Graffiti

Keo xmen graffiti NYC Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

On exhibit through this week at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village is Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip-Hop. Among its many highlights are: memorabilia featuring personal narratives and archives of hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa;  hip-hop party flyers and clothing designed by the late Buddy Esquire; original cells from the animated sequences of Charlie Ahearn’s film Wild Style and prints of Joe Conzo’s photographs of the early days of hip hop.

Here is a sampling of what greeted us when we visited this past Tuesday:

On the exterior of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

Afrika Bambaataa Born in the Bronx NYC Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

U.K.- based Paul Insect‘s portrait of Afrika Bambaataa

Paul Insect street art NYC Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

And inside the gallery — noted DJ, producer and poet Rich Medina going though the bins of duplicates from Afrika Bambaataa‘s record collection

Rich Medina DJ Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

 Close-up from installation of Buddy Esquire‘s clothing and flyer designs

Buddy Esquire installation Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

Afrika Bambaataa fashioned from Bambaataa’s records by Paul Insect and Bäst

Bast recycled records Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

Selections from Joe Conzo’s’s seminal Born in the Bronx

Joe Conzo Photos Born in the Bronx Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

Joe Conzo and Charlie Ahearn

Joe Conzo Charlie Ahearn Born in the Bronx Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

The pioneering MC and hip-hop historian Grandmaster Caz

Grandmaster Caz Born in the Bronx Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

And legendary b-boy Crazy Legs

Crazy Legs Spinning Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

With Charlie Ahearn

Charlie ahearn and crazy legs Born in the Bronx:  A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop Continues through 7.26 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village

Exhibited by Boo-Hooray and curated by Johan Kugelberg, Born in the Bronx is an extraordinary tribute to hip-hop’s early days and its everlasting influence. And if you can get over there tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon — between 1-3pm — you will be treated to a Born In The Bronx Hot Platter Lunch DJ Session with DJ Jazzy Jay and DJ Rockin Rob. The gallery is located at 620 Greenwich Street at the corner of Leroy Street in the Village.

Photos 1-4, 7, 8 & 10 by Lois Stavsky;  5, 6 & 9 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; photo 1 features mural by Keo X-men

{ 0 comments }

Speaking with Tone MST

July 18, 2014

Characterized by bold strokes and a vigorous flow, Tone MST‘s graffiti surfaces mostly in Brooklyn.  Lenny Collado aka BK Lenny had the opportunity to interview him earlier this year:

Tone graffiti mural NYC Speaking with Tone MST

When and where did you start getting up?

I was in the sixth grade back in 1992. I was making my own markers at the time and practicing on 200-page packs of paper that I used to rack from the corner store. I had to make my own markers because I was dead broke.

How did you make your markers?

I took men’s Brute deodorants, popped off the balls and emptied the containers. I then filled the containers with ink.  I cut up my school’s black board erasers to serve as felt tips.  It was markers until ’94. That’s when I started street and train bombing.

Did you have any preferred surfaces back then?

I liked the train ads in the subway stations, because I would write on them smoothly with my home-made markers.

Tone graffiti art Speaking with Tone MST

Any major influence at the time?

My major influence at the time was Ski MST. He was rolling with writers and he got me acquainted. I was a loner for the most part. He got me to rack paint, and we would vibe off each other for style. We would rack cans on Steinway Street and go to the freight yards to empty out the cans.

Any particularly memorable events?

There was nine of us — Ski MST, Dope, Neke, Cloke, Vare, Pane and a couple of others. We all set out to do a lay-up in the tunnel between 36th street and Queens Plaza and video tape it. One of us hid the paint and a video camera in a sandbox where the tunnel workers kept their supplies. We scoped out the station for a while before setting out on the mission.

How did you guys get into the tunnel?

Some of us through the hatches on the streets above and some through the station.  We started catching wreck on the two trains that had parked between the stations. As everybody’s painting them, Pane, Cloke and me went to the other car and started on some bubble letters. Just as we started, one of the train’s lights turned on and began to move into the station. I saw too that the police had made their way down towards us.

