All posts tagged: Williamsburg

Artists Continue to Fight for Affordable Housing in NYC

Artists Continue to Fight for Affordable Housing in NYC

They’re not coming here to dine at the Olive Garden or take a tour through the Target.

They’re here for “Hello Dolly”, “Hamilton”, and “Cats”. They’re here for Billie Joel at the Garden, “Springstein on Broadway” and the “David Bowie” opening at the Brooklyn Museum. They’re here for the virtual reality exhibition “Celestial Bodies” at the Museum of Sex, Picasso and Marina Abramović at MoMa, and the 34,000 items in the Met’s Costume Institute. They’re here for Jazz at Birdland, punk at Manitobas, the singers at Joe’s Pub and dancing at “The Dirty Circus” party at House of Yes in Bushwick.

Whether its EDM or country music, Ai Wei Wei or Shepard Fairey, they’re reading about the arts from writers in the The New York Times, ArtForum, Hyperallergic, Time Out, The Village Voice, Daily News and right here.

Brooklyn Skyline. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The creative economy of artists, actors, dancers, musicians, photographers, curators, designers, art directors, architects, producers, writers, authors, painters, poets, coaches, trainers, teachers, filmmakers, lighting designers, stage designers, software programmers, prop makers, furniture designers, singers, chefs, hairdressers, makeup artists, fashion designers, and yes, Street Artists all are the contributors to the valuable cultural lifeblood of New York City.

And all of these people need a place to live and work, to create, to practice, to try and fail, and to try and succeed.

They also need to be able to pay the rent. That has been less and less and less possible in the last three decades at least with skyrocketing prices chasing low and medium income people from one neighborhood to the next.

These cultural creators have been moving from abandoned neighborhood to neglected neighborhood – in the process most often making the neighborhood more desireable – and then pushed out by the real estate investors. An effort to stem this unfair, brutal and insulting process, activists and artists created The Loft Law, which saved thousand artists in the 1980s and 1990s and it protected many Live/Work creative spaces and the cultural richness of the City that Never Sleeps. A second wave of Live/Work spaces were given protection via Albany in 2010 in a 2nd Loft Law  that covers creatives who brought neighborhoods around the city like Williamsburg and Bushwick back to life as desireable creative meccas.

Yes, this is one of the stories about gentrification – and yes, protection of affordable space for artists is not more important than affordable apartments for every single New Yorker. There are many programs afoot put in place ( please see: Mayor de Blasio Announces City Secured More Affordable Housing in 2017 Than in Any Prior Year.)

But that’s not why we’re writing today.

We’re writing to support all artists who give to this city and would like to assure that our elected officials, landlords, and the Loft Board remember their responsibility to respect and protect the rights of tenants, their families, their children, their grandchildren, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers.

Many tenants in the last couple of years have questioned whether the protections afforded under the Loft Law are being run over roughshod or ignored altogether, according to many artists you’ll speak with. There are accusations that hard-won rules are being skipped over, artists are being coerced, that clearly defined processes are being foreshortened and rammed through without input.

It’s an old story, a swinging of the pendulum of justice toward the people and away from the people, but one that needs to be righted occasionally. At this moment, with the Mayor so clearly expressing a desire to protect the rights of the New York creative industry for affordable safe loft Live/Work spaces, it seems possible.


Here is the press release for a protest by 475 Kent tenants today at the meeting of the New York City Loft Board.

475 Kent tenants are asking that you ALL come out and support them.
Loft Board Meeting
2:00 PM
January 18, 2018 
New York City Loft Board   
22 Reade Street, 1st floor 
New York, New York

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13 from 2013 : Ryan Oakes “Shooting a Banksy in Brooklyn”

13 from 2013 : Ryan Oakes “Shooting a Banksy in Brooklyn”

13shots-from-2013-v7

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image from a Street Art or graffiti photographer that brings a story, a remembrance, an insight or a bit of inspiration to the person who took it. For the last 13 days they will share a gem with all of us as we collectively say goodbye and thank you to ’13.

December-22

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Ryan-Oakes-December--2013-photogs-names

2013 brought the level of enthusiastic participatory fandom to new heights for the Street Art scene and the October New York “residency” by international man of mystery Banksy revealed both the full integration of social media with the street and the avid following that some Street Art can engage. We invited sincere New York Street Art fan Ryan Oakes to share with BSA readers one of his favorite Banksy shots and to tell us why it appeals to him.

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Banksy in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NYC 2013. (photo © Ryan Oakes)

Shooting a Banksy in Brooklyn

~ Ryan Oakes

This was my favorite piece from the Banksy month-long exhibition, but not only because I was actually able to catch it in the wild before it was defaced – a mere two hours after getting posted to Banksy’s Instagram.

I was determined to find one of the pieces during the month, and waited eagerly each day for the posts. When this one went up on his site, I seemed to recognize the area stores in background of the photo. Combining some online chatter and Google Maps Street View I was able to locate the building in Red Hook.

