All posts tagged: The L.I.S.A. Project NYC

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.08.22

BSA Images Of The Week: 05.08.22

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Welcome to BSA Images of the Week!

Constant rain for days, but the street art is blooming, baby! As are the riotous news waves about the Supreme Court, abortion laws, the efficacy of the vaccine, the ridiculous/tone deaf Met Ball, the new electric bikes just released by Citi, a rise in anti-semitism in New York, the legalization of weed, the 60 Collective 3 show in Dumbo, Swoon’s new “Sanctuary” Project, Elon Musk buying Twitter, a virtual unknown winning the Kentucky Derby, and Meghan McCain selling only 244 copies of her new book. Who is she again?

Nevermind, we’re back on the streets where we belong, tracking the exciting new directions it is taking us.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Jason Naylor, INSA, Sticker Maul, Stikman, Degrupo, Diva Dogla, Mike Raz, Corn Queen, Jorit, Eric John Eigner, Smet Sky Art, Bad Boi, O. Grey, Steven Paul Judd, Katie Merz, and Delphinoto.

Eternal Possessions (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diva Dogla (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist targets increasing censorial actions by social media platforms (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Degrupo lionizes Zelinsky as transformer (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Stikman embeds with Ukraine (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mike Raz & Smet Sky Art sing the praises of our beloved city (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bad Boi (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Corn Queen (photo © Jaime Rojo)
O. Grey (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kiowa/Choctaw artist Steven Paul Judd hails from Oklahoma but appears to have roamed ayonder to NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Street artist Jorit celebrates Italian football coach and former player Andrea Pirlo for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jorit for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
INSA. Our guess is that this piece was almost completed but the rain prevented him from finishing it. Still, we are happy to see this British artist in NYC. We’ll go back to see what details we are missing. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sitckermaul (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sitckermaul (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eric John Eigner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Katie Merz. You Are Not Alone for East Village Murals. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Delphinoto paints @Pontifex “in solidarity with Pope Francis’s Laudato Si Action Platform – the Vatican’s response to the ecological & economic crisis.” (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Spring 2022. NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.06.22

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.06.22

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Welcome to BSA Images of the Week. The outcry over the Russian invasion of Ukraine has overwhelmed all other news “coverage”.

In his State of the Union speech this week Biden even conflated sanctions with domestic inflation – but it was already 7.5% annually for a full year before the Ukraine invasion. Using that logic, Putin is also the reason you have no Medicare for All, and the reason there is no student loan debt forgiveness.

The horrible truth is Putin is destroying a country before our global eyes, in between commercials. And thankfully Condeleeza Rice is here to explain that invading a sovereign nation is a war crime.

New York has so many beautiful communities and we value our Russian and Ukrainian neighbors. We refuse to demonize a whole community collectively, and hopefully you do too.

However repugnant the idea, let’s look for a diplomatic solution on the world stage to this crisis if it is all possible. We all have too much to lose if we don’t try in this incredibly difficult moment in history.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Pear, Subway Doodle, Txemy, Calicho Art, V Ballentine, Under Wave Walls, Mike Raz, Tony Tuan Luong, Manuel Alejandro, Smetsky Art, Deborah Kass, Lady Vday, Sage Gallon, and Michael Neff.

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mike Raz & Smetsky Art in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mike Raz & Smetsky Art in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tony Tuan Luong in Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Tony Tuan Luong in Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Txemy in Barcelona. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Deborah Kass transformed her YO/OY sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum by wrapping it in blue material. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
V Ballentine in collaboration with Under Hill Walls (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Vday in collaboration with Under Hill Walls (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sage Gallon in collaboration with Under Hill Walls (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Manuel Alejandro NYC in collaboration with Under Hill Walls (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Calicho Art in collaboration with Under Hill Walls (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pumpkin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Subway Doodle (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Brooklyn Bitch Bakery (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Michael Neff (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pear/Par (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidenfitied artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Winter 2022. Brooklyn, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.27.22

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.27.22

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Welcome to BSA Images of the Week.

