Graffiti

Viajero mixed media 2016 A Visit to <em>Home, Memory, and Future</em> at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institutes (CCCADI) New East Harlem Home

While visiting CCCADI’s inaugural exhibit in its new East Harlem home, I had the opportunity to speak to one of its curators, Regina Bultron-Bengoa

Just what is CCCADI?

The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute is a multi-disciplinary arts center that showcases and promotes the distinct contributions of African Diaspora cultures.

How would you define its mission?

Through arts, education and activism it strives to advance change by uniting the various cultures of the African Diaspora, while promoting their value.

Viajero installation close up A Visit to <em>Home, Memory, and Future</em> at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institutes (CCCADI) New East Harlem Home

When was it originally established?

Dr. Marta Moreno Vega founded it in 1966 as a center where African and Native cultures of Caribbean and Latin American countries could be recognized and honored. Its first home was on East 87th Street and its last home was in a brownstone in Hell’s Kitchen.

Can you tell us something about its present locale here in this landmark space on East 125 Street in East Harlem?

A few years back, several shuttered landmark firehouses were offered to cultural institutions. With city and state support, nine million dollars were raised to renovate this particular historic one for CCCADI, and on September 16, 2004, we broke ground.

Scherezade Garcia Sea of Wonder 2016 A Visit to <em>Home, Memory, and Future</em> at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institutes (CCCADI) New East Harlem Home

Who is its audience?

We have a wide audience from students and educators to arts professionals to families. We offer a huge range of free or low-cost exhibits, workshops and activities.

Your inaugural exhibit, Home, Memory, and Future is quite impressive. It is divided into three distinct parts.

Yes. Part I: Harlem: East and West features the works of three acclaimed photographers who have been documenting Harlem since the 70’s. Part II: Harlem and Home in the Global Context showcases artworks that suggest how cultural traditions are used to establish “home” in distant places. And Part III: Mi Quirido Barrio (My Beloved Community) – focusing on the social history of El Barrio — takes place outdoors and in cyberspace, using augmented reality. Among its themes are: migration, nostalgia for the past. gentrification and looking to the future.

che memorial wall east harlem nyc A Visit to <em>Home, Memory, and Future</em> at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institutes (CCCADI) New East Harlem Home

Can you tell us some more about the outdoor element of the exhibit?

Yes. It features locations of importance within the social history of El Barrio. Among these are memorial walls painted on the streets – whose history is documented on a free mobile app, Blippar. Through augmented reality, the app allows us to bring the past to life.

That is quite amazing! How has the response been to CCCADI‘s new home and inaugural exhibit?

The response has been great. There were long lines for the fall opening, and folks who see it love the art and identify with it.

Chino Chan Memorial Mural El Barrio NYC A Visit to <em>Home, Memory, and Future</em> at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institutes (CCCADI) New East Harlem Home

How can folks contact CCCADI if they would like to visit or become involved?

They can email: info@cccadi.org

Images 

1 & 2 Adrian “Viajero” Roman, Mixed media, 2016

3  Scherezade Garcia, Sea of Wonder, Mixed media, 2016

4 & 5 Oliver Rios & Luis Martinez, Memorial Walls, as seen on the Blippar app while on site

Photo credits: 1-3 Lois Stavsky; 4-5 Courtesy CCCADI

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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apitatan street art mexico city <em>Meeting of Styles</em> in Mexico City: Apitatan, Diego Zelaya, Musa71, Cyfione, Main Rodriguez, YuzuRabia, Astro and Shane Hello

Among the most exuberant walls in Mexico City are those painted by both local and international artists during the city’s Meeting of Styles festival. I first discovered them on a tour with Street Art Chilangoand then I kept on returning to them. Above is the work of Ecuadorian artist Apitatan. Here are several more:

Mexican painter Diego Zelaya

Diego Zelaya street art Mexico City <em>Meeting of Styles</em> in Mexico City: Apitatan, Diego Zelaya, Musa71, Cyfione, Main Rodriguez, YuzuRabia, Astro and Shane Hello

