art the throne Angel Orensanz Foundation Hosts <em>Art the Throne</em> with: Pop Chart Lab, Jeff Nishinaka, CYRCLE, Marcos Chin and Tristan Eaton

In celebration of the captivating series Game of Thrones, HBO launched Art the Throne earlier this month with the release of visual dairies of CYRCLE, Tristan Eaton, Jeff Nishinaka, Marcos Chin and Pop Chart Lab reinterpreting key moments from the series. And last Wednesday evening the physical installations were displayed at New York City’s historical Angel Orensanz Foundation on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Here are a few more mages we captured at the event, along with the artists’ visual diaries:

Jeff Nishinaka, The Night’s King

Jeff Nishinaka Angel Orensanz Foundation Hosts <em>Art the Throne</em> with: Pop Chart Lab, Jeff Nishinaka, CYRCLE, Marcos Chin and Tristan Eaton

Jeff Nishinaka‘s visual diary

CYRCLE, Overthrone Crown

cyrcle Angel Orensanz Foundation Hosts <em>Art the Throne</em> with: Pop Chart Lab, Jeff Nishinaka, CYRCLE, Marcos Chin and Tristan Eaton

CYRCLE‘s visual diary

Pop Chart Lab‘s The Red Wedding

pop chart lab Angel Orensanz Foundation Hosts <em>Art the Throne</em> with: Pop Chart Lab, Jeff Nishinaka, CYRCLE, Marcos Chin and Tristan Eaton

Pop Chart Lab‘s visual diary

Marcos Chin, Brienne of Tarth

Marcos Chin Angel Orensanz Foundation Hosts <em>Art the Throne</em> with: Pop Chart Lab, Jeff Nishinaka, CYRCLE, Marcos Chin and Tristan Eaton

Marcos Chin‘s Visual Diary

Tristan Eaton, Portraits of Daenerys Targaryen, four in a series of six

Tristan Eaton .portraitsjpg Angel Orensanz Foundation Hosts <em>Art the Throne</em> with: Pop Chart Lab, Jeff Nishinaka, CYRCLE, Marcos Chin and Tristan Eaton

 Tristan Eaton‘s visual diary

Photo credits: 1, 2, 5 & 6 Houda Lazrak; 3 & 4 Sara C Mozeson

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

en play badge 2 Angel Orensanz Foundation Hosts <em>Art the Throne</em> with: Pop Chart Lab, Jeff Nishinaka, CYRCLE, Marcos Chin and Tristan Eaton

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:Joe Iurato art station16 Stencil Art Masters Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Lady Aiko, Icy and Sot and Snik in <em>STENCILED</em> at Montreals Station 16 Gallery

Featuring stencil art by some of our favorite artists, STENCILED opens this Thursday evening, April 28, at Montreal’s Station 16 Gallery. Here is a small sampling of what will be on exhibit through May 21:

Also by Joe Iurato

joe iurato stencil station 16 Stencil Art Masters Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Lady Aiko, Icy and Sot and Snik in <em>STENCILED</em> at Montreals Station 16 Gallery

Logan Hicks

Logan Hicks Skybridge 2016 Stencil Art Masters Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Lady Aiko, Icy and Sot and Snik in <em>STENCILED</em> at Montreals Station 16 Gallery

Lady Aiko

lady aiko stencil art kimona Stencil Art Masters Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Lady Aiko, Icy and Sot and Snik in <em>STENCILED</em> at Montreals Station 16 Gallery

Icy and Sot

Icy and So Desolate stencil Stencil Art Masters Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Lady Aiko, Icy and Sot and Snik in <em>STENCILED</em> at Montreals Station 16 Gallery

Also featured in STENCILED is UK-based Snik

stenciled Stencil Art Masters Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Lady Aiko, Icy and Sot and Snik in <em>STENCILED</em> at Montreals Station 16 Gallery

 All photos courtesy Station 16

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

en play badge 2 Stencil Art Masters Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Lady Aiko, Icy and Sot and Snik in <em>STENCILED</em> at Montreals Station 16 Gallery

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Michael Alan 9 Lives Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

Michael Alan‘s wonderfully inventive new works remain on view through Saturday at Chelsea’s Tanja Grunert Gallery, 524 W 19th Street. After visiting his riveting exhibit, Nine Lives, we posed a few questions to the prolific artist.

Can you tell us something about the title of your current exhibit? What is the significance of Nine Lives to you?

