All posts tagged: William Thomas Porter

Wastedland 2. Andrew H. Shirley Corrals Counter-Culture in Detroit

Wastedland 2. Andrew H. Shirley Corrals Counter-Culture in Detroit

“The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.” Abbie Hoffman


 

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EKG Labs. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

PREAMBLE

At any given moment a counter-culture is developing before your eyes. Authoritarian governments know this. So do, as it turns out, lifestyle brands, sociologists, and PR firms.

Born of a genuine disaffection with the dominant culture as it steamrolls blithely forward, counter-culture has the ability to draw sharp contrasts into focus, expose secrets, challenge hypocrisies, redress inequality. It can also crack open a moribund mindset and give oxygen and sunlight and water to new ideas, new ways of being, alternate paradigms.

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UFO 907 & William Thomas Porter. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Counter-culture is essential to growth of culture, and while it can be shocking, disruptive, even painful at times, the wise know that the marginalized often lead the body politic toward a stronger equilibrium, a more perfect union.

Graffiti may not have begun as a subculture or a counter-culture, but virtually all of our recognized institutions steadfastly resisted it. Over time, they have become more open to suggestion, if with reservations and conditions. Eventually, everything is transformed by it in degrees.

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EKG Labs. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

DETROIT CHARTS THE MOVEMENT

May we suggest that when it comes to the counter-cultural aspects of graffiti and Street Art, Detroit is a fine example of being in multiple stages of acceptance and denial, with examples of the counter-culture all along the continuum from rejection to absorption.

During a recent visit we saw old-school Detroit graffiti heads with their elaborate pieces next to newcomer kids from other cities bringing a raw-graff anti-style. You could also find corporate lifestyle brands polishing their art-cool bonafides while gently intermingling with grassroots community-minded mural organizing.

Further up the financial ladder you’ll witness blue-chip collector/investors getting down in a gallery culture that supports marquee art names, and major institutions courting younger “edgy” artists who started their “careers” far outside the mainstream, often outside the law.

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EKG Labs. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Andrew H. Shirley steps carefully in many ways as he leads us up a cracked staircase of oil-caked concrete, piss-poor lighting and the occasional puddle of murk. Our ears are still ringing from the sounds of a busted muffler in his car and we’re mulling over the sight of his dashboard vitrine that seemed to contain bones, feathers, amulets and pop culture debris reflecting in a ochre filmed windshield.

On the way here to Lincoln Art Park, we have passed graffitied car carcasses, crumbling ex factories, and fire torched exoskeletons of houses – all which lead to this loading dock entrance of a building once owned by Ford, now run as a recycling plant and, as it turns out, an art exhibition gallery.

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Our ride to Wastedland 2. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“So there was 40 years of garbage and the whole floor was filled with it,” Andrew says, “I came in here and I had to unload all of that sh*t by myself”.

A native of the big D, the slim-framed Mr. Shirley has spent half of his 40 years outside of it; writing graffiti, pitching and creating art projects, promoting scenes, studying film making and custom bike-making… generally pushing the margins of cultural acceptability in a way that looks sketchy on a resume – but would make smart brands salivate, if they had the guts.

“This is the 20th anniversary of me leaving this town and I have been back several times with several different shows,” he says about the group exhibitions and events that feature what he calls ‘underground aesthetics’.

“This is the first big public project where I brought a lot of my friends from New York and included the artists and makers here in Detroit who I have come to know over the years – all under one roof and showcasing all of their talents.”

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Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

THE FILM

Also, a film screening.

It’s the debut of “Wastedland2” in the middle of this 7,000 square foot dark cavern with a small grouping of stolen church pews facing the screen. The original Wastedland was a smaller tale – a petri dish of ideas that expanded and took root in a showier piece of exploration and mystery with higher production values.

The seating area is orbited by mini-dioramas of characters and scenes featured in the half hour graffiti mockumentary. Here is a handmade shack by Adam Void that perhaps epitomizes a metaphorical outsider clubhouse mentality common to the graffiti game.

