All posts tagged: Street Art

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.03.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.03.19

“Man, what’s with this cough that never goes away?” you ask your boy Tre, who’s laying on the moss green living room rug by the radiator drawing in his black book with an extra fine tip paint pen, listening to Wu Tang. “Could be January,” he offers. “Or maybe its asbestos from that work they’re doing in the elevator shaft.”

Right. “Never mind, lets watch some Beer Bowl!”

Meanwhile on the streets the ideas never stop. We were pretty excited to get up to 167th Street station to see the new mosaics by Brooklyn artist Rico Gatson, who does painting, video, sculpture and installation. These portraits of important contributors to the culture make us all proud. Here are just a handful but there are more and you should go and see them yourself.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Atomik, Captain Eyeliner, Deih XLF, finDAC, Go Vegan, Hoxxoh, Kai, Kevin Ledo, Lefty Out There, Mastrocola, My Dog Sighs, Pez, Rico Gaston, The Revolution Artists, Uninhibited, and What is Adam.

Kai (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Captain Eyeliner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Supreme Justice Sonia Sotomayor immortalized by Rico Gatson in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Poet Laureate Maya Angelou immortalized by Rico Gatson in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Singer Celia Cruz immortalized by Rico Gatson in the NYC Subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lefty Out There in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Go Vegan (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Atomik and friends in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
What Is Adam in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pez in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Collaboration between FinDAC and Kevin Ledo in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Uninhibited in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The Revolution Artists in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A collaboration among different artists in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A collaboration among different artists in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A collaboration among different artists in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
My Dog Sighs (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mastrocola in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Wynwood, Miami. December 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA “Images Of The Year” For 2018 Video

BSA “Images Of The Year” For 2018 Video

Here it is! Photographer Jaime Rojo of BSA selects a handful of his favorite images from his travels through 9 countries and around New York this year to present our 2018 BSA Images of the Year.

Seeing the vast expressions of aesthetics and anti-aesthetic behavior has been a unique experience for us. We’re thankful to all of the artists and co-conspirators for their boundless ideas and energy, perspectives and personas.

Once you accept that much of the world is in a semi-permanent chaos you can embrace it, find order in the disorder, love inside the anger, a rhythm to every street.

And yes, beauty. Hope you enjoy BSA Images of the Year 2018.


Here’s a list of the artists featured in the video. Help us out if we missed someone, or if we misspelled someones nom de plume.

1Up Crew, Abe Lincoln Jr., Adam Fujita, Adele Renault, Adrian Wilson, Alex Sena, Arkane, Banksy, Ben Eine, BKFoxx, Bond Truluv, Bordalo II, Bravin Lee, C215, Cane Morto, Charles Williams, Cranio, Crash, Dee Dee, D*Face, Disordered, Egle Zvirblyte, Ernest Zacharevic, Erre, Faith LXVII, Faust, Geronimo, Gloss Black, Guillermo S. Quintana, Ichibantei, InDecline, Indie 184, Invader, Isaac Cordal, Jayson Naylor JR, Kaos, KNS, Lena McCarthy, Caleb Neelon, LET, Anthony Lister, Naomi Rag, Okuda, Os Gemeos, Owen Dippie, Pejac, Pixel Pancho, Pork, Raf Urban, Resistance is Female, Sainer, Senor Schnu, Skewville, Slinkachu, Solus, Squid Licker, Stinkfish, Strayones, Subway Doodle, The Rus Crew, Tristan Eaton, Vegan Flava, Vhils, Viktor Freso, Vinie, Waone, Winston Tseng, Zola

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BSA Images Of The Week: 12.09.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 12.09.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

What a week! The New York Post cover says that Friday was a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” for Trump, but who among us is surprised about #Individual1 ? No one in Brooklyn, or his hometown Queens, or the City of New York, for that matter.

Now this national disaster opera is a 24 hour a day rolling dumpster fire that sells ads for TV and media companies – with no desire by them to make it end. Or as Leslie Moonves said famously about this institution-eroding tragedy: “It May Not Be Good for America, but It’s Damn Good for CBS”.