The title, Nine Lives, is a play on my health issues and my determination to not focus on them, but to take what I’ve I learned and help others through my art. The works in this exhibit expand beyond my human life.

Michael Alan art work Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

How have recent life events impacted this body of work? 

Everything that happens to me impacts my work. I represent the tradition of creating work based on my life. My work is my life’s visual journal.

Michael alan close up Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

We love your characters. Who or what inspired them? Are they based on people you know? Or are they simply figments of your imagination?

I see them as part of my visual language — from ghosts of my past to art history references, to my friends and my models and now everyone! Draw the world, and do everything you can do! Life is short. Don’t stay limited or become a brand.

Michael Alan vertical Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

There’s quite a mix of styles and media on exhibit in Nine Lives. Have you any favorite piece or pieces? Any favorite medium?

I wish I could choose a favorite. My mind would be more simple — in a sense — if I could. But I’m a complex multitasker, and I love all things equally! I try as hard as I can to edit and make each work better or at least equal to the last. I think every piece should all hold up on its own.

Michael alan new art work Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

How did the opening at Tanja Grunert Gallery go? It is such a lovely space.

The opening attracted over 500 people. Paul Jacobson had a solo show in the bottom-level gallery, and I loved showing with him. We didn’t have much time to promote our exhibits, but so many people came! Thanks to all! Thank you!

Michael alan outside tanja grunet Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

 What’s next?

I couldn’t say what’s to come, because if I did, I wouldn’t have to do it. It would be done! Every day is a gift, even a bad day! So I just count everything as a blessing…even if it’s a negative.

Photo credits: 1 courtesy Michael Alan; 2-5 Tara Murray and 6 Jennifer Lopez, courtesy Michael Alan

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meres otm graffiti bushwick NYC At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

With its vibrantly seductive murals, the exterior of Brooklyn Reclaimed – curated by Meres One – has become an oasis of color and style.  Here are a few more graffiti murals that have recently surfaced — all by artists who’d frequented the former 5Pointz:

Demer

demer graffiti brooklyn reclaimed At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

Topaz and Jerms

topaz Jerms graffiti brooklyn At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

Zimad

zimad graffiti brooklyn reclaimed At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

Bishop 203 aka Jats

Jats graffiti Bushwick At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

Photos by City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen

Keep posted to our Facebook page and Instagram for more graffiti and street art on the grounds of Brooklyn Reclaimed.

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available here for Android devices.

en play badge 2 At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

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A huge fan of zines and independent publications of all kinds, I was delighted to discover Never Blue, featuring artworks by some of my favorite artists — who make their mark both on and off the streets. Curious about it all, I posed some questions to its curator, Mr. Green aka A Color Green.

Never Blue Zine <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

Just who/what is A Color Green? And when was it born?

At the easiest level, A Color Green aka ACG, Mr. Green or Coloure Greene is an independent, NYC-based artist and curator. Mr. Green was born roughly six years ago, about the same time I began to concoct a haphazard entrance into the film industry. And playing off its founder’s last name,  A Color Green was conceived as a film production company title. Today, A Color Green is both an individual artist and his alter ego, as well as a tight-knit production and publishing team – (though always looking to expand into something new!)

Can you tell us something about its logo?

As I began to search for what would be a company “logo,” an immediate connection with the cartoonish face you’ve become familiar with on NYC streets in sticker or tag form was born. Upon realizing the breadth of possibilities or absurdities in this face, ACG expanded into an alter-ego reminiscent of some of my favorite artists or musicians — graffiti legends like Snake 1, contemporaries like Chris RWK and Frank Ape and pop-culture icons like MF Doom, Quasimoto or Big L, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Dupieux, Roger Ebert and more.

Mr Green Mirror Image <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

What spurred you to take Green to the streets?

When I moved back to NYC a few years ago, I didn’t have the resources to pursue my own filmmaking. And inspired by those contemporary artists, I decided to try taking Green to the street, tying in film references. A big inspiration was my intent to develop a curatorial channel to feature these very artists.  And as that “channel” continues to grow, so do the partnerships and connections that have allowed me to branch back into some of my original inspirations in filmmaking and publishing which, of course, leads right back to this interview, Never Blue and some upcoming projects.

Chris RWK keeping theblues away <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

Never Blue is Volume 2 of the zines produced by A Color Green. Can you tell us something about Volume 1? Is it still available? What spurred you to produce Never Blue?  What is the concept behind it?