Just as we were starting to feel a sense of relief that Covid is letting go of us….

Russia has invaded Ukraine. Not only is this a horror for Ukraine, this elective aggression may spread, resulting in retaliation.

If you want to help, we found this list from Fortune magazine:

Voices of Children
Voices of Children is a charitable foundation that focuses on addressing the psychological effect of armed conflict on children. Founded in 2015 in response to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Voices of Children provides art therapy, mobile psychologists, and individualized support to traumatized children. Individuals can donate through bank transfer, credit/debit card, or Apple Pay via its website

The International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee has a long history of providing resources to refugees fleeing countries facing humanitarian crisis. Its leaders have responded to the situation in Ukraine by meeting with organizations in Poland and Ukraine to gauge the potential number of refugees and their needs so it can quickly mobilize and provide whatever assistance is needed. You can make a donation via its website.

CARE
International humanitarian organization CARE has set up an emergency Ukrainian Crisis Fund with the goal of providing immediate support for 4 million people. Donations will go toward providing Ukrainians with water, food, supplies, hygiene kits, immediate support and aid, and cash. CARE notes that its prioritizing supporting women, girls, families, and elderly.CARE makes it easy to donate via its website using PayPal or a credit card.

International Medical Corps
This nonprofit is focused on providing health-care services, psychosocial support, and care to citizens of countries dealing with disaster, disease, and conflict. It’s currently accepting monetary gifts that will go toward providing Ukrainians with better access to medical and mental health resources. You can make a donation via the website using a credit/debit card, bank transfer, or PayPal.

Project Hope
It’s currently sending medical supplies to Ukrainians. You can make donations via its website using a credit/debit card, bank transfer, or PayPal.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Captain Eyeliner, Sonni, CRKSHNK, Kobra, Robert Janz, Goog, Degrupo, Suso33, Leviticus, Niagra, Homesick, Allan Molho, YNWA, Divock Okoth Origi, Emune, Lancelot, and Outersource.

Suso33 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kobra. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Degrupo. Hear the sound of hell Putin? (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Niagara. Like the right to live in peace in your own country without fear of invasion, aggression, and authoritarian oppression. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Homesick (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Outersource (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lancelot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sonni in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Emune (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Captain Eyeliner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Leviticus (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Goog (photo © Jaime Rojo)
YNWA. This football graffiti (soccer in the USA) refers to the Belgian star soccer player Divock Okoth Origi who plays as a forward for the Premier League club Liverpool. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Allan Molho tribute to the late Robert Janz. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CRKSHNK. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CRKSHNK (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Winter 2022. Williamsburg Bridge, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.06.22

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.06.22

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Happy New Year of the Tiger! We found some on the street this week in New York, no surprise perhaps.

In other news, OG train writer Chris “Daze” Ellis captured the attention of The New York Times this Friday with his new contemporary art show “Give it All You Got” at P·P·O·W Gallery, and in a related story, according to the New York Daily News, there were 120 graffiti-related incidents on subway trains in January 2021, a 21% increase compared to the same period last year.

The differences between the 1970s/80s and today, as it pertains to graffiti and street art, are vast; Phillips auction house has an exhibition of graffiti artists that we estimate to be valued well into the millions, author/critic Carol Diehl is on a tour promoting her book “Banksy Completed” (MIT Press) which argues that we all complete his works, BSA has officially opened a new library with Martha Cooper at Urban Nation (Berlin) dedicated to being the penultimate resource for academic research and literature related to graffiti and street art around the world, street artist Shepard Fairey just sold out a 7,400 piece generative NFT art project on OpenSea, and 1970s/80s artists/graffiti writers like Futura and Zephr are being interviewed by iconic cultural critic Carlo McCormick at the Wexner Museum.

