All posts tagged: Street ARt Saved My Life

Anthony Lister Talks to BSA : Analysis and Constant Consideration

“I’m like a hairdresser I guess.”

Painter Anthony Lister is also a Street Artist. His surreal pop and celebrity culture-infused abstractions are candy encrusted apples which may have something sharp inside. Many are figurative studies and wire frames bending wildly into characters who cavort and mock with blunt swipes of color, overlaid by costumed sexual role play… or is that a personal projection?  Did I mention elegance, defiance, wit? Wait, there is so much here!  Truth is, his work can be a cock-eyed psychological tempest, jarring to the head, strangely sweet.


Anthony Lister in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A decade of discovery under his superhero belt, Mr. Lister continues to analyze and build his creative practice and it always includes work inside the gallery and outside on the street. He’s currently preparing for his solo show in Sydney called  “Bogan Paradise” at Gallery A.S. At the same time he’s part of a group show with a gaggle of his Aussie expats on view at 941 Geary in San Francisco for “Young and Free”, including Kid Zoom, Dabs & Myla, Dmote, New2, Ben Frost, Meggs, Ha-Ha, Reka, Rone, Sofles and Vexta.  Not to mention his participation in our show last month in Los Angeles at C.A.V.E. with Thinkspace, “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories“.

The artist took some time recently to talk to Brooklyn Street Art about his practice;

Brooklyn Street Art: How much of one of your painted portraits is autobiographical? In other words, what portion of Mr. Lister is super hero, super model, furtive schoolboy, or Homer Simpson?
Anthony Lister: I don’t really think about myself when I paint. My figurative works are more like reflections of characteristics I absorb from real life day to day.

Brooklyn Street Art: If you were to wear colored glasses, which color do you think you would most likely screen the world through?
Anthony Lister: Pink, like John Lennon.


Anthony Lister in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Francis Bacon said, “The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness.” Would you drink that cocktail?
Anthony Lister: Nice words. I agree.

Brooklyn Street Art: What role does analysis play in your creative process when bringing a painting to fruition?
Anthony Lister: Analysis is the outcome of considered processing. Constant consideration is crucial.


Anthony Lister in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: A big piece you did on Metropolitan in Brooklyn – you reworked that face a couple of times over a period of months, producing what appeared as a slowly morphing image. Were you covering up tags, or were you unhappy with the original, or maybe combating the effects of age with a little nip and tuck?
Anthony Lister: When I re-work street paintings I think of it like I am a hairdresser. When something is in the public it has a different existence to something living privately in a residence. I’m like a hairdresser I guess.

Brooklyn Street Art: You have spoken about your work as reality, or a reaction to realities. What realities are you depicting these days?
Anthony Lister: I just finished a body of work for a solo show in Sydney. This next body of work is about contemporary Australian culture. The exhibition is titled “Bogan Paradise.”


Anthony Lister in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: When you consider the Street Art scene that evolved around Melbourne, how would you characterize its nature in a way that differentiates it from the work in other cities around the world?
Anthony Lister: No different. This whole street art thing has sprung up post the turn of the digital revolution so it is on the Internet quick and the artists who inspire others and the ones who are easily inspired are constantly swimming in the same aesthetic pools of consciousness. Not to mention that most of the prominent artists travel lots so it is easy to see work of the same artist in multiple cities around the world at the same time.


Anthony Lister in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: The titles you give your gallery pieces are entertaining, instructive, illustrative. Do you ever want to place a placard near a piece you’ve done on the street – just to make sure the message gets across?
Anthony Lister: No. My street practice is less thoughtful and therefore needs less commentary.

Brooklyn Street Art: When is a painting complete?
Anthony Lister: When it tells me so.


Anthony Lister in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister in Manhattan (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister in Miami for Primary Flight. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister in Los Angeles. LA FreeWalls (photo © Todd Mazer)


Anthony Lister in Los Angeles LA FreeWalls (photo © Todd Mazer)


Cry me a rainbow, Anthony Lister in Los Angeles. LA FreeWalls (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister in Venice Beach CA. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anthony Lister in San Francisco for Young and Free at 941 Geary (photo © Andrius Lypia)


Want to see more work? Just “Lister” it.

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FUTURA Does a Piece Called “Brooklyn Street Art”

One of the many cool things about this LA experience is that artists took the charge of “Stories” in a variety of directions. The observation that we have had for a few years now, and the one we talked about to whomever we met last week, is that many of today’s street artists are telling personal or political or socially relevant stories with their work.


You’re looking at it! Futura’s piece called “Brooklyn Street Art” in the show “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

No stranger to experimentation and stretching his own creative boundaries, our most storied participant in the show of course is the graffiti writer and fine artist Futura. With a well documented career dating back to the late 60s and early 70s, the Brooklyn artist could easily be disinterested in whatever is happening on the street today, and no one would blame him. But rather than complacently re-telling stories about the past, you’ll find that Futura is just as engaged and inquisitive about others and about what is happening as ever.


