All posts tagged: Williamsburg

Monster Island in Williamsburg; 2004-2011

By now it has been very well documented that Monster Island in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has closed its doors after seven years of art exploration and experimentation with murals, art shows and music concerts. The building is set for demolition and it is rumored that it will be replaced by a Whole Foods Store.

During these years we’ve watched the exterior of Monster Island with great interest as it was an every-changing heaven for emerging artists to show their stuff to the public. The environment engendered creativity; With non for profit art galleries and performance spaces, an underground music venue, a surf shop, a screen-print studio, a recording studio, several artists studios and a family of lovely street cats, Monster Island was a symbol of what Williamsburg was all about; artists and community struggling to make cool stuff for each other and sometimes a big audience. Since the early 1990s, ad-hoc love-driven venues like this have opened and closed, along with art parties, loft performances, artist collectives, and a loose association of art galleries. The settlement of writers, dancers, bands, performers, and all sorts of artists helped give the area a decided edge, even if you couldn’t convince your Manhattan friends to come visit the neighborhood at night.

Kid Acne (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now “The Edge” of course is the name of a corporate looking glass tower on the waterfront and the moderate frightened masses began their march to Williamsburg after the developers re-zoned 30+ blocks in North Brooklyn in 2005, transforming it quickly to a New York suburb with quirky, kooky shopping opportunities. It’s an old story, but we have to tell it; Now the rents are too high and the culture is increasingly inhospitable to artists and the Monster Island landlord has a different plan for the lot and the lease wasn’t renewed.  Williamsburg is going upscale just like Manhattan and the rest of the city and for struggling artists and the venues that give them shelter and nurture them this is another reason why we are watching people move to other neighborhoods or out of New York altogether. In a way, this is what NYC is all about; Re-invention and greed.

We have been photographing the ever-changing facade of this building that was offered as a canvas for local and visiting artists all over the world to put their art up. Today we pay homage and say farewell to this iconic institution and to the people that endeavored to make it unique with a photo essay of the numerous murals that went up there since 2004. We have made an effort to identify most of the artists. Please let us know if you know the names of the artists we have tagged as unknown or if we erroneously credited a piece of art.

Armsrock (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Armsrock (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maya Hayuk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ripo and Maya Hayuk (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 “This Wall Could Be Your Life” was a 7-year project conceived, curated and solely funded by Maya Hayuk. “For the following seven years artists were invited from all over the world, given paint, space and freedom to create” Maya Hayuk. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This spring the Lilac bush outside the building was majestic. Punto and Blok’s mural on the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Wolfy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Noah Sparkes (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ROA pulls a rabbit out of a hog. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MOMO and Zosen  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MOMO and Zosen working on a makeover. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Waldo with a hook looks on as an artist works on a makeover. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Troy Lovegates AKA OTHER. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Troy Lovegates AKA Other, Deuce 7 and Pork. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

YOTE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Hellbent and Hellcat (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Cat with Punto’s mural in the background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

I just finished my installation. Time to take a cat nap. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A Spring 2011 model. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skewville (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kyle Ranson and Oliver Halsman Rosenberg. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Julia Langhof (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maya Hayuk. As a final collective event, a paint pour and block party was organized in September. Multiple artists went up to the roof and poured paint down the walls, a colorful blessing on the home that gave so many opportunities to artists and built community.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Maya Hayuk. Paint Pour (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An unknown artist painted this figure while the building awaits demolition. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chris Uphues gives the building a heart while it awaits demolition. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact Honors NYC Firefighters with Block Long Mural

Veteran New York Street Artist WK Interact has been depicting the rush and clamor and violence of the streets of New York since the 80s. With stark black and white imagery that captures and distorts the action layered with precise mechanical renderings and computerized symbology, WK creates a portrait of the kinetic chaos of the life on the street and delivers it back.

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

His new project installed in Brooklyn on 9/9/11 commemorates the events marked citywide 2 days later, when WK watched our streets convulse. With 10 years distance, the memory is just as close as ever for some, including firefighters who plunged themselves into the disaster instead of running from it. While WK is highly gifted verbally, he is most powerful when he uses his Street Art to talk about the impact of that day and pays tribute here to those firefighters while looking at the disaster. “Project Brave” is not his work in solitary – WK did this in partnership with the Yonkers Fire Department and the support of the Fire Commissioner Anthony Pagano and his Deputy Chief William Fitzpatrick and other firefighters in the city.

