area in the south of Paris.”  – Not the first time that Street Artists have perked a place up, just usually not on this scale. The strategy has so far included murals by Shepard Fairey, Inti, and Vhils, he says. Special thanks to Théo David for sharing these exclusive shots for BSA readers.

C215 big cat in Paris. (photo © Théo David)

Joseph Meloy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ishmael (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This forced collab with bunnyM and Robert Janz has a wild untamed energy, like a group of teens on a train at 3 pm. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sort gets right to the point, right? Love Me (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ZMOGK with Shiro overseeing at 5Pointz. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Essencia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Esscencia. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Armer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Ain’t nothin I’m just tryin to get my paper, my paper.” That’s right Mr. Blob is getting paid at 5Pointz. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Usually catching walls down south, Patch Whisky stopped in at the Bushwick Collective and also hit the En Masse installation. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

French artist Monsieur Plume of Raid Crew give Meres on the left a shout out at 5Pointz. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. J Train. Broad Street Sta. April 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Thank you to Théo David for shooting the C215 wall in Paris for BSA. Visit Théo’s site here for more of his work. 


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, 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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Street Art Barocks the Vote. It’s Your Turn Now.

Today in the US we are electing a President. Exercise your right to VOTE.  Otherwise we don’t want to hear one single complaint out of you, okay?

We endorse President Barack Obama for a second term. Here’s why:

In four years Obama has proved to have the character and integrity to lead us out of financial ruin and build some good things for our future. They drove the car into the ditch and drunkenly tossed Brother Barry the keys – what he inherited was a country on the verge of financial collapse with a growing bad reputation in the neighborhood. With steady hands and determination he managed, without much help from the Republicans in Congress, to slowly rebuild our nation and make it stronger. Sure he didn’t do everything he promised he would. But he accomplished a lot, despite unrelenting attacks on him every time he drew a breath.

Me (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Let’s call it like it is – racist hatred came out in full force over the last four years like sewage from an overflowing septic tank. We’re getting better at this racism thing, but we still suck at it. And Obama faced it with honor and grace. People reversed their own positions completely – just so they could fight him, box him out, sandbag him, or try to put him in his place. Some of these people would have mowed down their own grandma with an SUV if Obama was helping her across the street. Regardless of who captures this race for the next four years, Obama has made us proud with his style of steadily fighting for what he believed was good for the country – without trashing other people in the process. That’s a style of American we can support.

Billi Kid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

There are a lot of people who will be affected by your vote for Obama/Biden:

Artists: If you are an artist and care for the arts in this country or if you have an artist friend or relative, Obama is your man. Romney promises to gut the National Endowment for the Arts, National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System, and to put Big Bird on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Teachers: If you are a teacher and care for our schools and our kids education or if you have a teacher friend or a relative, Obama’s got your back. He has also been on the side of most working people in general, and supports union people and families, fire fighters, car workers, the whole enchilada.

GLBT folks: Dude was a little slow at first, but eventually O and Biden have proven to be torch bearers in one of the most important civil rights issue of our time. If you are not gay but you have friends or relatives who are, voting for Obama will help make sure that LGBT aren’t stripped of their rights again. It’s rough to go back in the closet once you are out, and you really should have the same rights as everybody else.

BAST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Social Service workers: Only Obama and the Democrats are committed to help funding our social safety net – This prevents people from falling into despair and poverty when they are old, sick, unemployed, hungry, disabled. It’s what we are supposed to do – take care of our people. Millions of families are poorer now than ever before and Money Bags Mitt and his friends will happily shred the safety net if they can make another buck. Social Services workers deal with individuals who have special needs and who need special care too – these are true heroes of our communities. If you have a family member or friend who is mentally ill or physically challenged, you know who are the people who work with them to treat them and care for them with dignity. Obama and Co. will work to make sure that they keep getting what they need to do God’s work, instead of figuring out ways to cut budgets for food, travel, medical treatment, rehabilitation.

Immigrants: If you know a friend or a relative who is a decent human being, a hard worker and a value to our society who cannot secure a safe position in the community due his or her legal status in this country you will help them to achieve their dreams by casting a vote for Obama. Scapegoating people who have consistently contributed great things to society is kind of sick. Keeping people afraid and economically insecure is so below us.

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Women: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was Obama’s first – giving women the right to sue after they realize they’ve been getting paid less than men. He also put two women on the Supreme Court by the way. Mitt and his buddies may have binders full of women but the ugly truth is they have been totally busy rolling back the clock on women’s rights to the 1950s, or 1850s.  If you are a woman or love one, support women’s right to live in the 2010s.

People who breathe air and drink water: Not that he’s been the best, and Obama’s still giving up too much to the oil / goal / gas lobbies – but Romney will just hand over everything, including public lands, and will decimate any pretense at protecting our land, water, and air.

People who get sick: About 30 million more people will be able to get healthcare now than 4 years ago. Obamacare isn’t going to be perfect because he gave into the insurance companies too much during negotiations, but it’s a Hell of a lot better now than four years ago – and we can build on this plan. Pre-existing medical condition? – You can’t get dropped like a hot potato anymore. You can also stay on your parents’ health insurance till your 25. That didn’t exist 4 years ago. Mitt wants to scrap the whole thing.

Rocksmith (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Old People and Future Old People: Just like the Bush-Cheney people before them, when it comes to Social Security and healthcare, Romney and Ryan want to slice and dice that shit, and play it on the horses. If we had let George put Social Security into investments in the stock market like he wanted to, your grandma would be starving right now. That would have crashed in ’09.  Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid – that’s yours baby. Social Security is the most successful program in human history that has helped prevent millions of old people from falling through the cracks . Don’t let them slice and dice it away. You are gonna need it later. No kidding.

The President and the First Lady have endured a lot since the day they moved into the White House and in a lot of ways they have made us proud and sometimes full of admiration. Keeping them there is an excellent way to tell the haters how bad their behavior has been – And that the first time we elected him wasn’t a fluke.

Okay we’ve said our piece. It’s not about Street Art, really, and we’re not strictly thought of as political analysts.  But you know, this blog is about you and people who follow this ongoing conversation that artists have on the street. Politics, sex, love, money, power, social issues; Somehow it’s all related. Most importantly you should probably just vote your conscience, and thanks for your time and support.

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vote Honky (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spagnola (photo © Jaime Rojo)

HeadHoods (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maya Hayuk did this new one just this week. Next day it was marred by what some might call an attempt at Voter Suppression. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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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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