Tone graffiti with character NYC Speaking with Tone MST

So what did you do?

We bounced. When I got out of that station, I must have run about a mile before my lungs gave in from the burn. It was a thrill like no other, and I enjoyed it. I loved bombin’!

Were you in any crews at the time?

I only push MST.

What was the attitude of your parents and your friends towards what you were doing?

My mother hated it, so I lied to her. I built a compartment in my closet to keep supplies. She would find my cans and throw them out. My friends would always point out how dirty I was.

Tone tag1 Speaking with Tone MST

Any thoughts on the graffiti/ street art divide?

It’s a thin line. Both project the same language and image, but they take different avenues. It’s like a GPS. All get to the same point, but through different avenues. The concept of graffiti needs to be explained to people who don’t understand it. Street art is a different entity. I like when the two are combined, like what Shepard Fairy and Cope do when they collaborate. I will say that street art is an extension of graffiti. It originated from graff.

How do you feel about the movement of graffiti and street art into galleries?

I think it’s dope! It’s progress — a positive thing. My gallery, though, is the streets. But if a gallery asks, “Hey, Tone, can you put a show together?” I’m flattered and take it as a step forward.

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with others?

Both! When I started bombing early on, I would do so alone with my Walkman on. I would listen to WKCR with Bobbito Garcia and Stretch and Tag. At one point, I was a vandal. They called me a vandal. But I didn’t get up as much as I wanted to. I didn’t do it to get status. I didn’t go all city, but I love what I did. It was who I was.

tonegraffiti Brooklyn NYC Speaking with Tone MST

Did you have a formal arts education?

I never pursued art school.

What is the source of your inspiration?

I’m inspired by Hip-Hop – rhyming and making beats.

Any particular artists who inspired you?

My influences are Hush, Gaze, Sub 5 and Emit of Sports Crew, MQ and Frantic and Free5. Giz from Queens also made impact on me. And there was Teck BS, Smith & Pink, Ve, Slash and Web13.

ToneMST graffiti Speaking with Tone MST

Do you work with a sketch in hand or do you do free hand?

It’s fifty, fifty. It depends on the situation.

What are your thoughts on the Internet in all of this?

The Internet is a tool, a means to communicate. Someone in Australia can get a look at what you’re doing here in NYC. But I think that graffiti has also been exploited because of it. It wasn’t meant for the masses, and the Internet made it accessible to everyone.

How has your work evolved throughout the years?

I’ve improved and honed my techniques. My pieces have gotten better.

TONE MST graffiti Greenpoint NYC Speaking with Tone MST

Are you generally satisfied with your work?

I’ll say there’s always space for improvement.

Interview conducted by Lenny Collado and edited by Lois Stavsky. Photos 1 (collab w/KA), 3, and 4 (combo) courtesy of the artist;  2 (collab w/UR New York), 5 & 6 by Lois Stavsky; 7  (collab w/Shiro and Yes One) by Dani Reyes Mozeson

{ 2 comments }

BUffMonster Leanna Valente on Graffiti, Photography, “Instant Art Exposure” & more with: Buff Monster, Veng RWK, Hoacs, QA and Rubin &  Joe Iurato

With cameras in hand, Leanna Valente has spent the past 15 months photographing graffiti writers and street artists in progress.  She now has over 400 photos signed by the artists.  I recently had the opportunity to speak to Leanna about her brilliant Instant Art Exposure project and more:

Have you any early memories of graffiti or street art?

I remember first seeing graffiti as a young child. It was right down the block — under viaducts and bridges — from where I grew up in Buffalo. I loved it at first sight!

Have you, yourself, done any graffiti?

When I was about six, I attempted some bubble letters. And I still give it a try while doodling on a napkin!

What about other art forms? 