My wife and I happened to be home that morning, as we were expecting the birth of our first child any day that week. Realizing we would soon be losing the ability to be quite as spontaneous once the little guy arrived, we instantly jumped in the car.

It was a lovely moment for us to find the Banksy heart balloon sitting there in Red Hook…. my wife and I had gotten married just a few blocks down the street on the Red Hook waterfront.

 

Banksy

Red Hook, Brooklyn. 2013

 

“The day we find out the true identity of Banksy, you might as well pull the beard off of Santa Claus too.” Read Banksy’s Final Trick on the Huffington Post 

Check out our Brooklyn Street Art 2013 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo here.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Specter Brings the Beauty of Decay to a Pristine Brooklyn Pool

Specter’s Inversion of the “Broken Window” Theory Makes a Splash

The news that the average apartment price is over $3,000 dollars a month in New York was blasted across many channels yesterday and we told you two weeks ago that our own informal survey of 1-bedrooms in Williamsburg showed the median price is now $3,150. That’s about twice the price from around 2000. Is it any wonder why artists and workers who have contributed for years to the lifeblood of the city are saying they feel like they are literally being chased from it?

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In that context it’s one of those rich ironies that can be hard to verbalize yet increasingly cannot be overlooked; Street Artists who once were chased from a neighborhood by high rents sometimes are being invited back to create commissioned work to make it feel “real”. You could say the neighborhood is experiencing a Re-Billyburg-ification at the moment even as new construction and zoning rules continue to demolish all signs of the old quirky artist bohemia. Drawn by an “edgy” creative culture, promises of lower rents, and maybe the fun sport of some derisive “hipster” bashing while chugging a brew with yer buds and watching your team on the big screen, it appears that pockets of BK may be now re-skinning with the arty types to prolong the myth.

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And so it’s a semi-sweet experience to see many of these same Street Artists who were hitting these same streets and looking over their shoulder while doing it are now invited to do it and are getting paid for their effort. This week for example Cern just finished his Bruce Lee piece for a martial arts studio on North 8th, LNY is finishing his mural on North 6th Street for a new movie release, Ron English is reported to be working on a similar arrangement, and Icy and Sot just finished the facade of a new nightclub on the southside. Further down the street on North 6th where Faile used to be able to afford a studio space, an alcohol brand has sponsored a block-long installation that includes an amazing crochet installation by OLEK, an incendiary fire extinguisher piece by KATSU, and a large monochromatic painting by RoStaar, among other artists. For the big promotion, each artist spent much of the day doing installations while invited visitors on the street snapped photos and posed with the work. Of the brand sponsored event, a local TV station reporter says, “The goal is to promote art in the community while giving emerging artists exposure.”

We’ve been shooting and publishing and interviewing and getting walls for and telling the stories of many Street Artist here for years and now we receive press releases in the old email box from PR agencies who tell us that they are offering us to “receive a VIP tour” “in Brooklyn where artists’ visions explode onto streets in the heart of Williamsburg.” We are now invited to come and see “artists working street side to complete their pieces, while visitors can experience the creative process in motion.”

Gulp.

It sort of goes without saying, but in case you missed this – most artists cannot afford to live here anymore and they are only visiting the area to participate in the days’ events.

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Which brings us to the posting of today – the opening of Street Artist Specter’s new installation that is literally inspired by the street, now on display poolside alongside a 4,800 square foot deck at a new Williamsburg hotel. Known for his painstakingly hand-painted recreations of street facades and street people, this quiet wall is so realistic that most observers wouldn’t guess it was painted over the course of a number of weeks this spring in Specter’s studio.

The rusted panes, the overgrown ivy, the pockmarked wall, the mismatched mottled patterns of a now silent industrial sector; Specters’ new glorious façade could possibly appear so genuine that some chic hotel guests reclining by the rippling three-season saltwater pool and sipping a cocktail may peer over their sunglasses and wonder when the hotel is going to get around to finishing the renovation of the backyard.

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here it is, the broken windows theory thoroughly and pleasingly inverted by the brain of the artist, complete with a couple of quick graffiti tags, in this neighborhood where most of the actual graffiti and Street Art has been “cleaned up”.  Who knew that decay would be such a sight for sore eyes.

You’re invited to check out the new wall tonight from 7-10 at King and Grove. Bring your swimsuit and cocktails will be served.

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Specter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Tomek and False Photographed by Sabeth 718

Tomek and False Photographed by Sabeth 718

We’re counting down the last 12 days of 2012 with Street Art photos chosen by BSA readers. Each one was nominated because it has special meaning to a reader or is simply a great photograph from 2012 that they think is great. Our sincere thanks to everyone who shared their favorite images.

Our second entry comes from solid graff photographer and NYC resident Sabeth 718, who climbs all over these streets and roofs and tracks and doorways looking for his best shots. The photo was taken in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and we can see why he likes it so much, with the sun setting over Manhattan and peering under the bridge for just a second. As quickly as the runner goes by, the light will change too. Glad he captured it and he shares it with BSA readers.

