All posts tagged: Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories

Gilf! “Back Talk” Conversation



To introduce readers to some of the Street Artists in the show “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories”, BSA asked a number of the artists to take part in “Back Talk” with one of our most trusted and underground and sweet sources for modern art, Juxtapoz.

Today we hear from Gilf!

One reason you make art: I make art to change people’s perspectives, and to bring awareness to major issues that face our whole planet. I also do it to make people smile. Street art is an amazing tool that allows me to speak to people with whom I wouldn’t get the chance in real life.


Gilf! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read “Back Talk: A conversation with Gilf!” on Juxtapoz:

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Mark Carvalho “Back Talk” Conversation



To introduce readers to some of the Street Artists in the show “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories”, BSA asked a number of the artists to take part in “Back Talk” with one of our most trusted and underground and sweet sources for modern art, Juxtapoz.

Today we hear from Mark Carvalho.

Something you want the world to know about you:
“I only sing two songs for karaoke; Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ and Tupac’s ‘How do you want it’.”


Mark Carlvalho (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read “Back Talk: A conversation with Mark Carvalho” on Juxtapoz:

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Indigo “Back Talk” Conversation



To introduce readers to some of the Street Artists in the show “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories”, BSA asked a number of the artists to take part in “Back Talk” with one of our most trusted and underground and sweet sources for modern art, Juxtapoz.

Today we hear from Indigo.

Artists you admire:

“I admire everyone who has the courage to spend hours, weeks, months and years turning thoughts and feelings into things, then putting them out into the world for others to respond with love or hate or complete indifference.  I admire anyone who has the integrity to create for themselves, first and foremost.  I admire those who are constantly pushing themselves to try new ideas, use new mediums, reach out to new audiences and immerse themselves in uniquely challenging experiences.  I admire everyone who has taken a leap of faith, fallen into dark and swirling waters and after what often seems like a lifetime of struggle, reached the sunshine on the other side – only to do it all over again.”


Indigo (photo © Victoria Potter)

Read “Back Talk: A conversation with Indigo” on Juxtapoz:

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Mystery Revealed : Hellbent’s Jaw belonged to Sigmund Freud

The streets are covered with symbols and markings that have meaning to the maker, their peers, and to passersby. Depending on socio-political-geo-historical factors, you may or may not know what certain tags or images are meant to indicate and aside from gang indicia, no one seems particularly alarmed by this fact that street art and graffiti is often a nest of hidden meanings.


Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

One such symbol that has often appeared on the street is the bottom jaw from Hellbent, rough and jagged, hovering above a bed of psychedelic or pastel floral patterns. If it happened once, you might think “Oh, it’s part of a series and I’ll figure it out when I see the other pieces”. In fact, no. It’s the one symbol that Hellbent repeats most often, and it is perplexing.


Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

We finally got an answer from the artist regarding the genesis of the jaw when he was describing his current piece in the LA show “Street Art Saved My Life” and, while it sheds light on the background, somehow it raises more questions. In the story about this Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis, we postulate that the jaw represents our base animal qualities and our similarities to the ruthless animal kingdom, all the while acknowledging the ultimate fragility of a simple bone structure, and be extraction, us. Anyway, before we psychoanalyze it further and bore everybody in the room, here’s what Hellbent says:

“Sigmund Freud at age of 67 appeared in a clinic in Vienna because he had discovered some hard, smooth spots on his jaw. After the doctor examined him it was discovered that they were cancerous and the lesions had to be removed immediately. Since the hospital population at that time was at capacity, Freud was put in a makeshift room that he shared with dwarf. After his operation while his family was out, Freud began to hemorrhage and was unable to call out, while laying bleeding on the floor. If not for the dwarf roommate Freud would have surely died and with this I began thinking of the jawbone.