In his curatorial incarnation, Carlo has been organizing an enormous new exhibition about New York’s ‘downtown’ scene that he’s curating with Peter Eleey to open this July at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing featuring “several defining works of this generation, such as paintings and drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.”  McCormick, you will remember, originated the concept and title for his book Trespass : a History of Uncommissioned Urban Art, which made the direct connection between fine art, the avant-garde, and the various street/public art practices of serious radical art movements like those popularized in the 1960’s by Guy Debord and the Situationistes Intérnationales. With these movements and arguments informing our view, it’s simplistic to be so polarized when assessing the value given/damage done by illegal graffiti writers and street artists.

Today our public/private debates about whether someone’s aerosol creation is vandalism or art are far more complex, more palpable than before. Thanks to the validation of graffiti and street art as a cultural force by fashion designers, toy manufacturers, home goods stores, clothing chains, commercial brands, film directors, art collectors, auction houses, artists, writers, professors, and respected education and art institutions, these practices of art-making on the street are enmeshed in the culture, fully a part of it.

One of these days a train car covered with graffiti will head to the yards for buffing… and reappear at an art fair, a Sotheby’s auction, or in the back yard of an avid collector. Our thoughts turn to the “Fun Gallery” refrigerator covered with graffiti tags in that is currently on display at the Phillips “Graffiti” show on Park Avenue right now.

And so we turn to our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Billye Merrill, BK Foxx, Crash, DrewOne, Elle, Eraquario, Eskae, Jenkins2D, Lamour Supreme, MAD, Manuel Alejandro, Osiris Rain, Praxis, REDS, Sipros, The Creator, The DRIF, and Twice.

Manuel Alejandro, The Creator. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Billye Merrill with East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BK Foxx with East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BK Foxx with East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Praxis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Crash and The Drif with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Crash in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eraquario (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Individual Activist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ben Keller with East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elle and REDS in Miami (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elle and REDS in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
LAmour Supreme in Miami is tagged by Twice and Eskae. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
LAmour Supreme in Miami is tagged by Crons, Fume, Mad, Twice, and Eskae. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Osiris Rain in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jenkins2D with East Vialle Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sipros and DrewOne in Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Wallabout Channel. Brooklyn, NYC. January 2022. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Photos Of BSA 2021: #7: Re-Worked Banksy Says “Stop Asian Hate”

Photos Of BSA 2021: #7: Re-Worked Banksy Says “Stop Asian Hate”

We’re celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of the next by thanking BSA Readers, Friends, and Family for your support in 2021. We have selected some of our favorite shots from the year by our Editor of Photography, Jaime Rojo, and are sharing a new one every day to celebrate all our good times together, our hope for the future, and our love for the street.


Dreadful to see Banksy’s modern classic girl with the red balloon re-treaded time and again. Conversely, he’s created an ample street meme that is ripe for re-interpreting.

A traditionally red sky lantern (or Kǒngmíng lantern or Chinese lantern) stands in for the balloon here – a symbol of good fortune and happiness. You will see these fire-powered lanterns floating into the air above night time crowds at festivals far and wide – including in China, India, Brazil, Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan. Ignorance among some in the US, and particularly in New York, has lead to an anti-Asian sentiment and to hate crimes being committed this year – because of people’s mental associations with China and the Covid-19 epidemic.

During a time of increased fear and lowered economic prospects it is not unusual for xenophobia to rise. Even so, we all expect better of each other. We’re pretty confident that Banksy would not mind his original piece to be repurposed to #StopAsianHate.

Adrian Wilson for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Bowery, Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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9/11 – 20 Years Later

9/11 – 20 Years Later

For those who were here, you’ll never forget.

Who did it and why? Depends on who is telling the story.

Who made money in the 20 years afterward as a result? Good question.

The plumes of smoke from the pile quickly turned into plumes of disinformation that still have not cleared.

New York, the USA, and indeed the rest of the world were forever changed 20 years ago. Our thoughts today turn to how much we love our city and all our neighbors and friends and family.