False, Tomek (photo © Sabeth 718)

Visit Sabeth 718’s site to see more photos of his work here.

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Check out the BSA Images of 2012 video here.

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JR Keeps an Eye on The Williamsburg Bridge

French Street Artist and photographer JR hit a skyward spot last week in Brooklyn with a large watchful eye which looks toward the Williamsburg Bridge that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. An image taken of a member of the Lokota tribe on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, the new installation is part of The Inside Out – Lakota Project that JR began here in New York last year.

JR.  Inside Out A Global Art Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Working with a few assistants JR ferried the large prints up and down the building in a cherry picker, carefully matching the seams and wheat-pasting the pieces to gradually reveal this ocular oddity. The finished wall is alongside the north side of the bridge, perfect for bicyclists and pedestrians who want to stop and snap a photo.

JR. The staging area.  Inside Out A Global Art Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR.  Inside Out A Global Art Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR.  Inside Out A Global Art Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR.  Inside Out A Global Art Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR.  Inside Out A Global Art Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR.  Inside Out A Global Art Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

JR.  Inside Out A Global Art Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to learn more about JR’s Inside Out A Global Art Project

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Gilf! and Friends in Williamsburg

“It’s so rewarding to know that we’re positively influencing the community by doing what we love,” says Street Artist Gilf! as she reflects about a bit of wall painting she organized this weekend in Williamsburg.  “The best part of getting this fantastic lineup of artists in one place was the community’s super positive reaction. I was blown away- not only at the amazing pieces that everyone created, but also the neighborhood’s response.” On board were Cake, Gilf!, Joe Iurato, LNY, Veng (RWK), and special guests from Iran, Icy & Sot.

ICY & SOT (photo & Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! getting up (photo & Jaime Rojo)

Gilf! (photo & Jaime Rojo)

Joe Iurato . LNY (photo & Jaime Rojo)

J0e Iurato (photo & Jaime Rojo)

LNY (photo & Jaime Rojo)

Sometimes looking at a piece I just get a lump in my throat. Cake (photo & Jaime Rojo)

Veng RWK (photo & Jaime Rojo)

Veng RWK (photo & Jaime Rojo)

Sophia Maldonado (photo & Jaime Rojo)

Sophia Maldonado (photo & Jaime Rojo)

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UFO Crashes at Brooklyn Academy of Music

UFO 907 & W. Thomas Porter Unveil Giant Wood / Metal Sculpture With 34 Eyes

“I think this is the kind of art work that people can step up to and they won’t say “Why the f*ck am I looking at this? I could do this – my kid could do this! I wanna blow people’s minds. I want people to be awestruck by it,” W. Thomas Porter exclaims in a burst of unhinged bravado that a master metal worker and inventor can claim after 3 consecutive weeks of custom cutting, bending, molding, and welding a crash-landing space ship, a 3-D realization of the UFO 907 graffiti moniker on it’s head.

 

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

With the graffiti guy known on the street as UFO 907 as his master woodworking partner, Porter has crawled like a monkey inside, around, and on top of every inch of this metal-skinned vessel with 34 rotating smooth wooden eyes.  Standing inside a Brooklyn studio staring up at this audacious labor intensive sculptural blast-off of inspiration and technical handy-work, you can’t believe that this is the same UFO who jumped roofs and trains for years spraying a rapid flat version of this ubiquitous alien vessel.

907 Crew fans may also experience a mind-melt when hearing first hand the soaring descriptive narrative UFO lets loose about this brand new street piece, “It’s a symphony between wood and metal. Seeing the wood next to the metals – it’s almost like jewelry work, it’s like it’s growing up out of the earth like a flower. It’s totally looking like this flower that is blooming, this metal is blooming out of all of this wood. It’s fun, man.” A tough NYC street graffiti writer who sometimes get’s dragged into the uncomfortable position of being called a Street Artist?  Nah, UFO is just an artist now, and the usually shy guy is so ripped about this project he frankly doesn’t care about the label. It’s about the work.

 

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

Introduced last night at a reception hosted by The Brooklyn Academy of Music, this UFO will house a stash of copies of Showpaper, a free print publication that lists and promotes events and DIY culture all around New York. Commissioned with funding from BAMart: Public, the “Brooklyn Shelf Life Project” is Showpaper’s hand picked selection of Street Art affliated artists collaborating as pairs to create innovative new versions of the traditional street kiosk. Curated by Andrew H Shirley, the eclectic collection of street explorers also includes Adam Void & Gaia, Cassius Fouler & Faust, Leon Reid IV & Noah Sparkes, and Ryan C. Doyle & Swoon.

 

A sketch to the side of this preliminary mockup shows the full scale of the piece by UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A carpenter by trade, UFO 907 has been at it for 16 years but he didn’t try his hand at exploring his own graffiti tag in 3D till a few years ago. “It only made sense – I mean after over a decade drawing that stupid guy on the wall I began to wonder what he looked like in 3 dimensions…now I’m starting to wonder what the dude looks like in 5D!”