Detail from “Brooklyn Street Art”, by Futura (photo ©  Jaime Rojo)

Futura’s mind is too alive, his wanderlust unsatiated, his sense of humor too sly to just lay back on his laurels.  In fact he pulled a fast one on us by creating a collage of stuff he pulled off of walls in Brooklyn! By peeling off stickers from other artists and pieces of  ads from walls in Brooklyn he re-created a piece of a wall or a door from 2011 and signed the back with his own tag.

A pretty edgy approach, and yet it couldn’t have been more appropriate – and timely as more of the scene than ever is pushed with stickers. One of the slaps he included actually is by another artist in “Street Art Saved My Life”! Can you identify it?


See the description of “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” here.

See all of the pieces from “Street Art Saved My Life” in Los Angeles

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Various and Gould say, “Street Art Saved OUR Lives”

Street Artists Various and Gould are showing one of the more entertaining pieces at the show on Friday – entirely in the vein of their fun-loving style. The difference now is they are using their own faces and creating a self portrait for the first time, called, “Street Art Saved OUR Lives”.

The wacky duo explain the new work this way,

“Our piece is a direct response to the humorous title of the show, approaching it in a personal way. Often asked about how we collaborate, the piece shows who is steering the wheel. As many other (street) artists, we have been trying to stay anonymous as much as possible in the past.


This has not so much to do with any kind of (il)legal activities, but the wish to let the artworks be in their right place. We think this gives the viewer the possibility to judge the artwork itself without the necessity to put it in context with the person behind it. Keeping your face out of things is constant work and nevertheless everything you do conveys a message.

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BSA Debut: C215 Tells It Like It Is (Video)

French stencil artist C215 has just released this video, a stylized manifesto of sorts giving his view on his art, his work, and the current state of Street Art.

We are pleased he is participating in “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories” this August in LA, and this short but powerful video shows why the stories behind C215’s very personal portraits are some of the most impactful and resilient on the street today.

“I prefer the poetry of small paintings instead of big walls, which are very popular right now in the graffiti scene, but a bit fascistic.”

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BSA Presents “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories”


May 15, 2011

Brooklyn Street Art Presents Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories in collaboration with ThinkSpace Gallery, an art show to exhibit at C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice (LA), California on Friday, August 12, 2011.


Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories heralds the new highly individual character of stories being told on the streets of New York by brand new and established Street Artists from all over the world. Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, founders of focus on this flashpoint in modern Street Art evolution by curating a strongly eclectic story-driven gallery show with 39 of the best storytellers hitting the streets of New York.

Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories, the gallery show, accompanied by an LA street wall series by selected artists and a public panel lecture and discussion, intends to stake out the New Guard in street art while recognizing some powerful near-legendary forerunners.

The mainly New York lineup exhibits talent from other parts of the US and internationally (Australia, France, UK, Canada, Israel, Germany) and it is as steely, idiosyncratic and storied as the New York scene itself, including Anthony Lister, Adam Void, Broken Crow, C215, Cake, Chris Stain, Clown Soldier, Creepy, Dan Witz, El Sol 25, Ema, Faile, Futura, Gaia, Gilf!, Hargo, Hellbent, How & Nosm, Imminent Disaster, Indigo, Judith Supine, Kid Acne, Know Hope, Ludo, Mark Carvalho, Miss Bugs, Nick Walker, NohJColey, Over Under, Radical!, Rene Gagnon, Skewville, Specter, Sweet Toof, Swoon, Tip Toe, Troy Lovegates AKA Other, Various & Gould, and White Cocoa.

The staunch individualists in Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories give voice to the evolution of the Graffiti, Mash-Up, and D.I.Y. movements that birthed them; creating an eccentric, highly individual, and raucous visual experience on the street. With widely varied backgrounds, techniques, and materials at play, “The Story” is the story. With truths as diverse and difficult as the city itself, each one of these artists is a part of a fierce, raw, new storytelling tradition that is evolving daily before our eyes.

Show Name: Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories
Location: C.A.V.E. Gallery, 1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, California 90291
Date: Opening reception Friday August 12, 2011
Duration: August 12 – September 4, 2011.
Online Press Release:

Presented by Brooklyn Street Art in collaboration with ThinkSpace and C.A.V.E
Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo of

Brooklyn Street Art is proud to collaborate with ThinkSpace Gallery and C.A.V.E. Gallery. Please note that the show will be at C.A.V.E. Gallery. Thank you.

Thinkspace Art Gallery
6009 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 558-3375
Wed – Fri 1PM-6PM Sat 1PM-8PM

C.A.V.E. Gallery (location of the show)
1108 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice CA 90291, (310) 450-6560
Wed – Sun 12PM-6PM or by appointment

Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo are founders of and co-authors of Brooklyn Street Art and Street Art New York, both by Prestel Publishing (Random House). Harrington and Rojo are also contributing writers on street art for The Huffington Post.

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