And on that cheerful note, Happy Holidays to you! Sincerely. Best wishes to our Jewish friends now completing Hanukkah, to our African diaspora friends readying for Kwanzaa, to our Christian friends already in the Christmas spirit, to our pagan friends getting ready for Solstice, and to our atheist friends who are thinking positive about the New Year. We collectively are incredible and full or promise, if we can seize upon it and fulfill it.

And welcome to our last BSA Images of the Week for 2018! We can’t tell you how excited we are every week to share the new images of Street Art, graffiti, murals, and art in the streets that we find – mostly because their existence confirms the ever-present creative spirit that is flowing through the air like radio waves, waiting for us all to tune in to it and let it course through our minds and hearts. Next Sunday we present our Images of the Year and during this week will begin our year-end lists of top books, murals, postings of the year.

Then, as is our tradition, BSA readers will take over the site for the last couple of weeks of December to reflect on the year and tell us their Wishes and Hopes for 2019!

And here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring $smell$907, Adrian Wilson, Blake2018, Bond TruLuv, City Kitty, Dee Dee, Ever Siempre, Gnome Surf, Jilly Ballistic, Kobra, Raf Urban, SicKid, and Vinny.

Top image: Adrian Wilson plays with words to reflect our pop culture trolling both Warhol and Banksy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Landscape with graffiti. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

City Kitty trolls Kobra. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don’t point your gun at me Sir! Blake2018 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jilly Ballistic appropriates an ad in the subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bond Truluv in Leipzig, Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Please do! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)

$mell$ 907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LA’s SicKid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SicKid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dee Dee (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gnome Surf (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Raf Urban (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Vinny (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ever & Friends (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Utitled. SOHO, NYC. December 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.11.18

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.11.18

BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

100 years since the end of World War I today. The US is engaged in 7 wars right now. Two facts to contemplate as the city takes a breath and regroups from another election cycle.

Republicrats won at the polls and the ratings were high on TV – yet for some reason you still don’t have health care and you have about $1,000 in savings.

GOOD NEWS! – Manhattan real estate has experienced a dip this quarter so that the average apartment is just a little more than $1.1 million to buy.

This week in NYC there were Anti-Trump Pro-Mueller demonstrations in Times Square, the head of the subway system has resigned, and NYC is turning into a major tech hub with 25,000 more tech workers said to be flocking here for jobs at Google and Amazon.

Also Manny down at the corner deli just got this new calico cat that has already caught two mice this week.

Somehow the streets are always alive, always teaming with new images, installations, paintings, fire extinguisher tags.

So here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Adam Daily, Adam Fu, Bortusk, Cy Tremblay, DAIN, Dolganov, Invader, JeimeOne, Kobra, Sabio, and SacSix.

Top Image: Adam Fu for Spread Art NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cy Tremblay (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Resa.Menace for JMZ Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bortusk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sabio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sabio (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown. A very old stencil in Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Adam Daily (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 A clever step back from JeimeOne for JMZ Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kobra (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASacSix (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dolganov in Moscow. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. Manhattan. Fall 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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“Urban Skills” in Alcoy, Spain brings Nuria Mora, Sebas Velasco, Demsky, Smithe and Dulk

“Urban Skills” in Alcoy, Spain brings Nuria Mora, Sebas Velasco, Demsky, Smithe and Dulk

A multiplicity of patterns and colors and fills and histories on intersecting planes that gore, cleave, hack through art and popular culture – this appears as a harbinger for the generation after Y. Fueled perhaps by the exuberance of youth and the desire to see and consume all things, to be all things simultaneously, the new kids are insisting that some manner of collage in three dimensions will accurately represent the upheaval we are experiencing in many regions. These are the effects of a raging globalism, at least on the surface – and possibly our efforts to rationalize what appears as chaotically irrational.

Fasim (photo © Jordi Arques)

How appropriate that Fasim is incorporating his own version of automatic drawing here on the large scale of the public mural while an invited guest of ‘Urban Skills, Urban Culture Exhibition 2018’ in Alcoy, Spain. His inspirations for this September work came his trip to the Louvre in August, he says, where he poured over Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, their individual histories and motifs swarming his mind.