I’ve been doing art – of one kind or another — for as long as I can remember.

Veng street art NYC Leanna Valente on Graffiti, Photography, “Instant Art Exposure” & more with: Buff Monster, Veng RWK, Hoacs, QA and Rubin &  Joe Iurato

Any particular styles or genres?

Mainly mixed-media works of acrylic, spray paint, fabric and photography.

Have you shown your work in galleries or formal settings?

I started showing in galleries in 2003 while living in Atlanta. I also showed in Miami, in Southern California, in Buffalo and at alternative spaces in Brooklyn in 2010.

Have you studied art in a formal setting?

I’m basically self-taught. I’ve studied art informally at FIT here in NYC and at the Atlanta College of Art/SCAD when I was living in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hoacs graffiti NYC Leanna Valente on Graffiti, Photography, “Instant Art Exposure” & more with: Buff Monster, Veng RWK, Hoacs, QA and Rubin &  Joe Iurato

Can you tell us something about your photography projects?

My series Extreme Fashion Window Design in NYC focuses on extreme fashion window designs in Manhattan portraying the glamour and grit of the city.  Another series Trashion focuses on the exclusive branding found in our city’s trash. And my Instant Art Exposure project documents NYC’s street art and graffiti scene.

You are obviously quite passionate about street art and graffiti. 

Yes, I have been addicted to it for as long as I can remember, and I officially started documenting it in 2007. I love its unique beauty and grand size. It’s gutsy and challenging.  Just seeing it gives me an adrenalin rush!

I can relate to that! When did you begin this NYC project?

I became avidly serious about it about 14 months ago at Welling Court while watching Kingbee paint. He was the first to sign a photo.

Queen Andrea graffiti NYC Leanna Valente on Graffiti, Photography, “Instant Art Exposure” & more with: Buff Monster, Veng RWK, Hoacs, QA and Rubin &  Joe Iurato

And we all love your shots that the artists sign. It’s a brilliant concept. I wish I had thought of it myself! Did anything in particular inspire it?

Through documenting street art, graffiti and art/fashion mixes for my blog, I became even more interested in documenting the artists “in process.”  It became my way of paying respect to them and the hard work they put into each piece on the walls.  I felt that it was a unique and personal addition to the black book. And when artists began to respond enthusiastically, I continued.

Where is the project headed?

Well, people keep on asking me what I’m doing with it. Originally I was just doing it for myself. It was meant as a personal diary of photos to hang on my wall. But artists I’ve photographed and other people in the scene have suggested that I follow up on publishing a book and launching an exhibit that feature the works. And so in addition to what I do with my standard photography equipment, my primary focus now is on this project. Talks are now in the works for a series of books, gallery shows and select prints. I will never sell the originals, but I will choose, with the assistance of the artists, a select number to make into prints.

That sounds great! Who are some of the artists have you photographed?

They range from such legends as Blek le Rat, Lady Pink, Charlie Ahearn, Lee Quinones, Crash, Futura and Kenny Scharf to contemporary masters such as Shepard Fairey, Logan Hicks, Sp.One, Wane, Chris Stain, Billy Mode, Stik, Stinkfish, RWK and Icy and Sot. And I can’t imagine ever stopping!

Joe Iurato and Rubin street art Leanna Valente on Graffiti, Photography, “Instant Art Exposure” & more with: Buff Monster, Veng RWK, Hoacs, QA and Rubin &  Joe Iurato

Note: You can follow Leanna on Instagram at @leannav & #instantartexposure, in addition to her blog and her soon-to-be-launched website www.instantartexposure.com.

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky.

