Exhibits

AEON paints in chicago street art Lorenzo Masnah aka AEON on APCs First U.S. Exhibit, Romance, Recycled Art & more

I caught up with Bogota native Lorenzo Masnah – aka AEON and Third World Pirate – last week in his Bushwick studio as he was readying to head to Chicago’s Galerie F to join Stinkfish, Zas and Buytronick in preparation for APC’s first exhibit in the U.S.

You are leaving in a few hours for Chicago. What’s happening there?

I will be working with Stinkfish, Zas and Buytronick to produce a series of collaborative works. Each of us has a distinct graphic language and they all will come together on an array of surfaces – from found objects to huge outdoor murals — for this exhibit at Galerie F.  Drawings, paintings, zines, shirts and all kinds of APC paraphernalia will be on sale at the gallery. The exhibit opens to the public on Friday, January 30.

animal tricks gallery 8 APC Lorenzo Masnah aka AEON on APCs First U.S. Exhibit, Romance, Recycled Art & more

Can you tell us something about APC? What does it mean? When did you guys all meet?

The crew originated almost ten years ago back in Bogota with a few artists who participated together in festivals.  These days we have over 50 members representing APC throughout the entire world. The acronym has many different meanings. Its principal one is Animal Power Cult, as animals play an essential role in our individual and common aesthetic.

Aeon Zas Rimx Arepa street art graffiti nyc Lorenzo Masnah aka AEON on APCs First U.S. Exhibit, Romance, Recycled Art & more

What about you? You seem to have three distinct identities. I primarily associate you with Third World Pirate as I remember watching you paint your iconic pirate almost ten years ago in Bogota. But there everyone seems to refer to you as AEON. And, here in NYC, I’ve come to think of you as Lorenzo Masnah.

I’ve been obsessed with pirates and drawing them in endless variations since I was a child growing up in Bogota. That explains Third World Pirate!  He is the one character who always travels with me. AEON is my acronym for Al Estilo Orto Nombre (Another Name for Style) – as I began getting up back in 2002 in Bogota with distinct one-line drawings. And I adopted the name Lorenzo Masnah when I had my solo show at Fuse Gallery in 2013.

Aeon dancers Lorenzo Masnah aka AEON on APCs First U.S. Exhibit, Romance, Recycled Art & more

Among the highlights of your solo show at Fuse Gallery were your refashioned images of beautiful Mexican women. That is another theme that resurfaces in your work. Can you tell us something about that? You seem to be quite obsessed with Mexican ladies!

Yes, for years I’ve been collecting Mexican erotic magazines dated from the early 1950s. This past year, in fact, while visiting Mexico, I discovered in a used book store in Puebla a huge stack of 45 records with covers fashioned from these vintage magazine pictures. I bought them all! And I am now working with them, recreating them with images that transcend that specific era.

Why do you suppose these images so engage you?

I love their pure innocence, their nostalgic beauty! And they represent so much of what we are missing in our era of Internet dating, where romance has lost its essence.  And I’ve also always loved working with recycled materials. It is my way of preserving the past, as I create a visual encyclopedia of aesthetics and issues that speak to me – and, hopefully, to others.

stinkfish street art chicago APC crew Lorenzo Masnah aka AEON on APCs First U.S. Exhibit, Romance, Recycled Art & more

Zas Painting in chicago Lorenzo Masnah aka AEON on APCs First U.S. Exhibit, Romance, Recycled Art & more

What’s ahead?

After Chicago, we plan to travel out West and then return to NYC for APC’s first East Coast exhibit.

It all sounds great! We look forward to seeing you guys in NYC.

