Walls

tats cru mural coney art walls nyc Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Coney Art Walls, one of last summer’s highlights, returns this weekend to its home at 3050 Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island. Joining such internationally acclaimed artists as Retna, el Seed, Miss Van and Ron English, is a wonderfully diverse array of artists, including several who returned this year to paint new murals. The following images were captured these past two weeks in this outdoor museum of street art, curated by  Joseph J. Sitt & Jeffrey Deitch and presented by Thor Equities:

Tats Cru at work

tats Cru paints Coney art walls Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Icy and Sot at work

icy and sot coney art walls nyc Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Lady Aiko at work

Lady aiko paints coney island Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Lady Aiko‘s completed piece

lady aiko other world Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Eric Haze with his completed mural

Eric Haze coney Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Pose

Pose mural art coney art walls Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Mister Cartoon

Mr cartoon mural art coney island Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Daze

daze mural art coney island Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Crash

crash graffiti coney island Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

John Ahearn at work

John Ahearn Coney art walls Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Nina Chanel at work with Khari Johnson Ricks to her right

nina chanel paints coney art walls edited 1 Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

Bordered by Bowery Street, West 15th Street and Stillwell Avenue near the Coney Island boardwalk and beach, Coney Art Walls encompasses Greenwood Beach featuring popular food vendors including Dinosaur Bar-B-QueCalexico, and Table 87. All murals will be completed in time for the Mermaid Parade on June 18.  In addition, three walls will be painted by children and young adults from the local community this summer. Opening tomorrow, Coney Art Walls will remain open from 12pm to 10pm daily — with the exception of Monday, Memorial Day — through October.

Photo credits: 1-4, 6, 9-12 Tara Murray; 5, 7 & 8 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 Coney Island Public Art Wall Project Returns This Weekend with: Tats Cru, Icy and Sot, Lady Aiko, Eric Haze, Pose, Mister Cartoon, Daze, Crash, John Ahearn, Nina Chanel and more

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kyle hughes odgers street art dc Street Art NYC Down in Washington DC with Kyle Hughes Odgers, James Bullough, SatOne, Gaia, Eric B, Pose2 and Pener

On our recent visit to Washington DC, we came upon dozens of intriguing murals, representing a huge range of styles from abstract designs to photorealistic portraits. Featured above is a close-up from a huge mural by Australian artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers covering two sides of a four-story building in the District’s NoMa neighborhood. Here are a few more:

Berlin-based James Bullough, who grew up in DC

James Bollough mural art Washington DC edited 1 Street Art NYC Down in Washington DC with Kyle Hughes Odgers, James Bullough, SatOne, Gaia, Eric B, Pose2 and Pener

Munich-based SatOne

sat one graffiti mural art Street Art NYC Down in Washington DC with Kyle Hughes Odgers, James Bullough, SatOne, Gaia, Eric B, Pose2 and Pener

Baltimore-based NYC native Gaia, close-up of huge mural at The Fridge DC

gaia street art dc Street Art NYC Down in Washington DC with Kyle Hughes Odgers, James Bullough, SatOne, Gaia, Eric B, Pose2 and Pener

DC artist Eric B

 Eric B DC graffiti Street Art NYC Down in Washington DC with Kyle Hughes Odgers, James Bullough, SatOne, Gaia, Eric B, Pose2 and Pener

Bronx-native Pose2

Pose2 WashingtonDC street art  Street Art NYC Down in Washington DC with Kyle Hughes Odgers, James Bullough, SatOne, Gaia, Eric B, Pose2 and Pener

Polish artist Bartek Świątecki aka Pener

Pener mural art DC Street Art NYC Down in Washington DC with Kyle Hughes Odgers, James Bullough, SatOne, Gaia, Eric B, Pose2 and Pener

And with the launch of POW WOW! DC tomorrow, DC will be home to dozens of more public artworks by local, national and international artists.