Barcelona-based writer Musa 71

Musa71 graffiti mexico city <em>Meeting of Styles</em> in Mexico City: Apitatan, Diego Zelaya, Musa71, Cyfione, Main Rodriguez, YuzuRabia, Astro and Shane Hello

Tucson-based Cyfione

cyfione jpg <em>Meeting of Styles</em> in Mexico City: Apitatan, Diego Zelaya, Musa71, Cyfione, Main Rodriguez, YuzuRabia, Astro and Shane Hello

Main Rodriguez

main rodriguez graffiti mexico city <em>Meeting of Styles</em> in Mexico City: Apitatan, Diego Zelaya, Musa71, Cyfione, Main Rodriguez, YuzuRabia, Astro and Shane Hello

Mexican artist YuzuRabia

yuzurabia street art mexico city <em>Meeting of Styles</em> in Mexico City: Apitatan, Diego Zelaya, Musa71, Cyfione, Main Rodriguez, YuzuRabia, Astro and Shane Hello

French artists Astro and Shane Hello

astro odv cbs shane hello graffiti Mexico City <em>Meeting of Styles</em> in Mexico City: Apitatan, Diego Zelaya, Musa71, Cyfione, Main Rodriguez, YuzuRabia, Astro and Shane Hello

Photos by Lois Stavsky; special thanks to Caro for identifying so many of the artists as I was posting Mexico City’s street art on Instagram earlier this month.

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>Meeting of Styles</em> in Mexico City: Apitatan, Diego Zelaya, Musa71, Cyfione, Main Rodriguez, YuzuRabia, Astro and Shane Hello

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bio tats cru the art of peace <em>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

Curated by Lady K Fever and Kate StorchThe Art of Peace opens this evening from 6-10pm at Avant Garde on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. An art show and benefit in celebration of the NY Peace Coalition’s 6th Annual Peace December, it features the visual reflections of 31 artists on the theme of peace. Pictured above was painted by Bio, Tats Cru. Here are several more:

Jerms

jerms art of peace <em>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

Danielle Mastrion

danielle mastrion <em>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

Murj, close-up

murj the art of peace <em>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

Hef

Jamie Hef the art of peace <em>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

And Stem, YNN on a political note

stem political art <em>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

Curators Lady K Fever and Kate Storch in the gallery window — where there will be live painting tonight

Lady K Fever Kate storch curators <em>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

And if you can’t make it tonight or would like to return, the exhibit continues through New Years Day.

Peace Decembeer flyer <em>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

Photos: 1-4, 6 & 7 Lois Stavsky; 5 courtesy of Lady K

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>The Art of Peace</em> Opens Tonight at Avant Garde with Bio, Jerms, Danielle Mastrion, Murj, Hef, Stem and more

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mas paz Juan Pineda close up  Vibrant Public Art In Crystal City, Virginia: Mas Paz, Juan Pineda, Jahru, Miss Chelove, Kelly Towles, Ethan Kerber & SatOne

An urban neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, Crystal City is less than three miles away from DC’s Smithsonian Museums. Thanks to its active BID, it boasts a thriving public art scene, featuring a wide variety of works in a range of styles — many painted by local DC artists. And for us street art aficionados, there is much to love. What follows is a sampling:

DC-based artists Mas Paz and Juan Pineda

Mas Paz close up mural art Vibrant Public Art In Crystal City, Virginia: Mas Paz, Juan Pineda, Jahru, Miss Chelove, Kelly Towles, Ethan Kerber & SatOne

Annapolis, MD-based Jeff Huntington aka Jahru

Jeff Huntington aka Jahru mural art Virginia Vibrant Public Art In Crystal City, Virginia: Mas Paz, Juan Pineda, Jahru, Miss Chelove, Kelly Towles, Ethan Kerber & SatOne

DC-based Cita Sadeli aka Miss Chelove

Miss che love mural art virginia Vibrant Public Art In Crystal City, Virginia: Mas Paz, Juan Pineda, Jahru, Miss Chelove, Kelly Towles, Ethan Kerber & SatOne