“This psychological game has always attracted me because it changes all concepts, poses new meanings and I like to alter things,” he says in the group’s press release, “since I was a child I always try to see things from other points of view, even the impossible or delirious that are my favorite. It is an act of poetic rebellion.”

Fasim (photo © Jordi Arques)

As if carefully curated chaos, this first edition ‘urban art’ festival selects only a handful of artists from backgrounds of graffiti and Street Art from as close as Barcelona and as far as Mexico City, each carrying within them a virtual environment and ecosystem of aesthetic histories, each ready to spill.

Importing influences from urban culture with new murals by Nuria Mora, Sebas Velasco, Demsky, Smithe and Dulk spread across the city of 60,000 in del Centro, el Partidor, Santa Rosa, Batoy and la Zona Norte.

Far from the active urban cultures that gave birth to this music and art, these artists articulating the journey, reflecting influences from western art history, hip hop culture, and some of the global Internet vernacular of searching, and appropriating. A participatory project funded by a number of civic organizations, it looks like URBAN SKILLS chose some of the best voices to address this moment and to give a view into the future.

Fasim (photo © Jordi Arques)

Fasim (photo © Juani Ruz)

Fasim (photo © Jordi Arques)

Nuria Mora (photo © Jordi Arques)

Nuria Mora (photo © Jordi Arques)

DULK (photo © Jordi Arques)

Sebas Velasco (photo © Jordi Arques)

Manolo Solbes Arjona poses in front of this portrait of him at the piano in his “cave” by Sabas Velasco. Below he writes a text to accompany the work;

La espiral del consentimiento
roza su límite cuando los ojos trashumantes,
perciben como se alborota su mimesis
en el horizonte de la Osadía.

Mientras escribo
y Vincent se columpia en sus dibujos,
recuerdo una perfección en tu diáspora;
a los colores acariciando la Imagen,
y a los aborígenes del Territorio Serpis
atónitos, al ver aparecer sobre su estar
una sensación que, por azar, inercia
y armonía de los creativos
que invocaron al espejismo,
pudimos ver otra vez, a la belleza bailar
alrededor de una hoguera donde
la Pitecantra Madre aún nos llama.

Demsky . Smithe (photo © Jordi Arques)

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Theresa May Graces the Street Art Scene in London

Theresa May Graces the Street Art Scene in London

“No you May not!”

Maureen Barlin, creative commons license

Or so you might imagine Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May saying if you asked to illegally wheat-paste a political parody of her person on a London street. But that is exactly what is happening often these days, says Matt Brown, who calls himself “probably the most London-obsessed person in the world”.

“Any Prime Minister can expect to become the target of mockery, parody and satirical anger,” says Mr. Brown in his recent photo essay published in The Londonist. “Theresa May is no exception. In fact, she’s an inspiration. You don’t have to wander far around London to chance across a wry stencil, or biting paste-up.”

A wheat-pasted poster campaign by the artist duo kennardphillipps, a collaboration between Peter Kennard and Cat Phillipps who have been working on the street together since 2002. (photo © kennardphillipps)

For a New Yorker its actually a relief to not have to look at Street Art that lampoons our own orange travesty for a change, as American cities are routinely assaulted with images of Trump. Somehow, however clever, they don’t bring a smile to most passersby. So, as a bit of aesthetic palette cleanser, here are a couple of recent Street Artist creations with Mrs. May as the surly, scary, and sometimes sordid subject.


See more in Matt Brown’s article Theresa May: London’s Unlikely Street Art Icon.

Follow him on Twitter at @mattfromlondon

 

 

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Black Panthers and Political Street Art from the 60s to Today

Black Panthers and Political Street Art from the 60s to Today

Amidst the hype surrounding the new Black Panther movie breaking records in theaters, we’re reminded by New York-based writer, photographer and documentarian Camilo José Vergara on City Lab that the people-powered revolutionary socialist organization Black Panther Party were superheroes on the streets of US cities who used art in the Streets to advance social and political goals.

