Exhibits

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Continuing through this week at Avant Garde LES is Queens-based ZA ONE‘s exuberant solo exhibit, The Evolution of ZA ONE. While visiting last week, I had the chance to speak to its curator, Kate Storch.

ZA ONE is a style master; that is certainly evident here. And it was great fun watching him paint over at First Street Green Park last month. 

Yes! ZA ONE is a true artist. He is fearless in his determination to keep on pushing his craft further and further.  He spent the past two years working on these canvases.

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When did ZA ONE first hit the streets?

He first hit the streets in the mid-eighties. And in 2012, he started going all-city. It was non-stop adrenalin. He is a street killer, as well as a masterful artist.

How did you meet ZA ONE

Jerms introduced us about two years ago. I feel like ZA ONE was a gift. And I love the way he involves his children in his art.  He is a dedicated father, as well as a dedicated artist.

How did the opening of the show go? I’ve heard great things about it!

Yes, it was amazing. There was so much love from other writers. And the exhibit attracted a wonderfully eclectic mix of people including fine artists and musicians.

What’s next for you?

I’ve been busily planning and promoting this coming Friday’s Summer Classics Block Party in honor of National Hip Hop Day.

What can folks who attend it expect?

It will feature live DJs and some of the best graffiti artists and muralists — a mix of both legendary classics and contemporary talents.

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It sounds great! Good luck with it all!

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview with Kate Storch conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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

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Portal, a thoroughly enticing exhibit of new artworks in a range of media by the legendary Brooklyn-based artist Plasma Slug, continues through tomorrow at ArtHelix, 289 Meserole Street in Bushwick. When I stopped by yesterday, I had the chance to pose a few questions to the artist.

This is so impressive! Can you tell us a bit about the title of this — your third solo exhibit?

Yes! The exhibit is a portal — an entrance — to another world. Viewers will step into something that will take them out of their routine and they will, hopefully, leave with their minds expanded.

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These are all new works. About how many are in this exhibit? And how long have you been working on this particular body of work?

There are over 40 new pieces, and I’ve been preparing for this exhibit for the past four months.

How do the works on exhibit here differ from your previous ones?

I did not use spray paint to create these new pieces; after much soul-searching, I decided to paint with a brush.

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And why is that?

It was a way for me to “cross over,” — to gain more respect as an artist. The tools we artists use are important as to how we are perceived.

Any other differences between these new works and your previous ones?

This is the first time I’m showing three-dimensional work.

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What prompted you to do that?

My son was flipping out over a 3-D chalk board he was using, and I liked the effect.

Everything here is so engaging, and your prices are so reasonable.  How can folks see the exhibit if they missed the opening or if they wish to see it again? I could spend hours here!

We’re open today and tomorrow, Sunday from 12-6.

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 Congratulations! It’s quite amazing!

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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dorothy-gale- and-Zerk-oer-mural-art-nyc

A range of artworks and writings — by members of the Harlem Art Collective aka HART and the East Harlem community — on the theme No Rezoning, No Displacement, No Gentrification have made their way onto the Guerrilla Gallery on East 116th Street. The image pictured above — painted by Kristy McCarthy aka DGale and Zerk Oer — features a color-coded map with median prices of real estate sales and incomes of East Harlem residents, illustrating how increasingly difficult it is for working-class folks to afford to live in their own community. Several more images follow:

The following two images — featuring actual people who live in the neighborhood, including the homeless man who sleeps in front of the Guerrilla Gallery every night and the woman who sells tamales on the corner — were painted collaboratively by Rosi Mendoza, Maire Mendoza, Marisa Steffers, Harold Baines, Samuelson Mathew, O’Sheena Smith, Michael Mitchell, Amar Bennett, Shani Evans, Anni Merejo, Ralph Serrano, and Nathan Zeiden. The “Derecho A Techo” and “El Barrio No Se Vende” (further down below) signs were fashioned by Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification.

