We post images from a mural in Atlanta photographed a number of years ago by Jaime Rojo, as we remember with admiration, gratitude, and respect Congressman John Lewis of Georgia.
“I APPEAL TO ALL OF YOU TO GET INTO THIS GREAT REVOLUTION THAT IS SWEEPING THIS NATION. GET IN AND STAY IN THE STREETS OF EVERY CITY, EVERY VILLAGE AND HAMLET OF THIS NATION UNTIL TRUE FREEDOM COMES, UNTIL THE REVOLUTION OF 1776 IS COMPLETE” – John Lewis, March on Washington, August 28, 1963
Naturally, there are a number of talented Street Artists who are currently working around the city also, and you’ve seen many of them here on BSA. On Noche De Los Museos, Street Artists Entes, Pesimo and Conrad collaborated on some walls together for the non-commercial event, painting directly on walls inside the gallery Sala Luis Miró Quesada Garland (see the video below).
Our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Anarkia, Gaia, Sien, Stem, Tats Cru, Woebots, Velma from Scooby Doo and XAM.
Anarkia (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Gaia (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
This version of Velma looks a little sexified. Mysterious. Artist Unknown (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Tats Cru (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
Who’s your Daddy? Here is a brand new DNA testing truck coming soon to a corner near you. Tats Cru redefines the use of the taco truck in this work in progress for a commercial company…stay tuned. (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
How’s this for a tag? XAM. (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
The new right wing Republican slogan? Artist Unknown (photo @ Jaime Rojo)
So you had to work over the weekend, and then catch up on laundry? No prob! Check out some of the eye candy we caught at Scope and Fountain. We also walked by Amory but decided against it and checked out the crocuses in the park since it was a warm and sunny day and too much art is too much! No terrific insights except to say that there is a lot of derivative work out there, amongst the rock hard gems, and the chocolately delicious. It’s all subjective of course.
Woo Hooooooooo! Street Art and graffiti shows are hopping tonight ya’ll! With shows in Chinatown, Dumbo, and Williamsburg, you’re going to have to take the train and the bus if you want to catch it all.
1. Cake and Don Pablo Pedro at Mighty Tanaka (DUMBO)
2. “All Talk” Group Show at Pandemic (Williamsburg, BK)
3. “Snowblind” at Klughause (Chinatown)
4. “Ocean Size” at Kunsthalle Galapagos Gallery SATURDAY 2/18 (DUMBO) 5. “What I Know,” curated by Jason Andrew
6. ” The Permanent Collection Volume II: My Own Private Serpico,” English Kills Gallery
7. Kraftwerk Retrospective at MOMA in April
8. William Thomas Porter – Splendid Cycles (VIDEO)
9. Connor Harrington “Black Herds of the Rain” (VIDEO)
10. JAZ in Mexico City with MAMUTT (VIDEO)
11. Nuria Mora in South Africa (VIDEO)
Cake and Don Pablo Pedro at Mighty Tanaka (DUMBO)
We’ve interviewed Cake this week, and Don Pablo Pedro when he wasn’t in shows, and we can assure you that “Inside Out” is about all the disgusting little bits you keep inside. Tonight they’re out at Mighty Tanaka.
For further information regarding this show click here
“All Talk” Group Show at Pandemic (Williamsburg, BK)
“Some of New York City’s boldest anti-heros, cynics and preachers” – Say no more! Tell me where to sign. “All Talk” is the new group show at Pandemic Gallery opens today with the participation of: Aakash Nihalani, Andrew H. Shirley, Cassius Fouler, Destroy & Rebuild, Gabriel Specter, Isabel Lasala, J. Ralph Phillips, Jenna Hicock, Jesse Edwards, Map, Merk, and NohJColey.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Snowblind” at Klughause (Chinatown)
We’re gonna start calling it SLUGHOUSE because their first 3 shows have been heavy hitters for such a small scrappy gallery at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, near a Police Precinct, and yet in damn near darkness. The concept for tonights show is cool, but what’s cooler is CARNAGE, the magazine by Ray Mock, one of the best graffiti photogs on the street today. Oh, also, Martha Cooper is in the show. See ya there!. “Snowblind” opens today with the participation of Martha Cooper, Ray Mock, Alexander Richter, Mike P, Bob Barry, Oscar Arriola, Graham Shimberg, Michael Fales, and Jesse Edwards.
