Public Art Projects

Andrew-Frank-and-Fountain-House-mural-art

Run by the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, the New York City Mural Arts Project has brought two murals to the Bronx and one to Manhattan this past year.

“Art has the ability to profoundly change the way we think, feel, and even spark meaningful conversation to begin to break down the strongholds of isolation and stigma,” said First Lady Charlene McCray.”The Mural Arts Project is an important investment…in improving our city’s mental health infrastructure.”

Earlier this year, lead artist Andrew Frank Baer began collaborating with Fountain House Gallery and members of the Hell’s Kitchen community in designing and painting a huge two-segment mural. Many of the Mural Arts Project’s participants struggle with mental illness and/or substance abuse problems.The impressive artwork they created has since found a home on West 34th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. After visiting the site, I spoke to Andrew Frank Baer.

I love the the collaborative nature of this project.  How would you describe the principal mission of the New York City Mural Arts Project?

Its principal aim is to integrate people with mental health issues into the community and to destigmatize mental illness.

outsider-art-mental-health-mural-close-up

Could you tell us something about the process? Its beginnings?

Yes! The Fountain House Gallery hosted workshops where its members actively designed and sketched the artworks. And as the local community is involved in all stages of the process, there is constant interaction among us all.

andrew-frank-baer-with-Hells-Kitchen-community-mural-art-nyc

What is it about the project that engages you?

I’ve worked with similar mural-making projects for a few years now. I love drawing, and I love listening. And I especially love working with others and serving people with mental health issues.

What were some of the challenges that this project has faced?

Deciding on a design that would work — one that people would respond to. And, then, getting to know everyone on a sincere level.

The site of the two mural segments is ideal. The two wide, highly visible spaces couldn’t be more perfect! And I think we can all relate to its message: Some days I have to push myself to go outside and walk to the park. Say hello! We can embrace ourselves and open doors together. How has the community responded to it all? 

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We even had construction workers enthusiastically coming up to us while we were working on site!

Congratulations! I’m looking forward to future collaborations!

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited 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.

en-play-badge 2

{ 0 comments }

werc-and-gera-luz-paint-jersey-city

A strikingly beautiful mural has surfaced across the street from the Jersey City Municipal Court. Spearheaded by the Jersey City Mural Arts Program, it is the work of the incomparable duo, Werc and Gera Luz. Contemplating the theme of justice, it features Maat, the Egyptian Goddess of Justice. Pictured above are the two artists at work. What follows are additional photos — all captured on site by street and travel photographer Karin du Maire.

Gera Luz, posing beneath Maat — the Egyptian Goddess of Justice — whom she remarkably resembles!

Gera-Luz-poses-at-mural

An admirer with a gift for Gera Luz

passerby-gifts-gera-luz

Close-up featuring the weighing of the heart with a feather — that determined the fate of the departed soul

Werc-and-Gera-Luz-mural, close-up-jersey-city

Werc and Gera Luz pose in front of their completed mural

werc-and-gera-luz-completed-mural-Jersey-City

Special thanks to Karin du Maire for capturing and sharing these images.

{ 0 comments }

guache-praxis-irving-ramo-street-art-bushwick-nyc

Four new murals — all fashioned by South American artists — have found a home on Harman Street off Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Curated by Spread Art NYC, each is distinctly intriguing. The wall segment pictured above features Colombian artists Guache and Praxis and Ecuadorian artist Irving Ramó. Several more photos captured at this space follow:

Guache at work

guanche-paints-street-art-bushwick-nyc

Praxis gets some assistance

Praxis-stencil-art-bushwick-nyc

A close-up from Irving Ramó‘s completed mural

Irving-Ramo-mural-art-bushwick-nyc

And the most recent addition to the wall — painted by  by Brazilian artist Raul Zito

raul-zito-street-art-bushwick-nyc

Photo credits: 1-3  Karin du Maire; 4 & 5 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.