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The Trojan Horse — centerpiece of project

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 Earlier on — Ralph Serrano at work

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Kristy McCarthy aka DGale prepares wall for public comments —

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The community contributes: a poem by the Poets of Course from Urban Innovations, assorted artwork, an article about the cost of keeping one person in prison for one year ($60,000 +), prints of paintings depicting the arrivals of Christopher Colombus and Hernán Cortéz and other depictions of colonizers “discovering” new lands.

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 Adam Bomb with an announcement

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Photos by Lois Stavsky

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

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david-hollier-taylor-swift-art

I discovered David Hollier‘s distinctly provocative aesthetic a few years back when I came upon his huge murals of such luminaries as Nelson Mandela and John F Kennedy on the streets of Brooklyn.  Earlier this year, I saw his intriguing work on the 69th floor of the World Trade Center. And, yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit his solo exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen, at Sideshow Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and pose a few questions to him.

When did you first start integrating text into your artwork?

I began in 2010.

What inspired you to do so?

Before incorporating text into my artwork, I was working with lines. I then started repeating words within the works. And when a friend commissioned me to create a portrait of her husband using words, I incorporated a brief biography into the portrait. The response was so positive that I continued working in this style. By 2012 I’d given the collection the name Imago Verbosa, meaning a picture made of words in Latin.

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What media or tools do you use in fashioning these portraits?

I sometimes use a vintage typewriter. I also use acrylic paint. Huge photographic images are often projected and copied onto a range of surfaces.

How do you choose the subjects of your work? Ranging from Susan B. Anthony to Jay Z, they cross generations, nationalities and sensibilities. Among them are many musicians and politicians. 

Yes! I generally select icons. But some are commissioned, and those are selected for me.

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We’ve come upon quite a few of your works on the streets of Brooklyn. Do you prefer working in your studio or working on the streets?

They’re different experiences, and I like both. But the streets can be more challenging.

Do you have a formal art education?

Yes. I studied Visual Art and Public Art at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, and I earned a Masters degree in Computer Imaging and Animation from London Guildhall University.

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I’m fascinated by your choice of text infused into each portrait, as many have strong social implications. This exhibit is quite impressive. Do you devote yourself full-time to your artwork?

I divide my time between painting and teaching. I’ve taught at Parsons since 2006.

Congratulations on this! And we especially look forward to seeing more of your public artworks on the streets of NYC.

Note: A CLOSING RECEPTION takes place, tonight, Friday from 6 until 9pm. The show ends of Sunday, July 16th. Sideshow Gallery is located at 319 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Images

1 Taylor Swift, Text: “Never Grow Up,” Acrylic on board, 48″ x 48″

2 Jimi Hendrix, Text: “Fire,” “Voodoo Child” and “Are you Experienced?” Acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 60″

3 Star Stuff, Text: from Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos,” Acrylic on canvas, 72″ x 60″

4 The artist with Susan B. Anthony, Text: from “Women’s Rights to the Suffrage,” Acrylic on board, 27″ x 40″

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview by Lois Stavsky with Bonnie Astor

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With roots in the graffiti milieu of southwest Copenhagen, where he painted hundreds of walls under his alias KETS, Mikael B has since developed a signature identity fusing elements of wild style graffiti, fine art and graphic design. Aptly titled Reality ShiftMikael B‘s upcoming exhibit presents an alternate reality bursting with bold colors and boundless energy. Pictured above is the artist at work in his studio as he prepares for his solo exhibit opening Saturday evening from 7-10pm at Gregorio Escalante Gallery. Several more images of the artist’s work follow:

Time Bending

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Breaking Out

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Close-up

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 Skyfall

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Located at 978 Chung King R0ad in Los Angeles, Gregorio Escalante Gallery is open Wednesday — Sunday from 1pm — 6pm and by appointment.

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All photos courtesy Gregorio Escalante Gallery 

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

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ki-smith-with-Ryan-Bock-art-mana-contemporary-jersey-city

While visiting Ryan Bock‘s solo exhibit at Apostrophe NYC‘s Mana Contemporary studio space last month, I had the opportunity to speak to Ki Smith who — together with his brother Sei —  founded Apostrophe NYC  back in 2012. For the past several months Base 12, Apostrophe NYC‘s 12 emerging artists, have been working in a 8000-square-foot space through a one-year residency program at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City.