Photo credits: 1 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 2-4, 6 & 7 Tara Murray

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 Street Art NYC Down in Washington DC with Kyle Hughes Odgers, James Bullough, SatOne, Gaia, Eric B, Pose2 and Pener

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giz ghost such graffiti street art Bushwick Collective NYC Bushwick Collective Founder and Curator Joe Ficalora on Community Engagement, Mana Urban Arts, Art Basel, the Bushwick Collective’s Upcoming Block Party and more

We recently had the opportunity to speak to Bushwick Collective‘s founder and curator, the indefatigable Joe Ficalora, as he readies for this year’s 5th Annual Block Party, June 3-5.

As you prepare for this year’s 5th Annual Block Party, can you share with us some of this past year’s highlights?

Last June’s Annual Block Party was certainly a highlight!  The entire community came together as a family. It was a beautiful sight! A special highpoint of this past year was the Bushwick Collective‘s collaboration with Mana Urban Arts. We had the chance to go down to Miami in December during Art Basel. NYC artists, along with local Miami ones and artists from across the globe, painted together, transforming the inside and outside of the RC Cola Factory. It was a particular thrill to have seven-year-old Lola join us and watch her paint with Chor Boogie. We’ve also facilitated murals in Miami and Jersey City in coordination with Mana Urban Arts. And – more recently — during Frieze Art Week, we participated in Art New York on Pier 54 with Sipros in support of the Perry J. Cohen Foundation.

sipros street art bushwick collective nyc Bushwick Collective Founder and Curator Joe Ficalora on Community Engagement, Mana Urban Arts, Art Basel, the Bushwick Collective’s Upcoming Block Party and more

What would you say was your greatest challenge this past year?

My greatest challenge was dealing with all the marketers trying to hunt down walls. Now that this neighborhood is “cool,” they feel that they can take advantage of the public space without giving back.

case maclaim mural art Bushwick Collective NYC Bushwick Collective Founder and Curator Joe Ficalora on Community Engagement, Mana Urban Arts, Art Basel, the Bushwick Collective’s Upcoming Block Party and more

What can we expect at this year’s Block Party?

There will be live painting, food trucks, local vendors, special activities for families with kids and surprise performers.  A pop-up exhibition at 198 Randolph Street will feature artists from the The Parsons School of Design at the New School, the official sponsor of the weekend, along with local artists. The Museum of the City of New York will be projecting images of Bushwick from over 100 years ago and sharing a huge blown-up photo of Bushwick in 1909. All money from the artwork sold at the exhibit — that opens to the public at 7pm on Friday, June 3, and can be viewed on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm – will go directly to the artists. Local artists will also be exhibiting their work independently. Performers opening the weekend include: The BBoy Rebels (NYC Original Subway Dancers), DJ Mister Cee, Loaf Muzik, Monsters of Brooklyn, Thorough, Thirsting Howl lll, Styles P and Jim Jones. And on Saturday — in addition to JADAKISS – DJ Statik Selektah and friends, Lil Waah, Joell Ortiz, Dave EastChris Rivers, son of the legendary Big Pun, and The BBoy Rebels will perform. Keep posted to our website for updates.

oji street art Bushwick Collective NYC Bushwick Collective Founder and Curator Joe Ficalora on Community Engagement, Mana Urban Arts, Art Basel, the Bushwick Collective’s Upcoming Block Party and more

Who are some artists we can look forward to meeting?

Artists from everywhere will be painting. Among them are: D*Face, Case Maclaim, Sipros, Atomik, Don Rimx and Trans1. Local artists include: Giz, Tats Cru, CrashMeres, Topaz, Plasma Slug, Lola the Illustrator and Hops 1.

starfighter street art Bushwick Collective NYC Bushwick Collective Founder and Curator Joe Ficalora on Community Engagement, Mana Urban Arts, Art Basel, the Bushwick Collective’s Upcoming Block Party and more

That sounds great! What’s ahead for the Bushwick Collective?

We will continue to grow as an organization and evolve with time. We look forward to further collaborations with Mana Urban Arts.  We also look forward to establishing new partnerships.