DC-based Kelly Towles

Kelly towles street art virginia Vibrant Public Art In Crystal City, Virginia: Mas Paz, Juan Pineda, Jahru, Miss Chelove, Kelly Towles, Ethan Kerber & SatOne

San Francisco-based metal artist Ethan Kerber

ethan kerber street art installation virginia Vibrant Public Art In Crystal City, Virginia: Mas Paz, Juan Pineda, Jahru, Miss Chelove, Kelly Towles, Ethan Kerber & SatOne

Munich, Germany-based SatOne

sat one crystal city virginia street art Vibrant Public Art In Crystal City, Virginia: Mas Paz, Juan Pineda, Jahru, Miss Chelove, Kelly Towles, Ethan Kerber & SatOne

Photo credits: 1, 5 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 2-4 & 7 Tara Murray

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 Vibrant Public Art In Crystal City, Virginia: Mas Paz, Juan Pineda, Jahru, Miss Chelove, Kelly Towles, Ethan Kerber & SatOne

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sticker collage fridge dc  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

Currently on view at the FridgeDC is DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0, an extraordinary ode to street art stickers. Curated by iwillnot and hosted and sponsored by the Fridge Gallery, it features over 100,000 striking stickers. They’re all here: handsome handstyles, curious characters, political posits and social statements. While in DC, I had the opportunity to speak to iwillnot.

When did you first become involved in the sticker art culture? And what attracted you to it?

It was about ten years ago. I liked the way I could easily transport stickers in my pockets and get them up quickly on the streets.

And what was it about the streets that appealed to you?

Getting my name and message across in a public space.

trump sticker art fridge dc  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

This is the third sticker art exhibit that you’ve curated at the FridgeDC. What inspired you to bring it indoors?

My son was born five years ago. I no longer had the time to hit the streets. Nor could I take the legal risks. DC’s laws are harsh. One can get fined $1,000.00 and be sentenced to 3o days in jail just for getting a slap up.

Gee… And with Trump here, the penalties could get even harsher.  How does this current exhibit differ from the previous two that you curated?

This is the first one that covers the entire gallery. There’s been more involvement, and — with a six-week run — it will be the longest-running sticker expo that I’ve curated.

trump and more sticker art  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

What were some of the challenges involved in curating such a huge exhibit?

It’s quite costly. Getting something like this together is expensive. And it demands endless hours of work, including time spent training volunteers.

How were you able to collect so many stickers? There are tens of thousands here!

When I first started posting my stickers online, Skam reached out to me to trade stickers. I’ve been trading with artists all over the world ever since. Every participant in the expo gets a return pack from me. It takes months to get them mailed out… but a trade is a trade.  After years of trading with artists I have hundreds of thousands of stickers.

Dont Trump Women and more sticker art  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

And how do you keep track of them?

I document each and every entry. I tag each one and acknowledge receiving it.

That must be some task!

It’s a year-round lifestyle.

political sticker art and more  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

How has the response been to this show? The opening was packed with folks of all ages!

The reaction has been great. People seem to have discovered an untapped passion for this art form. All year round, I’m asked about the “next sticker expo.”

How can folks see the exhibit?

It continues through New Years Eve at the FridgeDC, 516 1/2 8th Street SE, and is open Thursday-Saturday 1–8pm & Sunday 1-5pm.

DC sticker expo  iwillnot on the <em>DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0</em> at the FridgeDC

Great! I’m already looking forward to next year’s!

Note: Among the many artists featured in the above close-ups are: SkamBeas, Klozr, Jamie XV, Ed Geiniwillnot Hugh BrismanSarah JamisonSladge & Konjak, 2front, Psyco, Nikolay Milushevda_weiss, 702er, P Lust, Zas, Chris RWK, nite owl, Feln One,…(more to come!)