This is such an ideal space. How did this residency come your way?

Mana actually reached out to us after seeing the wide press coverage we received in response to our guerrilla-style pop-up exhibits.

Your pop-up shows were certainly unconventional! It’s not surprising that they — particularly your intervention at the Whitney Museum — generated so much media attention. It was your pop-up exhibits at the Kosciuszko Street stop on the J Line, in fact, that initially attracted my attention. When I first met you, you were based in Bushwick. 

Yes. But as a result of the opportunity that Mana offered us, several of us have since moved to Jersey City.  And we love it here! Mana is a very unique place and is located in a great area that’s just a short walk from Little India and all its great restaurants.

 

With your distinct styles and sensibilities, you guys all seem to work so well together. 

Since starting the Base 12 project we have all gotten to know each other quite well and I feel like every one has gained a lot of respect for each other’s work and practices. And with 12 of us working together to navigate the contemporary art world, we are able to accomplish so much more than if we were working individually — 12 times as much!

Here at Mana each Base 12 artist has been publishing a book to accompany his or her exhibit. That’s quite impressive.

I feel like making books and records of exhibitions is really important and something that very few smaller galleries do for artists, so we decided that we had a good opportunity to create a new company Apostrophe NYC Books. And in classic Apostrophe style we do everything in house, from printing to binding to working with the artists to designing and hand silkscreening the covers.  Making books is another great way to share art, and because of the especially quick turnaround on the shows we are currently doing, it’s also a great way to memorialize shows that people might miss the opportunity to visit.

What’s ahead?

The following solo exhibits are scheduled: Charlie Hudson on July 8th; Kolter Hodgson on July 22nd; Alana Dee Haynes on August 5th; Morell Cutler on August 19th; Julia Powers on September 2nd; Caslon Bevington on September 16th and James Reyes on September 30th. And next Saturday night, July 15th, is the opening of Base 12: Little Big Show, a group exhibit that critiques assumptions of virtual versus “real” representation with two allied narratives in sequential galleries: the first in an exhibition of miniature digital reproductions, the second in a series of original artworks.

That sounds very exciting! I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for you all!

Note: Tonight is the opening of  Charlie Hudson‘s solo exhibit.

Images

1 Ryan Bock artwork — with Apostrophe NYC co-founder Ki Smith

2  Julia Powers

3  Kolter Hodgson

4  James Reyes

5  Charlie Hudson

Photos and interview by Lois Stavsky

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T-Kid-170-graffiti-from-the-streets

Scrupulously researched and splendidly presented,  From the Streets: An Exhibition of Urban Art at ArtsWestchester is the perfect homage to the graffiti culture and the modern street art movement it spurred.  Curated by Marc Leader of 212 ARTS and Melissa McCaig-Welles of Curator 19.90, it presents murals, paintings, photography, sculpture and installations from graffiti writers who first made their mark on our subways to contemporary multi-disciplinary artists. Picture above is by the legendary TKid 170.  Here are several more images I captured while visiting the landmark exhibit.

The wonderfully prolific Wane COD

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Legendary NYC artists Chris Ellis aka Daze and Carlos Mare aka Mare 139

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BG 183, close-up from huge mural by the Mural Kings, Tats Cru

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Damon Johnson, close-up

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Chilean muralist Dasic Fernandez

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Multidisciplinary artist Li-Hill,  “Time Marches On”

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Among the many special events in association with From the Streets: An Exhibition of Urban Art is the upcoming July 14 screening of Saving Banksythe story of one art collector’s attempts to save a Banksy painting from destruction and the auction block.  ArtsWestchester is located at 31 Mamaroneck Ave, a short walk from the White Plains Metro North station. The exhibit ends Sunday, July 15 at ArtsWestchester. It would be great if it could then travel, as it deserves a wide audience.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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

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The first New York edition of the Urban Art Fair continues through 3pm tomorrow afternoon at Spring Studios in Tribeca.  The artworks pictured above are collaborative works by NYC graffiti pioneers Revolt and  Lin Felton aka Quik at the Green Flowers Art Gallery booth. What follows are several more images of urban artworks, representative of a range of styles, genres and techniques.

