Walls

A veteran French graffiti writer, designer and illustrator, Jaek el Diablo shared his talents with us in Jersey City earlier this year, painting several walls in coordination with Green Villain, along with independent commissions.  At the time, street and travel photographer Karin du Maire had the opportunity to interview him:

When did you begin doing graffiti?

It’s been about 25 years now since I first started doing graffiti. I began in the early 90’s.

What inspired you at the time?

I was into the skateboard culture back then, and I met many other skaters who were tagging the streets. They exposed me to graffiti, street art, comics and pop culture, in general.

What, would you say, has had the largest impact upon your particular style — both as a graffiti artist and a designer?

Comics! I was always drawing, and the comics I was reading inspired my characters. I think that was the beginning of my story!

How would you define your style? What differentiates it from others?

If I had to define my style, I would describe it as cartoon. I was influenced early on by the Kermits, Disney, Hanna–Barbera… In my work, I try not to reproduce the same thing that I see. I put my own stamp on it! It’s kind of like sampling in hip-hop – a remix of sorts! I see my work as a tribute to some of my favorite characters. It’s always a tribute.

Can you tell us a bit about the difference between French graffiti and the graffiti you’ve seen here while painting in NYC or Jersey City?

I think that back in Europe, we’ve had other influences — such as Mode 2 and the cartoon styles that inspired him. And we have the German graffiti writers whose letters are always evolving. Here in NYC, the writers are very academic; they are Old School academic. Not all  — there is Rime MSK and a few guys who are next level. But most NY writers maintain the classic graffiti style. To me, the two books, Spraycan Art and Subway Art, are the Bible, the base. I love being here and discovering the origin of my religion!

What about the future of graffiti? Where do you see it going?

I see more and more big murals, especially tribute murals, and more illustrators doing street art. I see lots and lots of styles, but there will always be a return to the roots of it all – which is graffiti. I see it  going in a variety of directions. But, I think, in the future there is no museum. It is only in the streets!

Many walls in NYC are now curated. How do you feel about this trend?

On a positive note, the walls are better and better, because the artists are carefully selected. But it’s also a negative thing. Graffiti was meant to be open to all. If you had a can, the wall was free! But, yes, these curated walls help break down the negative stereotypes of graffiti. And that is good for my art! So maybe that is the future!

Photos by Karin du Maire; interview conducted by Karin du Maire  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.

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Last week, Texas-based John Bramblitt, a professional artist who lost his vision in 2001, visited Bushwick, where he collaborated on a huge mural with Rubin 415 for JMZ Walls. While he was here, travel and street photographer Karin du Maire had the opportunity to interview him and capture him, along with Rubin 415, in action.

Can you tell us, John, a bit about how you got into art?

I think I could draw before I could walk! Art was always a big part of my life. And growing up, I was sick a lot. I had kidney problems. I had severe epilepsy that kept getting worse. All the way through high school, I was literally out of school half the time with something. And art made a bad day better, and it was a great way to celebrate a good day…and so I did art every day and I took every art class I could.

You are now creating art as a blind artist. When did you lose your eyesight?

I lost my eyesight in college, and I thought I lost art, as well. But I learned how to use my hands to do everything that a person’s eyes do. And so now I draw with lines I can touch and feel. When I was sighted, I used to feel excited if a drawing or painting that I did looked like someone. But now it’s more important that it feels like someone… that it is that person. And that’s where the colors and emotions come in.

You just painted your first mural. What was the experience like? How does it differ from working in your studio?

It’s been a great experience! As far as I know, I am the first blind painter to do a mural. It’s my first mural, and it’s been incredible. I’m a studio artist; I work with museums quite a bit. I do commissions all the time. But what I do is paint! Yet, this is so much different. You’re on a wall that’s so much bigger. I’m not going to roll it up and send it away when it’s done. It lives there on that wall.

Does anything in particular about the experience stand out?

One of the things that made this so special is that I love to meet other artists and be around people who are just as obsessed with art as I am. In this project I’ve been able to work with Tony — Rubin 415 – and the whole crew here has been so energetic. For me it’s a dream come true to be able to work with artists who are passionate about what they do. It’s been amazing!

And what about the community? Lots of people have been passing by. How have they reacted?

That’s been my favorite part of this entire experience. I’ve painted live before, but this is a completely different experience. During the whole time I was putting this up, people were coming over. This is where they live, and I feel as though I am painting it in their home! The feedback has been so positive! People seem grateful that you are making their community more beautiful and bringing energy to it. They come over and hug us! Today a little boy stopped by and added a bit to the mural – and so we have one more street artist in the making!

Now that you’ve painted your first mural, can you tell us a bit about what your plans are for the future? Do you plan to paint more murals?

I do. I expect to be painting a mural in Dallas to help a non-profit. And I will be working more with museums. October is National Disability Awareness Month, and I will be traveling all over the country. And I would definitely love to do more mural work. The impact it has on the community is incredible. You just can’t beat it!

Photos by Karin du Maire; interview conducted by Karin du Maire and edited by Lois Stavsky

Support for this inspiring project has been provided by See Now.