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Ocean Size” at Kunsthalle Galapagos Gallery SATURDAY 2/18 (DUMBO)
Yo, we checked this one out as it was going up yesterday – It’s worth it and Toronto based Street Artist and fine artist Troy Lovegates just killed it with this brand new piece which we’re showing you a detail of below.
For further information regarding this show click here.
Also happening this weekend
“What I Know,” curated by Jason Andrew – The Bushwick arts leader who makes art happen, Mr. Andrew curates a 40 person show at NYCAMS (New York Center for Art and Media Studies), opening tonight. Download the PDF here
English Kills Gallery Permanent Collection opening Friday night : ” The Permanent Collection Volume II: My Own Private Serpico,” the second installment of works from the English Kills Permanent Collection featuring David Pappaceno, Don Pablo Pedro, Cleon Peterson, Steven Thompson, Brent Owens, Vilaykorn Sayaphet, Hiroshi Shafer, Joe Borelli, Frank Stella, Peter Dobill, Andy Piedilato, Jim Herbert, Tyrome Tripoli, Kevin Brady, Jenn Brehm, Kevin Regan, Giles Thompson, Jeff Clark, Mike Olin, Shane Heinemeier, Dan Taylor, Lenny Reibstein, Tescia Seufferlein, Andrew Ohanesian, Andrew Hurst, Austin Thomas, Evan Ryer, Gary Cullen
Kraftwerk Retrospective at MOMA in April – Tickets on Sale Wed 2/22
The live presentation “Kraftwerk-Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8″ will explore their pioneering electronic music and each of their eight, groundbreaking studio albums with a unique set of projected images (some in 3-D ):
The music called electronic was basically created by Kraftwerk, who began four decades ago and whose influence and flat out appropriated music appears in work by these artists, to name a few: Jay-Z, Coldplay, Afrika Bambaata, Chemical Brothers, Pink Floyd, Fatboy Slim, New Order, Fergie, Ladytron, Missy Elliott, Franz Ferdinand, Thompson Twins, and yes, McDonna.
William Thomas Porter – Splendid Cycles (VIDEO)
Creater and builder of the famous “F*ck Bike 001” now on view at the Museum of Sex show “F*ck Art”, here is a video following William Thomas Porter around on his preferred form of transportation. “I wouldn’t call them mutants,” he says of his bike caricatures, “because that would make them sound ugly. It’s more like creating this… splendid form.”
Connor Harrington “Black Herds of the Rain” (VIDEO)
Like a lot of the artists crawling around Bushwick, Brooklyn today, Street Artist duo Skewville were once hustling to get a show in a gallery or “art space” – only to find out that few people showed up, understood their concept, and almost nobody bought it. A testament to youth and bravado and their persistence, they eventually wore us down.
Now as he’s rummaging through his crates and boxes of Skewville memorabilia, Ad Deville has a wry smile on his face. DeVille, along with his twin Droo, has made a lot of work since they first started throwing their screen printed jig-sawed shoes (dogs) up over electrical wires around New York and the world in the 90s. This week Ad’s a busy man again at Factory Fresh gallery as he’s preparing for their joint birthday party, because he’s dragging it all back out and nailing it to a wall.
“I feel nostalgic of course but at the same time as I pull old stuff out I realized how much initially people didn’t care, how much people didn’t get it. We hardly ever sold one piece at the first shows. Instead of feeling bad that made us work harder to come out with different ideas and make new stuff”
Their 80th Birthday Retro Retrospective Friday night will be an opportunity for you to tell Ad and Droo how much you totally “got it” from the very beginning. You’ll see things like a metal version of the dogs they once experimented with, a door slammed with stickers from the gallery he and Ali Ha had on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, and examples of their newer hardware inspired sculptures.
As he’s pulling trunks, shopping carts, crates and boxes out of the basement and poking his head inside the walk-in freezer looking for “vintage” Skewville pieces, you can see that their output throughout the years has been prolific and the mess of creativity makes you feel overwhelmed with joy as well and alert to the need for hand sanitizer.
When we asked him how felt opening all of those boxes he remarks,”When I was 28 I felt old and bitter. Now that I’m older I feel like 28 but I’m not bitter. Being bitter is not productive.” So there you have it. He’s no longer bitter. Just really old.
This piece is still wet because Overunder finished it as the sun set tonight as part of Living Walls : Albany. Samson Contompasis caught this quick phone pic with the subject of the portrait posing with his painted self. More Overunder coming soon!
Oh, it’s all good fun! Piles of tires on fire, people running in the streets, acts of desperation, pestilence, unending video surveillance; This is one vision of 2012 we hear these days.