A Color Green Zine was conceived as a trilogy, each installment correlating to a different side of my character, inspiration, aesthetic and — I suppose — humor. As an artist, I’ve always identified with those masterful creators like Picasso or Kubrick who understood the importance of change and redefining one’s self throughout a career. This trilogy is a direct nod to something like Picasso’s Blue Period or Kubrick’s ability to produce Barry Lyndon directly after A Clockwork Orange. The styles are so radically different, but through the change you still catch a similar glimpse of what drew you there in the first piece — whether a feeling, face or something else entirely. 

Our first edition, Black and White was also a limited edition risograph print co-published by Endless Editions  – as the entire trilogy will be — and featured roughly thirty artists, a number of whom are also featured in Never BlueWhile Black and White was meant to adhere to that gritty, DIY style — which I’d strictly adhered to for two years – Never Blue, was meant to be a sad or celebratory, soulful or seductive step away from the simple shades of B&W. If you missed out on the sold-out first edition, you can download a free copy of the A Color Green Zine Vol. 1 Black & White now on BitTorrent.

Ceez <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

Works by dozens of artists representing a wide range of styles, sensibilities and cultures are featured in Never Blue? That’s quite impressive. How did you decide which artists to include? How did you reach out to them?

While Never Blue is the second official zine I’ve created with A Color Green, it’s actually our third publication following a small print we released over the summer called the Green Carpet Zine. Like I said, we had always intended to make A Color Green Zine an official trilogy, and receiving the proper submissions took some time — so much so that we took a break and created the entirely random Green Carpet Zine.

What differentiates the Green Carpet Zine from the official ACG trilogy is an emphasis on street art and representing that style in an illustrative or photographic form on the page. There were a number of artists I knew who had to be in it – starting with several highly talented friends including: HausRiot, Kristy Elena, Seth Laupus, Zero Productivity, Leaf8k and JCorp TM who were in the first edition. Next, I needed to reach out to some of my favorite contemporaries like Brolga, CEEZ, Chris RWK, City Kitty, Murrz, Abe Lincoln Jr. and Frank Ape who’d inspired me to get back into street art. And as I often find with that community, everyone was wonderfully supportive. I also opened up submissions to artists via the Con Artist Collective where I received dozens of illustrations that were incredibly difficult to choose from. The remaining slots were announced via social media where another couple of dozen artists responded.

Unfortunately, not all of the artwork could make it in, and that’s where we needed to put on the curatorial hat and figure out which submissions not only fit the theme, but worked together in a layout as well. Emphasizing the different styles is very important to us, and when you flip through the zine, you’ll find we pair similar styles together and contrast different looks. The result is a blend of hand-style, graphic design, illustration, wheat-paste and whatever else.

Abe Lincoln Jr <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

What was your greatest challenge in getting this zine out? How did you promote it once it was published?

Time is always the greatest challenge. The balancing act of juggling work, life and responsibility. Every artist who submitted to the zine — whether anonymous or not — has a life outside of their alter-ego, and so do I. We couldn’t dictate a strict delivery for some submissions, because we desperately wanted some artists to partake, and I would have pushed the printing back for some people if need be.  But after receiving over fifty submissions, we knew we had to cut it off and set a release date. That release date, after two years gave ACG and Endless Editions the much needed fire under our asses, and within two months we had two hundred fresh risograph copies and an opening set at Con Artist NYC where another 25 artists donated work to hang on the walls.

Promoting after such a long build up was the easy part and it took place mostly via social media — across 30 somewhat artist pages on different platforms — in addition to a couple of NYC art listings and press releases. Con Artist also has been a major champion of our work and promoted it heavily across their channels.

MURRZ Never Blue <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

What’s ahead for A Color Green?

Up next for ACG is a long-awaited rest from zine curation and my official directorial debut in MUTE which will have its hometown world premiere with the BK Horror Club and Brooklyn Horror Fest tomorrow, April 21. The short film features Danish star Albert Bendix as a tongue-chopping madman and is followed in double-feature form by a screening of the modern-classic You’re Next, sponsored by Throne Watches and Narragansett Beer. Tickets can be purchased here. And If you’re yet to check out Never Blue, you can buy a copy at Con Artist while supplies last or head over to Printed Matter, Inc where the zine will go on sale later this month. More on www.acolorgreen.com.