To stage left is a stuffed 6-foot tall Cranky Cat standing erect amid piles of spent paint cans, a fire extinguisher, and exhaust tubes leading nowhere. In the movie Cranky is a feral and grouchy/whining character who propels the drunken aerosol action forward with escapades of ex-urban painting and existential fireside conversation with Wolftits and Amoeba Man in their “Wizard of Oz”-like  pilgrimage in search of truths. There is no Dorothy and no Toto in the film, but the animal head masks are trippy and comical even in the darkest moments. Each graffiti artist, according to EKG, was asked to make a costume that mimicked their spirit-animal. Amoeba Man’s plastic-wrapped head mask is a tour-de-force.

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Standing silently in the center of the floor behind the seating area in the exhibit is the massive tentacled steam-punked multi-eyed orb made of wood and steel that gives physical presence to the elusive anonymous graffiti crew called UFO 907. He also is the films’ diety and the holder of the aforementioned elusive truths.

Behind him on the wall is another slatted and animated version of UFO – perhaps more similar to the wiggly UFO 907 character sprayed across hundreds of walls in NYC. This animated sculpture version has a reservoir of black ink that drips on the floor.

Wastedland 2 is a road trip without road, a therapeutic buddy film without saccharine, staged in a post apocalyptic terrain that is revealed as graffiti oasis. The hapless beer- and weed-fueled journey is pure youthful angst suspended in chemicals and many in the audience laughed in recognition at the head-banging frustration voiced about fundamental life questions by these furry characters.

Despite the obvious obstacles posed by frozen facial expressions, there is a warmth in the interactions. Of note particularly is the party scene of mixed genders and the stumbling awkwardness of Wolftits with a potential lady friend; this will be the first time you’ve seen the mating game portrayed quite like this.

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“Cranky Cat’s Hovel” with Cranky Cat. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“This piece played the character of God in the film,” Andrew says, pointing to the all-seeing sculpture. “You may have seen that it was actually in a field in upstate New York.”

Yes, we made the trip to the rolling hills of cow-country to see it twice in a field of gently waving weeds. Previously we saw it in the lobby of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Previous to that we saw it being carved, soldiered, and under construction in UFO’s studio in Brooklyn. Truthfully, it does seem rather god-like.

Andrew says he transported the hulking orb by truck from rural New York to post-industrial Detroit, which must have taken 9 or 10 hours if he crossed into Canada and squeezed between the Great Lakes of Ontario and Erie.

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EKG Labs. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This old factory has definitely not been refurbished into a “white box” gallery space, and there are no guards. There may be a guard dog. The floors are occasionally flooded by a leak from a source that is hard to pinpoint, the lighting is so irregular as to appear incidental, and visitors should be careful not to bang their head on the soot-covered sculptures of clouds by artist DarkClouds that are affixed slightly above with stalactite-like ebony drips that could be solid or liquid.

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Dark Clouds. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As you parse the floors and avoid the paint-peeling columns Mr. Shirley is narrating just ahead of you with an earnest voice that weaves in and out of range, dashing off to find an extension chord perhaps, or a ladder, or to find someone to come explain the muscular graffiti pieces on display in the adjoining passage.

 

GANGSTERS AND WHITE KIDS

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BRZM ISH/ SYW. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Presently a twenty-something guy named Zak Warman appears and walks us past 10 or so freshly wild and layered graffiti pieces each displayed in their own bay, each representing important players from the last couple of decades in the Detroit graffiti scene. Zak tells us says that the Motor City scene is characterized by two distinct styles and constituencies at the moment, and this show combines both.

“I guess like the ‘gangster graffiti’ and the ‘white kid graffiti’ would be the best way to put it,” he explains while surveying the lineup and glancing at the rest of the show. “You know, the people who were like born in the gutter here and the people who came here in their teen years who moved here and such.”

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YOGURT / DFW. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“There’s people here who would never have painted together but maybe it was just the way that I showed them or my proposal. I was like ‘let’s just set everything aside that’s happened over the years – this is about us it is not about you. This is about everybody not just about our own f**king personal graff beef.’ ”

“It’s like the first time that everyone has come together into one big family.”

Mr. Shirley jumps in to further describe the nature of the work and the creators. “It is very important in Detroit to be able to ‘piece’, ” he says of the verb ‘piece’ that describes the noun ‘piece’ – a large, complex, and labor-intensive graffiti painting.

“In some places having a good tag is that first staple and then you move up from that tag,” he explains. “But here, because of the amount of time and space that you have to develop your craft all of these dudes really regard piecing above everything else.”