Images

1. Giz, Ghost, Such, RIS Crew

2. Sipros

3. Case Maclaim

4. Oji

5. Starfighter

Photo credits: 1 & 3 City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen; 2, 4 & 5 Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky with Sol Raxlen

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 Bushwick Collective Founder and Curator Joe Ficalora on Community Engagement, Mana Urban Arts, Art Basel, the Bushwick Collective’s Upcoming Block Party and more

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Lady K Fever Paints graffiti NYC <em>Her Story,</em> the First Annual Female Graffiti Series, Launches Uptown with Lady K Fever, Mel1, Rocky 184, Charmin 65, Miss Boombox, Gem13 and Neks

This past Saturday, Her Story, the first annual female graffiti series, was launched at the legendary Inwood wall on Isham Street off 10th Avenue . While visiting, I had the opportunity to speak to the inimitable Lady K Fever.

A Tribe Called Mel graffiti <em>Her Story,</em> the First Annual Female Graffiti Series, Launches Uptown with Lady K Fever, Mel1, Rocky 184, Charmin 65, Miss Boombox, Gem13 and Neks

Can you tell us something about Her Story’s mission?

We women are underrepresented in the graffiti world. The mission of Her Story is to provide us female writers with a supportive environment to tell our stories while sharing our skills with others.

rocky188 graffiti nyc <em>Her Story,</em> the First Annual Female Graffiti Series, Launches Uptown with Lady K Fever, Mel1, Rocky 184, Charmin 65, Miss Boombox, Gem13 and Neks

Whose idea was it? And how did the concept for such a project become a reality?

We’ve been constantly talking  – among ourselves — about the need for more opportunities. We feel that we don’t have anywhere as many opportunities — or access to spaces — as guys have.  And, by chance, several weeks ago, Crane invited us to paint here on Isham and 10th Avenue.

charmin 65 graffiti NYC <em>Her Story,</em> the First Annual Female Graffiti Series, Launches Uptown with Lady K Fever, Mel1, Rocky 184, Charmin 65, Miss Boombox, Gem13 and Neks

How did you decide which artists to include in today’s launch?

We’ve all known each other for awhile, have painted together before and we get along well together. We are looking forward to including additional female writers in future jams.

Bom5 <em>Her Story,</em> the First Annual Female Graffiti Series, Launches Uptown with Lady K Fever, Mel1, Rocky 184, Charmin 65, Miss Boombox, Gem13 and Neks

The vibes here are great! Everyone seems to be having so much fun. What is your impression of this launch?

It’s been excellent! So many people came by to watch us paint, including many legendary old school writers. It’s been busy!

Gem paints graffiti nyc <em>Her Story,</em> the First Annual Female Graffiti Series, Launches Uptown with Lady K Fever, Mel1, Rocky 184, Charmin 65, Miss Boombox, Gem13 and Neks

What’s ahead for Her Story?

With the sponsorship of The Bronx Graffiti Art Gallery and Hush Hip Hop Tours, we will be painting for the next six months in five boroughs in three states. On June 25th you can find us at Tuff City.  Future spots include: Graffiti Universe and Hackensack, New Jersey. We will also be involved in the New York Restoration Project. In collaboration with Bette Midler’s foundation, we will be painting in a garden on July 30th, as part of the series, Ladies of the Bronx, highlighting the elements of hip hop.

neku graffiti inwood nyc <em>Her Story,</em> the First Annual Female Graffiti Series, Launches Uptown with Lady K Fever, Mel1, Rocky 184, Charmin 65, Miss Boombox, Gem13 and Neks

It’s all very exciting! Good luck!