Interview by Lois Stavsky; all images courtesy Mr. Green

Images: 

1. Mr. Green with Never Blue

2. Mr. Green

3. Chris RWK

4. Ceez

5. Abe Lincoln Jr.

6. Murrz

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free humanity 212 arts From the West Coast to the East Village at 212 Arts with: Free Humanity, Eddie Colla, Mike Giant, Sket One, Max Neutra, Bisco Smith and more

From the plaintive to the playful, the artworks on exhibit in From the West Coast at 212 Arts intrigue. While visiting last week, I had the opportunity to speak to gallerist Mark Leader, who curated the exhibit:

Many of these artists are new to me. Just what is going on here?

This exhibit is a survey of various West Coast artists — largely from LA, San Francisco, Santa Monica and New Mexico.

Eddie Colla acrylic spray paint1 From the West Coast to the East Village at 212 Arts with: Free Humanity, Eddie Colla, Mike Giant, Sket One, Max Neutra, Bisco Smith and more

There is certainly quite a diverse range of styles represented here. What spurred you to bring these artists to NYC?

It was an opportunity to introduce a brand new visual language to others. My sense is that the West Coast sensibility is quite different from ours.

Mike Giant 212 arts From the West Coast to the East Village at 212 Arts with: Free Humanity, Eddie Colla, Mike Giant, Sket One, Max Neutra, Bisco Smith and more

How did you first discover these artists?

Largely through Instagram. And I had worked with some of them before.

sket one 212 arts From the West Coast to the East Village at 212 Arts with: Free Humanity, Eddie Colla, Mike Giant, Sket One, Max Neutra, Bisco Smith and more

Were there any particular challenges in making this happen?

Just the logistics of transporting the art from the West Coast to here in the East Village.

Max Neutra acrylic 212Arts NYC From the West Coast to the East Village at 212 Arts with: Free Humanity, Eddie Colla, Mike Giant, Sket One, Max Neutra, Bisco Smith and more

How have folks responded to the exhibit?

They’ve responded positively with lots of curiosity!

bisco Smith 212 arts From the West Coast to the East Village at 212 Arts with: Free Humanity, Eddie Colla, Mike Giant, Sket One, Max Neutra, Bisco Smith and more

How can folks see the exhibit?

As there has been a pique of interest in the exhibit since these works were initially showcased, there will be a second launch this Thursday, April 21, beginning at 6 pm.

212 arts invite From the West Coast to the East Village at 212 Arts with: Free Humanity, Eddie Colla, Mike Giant, Sket One, Max Neutra, Bisco Smith and more

And what’s next for 212 Arts?

Opening May 6 is Round Trip, Emilio Ramos‘s first solo exhibit.

Interview and photos 1, 2, 4-6 Lois Stavsky

Images:

1. Free Humanity

2. Eddie Colla

3. Mike Giant

4. Sket One — on platform designed by Tracy 168, with Marc Leader on right

5. Max Neutra

6. Bisco Smith

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available here for Android devices.

en play badge 2 From the West Coast to the East Village at 212 Arts with: Free Humanity, Eddie Colla, Mike Giant, Sket One, Max Neutra, Bisco Smith and more

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greg auerbach artists for Bernie Sanders <em>The Art of a Political Revolution</em> Continues Through 7:00 PM Today at 312 Bowery with: Greg Auerbach, Brian Blue, Claw Money, Rostarr, Patrick Martinez, Dan Buller and more

Featuring dozens of national and local artists whose work is inspired by the political landscape, the Artists for Bernie Sanders national touring exhibit, The Art of a Political Revolution, continues through 7:00 PM this evening at 312 Bowery. While visiting yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to its principal curator, Tyler Gibney of HVW8 Gallery.

bryan blue the art of political revolution <em>The Art of a Political Revolution</em> Continues Through 7:00 PM Today at 312 Bowery with: Greg Auerbach, Brian Blue, Claw Money, Rostarr, Patrick Martinez, Dan Buller and more

There is such a wonderful range of socially conscious art on exhibit here.  While some of the artworks directly reference Bernie Sanders, others touch on an array of social, political and economic issues. How did this all happen?

Bernie Sanders has always been a strong supporter of the arts. And soon after he appointed Luis Calderin – with whom I’ve worked in the past — as Director of Arts and Culture, Luis and I started working on launching this exhibit.

How were you able to engage such a diverse group of outstanding artists — many working in different media?