Hellbent currently on view at C.A.V.E. Gallery in the show “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” (Photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

The earliest images I was influenced by as a kid were the graphics on skateboards and punk albums. The image of the human skull was a constant in a lot of these images. It was a sign of rebellion and it seemed the embrace death, where society was much more concentrated on living. But as I grew up I noticed that a lot of people who where similarly influenced by these images began to bring the skull into the mainstream. Now you see cute skulls on Paul Frank baby clothes and such.
So to get away from this trend I began to concentrate on just the jaw bone as an image. The jawbone is what is used to communicate and form words with and the way we consume food to sustain life, an important part of the human experience. I have come back to the skull and separated it from the jaw; making it two unique images that are connected through this separation. I also use a lot of animal imagery on the streets, so the jaw bone represents the human element of this world…
Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hellbent (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

I have been calling the new use of multiple floral stencils “Quilting”. I like the idea of taking all these used “scraps” to form something more tangible, something other than its self. Sometimes it makes up the border around the image and other times it is used inside of the image, giving it a cubist like quality. The colors in each of the patterns also play off one another, giving them a natural 3D quality (which is actually intensified with 3D glasses, as was discovered at my last gallery show at Mighty Tanaka) that further emphasizes this cubist element. The shapes seem to pull and push of the surface, but the image is still readily available to the viewer.”
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Chris Stain Talks About Giving Them Hell

It’s always cool to learn about an artist’s process and the story behind his or her work. Street Artist Chris Stain shares with you here where he gained inspiration for his gallery piece called “Give ‘Em Hell”.


Give ‘Em Hell, by Chris Stain, currently on view at “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories”. (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

“When I was a kid growing up in Baltimore we always played baseball and pretended we were Eddie Murray or Rick Dempsey when stepping up to bat. It wasn’t until later that I realized that a baseball bat could be used as an equalizer when the bigger kids thought it was a good idea to kick my ass for the fun of it.

This piece represents for me standing up for yourself and the things you believe in. The boy in the picture was originally photographed by Boogie. The background photos were taken by me during a trip to Baltimore. I hand cut the image out of rubylith and screen printed it onto an old table I used to work on. Then I hand colored it with thinned out spray paint and wood stain.”


From our interview with Chris for Juxtapoz:

“Born in 1972 and raised in East Baltimore, Chris Stain is a New York-based, self taught stencil artist and print maker influenced by social realism, the plight of working people, and skateboarder culture. His straight-forward portraits in urban or industrial settings harken back to the Depression, when bankers and masters of industry declared war on the blue collar and poor. With blunt realism and everyday protagonists, Stain encourages passersby on the street to draw direct connections between social and economic conditions of then and today.”

Read Chris’s answers to the Back Talk questions on Juxtapoz here:

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Opening Shots from “Street Art Saved My Life” in Los Angeles

Images from the Show


The show in Los Angeles last weekend was a lot of fun, with 500 people flowing through C.A.V.E. Gallery to see studio work by some of the artists on the streets of NYC. What impressed us the most was the number of conversations we saw taking place with two or three friends gathered around a piece and discussing it and really taking it in. Marsea Goldberg, owner of New Image Gallery told us, “This is Los Angeles, we take art seriously”, and judging by the enthusiasm and knowledgeable people we met at the opening, in the back patio, and on the street, many Angelinos are interested in street art from the east coast. After comments about the dense and layered quality of the show, the next most popular topic was, “When are you going to do an LA street art show in New York?”  After we catch our breath. Thank you LA, and thank you all the artists who came out to make work on the walls.

Thank you also to photographer Carlos Gonzalez for shooting all the pieces in the show, which follows after this collage of opening night shots by Andrew Hosner from ThinkSpace, who was our partner with C.A.V.E. to make this show happen.

See a couple of links at the end of this posting for more pictures of the opening from Andrew Hosner and Karin Freda.


Adam Void (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Anthony Lister  (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Broken Crow (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


C215 (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Cake (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Chris Stain (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Clown Soldier (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Creepy (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Dan Witz (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


El Sol 25 (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


EMA (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Faile (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Futura (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Gaia (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Gilf! (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Hargo (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Hellbent (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


How and Nosm (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Imminent Disaster (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Indigo (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Kid Acne (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Know Hope (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Ludo (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Mark Carvalho (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Miss Bugs (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Nick Walker (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


NohJColey (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Other (AKA Troy Lovegates) (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


OverUnder (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Radical! (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Rene Gagnon (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Skewville (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Specter (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Sweet Toof (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Swoon (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Tiptoe (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


White Cocoa (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

If you want to see pics of opening night on Andrew Hosner’s Facebook Page please go here:

To see Karin Freda’s Flickr page of photos from the show please go here :

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TipToe “Back Talk” Conversation



To introduce readers to some of the Street Artists in the upcoming show “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories”, BSA asked a number of the artists to take part in “Back Talk” with one of our most trusted and underground and sweet sources for modern art, Juxtapoz.