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The huge installation expanse alludes to the overwhelming nature of the events and gives viewers the opportunity to contemplate the loss of firefighters and the people they left.  Without musty museum stilted pomp, this modern depiction casts the events in a contemporary context fitting for the times; one more example of the contribution that Street Art can make to the culture and life of the city.

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

(all photos copyright Jaime Rojo)

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See our 2 part interview from September 2009 with WK Interact;

The 25 Year War: WK Interact in New York, Part 1 : Brooklyn Street Art

The 25 Year War: WK Interact in New York, Part 2 : Brooklyn Street Art

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EMA Talks about Brooklyn: “A Place Like No Other in the World”

Street Artist EMA has created a visual metaphor for her Brooklyn with her new piece for the show, “A Place Like No Other in the World”. reflecting the love and hard-won truths one gains from persevering in a place like BK.

She describes the piece this way,
“Figurative elements are set in an abstract, art deco-inspired background, incorporating a mixture of typography, 90’s hip-hop influences and a strong female figure looking scandalously decadent in the centre of the image.

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Sinusoidal abstract shapes, rain drops and floral components unite the grotesque and the fantastic in a post-industrial setting – with Williamsburg’s iconic Domino Sugar factory forming the backdrop. As the factory seems to be in fire, the figures, proud and powerful hover on top of the letter B for Brooklyn – We rock hard.”

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EMA in studio creating her piece for “Street Art Saved My Life : 39 New York Stories” (© Ema)

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See Ema’s piece at “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories” opening at C.A.V.E. Gallery this Friday, presented by Brooklyn Street Art in collaboration with ThinkSpace.

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Wheatpasted Photography “One Year Before the Oil Spill”

Photographer Michael M. Koehler Talks About Shrimpers on a Brooklyn Street

The devastation produced by the BP oil disaster continues to affect the animals and people who live on the southern coast of the US and during an overcast day yesterday in Brooklyn a black and white memory of life as it was before the spill appeared on the street. Over top of a pretty battered Shepard Fairey installation from spring of last year a photograph by Michael M Koehler called “One Year Before the Oil Spill” was installed. The piece is from a series he did about life for people impacted by the polluted environment entitled Along Bayou Road.

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Michael M Koehler “A Year Before the Oil Spill” (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

Talking to a passerby, Mr. Koehler explained that after the largest oil spill in US history, citizens who live along the gulf coast are afraid to eat the shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico. In the image he captures the vibrancy of sea life, culture, and commerce with gulls flying over while the nets of “shrimpers” harvest the waters to support their families and the local economy. These days, Mr. Koehler says that stores and restaurants are importing shrimp because nobody wants to buy the local production.

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Michael M Koehler “A Year Before the Oil Spill” (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

The north Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg was once a bustling port town in the 1800s and Koehler chose this spot for his piece because he feels it has a certain kinship with the seafacing communities down south. In fact if you had been on these same streets in say, 1827, you would have seen daily industry related to cargo ships, shipbuilding (the Brooklyn Navy Yard is just next door to the West), sugar refineries, iron works, and brewing. With this wheat pasted series, Koehler draws attention to the plight of a life and industry imperiled.

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Michael M Koehler “A Year Before the Oil Spill” (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

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Michael M Koehler “A Year Before the Oil Spill” (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

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Michael M Koehler “A Year Before the Oil Spill” Detail (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

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Michael M Koehler “A Year Before the Oil Spill” (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

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Michael M Koehler. A shrimper portrait from his Along Bayou Road series.  (Photo  © Jaime Rojo)

Now it’s time to put on an old vinyl 45 and listen to Jerry Jackson singing about “Shrimp Boats” and get a 1950s taste of a celebrated part of culture and cuisine.

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Erik Burke Captures Nick Spilling The Beans (and sweeping them up)

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Nick-the-amazing-copyright-Erik-BurkeThe vicissitudes of daily living get in the way of creating life. I just made that up. Genius, right? These days when things can seem so difficult, it’s good to remember that creative folk like you are also struggling with demons, and everybody has occasional victory.

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” ~ Alan Ginsberg

In this brand-spanking new film, “Nick The Amazing”, artist ND’A and director Erik Burke follows a Street Artist around Brooklyn, camera in hand, and catches the manic thinker and worrier as he goes about making art, frantically talking and painting and cutting and pasting and performing verbal and physical stunts. The resulting urban pastiche is a welcome poem on the inner and outer life of an artist and by extension, a filmmaker. Or, as Erik says,  “A manic portrait of Brooklyn based artist ND’A that follows him as he creates artwork in the streets and spills the beans at work, literally.”