Note: Animal Tricks opens this Friday, January 30, at 6 pm at Galerie F. Located at 2381 N Milwaukee Ave  in Chicago IL. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

APC in chiacago Lorenzo Masnah aka AEON on APCs First U.S. Exhibit, Romance, Recycled Art & more

Photos: 1. AEON paints in Chicago, courtesy Galerie F; 2. flyer for exhibit, collaborative by featured APC artists; 3. APC in NYC with AEON, Zas, Rimx  and Arepa photographed by Tara Murray; 4. AEON on canvas photographed by Lois Stavsky; 5 – 7.  APC in Chicago courtesy Galerie F;  

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cycle organic distortions art Chris “CYCLE” St. John Brings <em> Organic Distortions </em> to ArtNow NY

Wildly inventive and meticulously crafted, CYCLE’s recent body of work, Organic Distortions, is currently on view at Chelsea’s ArtNow NY.  Here are a few more images from the exhibit:

Ant Blur, acrylics and spray paint on canvas

cycle Ant Blur art Chris “CYCLE” St. John Brings <em> Organic Distortions </em> to ArtNow NY

Bee One, acrylics and spray paint on canvas

cycle Bee One Chris “CYCLE” St. John Brings <em> Organic Distortions </em> to ArtNow NY

Bee Two, acrylics and spray paint on canvas

cycle Bee Two1 Chris “CYCLE” St. John Brings <em> Organic Distortions </em> to ArtNow NY

Jag Warp, acrylics and spray paint on canvas

cycle jag warp art  Chris “CYCLE” St. John Brings <em> Organic Distortions </em> to ArtNow NY

Deer Curve, acrylics and spray paint on canvas

Cycle deer curve Chris “CYCLE” St. John Brings <em> Organic Distortions </em> to ArtNow NY

The exhibit continues through February at ArtNow NY, 548 West 28th Street in Chelsea.

Photos of paintings by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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A specialized new online gallery certain to appeal to us street art aficionados, Cluster Wall launches tomorrow evening with an exhibit and party at 17 Frost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We recently had the opportunity to speak to Cluster Wall’s founder, Evan Tobias. 

Chris RWK Cluster Wall <em> Cluster Wall </em> to Launch Tomorrow with Exhibit and Party at 17 Frost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

What is Cluster Wall? Why that name?

It is a term I respond to! As an art-lover and collector, I tend to cluster art of all colors and styles in our Brooklyn apartment. The results are vibrant, bold and kinetic, like New York City, itself!

What is your mission in launching Cluster Wall?

My mission is to provide art lovers with the opportunity to purchase first-rate, hand-embellished affordable art. There will not be any ink jet prints. All of the artworks will be signed and numbered, and editions will be limited. Prints will be released in a series of 100 or fewer. And, in addition, a small number of original works will also be made available.

Evan Tobas at Cluster Wall <em> Cluster Wall </em> to Launch Tomorrow with Exhibit and Party at 17 Frost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

What work experiences do you bring with you to your current position?

I was the founder and editor of Block Magazine, and founder of the Full Circle Bar in Williamsburg.

Most of the artists — whose works you will be exhibiting and selling — are active on the streets. Why the focus on street art?

I’m a big fan of street art. I’ve been living in Williamsburg since 2001, and I’ve seen how street art has enhanced my neighborhood. It has made it a better place to live. But Cluster Wall is not limited to street artists. I will be releasing artworks by other contemporary urban artists, as well.

the drif <em> Cluster Wall </em> to Launch Tomorrow with Exhibit and Party at 17 Frost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

How did you decide which artists to work with?

I started off by contacting artists I know, and then I was connected to some others. I was specifically looking for artwork that I love that would also work well as prints.

Can you tell us something about this weekend’s exhibit? What can we expect to see?

We will be featuring prints and original artworks by Chris RWK, Joe Iurato, Rubin, ASVP, Elle, The Drif, London Kaye, Solus, Opie and ORYX, along with collaborative works by John Paul O’Grodnick and Jilly Ballistic, who will also be painting live.

Jilly ballistic and j p o <em> Cluster Wall </em> to Launch Tomorrow with Exhibit and Party at 17 Frost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

What is Cluster Wall bringing to the art scene?

It provides art lovers with the opportunity to collect outstanding, innovative artwork at modest prices.

That all sounds great! Good luck!

Joe Iurato cluster wall <em> Cluster Wall </em> to Launch Tomorrow with Exhibit and Party at 17 Frost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Note: The launch begins at 7pm tomorrow — Saturday — at 17 Frost Street and will feature, along with dozens of artworks, music by DJ Nigel Rubirosa and refreshments provided by Lion Beer and Sea Grape Wines.

Interview conducted by City-as-School intern Zachariah Messaoud.

