All posts tagged: Spazmat

Getting High on Public Space: Old Rollers and Urban Planning

Seen from the perch of the Highline, surrounded by a carefully curated urban wilderbush and postmodern biosculpture, the boisterous cacophony of the honking screeching streets below fades into a minimalist Phillip Glass plain, peppered with sharpened and sweet Sufjan Stevens sonnets and Nina Simone longings.  Sometimes NYC is best viewed and enjoyed from its high points. Most of the city is up here anyway.

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Revs and Cost. This tag by these legendary duo echoes despite power washing (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Summer streets are a swirling gritty brew of culture and commerce, happenings and happenstance. To have the opportunity to go to heaven without leaving earth or NYC for that matter is what a well designed public space like the Highline is successful at.  Of course it took years of fostering, finagling, financing.  A melding of vision and vitriol, the outcome has been an astounding urban oasis. Opened in June of 2009 it has been an instant success, attracting thousands daily.

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Ceptr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A once abandoned carcass winding through this lower west side swath of Manhattan, the reclaimed former elevated freight railroad once connected factories and warehouses. Unused for nearly 30 years except by youthful graffiti artists and couples in love, it has debuted as on open pedestrian thoroughfare, a private and public place for citizenry, born from the vision of people and planners. As the second section opened last week the talents of so many are on display : architects, landscape designers, furniture designers, lighting designers and engineers all continue to work on its development (a 3rd phase is in the works) exhausting the limits of their talents and imagination to make this urban gem; a work of art in a city famous for being a difficult place to make things happen.

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

Here is a taste of the visual experience on the new section and some of the neighborhood it rises above and amidst; Blending the architecture with a bit of archeology, you can see old graffiti that was on the walls of the buildings next to it. It ads relevance, and interestingly, a sense of history, complimented by new commissioned public art installed along the park’s pathways and today’s Street Art below. Despite efforts to pressure wash some of these burners and rollers, one can still appreciate the outlines of the tags and the remnants of the paint on the brick walls; strains of an eroded and beautiful decay rising from the orchestra.

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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A view of the old rail tracks and the possible future Section 3 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sarah Sze. An installation entitled “Still Life With Landscape (Model for Habitat)” Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Ms. Sze’s sculpture is for birds, butterflies and insects wtih perches, feeding spots and birdbaths. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sarah Sze. Animal dwellings against the backdrop of their fellow human dwellings (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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Photo © Jaime Rojo

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An old Skullphone wheat paste  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The Park has been successful for business below with some new impresarios bringing amusements for children and adults (next to these balloons there is the beer garden). (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The view looking south (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The view looking East (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gaia installed this piece right below the park on the 20th St. entrance (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kenny Scharf right below the park near the 30th Street entrance (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For information about The High Line Park click on the link beow:

http://www.thehighline.org/

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Images Of The Week 02.13.11

Brooklyn-Street-Art-IMAGES-OF-THE-WEEK_05-2010This week Revok was in town and hit up a wall with Tats Cru; a new mural entitled “The Quiet Before the Storm”, providing the Lower East of Manhattan with some much need color. We also re-visited a couple of BSA favorites like the Shepard Fairey’s piece on the Cooper Square Hotel and a few WK Interacts scattered around LES. It’s great to see and photograph these pieces when imbued with February’s cold gray and blue light.

And now our weekly interview with the street, this week including Bio, BG183, GS, How & Nosm, Invader, Revok, Shark Toof, Shepard Fairey, Spazmat, Tats Cru, TMNK and WK Interact. Update. Thank you RJ at Vandalog for sending out the tweet abut the Mel Kadel (on the no loitering sign) sticker and helping our readers with the artist’s name.

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Revok and Tats Cru “The Quiet Before the Storm” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Revok and Tats Cru “The Quiet Before the Storm” Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Revok and Tats Cru “The Quiet Before the Storm” Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Revok and Tats Cru “The Quiet Before the Storm” Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shepard Fairey. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TMNK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A poppy colored veil for Spazmat so you can’t read lips while he’s on the phone. Wait, he doesn’t have lips. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Minotaur Stencil (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mel Kadel..You heard it! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Seems like people are in such a rush these days, doesn’t it? WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“For the last time, this is not 1C and I did not order a pizza!” Vintage WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Forgive me Father for I….erm, uh, too late buddy.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Home of the golden mustache ride! GS in Miami Art Basel 2010 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This photo was shot mere seconds before Invader was eaten in Miami!  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Street Art And The Day Of The Dead

“Dia de los Muertos”

Skulls are everywhere on the street today, and here is a collection to mark The Day of the Dead. The commemoration of people who have passed is observed nation-wide in Mexico every year at this time. Although it is not a national holiday, the strictly religious and cultural observance is revered and, depending on the region, it varies in the ways in which the holiday is marked.