He walks down to the end of the line to point at a painted work. “These guys at the end – PERU and ARMY – they were doing 10-color pieces on the streets, as was SEKT – before anyone else. These guys represent a span of time from the early and mid 90s into the 2000s.”  In most cities you don’t have that luxury of time to develop an illegal piece, but Detroit has a number of stories like this.

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PERU ARMY. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A common story around Detroit is that, due to de-industrialization, the collapsing economy and the shrinking municipal budgets in the 1990s and 00s, the police were only arresting people for felonies. Since graffiti was not a felony, the police would simply drive by while aerosol was being sprayed.

“It’s not a myth,” says Andrew. “I painted a water tower one time – it’s still here today.” He recounts a story where one cop sat vigil on a rooftop for hours watching him paint on the water tower, only to be replaced by another until finally the painting was done. “I think he was just making sure that I didn’t get hurt and that I was okay,” he says with a sense of wonder.

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SEKT EBC / DFW. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

PARTING FOG

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EKG Labs . Drake. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s time to depart the Wastedland 2 exhibition and go to the streets in this run-down part of Detroit, where the art on the walls is roughly the same as the stuff we’ve just come to see.

It is unclear if this underground is simply about aesthetics, or if there is a deeper message. Maybe this is not a counter-culture after all, but a subculture.

As we stand by the elevated installation by artist EKG, dry-ice smoke billows out of a fully formed madman’s laboratory behind black curtains. Amid the visual field of blinkering orange light tubes and smoke that harken back to 1950s Sci-Fi movies, you see another character from the movie; the film’s box-headed admin assistant who robotically types out reams of black scrolls full of orange symbols to decode at a pivotal moment. This is an apt skillset to possess in an underground scene that is heavily coded and rife with implied and layered messages. A simple man of few words, EKG dubbed his character The Cyber Spirit Stenographer in The Court of The Overlord.

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EKG Labs. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We consider the amorphous steam from the Cyber Spirit and wonder how porous the veil is between the mainstream and the outsider artists who fuel this scene. When does counter-culture become culture? We can’t say for sure.

“Detroit is a pretty good example of counter-culture becoming culture, actually,” replies Andrew H. Shirley to our inquiry. “There is this corporatization that happens and there are culture vultures on the corners and in the nooks and crannies in underground scenes of America and they are exploiting it for monetary gain.”  True. But there is also word-of-mouth that spreads the news and the willing, thrilling adoption of techniques and languages by the naturally inquisitive types whose brain synapses are electrified by discovery.  With shows like this does Mr. Shirley feel like he is aiding and abetting the mainstreaming of a subculture like graffiti and its D.I.Y tributaries?

“I’d like to pull back the curtains and give a little peek of it but I’m not trying to shine too many flashlights or provide too much of a narrative into the ‘hows’ and ‘whats’ and ‘whys’. I think it’s important for the common man to see that there is an alternative perspective because too often they are just inundated by the media that is controlled by the corporations – who are telling them what to wear, how to think, how to act, what to pray to, what to feel and how to live their life.”

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EKG Labs. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

SOME LAST WORDS ON FESTIVALS

He does have a little beef with mural festivals though.

He thinks his Wastedland 2 show deals a fairer hand to local artist communities. “This is kind of in contrast to what seems to be an international phenomenon of bringing muralists, many of them the same muralists, from city to city – developing a ‘look’ that is kind of becoming a blanketed look,” he says.

“Detroit has so many f**king artists and part of the problem for me is that there are a lot of these mural festivals that are two thirds or 75% or 90% international artists and 10% or 20% local artists. It doesn’t allow for the city to see what is really happening here. I wanted to have a show where the background and the forefront of the show was about what was happening here.”

“While I do think the mural festival is very important in bringing in outside influence and outside interest into the city, for me it is just as important, or more important, to really praise and understand the origins of these movements in Detroit. That’s why I have reached out and had the help of friends to get these artists into the show.”

That said, we’ll say that the Wastedland 2 event was heavily promoted by the folks at the recent Murals In The Market Festival and many of the international artists who participated in the mural festival were also in attendance at the Shirley curated show, the bonfires, and music events at the sculpture park – as well as the screening of the movie.