… Not to mention the number of Iraqi’s killed – which is estimated by 6 or 7 different organizations to number between 110,000 to over a million people. “All estimates of Iraq War casualties are disputed.” Adrian Wilson with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

9/11 Memorial. NYC, China Town. September 11, 2021
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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.13.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.13.21

Last week we brought you the first annual Jersey City Mural Festival with generously scaled murals and unbridled color. Muralism isn’t new but mural festivals are now a dominant vehicle or platform of expression on the streets where artists get up and create community. We have always championed the cause of the artist and cheer when they are given the opportunity to work – better even if they get properly paid for the work that they do.

That said, we still admire the small, uncommissioned, one-off pieces, and we’ve always documented that in whatever city we go to: In a way, that is what we actually consider to be street art. Unsanctioned and undercover, you’ll discover the most curious missives as you hike from mural to mural. Don’t miss them! Enjoy.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 7 Souls Deep, Adrian Wilson, Below Key, Drecks, Early Riser NYC, Ghaston Art, Hiss, Lunge Box, Miyok, Modomatic, Mort Art, Night Owl, Outer Source, Timothy Goodman, Tyler Ives, and Turtle Caps.

Timothy Goodman (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Timothy Goodman (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Modomatic (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Modomatic (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Modomatic (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Modomatic (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Adrian Wilson with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Drecks (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Drecks (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Drecks (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lunge Box and 7 Souls Deep on the right. This isn’t a collab. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hiss (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tyler Ives (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tyler Ives (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ghaston Art with Mort Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Early Riser NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Miyok (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Outer Source, Night Owl, Below Key (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Outer Source, Night Owl, Below Key, Turtle Caps (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Outer Source, Night Owl, Turtle Caps (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Punk New Yorker. Spring 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Stop Asian Hate – Video With 6 Steps You Can Take on the Street

Stop Asian Hate – Video With 6 Steps You Can Take on the Street

On a day where we are all reeling from a public display of violence this week toward a 65-year-old Asian New Yorker on her way to church, we reiterate what the street artists are telling us – “Stop Asian Hate.” More upsetting than the violence was the seeming apathy of some toward it – and they should feel ashamed for not helping.

We know that our individual actions speak louder than words. Don’t stand by and feel helpless when you see someone being abused! You can help! It’s everyone’s responsibility to do whatever we can to stop the hate.

HekTad (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Peter Paid NYC in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dragon 76 in collaboration with East Village Walls. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Don’t be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks

Hearts NY (photo © Steven P. Harrington)
Adrian Wilson in collaboration with the L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dwei (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 01.03.2021

BSA Images Of The Week: 01.03.2021

Welcome to the first BSA Images of the Week of 2021 !

We start our collection this week with an image of Christ crucified on a Facebook logo. If this is the level of subtlety that we can expect from the new year…gurl, we in trubble.

In fact, we have found that much of the organic street art that we find today has become increasingly strident in opinions expressed, especially around themes of social justice and political skullduggery. It’s all mixed in with favorites like pop figures, sports figures, cats. In a way, the artists are ahead of us, so we consider these images as the tea leaves for what is coming.

How will you interpret these messages from the street? Will you become emboldened? Scared? Or will they not have any impact on passersby?

Here is our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring 7 Line Arts Studio, Bastard Bot, Calicho Art, Captain Eyeliner, Calisi Maultra, City Kity, CRKSHNK, David F Barthold, Degrupo, Elle, Jeff Roseking, Joseph Grazi, NohJColey, Poi Everywhere, Sickid, Sticker Maul, and Stikman.