Photos

1. Chris RWK  

2. Cluster Wall founder Evan Tobias, seated in front of artwork by London Kaye 

3. The Drif

4. John Paul O’Grodnick and Jilly Ballistic

5.  Joe Iurato

All photos courtesy Cluster Wall, except for pic of Evan by Lois Stavsky

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kara walker sculpture and artwork Kara Walkers <em> Aftermath </em> Remains on View at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea through Saturday, January 17

Elaborating on the creation and aftermath of Kara Walker‘s epic installation at the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn this past summer, Afterword, a solo exhibition of the artist’s recent work, remains on view at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. through this Saturday, January 17. Here are a few more images:

Stages of Sugar Production: Cutting, Grinding, Refining

kara walker black and white Kara Walkers <em> Aftermath </em> Remains on View at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea through Saturday, January 17

Wide view of gallery

kara walker sculptures art Kara Walkers <em> Aftermath </em> Remains on View at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea through Saturday, January 17

Checking it out

kara walker artwork Kara Walkers <em> Aftermath </em> Remains on View at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea through Saturday, January 17

The Legend among the Cane Cutters

kara walker paper  Kara Walkers <em> Aftermath </em> Remains on View at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea through Saturday, January 17

And here are two close-ups from Kara Walker’s installation at the Domino Sugar Refinery — as captured in its final days.

Kara Walker at Domino Kara Walkers <em> Aftermath </em> Remains on View at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea through Saturday, January 17

Kara walker Kara Walkers <em> Aftermath </em> Remains on View at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea through Saturday, January 17

Sikkema Jenkins is located at 530 West 22nd Street in Chelsea.

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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Art Is Trash The Future Is Now Continues through January 20 at 60 Orchard with Art is Trash, Jaime Martinez, Iena Cruz, Kimyon Huggins, NDA and more

Featuring a diverse range of artists – many active in the streets – the Future Is Now continues through the 20th at 60 Orchard Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. While visiting the exhibit soon after it had opened, I had the chance to speak to Kimyon Huggins, who along with Kennedy Yanko, curated it.

Joseph conrad ferm art 60 Orchard Street The Future Is Now Continues through January 20 at 60 Orchard with Art is Trash, Jaime Martinez, Iena Cruz, Kimyon Huggins, NDA and more

ross broder art 60 Orchard The Future Is Now Continues through January 20 at 60 Orchard with Art is Trash, Jaime Martinez, Iena Cruz, Kimyon Huggins, NDA and more

This show is wildly eclectic – featuring a broad range of visions and styles. Can you tell us something about this exhibit’s title? Its mission? What does it all mean?

The Future Is Now references a new form of Dadaism, where artworks of varied styles from artists of different backgrounds come together in a cohesive fashion.

Jamie Martinez aka Triangulism The Future Is Now Continues through January 20 at 60 Orchard with Art is Trash, Jaime Martinez, Iena Cruz, Kimyon Huggins, NDA and more

Is there any common theme to these dozens of artworks?

It’s all an ode to the 80’s – to punk rock and its DIY sensibility.

Iena Cruz art 60 Orchard The Future Is Now Continues through January 20 at 60 Orchard with Art is Trash, Jaime Martinez, Iena Cruz, Kimyon Huggins, NDA and more

How did you choose these particular artists? There is quite a range here, with many active on the streets.

They are all people that Kennedy Yanko and I know – urban artists whose artworks represent the theme of the exhibit.

kimyon huggins art 60 orchard The Future Is Now Continues through January 20 at 60 Orchard with Art is Trash, Jaime Martinez, Iena Cruz, Kimyon Huggins, NDA and more

And what about this space, 60 Orchard?

It couldn’t be more perfect. A space like this on the Lower East Side is where “the future is now.”

NDA art at 60 Orchard The Future Is Now Continues through January 20 at 60 Orchard with Art is Trash, Jaime Martinez, Iena Cruz, Kimyon Huggins, NDA and more

The Future Is Now remains on view through January 20 at 60 Orchard Street between Hester and Grand on the Lower East Side.

