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Opening Saturday night at Spoke Art NYC is Meet Me At Delancey / Essex, featuring a diverse range of works by over 20 artists living and working in the greater NYC area. Curated by Jennifer RizzoMeet Me At Delancey / Essex is a celebration of community that brings together both emerging and established artists working in a variety of styles and genres, including many who have been active on our streets. The image above, Mars Bar RIP, was fashioned by the wonderfully talented Logan Hicks. Several more follow:

Ian Ferguson aka Hydeon, Busy Train Over the Bridge

Dennis McNett, Thunder Being

Aaron Li-Hill, The Last Flight

Swoon, Subway Windows

Among the other artists — whose works have also surfaced in public spaces — featured in this handsome exhibit are: Olek, Beau Stanton, Buff Monster and Ellis Gallagher. Meet Me At Delancey / Essex, where street, lowbrow, pop surrealism and new contemporary genres meet at Spoke Art NYC, opens with a reception this Saturday from 6-8 pm and continues through March 25th at 210 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side

Photos courtesy Spoke Art NYC

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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For the past month Brooklyn-based Sara Erenthal has set up base in Tel Aviv. What follows is a brief interview with the intensely committed multi-disciplinary artist:

What brought you to this region? 

It is where I was born, where I had left my religious upbringing and where, six years ago, I had my first art exhibition. And for the past several years, I’d wanted to return to share my art with the ex-Orthodox community and participate in the vibrant, expressive street art culture here.

Can you tell us a bit about the difference between “getting up” here and back home in Brooklyn?

There is more  freedom of expression on the streets here, and because I’m here for a limited amount of time, the experience has been far more intense.

What have been some of the highlights of this trip?

Visiting and painting in Bethlehem, my first time on the “other side,” and having the opportunity to exhibit my artwork here at the Red House Shapira in South Tel Aviv. And the amazing feature article in Haaretz by Tamar Rotem was, also, a highlight.

Can you tell us a bit your exhibit “Re-Cover” here at the Red House Shapira.  How did it happen? 

Shortly after I arrived in Tel Aviv, I visited the Red House Shapira, a unique space — housed in a historic building — known for its commitment to promoting diversity in the arts. There I met Oren Fischer who invited me to showcase an installation of new works created from found materials in the neighborhood.  My intent was to mirror the diversity of the neighborhood in a unified fashion, while giving new life to discarded matter.

What were some of the challenges you faced in making this happen?

The major challenge was the short period of time I had in pulling it all together. Both Tamar Rotem and Max Streetwalker offered me assistance in the logistics of collecting the varied materials and bringing them over to the studio. I am so grateful to them for their help. And, of course, I could not have accomplished this without the studio space that the Red House Shapira provided.

Congratulations! I look forward to seeing your work in similar installations in other cities, including, perhaps, NYC!

Note: “Re-Cover” can still be seen tomorrow, Sunday, from 11:00 to 17:00; Monday 12:00 to 19:00 and Tuesday 10:00 to 19:00 at the Red House Shapira, Israel MiSalant 39 in Shapira, Tel Aviv.

Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky

Photo credits: 1 & 2 Lois Stavsky; 3 Yonatan Ruttenberg and 4-6 Sara Erenthal

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Located just steps away from Israel’s controversial “Separation Wall,”  Banksy‘s Walled Off Hotel claims to offer the “worst view of any hotel in the world.”  That may well be, as the mammoth wall, even when covered with art, remains ugly and a sore reminder of the imbalance of power in the region.  But the hotel’s interior is a visual delight. Splendidly curated, it is also a fascinating foray into the roots of this 100-year, seemingly endless, conflict.

What follows  are several images captured from the hotel’s meticulously maintained lobby — or piano bar :

A variation of Banksy‘s iconic flower thrower

Banksy‘s take on the Biblical verse, “The lion shall lie down with the lamb”

A statue warding off tear gas

The following documentation of the struggle is among the exhibits on view off the lobby

And alongside the hotel, a friendly Wall-Mart, where graffiti supplies, stencils and a motley array of items can be purchased:

Curious as to what local residents think about it all, I spoke to 30-year old Naji, who grew up in a nearby refugee camp. He had the following to say: When Banksy first came here over ten years ago, I welcomed him  Some people here didn’t. They felt any attempt to “beautify” the wall trivializes its impact on our lives. Tourists come and go, but we have to look at it forever. But I, myself, feel grateful to Banksy, because he has brought attention to our cause. When people visit the wall to photograph it, they see how high it is, and they can get a sense of what our lives are like living under martial law. And my advice to the artists who come to paint here is: Get to know us first. You need to connect to us, as we feel disconnected from you. As far as The Walled Off Hotel, I’m of two minds. On one hand, it doesn’t represent my culture. But I like that it attracts visitors from all over the world and and that Banksy continues to employ many Palestinians.