Of course we also saw Gen Y and even Gen Z there with backpacks full of paint, dangling their legs off the retaining wall that overlooked the huge bonfire — who seemed to disappear when the freight train that ran along the lots’ perimeter came to a halt. There was also a guy from the Detroit Institute of Arts and a local plumber who talked to us about building a tree house in his front yard. Maybe it is harder to define culture than we thought.

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Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Amy Smalls . George Vidas. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Amy Smalls . George Vidas . GEN2. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rambo . UFO907 . Ryan C. Doyle. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rambo . UFO907 . Ryan C. Doyle. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rambo . UFO907 . Ryan C. Doyle. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rambo . UFO907 . Ryan C. Doyle. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Amanda Wong . Andrew H. Shirley. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dark Clouds. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Wolftits popcorn making machine. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Adam Void. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Greg Henderson. Wastedland 2. Detroit, September 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Participating artists at Detroit Wastedland2, curated by Andrew H. Shirley include ARMY, BRZM, DRAKE, DONT, DYKE, ELMER, FOUR EYES, LIGER, MINCE, PERU, PORAB, REVEREND, SECT, SKWAT, TOUCH, TURDL, YOGRT and others from Detroit and also artists Adam Void, Amanda Wong,  Amy Smalls and George Vidas , Ben Wolf,  DARKCLOUDS,  EKG,  Greg Henderson,  Hugo Domecq,  RAMBO,  Ryan C. Doyle,  UFO 907,  William Thomas Porter,  WOLFTITS, among others.

Performers included The Unstoppable Death Machines, DJ Ihatejail.com (Crazy Jim from Wolf Eyes), Ishtar, Lt. Dan, and Dj’s Abacus, Prismviews, Black Noi$e, Abby and 100% Halal Meat


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Next stop on the film’s multi-city launch: Richmond,Virginia on November 4.

Wastedland 2” and the accompanying show will feature new artwork from:  Adam Void, Amanda Wong, Amy Smalls and George Vidas, Andrew H. Shirley, Conrad Carlson, DARKCLOUDS, EKG, Greg Henderson, NOXER, RAMBO, Russell Murphy, Ryan C. Doyle, UFO 907, William Thomas Porter, WOLFTITS, and live performances from The Unstoppable Death Machines and Richmond’s DUMB WAITER and TOWARD SPACE. There will also be graffiti installations from local Richmond vandals and the 907 crew.

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“Brooklyn Shelf Life” and the Showpaper Installation at BAM

Paper boxes are an important vehicle for communications on the street , even as the City has tried to consolidate them into elaborate ‘street furniture’ schemes that often leave out independent voices. Showpaper, a free print publication has been churning out issues for five  years to give exposure to events and D.I.Y. culture around New York. It usually dedicates a large portion of print space and ink to an original artwork by an artist, and its listings provide an important exposure for artists and performers who haven’t yet been “discovered” by the larger media outlets.

Yesterday’s interview with UFO907 and W. Thomas Porter showed the amount of work and inspiration that went into their entry in the Showpaper show “Brooklyn Shelf Life” curated by Andrew H. Shirley at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  5 pairs of artists affiliated with the New York street art scene were chosen to created new paper kiosks for the street. BSA was there in the BAM lobby to witness the installation of the sculptural pieces for Tuesday’s reception, and bring you the work of the other artists who prepared these pieces specifically for the show and to be placed on the streets of New York to distribute Showpaper.

The artists include Adam Void & Gaia, Cassius Fouler & Faust, Leon Reid IV & Noah Sparkes, Ryan C. Doyle & Swoon, and UFO 907 & W. Thomas Porter.