Both Luis and I had worked with many of the same artists when Obama was first running for President.  Several of these artists have also shown in my gallery. And in addition to the artists we both knew, many approached us — eager to participate.

claw money the art of political revolution <em>The Art of a Political Revolution</em> Continues Through 7:00 PM Today at 312 Bowery with: Greg Auerbach, Brian Blue, Claw Money, Rostarr, Patrick Martinez, Dan Buller and more

So many artists — of all ages — are supportive of Bernie. Why do you suppose this is so?

Bernie can be counted on to advocate for funding of the arts in our cities, schools and public spaces. He clearly understands the importance of the arts and has a proven record of supporting the arts. Artists can also easily relate to his values. Bernie takes no corporate donations.

And how might you explain his appeal to so many young people?

Many young people are feeling the need for a political revolution in this country. They graduate school with thousands of dollars in debt.  They witness a gross inequality of income. They see homeless people living on the streets in the richest country in the world. And with Bernie these issues come into the open.

rostarr and patrick martinez the art of political revolution <em>The Art of a Political Revolution</em> Continues Through 7:00 PM Today at 312 Bowery with: Greg Auerbach, Brian Blue, Claw Money, Rostarr, Patrick Martinez, Dan Buller and more

How did the opening of this exhibit here in NYC go?

It was amazing! We knew that Bernie’s wife and son would be here. But we didn’t quite expect him. He’d just been visiting the Vatican hours earlier! And so when he arrived, we were thrilled!

And are you satisfied with the response the exhibit is getting here in NYC!

Absolutely!

Dan Bullerartists for bernie sanders <em>The Art of a Political Revolution</em> Continues Through 7:00 PM Today at 312 Bowery with: Greg Auerbach, Brian Blue, Claw Money, Rostarr, Patrick Martinez, Dan Buller and more

The Art of A Political Revolution  –  produced by Bernie 2016, with support from HVW8 Gallery, Creative Cabal, The GoodLife! & Evolutionary Media Group – is open to the public today from 10:30am – 7pm.

Artist signings: Aaron Draplin from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM; Jermaine Rogers from 1:00 – 3:00 PM and Claw Money from 3:00 – 5:00 PM

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Houda Lazrak and edited by Lois Stavsky

Images

1. Greg Auerbach

2. Brian Blue

3. Claw Money

4. Rostarr  & Patrick Martinez

5. Dan Buller

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Miroism graffiti miami Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

The range and scope of Miami’s graffiti walls are distinctly impressive. Local writers, along with artists from across the globe, make their mark in Wynwood, Overtown and beyond. Pictured above is Miro. Here are a few more I saw on my recent visit:

Vejam

vejam Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Gorey

gorey Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Bulks

bulks Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Vogue, TDK

vogue tdk graffiti miami Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Ligisd

ligisd graffiti miami Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Mastro

mastro miami graffiti Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Krave

krave graffiti miami Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Photo credits: 1-6 & 8 Lois Stavsky; 7 Mastro

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While down in Miami, I met up with Bronx native Mastro whose masterful graffiti designs and styles can be found on walls, hats and a range of surfaces throughout NYC, Miami and beyond. 

mastro graffiti the Bronx nyc The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

Can you recall any early graffiti memories?

My earliest memory is riding the 6 train to Pre-K. Everything around me was bombed. I remember thinking, “What is this magic?” Growing up in the Bronx, I saw classic NYC graffiti everywhere. Seen, Mad and Pjay were among the writers I saw on my day-to-day commute.

When and where did you first hit the streets?

When I was in 5th grade, I started with stupid, little tags – like Shadow and Ace – all along Zerega Avenue. I was also getting up in my school. I thought I was “King!” But I was a toy.

What inspired you to get up?

Graffiti was everywhere. How could I not?

mastro graff miami The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

When and how did you come up with the name Mastro?

I was in my mid-teens. It was actually part of my name, and none of the aliases made any sense.

Did you paint with a crew back then or were you largely alone?

I generally liked to keep it solo and quiet.

And thse days?

I paint both solo and with others. But I don’t think the crew should define the writer. Rather, the writer should define the crew.

mastro and eskae graffiti miami The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

Do you have a formal art education?

Yes. I have a BA in Architecture from Pratt.

Did you go on to work as an architect?

After I graduated, I worked as an architect for a while. But at the same time I began customizing hats. And that business took off almost immediately – and was a lot more fun!  I thought, “Why should I work for someone else when I can do better on my own?”

And just how are you doing on your own?