The museum and art gallery are open to non-residents every day from 11am – 7:30pm.

Note: The second floor of The Walled Off Hotel is home to a gorgeous exhibit, curated by Dr.Housni Alkhateeb Shehada. of works in a range of media and styles fashioned by contemporary  Palestinian artists.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Since its launch in 2008, 17 Frost has emerged as one of NYC’s most intriguing and innovative creative spaces. Warm and welcoming, it is intent in its mission to“provide the best platform possible to showcase the talents of artists worldwide.” And during this past year of extensive renovations, it has continued to host its weekly Family Night, where artists meet to fashion individually and collaboratively a wondrous range of sticker art.

Pictured above are: Love from NYCJason Mamarella aka dwkrsna, Alex Itin, Sara Erenthal and 17 Frost Creative Director Javier Hernandez-Miyares. What follows are several more images captured at 17 Frost’s informal Family Night.

Jason Mamarella aka dwkrsna and Alex Itin

Sara Erenthal and Javier Hernandez-Miyares

Javier Hernandez-Miyares

Love from NYC and  Alex Itinwith Lenny Collado aka BK Lenny checking it all out

Alex Itin and Javier Hernandez-Miyares collaborate

Poster BoyJavier Hernandez-Miyares, Dummy Tree, Arek Jungle, Net, Ninja Status & more

A random finding in the huge space — soon to reopen

Note: 17 Frost is planning a grand reopening exhibition  — curated by Ellis Gallagher — in late February. Information will follow.

Photo credits: 1-5 Lois Stavsky; 6 & 7 Javier Hernandez-Miyares and 8 Lenny Collado 

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Maya Gelfman & Roie Avidan have been working in public spaces, museums and galleries for more than a decade. Maya’s works have been featured in international art books in Germany and France, and in 2015 Paper Magazine named Maya among the top ten street artists in Israel. Roie has produced documentaries and music videos and published photographs in dozens of newspapers and magazines, print and online. Their collaborative worldwide public-art project Mind the Heart! is entering its tenth year. This past fall, their project brought them to New York City, where I had a chance to meet up with the inspiring, talented couple.

Can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds?

Maya: I’ve always been doing art. I graduated from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in 2006. My main mediums are installation, painting and street art.

Roie: I am self-taught. I’ve been engaged with visual art for the past 14 years, and nine years ago, I began doing art on the streets. Our work is collaborative, as I generally choose the materials, the concept and the location.

What about your current project Mind the Heart!? What is its mission?

Its principal aim is to promote mindfulness – to ourselves, to our surroundings and to the moment. Many of us – especially those of us who live in the same place for a long time — no longer see the beauty and tend to ignore the ugliness. Too often we become disconnected from one another and miss out on the present.

A little red heart has been surfacing in cities you’ve visited. What does it represent?

This tangled red heart – crooked and messy with dripping ends — is the core of our project. We began by using it on the streets of Tel Aviv to mark the beauty in decay and neglect, the order in chaos, the magic in the ordinary, the soul in things. We’ve since handed out thousands of red yarn hearts along with a simple mission: to go and put it out there, to mark your own spots of significance and share them with the world.

Why did you both choose to use the streets as your principal gallery?

We had both shown in galleries, and we wanted to exhibit in a different way. In 2009, we printed hundreds of posters and placed them on the streets. Within 12 hours, everything was gone. We immediately fell in love with the connection we made with those who viewed our art. We love that street art is completely free.

You are now visiting cities throughout the US. Which cities have you previously visited to share your artwork and to engage people in your project?

We’ve visited various cities throughout Israel. Among the 40 cities we’ve collaborated in are: Florence, London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Bangkok. We were also invited to orphanages in Kenya and Uganda.

What is the riskiest thing you’ve ever done in the course of executing your project? And why were you willing to take that risk?

Standing on a wobbly 15 foot ladder at a hotel in Florence. The ladder could have fallen at any moment. There was no sense of security. Why did we do it? We just didn’t think about it. It was something that we had to do…something that we needed to do at this time and place.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic, particularly this project?