Photos

1. Francisco de Paja aka Art is Trash

2. Joseph Conrad-Ferm

3. Ross Brodar

4. Jaime Martinez

5. Iena Cruz

6. Kimyon Huggins

7. NDA

Photos 1, 4 and 5 by Tara Murray; 2, 3, 6 & 7 by Lois Stavsky

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After six weeks of polishing a five-foot–tall marble cube to perfection back in 1982, German sculptor Ewerdt Hilgemann rolled it down a steep slope. He liked what he saw, as its mangled, contorted forms represented “the ultimate beauty of creation.” And since 1985, Hilgemann has been forging sculptures using a unique vacuum process, which “implodes” geometric shapes causing the material to deform according to natural laws.

Ewerdt Hilgemann Habakuk sculpture NYC Ewerdt Hilgemanns Implosion Sculptures on Manhattans Park Avenue and at Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary

At once tough and sensuous, a series of Hilgemann’s seven stainless steel sculptures surfaced on the streets of our city this past summer. We were mesmerized! Opening tomorrow at Mana Contemporary is Panta Rhei, an exhibit featuring six of Hilgeman’s sculptures installed outside the Mana Glass Gallery and inside the building’s lobby. 

Cube Flower, as seen in early fall on Park Avenue

Ewerdt Hilgemann Cube Flower manhattan sculpture Ewerdt Hilgemanns Implosion Sculptures on Manhattans Park Avenue and at Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary

Dancers, close-up, as seen in early fall on Park Avenue

Ewerdt Hilgemann sculpture dancers NYC Ewerdt Hilgemanns Implosion Sculptures on Manhattans Park Avenue and at Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary

And at Mana Contemporaryas seen yesterday in the icy snow

Ewerdt Hilgemann Ewerdt Hilgemanns Implosion Sculptures on Manhattans Park Avenue and at Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary

The artist

Ewerdt Hilgemann at Mana Contemporary Jersey City Ewerdt Hilgemanns Implosion Sculptures on Manhattans Park Avenue and at Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary

And his wondrous smaller works as viewed indoors at Mana

Ewerdt Hilgemann inside Mana Contemporary Jersey City Ewerdt Hilgemanns Implosion Sculptures on Manhattans Park Avenue and at Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary

Ewerdt Hilgemann Mana Contemporary exhibit Ewerdt Hilgemanns Implosion Sculptures on Manhattans Park Avenue and at Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary

Also opening tomorrow at Mana Contemporary are: Making Art Dance, curated by Jeffrey Deitch; John Newsom: Rogue Arena and David Levinthal: Hitler Moves East.

The opening events are free and open to the public. You can RSVP here for free transportation from NYC. Shuttle service to and from the event will be provided every half hour starting at 12:30 PM from Milk Studios (450 W. 15th Street) and returning every half hour from Mana starting at 2 PM.

Photos:  1-5 and 7 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; 6 by Lois Stavsky

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noxer kaput giz martinez gallery edited 1 Martinez Gallery Brings Free Radicals to ALL CITY    An Uptown Space Where Graffiti and Medicine <em> Coalesce </em>

While visiting the Free Radicals graffiti exhibit at ALL CITY this past Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to noted Martinez Gallery director Hugo Martinez who — together with Dr. Juan Tapia – envisioned and helped realize this wonderful space that serves as a graffiti art gallery, arts center and pediatric clinic.

What an amazing venture this is! A pediatric clinic, a dynamic art gallery and lounge all sharing the same space. Whose concept was this?

It was Einstein’s. “After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity and form,” he once stated. There is a natural synthesis between art and medicine, and a health clinic is an ideal setting to realize it.

noxer martinez gallery Martinez Gallery Brings Free Radicals to ALL CITY    An Uptown Space Where Graffiti and Medicine <em> Coalesce </em>

What made this extraordinary space possible?

2.5 million dollars and seven years.

Who were the main forces behind it?

I work with Dr. Juan Tapia, a pediatrician and former graffiti artist known as C.A.T. 87.  We were inspired to observe and measure evidence-based results of fusing two seemingly antithetical concepts.

navy8 and False graffiti Martinez Gallery Martinez Gallery Brings Free Radicals to ALL CITY    An Uptown Space Where Graffiti and Medicine <em> Coalesce </em>

How did you two come to collaborate?

