Graffiti

Caps Matches Color HomeStyle HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Celebrating the history of today’s spray paint culture, Bristol-based HANGFIRE has teamed up with U.S.- based spray brand collectors Cap Matches Color to present HomeStyle.  On display and for purchase will be a strong collection of spray paint memorabilia from the archives of  Cap Matches Color and U.K. based collector, Ticks. Also on exhibit will be limited edition photographic prints from worldwide traveller and photographer Mr. Yoshi and original artwork and limited prints from Cheo.

Cheo graffiti art HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Copies of Two Decades of Digging will be available for purchase, along with limited edition silkscreened skate decks featuring vintage spray paint graphics of Marabu Buntlack, Krylon and Rust-Oleum by HANGFIRE.

cap matches color book HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

The exhibit opens at tomorrow — Friday evening — at 49 North Street, BS3 1EN Bristol, UK on the eve of Bristol’s famed Upfest Festival and continues through August 5th.

Home style exhibit HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Images for this post courtesy HANGFIRE and Cap Matches Color; photo of Cap Matches Color by Lois Stavsky

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t kid graffiti hackensack new jersey Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

With their vibrant colors and seductive styles, the rotating walls in Hackensack’s Union Street Park tantalize.  Pictured above is T-Kid. Here are a few more captured yesterday:

Jew BT

jew graffiti Hackensack NJ Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

Part One TDS

part TDS Hackensack NJ Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

Rath

rath graffiti hackensack new jersey Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

Pase BT

pase bt graffiti NJ Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

 Flite TDS

flite graffiti hackensack new jersey Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

Abe BT

abe bronx team graffiti mural hackensack new jersey Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe 
Photo credits: 1, 5 & 7 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2-4 & 6 Lois Stavsky

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This is the sixth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of New York City’s doors that sport everything from tags and stickers to sophisticated images.

Elbow Toe

Elbow toe street art door nyc NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

RAE

rae bk street art door nyc NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

Dain, Dee Dee and more

dain and dee dee street art nyc NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

Kenny Scharf

Kenny scharf door midtown nyc NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

And seen awhile back, Art Is Trash

art is trash williamsburg door NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

 Photo credits: 1, 2 & 4 Tara Murray; 3 Dani Reyes Mozeson & 5 Lois Stavsky

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This is the eleventh in a series of occasional posts featuring the art that has surfaced on NYC shutters:

Eelco on the Lower East Side 

Eelco Les street art shutter NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Crash and Bio on the Lower East Side

 crash and bio graffiti nyc copy NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Moody Mutz on the Lower East Side

Moody Mutz street art shutter nyc NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Phetus at the Bushwick Collective

phetus street art NYC NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Jules Muck aka MuckRock with the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens

muck rock street art nyc NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Photo credits: 1, 4 & 5 Tara Murray; 2 Dani Reyes Mozeson & 3 courtesy of John Woodward

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Tracy168 graffiti Bushwick Collective NYC Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

With his outstanding sense of color, style and design, Tracy 168 achieved legendary status early on in the most significant art movement of our time. The personification of wild style and the first writer to hit the subways with cartoon characters, the prolific artist wielded tremendous influence. On reviewing Tracy 168‘s work on exhibit back in 1999, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times art critic Holland Cotter had the following to say: “Tracy offers an astounding variety of styles, from 3-D to space-age spiky to Cubistic. He floats out words on cushions of colors, and ties them up in unreadable knots, festooned with tendril-like flourishes.”

When did you first get up?

I first got up with a crayon on a wall in my house when I was four years old. I remember drawing a tortoise and a hare. I lived across from the Bronx Zoo, and I always heard the sounds of animals from my window.

What about the streets? When did you first hit the streets? And the trains? When did you first hit them?

In 1969 when the Mets won the World Series, I first hit the streets. And I tagged my first train the same year. I was 11.

tracy 168 mets yankees graffiti train Bronx NYC Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

Tracy flint photo Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

What inspired you to do so?

I loved the sense of adventure…the adrenalin rush. I envisioned myself as a Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. And I loved seeing my name on the trains.

Had you any favorite spots?

I was all-city, and I loved painting anywhere with people whom I loved. But my favorite spots were New Lots Avenue and Utica Avenue on the IRT line in Brooklyn. Any train I painted there would run right away, and so I didn’t have to hang around too long to see my piece pass by.

tracy168 cartoon on subway train Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

What about crews? Did you get up with any crews?

I founded the Wanted crew. It was one of the largest crews ever, and just about anybody who was anybody of worth was in that crew. It represented Wild Style.

