News

banksy urban art in a material world edited 1 Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

Penned by Ulrich Blanché, Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World focuses primarily on Banksy’s relationship with consumer culture.  With its thoroughly-researched appendix documenting everything from Banksy record album covers to his exhibition catalogs, it is the first comprehensive academic study of Banksy’s art.  An interview with the author follows:

Your book, Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World, began as a dissertational thesis.  Why did you choose to focus your studies on Banksy? What is it specifically about him that so intrigued you?

I was first introduced to street art and stencils in 2006 on a trip to Melbourne, Australia. And while visiting a museum bookshop there, I discovered Banksy’s book Wall and Piece. I was instantly fascinated and found myself going through it page by page. I liked the way each of his pieces has a distinct message or lesson that is transmitted in a humorous way.  I knew then that I would like to research and write about his work.

Banksy stencil art  Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

You draw parallels between Banksy and the contemporary British artist Damien Hirst. You discuss their collaborations, as well. Can you tell us something about that?  What are some of the essential similarities between the two? What did each have to gain by collaborating?

It might still shock some people that Hirst, the personification of capitalism, and Banksy, the art guerilla, collaborated. They knew each other since about 2000, and Hirst supported Banksy early on. It was kind of like Warhol and Basquiat.  The established artist gains coolness and the newer artist gains credibility.  The two artists admired each other’s works – and both Banksy and Hirst shared a morbid and humorous sensibility. 

Among Banksy’s subjects are both capitalism and religion – often merged in a particular image.  Do any particular images stand out to you? And why do they?

Banksy does not really focus on religion except in relation to consumption. Shopping/ Money is the god of today. No particular work stands out for me. Some are weaker; some are better.

Banksy in NYC Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

To what do you attribute Banksy’s extraordinary commercial success?

I suspect that Banksy actually earns much less than people think he does. His income comes from the sale of prints, books, DVDs… The people who bought a Banksy for 50 quid 15 years ago or received a Banksy as a present have profited  tremendously.

As Banksy rails against consumerism, he — himself — is a master at manipulating consumers.  Why might we have become such a society of consumers? Any thoughts?

We are easily manipulated, even when we know we are being manipulated.

Banksy stencil art creative commons Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

How essential are the streets to Banksy’s success?

The street is his canvas – it is the means he uses to communicate. To remove the street from Banksy’s work is like removing a figure from a Rembrandt. If you manage to keep the context with photos, videos, background info, the work may survive indoors – once it’s no longer on the street. In Banksy’s words: “’I don’t know if street art ever really works indoors. If you domesticate an animal, it goes from being wild and free to sterile, fat and sleepy. So maybe the art should stay outside. Then again, some old people get a lot of comfort from having a pet around the house.”

Where is it all going? Will Banksy’s popularity and commercial success continue to rise? Will Banksy continue to use the streets as a canvas? Or will he become less dependent on them? What are your thoughts?

Street Art is over.  Most works on the street today are authorized murals or pieces in areas where the artist wants to be seen and photographed by the “right” people — whoever that might be.  Street art has become urban art for Instagram. Banksy will last. He will put a few works on the street every year and pull off a big event every few years. I hope he will publish another huge book of his works or lead a little revolution somewhere. That would be fun.

Banksy stencil art Shop Until You Drop Ulrich Blanché on <em>Banksy: Urban Art in a Material World</em>

Originally written in German and published by TectumBanksy: Urban Art in a Material World has been translated into English and is available here.

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; images 2, 4 & 5 Creative Commons & 3 captured by Lenny Collado in NYC

{ 0 comments }

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

{ 0 comments }

 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

{ 0 comments }

                     stik street art UK London Based Stik on: <em>Magpie</em>, the Sale of Street Art Pieces, the Upcoming Phillips Auction and Fundraising for the Community

London-based Stik – one of our favorite street artists — recently announced that he had signed, dated and authenticated an original street art work to be auctioned at Phillips this coming Thursday, December 8.  We spoke to him about it:

Can you tell us something about this particular piece? Where was it first painted? And when?

This piece was painted in 2009 on the former Magpie Social Centre in Bristol, England.

What was the significance of the particular space to you at the time?