Leon Reid IV and Noah Sparkes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Reid IV and Noah Sparkes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Reid IV and Noah Sparkes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Leon Reid IV and Noah Sparkes. A stack of Showpapers in a compartment behind the ear. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cassius Fouler and Faust (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cassius Fouler and Faust (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cassius Fouler and Faust (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cassius Fouler and Faust. A stack of showpapers. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon and Ryan Doyle (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon and Ryan Doyle (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon and Ryan Doyle (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon and Ryan Doyle (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swoon and Ryan Doyle. A stack of Showpapers inside the beehive. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia and Adam Void (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia and Adam Void (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gaia and Adam Void (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

General View of the Exhibition (photo © Jaime Rojo)

General View of the Exhibition (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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BAMart Presents: Public (Brooklyn, NY)

BAMart: Public

BAMart: Public

June 2012—May 2013

Selected Artists:

Glen Baldridge
Timothy Hull & Future Expansion Architecture
Ed Purver
Showpaper
featuring Adam Void & Gaia, Cassius Fouler & Faust, Leon Reid IV & Noah Sparkes, Ryan C. Doyle & Swoon, UFO 907 & William Thomas Porter

BAMart: Public’s inaugural year presents four proposals for temporary art projects or interventions that enliven BAM’s campus and the surrounding BAM Cultural District. Selected through a juried open call, the participants’ works will transform underutilized spaces that serve as ideal platforms for creative expression within the distric using a variety of media and generating new and exciting ideas about ways to introduce art and culture into urban public space.

Opening reception
Tue, Jun 19, 6—8pm
Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayatte Ave, Brooklyn

Free

Leadership support for BAMart provided by Agnes Gund, Toby Devan Lewis, and Donald R. Mullen, Jr., with additional support provided by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.

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Fun Friday 02.17.12

Woo Hooooooooo! Street Art and graffiti shows are hopping tonight ya’ll! With shows in Chinatown, Dumbo, and Williamsburg, you’re going to have to take the train and the bus if you want to catch it all.

1. Cake and Don Pablo Pedro at Mighty Tanaka (DUMBO)
2. “All Talk” Group Show at Pandemic (Williamsburg, BK)
3. “Snowblind” at Klughause (Chinatown)
4. “Ocean Size” at Kunsthalle Galapagos Gallery SATURDAY 2/18 (DUMBO)
5. “What I Know,” curated by Jason Andrew
6. ” The Permanent Collection Volume II: My Own Private Serpico,” English Kills Gallery
7. Kraftwerk Retrospective at MOMA in April
8. William Thomas Porter – Splendid Cycles (VIDEO)
9. Connor Harrington “Black Herds of the Rain” (VIDEO)
10. JAZ in Mexico City with MAMUTT (VIDEO)
11. Nuria Mora in South Africa (VIDEO)

Cake and Don Pablo Pedro at Mighty Tanaka (DUMBO)

We’ve interviewed Cake this week, and Don Pablo Pedro when he wasn’t in shows, and we can assure you that “Inside Out” is about all the disgusting little bits you keep inside. Tonight they’re out at Mighty Tanaka.

Cake. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here

“All Talk” Group Show at Pandemic (Williamsburg, BK)

“Some of New York City’s boldest anti-heros, cynics and preachers” – Say no more! Tell me where to sign. “All Talk” is the new group show at Pandemic Gallery opens today with the participation of: Aakash Nihalani, Andrew H. Shirley, Cassius Fouler, Destroy & Rebuild, Gabriel Specter, Isabel Lasala, J. Ralph Phillips, Jenna Hicock, Jesse Edwards, Map, Merk, and NohJColey.

Aakash Nihalani (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Snowblind” at Klughause (Chinatown)

We’re gonna start calling it SLUGHOUSE because their first 3 shows have been heavy hitters for such a small scrappy gallery at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, near a Police Precinct, and yet in damn near darkness. The concept for tonights show is cool, but what’s cooler is CARNAGE, the magazine by Ray Mock, one of the best graffiti photogs on the street today. Oh, also, Martha Cooper is in the show. See ya there!. “Snowblind” opens today with the participation of Martha Cooper, Ray Mock, Alexander Richter, Mike P, Bob Barry,  Oscar Arriola, Graham Shimberg, Michael Fales, and Jesse Edwards.

For further information regarding this show click here.

“Ocean Size” at Kunsthalle Galapagos Gallery SATURDAY 2/18 (DUMBO)

Yo, we checked this one out as it was going up yesterday – It’s worth it and Toronto based Street Artist and fine artist Troy Lovegates just killed it with this brand new piece which we’re showing you a detail of below.