The cultural aspect of this holiday has inspired many artists, filmmakers and poets. Here we have selected images of Street Art culled from our library to mark the Dia de Los Muertos, focusing on the most prominent symbol used to represent this holiday: “Las Calaveras” or skulls.

PeruanaAnaperu (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

PeruanaAnaperu (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Imminent Disaster. Detail (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Imminent Disaster. Detail (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mexico’s  “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” takes place every year on November 2 to coincide with the catholic holiday of “El Dia de los Santos” or “All Saints Day”. The Day of the Dead is not the Mexican equivalent of Halloween. The Day of the Dead in Mexico is a celebration of Death and it does not carry any of the connotations of fear, fantasy and gore that Halloween does.

El Sol 25 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

This religious and cultural holiday can be traced as long ago as 3000 years. Before the conquest of what’s now modern Mexico in the pre-Hispanic era the indigenous cultures celebrated death, rebirth and their ancestors by displaying human skulls as memento mori.

Gaia Channels Mexican Artist Jose Guadalupe Posada (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia Channels Mexican Artist Jose Guadalupe Posada (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Booker (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Booker (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Elbow Toe (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Elbow Toe (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

When the Spanish missionaries arrived more than 500 years ago they tried without success to eradicate such pagan and sacrilegious celebrations that seem to mock death while converting the indigenous people to Christianity. To the Spaniards death was the end of life but to the Aztecs it was a continuation of a journey not yet completed. The Aztecs embraced death and they celebrated it for the entire month of August, the ninth month of the Aztec Calendar, and the festivities were presided by the goddess Mictecacihuatl or “Lady of the Dead” presumed to have died at birth.

Spazmat/Skullphone (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spazmat/Skullphone (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Spaniards were met with fierce resistance in their attempts to vanish the rituals so in frustration they sought and found a common ground with the natives by moving the pagan rituals to coincide with the Catholic holiday of “El Dia de los Santos” or “All Saints Day” on November 2.

Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Modern Mexicans remember their friends and family members that have departed from life by honoring them with extravagant festivities that, depending in the region might include lavish offerings or “ofrendas” in private altars in the cemeteries at the tombs of their loved ones and/or at home. It is a day of celebration and many people elect to stay overnight at the cemetery for prayer, and remembrance but partying, eating and drinking is encouraged and expected always following the norms of respect and decorum for the defunct.

Look at that Bunny! (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Look at that Bunny! (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ludo (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ludo (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

These “ofrendas” or gifts include the most favored dishes, foods and beverages that their loved ones enjoyed while alive. They also include photos and other personal mementos of the deceased ones. The “ofrendas” are meant to be eaten and shared by the relatives and friends of the departed and sometimes they are very elaborate five course dinners. Other times the relatives might choose to have a daytime picnic at the cemetery and return to their homes at dusk. The “ofrendas” are believed to nurture and help the souls of the dead while in their journey to heaven.

Some people use this day to just take their customary once a year trip to the cemetery to clean and maintain the tomb of their loved ones.

Y The Fuiste (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Y Te Fuistes  (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Regardless of the singular cultural distinction of each region two symbols are common throughout the country: “La Calavera” or The Sugar Skull and “La Catrina” or The Skeleton Lady. The Skulls can be made of sugar and chocolate and often are inscribed with the recipient’s names and are gifts to both the living and the dead. There is also “El Pan de Muertos” or “Bread of the Dead” which Mexicans give as gifts to the visiting relatives for their journey back home.

It is said that Mexicans not only celebrate death they also eat it.

Sweet Toof (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sweet Toof (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dr. Hoffman (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dr. Hoffman (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Smilee (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Smilee (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

PMP (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

PMP (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Matt Siren (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Matt Siren (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Viki (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Viki (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Main Banner image credit: Jose Guadalupe Posada “Gran Calavera Eléctrica” Courtesy Library of Congress.