Nick the Amazing

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and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” ~ Jack Kerouac

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Images Of The Week 11.07.10

Brooklyn-Street-Art-IMAGES-OF-THE-WEEK_05-2010

Our Weekly Interview with the street, this week featuring Chelsea Girl, ECB, Faile, Frog, Radical!, REVS, Think Fly, and Tono

Revs (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Revs continues to get up. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile. Detail of Totem sculpture currently at Perry Rubenstein Gallery (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile in the gallery (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

And the same Faile stencil on the street (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile.  (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rich textured wall in Chelsea. Girl with a camera (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

This richly textured wall is in continuous transition. Here’s a Chelsea Girl with a camera (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Fossil "Frog" (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Urban Fossil “Frog Upside down” (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile  “Brighton Beach Ave” (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Glass Reflection (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Glass reflection (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Radical (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Radical! does a tribute to The Situation. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

ECB (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

ECB (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Think Fly (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Think Fly (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tono's homage to Richard Pryor (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

I’m just a booty star”; Tono’s homage to Richard Pryor (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Faile (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kate Meersschaert: Urban Archeologist with Camera Phone

“Williamsburg is so layered and changing so quickly… I am so lucky to be able to document some of these fleeting visual gems”

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Shooting Fossils with Your Phone

5 years ago, it was unimaginable. 5 years from now, assumed. Photography with your phone is ushering a new era in art, journalism, and information.

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Kate Meersschaert has been capturing the beauty of the urban landscape in the midst of the Williamsburg transition to vertical suburbia, where shallow glass towers rise over blighted lots, Superfund sites, and Street Art.   Since this spring she snaps the layers of posters and detritus, steel beams, gummy sidewalks… posts them on her site, and is making a book with them this fall.

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Some of Kate’s images are charged with activity, some overlayed with weathered echo, others may prove to have a timeless quality. Because they are a “snapshot” using this technology in this location, they are so 2010.

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To see Ms. Meersschaert’s project and more of her images click on the link below:

http://www.brooklynorbust.com/

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All images © Kate Meersschaert

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Free Art on the Street! PaperGirl Surprises NYC With Original Idea

331 rolls of art, 9 bikes, 3 boroughs, 3 bridges, 6 hours of insane fun, 1 sunny day.

Yesterday BSA participated in the first annual PaperGirl NYC where  pieces of original art were handed out for free to incredulous recipients in Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, The Lower East Side, Union Square, The Meat Packing District, The West End Highway, The Upper West Side, Central Park, The Upper East Side and Long Island City.

Getting Ready (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Art-gifting bike riders preparing at 3rd Ward before hitting the streets. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

NewYorkers can be suspicious when it comes to free stuff on the street from strangers. Curious like cats, they love schwaaaaaag, and they’ll  grab shiny packaged free gum, energy drinks or diet nut bars from corporate vans and pickup trucks wrapped in splashy advertisements. Sometimes they’ll even wait, flirt and be nice to you to get a free sample of whatever food or drink it is that you are presenting to them.

But if you are pushing free original one of a kind pieces of free art – the responses can range from just flat out “no thank you”, to just “no” or a shake of their head. And that’s when they are being nice. In many cases they will just ignore you or give you nasty looks. Other times they’ll give you a hug and pose for pictures. You just never know.

Manhattan Bound (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Manhattan Bound (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Manhattanites are a tough crowd indeed. The number of people that rejected the free art in Manhattan was very surprising to many of us. The crowds in Union Square Park, for example, had little interest in free art and the same pretty much goes for the rest of the island. Williamsburg, Bushwick, Greenpoint and Long Island City residents were far more receptive and nice to our overtures and when they heard “It’s free art” you would see their faces light up and take the art with a big smile.

Lucky Art Lovers (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Lucky Art Lovers (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

The people waiting in line to enter the studios TV show The Colbert Report were definitely not interested. When one standee timidly reached out to grab the art being handed to him on the sidewalk, a studio security guard promptly snatched the art from his hands and proceeded to lecture us about the dangers of handing down anything to them.

“These people, waiting in line, they belong to The Colbert Report,” he intoned with a straight face.

Of course when we challenged that ridiculous assertion of a public street somehow containing people who were enslaved and controlled by a television show, he became a bit more conciliatory. He explained that it was a matter of courtesy not to give free art to these people. The Colbert Report fans can’t enter the show with rolls of paper that might offend the host or gasp! the audiences back at home. Got it.