Joseph Grazi (photo © Jaime Rojo)
NohJColey made an appearance in 2020 after a long absence from the streets of NYC. This wall hanging was repurposed by a construction crew as a bridge flooring- giving it a new patterned patina. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elle in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elle in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elle in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Elle in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sitkman with a gone over portrait of the Notorious RBG by Captain Eyeliner. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sitkman (photo © Jaime Rojo)
City Kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sticker Maul (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CRKSHNK (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CRKSHNK (photo © Jaime Rojo)
David F Barthold (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Captian Eyeliner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bastard Bot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bastard Bot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
7 Line Arts Studio (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sickid (photo © Jaime Rojo)
DeGrupo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
DeGrupo. Bezos for Mr. Bezos (photo © Jaime Rojo)
DeGrupo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Carlisi Maultra (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Poi Everywhere (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Calicho Art with Jeff Roseking (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Calicho Art with Jeff Roseking (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Calicho Art with Jeff Roseking (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Hudson River, NYC. December 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 02.02.20

BSA Images Of The Week: 02.02.20

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The ebullient brilliance of the street is what lifts us up in this time of disarray and misdirection. Our collective cognitive dissonance, fed by hired mercenary disinformationists of the oligarchy and their corporate armies, tells us that truth is foggy, or even a lie. No wonder the preponderance of surrealists who are spraying the streets these days. They are merely a reflection of this war on our minds, a war by the way, that you and we are not winning.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Miami, and this time featuring A Lucky Rabbit, Bunny M, Caratoes, City Kitty, CRKSHNK, Insomniak Crew, Koalas of NYC, Lauren YS, The London Police, W3r3on3, and Zio Ziegler.

Zio Ziegler deeply wrecking your brain with emanating rays of gold foil genius. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Zio Ziegler. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Zio Ziegler (photo © Jaime Rojo)
The London Police can’t give a complete compliment. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Need a hand?
City kitty (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist’s 3-d rendition of Saturn and its moon Europa. The rings are made with a compact disc-like material. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Caratoes. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Caratoes. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Caratoes. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
bunny M (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lauren YS. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
W3r3on3. Insomniak Crew. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Koalas of NYC. A scannable code overleaf links the reader to a GoFundMe account where they can donate to WIRES, the largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity in Australia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Koalas of NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CRKSHNK. This reminds us of the work of MC Escher. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A Lucky Rabbit (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dont Fret (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dont Fret in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dont Fret in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dont Fret in collaboration with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Meres One Says “Love Is Love”

Meres One Says “Love Is Love”

When a real graffiti head hits you in the heart, you know it’s going to burn brightly.

NYC writer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen has been getting up on the streets for 3+ decades with his distinctive color-drenched style and “bright idea” icon and he has exhibited in venues as varied as Meeting of Styles, the Parish Art Museum, and the French Institute of Art.

This month he has contributed his talent, name and heart to protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ people to celebrate the 5oth Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that sparked a civil rights movement that burns today.  We were lucky enough to catch it and grab a fast shot last week – and very lucky to ask him about it in an email conversation here where he shares his personal take on the topic “Love is Love”.

Meres One. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Brooklyn, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Besides the straight forward message of the campaign, some people may not see the connection and will wonder what’s your relevance to the LGBT community. How would you address that?
MERES ONE: I am always puzzled by the “relevance” question.  I marched and did hundreds of signs for “Black Lives Matter” and my intent or connection was not questioned.  The mural is about love, about acceptance, about respecting boundaries and others’ choices and rights to love. As I have said before love and falling in love is a powerful uncontrollable feeling and no one should dictate the premises of such feelings. I obviously have friends living in a same-sex relationship, including Taylor and Lauren whom See TF painted next to this mural. My cousin is a lesbian rabbi – does that even matter? I think you answered that question for me perfectly at the wall when you said ‘sometimes it takes a majority to stand up for the rights of the minority.’ So maybe that is it. I am standing up and doing what I love for my friends and for strangers alike.

BSA: Why do you think some people have a hard time understanding that loving or love is one of the most personal acts and they try to dictate and control who we choose to love and partner with?
MERES ONE: Actually very often I am asked why I think graffiti is misunderstood or represented vs. street art. I always answer that people tend to fear or dislike what they cannot understand. The segregation and judgment experienced by the LGBTQ+ community is mostly based on fear and misconception. It is unfortunately carried and supported by many clergymen and women, and it is supported by our own president and many elected officials. So again if we all became a spokesperson for love, if we all stood up for that right, we could make a difference. I feel that this initiative curated by the Lisa Project is gifting our city with 50 beautiful murals, but it is also opening dialogue. Sometimes maybe it will force dialogue and that’s amazing and a step forward. 