Bristol was the capital of street art at the time, and Magpie had always opened their doors to me when I took the four-hour coach trip down from London. Earlier this year, Magpie contacted me and asked me to help them raise funds to relocate after they were suddenly evicted from a building where they’d been for about a decade.

stik street art bristol London Based Stik on: <em>Magpie</em>, the Sale of Street Art Pieces, the Upcoming Phillips Auction and Fundraising for the Community

Selling artwork that had once been in a public space is quite controversial. Have you any thoughts about that?

By working directly with communities in order to manage their artworks, we are trying to preserve the true social nature of street art in a creative way that benefits that community without negatively impacting the artist. All proceeds go back to the community the artworks were painted for.

Have you authenticated other works? If so, can you tell us a bit about them?

Most of my murals have a strong social meaning and that is represented by where the proceeds are allocated. There have been two others — a satellite dish and a garage door from 2012 — that raised money for local organizations in Hackney, East London. This wooden panel from the old Magpie building will help build a new Magpie Project Space to support a new generation of artists.

stik street art London1 London Based Stik on: <em>Magpie</em>, the Sale of Street Art Pieces, the Upcoming Phillips Auction and Fundraising for the Community

Whom can folks contact if they are interested in acquiring the work?

This piece is going through Phillips London who have been very generous in their support for the sale. Lot 90, New Now Sale, Phillips London 8th Dec 2016. A log of all authenticated street pieces can be seen here

Interview by Lois Stavsky; images courtesy of the artist

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 London Based Stik on: <em>Magpie</em>, the Sale of Street Art Pieces, the Upcoming Phillips Auction and Fundraising for the Community

{ 0 comments }

Pablo Machioli and Gaia street art Baltimore In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

On our recent visit to Baltimore, we revisited several older murals, discovered some newer ones and came upon some of our favorite artists at work.  Pictured above is Gaia with Pablo Machioli to his left, taking a break from working on their now-completed mural for Open Works.  Here are several more images that we captured:

Peruvian artist Daniel Cortez aka Decertor for Open Walls Baltimore

Daniel Cortez Decertor street art Baltimore In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

Baltimore-based Ernest Shaw, Jr for Open Walls Baltimore

ernest shaw jr street art baltimore In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

Baltimore-based Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn, close-up from huge mural for Open Walls Baltimore

Jessie and katey street art baltimore In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

Newark-based LNY / Layqa Nuna Yawar, close-up for Open Walls Baltimore

LNY street art Baltimore In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

Philadelphia native Betsy Casanas for Open Walls Baltimore

Betsy Casanas street art baltimore edited 1 In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

Baltimore-based Nanook for Open Walls Baltimore

nanook street art Baltimore In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

Baltimore-based Billy Mode at work

Billy Mode mural in progress In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

Baltimore-based Michael Owen, close-up 

Michael owen street art baltimore In Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

Photo credits: 1, 2 & 7 Tara Murray; 3-6, 8 & 9 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 Baltimore: Gaia & Pablo Machioli, Decertor, Ernest Shaw, Jessie & Katey, LNY, Betsy Casanas, Nanook, Billy Mode and Michael Owen

{ 0 comments }

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>

{ 0 comments }

eleven spring book cover ELBOW TOE on Eleven Spring, Wooster Collective, Street Art and more

To celebrate the launch of the new book from Wooster CollectiveELEVEN SPRING: A CELEBRATION OF STREET ART, artist ELBOW-TOE remembers the historic event and its impact on the world of street art.

I was talking to a younger artist the other day about street art that I was involved in as opposed to murals — which she considers street art — and she said, “Oh, you mean vandalism.”

How did we get here?

elbow toe 11 spring ELBOW TOE on Eleven Spring, Wooster Collective, Street Art and more

I recall the moment that I knew I wanted to be a street artist – I was at work, and one afternoon, my friend pointed me to this post on a blog I had never heard of called Wooster Collective. It was an image by an artist who had photoshopped street signs, so that they looked transparent from the correct angle. It was absolutely magical. How did it get there? Who was the artist? I had seen some street art around over the years: WK Interact when I was in school in the early 90’s and around the early 2000’s quite a bit of NECKFACE around the corner from a print shop I was using.

wk interact 11 spring ELBOW TOE on Eleven Spring, Wooster Collective, Street Art and more

As I began to explore the archives of Wooster Collective, I saw that there was in fact a community that had built up around these random acts of art that I had paid little heed beyond the internal “huh, that’s interesting.” What was truly fascinating about the work was that, aside from a moniker, the work was anonymous. In that anonymity there existed a mystery. It elevated even the most banal work, purely by the act of risk that was involved. And for the first time in over a decade in the city, it pulled me out of my tunnel vision and got me looking at the walls as spaces to be activated.