en-play-badge 2

{ 0 comments }

Senkoe-street-art-mural-Festival-Inspire-Canada

The third edition of Festival Inspire — held earlier this month in Moncton, New Brunswick — has brought 13 wondrous new murals to the Canadian city’s urban landscape. Greater Moncton is now home to 31 strikingly beautiful murals by international and local artists. The artwork pictured above was painted by Mexican artist Senkoe. What follows are several recent murals:

UK-based Wasp Elder

Wasp-elder-street-art-mural-Festival-Inspire-Canada

Portuguese artist Bordalo II

Bordallo-II-street-art-mural-Inspire-Festival-Canada

Toronto-based Jerry Rugg aka Birdo

Jerry-Rugg-Birdo-street-art-mural-Festival-Inspire-Canada

Athens-based WD

W-D-street-art-mural-Festival-Inspire-Canada

French artist Etien

Etien-street-art-mural-Inspire-Festival-Canada

Mexican artist Eva Bracamontes

Eva-Bracamontes-street-art-mural-Festival-Inspire-Canada

All photos courtesy Festival Inspire: 1 -6 Louis Philippe Chiasson; 7 Edward deo Dingle

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.

en-play-badge 2

{ 0 comments }

alexis-Diaz-street-art-mural-nolita-nyc

The masterful Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz returned to NYC earlier this month, where he completed his mural for Coney Art Walls and fashioned a new one in Nolita. Featured above is his wondrous new work  — painted with the assistance of Esagente — at rag & bone on Elizabeth Street. What follows are several more images of the work in progress and the completed mural:

In the beginning

alexis-diaz-begins-painting-mural

Both artists continue painting on one of the hottest days of the year–

Alexis-Diaz-paints-mural-NYC

Alexis Diaz takes a brief break; Esagente paints 

alexis-diaz-with-reflection

Alexis Diaz photographs the final piece

alexis-diaz-and-street-art-mural-nyc

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 3 Tara Murray; 4 & 5 Karin du Maire

{ 0 comments }

jerry-rugg-mural-art

Fashioned by the hugely talented Jerry Rugg aka Bird0, a delightful range of brightly-hued, surrealistic geometric creatures have made their way onto Toronto’s visual landscape.  We were delighted to meet the artist while visiting Toronto and have the chance to interview him.

When and where did you first get up?

It was in 2002 in Toronto with a wretched, shitty, embarrassing tag.

What inspired you at the time?

The 90’s freight graffiti that I saw on the Canadian Prairies.

Do any early graffiti-related memories stand out?

Discovering that someone in my local town — Rove CBS — was a great graffiti artist and watching him paint.

Have you painted with any crews?

Six years of mayhem with the DMC crew!

jerry-rugg-street-art-skate-park

These days, would you rather work legally or illegally?

 I’d rather not be in handcuffs!

What is the riskiest thing you ever did?

Quit my day job.

What are your preferred surfaces?

I like painting outdoors – the bigger the surface the better.

Have you any thoughts regarding street artists’ engagement with the corporate world?

We have to pay our bills and we have to sleep at night. I guess it’s up to the individual to strike a balance.

jerry-rugg-birdo-geometric-street-art

What about exhibits? Have you shown your work in formal settings?

Yes. I’ve participated in quite a few group shows.

Would you rather paint alone or collaborate with others?

I’m a lone wolf. But I like the concept of collaborating and I like interacting with others. It’s part of our evolution as artists.

Any thoughts about the graffiti/street art divide?

There is friction; they’re different mentalities painting the same surfaces. I’ve always believed that you gotta give respect to get respect.

What percentage of your time is devoted to art these days?

All if it!

Jerry-rugg-birdo-installation

Do you work with a sketch in hand or do you let it flow?

I always have a sketch. I’m very strategic.

Have you a formal art education?

The graffiti culture has been my teacher.

Are there any particular cultures – besides the graffiti culture – that have influenced your aesthetic?

Not any specific cultures  — but movements, like Surrealism and artists like Escher and Dali.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished work?

People who know me best would likely say I’m rarely satisfied with anything.

Jerry-rugg-birdo-steet-art

How has your work evolved through the years?

My style is similar, but my technique has evolved, particularly the way I work with shapes.