Troy Lovegates. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Also happening this weekend

“What I Know,” curated by Jason Andrew – The Bushwick arts leader who makes art happen, Mr. Andrew curates a 40 person show at NYCAMS (New York Center for Art and Media Studies), opening tonight. Download the PDF here

English Kills Gallery Permanent Collection opening Friday night : ” The Permanent Collection Volume II: My Own Private Serpico,” the second installment of works from the English Kills Permanent Collection featuring David Pappaceno, Don Pablo Pedro, Cleon Peterson, Steven Thompson, Brent Owens, Vilaykorn Sayaphet, Hiroshi Shafer, Joe Borelli, Frank Stella, Peter Dobill, Andy Piedilato, Jim Herbert, Tyrome Tripoli, Kevin Brady, Jenn Brehm, Kevin Regan, Giles Thompson, Jeff Clark, Mike Olin, Shane Heinemeier, Dan Taylor, Lenny Reibstein, Tescia Seufferlein, Andrew Ohanesian, Andrew Hurst, Austin Thomas, Evan Ryer, Gary Cullen

 

Kraftwerk Retrospective at MOMA in April – Tickets on Sale Wed 2/22

The live presentation “Kraftwerk-Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8″ will explore their pioneering electronic music and each of their eight, groundbreaking studio albums with a unique set of projected images (some in 3-D ):

The music called electronic was basically created by Kraftwerk, who began four decades ago and whose influence and flat out appropriated music appears in work by these artists, to name a few: Jay-Z, Coldplay, Afrika Bambaata, Chemical Brothers, Pink Floyd, Fatboy Slim, New Order, Fergie, Ladytron, Missy Elliott, Franz Ferdinand, Thompson Twins, and yes, McDonna.

William Thomas Porter – Splendid Cycles (VIDEO)

Creater and builder of the famous “F*ck Bike 001” now on view at the Museum of Sex show “F*ck Art”, here is a video following William Thomas Porter around on his preferred form of transportation.  “I wouldn’t call them mutants,” he says of his bike caricatures, “because that would make them sound ugly. It’s more like creating this… splendid form.”

Connor Harrington “Black Herds of the Rain” (VIDEO)

JAZ in Mexico City with MAMUTT (VIDEO)

Nuria Mora in South Africa (VIDEO)

 

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Fun Friday 02.10.12

1. Giants Fans in Manhattan Streets (VIDEO)
2. “F*ck Art” at Museum of Sex
3. CASA DE EMPENO at Anonymous (Mexico City)
4. “Love & Hate” Group Show at Stolen Space (London)
5. CREEPY at Okazi Gallery (Berlin)
6. Chris Stain and H. Veng Smith at C.A.V.E. Gallery (Los Angeles)
7. Winter Group Show at White Walls Gallery (San Francisco)
8. Zes and Retna new show “Excavated Revelations”
9. German duo Herakut paint a mural at Big Art Labs (VIDEO)

Giants Fans in Manhattan Streets (VIDEO) Weeeeeeeee are the CHAMPEEEEENSSSS

Streets in Manhattan were bloated with about a million crazy football fans this week as the Superbowl-winning New York Giants had a parade and almost everybody skipped school and work to go see their heroes. Office workers literally dumped garbage cans of shredded paper out the window en masse while fans poured into the city from every direction, including nearby states, to roar as the players rode by. Some people were well behaved, but they were hard to see or hear because of all the hooligans raising holy hell. Here’s a video taste of it –  some seriously funny sh*t. Watch out for unbridled testosterone fueled aggression, swear words and Giants inspired freestylin. NSFW, but okay for the street.

F*ck Art at Museum of Sex

The Museum of Sex new show “F*ck Art” is open to the general public. With a group of 20 Street Artists participating from different cities and countries the show includes: AIKO. Andrew H. Shirley, B-rad Izzy, Cassius Fouler. DICKCHICKEN. DROID, GEN 2, OZE 108 of 907, El Celso, Jeremy Novy, JMR, LUSH, Miss Van, MODE 2, Patch Whisky, ROSTARR, RTTP: Nathan Vincent & Bryan Raughton, Tony Bones, William Thomas Porter, WOLFTITS, and Wonderpuss Octopus.

Lush (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further details on this show click here

Click here to read our article and interviews with the curators and some of the artists.

CASA DE EMPENO at Anonymous (Mexico City)

In Mexico City Anonymous Gallery new group show “Casa de Empeño” opens today to the general public. Centered around the themes of a Pawn Shop the show includes internationally recognized Street Artists Judith supine. Maya Hayuk and Davil Ellis among others.

