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Meres One on Life after 5Pointz

September 18, 2014

Meres graffiti on canvas Meres One on Life after 5Pointz

It’s been almost a year now since we awoke to the horrific news that our beloved 5Pointz had been whitewashed overnight. What has life been like since for Meres, its founder and director, who had devoted just about every waking hour to this world-renowned aerosol art Mecca?  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to Meres.

We miss 5Pointz so much. I’m eagerly awaiting its rebirth! Is that likely to happen?

Time will tell. It’s an open option.

Meres street art graffiti NYC Meres One on Life after 5Pointz

What do you miss most about it?

I loved having a space where I could bring all the elements of hip-hop together. And I loved having so many opportunities to educate others.

Were there to be a rebirth of 5Pointz, how would you approach it differently?

I would want to work with a landlord who embraces what 5Pointz represents and is committed to collaborating with me in assuring its long-term success and survival.  I would, also, want to establish enduring relationships with art-friendly politicians.

Meres graffiti NYC Meres One on Life after 5Pointz

Is there any specific neighborhood or borough that you would prefer as a potential site for a new venture?

Some place that is accessible to folks from all boroughs. I’m open. Anywhere but Long Island City!

In what ways has your life been different since the demolition of 5Pointz?

I never used to have time for myself.  Lately I’ve had.

Meres street art Bushwick Collective 2 Meres One on Life after 5Pointz

What’s that like?

Very weird! At first I just felt very angry, and I was trying to come to terms with my anger. Now I’m looking forward to painting in my new Brooklyn studio in the months ahead.

Anything specific in mind in terms of your own work?

Yes, I’m interested in recreating the Old New York, the New York I once knew that has disappeared.

Meres painting street scape Meres One on Life after 5Pointz

Although you may not feel all that busy, your last few months certainly seem to have been quite productive! We’ve seen your work both on the streets and in galleries. What have you been up to?

I participated in WALL WORKS: The Art of Graffiti at Great Neck’s Gold Coast Arts Center and in W H I T E W A S H: A Requiem to 5Pointz , curated by Marie Cecile Flageul, at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery and several other exhibits both here and abroad. At the Galerie Rue de l’art in Lyon, France, I exhibited — along with ShiroAuksPoemSee TF Cortes and Just One — in NYC Subway Map – 5Pointz, I’ve also painted in several festivals and events including: Living Walls in Atlanta, Georgia; the Jersey Fresh Jam in Trenton, NJ and this past weekend at the Allentown ArtsFest. I’ve had numerous commissions, including a gym in Long Island  and a new restaurant opening in Brooklyn.

Meres graffiti crown heights NYC Meres One on Life after 5Pointz

It sounds like you’ve been quite busy! What’s ahead?

In addition to preparing work for an upcoming solo show focusing on the NYC in which I grew up, I’m working on involving 5Pointz artists in a number of events — including a festival in West Africa.  On November 3, Marie and I will be the recipients of the Arts & Activism Award at the Gold Coast Arts Center Gala 2014. And one of my artworks is featured in STRADA VELOCE, an exhibit featuring Italian automotive-inspired art and furniture, opening tonight at the Dorian Grey Gallery in the East Village.

Wow! Good luck with this all!

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos 1, 5 and 6 by Lois Stavsky; 2, 3, and 4 by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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On our recent visit to Jersey City this past Friday, Gregory D. Edgell aka the Green Villain gave us a tour of some of Jersey City’s newest murals, including some wonderful ones that he curated. Here’s a sampling of those:

Li Hill

Li Hill street art Jersey City New in Jersey City: Li Hill, Vexta, Kem5, Zimer, Enoe, Jerkface and Mes

Vexta

Vexta street art Jersey City NJ New in Jersey City: Li Hill, Vexta, Kem5, Zimer, Enoe, Jerkface and Mes

Kem5

 New in Jersey City: Li Hill, Vexta, Kem5, Zimer, Enoe, Jerkface and Mes

Zimer

Zimer street art Jersey City New in Jersey City: Li Hill, Vexta, Kem5, Zimer, Enoe, Jerkface and Mes

Enoe

enoe graffiti Jersey city New in Jersey City: Li Hill, Vexta, Kem5, Zimer, Enoe, Jerkface and Mes

Jerkface

Jerkface JC New in Jersey City: Li Hill, Vexta, Kem5, Zimer, Enoe, Jerkface and Mes

Mes PFE

Mespfe street art Jersey City New in Jersey City: Li Hill, Vexta, Kem5, Zimer, Enoe, Jerkface and Mes

All photos by Lois Stavsky, except for Kem5, courtesy of Greg.