Wheat-pasting political posters in the 90s “There is a Black Panther born in the ghetto every 20 minutes,” Former Brooks Bakery, 113 East 125th St., Harlem, 1995. (photo ©Camilo José Vergara)

“I was able to survey Black Panthers’ street graphics from the high point of the early 1970s, when they stood for black beauty, a respect for their African roots, anger at the police, self defense, and public service, all while exhibiting a unique style,” says the award winning Vergara  in this new photo essay of works on the streets about the Panthers. “They had moral authority as they risked their lives resisting arrest, taking over buildings, feeding children, and marching. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panther Party opposed the Vietnam War. But unlike him, the Panthers advocated self defense and demanded reparations for centuries of slave labor. ”

Read more in “The Black Panther Party’s History of Urban Street Art” here.

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A Graffiti Painted Cityscape: Laura Shechter Documents Street Art on Canvas

A Graffiti Painted Cityscape: Laura Shechter Documents Street Art on Canvas

If there is someone who knows Brooklyn Street Art and graffiti, it is Laura Shechter.

Dart, Cash4, Cost, Sace, City Kitty, Chris Stain, she knows them all.

And yet she doesn’t know them at all.

When you live in a city and see graffiti or Street Art the creators of the scene cannot hope to define everyone’s experience of their work. In fact, it is an entirely unique trip for each person.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

If Laura Shechter happened to capture a graffiti tag or throwie or Street Art wheat-paste or stencil or sticker in one of her careful and precise photo-based cityscapes, she probably didn’t see it as you did, because she may not see her city in the same way you do. Ms. Shechter has spent hours with these pieces; recreating, rendering, and documenting by hand and brush the coded chaos and conversation on city walls. For this painter it is about supporting the craft of the artists of this time much in the same way that she used her earlier still life painting to support the craft of hand painted china from the 19th century.

Others may see these graffiti works as indicators of blight, as eyesores, or signs of the decline of a block or neighborhood. For the majority it may be a visual noise that doesn’t register, let alone merit contemplation or documentation. Laura Shechter is placing this graffiti and Street Art front and center on her canvas, and the rougher the better.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

She doesn’t always call it tagging; sometimes she calls it signing or a signature. The graffiti practice of “going over” someone else’s work as a sign of dismissal is called “over writing” in Schecter’s descriptions. She also sees graffiti as “beautification of urban blight.”

Separating the layers of paint and planes with her mind’s eye and layering opaque with transparent, she is perhaps more aware of the strata of pigment, hue, shade, tone, and technical history of a graffitied wall than she is of the vernacular and terminology of day-to-day graffiti and Street Art culture.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shechter discovered many of these scenes on walks or trespassing adventures with her artist husband Ben and she felt a connection to them, these aerosol tableaus, wanting to save them for posterity.

“I’m good at rendering because I have been a student of 10,000 years of art history,” she says. “I’m involved with technique, observing, and perception. I also understand what is underneath. When I’m rendering the graffiti I am also rendering the graffiti that is underneath it. I’m also sensitive to plane changes so I understand graffiti when it is fading out and when it is sharp.”

She talks about her attraction to this kind of work and perhaps her feeling that she has a connection to the people who practice it. “I was raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn and I am of the ghetto,” says the unpretentious artist who has spoken of a home life in the 1940s and 1950s that was characterized by poverty and very challenging circumstances.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“My work is rarely about the murals that are painted by those who went to art school. I was also a caseworker for the city and I walked most of the ghetto neighborhoods of NY. I am a really aware how ugly it was,” she says.

Today she’s concerned about what gentrification has done to similar neighborhoods and families. “I don’t know if there are any poor people left in Williamsburg. When you are going on a main shopping street on a Saturday, there’s almost nobody older than 30 years old. It almost becomes artificial and I would never want to live there. It would be an unpleasant place because it has become plastic,” she says.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

To the painters’ eye these raucous graffiti walls are colors, textures, planes, gestures; gyrations and rhythms of the vibrating city, our history of cacophony distilled, the forceful and waning multi-accented assertions of the vox populi captured here on a wall. One can imagine that Shechter can hear very clearly some of those voices splashed and layered here.