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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A global art movement connecting world-wide artists with local artists in Ecuador, Fiesta de Colores brought together 25 international, national and local artists to collaborate with the community of Canoa last year. Six months after the earthquake had destroyed much of the Ecuadorian coast and killed hundreds of people, Fiesta de Colores created an outdoor mural gallery of over 30 large-scale murals, while sharing skills and ideas with the community.

This November the project will be expanded with an additional 30 murals, along with a deepening of the partnership with the local high school. It will also be extended to the Amazonian region of Ecuador, where artists and the community will work together to create public art projects and bio-murals to promote environmental awareness.

Tomorrow, September 28,  you can support the project by joining Fiesta de Colores, the Public Service Artists Guild, and Chemistry Creative for an evening of art, music, food, spirits and camaraderie.  Tickets can be purchased here. If you are unable to attend the fundraiser, but would still like to support these projects, you can donate to its online fundraiser here.

What follows are a few of the many works that will be on exhibit and for sale at tomorrow’s fundraiser:

Gaia

Layqa Nuna Yawar

JT Liss

The event takes place from 7-11PM at Chemistry Creative, 315 Ten Eyck in Williamsburg

Note: The first three photos are from Fiesta de Colores, 2016

1 Don Rimx

2 Damaris Cruz

Don Rimx, Layqa Nuna Yawar and Gera Luz

All images courtesy Kristy McCarthy

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Deeply passionate about street art and graffiti, Green Villain has curated dozens of walls in a range of styles in Jersey City and beyond, including many in NYC.  On September 29th, the public is invited to celebrate the launch of Green Villain‘s second volume in an ongoing book series documenting various projects. Vol. II: Mural Program is a 124 page time capsule of the past four years of productions. The mural pictured above was painted in Jersey City by Victor Ving of Greetings Tour in 2015. What follows are several more images of street art and graffiti  — featured in the new book — that have surfaced in Jersey City. Specific locations of the artworks are provided in Vol. II: Mural Program.

Zimer, Jersey City, 2016

Rime, Jersey City, 2015

Dmote aka Shank, Jersey City, 2015

Clarence Rich, Jersey City, 2017

Rotterdam-based Eelco, Jersey City, 2014

Austrian artist Nychos, Jersey City, 2016

All are invited to join the Limited Edition Photo Book Launch —

Date: September 29th
Time: 6PM – 10PM
Address: 218 Central Ave, Floor 2, Jersey City
Music: Soul/Funk Vinyl Selections by Open Crates 
Catered Food and Beverages by River Horse

The following photographers contributed to Vol. II: Mural Program:  Charles A Boyce,  Vincent Marchetto, Marek Pagoda, Gregory D. Edgel, Billy Schon, Andrea Riot, Jayne Freeman and William Benzon.

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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A multidisciplinary artist and stage designer based in Quito, Ecuador, Irving Ramó recently shared his talents with us on his recent visit — sponsored by Somos Fuana — to New York City  To the delight of us street art aficionados, he painted alongside Colombian artists Guache and Praxis on a wall curated by Spread Art NYC.  While he was here, I had the opportunity to speak to him.

What brought you to NYC?

I traveled from Ecuador for an exhibit featuring my recent work — an investigation into my ancestor’s writings.

What spurred your interest into conducting that kind of research?

Curiosity! I’m obsessed with ancient civilizations that have disappeared.

And while you were here in NYC, I was introduced to you through your mural art! When did you first start painting on public spaces?

I started in Quito about five years ago.

And where else have you done public art?

I’ve also painted in Spain and here in the US in Miami and now in NYC.

Do you work with a sketch-in-hand when you paint on a public surface? Or do you just let it flow?

I often use a photo as a reference, and I have a rough sketch with me.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

I usually feel happy!

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with other artists?

I can adapt to any kind of situation. I’m happy to have a chance to collaborate with others.

You are amazingly versatile. Do you have a formal art education?

I studied graphic and industrial design. But I am mostly self-taught.

How has your aesthetic evolved through the years?

It changes every day – depending on what I need to express at the time.

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

It’s to give visual expression to ideas. To show people that ideas can be real.

Images:

1 In Bushwick, Brooklyn with Spread Art NYC, 2017

2 Exhibit at Martillo in Barcelona, Spain, 2016

3 Gargar Festival in the of village of Penelles, Spain, 2016

4 With La Suerte and Apitatan in Quito, 2017

5 Close-up from collaborative wall with La Suerte and Apitatan in Quito, 2017

Photos: 1 Karin du Maire, 2-5 courtesy of the artist; interview Lois Stavsky

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

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While combing the streets of San Francisco, I was struck by the dozens of intriguing surreal images that grace the city’s visual landscape. Pictured above is the work of the anonymous street painter known simply as BiP. I captured it on my last day in San Francisco, as it was near completion. What follows are several more images — marked by a surreal sensibility — that gripped me:

San Francisco-based Austrian artist Nychos

Also by Nychos

Bay Area-artists: Mars 1 with Damon Soule, NoMe Edonna, David Choong Lee & Oliver Vernon; segment of large mural as seen at dusk

San Francisco-based Lango Oliveira

New Delhi-based Seattle native Jonathan Matas, close-up

San Francisco-based Hyde1 with his distinct Aztec aesthetic

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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

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This past Saturday, September 9th, Boston’s new urban playground, Underground at Ink Block, officially opened to the pubic. Earlier in the week, eleven acclaimed artists — both local and national —  converged on this distinct space, located under the highway between the city’s South Boston and South End neighborhoods. By week’s end, 100,000 square feet of walls were transformed into a visual wonderland. The mural pictured above was painted by Miami-based Hoxxoh. What follows are several more images of artworks — some captured in progress — that have made their way onto Underground at Ink Block.