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Ramiro Davaro street art Brooklyn Ramiro Davaros Whimsical Characters on Brooklyn Streets and His Manimal Friends at Williamsburgs Cotton Candy Machine

A motley crew of  characters, conceived by Argentine American artist Ramiro Davaro, can be found not only on the streets of Brooklyn, but — for the next few days — his Manimal Friends remains on exhibit at Williamsburg’s Cotton Candy Machine. Here are some more of his characters that have surfaced on the streets:

For Juicy Art Fest

Ramiro Davaro and Tony Washington street art NYC Ramiro Davaros Whimsical Characters on Brooklyn Streets and His Manimal Friends at Williamsburgs Cotton Candy Machine

On Scholes and Waterbury, 2013

ramiro davaro street art characters NYC Ramiro Davaros Whimsical Characters on Brooklyn Streets and His Manimal Friends at Williamsburgs Cotton Candy Machine

Close-up, on Waterbury and Meserole, 2014

Ramiro Davaro street art close up NYC Ramiro Davaros Whimsical Characters on Brooklyn Streets and His Manimal Friends at Williamsburgs Cotton Candy Machine

Outside the Cotton Candy Machine

Ramiro Davar street art Williamsburg Ramiro Davaros Whimsical Characters on Brooklyn Streets and His Manimal Friends at Williamsburgs Cotton Candy Machine

And inside the Cotton Candy Machine – one of many, Pen and Ink, Acrylic Paint on Paper

ramiro Davaro animal characters Ramiro Davaros Whimsical Characters on Brooklyn Streets and His Manimal Friends at Williamsburgs Cotton Candy Machine

Also on sale at the Cotton Candy Machine are signed copies of Ramiro’s colorfully illustrated new book Manimal Friends. Located at 235 South 1st Street (between Roebling and Havemeyer), Cotton Candy Machine is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 8pm.

Photos 1, 3, 5 and 6 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2 and 4 by Lois Stavsky 

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Erro comic characters close up at Mana Contemporary Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary Presents: Erró: American Comics

“Works of art in public spaces can have a highly beneficial effect upon the environment – beautifying it, sparking debate, and nurturing public interest in visual art,” concluded Reykjavik’s Executive City Council in a recently released report. Among those artists selected to add style and intrigue to apartment building walls of Iceland’s capital is the celebrated Icelandic pop artist Erró. As there has always been somewhat of a crossover between street art and comic art, the choice seems perfect. And here at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, a short ride from downtown Manhattan, an exhibit of the celebrated artist’s works, presented by Galerie Ernst Hilger, opens tomorrow.

Here is another close-up from Erró‘s bold, comic-inspired work, Excalibur Saga, on display:

Erro comiccharacters at Mana Contemporary Jersey City Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary Presents: Erró: American Comics

And his Official Portrait of Sigmund Freud is one of many psychologically intriguing and provocative works also on exhibit:

Erro the official portrait of sigmune freud at mana contemporary Jersey Citys Mana Contemporary Presents: Erró: American Comics

Mana Contemporary is providing free shuttle service to us New Yorkers to and from tomorrow’s 1pm opening. Buses depart every half hour starting at 12:30pm from Milk Studios at 450 West 15th Street.