A contemporary realist, Shechter studied at Brooklyn College with noted abstract painter and a father of minimalism, Ad Reinhardt, in the mid 1960s. She says she  absorbed some of his minimalist techniques even with her still lifes in oil, watercolor, pencil, silverpoint, and lithographic prints. Here work developed into a career with gallery representation and a steadily growing collectors base over the next 35 years or so.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sometime in the late 1990s she says there was a crises in her work and she began thinking that she had explored still life painting and drawing completely, with no where left to go. In the early 2000s she grew interested in photo-based cityscapes through looking at and watching the art practice of her husband, who worked with his own photography as inspiration for his paintings.

In a speech given about her work last October at Mendez Soho in New York she spoke of her departure from still life painting and learning to paint cityscapes, sky, water – and how difficult it was to learn again. “It had to do with humility. The humility came from the idea of ‘how to deal with something that you are extremely competent in and then go back and become incompetent?’ ” She painted densely packed scenes of multileveled high-rises, seeing her city in a new way in terms of plains and horizontal lines and complexity.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Then one of her cityscapes that she captured while looking off the Williamsburg Bridge happened to contain graffiti “only by chance”. It was exhibited at the National Academy later and the curator of that show introduced Shechter to the graffiti haven in Queens called “5 Pointz” and she did a painting of the massive complex crushed in pieces, thowies, tags.

“Basically doing that painting changed the whole direction that my work was taking,” she says. A few years later in 2015 her body of graffiti cityscapes won her the NYFA Artist’s Fellowship from the Academy.

A photo to use as a painting study from Hackney, London. May 2017. (photo © Laura Shechter)

In 2016 her husband Ben passed away after nearly five decades together and their warm Park Slope Brownstone brims with the intermingling of the two artists styles and interests. She says it has been difficult to adjust to the loss, but she has been busying herself with projects. To seek new inspiration from the streets abroad she travelled to London this spring to see the vibrant graffiti, Street Art, and mural scene there and to shoot photos for reference in her next body of paintings.

Siting the many legal walls that she discovered, the bright poppy colors that are popular today, and a perceived lack of direct relationship to the struggles of low-income people, her Brooklyn pride may overshadow her appreciation of what she captured in another city.

A photo to use as a painting study from Shoreditch, London. May 2017. (photo © Laura Shechter)

“Although London Street art is powerful, it lacks the finesse and craft of New York graffiti and it did not evolve naturally from the poorer neighborhoods,” she tells us. “Early New York graffiti writers had a limited palette of aerosol colors that tended to be intense.”

A photo to use as a painting study from Brick Lane, London. May 2017. (photo © Laura Shechter)

“They used natural arm movements that produced a more sensuous line and incorporated effects that result from the aerosol can; fuzzy edges, drips that add interest to the surface. London aerosol artists tend to fill in areas and their colors are the new tints and a heavy use of silver. Although there is some oversigning, they lack the beauty of layering of tags in New York graffiti, ” she says.

A photo to use as a painting study from Hackney, London. May 2017. (photo © Laura Shechter)

A teacher and lecturer at Parsons and the National Academy of Art, Schecter’s works are today included in several museum collections including Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Fine Art, and her hometown Brooklyn Museum where she prizes the feminist perspective which the institution champions, recalling her involvement since the 1970s as a member of both Women in the Arts and the Woman’s Caucus for Art. With such a rewarded career of professional accomplishment it is all the more interesting that the artist holds a certain reverence for the aesthetics of graffiti and Street Art.

But she is from Brooklyn after all.

Brooklyn Street Art: As an admirer of aesthetics, where do you find beauty in public spaces?
Laura Schecter: I enjoy walking the streets or riding a train and encountering sudden beauty when it is unexpected. Buildings used to be dirty brown, grey. I like simple doorways with 100 signatures…Especially graffiti on old brick and weathered wood, and the graffiti trucks are ever evolving and pure works of art.

I liked walking with Ben for miles and miles. Some photos he had to take because he was taller. I was always surprised how different our photos could be of the same spot. Sometimes I used his. I’ve been making home videos – one I made for him about him and his songs last summer and a personal one called “Brownsville Childhood.” That’s what you do when someone dies, you get projects.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: As a contemporary realist, what are you observing in the cityscape that others may be missing?
Laura Schecter: I was painting the still life and felt that I had nothing more to say about it. My husband Ben Shechter used photos and other sources in his own art work. I borrowed one of his photos that he shot from the “F” train looking into the Gowanus Canal. It was like jumping into the abyss.

