Graffiti

Splendidly curated by Laura James and Eileen WalshBronx Now showcases a wide range of artworks in different media by some of the best artists working in the Bronx. Among these are several whose works also enhance public spaces. While visiting the exhibit on Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak to both curators and pose a few questions to Laura James, the founder of BX200.

John Ahearn Eileen Walsh Laura James Bronx Now  BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

Just what is BX200? And when was it launched?

BX200 is a directory of 200 artists, all of whom live or work in the Bronx. It was officially launched at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in March 2015.

bio tats cru art bronx now BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

 What is its mission? And what spurred you to launch it?

Its mission is connect our borough’s best artists to as wide an audience as possible from curators to collectors to other artists. My initial incentive in launching it was to get to know other artists living and working in the Bronx.

eric orr Bronx Now BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

You and  Eileen Walsh have, obviously, accomplished so much working together. The directory looks great, and this exhibit is wonderful. How did you two initially meet?

Awhile back, Eileen had invited me to participate in an exhibit she was curating elsewhere. Then when she read about BX200, she was eager to partner with me.

John Crash Matos  BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

The art here is spread across two rooms, and it all looks amazing. How did this great space come your way?

Eileen introduced me to it, and I thought it would be an ideal setting to introduce a selection of Bronx artists to folks who frequent Brooklyn spaces, particularly in Bushwick where so much is happening.

Nicer tats cru hip hop BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

How did you decide which artists to include in Bronx Now?  Some of the artists are quite young and relatively unknown, and others have established reputations and have exhibited in renowned museums.

We were interested in presenting a snapshot of the Bronx featuring works that we love — in a variety of styles and media — from a wide range of artists.

andre Trenier Bronx Now Prince Portrait BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

The exhibit opened with a reception Saturday evening How did the opening go?

It was fantastic! About 300 people came and we had Andre Trenier painting live

Mrs art Bronx Now BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

What are some of the other events we can look forward to this week? 

This Thursday, May 5, there will be a Bronx Now Artist Talk from 6-8pm. Participants will include Tats CruJohn Ahearn, Rebecca Allan, Danny Peralta and Alicia Grullon. And this Saturday there will be a closing reception from 5-8pm with a performance by Paco Cao. From Wednesday through Saturday’s closing, the gallery — located at 119 Ingraham Street — opens at noon. Enter through Terra Firma.

Congratulations on BX200 and this wonderful exhibit! I’m looking forward to more.

Images

1. John Ahearn with curators Laura James and Eileen Walsh

2. Bio, Tats Crew

3. Eric Orr

4. Crash

5. Nicer, Tats Cru

6. Andre Trenier, close-up

7. MRS

Photo credit: 1, 2, 4-7 Lois Stavsky; 3 courtesy Laura James; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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 BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

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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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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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Nate dee street art Miami Beyond Wynwood: Street Art and Graffiti in Buena Vista, Miami with Nate Dee, Claudio Picasso, Renda Writer & Claudia La Bianca, DRE Boogie, Smog One, Will Rodriguez and Neks One

Walking along Second Avenue from Wynwood to Little Haiti, I came upon dozens of intriguing artworks in Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood. Here are a few more:

Claudio Picasso

claudio picasso Beyond Wynwood: Street Art and Graffiti in Buena Vista, Miami with Nate Dee, Claudio Picasso, Renda Writer & Claudia La Bianca, DRE Boogie, Smog One, Will Rodriguez and Neks One

Renda Writer and Claudia La Bianca

Renda Writer Claudia la Bianca street art Miami Beyond Wynwood: Street Art and Graffiti in Buena Vista, Miami with Nate Dee, Claudio Picasso, Renda Writer & Claudia La Bianca, DRE Boogie, Smog One, Will Rodriguez and Neks One

Smog One

Dre Ceo Crew Miami Beyond Wynwood: Street Art and Graffiti in Buena Vista, Miami with Nate Dee, Claudio Picasso, Renda Writer & Claudia La Bianca, DRE Boogie, Smog One, Will Rodriguez and Neks One

Dre Boogie

Dre Boogie Dre Ceo Crew graffiti Miami Beyond Wynwood: Street Art and Graffiti in Buena Vista, Miami with Nate Dee, Claudio Picasso, Renda Writer & Claudia La Bianca, DRE Boogie, Smog One, Will Rodriguez and Neks One

Will Rodriguez

William Rodriguez graffiti Miami Beyond Wynwood: Street Art and Graffiti in Buena Vista, Miami with Nate Dee, Claudio Picasso, Renda Writer & Claudia La Bianca, DRE Boogie, Smog One, Will Rodriguez and Neks One

With Neks One

Neks one graffiti buena vista miamiJPG Beyond Wynwood: Street Art and Graffiti in Buena Vista, Miami with Nate Dee, Claudio Picasso, Renda Writer & Claudia La Bianca, DRE Boogie, Smog One, Will Rodriguez and Neks One

Note: First image is by Nate Dee

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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caratoes street art wynwood miami Faces in Miami Open Spaces. Part II: Caratoes, Jas 9, Jose Mertz, Didi Rok with Miss Zukie and RasTerms

Here are a few more images of intriguing faces captured in Miami last week:

Jas 9 at work in Wynwood

jas9 street art miami Faces in Miami Open Spaces. Part II: Caratoes, Jas 9, Jose Mertz, Didi Rok with Miss Zukie and RasTerms

Jose Mertz in Wynwood

jose mertz street art miami wynwood Faces in Miami Open Spaces. Part II: Caratoes, Jas 9, Jose Mertz, Didi Rok with Miss Zukie and RasTerms