Photos of artworks by Lois Stavsky

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5Pointz artists paint 9 11 Commemorative wall 5Pointz Artists Paint 9/11 Commemorative Mural in Crown Heights, BK

For years, the former aerosol art Mecca 5Pointz was the site of a 9/11 commemorative wall that surfaced anew each September 11. This year, thanks to the efforts of Marie Cecile Flageul, the annual mural found a new home — on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Bergen Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Fashioned by Meres, See TF, Remiks, Sloke, Spin, Danielle Mastrion and Lexi Bella, the mural pays special tribute to noted hip-hop historian and photographer Joe Conzo for his extraordinary efforts as a NYFD firefighter on Ground Zero. Here are a few more scenes captured yesterday:

Close-up featuring Joe Conzo, painted by See TF

Joe Conzo painted by See TF 5Pointz Artists Paint 9/11 Commemorative Mural in Crown Heights, BK

Joe Conzo with See TF

See TF and Joe Conzo 5Pointz Artists Paint 9/11 Commemorative Mural in Crown Heights, BK

Danielle Mastrion at work

Danielle Mastrion street art NYC 5Pointz Artists Paint 9/11 Commemorative Mural in Crown Heights, BK

And giving Spin a hand here

Danielle and Spin 5Pointz Artists Paint 9/11 Commemorative Mural in Crown Heights, BK

Meres at work

Meres paints street art mural NYC 5Pointz Artists Paint 9/11 Commemorative Mural in Crown Heights, BK

And drawing his iconic lightbulb for Cydney, a local student and his newest fan

Meres graffiti character on paper 5Pointz Artists Paint 9/11 Commemorative Mural in Crown Heights, BK

Photos 1, 3, 5-7 by Lois Stavsky; photos 2 and 4 by City-as-School intern Tyler Dean Flores

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This is the eighth in a series of occasional posts featuring the range of faces that surface in NYC open spaces:

Dasic in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Dasic Fernandez street art NYC  Faces in NYC Public Spaces, Part VIII: Dasic, Don Rimx & Ricardo Cabret, ECB, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Chris Soria with Groundswell Youth, FoxxFace and Sexer

Rimx and Ricardo Cabret — in progress for NY Street Gallery – on the patio outside Exit Room NY, in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Rimx and Ricardo Cabret Faces in NYC Public Spaces, Part VIII: Dasic, Don Rimx & Ricardo Cabret, ECB, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Chris Soria with Groundswell Youth, FoxxFace and Sexer

Long-running ECB in Bushwick, Brooklyn

ECB Bushwick street art NYC Faces in NYC Public Spaces, Part VIII: Dasic, Don Rimx & Ricardo Cabret, ECB, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Chris Soria with Groundswell Youth, FoxxFace and Sexer

Jordan Betten in Midtown Manhattan

Betten street art NYC Faces in NYC Public Spaces, Part VIII: Dasic, Don Rimx & Ricardo Cabret, ECB, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Chris Soria with Groundswell Youth, FoxxFace and Sexer

Alice Mizrachi in Bushwick playground

Alice Mizrachi street art Bushwick NYC Faces in NYC Public Spaces, Part VIII: Dasic, Don Rimx & Ricardo Cabret, ECB, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Chris Soria with Groundswell Youth, FoxxFace and Sexer

Long-running Chris Soria  – created with Groundswell youth — in Red Hook, Brooklyn

chris soria street art red hook1 Faces in NYC Public Spaces, Part VIII: Dasic, Don Rimx & Ricardo Cabret, ECB, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Chris Soria with Groundswell Youth, FoxxFace and Sexer

FoxxFace for the LISA Project in Little Italy, Manhattan

Foxxface street art NYC Faces in NYC Public Spaces, Part VIII: Dasic, Don Rimx & Ricardo Cabret, ECB, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Chris Soria with Groundswell Youth, FoxxFace and Sexer

Sexer for the TAG Public Arts Project in the Bronx

Sexer street art portrait Bronx Faces in NYC Public Spaces, Part VIII: Dasic, Don Rimx & Ricardo Cabret, ECB, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Chris Soria with Groundswell Youth, FoxxFace and Sexer

Photos: Dasic, Jordan Betten and Chris Soria by Dani Reyes Mozeson; all others by Lois Stavsky

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Lamour Supreme Lamour Supreme and Sheryo & the Yok Go Big for Ink Master Rivals on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan

Promoting the Ink Master Rivals show on Spike TV, two tattooed arms have made their way onto a huge billboard on Broadway between 51st and 52nd Streets. Featured on the right side of the billboard are several eerie, brightly-hued characters fashioned by Lamour Supreme — as pictured above:

Lamour Supreme, close-ups

Lamour Supreme street art character Masnhattan NYC Lamour Supreme and Sheryo & the Yok Go Big for Ink Master Rivals on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan

LA close with blue face Lamour Supreme and Sheryo & the Yok Go Big for Ink Master Rivals on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan

And the left side of the billboard showcases a crew of Sheryo and the Yok‘s delightfully zany characters:

sheryo and the Yok street art NYC Lamour Supreme and Sheryo & the Yok Go Big for Ink Master Rivals on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan

Sheryo and the Yok, close-ups

the yok Manhattan Lamour Supreme and Sheryo & the Yok Go Big for Ink Master Rivals on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan

sheryo yok street art mural Lamour Supreme and Sheryo & the Yok Go Big for Ink Master Rivals on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan

It’s great to see work by some of our favorite artists so prominently displayed!

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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With a strong presence on the streets throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, Joseph Meloy’s distinctive aesthetic has also made its way into a range of galleries and alternative spaces.  Opening this evening at Galerie Protégé at 197 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea is The Playground of the Fantastical!, an intriguing selection of Meloy’s recent works on an array of surfaces. I stopped by the exhibit yesterday and also had the opportunity to speak to Joseph.

Joseph Meloy street art Manhattan nyc Joseph Meloy on Street Art, Vandal Expressionism, The Playground of the Fantastical! and more

You have quite a presence on the streets. What inspired you to get your vision up on public spaces?

As a kid, I was obsessed with Cost and Revs.  Their presence on the streets fascinated me. I used to stay up until two in the morning to watch their public access show. Undoubtedly, they were an inspiration.

When did you first get up and where?

When I was a student at the Bronx High School of Science, I was into drawing squirrels – and I began hanging posters of them all over my school. But 2006 is when I started getting wheat pastes up on the streets. They were largely random digital creations at the time.

What about galleries? The Playground of the Fantastical is your second exhibit at Galerie Protégé.  When did you first begin showing in galleries?

My first exhibit was in a pop-up space back in 2011. Since, I’ve shown in quite a few spaces – from alternative ones to more traditional gallery settings. Among these are — in addition to Galerie Protégé – Le Salon d’ Art,  Succulent Studios, and the Fountain Art Fair.

Joseph Meloy abstract Joseph Meloy on Street Art, Vandal Expressionism, The Playground of the Fantastical! and more

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

It’s a natural and inevitable progression.  What’s happening now is a resurgence of what was going down 30 years ago.

Do you have a formal arts education?

No. I majored in Spanish in college. I’m self-taught.

What inspires you these days?

Introspection. My inspiration is internal.

Joseph Meloy at Galerie Protege Joseph Meloy on Street Art, Vandal Expressionism, The Playground of the Fantastical! and more

Has your aesthetic been influenced by any particular cultures?

No one particular culture. But there are obvious influences from ancient hieroglyphics and palaeographics.

What is your ideal working environment?

Any place with enough room for me to create without having to worry about messing it up.

Are there any particular artists whose aesthetics have inspired or influenced you?

Michael Alan – a friend who is a wonderful artist and inspiration. And I suppose that — like so many others — I’ve been inspired and influenced by Keith Haring and Basquiat.

Joseph Meloy art close up Joseph Meloy on Street Art, Vandal Expressionism, The Playground of the Fantastical! and more

Would you rather work alone or collaborate with other artists?

I like the concept of collaboration, but it’s easier for me to work alone. I’ve successfully collaborated with Michael Alan and Fumero, and I’m looking forward to collaborating with Col, Wallnuts.

We identify you with the term Vandal Expressionism – that you coined. Can you tell us something about that?  When did it originate? What does it mean?

I came up with it in the summer of 2010. It seemed to best represent what I do and who I am. It signifies how I repurposed the visual language of graffiti and street art. And it’s quite universal, as it translates well into other languages.

What about the title of this show – the Playground of the Fantastical?

It was actually coined by the gallery’s director, Robert Dimin, as it reflects both my work and that of the Brazilian artist, Maria Lynch, who is exhibiting alongside me. The title is perfect as it suggests both a childlike innocence and a whimsical sense of adventure.

Meloy street art NYC Joseph Meloy on Street Art, Vandal Expressionism, The Playground of the Fantastical! and more

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

The artist has many roles – to reflect on society, to inspire…to amuse…and to make people think.