Porter says he started his path to metal work as a boy, tearing up old houses and rebuilding them with his father. “I’ve been making sculptures since I was 14, had no idea there was an art world then,” he says. Now that he is newly situated in his own Brooklyn studio, he’ll definitely be making more of his custom bike configurations (see his “F*ck Bike”) among other metal bending discoveries, “I’ve always been into material mashups,” he explains, “I started welding at 16, and metal became a gateway drug to all sorts of new possibilities.”

 

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

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

While touring through their respective studios, BSA had the opportunity to see the entire process of making the new sculpture for BAM, entitled “The End If the Beginning”. It was also good to talk with UFO 907 and W. Thomas Porter about how they teamed up, who the UFO character symbolizes, and what they’ll think if the sculpture gets vandalized on the street.

Brooklyn Street Art: When people think of UFO 907 on the streets, it’s a quick tag with not much detail. Don’t you think they would be pretty shocked to know how much time you put into a sculptural piece like this?
UFO 907:
I guess so. If there’s one thing I’ve learned all these years in the graffiti game is you never know what your going to get when you uncover the man behind the moniker.

I’ve always felt a kind of separation between my vandalism tendencies and my artistic urges. Sure my tags and retarded throwups can look artistic but it’s just a quick elementary thoughtless expression. I’m doing the macho getting up sh*t, pissing like a dog. But with my studio work I slow down to a f*cking snails pace, considering every detail, knowing each line of the brush/pen, each turn of the jigsaw, each stroke with the sander is injecting so much f*cking feeling and energy and power into the piece. So, if ya didn’t know, now ya know.

 

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

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

Brooklyn Street Art: What part of this new piece are you most proud of?
UFO 907: I’m pretty excited to have the opportunity to work to such a large scale. I also always had a desire to fabricate a larger-than-life UFO piece and just love the idea of using metal. And of course I’m totally stoked to have the opportunity to be collaborating on such an intense piece with an artist and craftsmen I hold in high regard, W.Thomas Porter.

Brooklyn Street Art: The first time we saw a sculptural UFO it was with Ad Hoc Projects for a group show in Miami. The piece was called “Williamsburg Guy”. Was that the first time you did something like that?
UFO 907:
No, I have built a few smaller wooden UFO pieces before the “Williamsburg Guy” piece, and over the years I have messed around with some other materials to find the form I’m looking for.

Funny story about the first time we showed “Williamsburg Guy”;

The night we finished the piece I slapped together a crate and Doyle and myself threw the piece underneath the Chinatown bus, and took it down to Richmond Virginia for a group show we were involved in. If you know the size and weight of the piece that’s a pretty impressive feat. But it was free shipping! Go Chinatown Bus!

 

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter (photo © UFO)

UFO and William Thomas Porter (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Since this is a vessel of sorts, and you have said your UFO tag is almost a self portrait, do you imagine yourself inside this sculpture looking out windows and swinging your 34 eyes in all directions looking at people?
UFO 907:
Not necessarily but I love that idea! At this point it seems less like being inside the sculpture – but more so I continue to see the UFO as an embodiment of my being. I have always seen the UFO as my self portrait, yes, but not in the sense of a photograph or painting of myself. It’s more like a window to my spirit energy and soul. The form, energy and idea behind UFO has continuously been evolving, morphing, and growing over the years. If it wasn’t it would be dead, right?

So, yes, I’m guessing at some point you might just find me sitting inside the mothership staring at ya’ll, plotting my next move. Ha ha HA!

Brooklyn Street Art: When you are making such labor-intensive carefully considered work and putting it out into the street, do you ever worry about it being vandalized?
UFO 907: Naw… that’s what happens to sh*t on the streets! I kind of secretly have a fantasy about a car running up the sidewalk and crashing into the piece. That would be pretty cool, as long as I get a nice photo of the piece pinned between the car and a brick wall!

Brooklyn Street Art: What has working with Thomas brought to your process?
UFO 907: I have been a fan of his work and his great craftsmen ship since I met him. I think I first met him the night me and Doyle were cramming to get “Williamsburg Guy” completed. Dude came through and he quietly handled shit, helping us get the piece done. Aces!

When I first heard that Andrew Shirley was curating this project, I told him I had to be on board and wanted Tom Porter as my partner. Tom has brought amazing metal work, which is not my craft but a material I love all the same, and he is a champ with the kinetics/mechanics helping us both bring our visions to life and adding many levels to the piece. As well Tom Porter is a perfect match with me with his boundless energy, obsessive attention to detail, grand positive visions, eternal positivity directed towards the project at hand. What a dude!!

 

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

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. Inside view of the structure. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Yeah, your skills seem really well suited for collaboration.
UFO 907:
Yup we both have brought what we do best to the table and all thing immediately fell into place, leading to a seemingly effortless symphony of materials and ideas.