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A pleased recipient with her rolled up piece. Photo © Jaime Rojo

PaperGirl NY is a collective of artists and art lovers that put out a call to artists to create art and to participate on this adventure. Artists from 12 countries responded and the art was shown briefly in New York City and in Albany before it was rolled up and given away. It was street art indeed. The concept is different from what you normally consider street art to be but the art was on the streets and this time some lucky people got to take it home.

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PaperGirl – NYC takes a moment to rest and regroup. Photo © Jaime Rojo

The notion that someone would reject free art, or anything free for that matter seemed alien. The enthusiasm and glee in which those that accepted the art were contagious and pure joy to watch. That made the day an unforgettable one… and the weather was perfect.

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Yo, check it out. Free Art! Photo © Jaime Rojo


Heels on Wheels. She Biked With Them Pumps All Day. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Heels on wheels. This PaperGirl pumped in these pumps all day throughout the city. (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

To learn more about PaperGir-NY please visit the site below:

∆∆ Sina B. Hickey ∆∆
∆∆ PaperGirl-NYState ∆∆
Founder and Lead Organizer
518.379.7642
, PaperGirl.Albany@gmail.com
Bringing Art from the Gallery to the Street
www.PaperGirl-NY.com
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Fun Friday 09.10.10

Fun-Friday

Fun Friday

Group Show at Mighty Tanaka in Dumbo

The Fall Season Begins in New York! Feeling a bit anonymous in the big sea of fish that is New York? Go to DUMBO Brooklyn for a quick little blast of the hometown crowd and check out Iconography tonight on your way to the loft party/roof party/dance party/fashion show you are surely going to.  Showing new stuff tonight will be Matt Siren, Royce Bannon, Veng & Chris from RWK, 2Esae & SKI From URNewyork and Peat Wollaeger (stenSoul)

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See Subway Trains Before They’re Dropped in the Ocean

As part of Williamsburg’s Every 2nd gallery openings tonight, The Front Room is showing the amazing NYC subway train photographs Stephen Mallon shot in  “Next Stop Atlantic,” an exhibition of photographs by Stephen Mallon. The stunning series captures the retirement of hundreds of New York City Subway cars to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

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HAPPY ROSH HASHANAH – Street Shots

THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CELEBRATES THE ARRIVAL OF YEAR 5771.

School started this week and just as the last fast of Ramadan is breaking here in Brooklyn for our Muslim brothers and sisters, the Brooklyn Jewish community is celebrating the arrival of year 5771 which marks the creation of earth and heaven by God.

BSA would like to celebrate and honor freedom of religion in NYC and invite you to enjoy these images that mark the start of the celebrations taken at dusk last night by Jaime Rojo.

Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rosh Hashanah 2010. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Beat of New York

Visitor Thomas Noesner was in New York a couple of weeks ago for a media project and took some time off to hit the streets and subway with his video camera – always rich trolling no matter the time of day or night.  Combined with a drum sequence and soundtrack from sound designer Toussaint, they produced a rather slick video montage of NYC in the summer. It’s a fitting tribute to the spirit of the city.

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Images of the Week 08.08.10

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Our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Ron English, El Sol 25, $howta, Kid Zoom, Anera, Alive,QRST, Shepard Fairey, and Quel Beast.

Ron English in Beacon for Electric Windows (© Jaime Rojo)
Ron English in Beacon for Electric Windows (© Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25
El Sol 25 (© Jaime Rojo)

$howta
$howta (© Jaime Rojo)

Ron English in Williamsburg (© Jaime Rojo)
Ron English in Williamsburg (© Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (© Jaime Rojo)
El Sol 25 (© Jaime Rojo)

Kid Zoom (© Jaime Rojo)
Kid Zoom (© Jaime Rojo)

Anera in Beacon for Electric Windows (© Jaime Rojo)
Anera in Beacon for Electric Windows (© Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (© Jaime Rojo)
Give me your camera or else!  El Sol 25 (© Jaime Rojo)

Alive (© Jaime Rojo)
Alive (© Jaime Rojo)

QRST (© Jaime Rojo)
QRST has a message over top of Shepard Fairey. We wouldn’t know it by this Summer’s output.   (© Jaime Rojo)

Quel Beast (© Jaime Rojo_
Quel Beast (© Jaime Rojo)

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors (© Jaime Rojo)
And now a word from our sponsors. Ron English in Williamsburg (© Jaime Rojo)

El Sol 25 (© Jaime Rojo)
El Sol 25 (© Jaime Rojo)

Ron English in Beacon for Electric Windows (© Jaime Rojo)
Ron English in Beacon for Electric Windows (© Jaime Rojo)

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Electric Windows: Thundercut and Street Art in “North Brooklyn”

Electric Windows: Thundercut and Street Art in “North Brooklyn”

Together with new neighbors and old friends from back in the city Thundercut are steadily creating a cultural festival built around one of their first loves: Street Art.