Images

1. Lady K Fever

2. Mel1

3. Rocky 184

4. Charmin 65

5. Miss Boombox with Bom5 dancing to its beat; Gem 13 on right

6. Gem13

7. Neks

Photos and 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 <em>Her Story,</em> the First Annual Female Graffiti Series, Launches Uptown with Lady K Fever, Mel1, Rocky 184, Charmin 65, Miss Boombox, Gem13 and Neks

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Kenny Scharf paints NYC The Legendary Kenny Scharf Graces Massive Central Bronx Wall With His Buoyant, Magical Characters

For the past week, Kenny Scharf has been at work on a massive mural along Third Avenue in the Bathgate section of the Bronx.  Replete with the artist’s colorful, fanciful characters, the artwork brings vibrancy and intrigue to this central Bronx neighborhood. Here are a few more images we captured yesterday:

A small segment of huge, block-long mural

kenny scharf flying creatures bronx mural The Legendary Kenny Scharf Graces Massive Central Bronx Wall With His Buoyant, Magical Characters

Another segment

Kenny scharf bronx mural nyc The Legendary Kenny Scharf Graces Massive Central Bronx Wall With His Buoyant, Magical Characters

Yet another fragment

Kenny Scharf characters mural Bronx The Legendary Kenny Scharf Graces Massive Central Bronx Wall With His Buoyant, Magical Characters

And eleven-year old Jadeden — who has been mesmerized daily by Kenny’s work — sharing one of his artworks

Jadeden young artist The Legendary Kenny Scharf Graces Massive Central Bronx Wall With His Buoyant, Magical Characters

Visible from the Cross Bronx Expressway, this mural was produced in collaboration with Krinos Foods and coordinated by KM Fine Arts.

An exhibit of Kenny Scharf‘s works remains on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art, where he will be painting live on Sunday, June 19, 12-4 p.m.

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2-5 City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen

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 The Legendary Kenny Scharf Graces Massive Central Bronx Wall With His Buoyant, Magical Characters

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Back in 2012, Chicago-native Shawn Bullen brought his wonderful talents to Bushwick. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with the gifted artist who has just returned to NYC after spending several years in San Francisco.

Shawn Bullen mural art Speaking with Chicago Native Shawn Bullen in NYC

When and where did you first get up in a public space?

When I was 17, I got hold of some Mean Streak markers and started tagging the mailboxes in my Chicago neighborhood.

What inspired you to get up?

My friends were doing it, and it seemed like a fun thing to do. I didn’t really think about what I was doing, and I certainly didn’t take it seriously. I also wasn’t very good at it!

Do you remember when you first became aware of graffiti?

There was a graffiti wall in New Hyde Park that I used to pass almost every day. But I didn’t quite get it! I thought, “Why would anyone write something that nobody else could read or understand?”

Shawn Bullen Miami Mural art Speaking with Chicago Native Shawn Bullen in NYC

Once you began getting up, did you ever get arrested?

I was arrested twice. The first time, I had climbed on top of a nearby fruit and vegetable stand to write my name. I was caught on camera, and I ended up having to turn myself in. Ironically it led to my first paid gig as the owner of the space offered me $200 to paint his truck.

What was the riskiest thing you ever did back then?

My friend and I would crawl across train tracks lined with live wires through dangerous neighborhoods.

Why did you do that?

To get to rooftop walls that we liked along the Green line.

Shawn Bullen mural Bushwick NYC Speaking with Chicago Native Shawn Bullen in NYC

How did your family react to all this?

My mom was hot happy that I was breaking the law, but she was always confident that what I was doing would lead to something.

Do you have a formal art education?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing! But, yes, I studied Photography throughout high school. And then I studied Photography and Drawing at Columbia College in Chicago before transferring to NSCAD, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. But I didn’t graduate. I left after two years.

Why was that?

I noticed that most of the graduates were working in coffee shops. Few had jobs related to art. I had also felt that I had learned enough.

Shawn Bullen mural art SF Speaking with Chicago Native Shawn Bullen in NYC

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

I think the Internet is a beautiful tool that allows us to share our work with others. It is difficult, though, to keep up with social media, and I know that I need to focus more on my Instagram account. I can get lazy!