Brooklyn Street Art: Thomas, when you think of the sense of balance this piece has to have, do you rely on lessons learned from building other projects?
W. Thomas Porter :
We set out on this project without any concept of limitations. We just decided what we wanted to get out of it and said, “F*ck it, it’s on”. I think that confidence comes from having been a builder and a bizarre mind forever. Everything I’ve done leads me to this moment. We have to come correct.

Brooklyn Street Art: Is it difficult to carry a demanding project like this across the finish line? Do you get tired of the detail work?
W. Thomas Porter:
I don’t think it’s easy to get anything actually “finished”. Starting things is easy but getting there can be war. We are up against a tough deadline, a limited budget, working for money, UFO and I both just started new studios…it’s been hectic. As for the details, I’m with the devil. Every detail is an example or the bigger picture; it’s the fabric, and the pattern, the feel and what you see.

Brooklyn Street Art: This is a collaborative piece using the skills of a metal worker and a wood worker. How did you achieve an organic feeling with such rigid and sturdy materials?
W. Thomas Porter:
It’s amazing to work with someone like UFO; Half man, half beast and all gusto. We both came to a similar place by working with our hands while our brains are off in the universe. It’s only a matter of time before that all explodes into space! I always loved wood and metal together, flesh and bone. In this case, I had to make steel feel like skin, and without a single straight line anywhere – it’s a challenge. I was blessed to have a dedicated assistant like Dagga to help plow through the process. Out of extremely limited means we came up with something greater than the sum of its parts.

 

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 © UFO)

 

UFO 907 in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 in the wild. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. The sculpture arrived to BAM in parts. Here is one half. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UFO 907 and William Thomas Porter. Inside view of the armature. (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)

“The Beginning if the End”, 2012, by UFO 907 and W. Thomas Porter

Materials: Yellow Pine, Walnut, Plywood, Epoxy, Cold Rolled Steel, Hot Rolled Steel, Bearings, Ball Joints, Hardware, Wax
 

Assistants: Dagga Gaines, Kelsey Womack, Jumbo, Diego Guzman, Sadue 907, and Hest One

“Brooklyn Shelf Life” is Presented by SHOWPAPER and curated by Andrew H. Shirley. Newsboxes commissioned by BAM for BAMart: Public.

Go to http://brooklynshelflife.org/ to learn more about this project. Joe Ahearn, Managing Director

Go to BAMart: Public to learn more about this program.

Stay tuned to BSA as tomorrow we’ll feature the rest of the sculptures of “Brooklyn Shelf Life” by Leon Reid IV + Noah Sparkles, Cassius Fouler + Faust, Swoon + Ryan Doyle and Gaia + Adam Void.  Also you can visit the Showpaper Tumblr http://showpaper.tumblr.com/ for more images.

 This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Northside ART 2012 (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Northside ART
Northside Art is a three-day event celebrating a burgeoning art scene in North Brooklyn. It serves to create a collaborative platform for artists through three components: a group exhibition, a street festival with a focus on interactive and performance art, and our signature open studios. Our goal is to build a creative platform in which all members of the community can foster and contribute to a support system that encourages the sharing of ideas and relationships.

Skeville painting his largest mural in NYC produced by BSA at Norhtside Arts 2011. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Northside Art

presented in collaboration with Hyperallergic

June 15 – 17, 2012

http://www.northsidefestival.com/art

Northside Art is a three-day event celebrating a burgeoning art scene in North Brooklyn. It serves to create a collaborative platform for artists through three components: a group exhibition, a street festival with a focus on interactive and performance art, and our signature open studios. Our goal is to build a creative platform in which all members of the community can foster and contribute to a support system that encourages the sharing of ideas and relationships.
Hyperallerigic is the World’s Greatest New York art blogazine. Headquartered in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it is a forum for serious, playful and radical thinking about art in the world today. Hyperallergic will offer insight into the North Brooklyn’s art scene with highlights in the best of street art, venues, and historical sites.

I. Group Exhibition

Many Conversations

Curated by Peter Gynd

On view at Present Company

101 N 13th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11211

Opening Reception: Friday June 15th 6pm-midnight

Saturday noon-8pm

Sunday noon-6pm

Showcasing a diverse selection of 26 North Brooklyn artists, Many Conversations highlights the connections between these artists and the artworks. Engaging in formal and conceptual conversations through the work, Many Conversations explores the contextual relationships that exist when artwork interacts with artwork.

Participating artists: Fanny Allie, Orit Ben-Shitrit, Tom Bevan, James Dinerstein, Chris Fernald, Ilene Godofsky, Rinat Hafizov, Jennifer Harris, Tommy Kwak, Matt Lambros, Kerry Law, Jon Lewis, Michelle Mackey, Pessi Margulies, Warwick McLeod, Chris Mottalini, Kate Nielsen, Gina Pollack, Dan Sabau, Suzanne Sattler, Sarah Sharp, Michiko Shimada, Hannah Simmons, Elisabeth Smolarz, Janine Sopp, Lorene Taurerewa

Fanny Allie, Artifacts, 2012
II. Williamsburg Walks // June 16 // 2- 8pm
Northside Art // Williamsburg Walks is a platform for art, involvement, participation and community taking over the block of Bedford Ave from N8th-N9th Street as part of the Williamsburg Walks series, Saturday June 16th from 2-8pm.