Leanna’s photos: 1. Buff Monster 2. Veng RWK 3. Hoacs 4. Queen Andrea 5. Rubin & Joe Iurato

{ 1 comment }

wallnuts and werc street art mural nyc The Wallnuts Crew, Werc & Trans1 Transform Gowanus eWaste Recycling and ReUse Warehouse Exterior into Vibrant Outdoor Canvas

The Lower East Side Ecology Center’s eWaste Recycling and ReUse Warehouse – at 469 President Street on the corner of Nevins in Gowanus, Brooklyn — now boasts, in addition to its wonderful facilities, a sumptuous outdoor mural recently fashioned by the Wallnuts Crew.

Werc, close-up

Werc close up street art Gowanus NYC The Wallnuts Crew, Werc & Trans1 Transform Gowanus eWaste Recycling and ReUse Warehouse Exterior into Vibrant Outdoor Canvas

Been3, Trans1

wallnuts street art close up Gowanus The Wallnuts Crew, Werc & Trans1 Transform Gowanus eWaste Recycling and ReUse Warehouse Exterior into Vibrant Outdoor Canvas

Muse

Muse wallnuts graffiti nyc The Wallnuts Crew, Werc & Trans1 Transform Gowanus eWaste Recycling and ReUse Warehouse Exterior into Vibrant Outdoor Canvas

Trans1, Dos… 

wallnuts character and graffiti nyc The Wallnuts Crew, Werc & Trans1 Transform Gowanus eWaste Recycling and ReUse Warehouse Exterior into Vibrant Outdoor Canvas

Chester, Trans1

Chester wallnuts street art gowanus nyc The Wallnuts Crew, Werc & Trans1 Transform Gowanus eWaste Recycling and ReUse Warehouse Exterior into Vibrant Outdoor Canvas

And in addition to the first-rate art on its outside, the ReUse store at the Gowanus Warehouse offers audio equipment, alongside refurbished and heavily discounted computers and other electronics.

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson

{ 0 comments }

Speaking with Yes One

July 9, 2014

Bronx native Yes One has been gracing walls, canvases and more with his energetic aesthetic — in NYC and beyond — for almost 30 years. StreetArtNYC is delighted to feature an interview with him.

Yes one graffiti Bronx NYC Speaking with Yes One

How did you first get into graffiti? What inspired you?

I was introduced to graffiti by Smiley 149 of the Ebony Dukes when I was 10 years old. He used to chill outside my favorite candy shop where I played Asteroids on the arcades. He sat on a crate right outside, and we would vibe watching the trains go by on the Tremont El. This was about 1979.

When you began writing, what kind of surfaces did you hit?

Illegal ones — because of the rush. I can’t explain it, but it’s like robbing a bank.

How did your family feel about what you were doing back then?

My mom and dad hated it. They saw it as a crime. My mother was scared. She used to say, “Te voy a botar esas latas!” (I’m going to throw your cans out!)  She actually kept some of those cans, and I have some collectables today.

yes One abstract graffiti on canvas Speaking with Yes One

Have you painted with any crews?

Yes! I’ve painted with BT, 4Burners, GAK, and FX – among others.

Do you prefer working alone or would you rather collaborate with other artists?

I often work alone, but I’m open to collaborating with anyone.

Who are some of the artists with whom you’ve painted?

Dero, Pase, PerOne, Logek, Beasto, Tone MST, Ribs GAK and Shiro  —  to name a few.

Yes1 graffiti Bushwick Speaking with Yes One

Any thoughts on the graffiti/ street art divide?

I see them as two different things. Graffiti is letters, forms and styles. Street art doesn’t pay homage to graffiti, but I can admire it.

How do you feel about the movement of graffiti and street art into galleries?

I think it’s great! I had works featured in a number of exhibits including Cause and Effect and Board of Art and at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

What about the role of the Internet in this scene? Do you follow any sites?

I follow 12ozProphet and FreshPaint. The Internet is a great networking and marketing tool. It is how I’m able to sell canvases overseas.

And the photographers in this scene? How do you feel about them?

They don’t bother me. They have learned the etiquette.

Yes One abstract graffiti on canvas close up Speaking with Yes One

Do you have a formal arts education?