11 spring Street ELBOW TOE on Eleven Spring, Wooster Collective, Street Art and more

The Wooster Collective site was such an impeccably curated space that it got people outside of the movement to give it their attention. Having known the Schillers over those early years, I, of course, was head over heels when I was asked not only to be involved in their secret project but to be given a coveted space on the main floor. At the time I don’t think any of us realized that this exhibition would have the impact that it did.

sheard fairey at work 11 spring ELBOW TOE on Eleven Spring, Wooster Collective, Street Art and more

11 Spring was truly a transformative exhibition; it reflected the very transition that would occur wholeheartedly in this movement just by walking from the outside of the building to the inside. The exterior of the building still had the raw power of getting your work up. The work was often messy and might last only a few hours before being covered by a new piece. Contrast the organic energy of the ever-changing composition on the shell with an impeccably curated show inside the five floors of a gutted building, where all these artists were able to truly flex their technical and creative muscles without concern of the work being damaged or transformed by others.

barnstormers 11 spring ELBOW TOE on Eleven Spring, Wooster Collective, Street Art and more

It was this mercurial quality of traveling from the outside to the inside and then back out again that gave this show such power in my opinion. I am not sure that there is a direct correlation of this show to the mural program that followed, but it certainly opened a larger audience up to the possibilities of their public spaces’ potential.

I will always cherish the experience.

Judith Supine David Zucco ELBOW TOE on Eleven Spring, Wooster Collective, Street Art and more

Note: With its outstanding documentation, along with an introduction by Shepard Fairey and an afterword by JR,  ELEVEN SPRING: A CELEBRATION OF STREET ART captures an important moment in the history of the movement. Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29 — from 6:30 to 8:00 PM – Marc and Sara Schiller, along with FAILE, Lady Pink, Michael DeFeo, and WK Interact, will be at the Strand for a special signing and celebration of the book’s launch. You can buy tickets to the event here

Images 

1.  COVER, ELEVEN SPRING: A CELEBRATION OF STREET ART

2.  ELBOW-TOE  (BRIAN ADAM DOUGLAS), EVERYBODY’S GOT ONE, MADE WITH WOOD BURNER, YARN, AND PAINT. PHOTO ELBOW-TOE

3.  WK INTERACT, THE FIRST ARTIST INVITED INSIDE THE BUILDING. PHOTO JAKE DOBKIN 

4.  11 SPRING STREET, THE DAY OF THE OPENING. PHOTO JAKE DOBKIN 

5.  SHEPARD FAIREY, HARD AT WORK, MAKING IT LOOK EASY. PHOTO WOOSTER COLLECTIVE 

6.  BARNSTORMERS’ COLLABORATION WITH PAINTINGS BY Z¥$, DOZE GREEN AND KENJI HIRATA. PHOTO JAKE DOBKIN

7  JUDITH SUPINE AND DAVIDE ZUCCO (R3KAL), THERE IS HELL IN HELLO. PHOTO DONALD DIETZ 

{ 0 comments }

joe iurato  Joe Iurato Fashions His Signature Cutouts for Washington DC Tour of Red Bull Flying Bach Dancers

This past summer, Red Bull reached out to Joe Iurato — one of our favorite artists — to create his signature wooden cutouts to help support and promote the upcoming Washington DC tour dates of Red Bull Flying Bach, a new dance tour that fuses classical music, break dancing and modern dance, set to Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier.”

An interview with the artist follows:

Can you tell us something about the process of creating your distinct cutouts? 

It begins with a photograph of a central subject and a story in mind. Once I have the image I want to work with, I create my layer separations for the stencils.  I don’t use a computer program or a filter to create my layers. I just print the photo out multiple times in black and white at the exact size I want the wood cutout to be. Then, I cut my stencil layers by working directly from the unaltered photos, more or less drawing the tones loosely with a knife.  Once my stencils are cut, I make an impression of the first layer, a silhouette, on a piece of wood.

And how does the piece get cut? At what point is it ready for placement?