Temporary wall units, interactive installations and sculptures will be staggered throughout the block for live painting performances, graffiti and other participation oriented works. In addition to the installations there will be a variety of art related activities to engage in: a community mural, nail art, taro readings, book readings and children’s art activities.

Participating artists: Kerry Jones, Sean O’Connor, Ashley May, Manoela Madera, Gray Edgerton, Sarah Sharp, Jason Kachadourian, Scott Zimmerman, Kevin Tarasuk, Ian McGillivray, Joohee Park, Andrea Burgay, Maria Builes, Hannah Simmons, Victoria Varney, Kelly Helrich, Claire Beaudreault, Vanessa Paroline, Domestic Construction

Acme Studio will host a viewing party for installations created during Williamsburg Walks the following day, Sunday June 17th. 63 N3rd Street Brooklyn, NY 11211

Emily Noelle Lambert

III. Northside Art // Open Spaces // June 17 // Noon – 6pm
Northisde Art is proud to host the annual Northside Open Spaces with 80+ artists living and working in Williamsburg and Greenpoint opening their studios to the public for the festival.

Participating Artists: Bill Abdale, Joel Adas, Keighty Alexander, Sascha Ascher / Oak Street Gallery, Lisa Bauer, Orit Ben-Shitrit, Beck Berrett, Rossa Cole, ACME Studio, Nicholas Constantakis, William Crist, Cathy Diamond, James Dinerstein, Lori Ellison, Chris Fernald, Brinn Flagg, Megan Foster, Carla Gannis, Heather Garland, Ellen Goldin, Elizabeth Grammaticas, Peter Gynd, Andrea Haenggi, Jennifer Harris, Tom Henry, Stephen Holding, The Cow Horse, Jackie Hoving, Craig Kane, Dana Kane, Mina Karimi, Bernice Kelly, John Kitses, Tommy Kwak, Emily Noelle Lambert, Kerry Law, Jon Lewis, Lilly Line, Michelle Mackey, Amy Madden, Susan Maddux, Pessi Margulies, Tricia McLaughlin, Warwick McLeod, Simone Meltesen, Artem Mirolevich, Ariana Misfeldt, Kellyann Monaghan, Chris Mottalini, Jackie Neale Chadwick, Kate Nielsen, Renzo Ortega, Gavin Potenza, Christopher Quirk, Raphaela Riepl, Elizabeth Riggle, Susan Ross, Dan Sabau, Gabriela Salazar, Suzanne Sattler, Kayrock Screenprinting, Helen Selsdon, Ryszard Semko, Sarah G. Sharp, James Sheehan, Hannah Simmons, Allison Smith, Elisabeth Smolarz, Clayspace 1205, Parsley Steinweiss, Ines Sun, Lawrence Swan, Kevin Tarasuk, Lorene Taurerewa, George Terry, Marjorie Van Cura, James Vanderberg, The Last Art Fair, Mary Westring, Brian Willmont, Reverse Space, Fulvia Zambon, Heliopolis.

Click here for a full information on Northside ARTS

 

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Street Art, Bomb Scares, and Times of Anxiety

Last Friday morning all was going normally on the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn as the  cool, crisp breeze of a sunny May day made New York as it often is: Glorious. Up and down the sidewalk smartly dressed professionals hurriedly carried coffees and pushed baby carriages as meandering tourists stared quizzically at clean cut NYU students in their search for the fabled hipster scene that their travel guides had told them would be here.

Suddenly police activity seemed to hasten on the streets and police patrol cars were rushing to sidewalks and scattering flustered pedestrians. Within a matter of minutes Bedford Avenue was cordoned off with “CRIME SCENE” yellow tape from North 4th to North 7th streets and officers in various uniforms descended upon the neighborhood with fire trucks wailing and helicopters thundering.

Quickly word spread that there was a bomb scare. Possibly in a tree.

photo © Jaime Rojo

“Scare” is a relative word for New Yorkers, as police gently prodded curious rubberneckers to stand back and swept sleepy cafes clear of reticent morning journal doodlers. An impressive armamentarium of tools and gadgets were pulled from trucks and trunks and assembled in a somewhat semi-circular arrangement near a shady tree that bended gently back and forth with the breeze.

These officers’ firm and calm demeanor gave a sunny day a relaxed atmosphere, but the tension was still thick – a potential bomb was in the midst and protection was top priority. The offending piece in question hung from a thin metal arm duct-taped to the tree’s limb; the container was a simple deli grocery bag with the ubiquitous pledge of fealty to the city, “I Love NY” screen-printed on the front. The little bag swung gently as wires poked out from it’s handled top.

photo © Jaime Rojo

photo © Jaime Rojo

To photographers who document Street Art every day in this city, continuously scanning the urban environment for any manner of creative expression, this object might have caught an eye and been captured with a camera. But frankly, the competition for attention is fierce.