NYC native, Paris-based JonOne with Fabien Castainer

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Lower East Side-based LA2 with Dorian Grey Projects

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Swoon with Taglialatella Galleries

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French artist Swiz with David Bloch Gallery

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NYC-based multi-media artist Alexis Duque with H Gallery

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Nick Walker with Galerie Brugier-Rigail

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Bronx-based graffiti legend John Matos aka Crash for Spring Studios

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The Urban Art Fair continues at 50 Varick Street today until 9pm and tomorrow, Monday, from 11am to 3pm. Ticket information is available here.

Photo credits: 1, 3, 7 & 8 Karin du Maire; 2, 4-6 Sara C Mozeson

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

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noe-two-paints-urban-art-fair

Last evening, the first edition of the New York Urban Art Fair opened its doors at Spring Studios in Tribeca. It continues through Monday, July 3, with three dozen international exhibitors showcasing a diverse range of urban art, along with live painting and book signings. Pictured above is the Parisian artist Noe Two — represented by Les Galeries Bartoux — at work. What follows are several more images — all captured by travel and street art photographer Karin du Maire at yesterday’s launch.

London-based Mr Cenz, also represented by Les Galeries Bartoux

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Paris-based Hopare, represented by Galerie 42b

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NYC-based Logan Hicks with WallWorks NY

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 Brooklyn-based Dain with Joshua Geyer in collaboration with Street Art Direct

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UK-based Prefab77 and NYC’s Dan Witz with Jonathan LeVine ProjectsJonathan LeVine pictured

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The Urban Art Fair is open at 50 Varick Street today until 10pm; tomorrow from 11am to 10pm; Sunday from 11am to 9pm and Monday from 11am to 3pm.  Ticket information is available here.

Photos by Karin du Maire

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

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nda-mural-art-market-surplus-nyc

This past weekend, the now-abandoned Essex Street Market at 140 Essex was the site of Market Surplus, an exhibit featuring ten huge striking murals in a range of styles — from meticulously rendered photorealistic to brightly colored expressionistic. Largely site-specific, they were the perfect homage to a soon-to-be-demolished historic Lower East Side building.  While visiting late Sunday afternoon, I had the opportunity to pose a few questions to its curator, Adam Lucas aka Hanksy.

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This is quite impressive. When did you begin working on it?

It all started a week and a half ago.

That’s quite remarkable. It must have been quite an intense week and a half! What moved you to curate it? 

Essex Crossing has been committed from early on to bringing public art projects to this neighborhood. Awhile back, they tapped me to help them accomplish this. When they offered me this building as a site for this exhibit, I took the opportunity to curate Market Surplus.

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It seems like so much effort for a weekend event. It’s wonderful, but I wish it weren’t over so quickly!

Large murals like these generally have long lives.  But I actually like the twist on permanence. Bringing these kinds of murals indoors for this transitory exhibit turns the notion of permanence on its head.

How did you decide which artists to engage?

I reached out to artists I know and like — who were in town. And some of the artists recommended other artists.

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There are quite a few references to the neighborhood in these works.

Yes. Among them is NDA‘s painting of Luis and his son Felix of the Luis Meat Market that is housed at the Essex Street Market.  A key mission of the exhibit was capturing the spirit of the Lower East Side.

I love the variety of styles and sensibilities featured here. Each is distinctly wonderful!

My intention was to present a range of styles. That was one of my criteria in selecting artists.

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With Market Surplus behind you and now part of the history of the Lower East Side, what is next?

In two weeks, my work will be featured in a pop-up show at the Krause Gallery here on the Lower East Side. Later in the summer I will be painting a mural for the L.I.S.A Project. And there is much more to come!

It sounds great! And congratulations on this weekend’s exhibit.

Images

1. NDA

2. Adam Lucas aka Hanksy

3. Sonni

4. Faust

5. BK Foxx

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 4 Karin du Maire; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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