Marka 27, Don Rimx & Problak

The legendary NYC-based Cey Adams at work

Los Angeles-based Vyal Reyes aka Vyal One

Boston-based Percy Forting-Wright 

Boston-based Sneha Shrestha aka Imagine

Los Angeles-based Pen Taylor aka Upendo

Curated by Street Theory GalleryThe Underground Mural Project is powered by Reebok in partnership with National Development.

Photos: Above the Sky, ATS Photography

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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Once again, Union Street Park’s magical walls in Hackensack, NJ have been transformed. Pictured above is Washington Heights graffiti legend Totem. Several of these featured images were captured during Rozzy Ken Roz‘s birthday celebration — hosted by Darrius-Jabbar Sollas — two weeks ago. Others were taken when we revisited Union Street Park this past Wednesday.

The superb Sade TCM 

Bronx-based Ricky Montalvo aka Soze527

Flite (L) and Rocky 184 & Gem 13 Collabo

Classic writer Wore IBM at work

The legendary Seen TC5

Graffiti pioneer Part One

Wide view with celebration under way 

Photo credits: 1, 4, 5 & 8 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2, 3, 6 & 7 Lois Stavsky

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A series of distinctly stunning murals surfaced last month in Brooklyn and Manhattan. They are the works of Brazilian artist Raul Zito, created — with the support of  AnnexB — on his first visit to NYC. Raul refers to his artwork as “expanded photography,” in reference to the experimental printing techniques he uses to produce hybrid murals of photographic collage and painting. Based on his research of various forms of resistance, largely in Latin America, Raul’s stirring artwork combines the realism of black and white photography with the organic aesthetic of painting. Pictured above is the artist at work in Bushwick in collaboration with Spread Art NYC.

Completed mural at Harman Walls in Bushwick 

At Sure We Can recycling center in Bushwick 

With the Centre-fuge Public Art Project on the Lower East Side

In Bushwick with Brooklyn Brush based on the documentary “Martírio” by Vincent Carelli, Ernesto De Carvalho and Tatiana Almeida

After visiting NYC, Raul went off to Arizona, where he painted for The Painted Desert Project at the Navajo Nation territory 

And this weekend — beginning tomorrow evening — you can check out Raul Zito‘s work at the Spread Art NYC Annual Art Show, 16 Dodsworth Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Photo credits: 1 Annex B; 2 & 4 Lois Stavsky; Paul Fris, & 3, 6 & 7 Raul Zito

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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While visiting San Francisco earlier this summer, I discovered Max Ehrman‘s aka Eon75 mesmerizing public artworks. Eager to find out more about the talented artist, I posed a few questions to him:

Where and when did you first paint on a public space?

The first wall that I painted was a legal wall of fame in Gainesville, Florida. I was in my early 20’s.

What inspired you at the time?

I was inspired by a memorial wall that Daim and Seemso had painted on that spot. It was amazing! I had never seen anything like it before — in terms of design, color, layout and balance.

What keeps you doing it? Painting in public spaces — in addition to your studio work? You are quite prolific!

Passion! It is something I love doing.

You’ve traveled quite a bit. Have you any favorite cities or specific sites where you like to paint? 

Anywhere that I can paint and sit on a beach is top on my list. So Barcelona, Puerto Rico, Naples, Florida and Thailand for sure.

What is your favorite medium when you work outdoors? 

Spraypaint — definitely!

What about your name? Eon 75?

A friend in Europe gave it to me. Extermination.of.reality — and 75 is the year I was born.

Have any particular artists or cultures inspired your aesthetic?

Mostly Mother Nature and the cosmos.

Do you prefer working alone — or collaborating with others? 

I love working with other artists…some of my favorite people to paint with are San Francisco-based Ian Ross and Ratur from France.

Have you a formal art education?

No, I went to school for architecture. When It comes to art, I’m self taught.

How has your work evolved through the years — since you first started painting back in Gainesville, Florida?

I would say it’s gotten more complex, and I love working in lots of diverse mediums which leads to changes in styles.

What’s ahead?

More traveling and painting. I’d like to paint more characters and get into sculpture.

Good luck! And it would be great to see your work here in NYC!

Images

1  Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco

2 Collaboration with Vance DNA in Bangkok, Thailand, close-up

3 Cooks Valley Campground in Piercy, California

4 Abandoned train in California

5 Collaboration with Ian Ross in San Francisco, close-up

6 Collaboration with Ratur on San Francisco rooftop

All photos courtesy the artist

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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