I’m doing great. I never expected my business to go this far. Besides customizing hats, I get paid to do body painting and lettering. And I’m also commissioned to produce graffiti murals and installations.

mastro greenpoint The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

What would you say is the key to your success?

It’s a matter of my being in the right place at the right time. And that is something I work on doing.

Although you are based in NYC, you seem to spend more time on the road then you do back home.

Yes, I’ve been traveling just about full-time across the U.S. I try to cover as many music/art festivals and fairs that I possibly can. I tend to hang out where there are lots of people all the time.

What are some of the challenges of leading such a nomadic life?

The biggest challenge is having to do my own laundry.

mastro graffiti bronx The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

As you didn’t forge a career as an architect, would you way that your Pratt education was worthwhile?

Yes! It definitely taught me how to become a better artist. But it did not teach me how to sell my technique.

How does your family feel about what you are doing?

My parents get a kick out of it!

What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

Technically – all of it. I create non-stop both on and off the wall.  My art is my “work.” The only aspect of it that actually feels like work is when I’m moving and lifting materials.

mastro graffiti style miami The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

What advice would you offer young artists who would like to build a successful art business?

Always have access to your presentation portfolio. Be prepared to share it with anyone at any time. Know how to write a proposal, a contract and a rider sheet. And be ready to easily accept all types of payment from credit cards to PayPal.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet and social media in this scene?

I don’t like the Internet. I don’t like having to use technology to promote myself. But I can’t deny that it does increase recognition, awareness and sales.

That would seem to be a good thing.

But social media can easily turn you into a techno-slut. Too many people seem to depend on social media to increase their value. It’s your work that should be valued, not your number of “likes” or followers. Back when I first started, we did it for the love of it; now folks do it for the “likes.” And back in the day, you had no idea what a writer in Australia was doing unless you saw it in a magazine. These days, it is just far too easy to borrow and regurgitate styles from half way around the world.

mastro graffiti tracks The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

Are there any particular cultures – or artists — that have influenced your aesthetic?

Growing up in the Morris Park section of the Bronx, I was influenced, of course, by everything that was happening around me – graffiti, hip-hop, breakdancing. The artist who had the hugest influence on my aesthetic was Wane COD, a master of intricate simplicity.

What are your favorite places to paint?

Abandoned places that are withering away, and those places that have stood the test of time where nature is flourishing

How has your artwork evolved in the past few years?

I’m trying to make it crisper and smoother. I would like all demographics to be able to understand my writing.

mastro bushwick graffiti The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

What do you see as the role of the artist in society?

I’m here to create. I don’t think about it.

What’s ahead?

Building and creating wherever life takes me. Living my life as a “permanent vacation,” earning money doing what I love.

Note: Photos are of artworks seen in NYC and in Miami. Pictured in the third photo are: Mastro, Eskae and Disem – with Mastro and Eskae trading names.

Photo credits: 1-3, 7 & 8  Lois Stavsky; 4 & 5 Tara Murray; and 6 Mastro; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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luis valle street art mural little haiti North of Wynwood: Luis Valle, Ruben Ubiera, Faber Medrano, Marcus Blake and Wendell Pierre in Miamis Little Haiti

Brimming with color and intrigue, the artworks that surface in Little Haiti — largely by local artists — are among Miami’s most seductive. Here are a few more:

Also by Luis Valle

Luis Valle street art little haiti miami North of Wynwood: Luis Valle, Ruben Ubiera, Faber Medrano, Marcus Blake and Wendell Pierre in Miamis Little Haiti

Ruben Ubiera

ruben ubiera little haiti q North of Wynwood: Luis Valle, Ruben Ubiera, Faber Medrano, Marcus Blake and Wendell Pierre in Miamis Little Haiti

Faber Medrano

Faber Medrano street art Little Haiti Miami North of Wynwood: Luis Valle, Ruben Ubiera, Faber Medrano, Marcus Blake and Wendell Pierre in Miamis Little Haiti

Marcus Blake

Marcus blake little haiti street art miami North of Wynwood: Luis Valle, Ruben Ubiera, Faber Medrano, Marcus Blake and Wendell Pierre in Miamis Little Haiti

Wendell Pierre

Wendell Pierre art little haiti miami North of Wynwood: Luis Valle, Ruben Ubiera, Faber Medrano, Marcus Blake and Wendell Pierre in Miamis Little Haiti

Photos by Lois Stavsky 

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