BSA: The style of the message and the mural itself is reminiscent of a postcard. It exudes nostalgia. Do you think people are longing for simpler, kinder times?
MERES ONE: It is for sure echoing a postcard, a time when people actually wrote and committed to their words. I hope and would love to know that the audience would use the wall as a backdrop to send a message of acceptance and love to whoever they want. I for one am, and I think many are, longing for some of the old New York, for kinder and more people-focused time. We are living in a very difficult era and it seems that so many basic rights which were fought for are being reversed by our current administration. So yes I think a lot of us are left with an uneasy feeling and worries.

BSA: What was your experience with the passersby as you were painting? What were some of their reactions?
MERES ONE: So many – mostly positive I will add. I try to give my attention to everyone as long as I am not all the way up on the lift. I heard funny comments, some passersby the first day were worried this was going to be a Colossal ad. I guess the lift and organization looked very professional and they were relieved to hear about the project and the birthing of new art on the block. Once my light bulbs were visible there was a lot of honking and shout outs from people driving by. I was surprised by the amount of genuine ‘thank you’s that came from people.

I love the fact that people read out loud “love is love” and kept on walking. The local businesses – from the owner of 3 Dollar Bill cheering us on, to the Wells bringing us cold water, to Saints coffee roaster thanking us, they all seemed really happy about this installation on their block. We managed to create a story thanks to the trust of the people at Lisa Project and people get to see a true narrative by me, See TF, JPO and David Puck. I feel people are relating to the wall and owning it in their personal way, and that was the goal here, so I am super pleased and humbled to have been part of it.


With our thanks to Wayne and Rey at The LISA Project for organizing the artists for this event.


This installation is part of the World Pride Mural Project Initiative. For more information please click here.

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BSA Images Of The Week: 06.09.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 06.09.19

Jeez, that only took 50 years. Stonewall Riot Apology: Police Actions Were ‘Wrong,’ Commissioner Admits”, cooed the New York Times this week. Of course the NYT headline at the time focused on how the helmeted, armed police were affected, rather than the couple of hundred citizens who they harrassed, intimidated and beat up for being many shades of LGBTQ – “Four Policeman Hurt in Village Raid”. Thankfully Macy’s and HSBC bank and all the corporations ran to the rescue of those folks in 1969 and throughout the 1970s and 1980s, 90s, right?

Aside from the multiple lessons we all continue to learn in the fights for people’s equality across society and in our institutions, one lesson comes through loudly and clearly: real, meaningful change almost never comes from the top down. Social, political, and economic justice comes from the grassroots, rank-and-file, everyday people fighting day after day, year after year.

That’s why we keep our eyes on graffiti, Street Art and all manner of expression on the street – its proven to be a reliable source for the vox populi.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring CANO, Carl Paoli, Dain, David Puck, El Ergo, FKDL, Infynite, Isabelle Ewing, Justin T. Russo, Little Ricky, Meres One, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Sara Lynne Leo, Screwtape, SeeTF, Skewville, Solus, and Stray Ones.

seeTF portrait of Taylor & Lauren with Meres One’s heart shaped rainbow. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Homo Riot (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Justin T Russo. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jason Naylor (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dain (photo © Jaime Rojo)
David Puck. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)
FKDL (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Solus (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Little Ricky (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Little Ricky (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ramiro Davaro-Comas (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Stray Ones (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Isabelle Ewing (photo © Jaime Rojo)
El Ergo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sara Lynne Leo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Infynite (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Carl Paoli (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist Justin T Russo. WorldPride Mural Project Initiative. The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. Manhattan, NY (photo © Jaime Rojo)(photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cano (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. The Last Picture. East River, NYC. June 2019 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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