Photo credits: 1 Tara Murray; 2 – 6 Lois Stavsky; interview by Lois Stavsky

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syko roxx graffiti urban evolution Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

While in Baltimore last month, we had the opportunity to visit Urban Evolution, a first-rate gym that is also a graffiti lover’s wonderland. Pictured above is by Newark-based Syko Roxx. What follows are several more pieces — many by NJ-based writers — that have made their way onto the walls of Urban Evolution:

NJ-based Emo

emo graffiti urban evolution baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

NYC-based Spot, KMS

spot kms graffiti urban evolution Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

NJ-based 4sakn

4 saken graffiti Urban Evolution Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

Baltimore-based Meca with fragment of piece by Grope above it

Meca graffiti urban evolution Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

NJ-based Veer One

veer one baltimore graffiti At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

 NJ-based Tiper

tiper1 graffiti Baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

NJ-based Torch Fuego

Torch Fuego graffiti urban evolution baltimore At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

And Baltimore-based dlordink 

dlordink aerosol art urban evolution edited 1 At <em>Urban Evolution </em>in Baltimore with: Syko Roxx, Emo, Spot, 4sakn, Meca, Grope, Veer One, Tiper, Torch Fuego & dlordink

Note: Urban Evolution is located at  6801 Eastern Avenue in Baltimore, MD

Photo credits: 1-3, 5, 6, 8 & 9 Lois Stavsky; 4 & 7 Tara Murray

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In Chicago with Cornbread East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

Earlier this fall, several Old School East Coast writers — including the legendary Cornbread – made their way to Chicago for a one-night exhibit and a day of painting alongside local Chicago artists. We recently spoke to Brian M Convery aka Booey who curated the exhibit that took place on October 15 at Loft Zero Gallery.

How did you guys end up in Chicago? What brought you there?

Skeme had told me about an opportunity to exhibit my artwork in a solo show at Chicago’s Loft Zero Gallery. I decided that I would prefer showing in a group exhibit — that I would curate — as it would be more inclusive.

How did you decide which artists to include?

I was particularly interested in showcasing the work of classic East Coast writers. And so I largely reached out to folks I know who were painting back in the day. It was my way of giving back to the community.

frito gear brian graffiti chicago 720 East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

What were some of the challenges you faced in curating an exhibit of this nature?

The greatest challenge was collecting all of the art I’d wanted to feature before heading out to Chicago. There were some kinks along the way. And then after twenty minutes of waiting in Newark in a rented van to drive five of us out to Chicago, Gear One called to tell me that Nic 707 was no where to be found!  But, eventually, it all came together.

What about the night of the exhibit? Any challenges? 

Having to compete with the Cubs who had a home game the same night!  We had to work on getting the info about our show out on Cubs’ message boards.

boar1 graffiti chicago East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

Any particular highlights of the trip?

Having the opportunity to paint alongside several first-rate Chicago-based artists in Logan Square the following day. The interaction was awesome!

Can you tell us something more about that? How did it happen?

Constantine Ashford, the owner of Loft Zero Gallery, reached out to several local artists and made it happen.

dtel graffiti chicago East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

 What’s next?

I’ve been working on another show — Gold Standard — that will place this Saturday evening — December 10th at Lovecraft Bar NYC, 50 Avenue B. It will feature a range of artists from the legendary Taki 183 to such contemporaries as Tomas Manon and Gem 13.

Gold standard East Coast Flavor Meets Chicago Flair with Cornbread, Booey, Fritos, Gear One, Nic 707, Boar1, Dtel & more

Good luck!

Images

1. Constantine Ashford, Booey and Cornbread

2. Fritos and Gear One at work; also featured on mural are Booey and Nic 707

3. Chicago-based Boar1

4. Chicago-based Dtel

Photo credits: 1 & 2; courtesy Brian M Convery; 3 & 4 Tara Murray

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 SVA invite handball Roger Gastman on <em>Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence</em> and Its December 9th NYC Premiere  at SVA

Focusing on legendary writers of 1967 – 1972, Wall Writers is a comprehensive, feature-length documentary on graffiti “in its innocence.”  Conceived and directed by Roger Gastman and narrated by legendary filmmaker John Waters, its NYC premiere will take place this Friday evening at SVA Theatre.  A brief interview with Roger Gastman follows:

You’ve authored several key books on graffiti and have been deeply involved in its culture. What spurred your initial interest in graffiti? And how old were you at the time?