I never went to art school.

What’s the riskiest thing you’ve done?  And why were you willing to take that risk?

Painting in the 2 and 5 train yards in the Bronx with Clark in the late 80s. I was young, and you do foolish things when you’re young.

How would you describe your ideal working environment?

My ideal working environment is the Ya Tu Sabe studio space.

What inspires you these days?

Seeing people checking out my walls, taking pictures and smiling. When I see people appreciating my work, I feel I did my job.

Yes One Black Book graffiti wild style Speaking with Yes One

Are there any particular cultures you feel influenced your aesthetic?

I influence myself.

Do you work with a sketch in your hand or do you let it flow?

I work with a sketch in my hand, but what goes on the wall is not always a hundred percent what was on the paper.

Are you generally satisfied with your work?

I’m never satisfied. I may “finish” a wall this week and go back the next saying to myself, “I could have added this or that.”

How do you feel when you look back at the work you did two years ago?

I take it as a good reference point for picking up new techniques and elevating my style. I feel that my work has gotten stronger. And I feel a hunger to produce more and further my talents.

Shiro Yes One Part One graffiti5Pointz Long island City NYC Speaking with Yes One

What percentage of your day is devoted to your art? I know you have a “day job.”

I’d say about 75 percent. It’s work – then, art. I wake up at 5 in the morning and don’t go to sleep until 2 a.m.

What are some of your other interests?

I love baseball and collecting rare items. I also love BMX bikes.

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

The role of the artist is a big one. The artist is there to affect a person’s mind by introducing new ideas and concepts.

Interview conducted by Lenny Collado and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos 1, 2, 4 & 5  Lois Stavsky; 3 & 6 Dani Reyes Mozeson; photo 5 is from Yes One’s black book; photos 2 & 4 (close-up) are from works currently on exhibit at the Pop Bar in Astoria, Queens; photo 6 is a collab with Shiro, Part and Meres at 5Pointz 

{ 0 comments }

Wallnuts street art graffiti characters NYC The Wallnuts, SHYE131 and Trans1 in Long Island City

One of the most dynamic graffiti productions in town can be found in Long Island City off Queensboro Plaza.  Showcasing the talents of the Wallnuts, UK-based artists SHYE131 and Trans1, the murals exude an exuberant, infectious energy. Here are a few close-ups from the pride of the neighborhood:

Manny Muse, Wallnuts

Manny Muse The Wallnuts, SHYE131 and Trans1 in Long Island City

Chester Wallnuts

Chester wallnuts NYC graffiti The Wallnuts, SHYE131 and Trans1 in Long Island City

Been3 Wallnuts

Been3 graffiti LIC NYC The Wallnuts, SHYE131 and Trans1 in Long Island City

Col Wallnuts

Col wallnuts graffiti NYC The Wallnuts, SHYE131 and Trans1 in Long Island City

SHYE131

SHYE graffiti NYC The Wallnuts, SHYE131 and Trans1 in Long Island City

Trans1

Trans1 street art The Wallnuts, SHYE131 and Trans1 in Long Island City

 Photos by Lois Stavsky

{ 0 comments }

Chris RWK Woodward Gallery Project Space1 Speaking with Chris RWK

Founder of the much-loved Robots Will Kill, Staten Island-based artist Chris Rwk Chillemi’s creates delightful character-driven artworks that find a home on the streets, in galleries and — most recently — on WAT-AAH!‘s premium bottled drinking water.  I was delighted to interview him.

When did it all begin? When did you first get into graffiti?

It was back in 1988 in Huguenot, Staten Island. I was 11. My brother and his friends started doing graffiti back then, and I would tag along and photograph it. About two years later, I began doodling on public surfaces.

We associate you with your hugely lovable, iconic characters. What was the inspiration behind them?