Judith Supine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here

“Love & Hate” Group Show at Stolen Space (London)

“Love & Hate” the new group show at Stolen Space Gallery in London opens today to the general public. With the participation of several Street Artists from different cities including: D*Face, Dan Witz, Miss Van, Ronzo, Toshi, Will Barras, Word To Mother, Jeff Soto and EINE among others.

Ben Eine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here

CREEPY at Okazi Gallery (Berlin)

Kyle Hughes-Odgers AKA Creepy new solo show “If We Can’t Control the Boat, Let’s Control the Ocean” opens today at the Okazi Gallery in Berlin.

Creepy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here

Chris Stain and H. Veng Smith at C.A.V.E. Gallery (Los Angeles)

Chris Stain and Veng go to Little Venice, CA for the opening of their new show this Saturday at C.A.V.E. Gallery.

Veng and Chris Stain (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to read our article on Chris’ new works for this show.

And a preview of Veng’s work on The Street Spot.

For further information regarding this show click here

Winter Group Show at White Walls Gallery (San Francisco)

The White Walls Gallery new show “Winter Group Show” opens this Saturday in San Francisco with the participation of well known Street Artists including: Eine, Blek le Rat, Apex, Know Hope, Above, D*Face, Augustine Kofie, D Young V and Ernesto Yerena among others.

Blek le Rat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here

Also happening this weekend:

Zes and Retna new show “Excavated Revelations” opens this Saturday at Known Gallery in Los Angeles. Click here for more details on this show.

German duo Herakut paint a mural at Big Art Labs (VIDEO)

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“F*ck Art” Opens Wide at Museum Of Sex (Not Safe for Work / School)

Be Sure to Ride the 14 Foot Long “F*ck Bike”

“F*ck Art”, an undulating and adventurous group show by New York Street Artists opens its arms and legs to you at the Museum of Sex (MoSex) tomorrow and whether it’s the human powered penetrating bicycle or the glass bead encrusted dildo, it endeavors to satisfy.

Miss Van. Detail. Oil on Canvas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Co-curated by Emilie Baltz (Creative Director) and Mark Snyder (Director of Exhibitions), the show selects 20 current Street Artists who have pushed notions of propriety into provocation on the street and it invites them to let it loose behind closed doors.  Not that Miss Van needs anyone’s permission; her sensual role-playing painted ladies have been playfully preening on graff-piled walls and blue-boarded construction sites for much of the 2000s.  Similarly the powerfully stenciled sirens by Street Artist AIKO have been bending over in high heels on walls all over the world with just a hint of the geishas from her native Japan for over a decade.

Aiko. Detail. Collage on canvas. (photo © Jaime Rojo).

The “Fuck Bike #001”, a pedal operated plunging machine by William Thomas Porter and Andrew H. Shirley, has at its conceptual base an ode to the lengths a guy will go to reach his natural objective. The two artist met at a Black Label Bike Club event called “Ridin’ Dirty” in 2010 and later schemed together to make an entry for a bike-themed group show in Bushwick, Brooklyn that featured many Street Artists like DarkClouds, Ellis G., UFO, Noah Sparkes and Mikey 907. “I approached Tom with the idea of creating a kinetic bike sculpture which you could f*ck someone with,” remembers Mr. Shirley, “Tom is a very gifted artist and bike engineer, it took a few days for him to build our design.”

Andrew H Shirley and William Thomas Porter “Fuck Bike #001” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Visitors to the show are invited to mount the bike and take it for a spin. “This bike is more sculpture oriented, but still functions sexually. It’s also totally interactive,” explains Mr. Shirley, who has displayed the bike in cities in Europe and America, most recently at Art Basel in Miami in December. So the bike has gotten around and Shirley happily recounts stories of intimate encounters it has had with both genders. (See the very Not-Safe-For-Work film of the bike in action below.)

The street has certainly seen an increase of fairly graphic sex related Street Art in the last decade or so as people have become more comfortable with such themes and much of this show can often be seen throughout the city without the price of admission. Gay couple Bryan Raughton and Nathan Vincent have been putting large and small scaled paste-ups of sexually themed imagery as a Street Art duo called RTTP for about two years on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Short for “Reply To This Post”, the line-drawn torsos and spread eagles are all part of their collaborative Street Art project that explores the desires of men seeking men on Craigslist.