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was exposed early on to the hip-hop culture. Undoubtedly, it has influenced my aesthetic. And when I paint, I almost always listen to hip-hop – Kenye West, Jay Z, Drake…

Have you any favorite artists?

So many! To name a few…Kehinde Wiley, Chuck Close, Basquiat, Aryz, the Etam Crew, and – of course – Michelangelo hasn’t been topped yet!

Shawn bullen SF I still have a dream Speaking with Chicago Native Shawn Bullen in NYC

That’s quite a diverse group! Do you prefer working alone or would you rather collaborate with others?

From ages 17-22, 90% of what I painted was with my crew, the IDC Art House, but these days I feel more and more that I like making my own decisions.

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

It depends. I love to freestyle. It is so much fun. But for commissions I often have to present a sketch first.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

It’s never as good as I’d imagined it to be, but since I can’t spend years on it, I’m generally proud of myself.

shawn bullen paints Speaking with Chicago Native Shawn Bullen in NYC

Have you exhibited in galleries? Any thoughts about street artists and graffiti writers showing in gallery settings?

Yes, I’ve exhibited in several shows, both solo and group. I don’t have a problem with street artists exhibiting in galleries. All artists need as much exposure and financial support as they can get. And I have only respect for artists who have moved onto the fine art world.

What about the corporate world? Any thoughts about that?

I have mixed feelings about it. Clearly not all corporations are evil. And, yes, I’ve worked with corporations. Corporate gigs, in fact, make it possible for me to survive as an artist. And why shouldn’t corporations support artists?

And do you work full-time as an artist?

Yes! From age 18 on, I was either teaching art or doing art.

Shawn Bullen mural Speaking with Chicago Native Shawn Bullen in NYC

What inspires you these days?

I’m interested in exploring people’s ideas as to how we can save the world. I’m intent on uncovering solutions to problems that affect us all.

How has your artwork evolved in the past few years?

I think much more about concepts, and I continue to paint on a larger and larger scale.

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

It’s up to each artist to decide his or her role. I see my role as making life better. I want use my art to make people feel better.  I would love to change someone’s life with my painting!

Shawn Bullen Boom+Boom Speaking with Chicago Native Shawn Bullen in NYC

What’s ahead?

I want to paint! I’d like to create at least one piece of public art in every country in the world. And I’d love NYC to be my home base!

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos courtesy of Shawn Bullen, SHAWNBULLEN1@GMAIL.COM

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.

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Nepo at Wix Lounge with art Nepo on <em>Fantasia Tropico</em> at Chelseas Wix Lounge, His Recent Projects in Brazil and Dubai and more

With their luscious colors and seductive styles, Nepo‘s murals has been enhancing the streets of NYC since the talented artist arrived here from Puerto Rico over two years ago. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to catch up with him after he had finished installing his current exhibit, Fantasia Tropico, at Chelsea’s Wix Lounge.

This space is wonderful, and your work looks perfect here! How did this opportunity come your way?

I’ve known Kamilla Sun, the founder of the creative agency ST.ART, for over a year now.  When she told me about Wix Lounge, a really special co-working, event and exhibit space in Chelsea, I loved the idea of exhibiting my recent series of works, Fantasia Tropico, there.

Nepo artwork Nepo on <em>Fantasia Tropico</em> at Chelseas Wix Lounge, His Recent Projects in Brazil and Dubai and more

Can you tell us something about this specific series? 

It references all that I love and miss most from my island, especially my nostalgia for the holidays. This body of works continues to evolve from an exhibit that I was invited to present earlier this year at the University of Wisconsin’s Aylward Gallery. The exhibit here at Wix Lounge, curated by Kamilla Sun, presents several new pieces.

How have the folks here at Wix Lounge responded to your installation?

The reaction has been so positive. People are interested in what I’m doing, and everyone’s been so helpful.

Nepo street art Lower East Side Nepo on <em>Fantasia Tropico</em> at Chelseas Wix Lounge, His Recent Projects in Brazil and Dubai and more

Have you collaborated with ST.ART on any other projects?