Didi Rok and Miss Zukie in Little Haiti

Didi and Miss Zukie street art Little Haiti Faces in Miami Open Spaces. Part II: Caratoes, Jas 9, Jose Mertz, Didi Rok with Miss Zukie and RasTerms

RasTerms in Wynwood

RasTerms37 street art MIAMI Faces in Miami Open Spaces. Part II: Caratoes, Jas 9, Jose Mertz, Didi Rok with Miss Zukie and RasTerms

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: First image is of mural by Caratoes

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tracy168 graffiti classic image The Drip Project at Mount Vernons Mes Hall with: Tracy 168, Plasma Slug, Belowkey, Stu, Snoeman, Kingbee and more

Hosting several renowned bands and musicians, Mount Vernon’s Mes Hall is also home to The Drip Project, an ever-evolving treasure trove of images painted by some of NYC’s best-known graffiti artists and most notorious bombers. Last week, we made our way to Mount Vernon to speak to Drip Project director Harris Lobel.

This is such an amazing space. What a treasure! How did you discover it?

I’ve known it for awhile. Several of my friends — who I grew up with in Riverdale — use it as a music studio.

And when did you begin curating it?

About six months ago.

plasma slug stencil1 The Drip Project at Mount Vernons Mes Hall with: Tracy 168, Plasma Slug, Belowkey, Stu, Snoeman, Kingbee and more

Riverdale — where you grew up — is quite void of graffiti. Do you remember where and when you first noticed it?

Yes! I was eight years old when I discovered a piece by Tracy 168 on 231th Street and Broadway. I fell in love with it at once, and kept on returning to it.

And these days you seem to love it all! Your personal Instagram, @streetart_photography, features quite a range of street art and graffiti. When did you become so engaged with it all?

When Banksy was here in NYC in 2013 for his Better Out Than In residency, I kept up with his new works daily. Then — after he left — I continued hunting and photographing works on the streets. Within a short period of time, I became thoroughly obsessed with graffiti and street art.

plasma slug graffiti The Drip Project at Mount Vernons Mes Hall with: Tracy 168, Plasma Slug, Belowkey, Stu, Snoeman, Kingbee and more

We can certainly relate to that! How did you make contact with all the great writers who have painted here?

I’d met Plasma Slug awhile back, and he introduced me to many of the others. I also got the word out through my Instagram page.

Can you tell us something more about the Drip Project? What is the inspiration behind it? 

It’s basically a collective featuring artists whose styles I love. The inspiration to launch it came from the photography I’ve posted on my Instagram page and the response that it got.

below key.png The Drip Project at Mount Vernons Mes Hall with: Tracy 168, Plasma Slug, Belowkey, Stu, Snoeman, Kingbee and more

What do you see as your role? Where are you going?

I would like to promote the artists whose works I love by exhibiting their work and managing the placement of their works in gallery shows. I am also interested in producing a variety of original goods in different media that reflect their styles.

How does your family feel about this?

They love it! My father is a photographer and has been totally supportive.

stu throw up graffiti The Drip Project at Mount Vernons Mes Hall with: Tracy 168, Plasma Slug, Belowkey, Stu, Snoeman, Kingbee and more

You’ve done an amazing job — so far — in reaching out to so many first-rate artists. What has been your greatest challenge in launching the Drip Project?

Getting folks to come out to Mount Vernon — as many haven’t been here before.  And providing artists with money for paint and transportation is another challenge.

How can artists who are interested in participating in the Drip Project contact you?

The best way would be via my email: Harris.Lobel@live.com.

snoeman graffiti The Drip Project at Mount Vernons Mes Hall with: Tracy 168, Plasma Slug, Belowkey, Stu, Snoeman, Kingbee and more

And what about folks who would like to visit and check out the amazing art?

Yes! They can contact me too — at Harris.Lobel@live.com, and I will arrange to meet them here. There’s a bus from the last stop on the 2 train that stops nearby, and  we are just a short walk from the Metro North.

It all sounds great — and so much fun! Good luck!

king bee graffiti The Drip Project at Mount Vernons Mes Hall with: Tracy 168, Plasma Slug, Belowkey, Stu, Snoeman, Kingbee and more

Images

1. Tracy 168

2. & 3. Plasma Slug

4. Belowkey 

5. Stu

6. Snoeman

7. Kingbee

Photo credits: 1, 2 & 4 Lois Stavsky; 3, 5-7 Tara Murray; interview by Lois Stavsky

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en play badge 2 The Drip Project at Mount Vernons Mes Hall with: Tracy 168, Plasma Slug, Belowkey, Stu, Snoeman, Kingbee and more

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kron one and nest paint graffiti Inwood Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 on 207th Street in Upper Manhattan

When I stopped by the wall on 207th Street — one of my favorite Uptown spots —  this past Friday, I met veteran writers Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 at work on a mural to serve as a backdrop for a Minx video. Yesterday I returned to see the completed wall. What follows are a few images captured both days:

Nest 156 at work on Friday

nest graffiti nyc Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 on 207th Street in Upper Manhattan

Nest 156‘s completed piece

nest graffiti minx Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 on 207th Street in Upper Manhattan

Kron One at work on Friday

Kron One paints graffiti nyc Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 on 207th Street in Upper Manhattan

Kron One, as seen yesterday

kron one graffiti inwood Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 on 207th Street in Upper Manhattan

Bind 156 at work on Friday

Bind paints graffiti Inwood. nycJPG Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 on 207th Street in Upper Manhattan

Bind 156, as seen yesterday

Bind graffiti nyc Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 on 207th Street in Upper Manhattan

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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