I can certainly see that in your work!

Note: The Playground of the Fantastical opens tonight, Thursday, from 6-8pm at 197 Ninth Avenue and 22nd Street and continues through October 3rd. Tomorrow evening Joseph Meloy will be exhibiting along with City Kitty and others in Downtown Denim at the City Life Gallery in Jersey City.

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos 1 and 4 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2 and 3 by Lois Stavsky and 5 by Tara Murray.

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Groundswell public art community NYC  Groundswell Youth Muralists    with Esteban del Valle and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez    Address Mass Incarceration on Brownsville Mural

We were introduced to Esteban del Valle’s remarkable talents a number of years back at 5Pointz. We’ve since seen his deftly crafted artwork in Bushwick, the Lower East Side, Red Hook, Welling Court and recently at the 21st Precinct Art Exhibit.  And in addition to forging his own artwork, Esteban has been sharing his skills and vision with youth this past summer in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  Last week, the mural created by 17 young men in Groundswell’s Summer Leadership Institute, along with Esteban and his assistant artist, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez, was officially unveiled.  Located at 417 Junius Street on the wall of the Food Bazaar Supermaket, it represents the best possible model for public art. At the mural’s dedication ceremony, I had the opportunity to find out from Esteban a bit more about this particular project, P. I. C. T. U. R. E. S Prison Industrial Complex: Tyranny Undermining Rights, Education and Society.

Esteban del valle public mural NYC  Groundswell Youth Muralists    with Esteban del Valle and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez    Address Mass Incarceration on Brownsville Mural

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

We began on July 2nd.

Can you tell us something about the process?

We spent the first two weeks researching the issue, discussing the justice system and designing our representation of it. The final four weeks were devoted to painting the mural.

Groundswell Public Art  Groundswell Youth Muralists    with Esteban del Valle and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez    Address Mass Incarceration on Brownsville Mural

Why this topic?

It’s of particular relevance to this community. We see this mural as a way to raise awareness and provoke discussion about the subject of the prison industrial complex. Some of the youth involved in this all-male Making His’tory mural team have had first-hand experience with the way the justice system functions.

Esteban del valle public mural  Groundswell Youth Muralists    with Esteban del Valle and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez    Address Mass Incarceration on Brownsville Mural

How have the young muralists responded to this project?

The response has been great. We’ve had many intense discussions and we can all walk away with a sense of accomplishment.

What has this experience been like for you, personally?

It was very exciting. And it was great for all of us to see an idea executed into a reality.

Esteban del valle and Groundswell youth street art mural close up  Groundswell Youth Muralists    with Esteban del Valle and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez    Address Mass Incarceration on Brownsville Mural

Have you any personal message?

With these tools (pen and paint brush in hand), you can change your life and your community.

Elijah Barrington, one of the project’s participants, added the following to our conversation:  We sweated every day to get this wall to look the way we wanted it to. I felt focused and happy, and I learned so much. I’m already looking forward to the next project.

Brief interview and photos by Lois Stavsky

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Topaz graffiti NYC At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Yesterday at noon, the 14th edition of the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame, presented by Joey TDS and James Top, was officially launched inside the famed East Harlem schoolyard on 106th Street and Park Avenue. Here is a small sampling of what went down during the early afternoon:

Topaz

Topaz graffiti mural NYC At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Scratch

scratch graffiti hall of fame At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Ligisd

Graffiti Hall of Fame At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Hops

Hops street Art graffiti hall of fame At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Bver

Bver graffiti hall of fame NYC At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Wiz Art

Wiz Art graffiti hall of fame nyc At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Queen Andrea

Queen Andrea graffiti Hall of Fame NYC At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

 And earlier in the week, Tats Cru – with Crash and Nick Walker – fashioned a huge mural outside the school yard. Here are some close-ups:

crash bio nick walker At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Tats Cru graffti Hall of Fame copy At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

Tats close up At the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame with Topaz, Scratch, Ligisd, Hops, Bver, Wiz Art & Queen Andrea and on the Street with Tats Cru, Crash. Nick Walker and more

The 14th edition of the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame continues today from noon to 8pm.

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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