Yes! I was commissioned to paint a mural on the Lower East Side last year.

You’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling. What has that been like?

It’s been great! I recently returned from Brazil where I participated in the Street of Styles Festival. It was an amazing experience, and introduced me to some of the best graffiti I’d seen anywhere. I also had the opportunity to paint a huge mural with Son and Spear Torres.

Nepo collab mural brazil Nepo on <em>Fantasia Tropico</em> at Chelseas Wix Lounge, His Recent Projects in Brazil and Dubai and more

And you’ve also been to Dubai. What brought you there? And what was it like?

I was invited to participate in an exhibit during Art Dubai. It was my first time in that part of the world, and I loved experiencing Arab culture and discovering artists from the Middle East.  I, also, got to return home with several commissions! It was a great feeling!

 What’s ahead?

Painting a few murals! And in a few weeks, I will be assisting Rimx with a huge mural that he was commissioned to paint in Newark, New Jersey. I’m planning to visit L.A. in June.  And in the fall, I’m hoping to visit Lebanon and Jordan and further explore Middle Eastern art. I especially love Arabic calligraphy.

That sounds great! Good luck with it all!

nepo at wix lounge Nepo on <em>Fantasia Tropico</em> at Chelseas Wix Lounge, His Recent Projects in Brazil and Dubai and more

There will be an opening reception for Nepo‘s exhibit tonight, Friday, 6:30 – 9:30 PM at at Chelsea’s Wix Lounge, 235 West 23rd Street. The exhibit remains on view through May.

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky 2 & 4 courtesy of Nepo and 3 Tara Murray; interview conducted and edited 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 Nepo on <em>Fantasia Tropico</em> at Chelseas Wix Lounge, His Recent Projects in Brazil and Dubai and more

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meres otm graffiti bushwick NYC At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

With its vibrantly seductive murals, the exterior of Brooklyn Reclaimed – curated by Meres One – has become an oasis of color and style.  Here are a few more graffiti murals that have recently surfaced — all by artists who’d frequented the former 5Pointz:

Demer

demer graffiti brooklyn reclaimed At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

Topaz and Jerms

topaz Jerms graffiti brooklyn At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

Zimad

zimad graffiti brooklyn reclaimed At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

Bishop 203 aka Jats

Jats graffiti Bushwick At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

Photos by City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen

Keep posted to our Facebook page and Instagram for more graffiti and street art on the grounds of Brooklyn Reclaimed.

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

en play badge 2 At <em>Brooklyn Reclaimed</em>: An Oasis of Color and Style with Meres, Demer, Topaz, Jerms, Zimad  and Bishop 203

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Miroism graffiti miami Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

The range and scope of Miami’s graffiti walls are distinctly impressive. Local writers, along with artists from across the globe, make their mark in Wynwood, Overtown and beyond. Pictured above is Miro. Here are a few more I saw on my recent visit:

Vejam

vejam Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Gorey

gorey Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Bulks

bulks Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Vogue, TDK

vogue tdk graffiti miami Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Ligisd

ligisd graffiti miami Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Mastro

mastro miami graffiti Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Krave

krave graffiti miami Miamis Vibrant Graffiti Walls: Miro, Vejam, Gorey, Bulks, Vogue, Ligisd, Mastro and Krave

Photo credits: 1-6 & 8 Lois Stavsky; 7 Mastro

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While down in Miami, I met up with Bronx native Mastro whose masterful graffiti designs and styles can be found on walls, hats and a range of surfaces throughout NYC, Miami and beyond. 

mastro graffiti the Bronx nyc The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

Can you recall any early graffiti memories?

My earliest memory is riding the 6 train to Pre-K. Everything around me was bombed. I remember thinking, “What is this magic?” Growing up in the Bronx, I saw classic NYC graffiti everywhere. Seen, Mad and Pjay were among the writers I saw on my day-to-day commute.

When and where did you first hit the streets?

