Street Artists

Queens native Cern began writing graffiti in the early 90′s.  His artworks — characterized by luscious colors, swooping shapes and imaginative characters — have, since, made their way into public spaces, alternative venues, festivals, galleries and museums throughout the globe. We recently met up with him in Long Island City where his current exhibit, Vertical Archipelago, remains on view through the end of this month.

cern art on canvas Speaking with NYC Based Artist Cern aka Cernesto

When did you first get up? And where?

Back in 1990 in Queens. I was 12 at the time.

What inspired you to do so?

Everyone around me was doing it!

Are there any early memories that stand out?

I remember riding the train with my mom, looking out the window and thinking, “Wow! This is amazing!”  She said, “This is bad!”

cern abstract face Speaking with NYC Based Artist Cern aka Cernesto

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

Way too much!

Any thoughts on the graffiti/ street art divide?

Everyone seems to be having a good time!

Your current exhibit Visual Archipelago is beautiful, and it encompasses an incredibly wide range of artworks. How do you feel about the movement of graffiti and street art into galleries?

It’s nothing new. It’s been going on for 40 years. It’s a normal progression. And I like the way art looks everywhere.

cern surreal Speaking with NYC Based Artist Cern aka Cernesto

What about the corporate world? How do you feel about the relationship between street artists and the corporate world?

I have no problem with an artist getting paid to promote a cool product. I, myself, like working with small, independent businesses.

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with others?

I like both.

What is the riskiest thing you’ve ever done on the streets?

I just finished painting six stories high on Canal Street throughout the night!

cern multiple faces  Speaking with NYC Based Artist Cern aka Cernesto

How you feel about the role of the Internet in this scene?

It’s cool! It provides us all with yet another medium.

Do you have a formal arts education?

I have a degree in Studio Art from Queens College, but I never really used it. It did teach me, though, how to deal with bureaucracy.

What inspires your art these days?

Memories, discoveries, nature, animals and urban life. And, of course, all my travels have been a source of inspiration.

cern surreal birds Speaking with NYC Based Artist Cern aka Cernesto

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

I sometimes work from loose sketches.

Are you generally satisfied with your work?

Usually.

How has your work evolved in the past few years?

It’s more experimental, and I tend to work with a range of mixed media including spray paint, watercolor, graphite and ink.

cern with art work at exhibit Speaking with NYC Based Artist Cern aka Cernesto

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

To heighten people’s visual awareness.

What do you see as the future of street art and graffiti? Where is it all going?

Styles seem to be evolving more quickly. And the marketing of the art has become increasingly important, almost as important as the art, itself.

And what about you? What’s ahead?

I want to continue in my own development as a person and as an artist.

Note: All of the above images were captured on our visit to Vertical ArchipelagoCern’s current exhibit at 26-19 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.

Interview by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray.

Photos: 1, 2, 3 & 5 Tara Murray; 4 & 6 Lois Stavsky

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eder muniz and meal street art graffiti ithaca Street Art and Graffiti in Ithaca, New York: Eder Muniz, Meal, Alice Pasquini, Desi Mundo, Roti, Bates and more

On our recent stopover in Ithaca, New York, we were delighted to discover the rich and varied street art and graffiti — by local, national and international artists — that have found a home there.  Here is a small sampling:

Italian artist Alice Pasquini, close-up

alice pasquini close up street art Ithaca NY Street Art and Graffiti in Ithaca, New York: Eder Muniz, Meal, Alice Pasquini, Desi Mundo, Roti, Bates and more

Brazilian artist Eder Muniz

eder muniz street art character ithaca NY Street Art and Graffiti in Ithaca, New York: Eder Muniz, Meal, Alice Pasquini, Desi Mundo, Roti, Bates and more

Peruvian artist/activist Paloma Abregu Arroyo and Ithaca-based Caleb R Thomas, close-up

Paloma Abregu Arroyo and Caleb R Thomas street art Ithaca Street Art and Graffiti in Ithaca, New York: Eder Muniz, Meal, Alice Pasquini, Desi Mundo, Roti, Bates and more

Oakland-based artist Desi Mundo

desi street art ithaca ny Street Art and Graffiti in Ithaca, New York: Eder Muniz, Meal, Alice Pasquini, Desi Mundo, Roti, Bates and more

French artist Roti

roti street art ithaca new york Street Art and Graffiti in Ithaca, New York: Eder Muniz, Meal, Alice Pasquini, Desi Mundo, Roti, Bates and more

The legendary Copenhagen-based graffiti writer Bates

bates graffiti ithaca new york1 Street Art and Graffiti in Ithaca, New York: Eder Muniz, Meal, Alice Pasquini, Desi Mundo, Roti, Bates and more

Ithaca-based Meal

meal graffiti street art ithaca new york Street Art and Graffiti in Ithaca, New York: Eder Muniz, Meal, Alice Pasquini, Desi Mundo, Roti, Bates and more

 First image is a collaboration between Eder Muniz and Meal 

Special thanks to Meal for introducing us to Ithaca’s rich public art and to Fresh Paint NYC for connecting us.