Avoid, Bloke, and Faro have been holed up inside Factory Fresh building a destroyed urban scene in the front room for about three weeks to warn us of the impending cavalcade of calamity headed our way in only 3 short years.
And they haven’t been doing it alone. Ask the Factory Fresh interns, the woodworking engineer Garrett, or the curator and producer of the show Alex Emmert, “We are all working together on this. We are all learning from each other at all times.” In short, to create an end-of-times societal and environmental meltdown, you need everyone to collaborate.
Start placing your bets, neighbors, because you know it is definitely coming – the end of civilization as we know it. The end of civilization has been of course predicted for most of human civilization – Everyone from the Montanists to Nostradamus, Hippolytus to Pope Innocent III, to Jim and Tammy Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Jerry Falwell; they have all claimed to have the inside special knowledge revealed only to a select few.
The year 2012 is being gazed upon by prophets and prognosticators as the next possible sunset to civilization and/or spiritual awakening. At your fingertips on the WWW is a swirling bubbling caldron of relevant indicators and evidence of this ominous date where a few of the worlds major religious belief systems and the Mayan Calendar neatly dovetail.
It’s not really clear whether Avoid, Bloke and Faro really believe that there will be a calamity that marks the end of civilization in 2012, or if they are just reacting to the ever-increasing pressures of economic insecurity, loss of personal liberties, and the threats of war and strife that exist in the modern world. If you are in the right audience and living under the right conditions, you may be convinced that it is very near the end of the world, and who could blame you?
“On the Eve of Armageddon : an Account of the Scriptural Teaching Relating to the War Among the Nations Which Will Engulf Civilization, and Immediately Precede the Universal and Eternal Kingdom of Peace.”, Haynes, Carlyle Boynton. Washington: Review and Herald Pub. Association, 1946.
Yo, What’s Good?
I clearly remember sitting on a hardwood church pew while a tall bearded Charismatic Pentacostal dude stood in front of an audience of 300 and revealed to the hushed and horrified crowd that the seven year “Tribulation” would begin in 1981 (as per messages from God that had been revealed to him and other elders of the church). Across the congregation, people’s knees weakened and stomachs grew nauseous with fear and hands jolted into the air, and voices raised in exultation and praise. At that moment, you could have convinced that crowd to impale live babies with spears or eat at Olive Garden or even vote for a B-list Hollywood actor to dismantle the middle class, so strong was the power of prophecy and fear. Thankfully, those days are safely behind us and people don’t use fear to manipulate crowds anymore.
Oh sure, NOW you tell us!! New Hampshire Street Art! (Mark at Nozell.com)
But here we are and “2012” is nearly upon us. As you walk into the main gallery space you will be greeted by a burning city of plywood. Although it may be hard to be too frightened when the ominous clouds are in fact fluffy, and the licking fire that engulfs the cityscape reminds you of PeeWee Herman playtimes. Even the surveillance cameras are swervy and playful. “Yeah, we wanted it to be kind of ‘Adult Swim’, kind of absurd”, explains Faro.
Alex holds the clouds, that’s how powerful he is. (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Signs are painted brightly with a loose hand, and are covered with mixed symbols from scientific, religious, and graff influence. Avoid springs avidly over to the corner booth where a video will be visible through a rectangular viewer, and describes that visitors will see scenes of, “chaos, car crashes, people jumping off bridges”. As they happily describe the scene of urban apocalypse you could get the idea that “evil” might actually sport a tail and some pointy horns.
Letter and Symbols for the future (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Alex Emmert explains the concept of the room, “My background is in exhibition design, I have a Masters degree in Museum Studies and I focus on exhibition design. So I’ve been wanting to have the freedom to put together an art show that uses some of the things I’ve learned as well as the ideas of the artists so that we can all kind of work together. It’s better than just having me be the curator.”
Avoid agrees that Alex is a real teammate, “You can do some things a lot better than we can. Otherwise, this show would just be some cardboard!”
“I think if Alex wasn’t willing to do this then none of this would have turned out,” says Faro
The scene in the gallery last weekend. A lot of building yet to do. (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Beyond the opening stage-setting scene room is a gallery where the three artists, variously from graffiti and street art backgrounds, display a series of smallish (9” square) wooden canvasses that spell out their tentative entry into the hallowed halls of fine art.
Hovercrafting into the future (Bloke) (photo by Steven P. Harrington)
Bloke presents a series of variations on his submarine-dirigibles in whimsical line-drawn variations. Each one is afloat, and looks like it could crash were it not for powerful propulsion mechanisms at work.