I met Juan over 40 years ago when I was a student at City College and he was a Warlord for the neighborhood division of the Young Savage Nomads gang.  In 1972, we co-founded the United Graffiti Artists (UGA) as an alternative community to the established art world. Juan then went on to earn his GED and attend college and medical school. We have since collaborated on many community-based art and health projects. And in 2008, we established the ALL CITY Foundation.

Can you tell us something about the ALL CITY Foundation?

It is a community-based health and arts collaborative that has brought together a network of medical practitioners, artists and designers to create and run coordinated health and art programs for youth in New York City.

Navy 8 Martinez Gallery Martinez Gallery Brings Free Radicals to ALL CITY    An Uptown Space Where Graffiti and Medicine <em> Coalesce </em>

Your current exhibit, Free Radicals, is a remarkable representation of various works in different media by a range of prolific artists.

Yes. All of the artists in this exhibit have established all-city reputations, most in NYC and a few in other large cities.

Why did you choose this particular space on the corner of 135th Street and Broadway? It is quite impressive.

It is close to City College, where UGA was first established. And the lay-out of the building, the former Claremont Theater – a 22,500-square-foot landmark that was the first theater to show photoplays — is perfectly designed for our purposes.

Soviet close up Martinez Gallery Martinez Gallery Brings Free Radicals to ALL CITY    An Uptown Space Where Graffiti and Medicine <em> Coalesce </em>

from the outside martinez Martinez Gallery Brings Free Radicals to ALL CITY    An Uptown Space Where Graffiti and Medicine <em> Coalesce </em>

What’s ahead?

A range of programs, activities and revolving art exhibits.

Note: Free Radicals continues through March 31 at 3332 Broadway at 135th Street in Harlem. All artworks are for sale. You can follow the Martinez Gallery online at martinezgallery.com and on Instagram at instagram.com/martinezgallery. You can also visit the space with NY1 and check out this recent story in the New York Times.

Photos

1. Kaput, Noxer and Giz

2Noxer

3. False and Navy8

4. Navy8

5. Soviet, close-up

6. Various artists, as seen from the outside looking inside

Interview and photos by Lois Stavsky

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tats cru graffti street art wallworks NYC Anna Matos on WallWorks NY    A New Gallery Space in the South Bronx

Founded by John Matos aka Crash and Robert Kantor and directed by Anna Matos, WallWorks NY is a wonderful new gallery space at 39 Bruckner Boulevard in the South Bronx. While visiting its current  – and final – unofficial exhibit, Open Gallery, we had the opportunity to speak to Anna.

anna matos wallworks nyc Anna Matos on WallWorks NY    A New Gallery Space in the South Bronx

When did WallWorks NY open?

We had our first “unofficial” opening exhibition, First Taste, on September 12.  Its focus was on promoting street art and graffiti as a viable art form within galleries and museums. Among the many local and international artists whose works were featured were: Daze, Futura, Nick Walker, Stash and TATS CRU members: Bio, Nicer and BG 183. This was followed by Point. Focus. Click. featuring photos – that had never been exhibited before — by such photographers as Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Joe Conzo, David Gonzalez, Lisa Kahane, Francisco Reyes II and Ricky Flores.

such art wallworksny Anna Matos on WallWorks NY    A New Gallery Space in the South Bronx

This current exhibit, Open Gallery, introduces us to many new artists.

Yes. It’s our final show before our official opening next month.  Along with works by emerging local artists in Open Gallery, are artworks in various media by artists from around the country – many of whom had never exhibited their works in a gallery setting before.

Buz163 collage wallworks nyc Anna Matos on WallWorks NY    A New Gallery Space in the South Bronx

How have these “unofficial” openings gone?

The response has been great. And the success that we’ve achieved so far is more than we could have imagined!

Why did you choose to open a gallery in the South Bronx?

Why not the South Bronx? Its history is so rich, and hopefully we will encourage people to visit it.

fun est art wallworks nyc Anna Matos on WallWorks NY    A New Gallery Space in the South Bronx

What is WallWork’s NY’s mission?