The culture of the American Beat Generation; the notion of “the open road,” and its sense of freedom; Japanese motifs; texts inspired by Taoism; major Russian literature; rock & roll; Kurt Cobain and Leonard Cohen.

What inspires you these days?

Anything and everything!

Have you ever been arrested for your public work?

When we are caught in the act, it becomes a conversation.

What is the attitude of your families and friends towards what you are doing?

They are supportive.

What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

100%

In addition to your tangled red heart, what other media do you use in Mind the Heart!

We use yarn, shoe-box lids, duct-tape and foam.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished product?

The vast majority of the time.

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

To evoke an emotion…to make someone feel something…to invite people to reflect…to make them mindful.

And how can folks become involved in your project?

They can contact us with ideas for places, people, collaborations, events, murals, and any creative or serendipitous idea they may have.

Locations of  featured images:

1 Bushwick, Brooklyn

2 East Village, Manhattan

3 & 4 Decatur, Georgia

5 Tel Aviv, Israel

6 Jekyll Island, Georgia

7 Easton, Pennsylvania 

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky.

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2-7 courtesy Maya Gelfman & Roie Avidan.

Note: You can follow the Mind the Heart! project here and on its Instagram account here; you can, also, support the project here.

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My latest adventures with Nic 707‘s famed InstaFame Phantom Art project had me riding the 1 train from the Bronx to the Financial District with several NYC graffiti veterans, along with some newer talents. Pictured above is an image of Salvador Dali fashioned by veteran writer Gear One. Several more images captured on this ride follow:

The legendary Taki 183 in collaboration with Nic 707

Brazilian artist Micheline Gil and Nic 707

Canadian artist Stavro and the renowned Easy

Legendary writers Al Diaz and Taki 183

Bronx graffiti veteran Tony 164

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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Among the most intriguing walls in Manhattan’s Chelsea are those on 28th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Fashioned by members of the FIT community, they can be viewed 24/7. The alligator pictured above was painted by FIT Illustration Professor Dan Shefelman and the mysterious character to its right by Victor A. Saint-Hilaire. Here are several more images captured this past week on that block:

 Charles George Esperanza and Victor A. Saint-Hilaire

Aesopslucy

Yuchen Zhao, close-up

Avocadot and Victoria White

Sandrine KT StLouis aka Lady Brown

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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Featuring a selection of large scale drawings and ninety six playing cards, Michael Alan‘s newest exhibition Mind Body Sound opens this evening, December 6, at KHORASHEH + GRUNERT,  524 West 19th Street in Chelsea.  What follows are several more of Michael’s seductively poetic images to be exhibited:

Kindred Spirit the Floating Princess, Watercolor, marker, pencil, acrylic, airbrush, gouache, paint marker on paper, 36″x48″

Sit and Sing, White ink on red paper, 30″x40″

Royal Petite, Mixed media on baseball card

Purple Nurple Grace, Mixed media on baseball card

In conjunction with the exhibit, the artist’s iconic Living Installation will take place in the center of the gallery as Michael Alan and Jadda Cat will create a four-hour HUG human sculpture using their bodies, props, fabrics, sounds and emotions. The Living Installation is by admission only this coming Saturday from 8pm-12pm.

People are welcome to come gather, watch, photograph, make art, become one! For tickets, visit here.

Images courtesy of the artist

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Representing a diverse range of styles and sensibilities, several new murals have surfaced at First Street Green Art Park on the corner of Houston & 2nd Avenue.  The image pictured above was painted by Bangkok native Gongkan. What follows are several more:

NYC-based Sean Slaney and Angry Red

NYC-based Ryan Consbruck aka Special Robot Dog

Queens-based Brittany

Alexandra Evans (L) and Poem One (R)

Will Power at work on LOVE YOUR SELFie

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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As alluring as the artist herself, Lady K Fever’s workspace is an oasis of feverish creativity. Featured above is a selection of Lady K Fever’s handbags from her line of newly crafted accessories. What follows are several more images I captured while visiting her Bedford Park studio space last week:

Spray-painted spray cans

Be Boy, Be Ready

Feverish, logo for Lady K Fever’s accessories

In the Key of F Minor, Close-up

And Lady K Fever modeling her bag and new line of street wear

A selection of Lady K Fever‘s new line of accessories and handbags can be purchased at the Bronx Museum of the Arts‘ gift shop and at the upcoming Bronx Museum Artisan Market on Saturday, December 9th. You can check out Lady K Fever‘s Etsy shop here.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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