I was 13 years old and living right outside of Washington DC. A lot of my friends all had tags, and I needed to have one also. It was all around me. Everyone was doing it, and if you went downtown, you saw it everywhere. Names like COOL “DISCO” DAN covered the streets and the metro walls.

Your current project — Wall Writers – is an extraordinarily comprehensive documentation of the early days of graffiti. What motivated you to undertake this project?

I was working on the History of American Graffiti book with Caleb Neelon and I honestly got sick of everyone BSing the year they started writing. I knew enough about the history to know when I was talking to legit people and not. I figured so many of these people have never told their stories I might as film them. I had no intention of this film. I was just documenting.

ROCKY 184 and STITCH 1. Circa 1972. Photo courtesy of ROCKY 184 Roger Gastman on <em>Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence</em> and Its December 9th NYC Premiere  at SVA

Can you tell us something about the process? How long did you work on it? What were some of the challenges you encountered?

I worked on the film on and off for 7 years. But it feels like my entire life. On projects like these some of the hardest part is finding photos and footage and other pieces of the puzzle that help you tell your story. The process would usually be to let it take over my life for 2-4 weeks at a time then go back to real life for a few months and dive back in. I could still be digging – but had to call it at some point. I know there is more out there and I hope someone discovers it.

How has the response to Wall Writers been?

So far we have had packed theatres everywhere. It’s been awesome. People have really enjoyed the film. We are even doing a show at the MCA Denver in February where we bring the book and film to life.

BAMA poses in front of his painting Orange Juice at the Razor Gallery. 1973. Photos by Herbert Migdoll. Roger Gastman on <em>Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence</em> and Its December 9th NYC Premiere  at SVA

Wall Writers is premiering here in NYC at SVA Theatre Friday night. What can we expect? 

Friday is the big NYC premiere. I am very excited to finally show NYC the film. We will have most all of the NYC cast from the film there including TAKI 183, SNAKE 1, MIKE 171, SJK 171 and so many more. Come out and support!

It sounds great! And, yes, we’ve been waiting for it here in NYC!

Note: A pre-signed 350+ page companion book will be available for purchase. Tickets to Friday’s NYC premiere are still available here.

wall writers at SVA Roger Gastman on <em>Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence</em> and Its December 9th NYC Premiere  at SVA

Interview by Lois Stavsky; featured images include:

2. Rocky 184 and Stitch 1, circa 1972, courtesy Rocky 184

3. BAMA posing in front of his painting “Orange Juice” at the Razor Gallery, 1973, photo by Herbert Migdoll

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CHema Skandal paints Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

On our recent visit to Chicago, we discovered the delightfully playful aesthetic of the hugely talented and prolific graphic artist and music enthusiast CHema Skandal! An interview with the artist follows:

I love your artwork’s playful, spirited – often-irreverent – sensibility. What is your main inspiration? The roots of your aesthetic?

I grew up in Mexico City, and its distinct culture has inspired my aesthetic. I was influenced by everything I saw around me – hand-painted street signs, eye-catching graphic designs, everyday visual communication… Popular culture, in general, – and particularly music – is a constant inspiration. And since coming to Chicago, my work has been influenced by what I see here.

CHemaSkandal street art Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

On visiting Pilsen, we came upon a mural that you painted. When did you first paint on the streets?

Yes, that was precisely the first time I painted on the streets. The first mural I ever did is here in Chicago.

What inspired you to paint a mural in a public space?

That mural in Pilsen was commissioned by a city cultural program. It coincided with me wanting to explore and try a different medium like this. At the same time I met Oscar Arriola  and Brooks Golden (RIP) who brought me into street art and exposed me to many graffiti and mural artists. Reflecting on it, I had done some wheat pasting before while promoting concerts or sociopolitical topics.

CHema Skandal street art unmasked Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

How does Chicago’s street art and underground art scene differ from Mexico City’s?