Photos: 1, 2, 5, 6 & 8 Lois Stavsky; 3, 4 & 7

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Ramiro Davaro centrefuge public art project Speaking with Argentine/American Artist Ramiro Davaro

With influences ranging from comic book art to South American/European muralism, Brooklyn-based Ramiro Davaro has created a wondrous world of fantastical characters who have made their way onto public and private spaces throughout NYC and beyond. We recently had the opportunity to visit Ramiro’s studio and speak to him.

When did you first paint on a public surface and where?

It was back in high school around 2002. I was about 16 at the time. I painted some mushrooms on a huge rock at a park we used to go hiking in.  It was the worst. I basically ruined a nice lookout.

What inspired you to do so?

I was getting tired of painting on small surfaces. I wanted a larger canvas so I could paint way bigger! But what I painted was so dumb that it took a few years before I was ready to try again.  My first real art on the street was in 2007 in Buenos Aires.

ramiro Davaro little havana street art Speaking with Argentine/American Artist Ramiro Davaro

Do any early graffiti/street art-related memories stand out?

I remember seeing lots of political art – with faces of politicians and names of soccer teams — on the streets of Argentina when I was a young child.

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

About 70%. When I’m not doing something art-related, I’m skateboarding.

How does your family feel about what you are doing?

Everyone likes my work and has been very supportive.

ramiro davaro studio art Speaking with Argentine/American Artist Ramiro Davaro

Any thoughts on the graffiti/ street art divide?

I don’t feel it, and I don’t think about it. I love both, and they’re both necessary.

How do you feel about the movement of graffiti and street art into galleries?  We’ve seen your work at Cotton Candy Machine in Williamsburg and you are now showing with Brandon Sines at Grumpy Bert in Downtown Brooklyn.

I think it’s good for everyone!

What about the corporate world? Any feelings about that?

So long as I can dominate the conversation and be true to my vision, I don’t have a problem with it.

ramiro davaro street art Speaking with Argentine/American Artist Ramiro Davaro

How you feel about the role of the Internet in this scene?

It’s a bit much! It can be insane. But on the positive side, it creates opportunities for artists, and it also builds bridges.

Do you have a formal arts education?

No. I majored in Business. But my mom used to always take me to art museums. While growing up in Massachusetts, I got my very early schooling at the Worcester Art Museum.

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

I mostly just let it flow.

ramiro davaro art on paper Speaking with Argentine/American Artist Ramiro Davaro

Are you generally satisfied with your work?

About 80% of the time!

How has your work evolved in the past few years?

Before moving to Brooklyn, I had been able to visit and live in different countries. As a result of my experiences, my process has become more mature, more thought-out, and tighter. Working with different companies, painting murals in a range of places and engaging in various projects have also helped me become more flexible and fluid in the work I can produce. In these past couple of years, my hand has really taken over and put a definitive mark on the work I produce.

Are there any artists out there whose works have inspired you or influenced your particular aesthetic?

I remember reading about David Ellis and the Barnstormers crew in Juxtapoz back in 2008.  That blew me away!  As far as influences — Os Gemeos, D*Face and Word to Mother come to mind.

sines davaro Speaking with Argentine/American Artist Ramiro Davaro

What’s ahead?

More shows and more murals! A group show in LA at Luz de Jesus Gallery in September; a few animations with FlipBooKit for the Maker Faire here in NYC in at the end of September; painting at Art Basel in December; a group exhibit at Redefine Gallery in Orlando in February. Books, walls, Aruba, Argentina and more art!

It sounds great! Good luck with it all!

Note: Through Sunday, you can check out Ramiro’s works — many in collaboration with Brandon Sines – at Grumpy Bert in Downtown Brooklyn.