Williamsburg nearly birthed the Street Art scene here in the early 00s when artists called it home and every discipline of fine art transmuted itself into installation. A new sort of direct engagement with the public sphere took root and it continues to grow in cities around the world. No longer simply stencils, wheat-pasted paper or stickers on a news kiosk, in Brooklyn you are now likely to see more three dimensional pieces like a DarkClouds board bolted to a sign post, a steel REVS sculpture welded to a fence, a tiny match-stick Stikman embedded in the pavement, or a pink and purple camouflaged crocheted piece by OLEK covering an entire bicycle.  For years local artist Leviticus has been reassembling discarded furniture, musical instruments and found objects and placing them on these sidewalks on Bedford Avenue to the indifference of the rivers of people walking by.

And let’s not forget so-called “conceptual” work, ever able to confound.

photo © Jaime Rojo

In the case of this piece, this non-bomb in a tree, the materials were very familiar to the public: A vellum plastic box, an “I Love New York” shopping plastic bag, duct tape, some wires. The materials? Non-threatening. Their arrangement and location: potentially threatening.

According to news reports, the artist Takeshi Miyakawa was arrested long after the scare was called off as he was discovered installing a second piece not far up the street. It appears he had planned an illuminated string of bags to pay a tribute of some sort to the city.

photo © Jaime Rojo

According to the New York Times and The Huffington Post, Mr. Miyakawa, 50 years old, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of placing a false bomb or hazardous substance in the first degree, two counts of placing a false bomb or hazardous substance in the second degree, two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and two counts of second-degree criminal nuisance. He was also placed under psychological evaluation.

Few will rightly question the actions of the bomb squad to prevent a catastrophic event from taking place, and most would openly express thanks for their work that can put them at great risk. But art like this, and any sanctioned public art that goes through a more vetted process, does raise questions about its intersection with the law and ethics. In a time when almost anything is considered as possible art, it also could be considered a possible bomb.

Should an artist be held accountable for every possible interpretation of the work, despite its original intention?  Can other evidence be considered before assigning guilt? Does an artist, particularly those who install work without permission, bear responsibility to consider it’s effect on public safety? During a time in our history that is permeated with vacillating levels of fear and anxiety, should we attempt to agree on some guidelines?

Online images of Miyakawa’s studio and coworkers and their methodical design plans for this installation make you think he’s probably not a criminal, just a kooky artist with a questionable judgement. Welcome to New York; that sort of thing is the norm where academic and creative investigation often pushes into unusual territory we haven’t been in before. It even appears his intentions were to cheer the public – an expression of love for his city.  But one does wonder what affect a renewed surveillance of trees and signposts and street furniture might bring to a Street Art scene that doesn’t look like it has tired of exploring itself.

Takeshi Miyakawa “I Love New York” This is how the installation was left after it was dismantled by the police. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Below are some examples of work on the street that are more than your run-of-the-can aerosol art.

In later winter this year artist Jean Seestadt created a series of installations in bus shelters and subway cars entitled “If You See Somethin;”. Her idea was to highlight the issue of objects that we encounter on our daily routine and as we use the public transportation system. Jean Seestadt. “If You See Somethin'” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jean Seestadt. “If You See Somethin'” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Click here to read our full interview with Ms. Seestadt and to see more images of her installation.

An unknown artist installed a series of metal and glass “eye” sculptures in Williamsburg in 2007 and 2008. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here is a pair of BZBD shoes with LED lights in the soles for an installation a couple of weeks ago in Brooklyn. (photo © BZBD)

A shack installation in Brooklyn by an unknown artist. Or maybe it was a fort? (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist XAM creates and places bird feeders and dwellings all over the city. Some are fitted with solar panels and an LED light. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Read our interview with XAM here.

RAE commonly uses discarded household items and vintage appliances to create his sculptures before bolting them to streets signs. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

OLEK has become well known for crocheting entire coverings for bicycles, strollers, sculpture, and even the Wall Street Bull. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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WAGMAG Benefit Tuesday – Supporting Brooklyn Artists for a Decade+

This Tuesday night the annual benefit with work donated by 100+ artists will keep WAGMAG free for everyone. The local art guide started around the same time as the current street art explosion did in the early 2000’s – and the handy guide existed solely as a way to get the word out about openings at art collectives and galleries in the then-artist-neighborhood of Williamsburg. While gentrification has chased most of the artists out of Williamsburg now, Brooklyn continues to boom with some of the freshest ideas and talents and WAGMAG’s maps help you to find shows in 15 neighborhoods all over the borough.

The brainchild and labor of love of Brooklyn artist and gallery owner Daniel Aycock in those early years, WAGMAG now is run by Daniel and his artist wife Kathleen Vance. Together they own the Front Room gallery and regularly work with most of the players on the Brooklyn art scene, keeping it real and accessible. They are also big Street Art fans and have allowed the walls on the front of their gallery to be painted and pasted many times over the years by a parade of Street Artists.