A decade ago it was easy to find stickers and wheatpastings within Mexico City. But there have been mural and graffiti artists for longer, and really good ones…mainly in the outskirts. I don’t have this background, so I can not tell you much about this, but I think in many ways they are very similar. Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in the world, so you can find practically any type of art, whether independent or more affiliated to cultural organizations or brands. I feel that the scene here in Chicago is more open. Here I was embraced and welcomed by individuals and galleries alike.

Where else have you shown your work – besides here in Chicago and back in Mexico City?

I’ve shown in different places, from alternative spaces and libraries to galleries and museums. Among the cities I’ve exhibited in are: Toulouse, Lyon, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Addis Ababa, Kingston, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tokyo and here in the U.S.

CHema Skandal exhibit Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

Do you have a formal art education?

Yes. I studied Visual Communication & Illustration at U.N.A.M.’s National School of Art.

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

I was the last one to use it! I think it can be overwhelming, but it has become a helpful platform for us artists to share our work and promote ourselves.

And is your artwork the main source of your income?

Yes, as of right now I am lucky my illustration work is steady. My projects range from publicity — like flyers, magazine illustrations and printed posters —  to commissioned art.

chema skandal mural art with people Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

Can you tell us something about your process?

Almost everything I create is by hand. I work with inks, acrylics and oils. I usually start a project like that and then transfer it to the computer to finish it off. I especially enjoy the painting process. I like the organic texture of what I can produce that way. I’ve also studied traditional printing techniques. Lately I’ve been getting back into block printing, one of the first mediums I learned. I find it interesting how you can reproduce prints and also the history of it.

Any favorite artists? Artists who’ve influenced you?

I like and admire many, mainly for their unique way they represent their visions. Among my favorites are: the late Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada; the American comic artist Charles Burns and the satirical street artist Banksy.. I also like American and Cuban poster makers from the 60’s.

CHema Skandal installation Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

How has your work evolved through the years?

I think as an artist you are always learning from others. I’ve discovered work that inspires me and makes me want to emulate a technique and try it. Most of the time during this experience you find something that fits your work, like with street Aart in my case. I am still exploring it. My work has changed, and I hope it keeps evolving.

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

I think an artist is an amplifier of society. Artists should stimulate the feelings and ideas that are hard to digest. This can be very subjective, of course, but in the end that is where the individual’s sensitivity should focus on. An artist should reflect on the social movements of our time.

CHema Skandal street art characters Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

What’s ahead?

I would like to learn old painting techniques that are not in use anymore. And to find a residency in a far deserted island.

Sounds good!

 All photos courtesy of  the artist; interview by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

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 Speaking with Graphic Artist and Music Enthusiast CHema Skandal!

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An in-depth analysis of graffiti and street art, the Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art presents a strong sampling of the current scholarship in the field. Edited by University of Baltimore Professor Jeffrey Ian Ross, it is appended by a glossary of graffiti terms and a chronology of graffiti beginning with early cave paintings.

Jeffrey Ian Ross Book Cover Jeffrey Ian Ross on <em>The Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art</em>

Published earlier this year by Routledge – the world’s leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences — it is divided into four sections, offering a range of theories by thirty-seven contributors on the:

  • History, Types, and Writers/Artists of Graffiti and Street Art
  • Theoretical Explanations of Graffiti and Street Art/Causes of Graffiti and Street Art
  • Regional/Municipal Variations/Differences of Graffiti and Street Art, and
  • Effects of Graffiti and Street Art.

With its mix of aesthetic, cultural, sociological and political perspectives across a richly diverse spectrum of topics – from the history of freight train graffiti in North America to the value of street and graffiti in the current art market – it is a fascinating foray into one of the most significant global movements of our time.  Among the many essays of particular interest to those of us immersed in the current scene are: Rafael Schacter‘s thesis of graffiti and street art as “ornamental forms;” Jessica N. Pabon‘s examination of gender in contemporary street art; Jeffrey Ian Ross‘s discussion of London’s contemporary graffiti and street art scene; Mona Abaza‘s analysis of the graffiti and street art that surfaced in post-January 11 Egypt, and Peter Bengtsen‘s discussion of the value of street art removed from the street.