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The Street Art couple known as Thundercut are not the first Brooklyn artists to head to Beacon, New York, a picturesque phoenix on the Hudson River 59 miles north of Grand Central Station. Kalene Rivers and Dan Weise are just two of the most visionary and fun to talk with.

Once a town known for it’s hat making, Beacon (pop. 16,000) had a reputation as a sketchy drug and crime ridden place when Dan and Kalene were growing up in the Hudson Valley during the 80s and 90s. When the Dia Arts Foundation (also of Dia:Chelsea in Manhattan) renovated a 34,000 sf former factory in Beacon to create Dia:Beacon and to house a collection of Warhol paintings, hulking Richard Serra sculptures, and fluorescent Dan Flavin monuments, among other post 1960 art, interest grew in the town and an artist community largely from New York began to blossom. Many of the original artists who had brought a bohemian caché to rundown neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Red Hook in Brooklyn relocated to Beacon as their neighborhoods blanded in the mid 2000s. Much like those original artist enclaves, Beacon has become home to artist collectives, house parties, and experimentation.

Tina Darling poses in front of her work at Electric Windows (all photos courtesy and copyright of Thundercut)

Tina Darling poses in front of her work at Electric Windows (all photos courtesy and copyright of Thundercut)

While DIA was an important catalyst when it opened in 2003, Dan says the new residents brought a creative community that grew organically in it’s own direction.

“The people that have moved here have a very DIY spirit and have created something very special that continues to reinvent itself each year,” says Dan. In addition to Dan and Kalene opening their own gallery, Open Space, which shows fine art by many friends and artists in the street art scene, they recount inititiatives by neighbors who organize live concerts, have annual open studio events, host drawing nights at home, and began non-art related groups like soccer and ping pong clubs. Open Space itself has hosted a series of comedy nights that play to packed houses.

Says Dan, “If someone sees something missing in the community, they try to make it happen.”

Begun as a place to house their graphic design business, Open Space took root as a gallery and a community gathering spot. Explains Kalene, “We are both very passionate about giving something back to the community, from bringing new artists to show in the gallery, to organizing events like Electric Windows, these are things that we think are great and we are excited to share them with the town.”

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Which brings us to the third year of Electric Windows, a project that fills the eyes of a moribund electric blanket factory with new canvasses painted live on the street by artists while the public mills about. Now in it’s third year, with thirty artists, three buildings and live performances, EW is organized with their neighbors Jon Miles, Jeff Ashey and Nicole Romano.  With support from the mayor, a grant from the county arts council, donations from businesses of supplies and money, and even neighbors who are opening their homes to house the visiting artists, Electric Windows is thoroughly a community celebrating the creative spirit and the talent of Street Artists. The artists are traveling from Australia, Portland, San Francisco, St Louis, Milwaukee, New Jersey, and of course, Brooklyn without compensation and are all doing it for the love of the project.

Thundercut at work against a backdrop of lush Hudson Valley trees (© Thundercut)

Thundercut at work against a backdrop of lush Hudson Valley trees (© Thundercut)

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Brooklyn Street Art: How did the Electric Windows project first develop?
Dan Weise:
The Electric Windows building is what we see when we look out of the windows of Open Space. It is a beautiful turn-of-the-century factory building which, when we first got the space, still had the partially broken glass windows in the frames. It was a postcard for urban decay and having just moved up from Brooklyn, felt like home. Shortly after we opened the gallery, the owner removed all the glass and installed grey plywood window protection in its place. This was far from an improvement in our opinion, so we started discussing what could be done to bring life back to the building. This is when we began seriously talking about the idea of “Electric Windows”.

Our neighbors at the time, an art store named Burlock Home, really loved the idea and were on board to help make it happen. The four of us teamed up and put the whole project together in three months.

Elbow Toe returns this year to Electric Windows (© Thundercut)

Brooklyn Street Artist Elbow Toe returns this year to Electric Windows (© Thundercut)

BSA: This year features 3 buildings, instead of one.  Do you have enough artists?
Kalene Rivers:
We are excited about expanding the project to include more locations in the same area and all surfaces are accounted for. Everyday we think about how lucky we are to know so many incredibly talented artists and we just keep meeting more and more. Not only are they talented but they are amazing friends willing to donate their time and talents to events like Electric Windows for the love of making art and supporting positive projects.