Letters didn’t hold my attention for all that long, as I’d always been so interested in cartoons and comics. I loved Gary Larson, Jim Davis and Disney stuff. Their styles were all different, but they all had really strong imagery and messages. My first illegal piece, in fact, was the wizard from Hagar the Horrible with a spray can doing a throw up! I can still remember the colors!

Chris RWK Speaking with Chris RWK

What about Robots Will Kill? Can you tell us something about its origin?

Back in 1999, while on a fellowship in Vermont, I came upon a friend, Chris Rini, painting a giant cellphone holding a man! That’s when I came up with the notion that “robots will kill.”  If you do something too much and too often, it becomes robotic, and you lose your love for it.

Robots Will Kill – that began with you – has evolved into an informal global collective. Who are some of its members?

At first it was just me. Then Kevin and a bit later Veng joined. Since, we’ve collaborated with such artists as Peeta, ECB, Flying Fortress, JesseR. OverUnder and Mike Die.

Would you rather paint alone? Or do you prefer to collaborate with others?

I love both. In my studio, I’d rather work alone. But I love painting with others outdoors as it pushes me to another level.

Any thoughts about illegal vs. legal graffiti?

Ideally — what begins illegally evolves into something legal.

Chris RWK Veng RWK street art NYC Speaking with Chris RWK

You’ve exhibited your work in dozens of galleries. How do you feel about showing in formal settings?

It’s great. There are lots of folks who would never notice my work on the streets.  But when it’s in a gallery, they will have to pay attention to it.

What about the graffiti/street art divide? You seem to successfully straddle both.

Street artists need to respect graffiti writers. They don’t always do. They need to learn the history.

What about the corporate world? How do you feel about sharing your talents with private comporations?

Things aren’t black and white anymore. It’s not a matter of us vs. them. I don’t mind working for a corporation, so long as it’s an ethical one. The corporate world makes money. Why shouldn’t we artists benefit from it?

Chris RWK and Veng RWK street art Bushwick NYC Speaking with Chris RWK

What is the riskiest thing you’ve ever done?

I play it safe. I’m not a risk-taker. When I was in high school, my tag was ND – No Drugs…Never Drunk…Never Dull! I’ve been straight edge my whole life.

How does your family feel about what you were doing?

My family has always been supportive. When I was a kid, they built a wall in my backyard, so I could practice!

You have a 9-5 day job here in Manhattan and you live in Staten Island. How do you manage to find time to do so much great art?

My weekday schedule is tough.  I have to wake up at 6am to leave my house at 7, and I’m often not back home until 7 in the evening. I then have to help my son with his homework. I generally don’t begin working on my art until 10pm, and I don’t get to sleep until 2-3am.

Chris RWK and Veng and Gilf street art WilliamsburgNYC Speaking with Chris RWK

Wow! That is a rough schedule. When you work, do you sketch first or do you just let it flow?

About 70% of the time, I work from a sketch.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

Yes – but my satisfaction is increased when I get a positive response to it from others.

Have you any ideal work environment?

I need background noise, so that I don’t overly think about what I’m doing!

Chris RWK stickers character on canvas Speaking with Chris RWK

Do you have a formal art education?

I earned my Associate degree at FIT and a BFA in painting from Hunter College.

Do you feel that you benefited from it?

Definitely, as so many elements – from choice of colors to spatial design — are involved in creating a first-rate piece.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

The comic book culture, the sci-fi one and the graffiti culture. I’ve also been inspired by hot-rods and the urban culture, in general.

Chris RWK wat aah Speaking with Chris RWK

What is the source of your inspiration these days?

I’d say my family, my friends and my personal experiences.

How has your work evolved in the past few years?

It’s become more personal. My use of layers and colors has become more important to me. And when I paint, I tend to take my audience into consideration more than I used to.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet in all this?

I think it’s amazing that something I do here can be seen minutes later by someone in Australia. But I also think we’ve been oversaturated with blogs and Instagram.