An interview with Professor Jeffrey Ian Ross follows:

What initially spurred your interest in graffiti?

Beginning in childhood and continuing during my high school years, I spent a considerable amount of time creating visual art – graphic design, painting, photography and sculpture. Frustrated and/or disappointed with the quality of instruction in my public high schools, I enrolled in and completed courses at the Ontario College of Art–now Ontario College of Art and Design — in Toronto. Later, I was accepted to the Central Technical School Commercial Art program, as well as the Photographic Arts program at Ryerson College — now University–, but I chose not to attend. In many respects, my study of graffiti and street art, and the content of this book represent a way of coming full circle. The scholarly study of graffiti and street art deals with many subjects close to my personal interest areas, including codes, control, crime, criminal justice, deviance, gentrification, harms, illegalities, identity, state responses, power imbalances, protest, punishment, resistance, subjectivity, subterranean processes and networks, surveillance, urban incivility and vandalism.

jeffrey Ross Baltimore graffiti alley Jeffrey Ian Ross on <em>The Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art</em>

What inspired you to edit a book of this nature?

In 2012 I decided to teach an undergraduate class on “Graffiti and Street Art” at the University of Baltimore.  Over time, as I started to read the body of work on graffiti and street art, I noticed that it was short on empirical scholarly analysis, was of uneven quality, and was distributed through a diverse number of scholarly venues. What was missing was a reference book that presented and analyzed the important research, theories, and ideas related to the field of graffiti and street art. I was determined to assemble a collection of original, well researched and written pieces created by experts on this subject under one literary roof. This handbook is the result of this effort.

How do you account for the increased interest among academics in graffiti and street art?

Graffiti and street art are pervasive in cities around the world. You cannot ignore it. Because the amount of graffiti and street art has increased since the 1960s and has changed in form and content, it is something to be examined by an interdisciplinary cadre of scholars.

jeffrey ross graffiti street art nyc Jeffrey Ian Ross on <em>The Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art</em>

How did you decide what topics to include?

Through an intense reading of the scholarship of graffiti and street art, and by consulting with some of my contributors, I was able to disentangle what are/were the most important topics to include in the book.

And how did you decide which academics/scholars/authors to include?

Again through a careful read of the scholarship and by engaging with my contributors with respect to who might be the most appropriate scholar/author to write on a particular topic, I was able to narrow down which academic to invite to write a chapter.

Jeffrey Ross Santiago Chile Jeffrey Ian Ross on <em>The Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art</em>

Are there any particular theories presented here that particularly surprised or enlightened you?

I am a big fan of subcultural theories of crime, but recognize that there are numerous other theories embedded in other social sciences and the humanities that are relevant here, including different kinds of literature that play into the study of graffiti and street crime, like gentrification, space, etc.

Who is the audience for your book?

The Handbook is easy to read and designed to answer common questions asked by undergraduate and graduate students, as well as by experts on graffiti and street art. This book is also accessible to practitioners — individuals working, or aspiring to work, in the fields of criminal justice, law enforcement, art history, museum studies, tourism studies, urban studies, etc., as well as policy- makers in these fields. In addition, it is of interest to members of the news media covering stories on graffiti and street art. The analysis and writing are accessible to upper-level university students — typically referred to as juniors and seniors at American universities — and graduate students. This volume will also be useful for scholars and libraries, and can easily be utilized in the classroom context. A reference book of this nature will be of interest not only in the previously mentioned scholarly fields, but it will also be specifically relevant to those institutions that have programs in cultural studies, visual arts, tourism, and museum studies. Last but certainly not least, the Handbook will appeal to a wide international audience.

Photos for this post by Jeffrey Ian Ross: 1. Baltimore (Graffiti Alley); 2 NYC & 3. Santiago, Chile; 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 Jeffrey Ian Ross on <em>The Routledge Handbook of Graffiti and Street Art</em>

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