In the experimental and explorative vein of Fashion MODA, we want to exhibit new and exciting work from both emerging and established artists.

How did this space come to be?

My father, Crash, had dreamed for a long time of opening a gallery, and I loved the idea of directing one. On our trips into the city, we repeatedly passed this empty space on Bruckner Boulevard – that we saw as a potential site for a gallery.  After discussing it with an art dealer in Paris last summer, my father said, “Let’s do it!” And then a partnership with entrepreneur Robert Kantor made it possible for my father to realize his dream.

JPO art Wallworks Anna Matos on WallWorks NY    A New Gallery Space in the South Bronx

What experiences and skills do you bring to your position as gallery director?

I grew up around art. As a child, I regularly accompanied by father to his studio – where I would sit and draw. For a long time, in fact, I thought I would be an artist. But as a senior in high school, I discovered that I was more interested in the concepts behind the art than in creating art. I then majored in Art History with a double minor of Philosophy and Black Studies at Fairfield University, and after graduating from college, I studied Art Business at FIT.  And in addition to several internships, including one as Special Project Manager the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, I served as a liaison for my father, assisting him in everything from creating a strong social media presence to installing and selling art. I see myself as someone who is committed to each artist’s personal development and financial success — as well as to the success of the gallery.

Stephanie Burr wallWorks NYC Anna Matos on WallWorks NY    A New Gallery Space in the South Bronx

What’s ahead?

Our official launch takes place on next Saturday, January 10, with Ikonoklasts, featuring never-before-seen works by three legendary NYC artists: A-One, Dondi White and Rammallzee. Following Ikonoklasts will be our first solo show featuring works on canvas by Nicer of TATS CRU.

That sounds wonderful! We are looking forward!

Interview conducted by City-as-School intern Zachariah Messaoud and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos by Lois Stavsky

Photos

1. TATS CRU

2. Anna Matos, gallery director

3. Such Styles

4. Buz163

5. Funqest

6. John Paul O’Grodnick

7. Stephanie Burr

Note: Open Gallery continues until January 7 at 39 Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx.

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Nemo graffiti Italian Artist Nemo Tibi Amat on Carrots, Burqas, NYC and more

Back in September, a huge orange carrot surfaced on the streets of Williamsburg. We soon discovered it was the work of the Italian artist Nemo Tibi Amat, whose distinctly curious aesthetic was on view at Exit Room NYC at the time. Eager to find out more about it all, we posed some questions to her.

Why a carrot? What does the carrot represent?

Because it makes me smile, and it makes other people smile. I think of it as a kind of Carrot Therapy. Also, the carrot fits wonderfully into our urban architecture. It can be vertical or horizontal; it can be whole or chopped. There will always be a place for it.

When was your carrot first born?

Everything was born some years ago. At the beginning, I used to paint a fat radish instead of the letter O when I wrote my name. Then when I began doing rollers, I replaced the letters with the carrot.  Even a child who can’t read can recognize a carrot.

Nemo street art nyc Italian Artist Nemo Tibi Amat on Carrots, Burqas, NYC and more

What about the carrot on a cross that I saw over at Exit Room? What does that represent?

It’s the sacrifice.  Anyone who aims to change the world by fighting against the system — with his or her own powers — is a Jesus on Earth. He wasn’t the only one crossed, as so many were, are and continue to be in many other ways. He’s just the most famous, because apparently his father was a god! The real crucified carrots that I use represent the inevitable decay of the body. After death, there is no resurrection.

And your burqa? It’s such an intriguing, powerful image. What does it represent?

Since I began painting — back in 1995 — I’ve had to deal with hiding and covering myself. I’m fascinated by the relationship between one’s interior self and the exterior world. And I love playing with the concept of protecting your body by hiding it. Covering your face can be a choice, but sometimes it is a necessity — a rule that others impose on you. Through my burqas, masks and balaclavas, I also tell stories that range from personal experiences I’ve had with real people to secret urban legends. If you scratch away the plasticine on my scratch card artworks, you can win my face.

Nemo artwork Italian Artist Nemo Tibi Amat on Carrots, Burqas, NYC and more

Nemo installation Italian Artist Nemo Tibi Amat on Carrots, Burqas, NYC and more

What about your characters? Can you tell us something about them?