Chris RWK street art character NYC Speaking with Chris RWK

Have you any feelings about the photographers/bloggers in the scene?

On the positive side, they help get artists known. But I don’t think much thought goes into much of what makes its way out there.

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

He’s a muse for the general public. Without art, there’d be a lot less for folks to see, feel, think about and talk about.

What do you see as the future of street art and graffiti?

There’s too much going on right now, and too many people trying to get into the game. And so it is likely to fizzle out. But those who are true will survive its fallout. And what will emerge will be even stronger.

What about you? What’s ahead for you?

I will continue to do what I do. Create, paint and get my stickers out there!

Note: Chris will be a featured artist of WAT-AAH!’s upcoming exhibit in Chicago on July 18-20 as part of WAT-AAH! Taking Back the Streets art campaign, which connects today’s leading street artists with the brand’s mission to fight childhood obesity and promote healthy hydration among kids and teens. Joining the likes of Kenny Scharf, Swoon, Shepard Fairey, Haze and Chicago-based POSE, Chris has created a one-of-a kind WAT-AAH! label design featuring PHA’s “Drink Up” drop, as well as an original piece of art (shown above) that becomes featured in the brand’s traveling art campaign, which has been touring the country since its launch in NYC this past February. For more information, visit  wat-aahstreets.com  and follow @wataahstreets.

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos: 1. and 8. Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2. Original artwork created for WAT-AAH! Taking Back the Streets art Campaign. Chris RWK.  I Tried to Stop.  36″x48″. Mixed media. Image courtesy WAT-AAH! 3. With Veng, Tara Murray; 4. – 6. Lois Stavsky  7. Limited edition bottle design for WAT-AAH! Taking Back the Streets art campaign. Image courtesy WAT-AAH! 

{ 2 comments }

BG183 graffiti character group ink gallery nine5 TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

The transformation of SoHo-based gallery nine5’s walls from “a private space into a public sphere” has begun with expressive murals — from the playful to the political —  by TATS CRU, Ket and Bisco Smith.  Here’s a sampling of what’s been happening:

TATS CRU‘s BG183 at work to the right of Bio and Nicer

BG183 paints Gallerynine5 TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

BG183 tats cru gallery nine5 TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

Tats Cru gallery nine5 group ink TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

Ket installs dozens of newspaper articles illustrating human sufferings, largely the result of wars

Ket installs for Group Ink TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

And paints over them 

Alan Ket installation gallerynine5 TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

With quote from historian and social activist Howard Zinn

Ket installation Howard Zinn Gallery nine5 TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

And Bisco Smith – in from the West Coast — graces the wall with his distinct aesthetic 

Bisco Smith installation close up gallerynine5 TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

Bisco Smith mural gallery nine5 TATS CRU, KET and Bisco Smith Begin SoHo Based gallery nine5s Transformation in GROUP INK

The public is invited to observe, explore and join the conversation as Vor138, Shiro and Rubin415 contribute to the further transitory makeover of gallery nine5. Keep posted to StreetArtNYC for updates and, if you are in town, be sure to check out the opening reception on July 17, 6-8pm. gallery nine5 is located at 24 Spring Street in SoHo.

Action photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson; others by Lois Stavsky

{ 0 comments }

Marka27 Marka27, Don Rimx and Ian Kuali`i in TR3SPASS at the Dumbo Spot

Both on the streets and in their studios, Marka27, Don Rimx & Ian Kuali`i fashion extraordinarily rich tantalizing images. An intriguing selection of their largely character-driven mixed-media paintings, prints and more were presented by M27 Designs in the remarkable one-night pop-up exhibit TR3SPASS at the Dumbo Spot this past Friday evening. Here’s a small sampling:

Victor “Marka27″ Quiñonez

Marka27 character Marka27, Don Rimx and Ian Kuali`i in TR3SPASS at the Dumbo Spot

Marka27 artTrespass Marka27, Don Rimx and Ian Kuali`i in TR3SPASS at the Dumbo Spot

