Walls

While wandering the streets of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, I’ve come upon dozens of portraits of females in a wide range of styles and media. The artwork pictured above was fashioned by the city’s celebrated veteran muralist Rami Meiri. More images of girls on walls, including several that surfaced within the past few months, follow:

Tel Aviv-based muralist and graffiti writer Arad Levy

Tel Aviv-based muralist and tattoo artist MUHA ack

Tel Aviv-based muralist and graffiti writer Dales One

Mosaic of over 50,000 beer bottle caps — collected throughout Europe — fashioned by Rinat Look Elhik

Tel Aviv-based crochet artist and yarn bomber Liza Mamali

Tel Aviv-based designer and street artist Imaginary Duck

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Launched over 10 years ago, the Lilac Mural Project has evolved into a Mecca of richly diverse street art and graffiti and one of the Mission District’s main attractions. On her recent visit to San Francisco, travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad had the opportunity to speak to Lisa, who – along with her husband, Randolph Bowes – initiated the impressive project.

What spurred you to launch this project? What was its initial mission?

When we first moved into this neighborhood in 2005, it was quite dangerous. It was plagued by gang violence and drug activity. Living in such a tragic setting was having a negative psychological impact on me. I didn’t feel safe. And when I told my husband that I wanted to move, he suggested that we bring in muralists. He saw art as a way to transform the environment.

How did you react to his suggestion?

I thought it was interesting, but I was quite skeptical!

What won you over?

Once Baltimore native CUBA – a classic graffiti artist with wide experience – and Mark Bodē, whom he introduced us to, started to paint here, everyone was eager to join them. We asked permission from the property owners for other artists to paint, and Lilac Alley began to evolve into a safe place. The problem of unsightly graffiti was also solved. And soon we were asked to curate neighboring alleys.

How did you finance all of this early on?

When we first started, we would pay for the paint, food and transportation for about 30 artists. But as the project grew, it started to become cost prohibitive. When we told the artists that we could no longer afford to pay for their products, they assured us that they were just happy to have a place to paint safely.

Can you tell us something about your gallery, Mission Art 415? When did you launch it and why? 

My background is in interior design and fine art, and I’ve worked in fine art galleries. So when this gallery space became available about three years ago, it seemed like a natural fit. And because San Francisco is so expensive and so many artists are struggling to survive here, the gallery gives them an opportunity to sell their art and earn some income. All that I ask from the artists is a 10% commission, and I’ve established contacts with international collectors. I also get commissioned murals for artists — such as Mark BodēNite Owl and Crayone — from local businesses.

What about this neighborhood? How has it changed since you’ve moved here?

Rents are continually increasing, and older businesses are being run out. And there’s been increasing tensions between the members of the long-time Latino community and the newer residents.

Do you have the same issue that we are are having in NYC – particularly in Bushwick – where ad agencies are replacing murals with ads by offering money to local businesses for use of their walls?

No! I have not had that happen. I actually approach businesses. When I see their buildings or storefronts tagged, I remind the owners that they can get fined for that, and I offer to connect them with great muralists who can get their signage up on their buildings – graffiti style.

What are some of the challenges you face in curating both a gallery and a mural project that has grown to cover 14 blocks?

The huge costs of running a business, along with the local politics, are the main challenges. I love what I do, but I am always working!

Images:

1 Mark Bode

2 Crayone

3 Twick ICP

4  Mission Art 415 Gallery

5 Nite Owl

Interview conducted by Karin du Maire and edited and abridged by Lois Stavsky

Photo credits: 1, 4 & 5 Karin du Maire; 2 & 3 courtesy the Lilac Mural Project

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Fusing his masterful fine art skills with his stylish street art sensibility, Jersey City-based  DISTORT recently fashioned a huge mural in neighboring Hoboken. Highlighting three women — referred to by Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla as some of Hoboken’s favorite daughters — it is a visual paean to the city’s past, present and future.