Had you any early role models or inspirations?

My mother, my grandfather, Jack StewartMichael Stewart… Michael Stewart gave his life so that others would live. After his death in 1983 — and the trials and investigations that ensued — the police were somewhat afraid of treating writers so brutally.  We are the true prophets…

Any particular risky ventures stand out?

I was always wild, always doing dangerous things.

tracy168 painting Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

How did you support yourself back in the day? What was your source of income?

In the late 70’s, I began to create all kinds of art-related jobs for myself — painting storefronts, memorial walls, murals… I was the first writer to do that kind of thing. I also worked in an advertising agency. Jack Stewart taught me about copyrights and trademarks. He was a true mentor. He told me real stories — not the ones from Fantasy Island.

Your work has been shown in all kinds of settings across the globe!

Yes!  I’ve been in museums and galleries all over the world. I was always breaking boundaries, Here in NYC my work has been exhibited in dozens of spaces including the New York Historical Society, the Brooklyn Museum and NYU.

I remember seeing your work at the Brooklyn Museum back in 2006.

Yeah! When I came by, I made some adjustments to my canvas with a paintbrush. That didn’t go over well with the security guards. They got the curator of the exhibit involved, who insisted that I couldn’t change anything, since it had already been photographed for their catalog.

tracy168 graffiti Bronx NYC Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

Did you have a formal art education?

My education is hands-on.

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

It can be used as a tool — if you know how to read the truth.

tracy sketch Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

What’s your ideal working environment?

Anywhere outdoors. Even when I paint canvases, I like to paint outside.

What inspires you these days?

My main inspiration is to express myself and grow as an artist in a world that is reluctant to see me as one.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

Every culture. NYC is a melting pot, and I’m in the center of it painting.

tracy 168 abstract art in black book Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

I’m not done until I’m happy. As long as I’m alive, I can improve on it. But it must have meaning and exude positivity. Otherwise, why bother?

A few years back you were reported dead. What was that all about?

If I hadn’t died then, I wouldn’t be alive now. It had to happen.  When I vanished, I saw the world going in the wrong direction. This art form can save it.

How has your work evolved in the last few years?

It’s constantly evolving.  This movement is to art like jazz is to music. It’s a fusion of styles and cultures that knows no boundaries. It is a universal language. And the message of Wild Style is “Be yourself. Find out what your talent is and get good at it.” I love everyone, but I will not surrender the truth and lose my integrity.

tracy168 with sketchbook Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

Photos: 1, 6-9 Lois Stavsky; 2, 4 & 5 courtesy of the artist; 3 Flint Gennariinterview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Note: Photos 7 & 8 were captured from Tracy’s current black book; special thanks to Flint for the introduction!

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Michael alan art <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

Back in March, Joshua B. Geyer‘s splendidly curated exhibit introduced us to the World Trade Gallery.  We recently returned as its current exhibit, Deep Calls Deep, again features some of our favorite artists. Pictured above is a recent work by the wonderfully talented and highly imaginative Michael Alan.

Also by Michael Alan

Michael alan abstract art <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

michael alan on paper <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

Rubin

rubin abstract art wtc <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

With Erasmo to his left

rubin erasmo world trade gallery <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

Located at 120 Broadway in Manhattan’s Financial District, the World Trade Gallery is open Monday – Thursday 9am-7pm; Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 11am-5pm.

Photo credits: 1, 4 & 5 Tara Murray; 2 & 3 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 <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

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Netism graffiti tag outdoor  NET on TAGSTRACTION, Tonights Unsanctioned Exhibit, the Art World and more

As NET was getting ready for TAGSTRACTION, tonight’s unsanctioned exhibition on the streets of NYC, I had the opportunity to speak to him and find out a bit about it all.

Just what is TAGSTRACTION?

It is a mix of tagging and abstraction, blurring the lines between graffiti tagging, abstract expressionism and stylized signatures.

And when was NET born?

NET was born in 1987, but I’ve been tagging since I was a child.

Netism in studio Brooklyn NYC  NET on TAGSTRACTION, Tonights Unsanctioned Exhibit, the Art World and more

Were you ever arrested? 

I was arrested about fifty times for graffiti since I was 14.

Who are some of your inspirations?

There are many: Barry McGee aka Twist, Adam Cost, Jon 156, Al Diaz, Easy, Phantom 13 aka P13, Old English, Enx, Phil Frost and multiple Brooklyn artists.

Netism on inside door nyc  NET on TAGSTRACTION, Tonights Unsanctioned Exhibit, the Art World and more

You define TAGSTRACTION as “too hood for the nerds and too weird for the thugs.”  Who is your audience?