Ian Kuali`i

Ian in tresspass Marka27, Don Rimx and Ian Kuali`i in TR3SPASS at the Dumbo Spot

Ian Marka27, Don Rimx and Ian Kuali`i in TR3SPASS at the Dumbo Spot

David “Don Rimx” Sepulveda

Don Rimx character art Trespass Marka27, Don Rimx and Ian Kuali`i in TR3SPASS at the Dumbo Spot

Don Rimx character Trespass1 Marka27, Don Rimx and Ian Kuali`i in TR3SPASS at the Dumbo Spot

Photos of artwork by Sara C. Mozeson and Lois Stavsky

{ 0 comments }

Rime graffiti art Jersey City Somethings Brewing Over the Hudson: In Jersey City with Rime, Post, Li Hill, Sean Lugo, SP.One, Mata Ruda, LNY, Enoe and more to come

On my recent visit to Jersey City, Gregory D. Edgell aka the Green Villain gave me a tour of some of the city’s first-rate graffiti murals, including a number of recent ones that he had facilitated. Upon further exploration, I came upon some amazing street art walls.  What follows are samples of both and a brief conversation with Greg:

Poser graffiti art Jersey City Somethings Brewing Over the Hudson: In Jersey City with Rime, Post, Li Hill, Sean Lugo, SP.One, Mata Ruda, LNY, Enoe and more to come

What brought you to Jersey City? And when did you first come here?

I moved here in 2009. My best friend – at the time – had moved into a huge warehouse that seemed like the ideal venue for artistic expression. And that’s what brought me here.

Li Hill street art Jersey City Somethings Brewing Over the Hudson: In Jersey City with Rime, Post, Li Hill, Sean Lugo, SP.One, Mata Ruda, LNY, Enoe and more to come

What changes have you observed since moving here?

Jersey City is increasingly attracting more artists and is slowly developing a street art culture, but there are still far too many blank walls.

LNY Mata Ruda close up Jersey City Somethings Brewing Over the Hudson: In Jersey City with Rime, Post, Li Hill, Sean Lugo, SP.One, Mata Ruda, LNY, Enoe and more to come

Where do you think it’s all going? 

Jersey City has the potential to be just as creative as any neighborhood in NYC. It could even be more so, as it’s not as expensive. Within the next five years, this will happen!

SP.one graffiti Jersey City Somethings Brewing Over the Hudson: In Jersey City with Rime, Post, Li Hill, Sean Lugo, SP.One, Mata Ruda, LNY, Enoe and more to come

Mana Contemporary has certainly enhanced Jersey City with its studios, exhibition spaces and more. And soon it will be launching the Mana Museum of Urban Arts, the world’s first permanent space dedicated to street art and graffiti. Any thoughts about that?

I think it’s amazing and particularly wonderful for the global street art and graffiti community, as Mana Contemporary has the backing to create a first-rate educational platform for this art form.

sean lugo artist Jersey City Somethings Brewing Over the Hudson: In Jersey City with Rime, Post, Li Hill, Sean Lugo, SP.One, Mata Ruda, LNY, Enoe and more to come

And what’s ahead for you?

I am currently facilitating a series of murals by some first-rate artists. Among them are: Sheryo & the Yok, Rubin, Jerkface, Mr. Mustart and Distort & Then One.

Enoe graffiti art Jersey City Somethings Brewing Over the Hudson: In Jersey City with Rime, Post, Li Hill, Sean Lugo, SP.One, Mata Ruda, LNY, Enoe and more to come

That sounds great! We’re looking forward to seeing them — as Jersey City is just minutes away from Manhattan!

Interview and photos by Lois Stavsky

1. Rime aka Jersey Joe

2. Post

3. Li Hill

4. Mata Ruda and LNY

5. Sean Lugo

6. SP.One

7. Enoe

{ 0 comments }