It presented a new problem where I had to teach myself new skills and develop a point of view. That process took about six years. I exhibited a painting of Williamsburg with graffiti at the National Academy of Art and when I became friends with the curator Marshal Price, he told me about this place called 5 Pointz in Long Island City. The rest is history – I always tell him that this series of paintings is his fault.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: What lead you in 2002 to begin painting and drawing photo-based cityscapes?
Laura Schecter: I have strong feelings about landscape space. A space that is created by having parallel horizontal bands. I have an innate sense of rhythm and patterns. I never have trouble with tedium, bring on all of those boring windows and bricks! I can now paint at ground level as I hone my vision.

I have overcome some of the drawbacks of photorealists (whose work can be mechanical) with my knowledge of 10,000 years of art and I can paint views that a painter on site misses, from being on moving trains and trespassing on roofs.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: So you actually follow the Street Art scene?
Laura Schecter: Because I am constantly walking the 5 boroughs, I may revisit the same site once a year and see how it develops. I also visit centers of street mural art. And of course I read BSA every 2 weeks. This past May I spent an intense 6 days photographing graffiti in many sites and talking occasionally to young street Artists

Brooklyn Street Art: How would you describe how you approach graffiti and Street Art as an artist, as a person? When capturing graffiti and Street Art, is it about form and color and texture – or is it about culture and people and the visual conversation on the street?

Laura Schecter: I am most interested in graffiti walls that are well developed over time with over writing. In the beginning signing might have been random but later each tag was placed with intention, improving the general composition of the site.

What I like about earlyish graffiti was the limited color. Less is more. The graffiti writers maximized with these limited colors. I have gone to newer sites – one in south Bronx and the other in northern Queens where younger street artists are using pastel colors – For me it’s a little less than gritty.

Laura Shechter (photo © Jaime Rojo)


This article is also published The Huffington Post

 

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BSA Film Friday 04.21.17 – Vids from Nuart Aberdeen 2017

BSA Film Friday 04.21.17 – Vids from Nuart Aberdeen 2017

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. ADD FUEL – Nuart Aberdeen 2017
2. Alice Pasquini – Nuart Aberdeen 2017
3. Isaac Cordal – Nuart Aberdeen 2017
4. M-City in Aberdeen for Nuart 2017 via BrooklynStreetArt.com

bsa-film-friday-special-feature

BSA Special Features: Vids from Aberdeen

Doug Gillen from Fifth Wall TV shadowed artists at work in Aberdeen, Scotland last week and began a series of videos that give you an idea about their art and their individual approach to it. Today we have the first three freshly released from Nuart Aberdeen for your enjoyment.

ADD FUEL – Nuart Aberdeen 2017

So, how do you get the party started in Aberdeen? You Add Fuel!  The artists’ practice of tile making back home in Portugal is translated here by his study of local Scottish decorative motifs and tradition – with one layer tearing back to reveal another beneath it.

Alice Pasquini – Nuart Aberdeen 2017

Roman Street Artist Alice Pasquini has a color palette rather custom made for nautical scenes and seaside cities- and somehow brings a Mediterranean air of romance to this stormy Scottish city on the North Sea. Her figures and portraits seem to appear by surprise on small sections of doorways or corners of disused billboards – and this larger mural sized piece is rightly juxtaposed on Ship Row almost across from the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.Video by Doug Gillen/Fifth Wall TV.