Photos: 1, 5 Tara Murray; 2 – 4 Lois Stavsky

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cern street art mural art battles east village nyc Cernesto and El Niño de Las Pinturas Go Big in Downtown Manhattan

Within the last month ArtBattles local champion, Cernesto, and European ArtBattles champ, El Niño de Las Pinturas, have painted — to our delight – huge murals in the East Village and in Soho.

Cern‘s completed mural in the East Village

cern cernesto mural east village nyc Cernesto and El Niño de Las Pinturas Go Big in Downtown Manhattan

El Niño de Las Pinturas, completed mural in the East Village

el nino completed mural east village NYC Cernesto and El Niño de Las Pinturas Go Big in Downtown Manhattan

El Niño de Las Pinturas, close-up in the East Village

el nino Art Battles NYC Cernesto and El Niño de Las Pinturas Go Big in Downtown Manhattan

Cern in Soho

cern mural street art nyc Cernesto and El Niño de Las Pinturas Go Big in Downtown Manhattan

El Niño de Las Pinturas in Soho

el nino street art nyc edited 1 Cernesto and El Niño de Las Pinturas Go Big in Downtown Manhattan

 Photos: 1-3 & 5-6 Tara Murray; 4 Lois Stavsky

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Committed to healing and transforming communities by beautifying the urban landscape, Wall\Therapy has brought dozens of magical murals to Rochester, New York. Here are a few we discovered on our brief stopover last week:

Montreal-based Omen

Omen514 street art Rochester New York Rochesters Magical Murals: Omen, Peeta, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Know Hope, Mr. Prvrt, Sam Rodriguez and Binho

Italian artist Peeta

Peeta graffiti Rochester NY Rochesters Magical Murals: Omen, Peeta, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Know Hope, Mr. Prvrt, Sam Rodriguez and Binho

West Coast-based Troy Lovegates aka Other

Troy Lovegates aka other street art Rochester New York Rochesters Magical Murals: Omen, Peeta, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Know Hope, Mr. Prvrt, Sam Rodriguez and Binho

Tel Aviv-based Know Hope

know hope street art rochester new yori Rochesters Magical Murals: Omen, Peeta, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Know Hope, Mr. Prvrt, Sam Rodriguez and Binho

Rochester’s own Mr Prvrt

Mr Prvrt mural street art rochester ny  Rochesters Magical Murals: Omen, Peeta, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Know Hope, Mr. Prvrt, Sam Rodriguez and Binho

West Coast-based Sam Rodriguez

sam rodriguez street art New York Rochesters Magical Murals: Omen, Peeta, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Know Hope, Mr. Prvrt, Sam Rodriguez and Binho

Brazilian artist Binho

Binho street art rochester NY Rochesters Magical Murals: Omen, Peeta, Troy Lovegates aka Other, Know Hope, Mr. Prvrt, Sam Rodriguez and Binho

And kicking off this Friday, July 17, is WALL\THERAPY 2015 featuring an extraordinary array of artists including NYC-based Li-Hill, Vexta and Daze. 

Photos: 1,2, 4-6 Lois Stavsky; 3 & 7  Sara C Mozeson

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Mr Prvrt Roa subway tunnel Rochester Inside the Rochester Subway Tunnel with: Roa, Mr Prvrt, Bile FFL, Eder Muniz, Ax, FUA Krew, Chris Pape aka Freedom, Taro AAK and more

With its extraordinary array of wonderful artworks crossing styles, genres and cultures, Rochester’s abandoned subway tunnel is a graffiti hunter’s dream. Here’s a small sampling of what we saw last weekend, while making a few stops in Upstate New York:

Mr. Prvrt and Bile FFL

Mr Prvrt fine art Rochester subway Inside the Rochester Subway Tunnel with: Roa, Mr Prvrt, Bile FFL, Eder Muniz, Ax, FUA Krew, Chris Pape aka Freedom, Taro AAK and more

Brazilian artist Eder Muniz

eder muniz art rochester subway tunnel NY Inside the Rochester Subway Tunnel with: Roa, Mr Prvrt, Bile FFL, Eder Muniz, Ax, FUA Krew, Chris Pape aka Freedom, Taro AAK and more

Ax

Ax stencil art Rochester subway Inside the Rochester Subway Tunnel with: Roa, Mr Prvrt, Bile FFL, Eder Muniz, Ax, FUA Krew, Chris Pape aka Freedom, Taro AAK and more

Bile FFL

Biles graffiti rochester subway Inside the Rochester Subway Tunnel with: Roa, Mr Prvrt, Bile FFL, Eder Muniz, Ax, FUA Krew, Chris Pape aka Freedom, Taro AAK and more

FUA Krew

rochester subway graffiti FUAKrew NY Inside the Rochester Subway Tunnel with: Roa, Mr Prvrt, Bile FFL, Eder Muniz, Ax, FUA Krew, Chris Pape aka Freedom, Taro AAK and more

Chris Pape aka Freedom and Taro AAK

Freedom and Taro graffiti Rochester subway Inside the Rochester Subway Tunnel with: Roa, Mr Prvrt, Bile FFL, Eder Muniz, Ax, FUA Krew, Chris Pape aka Freedom, Taro AAK and more

Special thanks to Fresh Paint NYC for introducing us to this space.