Anyone and everyone who’s on the street with eyeballs.

How can folks see tonight’s exhibit?

The location will be announced one hour prior to the 7pm opening. Check out my Instagram for it.

tagstraction  NET on TAGSTRACTION, Tonights Unsanctioned Exhibit, the Art World and more

And why did you choose an unsanctioned outdoor location for an art exhibit?  Is there a message here? You seem to be on a mission of some kind.

My message is that you do not need the approval of the Art World to accomplish your goal.  It is time for us to take it into our own hands.

Yes!

All images courtesy NET; interview 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  NET on TAGSTRACTION, Tonights Unsanctioned Exhibit, the Art World and more

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Directed by Queens-based filmmaker Raul Buitrago, the recently released GOUCH is a sensitive, gripping portrait of a Brooklyn graffiti bomber living a dual life. After viewing the short, insightful documentary — chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick – I had the opportunity to speak to Raul.

What drew you to graffiti? You obviously have a deep understanding and appreciation of its culture.

Growing up in Eastern Queens in the 90’s, I was exposed to graffiti early on. Graffiti was part of the punk and skateboard culture that was all around me. And I found myself gravitating to it.

Gouch graffiti bomb nyc Queens Based Filmmaker Raul Buitrago on GOUCH, Graffiti and More

And what about this particular writer? Why did you choose Gouch? And how did you connect with him?

Gouch was one of my personal favorite graffiti writers while growing up.  His style and flow are incredible.  I’d known about Gouch years before I reached out to him.  He was featured in the legendary State Your Name DVD, and it was in that video that I first saw him in action. The footage was raw, gritty and true NY graff to the max. I contacted him via his Instagram in 2014.

Are there any issues regarding graffiti that particularly engage you? Any messages you wish to convey to your viewers?

As a fan and student of graffiti culture, I’m interested in its power to lure seemingly ordinary people. Its sway is amazing – and the way it always seems to call you back. So often, it becomes an obsession. I also find it very interesting that it can be glorified and vilified at the same time.  Graffiti has made its way onto advertisements, clothing and other forms of branding while some of its practitioners end up doing time in Rikers Island.  Graffiti is used for commercial purposes because it has that edge that can’t be found in other artistic realms.  It’s unfortunate that big companies are profiting off something that’s created through the toils and risks of people who have such a deep appreciation, knowledge and ability in something so historically rich.

Gouch sprays graffiti nyc Queens Based Filmmaker Raul Buitrago on GOUCH, Graffiti and More

Yes, that is unfortunate, and it is something I’ve thought about quite a bit.  It is — obviously —  graffiti’s aspect of illegality that gives it that edge…You clearly won Gouch’s trust. I imagine that might have been your greatest challenge. What were some of the other challenges you faced in producing GOUCH?

As it was my first documentary, I was learning how to do it as I was doing it!  I’d previously focused on music videos.  That was my greatest challenge.  Gaining Gouch‘s trust was actually incredibly easy.  Upon first meeting, we spoke about graffiti at length.  Because of my knowledge about the culture and my previous video work, he knew he could trust me. Other challenges I faced included coordinating schedules and making sure that his family was comfortable throughout the filming process.  It was important to me that they be comfortable with the finished project since it’s so personal.

Have you a formal education in filmmaking?

I studied Photography at NYU, but I never studied filmmaking. I’m a self-taught filmmaker.

Gouch in NYC Queens Based Filmmaker Raul Buitrago on GOUCH, Graffiti and More

How long did it take you to produce GOUCH?

When I first met up with Gouch, I thought I would produce a two – three minute video. But it evolved into something far more, and I ended up working on it for one and a half years.

I’m so glad it worked out that way! Gouch – in all his complexity — is certainly worth knowing.  And the music by Jazzsoon that accompanies your film perfectly complements it. I find myself viewing it again and again!

gouch with child Queens Based Filmmaker Raul Buitrago on GOUCH, Graffiti and More

You can view the film in its entirety here.

All images courtesy Raul Buitrago; interview with Raul 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 Queens Based Filmmaker Raul Buitrago on GOUCH, Graffiti and More

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Rubin415 Brooklyn2 2014 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Recently released by Dokument PressRUBIN NEW YORK SCANDINAVIA is a stunning survey of Rubin‘s distinct abstract and geometrical artworks that are rooted in traditional graffiti. With dozens of images documenting Rubin‘s journey — from Sweden, where he grew up, to NYC, where he is now based – Rubin New York/Scandinavia  offers an overview of the works of an exceptional artist, who has brought a singular beauty to our NYC landscape.