Isaac Cordal – Nuart Aberdeen 2017

The Spanish Street Artist continued his indirect critique of corporate capitalists by installing his little grey-suited businessmen throughout the oil city that has been shaken by markets. For some reason, the scale makes the figures comic, and the context of the great wide world helps put these soldiers of white-collar shenanigans into a position of low impact. But we’re just kidding ourselves if we think they are inconsequential – they are the enablers of the machine. These are the human levers of the oligarchy who Isaac Cordal is perching on ledges, balancing on wires, placing on terraces staring intently at spreadsheets and stock numbers on their phones. Now his miniature worried men are perched all over Aberdeen. Can you spot them? Video by Doug Gillen/Fifth Wall TV

 

M-City for Nuart Aberdeen 2017. Video by BSA

Who would like to experience the slow ascent into the air on a cherry picker with M-City as you survey his new completed mural for Nuart Aberdeen? This short home made video by Jaime Rojo gives you a look at a street level perspective while travel mills around the freshly painted piece.

 

 


Many thanks to Doug/Fifth Wall for sharing his video work here with BSA readers. For for information about Fifth Wall please go HERE.

Twitter @FifthWallTV

https://www.instagram.com/fifthwalltv/

 

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BAST: “New Works” Are Vital, Animated at Allouche Gallery

BAST: “New Works” Are Vital, Animated at Allouche Gallery

Bast. Untitled Paper and Stuff 1, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The first full show of studio work by Brooklyn Street Artist Bäst in a gallery in about four years declares that the artist is currently running loose with an intoxicating freedom of gesture and brush strokes and character that reaches back to a creamy pastel abstractionist block party from mid-century, catching the eye of a neon neo-folk parade en route.

Bast. Untitled Paper and Stuff 2, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Insiders tell us that the brainy Coney chanticleer who blends many voices into one was not looking for a new exhibition, per se, but that he’s been prodigious in traversing new artistic neighborhoods and is glad to get the stuff out for people to see. You’ll be glad too.

In much the way that early-mid 2000s Street Art watchers became acquainted with his collaged pop-contorted figures and grocery store banner ad mocks, you’ll appreciate the opening up of space for new dialogue in his large canvasses, nearly balanced and reliably off kilter.

Bast. Nike-a-Tron, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With new sculptural inventions, misplaced punctuations, rhapsodic vibrations and materials that hit the jackpot with plain joy and tactility, there is always a feeling that nothing is off limits; it’s just a matter of scrappily side-eye capturing an unwinding story or furry element as it flies by and attaching it with purpose. This is the street, a happy chaos full of character and wit.

Bast. Farragut Fresh, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As if breathing air into the tight smaller pieces that are always densely rewarding, these newer larger roomy compositions allow him to stretch, and you think he’s going somewhere new, taking chances to discover. Of note for us is his technique of masking out the elements he decides are not necessary, a milky veiling that recalls “the buff” that wipes out graffiti and Street Art on city walls. In this case, it defines the composition and focuses the scene and feels like the artist is speaking directly to you.

While elements still peak through the partial opacity, these deliberate strokes are blotting out and re-defining with the resulting compositions as much a product of subtraction as addition and recombination – clarifying of what is vital and necessary.

Bast. Untitled 4, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast. Bubbledub, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast. Bubble La Rue, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast. Signora Alla Stazione Ferroviara, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast. Untitled 1, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast. Babooshka. Detail. Untitled 1, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast. Ceneri Tropico. Detail, 2016. Allouche Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bast New Works Solo Exhibition is currently on view at the Allouche Gallery

 

 

 

 

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Trump Street Art – Instantly There’s a Global Critique

Trump Street Art – Instantly There’s a Global Critique

Any US president can expect cartoons and visual commentary critiquing their performance and policies and persona and fashion and idiosyncrasies. This one has created a flood of it worldwide.

Teo_Vasquez photo ©Sameworld_project in Barcelona, Spain

The chaos that is the first ten days of this administration has only confirmed some peoples worst projections, yet its been filled with surprises as well – including in the street.

Thanks to the popularity of murals and the multitude of techniques artists use on the street today, critique of political/social matters on public walls has joined those of political cartoons in magazines and newspapers. Of course Trump and his spokespeople would probably call these “fake murals” or something.

Bailer ID in Melbourne, Australia photo© Gavin McLaughlin

The point is, you don’t have to like or agree with all of these expressions from “A Tremendous Roundup Of Street Art Ridiculing Donald Trump” – they range from witty and clever to childish and catty to horribly offensive and uncalled for – but that’s the nature of satire and free speech and it is also some measure of public sentiment.