When I was in 5th grade, I started with stupid, little tags – like Shadow and Ace – all along Zerega Avenue. I was also getting up in my school. I thought I was “King!” But I was a toy.

What inspired you to get up?

Graffiti was everywhere. How could I not?

mastro graff miami The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

When and how did you come up with the name Mastro?

I was in my mid-teens. It was actually part of my name, and none of the aliases made any sense.

Did you paint with a crew back then or were you largely alone?

I generally liked to keep it solo and quiet.

And thse days?

I paint both solo and with others. But I don’t think the crew should define the writer. Rather, the writer should define the crew.

mastro and eskae graffiti miami The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

Do you have a formal art education?

Yes. I have a BA in Architecture from Pratt.

Did you go on to work as an architect?

After I graduated, I worked as an architect for a while. But at the same time I began customizing hats. And that business took off almost immediately – and was a lot more fun!  I thought, “Why should I work for someone else when I can do better on my own?”

And just how are you doing on your own?

I’m doing great. I never expected my business to go this far. Besides customizing hats, I get paid to do body painting and lettering. And I’m also commissioned to produce graffiti murals and installations.

mastro greenpoint The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

What would you say is the key to your success?

It’s a matter of my being in the right place at the right time. And that is something I work on doing.

Although you are based in NYC, you seem to spend more time on the road then you do back home.

Yes, I’ve been traveling just about full-time across the U.S. I try to cover as many music/art festivals and fairs that I possibly can. I tend to hang out where there are lots of people all the time.

What are some of the challenges of leading such a nomadic life?

The biggest challenge is having to do my own laundry.

mastro graffiti bronx The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

As you didn’t forge a career as an architect, would you way that your Pratt education was worthwhile?

Yes! It definitely taught me how to become a better artist. But it did not teach me how to sell my technique.

How does your family feel about what you are doing?

My parents get a kick out of it!

What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

Technically – all of it. I create non-stop both on and off the wall.  My art is my “work.” The only aspect of it that actually feels like work is when I’m moving and lifting materials.

mastro graffiti style miami The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

What advice would you offer young artists who would like to build a successful art business?

Always have access to your presentation portfolio. Be prepared to share it with anyone at any time. Know how to write a proposal, a contract and a rider sheet. And be ready to easily accept all types of payment from credit cards to PayPal.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet and social media in this scene?

I don’t like the Internet. I don’t like having to use technology to promote myself. But I can’t deny that it does increase recognition, awareness and sales.

That would seem to be a good thing.

But social media can easily turn you into a techno-slut. Too many people seem to depend on social media to increase their value. It’s your work that should be valued, not your number of “likes” or followers. Back when I first started, we did it for the love of it; now folks do it for the “likes.” And back in the day, you had no idea what a writer in Australia was doing unless you saw it in a magazine. These days, it is just far too easy to borrow and regurgitate styles from half way around the world.

mastro graffiti tracks The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

Are there any particular cultures – or artists — that have influenced your aesthetic?

Growing up in the Morris Park section of the Bronx, I was influenced, of course, by everything that was happening around me – graffiti, hip-hop, breakdancing. The artist who had the hugest influence on my aesthetic was Wane COD, a master of intricate simplicity.

What are your favorite places to paint?

Abandoned places that are withering away, and those places that have stood the test of time where nature is flourishing

How has your artwork evolved in the past few years?

I’m trying to make it crisper and smoother. I would like all demographics to be able to understand my writing.

mastro bushwick graffiti The Masterful Mastro on Graffiti, the Business of Art, Life on the Road, Social Media and more

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

I’m here to create. I don’t think about it.

What’s ahead?

Building and creating wherever life takes me. Living my life as a “permanent vacation,” earning money doing what I love.

Note: Photos are of artworks seen in NYC and in Miami. Pictured in the third photo are: Mastro, Eskae and Disem – with Mastro and Eskae trading names.

Photo credits: 1-3, 7 & 8  Lois Stavsky; 4 & 5 Tara Murray; and 6 Mastro; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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