Today we hear from TipToe.

Something that annoys or frustrates you about people: “Obsessions with Warhol and people who don’t know the difference between ambiguous and arbitrary”


TipToe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read “Back Talk: A conversation with TipToe” on Juxtapoz:

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Back Talk with Street Artist Radical!



To introduce readers to some of the Street Artists in the show “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories”, BSA asked a number of the artists to take part in “Back Talk” with one of our most trusted and underground and sweet sources for modern art, Juxtapoz.

Today we hear from Radical!

Artists you admire: “Henry Darger, Margaret Kilgallen (RIP), Barry McGee, Booker (Read More Books), Blu, Barbara Kruger, Robert Longo, C215, Chris Stain, Dondi White (RIP), Os Gemeos, Vrno, Gaia, Josh Keyes, the old Pottymouth Crew (Dwell, Oneunit, Mr. Prvrt), my grandpa, my professors, all of the people still going big these days.”


Radical! in Coney Island (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read “Back Talk: A conversation with Radical!” on Juxtapoz:

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Creepy In Process on a Wall in LA

Australian Street Artist in Los Angeles for “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” is working on a few walls in LA curated by BSA.  Here are some process shots of a wall in Venice from Carlos Gonzalez and the artist himself.


Creepy sketches out the beginning of a new piece (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Creepy at the top of the ramp (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Creepy adds a lot of color and texture (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Creepy (photo © a passerby unknown)


Creepy shoots his own piece (photo © Creepy)


Seems like there is an extra “e” in there, doesn’t it? (photo © Creepy)

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EMA Talks about Brooklyn: “A Place Like No Other in the World”

Street Artist EMA has created a visual metaphor for her Brooklyn with her new piece for the show, “A Place Like No Other in the World”. reflecting the love and hard-won truths one gains from persevering in a place like BK.

She describes the piece this way,
“Figurative elements are set in an abstract, art deco-inspired background, incorporating a mixture of typography, 90’s hip-hop influences and a strong female figure looking scandalously decadent in the centre of the image.


Sinusoidal abstract shapes, rain drops and floral components unite the grotesque and the fantastic in a post-industrial setting – with Williamsburg’s iconic Domino Sugar factory forming the backdrop. As the factory seems to be in fire, the figures, proud and powerful hover on top of the letter B for Brooklyn – We rock hard.”


EMA in studio creating her piece for “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” (© Ema)


See Ema’s piece at “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories” opening at C.A.V.E. Gallery this Friday, presented by Brooklyn Street Art in collaboration with ThinkSpace.

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NOHJCOLEY and Hellbent Get Up in LA

Two of Brooklyn’s finest are putting up new work in LA right now since they are in town for the show at CAVE Gallery on Friday.

Photographer Carlos Gonzales shows us works in progress from Hellbent and NohJColey.


Hellbent (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


Hellbent (photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)


(photo © Carlos Gonzalez)

SPECIAL THANKS to Patrick Iaconis and Tanya Patsaouras at CAVE Gallery for finding these walls, working with the landlords to coordinate, and keeping the back of the artists with what they need. We sincerely appreciate it.

See a brand new interactive sculpture by NohJColey and a new wall piece by Hellbent at “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories” opening at C.A.V.E. Gallery this Friday, presented by Brooklyn Street Art in collaboration with ThinkSpace.

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OverUnder “Back Talk” Conversation



To introduce readers to some of the Street Artists in the upcoming show “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories”, BSA asked a number of the artists to take part in “Back Talk” with one of our most trusted and underground and sweet sources for modern art, Juxtapoz.

Today we talk with OverUnder.

Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to:
“Dive out of a car before it flies off a cliff.”


OverUnder (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read “Back Talk: A conversation with OverUnder” on Juxtapoz:

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