We find it interesting because the pieces appear to be coming from all manner of people and the topics are spread wide. The one above from Melbourne includes a tag critical of more than Trump – “F*ck Clinton” for example.

Here are a just a few images of 40 from the article posted by Lee Moran of The Huffington Post, who says “from England and Austria to New York and Los Angeles, the writing is on the wall.” See the complete article HERE.

A painted electrical box in London. Photo ©littlewisehen 

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Civic Dialogue & “Fake Walls” : A New Interview With Gaia

Civic Dialogue & “Fake Walls” : A New Interview With Gaia

He calls them “fake walls”; these mockups of murals in Baltimore that feature adorable pets. With these clever photoshopped pieces of mural fiction the Street Artist Gaia is perhaps skewering the coy shallowness of mural festivals that encourage a content-free decorative approach, rather than a substantive historically/socially/politically rooted one.

If Street Art has been hi-jacked by mural festivals from some of it’s higher minded origins, the New York born, Baltimore based Gaia has raced quickly on hot feet in the opposite direction during the last five years – preferring to immerse himself in local history, sociopolitical developments, and the implied cultural ramifications of his work.

Partially as critique to one increasingly commercial trend in Urban Art “festivals” that contorts murals as vehicles for brand and lifestyle messaging or aims only to prettify and sanitize public space, Gaia keeps assigning himself homework when he’s asked to paint in a new city, and he wishes he had more time to study.

Today we would like to share with BSA readers a recent interview he did with Shelly Clay-Robison, an adjunct faculty at York College of Pennsylvania and at the University of Baltimore who teaches peace and conflict studies and anthropology – with the hope of furthering the discussion on some of the points he raises and which we similarly have been discussing over the last few years with you.

In the interview Gaia speaks to the trivialization of the mural as meaningful expression in public space, a frequent lack of community engagement in Urban Art festivals, and his own sensitivity to what he may describe as the overwhelming whiteness and educated privilege in a scene that in many ways evolved from lower income communities of color. We’re pleased that Gaia and Ms. Clay-Robison have allowed us to share the interview with you.


From STREET ART AND CIVIC DIALOGUE: AN INTERVIEW WITH GAIA

Shelly Clay-Robison: Should we call the work you have made outside and on architecture street art, mural art, or graffiti and why would terminology matter?
Gaia: I would like to make a distinction that may seem insignificant, but is very important. Street Art, as I personally define it, is an umbrella term that seeks to explain any intervention understood as an artistic gesture, in a shared space, and must necessarily be illegal. The purview of Street Art entails anything under the rubric of contemplation or performance; tactical urbanism, painting, sculpture, etc. Murals on the other hand, are legal, sanctioned and are much more stringently understood as painting. Finally graffiti, as a tradition where the scrawling of a name becomes stylized, is a more pure action that is self-identified by its various participants as “writing” and not in fact “art.” Hence the continued relevance of the Street Art distinction.

SCR: So is it just an issue of legality then? Or are their social implications behind which type of work or medium is chosen?
Gaia: I stress these distinctions so firmly because we are at an extremely problematic crossroads within this rhizomatic movement, where the mural in the Americas, traditionally understood as within the realm of celebration, especially of colonized and oppressed peoples, has been wrested from the control of community art, by the spirit of Street Art. What I mean to say is that the production of a mural in the United States has traditionally been a multilateral, consensus-based process, but now control is being wrested from civic groups and representatives.

Instead, the procedure of creating a mural is increasingly being determined by property owners with the power and means to circumvent community, and thus, facilitate work that speaks to an imagined, future audience. I call this a liberalization of the mural: international, highly skilled individuals, who have transitioned from illegal, singular authorship to unilateral, sanctioned mural production have created a race to the bottom that defies the old Works Progress Administration model of full employment and is instead more aligned with the 10-99 subcontractor economy.


Click the link below and automatically download a PDF of the full interview here:

Clay-Robison, Shelly and Gaia. “Street art and Civic Dialogue: an interview with Gaia.” Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory vol 16 no 1 (2016): 89-93.

 

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