Avoid being recorded in front of his wall (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Stopping mid-circle to show his stuff, Avoid quickly shuffles through hand-painted Superman 3-D text-based gold leaf slogans; ringing ironic bells of recognition or standing quizzically on your tongue. Faro, with an illustrator’s hand, renders symbols and patterns with precision and lyric.
Each artist takes a crack at a larger scale canvas (40”x 60”), and that’s when their differences break out and the personal voice gets stronger. The backyard cinder block walls make their individual focuses even clearer. Collectively, it’s a multi-headed monster with many messages and developing storylines.
A pile of tentacles waiting to be installed (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Brooklyn Street Art: Has Alex been directing you guys?
Faro: Yeah, I mean, he just got it.
Alex: Then we also brought in this guy named Garrett Wohnrade who is one of my business partner Caleb’s old friends, who is a wood worker and he just has been knocking sh*t out. Garrett has really embraced this project and it has given him the opportunity to show what he’s up to.
Avoid: His knowledge structurally of how things work is great … I mean this is a large structure we are building.
Faro: Yeah, actually I learned that some people can do certain things like sawing wood, that I cannot do. I’ve learned to stick to what I do, do what I do good. I paint and I draw.
Studio inspiration; Hawthorn & Black Angels on vinyl, Egyptian Art History for symbols and history of Alexandria for architecture (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Alex: This show gives us a chance to provide something that is real, something that is authentic. It’s not “street art”. It’s not grafitti. It’s fine art from artists otherwise known as a grafitti artist or street artist. That’s what makes it so special, you know, it’s like this is the fine art aspect of that rebellious side.
Brooklyn Street Art: So you are presenting both graff and street art in the show as part of a continuum…
Avoid: In some ways we are presenting neither as well, because it’s not on the street, it’s not grafitti. It’s the fine arts presentation of artists that also do graffiti and if you want to call it street art you can. “Street Art” is a label, I think, that was made to sell a product. And that is fine, if you want to do that.
Brooklyn Street Art: It’s probably worthwhile to try to differentiate between one type of expression so that people can understand what you are speaking about in a conversation. If you say “graff” then something specific pops into your mind. You say “street art” and you think “that could be a number of different things”.
Faro: That’s true.
Alex: I don’t know, I just feel like New York City has been in some ways years behind the rest of the world in terms of “Street Art” and graffiti. Because it seems like everybody else has just been meshing the two cultures. – You’ve got that in Barcelona, Tokyo, in Brazil. But New York City has this traditional graffiti culture and we can pay respect where respect is due, and that’s awesome. But something needs to happen to bring NYC on par with the whole resurgence and renaissance that is going on in the rest of the world. And that is what this show represents, it’s the culmination of street art and graffiti, regardless of what they mean externally to many people. We want to expand together.
Vision of Avoid (detail) (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Avoid: You approach each letter separately and you also approach the way that they relate to the next letter, and the balance of the overall piece, like in traditional graffiti. But also, each day I wake up and I feel different so I come up and take a different approach.
Brooklyn Street Art: Faro, do you feel different every day when you wake up to make stuff?
Detail of Faro’s big piece (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Faro: It’s phases for me. The way I look at my stuff is that it should somehow all make sense. And that’s how I draw and how I do everything. Somehow it has to all make sense, for me at least.
I do not care what you think of my artwork. You can call it graffiti, street art, call it whatever the hell you want. I’m just doing for myself and I just love it, I enjoy it, I like it, it’s just like my hobby, it’s what I do. What else am I going to do? Go steal something? Rob people, be a gangsta? No. I don’t want to be a gangster. I’d rather just sit and draw and stuff. And ride my bike. And I also meet a lot of people through it.
Wizardry with Symbols, shy Faro (photo Steven P. Harrington)
Brooklyn Street Art: What about the collaborative process you’ve experienced with these guys?
Faro: Beautiful. It opens my eyes to a lot more things, you know what I mean? I wasn’t really into abstract until I started seeing Avoid’s artwork, more and more. And I just understood it now for the first time.
Thanks to the “2012” team for taking a minute out of the preparations for this show, an undertaking they are taking quite seriously. These may be the “end days” and that is one of the themes expressed in this show. But from the excitement and industry, the volley of ideas and the spirit of collaboration surrounding this beehive at Factory Fresh, you may also see that these are the beginning days, days of promise and discovery when you can witness these artists finding new ways to express the creative spirit, even as they build a scene of destruction.