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BSA: Street Art is normally associated with large metropolitan areas. How does Beacon fit in to the equation?
Dan:
Historically, Beacon was a town of manufacturing and the evidence still remains. There are some really phenomenal factories here in town, some vacant, some in the process of renovations and others like the Nabisco Factory, which now houses DIA, have been transformed into something new. I think this helps bring a bit of an urban feel to a quaint little upstate town. Also, when we moved up here we realized that not many people even knew about Street Art. This being the something that we are both very passionate about we wanted to open the gallery and share this world with people beyond the Bronx. Open Space Gallery was formed, Electric Windows was conceived, and slowly the infiltration has begun!

Alison from PMP shows kids how to screenprint (© Thundercut)

Alison from PMP shows kids how to screenprint (© Thundercut)

BSA: Would you say most of these artists are Street Artists? Or are there also graffiti artists, fine artists….
Kalene:
I would say that most of the artists are Street Artists but there certainly is a good group of graffiti and fine artists in the mix. Of course the first people we think to invite to the project are friends. Being involved in the Street Art scene for seven years means that these are the people we know best. However, it is wonderful to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds. The artists have to be able to paint big and fast so our selection of qualified participants is pretty limited to a certain kind of artist.

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BSA: What’s your favorite part of the event?
Dan:
Well, after we stress out for months planning and trying to take care of all the details, it is great to look up and see it all in action. Music filling the air, fumes wafting by, people admiring the amazing murals being created, children laughing and dancing. That is when it feels like it has all been worth it. But the event is just the beginning once the crowds leave and the art has been installed the projects gives back to the community, to visitors and to us each and every day.

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Returning Artists for Electric Windows: Buxtonia, BoogieRez, Chris Stain, Depoe, Elbow Toe, Mr Kiji, Michael De Feo, Peat Wollaeger, Rick Price, Ron English

New Artists for 2010: Big Foot, Cern, Chor Boogie, Chris Yormick, Elia Gurna, Erick Otto, Eugene Good, Faust, Gaia, Joe Iurato, Kid Zoom, Logan Hicks, Lotem & Aviv, Paper Monster, Ryan Bubnis, Ryan Williams, Skewville, Thundercut

Daryll Peirce at Electric Windows (photo © Thundercut)

Daryll Peirce at Electric Windows (photo © Thundercut)

This year’s event, which includes two days of preparation by the artists, a one-day exhibition and street fair, music and dancing by M*POWER ELITE TEAM, live screen printing by Buxtonia, and an Open Space after-party, is expected to draw approximately 5,000 people to Beacon’s Main Street corridor.

The line-up of live music at ELECTRIC WINDOWS includes: Ben Neill, Aabaraki, Hart Costa, DJ Birds in the Building, DJ Bobby Collins, DJ Krisis, Dr. Ambassador, Gold Monkey, and Scambler Seequill.

See Chor Boogie's "Romanticism" and other works by Electric Windows at Open Space online by clicking this picture.

See Chor Boogie’s “Romanticism” and other works by Electric Windows artists at Open Space online by clicking this picture.

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Electric Windows Beacon

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“Street Art New York” Authors Book Signing at Spoonbill & Sugartown in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Book Signing of Street Art New York coming Thursday, July 22

The first book-signing for the new book is coming up at Spoonbill and Sugartown, this Thursday, July 22 at 7:00 PM. Spoonbill and Sugartown is a Williamsburg Brooklyn favorite. In addition to stocking erudite, eclectic art titles, used and rare books, Spoonbill has always supported artists and the arts community.
Come and meet Steve and Jaime and some special guests from the book that Juxtapoz describes as “A genuine who’s who of current renowned street artists, this book’s made even better thanks to publishing by Prestel, well reputed for producing classy tomes. The paper’s heavy and fantastic, image colors vibrant and rich, while the selection of photographs and artwork by Rojo and Harrington go unmatched to recent urban art updates.”
See images from the book on Meighan O’Tooles recent posting here.
Spoonbill & Sugartown, Booksellers was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 1999. We pride ourselves on the books we offer, but our greatest achievement can be seen in the eyes and heard in the testimonies of our loyal customers.
218 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Tel. 718.387.7322
sugar@spoonbillbooks.com
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