How do you feel about the photographers and bloggers in this scene?

I love it!  We artists are in the business of exposure.

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

Artists are independent thinkers.  Our role is to mix things up.  Artists should challenge, disrupt, or beautify.

 What’s ahead?

Traveling, painting, drinking tea. Repeat.

Sounds good! We hope you make it to NYC soon!

Photo credits: 1, 3-5 courtesy the artist; 2 Lois Stavsky; interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

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.

en-play-badge 2

{ 0 comments }

dorothy-gale- and-Zerk-oer-mural-art-nyc

A range of artworks and writings — by members of the Harlem Art Collective aka HART and the East Harlem community — on the theme No Rezoning, No Displacement, No Gentrification have made their way onto the Guerrilla Gallery on East 116th Street. The image pictured above — painted by Kristy McCarthy aka DGale and Zerk Oer — features a color-coded map with median prices of real estate sales and incomes of East Harlem residents, illustrating how increasingly difficult it is for working-class folks to afford to live in their own community. Several more images follow:

The following two images — featuring actual people who live in the neighborhood, including the homeless man who sleeps in front of the Guerrilla Gallery every night and the woman who sells tamales on the corner — were painted collaboratively by Rosi Mendoza, Maire Mendoza, Marisa Steffers, Harold Baines, Samuelson Mathew, O’Sheena Smith, Michael Mitchell, Amar Bennett, Shani Evans, Anni Merejo, Ralph Serrano, and Nathan Zeiden. The “Derecho A Techo” and “El Barrio No Se Vende” (further down below) signs were fashioned by Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification.

serrano-street-art-east-harlem

The Trojan Horse — centerpiece of project

street-art-east-harlem

 Earlier on — Ralph Serrano at work

ralph-serrano-paints

Kristy McCarthy aka DGale prepares wall for public comments —

kristy-mccartney-east-harlem

The community contributes: a poem by the Poets of Course from Urban Innovations, assorted artwork, an article about the cost of keeping one person in prison for one year ($60,000 +), prints of paintings depicting the arrivals of Christopher Colombus and Hernán Cortéz and other depictions of colonizers “discovering” new lands.

East-Harlem-street-art-protest

 Adam Bomb with an announcement

adam-bomb-grafiti-nyc

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.

en-play-badge 2

{ 0 comments }

patch-whiskey-at-work-atlanta

OuterSpace, an event series that merges public art, live music, design, action sports and culture, has recently added 18 new visually intriguing murals to Atlanta, Georgia’s visual landscape. Pictured above is Charleston, South Carolina-based artist Patch Whisky at work. Here are several more images — some of completed murals, and others while still in progress.

Austrian artist Nychos at work

nychos-paints

 Atlanta-based artist Greg MikeOuterSpace founder

GREG-MIKE-Photoby-Corey-Weimer

Atlanta-based Yoyo Ferro

YOYO-FERRO-Photo-by-Kristin-Ferro

Spanish artist Sabek

SABEK-Photo-by-Elliot-Alcalde

Buenos Aires-based Nase Pop at work

nase-pop

Atlanta-based Dr Dax

DR.DAX_Photo-by-DV-Photo

All photos courtesy OuterSpace: DV Photography; 3 Corey Weimer; 4 Kristin Ferro & 5 Elliot Alcalde 

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.

en-play-badge 2

{ 0 comments }

This is the twelfth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that have surfaced on NYC public spaces:

Brooklyn-based Jeff Henriquez at the Bushwick Collective

jeff-henriquez-street-art-bushwick

Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks collaboration at the Bushwick Collective

joe-iurato-logan-hicks-street-art-nyc

BK Foxx with JMZ Walls in Bushwick

BXFoxx-JMZ-Walls-Bushwick-street-art-nyc

Brazilian artist Sipros in Bushwick with the Bushwick Collective

sipros-street-art-nycjpg

The nomadic Joel Artista in collaboration with youth in Bellerose, Queens

German artist Case Maclaim, — new for Monument Art in East Harlem

case-maclaim-harlem-streeet-art

Close-up

case-maclaim-street-art-close-up-nycjpg

Photo credits: 1, 2 & 7 Lois Stavsky; 3 & 5 Tara Murray; 4 & 6 Karin du Maire

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.

en-play-badge 2

{ 0 comments }

vanessa-rosa-stencil-art-brooklyn-NYC

I first encountered Vanessa Rosa’s mesmerizing aesthetic several months back in Lisbon, Portugal.  I was delighted to have the opportunity to then meet up with the wonderfully talented Brazilian visual artist and art historian here in New York City. 