Featured above is  an image of the mural in progress — as photographed by Greg Pallante.  Dorothy McNeil, a prominent presence at Hoboken’s Club Zanzibar that showcased performances by popular African-American entertainers throughout the 1960s and 1970’s, is portrayed on the far left. With camera in hand is the noted documentary photographer Dorothea Lange, who was born in Hoboken in 1895. And pitching a bat is Hoboken native Maria Pepe, the first girl to play Little League baseball, whose legacy is ending the ban on girls in Little League baseball.  Several more images follow:

A close-up of the completed mural featuring Dorothea Lange and Maria Pepe

Maria Pepe addresses us all at mural unveiling

A wide view of the completed mural featuring two dock workers — on the right — referencing the city’s industrial history

Note: The mural was commissioned by Storage Deluxe with support from Golden Artist Colors and Jerry’s Artist Outlet in West Orange, NJ that donated the paint. Assisting  DISTORT was graphic designer Hiro Hubbard.

Photo credits: 1 Greg Pallante 2 & 3 Lois Stavsky & 4 Tim Hughes

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While in San Jose for this year’s POW! WOW! festival, travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad had the opportunity to explore the city’s intriguingly diverse street art. Featured above is the work of LA-based artist El Mac, Sophie Holding the World Together, commissioned in 2017 by San Jose Museum of Art in collaboration with The Propeller Group and Empire Seven Studios. Several more images follow:

 West Coast-based mixed-media artist  Andrew Schoultz, curated by Empire Seven Studios

Philadelphia-based Nosego, curated by Empire Seven Studios

Bay area- based Kristin Farr for POW! WOW! 2017

Bay area-based artists Lacey Bryant and Ben Henderson, segment of larger mural for POW! WOW! 2017

Sainer of Poland’s Etam Cru, curated by Empire Seven Studios

Native-American artist Jaque Fragua, curated by Empire Seven Studios

Oakland-based Jet Martinez & Amsterdam-based Adele Renault for POW! WOW! 2017

Photos by Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad

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Introducing the general public to an eclectic range of outstanding street artists from across the globe while boosting the development of the local street art scene, the third Russian biennale Artmossphere is now near completion. A particular highlight of this year’s Artmossphere was Shepard Fairey’s huge outdoor mural, Tunnel Vision, inspired by the bold aesthetics of Russian Constructivism. Several more images — representative of the wonderfully diverse artwork that made its way into Artmossphere 2018 — follow:

Shepard Fairey at work earlier on with a little help from his friends

Amsterdam-based Adele Renault at work on one of her signature birds with the legendary Martha Cooper capturing it all

Brooklyn-based assemblage artist Hyland Mather at work as he repurposes discarded materials into an intriguing installation

Swedish graphic designer Finsta’s completed installation

NYC’s masterful FAUST

Berlin’s 1Up Crew’s installation”Burner Phones”

Photo credits: Vasiliy Kudryavtsev

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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POW! WOW!, the international art movement that celebrates culture, music and art in cities throughout the globe, continues this week to enhance the city of San Jose. The image featured above was painted by Ivan Gonzalez. Several more works — many in progress and all captured by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad — follow:

Local artist Drew Flores at work — on ladder — with a little help from his friend

Dragon 76 and Woes — along with local students — posing in front of their mural

Iranian brothers, Icy and Sot at work on “Ladders to Nowhere,” a metaphor for the inhumane  US prison system, which makes it almost impossible for a released prisoner to move up in society

Korean artist Sixcoin at work on “Gulliver”

West Coast-based Apexer at work

Hawaii-based Kamehanaokalā aka Cory Taum at work

Photos by Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad

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Founded and directed by Jasper Wong, POW! WOW! is an international art movement that celebrates culture, music and art in cities throughout the globe, as it engages the broader community.

In 2017 — its inaugural festival in San Jose, California — it added 20 murals to the city’s landscape  It is back again this week with new public murals, musical gatherings, educational programming and a range of diverse activities. Featured above is a close-up of a huge mural in progress by the extraordinarily talented twin brothers How and Nosm. Several more images from earlier this week — all captured by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad — follow:

The entire How and Nosm wall in progress

West Coast-based Sean Boyles  and his wife, Roan Victor

Montreal-based French duo Scien and Klor of the 123Klan

Self-taught West Coast wire sculptor Spenser Little

Bay area artists Skinner and Jesse Hernandez

Local artist Shrine

Photos by Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad 

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The Audubon Mural Project, a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and  Gitler & ____ Gallery, continues to enhance Hamilton Heights — the late John James Audubon’s upper Manhattan neighborhood — with a range of public artworks featuring images of of climate-endangered birds. Since I’d last documented this project, dozens of new murals have surfaced. The image pictured above features a pinyon jay, painted by Vermont native Mary Lacy. Several more follow:

Brooklyn-based Frank Parga, Gyrfalcon

Bronx-native Andre Trenier, Black-Billed Magpie

Kristy McCarthy aka DGale and Pelumi Khadijat Adegawa, Glossy Ibis    

London-based ATM, Townsend’s Warbler

Brooklyn-based George Boorujy, Yellow-Throated Warbler

Tel Aviv-based Klone, Brewer’s Blackbird

If you are an artist and you would like to participate in this project, you can e-mail amp@gitlerand.com. And to find out how to help sponsor a mural, check here.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Two brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed murals – one by Sonny Sundancer and the other by ASVP – surfaced last month on the exterior walls of IS 318 in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sonny’s mural– at the corner of Lorimer Street and Throop Avenue – depicts a Yawanawa girl from Acre, Brazil, along with a jaguar, representative of a species that is sacred to the indigenous peoples and at risk of extinction. ASVP‘s black and white tower mural — painted on the opposite wall — features an elephant, bear, tiger and more, all interdependent and threatened or endangered in some capacity.

While visiting the school last week for the murals’ dedication and ribbon cutting, I had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Greenpoint Innovations founder Stephen Donofrio, who had organized the The Point NYC project.

These hugely impressive murals are one component of The Point NYC initiative. Just what is The Point NY?

It is a collaborative venture — among Comics Uniting Nations, Greenpoint Innovations, Hypokrit Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and UNICEF — that brings together artists, producers, educators and local environmentalists for a series of artistic productions and events. Among these are: a comic book, public murals, a theatrical experience, open dialogue and an educational toolkit.

What is its ultimate mission?

Its mission is to respond to the human impact of climate change and to exercise the power we all have, particularly the youth, to take action for a better future.

And what inspired the direction that this project has taken?

It was inspired by a comic book story —Tre, by Sathviga ‘Sona’ Sridhar — about a climate change superhero. Sona had become passionate about climate change when her town in Chennai, India was flooded and when she heard about the Climate Comic Contest by UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations, she decided to submit her art.

How did you connect with Sonny Sundancer and ASVP? Their murals are perfect for this project, as they are exquisite and brilliantly reflect environmental issues.

Karin du Maire introduced me to Sonny, and I met ASVP at the Moniker Art Fair in Greenpoint this past spring. Both Sonny and ASVP were ideal to work with, as they are not only wonderful artists, but caring people.

Were you presented with any particular challenges in seeing the project through?

Coordinating with the Department of Education was somewhat of a task. And then discovering that a segment of the wall that Sonny had completed had been coated to protect it from any lasting paint was another challenge. But – with considerable effort — we overcame them both!

How have the members of the local community responded to these two murals?

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. They love them.

And thank you for initiating this project!

Photo credits: 1 & 2 Lois Stavsky; 3 Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; 

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The latest, soon-to-be-released edition of the street art coloring book series by Aimful Books, created by Diego Orlandini, features images of murals from the streets of Brooklyn, NYC’s Mecca of urban art.  Intent on contributing to educating children across the globe, Aimful Books matches every coloring book purchased with a free textbook to a school-age child. Its ultimate goal is to provide a million free textbooks to children by selling one million street art coloring books.

Deftly curated, The Brooklyn Coloring Book features the talents of over 40 artists who have shared their visions with us on the streets of Brooklyn. Among them are: Shiro, Chris RWK, Icy and Sot, Beau Stanton, Lady PinkAlice Mizrachi, Esteban del Valle and Denton Burrows.

And you can win a free copy of the $25.00 Brooklyn Coloring Book before it’s released to the public!

  • 76 premium pages
  • Perforated pages easy to detach to frame or gift your masterpieces
  • Spiral-bound for easy folding
  • 7.87 in x 7.87 in
  • Artworks of 48 world-class street artists
  • Full-color directory
  • Buy One Give One Initiative

For a chance to win a free copy, go to www.aimfulbooks.com/giveaway to participate in 10 seconds or less.

Images

  1. Shiro
  2. School children in Peru
  3. Chris RWK at work
  4. Shiro (L.) and Icy and Sot (R.)
  5. Coloring book cover

All images courtesy of the street art-loving, socially conscious Aimful Books

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