The characters themselves tell me how to draw them. You would have to ask them.

What is like being a female in a male-dominated world?

I don’t think about it. If you know who you are and where you are, you can manage just about everything going on around you. Most of the time, I paint on my own, and most of my friends are guys. I think I’m lucky, as I feel free from those mental prisons that a lot of girls feel enclosed in.  I don’t, though, support the feminist way of thinking as it only increases the separation between us.

Nemo in burqa Italian Artist Nemo Tibi Amat on Carrots, Burqas, NYC and more

What is your impression of NYC?

Everything is really messed up, and I do love it.

Interview by Lois Stavsky with assistance by Daniela Croci aka Zoe;  Photos 1, 2, and 5 courtesy of the artist; 3 and 4 by Lois Stavsky

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Pablo Power City Bird Gallery Natural High at City Bird with Pablo Power, Chris Mendoza, Lady Millard, Kingbee, Wizard Skull, Dek 2DX, Copie Rodriguez, Smurfo Udirty & more

Co-owned by artists Sarah Wang and Shaina YangCity Bird is a creative space recently launched on the Lower East Side. While visiting its current exhibit Natural High yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to Shaina Yang and find out a bit about the gallery and its mission.

I love the eclectic mix of art in this exhibit. Can you tell us something about City Bird’s mission?

We see ourselves as a unique space in which we are free to unleash our creativity in a playful manner.  There is no one to tell us what to create or how to create it. It is up to us — the artists!

Chris Mendoza Natural High at City Bird with Pablo Power, Chris Mendoza, Lady Millard, Kingbee, Wizard Skull, Dek 2DX, Copie Rodriguez, Smurfo Udirty & more

When was City Bird born? 

Our inaugural exhibit opened on November 7. It was curated by the Under1roof Project.

Lady art Natural High at City Bird with Pablo Power, Chris Mendoza, Lady Millard, Kingbee, Wizard Skull, Dek 2DX, Copie Rodriguez, Smurfo Udirty & more

Many of the artists on exhibit – such as KingbeeWizard Skull and Dek 2DX– are also active on the streets. How did you meet each other?

Many of us know each other from the collective, Con Artist, and many of Con Artist’s members also get up on the streets.  Lady Millard’s Under1roof Project also brought us together in a collaborative manner. Basically, it was friends and friends of friends!

King Bee King of the Bees Natural High at City Bird with Pablo Power, Chris Mendoza, Lady Millard, Kingbee, Wizard Skull, Dek 2DX, Copie Rodriguez, Smurfo Udirty & more

Wizard skull City Bird Natural High at City Bird with Pablo Power, Chris Mendoza, Lady Millard, Kingbee, Wizard Skull, Dek 2DX, Copie Rodriguez, Smurfo Udirty & more

Dek2DX Natural High at City Bird with Pablo Power, Chris Mendoza, Lady Millard, Kingbee, Wizard Skull, Dek 2DX, Copie Rodriguez, Smurfo Udirty & more

I’d imagine that renting and maintaining a space like this on the Lower East Side could be expensive. How do you raise the money to do this?

When there are no exhibits here, we rent out the space to pop-up shows, poetry readings and a range of creative events.

Copie Rodriguez lottery tickets Natural High at City Bird with Pablo Power, Chris Mendoza, Lady Millard, Kingbee, Wizard Skull, Dek 2DX, Copie Rodriguez, Smurfo Udirty & more

What’s ahead?

A mix of imaginative exhibits featuring work by a range of artists, including street artists. We are already booked through the spring. You are in for some surprises!

smurfo udirty monster mash Natural High at City Bird with Pablo Power, Chris Mendoza, Lady Millard, Kingbee, Wizard Skull, Dek 2DX, Copie Rodriguez, Smurfo Udirty & more

City Bird is located at 191 Henry Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. 

Images:

1. Pablo Power

2. Chris Mendoza, close-up

3. Lady Millard, close-up

4. Kingbee

5. Wizard Skull

6, Dek 2DX

7. Copie Rodriguez

8. Smurfo Udirty

First image courtesy of the gallery; all others photographed by Lois Stavsky

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