Photos: 1 with segment of Roa piece, 3 & 4 Sara C Mozeson; 2, 5 – 7 Lois Stavsky

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Street Art Santiago . David Sharabani aka Lord K2 on His Newly Released <em>Street Art Santiago </em>with Images of Artworks by Piguan, Piri, Salazart, Guztok and more

Penned by London native David Sharabani aka Lord K2, Street Art Santiago is a fascinating foray into 14 neighborhoods within Santiago, Chile. With his stunning photography and revealing conversations with the artists, the author presents us with an intimate, striking portrait of an historic capital city.  I recently had the opportunity to meet with David and ask him a few questions.

Street Art Santiago is quite amazing.  When did you first start documenting street art?

It was in 2012. I was on vacation in Bogota, Colombia, and I was struck by the texture and quality of the pieces on the walls there.

piri bellavista street art santiago chile David Sharabani aka Lord K2 on His Newly Released <em>Street Art Santiago </em>with Images of Artworks by Piguan, Piri, Salazart, Guztok and more

You’ve been quite passionate about public art since. I’m a huge fan of your site the Museum of Urban Art. What other cities have you explored?

I’ve also photographed street art in Buenos Aires, São Paulo and here in New York City.

salazaart santiago chile street art graffiti David Sharabani aka Lord K2 on His Newly Released <em>Street Art Santiago </em>with Images of Artworks by Piguan, Piri, Salazart, Guztok and more

Why did you choose the street art in Santiago as the subject of your first book?

I discovered so many distinct styles that I loved, many representing the rich political and social history of the city.  And I also felt a special bond with the Chilean artists whom I met. They love to share walls, and they love to collaborate. They invited me to paint with them, and they are extraordinarily humble.

piguan piri guztok David Sharabani aka Lord K2 on His Newly Released <em>Street Art Santiago </em>with Images of Artworks by Piguan, Piri, Salazart, Guztok and more

You have a formal education in art. Did what you see on the streets impact your work as an artist?

Yes, after a few months in Buenos Aires, I was inspired to learn how to do stencil art. And I’ve been doing it since!

grin Cubdos Derik Sick graffiti santiago David Sharabani aka Lord K2 on His Newly Released <em>Street Art Santiago </em>with Images of Artworks by Piguan, Piri, Salazart, Guztok and more

What were some of the challenges you faced in producing this book?

I was working with an inexpensive pocket camera. I was new to graffiti and street art, so I lacked any credibility. My knowledge of Spanish was limited. And I didn’t have a clue as to how to publish a book.

brillos graffiti crew santiago chile David Sharabani aka Lord K2 on His Newly Released <em>Street Art Santiago </em>with Images of Artworks by Piguan, Piri, Salazart, Guztok and more

You seem to have brilliantly overcome these challenges. What’s next?

I’m off to Thailand at the end of the month where I will be documenting another kind of art, the art of Muay Thai, Thailand’s principal spectator sport.

vandal jony bellavista santiago chile David Sharabani aka Lord K2 on His Newly Released <em>Street Art Santiago </em>with Images of Artworks by Piguan, Piri, Salazart, Guztok and more

What about street art? Any other books on the way?

Yes, my next book will focus on the street art in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

That sounds great!  Good luck with it all!

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Photos: 1 Piguan 2 Piri 3 Salazart 4 PiguanPiri & Guztok 5 Grin, Cubdos, Derik & Sick 6 Brillos Graffiti Crew 7 Jony

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gilf LMNOPi mural art Henley Vape NYC1 DEMAND JUSTICE: A Collaborative Mural by LMNOPi and GILF! in Tribute to Kalief Browder at Henleys Backyard Garden

Busy last week in the lovely backyard garden of SoHo’s Henley Vaporium were Gilf! and LMNOPi – two Brooklyn-based activist artists — collaborating on a mural in tribute to Kalief Browder.  When we stopped by, I had the chance to speak to Gilf!