The piece gets cut on a scroll saw, which is good for making cuts up to 24”, as it has a thin blade and allows me to maneuver intricate cuts. The cut then gets sanded and primed. Then, I lay in my stencils – spraying them one layer at a time. When the piece is completed, I’ll varnish and seal it. Lastly, I’ll add any hardware to make it stand, float, whatever– all depending on the intended interaction. At that point, the piece is ready for placement.

Joe iurato cutout breaking Joe Iurato Fashions His Signature Cutouts for Washington DC Tour of Red Bull Flying Bach Dancers

How do you decide where it will be placed?

Sometimes I know where the completed work will be placed; other times, it’s a matter of hunting for the right location. I always install them by myself, mounting them securely. The challenge is finding a location where they will last for awhile! For this project, Red Bull is securing several locations, based on where they will work best, for 10-12 of my 16″ pieces. Three similar large scale wood cut pieces — roughly 6 feet tall — will be on display from January 6-8th at the Warner Theater for the DC performances of Red Bull Flying Bach.

How long does it generally take to create a 16 inch piece? 

It depends on the level of detail in the particular  piece and where I am in the process. If I’m going from initial concept through to final, then it usually takes me about three to four days to create the first one. But once the stencils are cut and it’s a matter of ripping wood cutouts and spraying them out, I can make duplicates within a day.

drew gurian photo of Joe Iurato Joe Iurato Fashions His Signature Cutouts for Washington DC Tour of Red Bull Flying Bach Dancers

How does creating this work for Red Bull differ from the way you generally work?

I generally work from my own imagery, but in this case, Red Bull has provided me with photographs of the Red Bull Flying Bach dancers to work with and is involved in securing locations. As I don’t know specific locations, I’ve chosen a variety of movements that could work in a range of location.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience of working with Red Bull? 

It’s been very exciting. I, myself, was once a breakdancer! And Red Bull has given me complete creative freedom — something very important to my artistic process.

joe iurato dancer Joe Iurato Fashions His Signature Cutouts for Washington DC Tour of Red Bull Flying Bach Dancers

Special thanks to Karin du Maire who met up with Joe Iurato at Red Bull Studios in Chelsea last week.

Photo credits: 1 & 4 Karin du Maire; 2 & 3 Drew Gurian, courtesy Red Bull

Note: Red Bull Flying Bach dancers will be performing in DC at the Warner Theater, January 6-8. Check out dates of all upcoming shows here

{ 0 comments }

 Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

With his delightfully unorthodox approach to both art and the streets, Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash recently brought his vision to NYC.  What follows is a glimpse into the man and his whimsically provocative work:

The completed piece pictured above — in his solo exhibit MATURA – as seen at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery 

art as trash with book Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

With Art Is Trash‘s newly published book to its right

art is trash book Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

The artist at work 

 Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

art as trash paints Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

Segments of MATAÚRA

art as trash gallery exhibit Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

art is trash gallery Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, exterior

art as trash gallery exterior Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

And the artist with noted photographer Donna Feratto

donna ferrato art as trashJPG Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash on NYC Streets and at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to November 30

The exhibit remains on view until November 3oth at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, 95 Orchard Street, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Photo credits: 1, 4 & 5 Audrey Connolly aka Bytegirl; 2, 6 – 8 Karin du Maire and 9 Lois Stavsky

{ 0 comments }

rocky184 and kerz graffiti Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

Nic 707’s InstaFame Phantom Art movement continues to bring dozens of classic writers back into NYC subway trains. Pictured above is Rocky 184 and Kerz. Here are a few more images recently captured while heading from the North Bronx to Midtown Manhattan:

Kerz

KerzNYC graffiti Art subway NYC Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

Lava

Lava graffiti subway nyc Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

Taki 183 & Easy

easy and taki 183 graffiti Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

Slave, FAB 5

slave fab5 NYC subway graffiti Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

Ree

Ree subway graffiti nyc edited 1 Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

Nic 707

nic kilroy Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

And a recent Nic 707 abstract

nic 707 abstract art Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

Quik

quik graffiti subway train nyc Riding the NYC Subway Trains With Classic Graffiti Writers: Rocky 184, Kerz, Lava, Taki 183, Easy, Slave FAB 5, Ree, Nic 707 and Quik

Photos by Lois Stavsky

{ 0 comments }