 

RTTP. Collage directly on wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Describing the work, Vincent says it’s a process of lifting the mystery off of a just-below-the-radar Internet dating game – and pasting it on a lightpole. “Users post an ad with an image, title, and a short description of what they are looking for tonight. The photograph they post of themselves is drawn and titled with the ad’s title.” By putting these erotically based desires on the streets, Vincent thinks “they magnify those desires that often seem to live at the edges.” Says Raughton of the project, “We see it as an interesting way to take people private desires to the public street.”

 

Lush. Spray paint directly on wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In discussing the origins and underpinnings of a show like this, the co-curators reveal a more academic and sociological grounding than the prurient and salacious sauciness one might infer by a display of so much “F*ck Art”.  We asked Baltz to give us a sense of the context for a Street Art driven sex show.

Brooklyn Street Art: What is your favorite part of curating a show like this?
Emilie Baltz: Seeing the different interpretations and energy that each artist brings to their work is always the most interesting part of curating – with this topic, especially, it’s the fact that they are all pushing the limits of their medium by creating such provocative statements.

 

Wonderpuss Octopus. Sex toy with paint buildup and glass beads applique. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: While these pieces are behind closed doors available to a certain audience, Street Artists typically put their work out in the public. Do you think the work should change depending on the audience?
Emilie Baltz: We don’t think it’s about changing the work, it’s about how the work changes the environment it lives in. Street art has a long history of revealing different perspectives on its surrounding environment and by placing this work in a museum it creates a certain energy and visual provocation that changes the relationship we traditionally have to the museum-going experience.

Wolftits. Painted floor mat on rubber.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think there has been an increase in sex-related street art in recent years, and if so, why?
Emilie Baltz: There definitely is an increase in sex-related conversations in recent years. It’s not that there is more content suddenly, it’s just that culture is actually ready to start talking about it now, rather than ignore it.

 

Tony Bones on wood affixed to wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: We have noticed that themes of sex and sexuality are often quickly destroyed on the street, while other pieces remain for months. Is this a form of selective censorship by the public?
Emilie Baltz: Street art is a dialogue. Its creation is about expression and commentary, and therefore can become a barometer of cultural consciousness (or unconsciousness). The intimate and emotional nature of sexual content can obviously elicit strong feelings in viewers, and, given that street art is an environmental medium, either you have to live with it or get rid of it. Sex walks a fine line between acceptance and rejection. Public response to this kind of art is potentially a mirror into how our society relates to the topic.

Brooklyn Street Art: What surprised you the most about putting this show together?
Emilie Baltz: The enthusiasm from the public. People are genuinely excited to talk about sex in public space and it’s an incredible honor to be able to help facilitate that discussion.

 

Patch Whisky. Detail. Diorama with spray paint, paper collage and painted mannequins. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dickchicken. Detail. Hand colored wheatpaste directly on wall with painting on wood panel. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Droid, Gen 2, Oze 108, 907 Crew. Detail. Spray paint directly on wall with image on a light box. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

El Celso. Paint on Lucite. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cassius Fouler. Detail. New piece painted directly on wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Bike on Display in the Window at The Museum of Sex (NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR SCHOOL)

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F*CK ART
A Street Art Occupation at the Museum of Sex in New York City, opens February 8 and will run through June 10, 2012.

Emilie Baltz, Co-Curator, Creative Director, F*CK ART
Mark Snyder, Co-Curator F*CK ART, Director of Exhibitions, Museum of Sex
Meghan Coleman and Alex Emmart of Might Tanaka Gallery in Brooklyn served as Chief Advisors.

Participating Artists:

AIKO. Andrew H. Shirley, B-rad Izzy, Cassius Fouler. DICKCHICKEN. DROID, GEN 2, OZE 108 of 907, El Celso, Jeremy Novy, JMR, LUSH, Miss Van, MODE 2, Patch Whisky, ROSTARR, RTTP: Nathan Vincent & Bryan Raughton, Tony Bones, William Thomas Porter, WOLFTITS, and Wonderpuss Octopus

 

 

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