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Street Art in NYC: Weathering Storms, Fending Off Predators

In New York City, unlike London, Chicago, and San Francisco, the art on the streets has a longer run. Street Artists love to get up in New York and come from all over the world and the rest of the country for the experience of it. The city has plenty of walls and the artists know that if they are lucky to get up their pieces can stay there for weeks or even years without being disturbed. If the piece survives predators or the capricious moods of New York weather, time will add a natural depth to the art. These pieces don’t simply surrender their character, they aggregate it, eventually attaining an aura of invincibility.

Some stencils acquire an ore patina against the rusted metal that is a wonder to behold, a finish that decorative painters strive for years to achieve. Layers of paint begin to peel and give the art a sense of movement and life. Wheat-pastes that survive summer storms and winter Nor’easters are imbued with a new whimsical life as they curl, buckle, shred: starting their transformation and ultimate disappearance.

Street art is ephemeral but it can also be resilient; a metamorphosis that, when underway, is always fascinating and pleasure to see. We present here pieces that have endured many a storm and lived to tell a story.

Gaia (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gaia. Detail  (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

C215 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
C215 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cake (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cake (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Elbow Toe (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elbow Toe . Detail.  (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pink Silhouette (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pink Silhouette (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Con Cojo (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Con Cojo (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gaia. Detail (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

General Howe (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
General Howe (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Swoon. Detail  (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Elbow Toe (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elbow Toe (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Imminent Disaster (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Imminent Disaster (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spazmat (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Spazmat (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jef Aerosol (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jef Aerosol (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Imminent Disaster. Detail (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Imminent Disaster. Detail (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Swoon. Detail  (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Year In Images 2009 from Jaime Rojo

Street Art photographer Jaime Rojo captured a few thousand images in 2009 to help document the wildly growing Street Art scene in New York.

A veteran of 10 years shooting the streets of New York, Rojo has amassed a collection of images that capture the scene with the appreciation of an artist. To celebrate the creative spirit that is alive and well on the streets of New York, this slide video gives a taste of what happened in ‘09, without pretending to present the whole scene or all the artists, known and anonymous, who add to the ongoing conversation.

Included in this collection of images (in no particular order) are pieces by Skewville, Specter, The Dude Company, Judith Supine, C215, WK Interact, Anthony Lister, Miss Bugs, Bast, Chris from Robots Will Kill (RWK), Os Gemeos, Cake, Celso, Imminent Disaster, Mark Cavalho, NohJ Coley, Elbow Toe, Feral, Poster Boy, Bishop203, Jon Burgerman, Royce Bannon, Damon Ginandes, Conor Harrington, Gaia, JC2, Logan Hicks, Chris Stain, Armsrock, Veng from Robots Will Kill (RWK), Noah Sparkes, Robots Will Kill, Heracut, Billy Mode, Revs, Skullphone, Spazmat, Mint and Serf, Roa, Aakash Nihilani, Broken Crow, Peru Ana Ana Peru, & Cern

All images © Jaime Rojo

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Images of The Week 12.06.09

Images of The Week 12.06.09

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Our Weekly Interview With the Street

Click to enlarge.

Here's to the new kid on the block
Welcome Wagon Calling – never have seen this before but it’s in a number of interpretations in a number of locations. (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood
Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood (detail)
Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood (detail) (©Jaime Rojo)

C215, Chris Uphues
C215, Chris Uphues (© Jaime Rojo)

Of Mice and Cats. We at BSA have noticed that perhaps street artists are more partial to cats than they are to dogs. Your comments please...
Of Mice and Cats. BSA has noticed that perhaps street artists are more partial to cats than they are to dogs. Your comments please… (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Billi Kid
We spotted Billi Kid and Shiro flying at night (©Jaime Rojo)

Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood
Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood (detail)
Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood (detail) (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Lister
Pursed lips, arched eyebrow, Anthony Lister (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

LMNOP 64 (Our cats in Street Art theory is further re-inforced)
LMNOP 64 (Our cats in Street Art theory is further re-inforced)(photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Specter
Specter, from his “Manage Work Flow” series (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Specter (detail)
Specter (detail) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LMNOP 64
LMNOP 64 (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Spazmat
One of the neighborhood regulars (Spazmat) (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Specter's first installament of his new "Readymades" series
Take an abandoned building, whitewash while masking out rectangle shapes, creating “framed” art, sign name. Discuss… “Readymades” series, Specter (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

Specter (detail)
Specter (detail) (photo ©Jaime Rojo)

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