Street Artist Noah Sparkes donates work to the WAGMAG Benefit (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In celebration of all the good work they do to enable artists to receive exposure for their work, and to encourage you to go to their fundraiser Tuesday, BSA talked with Daniel and Kathleen about WAGMAG and Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Street Art: How long have you been in Williamsburg?

Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance: WAGMAG, started in 2001 as W(illiamsburg) A(nd) G(reenpoint) M(onthly) A(rt) G(uide). Eventually the demand for listings in other neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn made it necessary to expand to include all of the art districts in Brooklyn. Then we dropped the Acronym and became WAGMAG, Brooklyn Art Guide.  We now serve the communities of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Bushwick, Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Gowanus, Greenpoint, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Red Hook and Williamsburg.

Brooklyn artist Scott Chasse donated this piece “Keep Smiling” to the WAGMAG Benefit.

Brooklyn Street Art: Can you describe what WAGMAG is?
Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance:
It’s a free monthly art guide that promotes art venues and exhibitions in Brooklyn with a free listing service of art exhibitions and events, with locations and times, community maps and critical reviews.

Art venues are listed in community networks with adjoining maps and alphabetical listing of exhibitions updated monthly and circulated throughout New York. Guest writers present recommendations of exhibits to visit, with critical reviews for additional reference. WAGMAG, a Brooklyn Art Guide, is online at wagmag.org and in print with a free 16-page printed guide that is circulated throughout New York and surrounding areas.

 

Street Artist Gilf! donated this piece “Empower Equality” (62/200)  to the WAGMAG Benefit

Brooklyn Street Art: You have had street artists on your wall outside the gallery like Noah Sparkes, C215, Nick Walker. How do you look at street art in Brooklyn? 

Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance: The offices of WAGMAG are in The Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg, in a building that has historically been a fertile ground for street artists.  We love the public access to art, made available 24hrs, 7 days a week by street artists, which is unexpected,  sometimes challenging, and innovative in process and placement.

Street Artist Chris of the collective Robots Will Kill donated this piece “We are 138 ” to the WAGMAG Benefit.

Brooklyn Street Art: Are there any Street Artists donating to the WAGMAG benefit this year?
Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance:
Yeah, absolutely. We have Chris (RWK), LOL,  Gilf!, and Noah Sparkes.

Brooklyn Street Art: Why is Brooklyn such a vibrant lively place for artists to work and live?
Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance:
Brooklyn has been a magnet for artists for decades. The availability of studio space and relatively lower rents creates an oasis outside of Manhattan – making it into a huge artists’ mecca.  Brooklyn builds strength from its communities – which have a friendly and open attitude that fuels creativity and expands the boundaries of art-making today.

Here’s a piece in Bushwick Chris (RWK) did a couple of years ago (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WAGMAG benefit committee member and artist David Kesting was doodling the rules on a piece of paper during one of the organizing meetings and he came up with the de facto WAGMAG Benefit guide!  Good job David!  This makes it so much easier to understand how the benefit works. (© David Kesting)

Brooklyn Artist Ward Shelly is one of the better known names who have contributed art to the WAGMAG benefit. This print is called “the History of Science Fiction” (© Ward Shelly)

Street Artist LOL donated this “Love Soldier” to the WAGMAG benefit and will be happy to install it for you (photo © LOL)

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See a full list of the artists works and purchase tickets here:

The WAGMAG Benefit will be at The Boiler (191 North 14th Street) in Williamsburg. Additional info is at www.supportwagmag.org

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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JMR Stars Again This Week In Dallas (not JR, he got shot, remember?)

YEEE HAAAAWWWW!  Brooklyn Street Artist JMR has been exploring the dusty detritus of Dallas for a spell and has found that some of the BIG D’s outlying areas remind him of the wildness of abandoned spots in Brooklyn that provided succor and inspiration to artists and performers and poets and wise guys at the turn of the century. But he has no illusions about the future for a lively hipster art scene here. For one thing, there are no redheads from Portland with 36 stringed home-made musical instruments connected to a projector here yet. Naturally while exploring, JMR brought some paint with him. Here’s what he’s been seeing…

JMR (photo © Jim Rizzi)

“The wall was offered to me in collaboration with a Dallas graff legend named Ozone. The building is a live-work space for two local guys starting a longboard company/music studio. They also repair motorcycles while watching documentaries in their make-shift living room; it’s a very early 90s Williamsburg ‘Frontier Land’ vibe, sans the imminent real estate surge. That’s never coming here and it’s refreshing. In the midst of this industrial lower class neighborhood at night you can light a fire and sit around it and talk about politics or whatever, while drinking beer and smoking.

There’s a bunch of hardcore graff writers out here as well, who I met through this painting.  Although the city is oddly devoid of any tags, throw-ups, or fill-ins, there is a major freight yard where trains lay up for days and people are getting busy. The trains are bombed well and it’s inspiring to watch them pass, and frustrating to try and snag flix with my iPhone, fumbling to keep up with the motion.”

JMR (photo © Jim Rizzi)

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