When and where did you first hit up a public space?

Back in 2009 in a favela in Rio.

What inspired you at the time?

I’d always been interested in street art. I love the way it is accessible to everyone – not just to people who visit museums.  Most of my schoolmates back in Rio had never entered a museum or a gallery. But they were very ecxited to see the rise of street painting in Rio.

Have you any preferred surfaces?

I like adapting to different spaces. I’ve painted on a variety of surfaces from doors to boats.

Do you tend to paint alone or collaborate with other artists?

I almost always paint alone; I’m not much into groups. But I’m open to working with others. Collaborating allows us to learn from one another.

vanessa-rosa-stenil-art-in-NYC

What was the riskiest thing you’ve done?

Painting in precarious places – places without staircases, or just terribly bad improvised ladders.

Have you any thoughts about the graffiti/street art divide?

It used to be largely blurred in Rio, but that’s changing now. It’s very important to respect tagging. However, when we’re working with a community that does not like tagging, confusions and conflicts can arise. Confusion also arises between street artists and graffiti writers when we don’t know who really owns a particular wall — legally or symbolically.

Do you have a formal art education?

I studied Art in Rio, did an exchange in Paris and had the opportunity to take classes through fellowships in programs in NYC, as well.

Has your formal education been worthwhile?

I feel that it has positively affected the way I deal with colors, history and concepts.

What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

Everything I do is connected to art, including the academic research and publishing business that I do.

How do you feel about the engagement of the corporate world with street artists?

I’m most comfortable working with NGO’s. I will only collaborate with a corporate entity that adapts to my beliefs.

Have you shown your work in galleries?

I’ve exhibited in Brazil, Berlin, Paris, Basel and NYC. Now it’s changing, but many of the exhibits I’ve done were in very alternative places, like buildings occupied by artists or who knows what!

Do you work with a sketch in hand or do you let it flow?

It varies; often I don’t work from a sketch. Or I start with a sketch and then it becomes something else.

Vanessa-rosa-street-art-lisbon-portugal

Are you generally satisfied with your finished work?

I usually am. But sometimes it takes me awhile. When I just finish it, often I think it should be better. But then I realize it’s fine; it’s just different from what I had in mind. I’m often megalomaniac and I want to do too much — like too complicated, too many details, even bigger, more conceptually innovative from the previous works, or who knows what! At some point I end up accepting my limitations.

How has your work evolved through the years?

As I get deeper and deeper into research, my work continues to evolve reflecting a multiplicity of cultures. Personally, I’m the result of a very mixed cultural background, and my love for history and travel makes me always want to expand my worldview. Curiosity is essential, curiosity and affection, being interested in things and wanting to learn with them is a way of loving life.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

Portuguese, Islamic, West African and Central European.

What inspires your work these days?

Transcultural exchange throughout history. What I’m studying now is a mix of Art History, History of Science and Post Colonialist Theory.

vanessa-rosa-street-art-brazil

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

It is essential to the phenomenon of public art. The Internet is essentially a public space. And it definitely makes it much easier to travel around and know people.

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

I feel that the artist has an ethical responsibility to help others become more humane. Or just to show people how interesting the world is. Or how it could be.

Note: Vanessa Rosa has begun a new huge work at the entrance of Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street, in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Images:

1-3 Imaginary Tiles Project, Brooklyn Brush, Bushwick, 2017

Blue Wall Project, close-up, Lisbon, 2015 

Rio de Janeiro, 2016 

Photos: 1-4, Lois Stavsky; 5 courtesy of the artist

{ 0 comments }