Rubin415 Brooklyn NYC 20141 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

The book’s succinct text by Björn Almqvist introduces us to Rubin’s experiences as a child of Finnish immigrants who made their way to Sweden in search of work. The alienation that Rubin felt among Swedes, along with the stark grey concrete walls of the housing complex that enveloped him, were calls to pick up a can and make a mark.

Rubin415 Tony Sjoman Gothenbur8g 199 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Inspired by Scandinavian design, Rubin has developed a unique aesthetic that uses geometrical, symbols in lieu of letters. With his splendid craftsmanship and unique aesthetic, he transforms the gritty language of graffiti into his own distinct expression that is as effective on the streets of the South Bronx, as it is inside a church yard or on the outside of a Manhattan boutique.

Rubin415 New York 2015 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Rubin New York/Scandinavia also provides us with a handsomely curated survey of Rubin’s studio work that has been increasingly making its way into galleries.

Rubins Cube Gallery Nine5 New York 2014 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Rubin New York/Scandinavia is a splendid ode to a distinctly wonderful artist. Its NYC release took place last month at WallWorks, where the artist’s  works remain on exhibit through June 29th.

Rubin cover On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Images

1. & 2. Brooklyn, 2014

3. Brooklyn, 2014

4. Gothenburg, 1989 

5. Brooklyn, 2015

6. Gallery nine5, 2014

Photo credits: Tony “Rubin” Sjöman and Mika Tuomivuo; all photos courtesy of Dokument Press; book review 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 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

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torch fuego in Newark sgk graffiti pit NJ In Newark, New Jersey with Torch Fuego at the SGK Graffiti Pit

The most riveting graffiti spots are those we almost never discover on our own.  Located in tunnels, abandoned buildings, rooftops and hidden passageways, they tend to host some of the most creative, innovative writing — from tags to pieces — to be found anywhere. We recently had the opportunity to visit such a spot — the SGK Pit — in Newark, New Jersey and speak to Torch Fuego who has established an office there.

Can you tell us something about this spot! What an amazing oasis of creativity and escape from it all! 

It was founded over 25 years ago by several Old School writers, and it quickly became — largely under the direction of SGK crew founder Syko – a key spot for writers to practice and learn from one another.

And what does SGK stand for? 

Style, Gifted, Knowledge…and more!

Lesk and more graffiti at the SGK Pit Newark NJ In Newark, New Jersey with Torch Fuego at the SGK Graffiti Pit

Who were some of the writers who frequented it? Were they all locals?

Among the NJ writers were: Syko, RimeCarmelo “Snow” SigonaTeck and Lesk – who made me an SGK member.  But folks also came from other places. Bom5 used to come down from the Bronx.

How and when did you discover the SGK Pit? And what was your first impression of it?

Baye took me there when I was about 15. I thought, “Wow!.” I couldn’t imagine that such a place existed.

torch fuego graffiti the SGK pit newark new jersey In Newark, New Jersey with Torch Fuego at the SGK Graffiti Pit

Do any particular memories stand out?

The few graffiti battles that turned into brawls…lots of parties…and the first time I saw the deer and red foxes that also call this spot home.

And just what is your role here now?

For several years it had been abandoned. But it has recently been revitalized.  And — together with Zew — I basically maintain it. I keep it tidy. I make sure the walls are clean. I introduce new members to old heads, who can pass down knowledge to them. Basically, I want to maintain it as a “practice sanctuary.” And as Syko handed down the torch to me, I feel a huge responsibility.

tara and torch in the graffiti pit newark new jersey In Newark, New Jersey with Torch Fuego at the SGK Graffiti Pit

That seems like quite a responsibility and quite a bit of work!

Yes! I’ve sacrificed my day job for this.  But it’s worth it!

No doubt!

graffiti on ground sgk graffiti Pit Newark New Jersey In Newark, New Jersey with Torch Fuego at the SGK Graffiti Pit

Note: You can meet Torch at a special event today — Saturday — from 1-6 pm at Shorty’s. And tonight — starting at 11pm — Clearport Events will host a graffiti after-party at Port-O-Lounge, 286 1st Street in Jersey City, to benefit The Artchitectz, a program that teaches youth creative skills. Check out Torch’s Instagram for additional info.

Photo credits: 1, 3 & 4 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 5 Tara Murray; photo two features work by Lesk, with Erizl to his left; 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 In Newark, New Jersey with Torch Fuego at the SGK Graffiti Pit

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