It’s wonderful to see the two of you working together. How did this collaboration come to be?

When Kimyon Huggins, the curator of the Secret Garden Series, hit me up to paint a mural, I immediately thought of LMNOPi.

Gilf LMNOP at work Henley NYC DEMAND JUSTICE: A Collaborative Mural by LMNOPi and GILF! in Tribute to Kalief Browder at Henleys Backyard Garden

Yes, it seems like such a natural collaboration. How did you decide on the subject of this mural?

My work has recently focused on the kinds of issues and injustices related to the case of Kalief Browder‬. And since LMNOPi is such a wonderful portrait painter with a strong social and political consciousness,  I thought we would work well together.

What — would you say — is the intent of your art?

The only reason I make art is to change the world.

gilf lmnopi Kalief Browder mural Henley NYC DEMAND JUSTICE: A Collaborative Mural by LMNOPi and GILF! in Tribute to Kalief Browder at Henleys Backyard Garden

And what is it about Kalief Browder‘s story that has triggered your work?

What happened to Kalief is, sadly, not unique.  And it is outrageous. Yet, many people aren’t aware of these kinds of widespread injustices.  Kalief was incarcerated at ‪Rikers‬ Island at age 16 for three years for a crime he never committed. Two of those three years were spent in solitary confinement. Eventually his case was dismissed. This past June, Kalief Browder committed suicide by hanging himself.

What would you like people who see the mural that you have fashioned with LMNOPi walk away with?

I would like them to question what happened and demand justice.

LMNOP and gilf DEMAND JUSTICE: A Collaborative Mural by LMNOPi and GILF! in Tribute to Kalief Browder at Henleys Backyard Garden

Yes, what happened to Kalief is such a blatant, horrific injustice. We certainly need to raise awareness of the need for radical change within our prison system.

Note:  The mural will be unveiled this Saturday, July 11, at Henley Vaporium‘s backyard garden at 23 Cleveland Place, between Spring and Kenmare Streets, in Soho. The event is free and open to the public — with a BBQ and DJs — from 2-10pm. There will be a Q+A with the artists and curator at 7:30 pm.

Interview with Gilf! conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky.

Photos: 1 & 3 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2 & 4 Tara Murray 

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We love the way discarded and found objects — or fragments of them – are transformed into public art.  Here’s a small sampling:

RAE BK in Manhattan

rae recycled art street art nyc  Public Art from Recycled Objects on NYC Streets: RAE BK, Jim Power, Michael Cuomo and more

Jim Power aka the Mosaic Man captured at work in the East Village

Jim power recycled street art east village nyc  Public Art from Recycled Objects on NYC Streets: RAE BK, Jim Power, Michael Cuomo and more

Fragment from a pole fashioned by Jim Power

Jim Power street art nyc  Public Art from Recycled Objects on NYC Streets: RAE BK, Jim Power, Michael Cuomo and more

Michael Cuomo in the Bronx

Michael cuomo hand made mask recycled art NYC  Public Art from Recycled Objects on NYC Streets: RAE BK, Jim Power, Michael Cuomo and more

Unidentified artist on the Lower East Side

recycled art Lower east sde  Public Art from Recycled Objects on NYC Streets: RAE BK, Jim Power, Michael Cuomo and more

Photos: 1, 3-5 Lois Stavsky; 2 Dani Reyes Mozeson

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Lady aiko street art mural coney island coney art walls At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Featuring over two dozen beautifully-executed murals representing a diverse range of artistic styles, Coney Art Walls is a cause for celebration. Here are a few images captured this weekend.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh pays homage to the long-time residents of Coney Island

Tatyana Fazlaizadeh street art mural coney art walls coney island At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Lady Pink

lady pink coney art walls coney island street art nyc At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Kashink

Kashink street art coney island cobey art walls At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Sheryo and the Yok 

Sheryo and the Yok street art coney island coney art walls At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

El Seed

el seed coney art walls calligraffiti At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Roa, close-up

Roa skeletan coney art walls coney island At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Buff Monster

Buff Monster street art coney island coney art walls At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Curated by Jeffrey Deitch, Coney Art Walls is located at 1320 Bowery Street off Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island.  And on Sundays — through September 6 – a curated summer music series and dance party happening takes place from 5pm – 11pm.

Note: First image is of mural by Lady Aiko. Keep posted to the StreetArtNYC Facebook page for many more photos of Coney Art Walls.

All photos by Lois Stavsky

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