Bronx

Under the curatorial direction of Tag Public Arts Project founder, SinXero, the walls on and off the 6 line in the South Central section of the Bronx have become one of the borough’s visual highlights.  Loved by both local residents and passersby, these murals, in fact, are now incorporated into an official tour of the Bronx. Here is a small sampling of what can be seen:

Marthalicia Matarrita and Raquel Echanique 

Raquel Echanique street art Bronx TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Marthalicia Matarrita, close-up

Mathalicia Mattarita street art Bronx TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Sexer

sexer graffiti Bronx NYC 2 TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

 SinXero

Sin Xero street art Bronx NYC TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

See TF

See TF street art Bronx NYC TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Col Wallnuts

Col wallnuts street art graffiti Bronx TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Werc

Werc street art Bronx NYC TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Daek William – in from Australia 

Daek William street art Bronx NYC TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Damien Mitchell

Damien Mitchell street art Bronx NYC TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Billy Mode and Chris Stain

Billy Mode Chris Stain street art Bronx NYC TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Zimad – close-up 

Zimad close up street art Bronx NYC TAG Public Arts Project Adds Visual Intrigue to the Bronx with Marthalicia Matarrita, Raquel Echanique, Sexer, SinXero, See TF, Col, Werc, Daek William, Damien Mitchell, Chris Stain, Billy Mode and Zimad

Keep posted to our Facebook page for many more Tag Public Arts Project images and check here for piece painted by the legendary John Matos aka Crash.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Speaking with Sienide

August 13, 2014

sienide portraits rooftop Bronx NYC Speaking with Sienide

Bronx-based Sienide aka Sien is one of NYC’s most versatile artists. His delightful compositions — in a range of styles from masterful graffiti writing to soulful portraits — continue to grace public spaces throughout the boroughs. I recently had the opportunity to interview him:

When did you first get up?

I started tagging and bombing on the Grand Concourse in 1981 with my older brother. I was living at 176th street and Morris Ave. I did my first piece in 1985 with my then-bombing partner SEPH. Jean13 was also there, and he helped me shape up my letters. Ironically, my first piece was also a legal commission.

What was your preferred surface back then?

I really wanted to get into the yards. But I couldn’t, so I hit trailers instead. There was a great lot over in Castle Hill, where we painted and made a tree-house to store our supplies.

What inspired you to get up?

Everybody around me was writing.

sienide street art Bronx NYC Speaking with Sienide

Did you paint alone or with crews?

Both. In 1986 IZ the Wiz put me down with TMB after he saw my black book. Since, I’ve painted with the best of the best: OTB, FX, KD, GOD (Bronx) and GOD (Brooklyn), MTAInd’s,  Ex-VandalsXMEN, and TATS CRU

What about these days? Do you paint only legally?

Oh, yes! I’m too old to play around, and I want to get paid for what I do. I also want to paint in peace.

How did your family feel about what you were doing back in the day?

They weren’t happy. When I was arrested for motion tagging with my cousin on the 6 train, my uncle — who was my dad at the time —  told me that no one would ever hire me because I defaced public property.

Sienide paints Biggie Speaking with Sienide

What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

At least 85% of it.

What is your main source of income these days?

It’s all art-related. I sell my work, earn commissions for painting murals and I also teach.

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

I love them both. I have forever been trying to marry them.

sienide paints  Speaking with Sienide

How do you feel about the movement of graffiti and street art into galleries?

I think it’s cool. I love to see my stuff hanging on walls, and when someone asks me to be in a show, I feel honored.

What about the corporate world? How do you feel about its engagement with graffiti and street art?

I have no problem with it. If the corporate bank writes me a check, I’ll cash it.

Is there anyone in particular you would like to collaborate with?

I would like to collaborate more with Eric Orr.

sien paints graffiti 5Pointz NYC Speaking with Sienide

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

The Internet is useful. It works for me.

Do you have a formal art education?

Yes I have a Masters Degree in Illustration from FIT.

Did this degree benefit you?

Yes, I now know my worth.

Sienide paints graffiti. NYC Speaking with Sienide

How would you describe your ideal working environment?

Outdoors, Florida-type weather and a generous paint sponsor.

What inspires you these days?

I’m inspired by the life I live and by the students I teach.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced you?

The human culture.

sien b boy on canvas Speaking with Sienide

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

I work with a rough sketch, but I never have colors in it. This prevents me from becoming a slave to my reference, and it allows my creative mojo to experiment freely.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

Never.

How has your work evolved through the years?

My work keeps evolving and changing because I allow myself to experiment.  I don’t like being stuck in one particular mode. That bores me.

sien and Kid Lew graffiti Bronx NYC Speaking with Sienide

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

To give back… to share a gift that we artists have with others.

How do you feel about the photographers in the scene?

I think they’re helpful, but they should share any profits they make with the artists whose works they photograph.

What’s ahead?

I hope to be still doing what I’m doing while advancing my skills. I hope never to lose my passion.

Interview by Lois Stavsky; photos 1, 2 and 8 (collaboration with Kid Lew) by Sienide; 3, 4 and 7 (on canvas) by Lois Stavsky; 5 (collaboration with Eric Orr) and 6 by Lenny Collado

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The legendary Bronx-based graffiti artist John Matos aka Crash has been busy these days — with work on the streets, on exhibit and on Ferrari cars.  Here’s a sampling:

At work on the Lower East Side last month for the Lisa Project

crash paints in NYC The Legendary John Matos aka Crash    on the Streets, on Exhibit and on Ferrari Cars

Recently-completed mural up in the Bronx for TAG Public Arts Project

crash graffiti Bronx The Legendary John Matos aka Crash    on the Streets, on Exhibit and on Ferrari Cars

At opening of Broken English at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Crash at opening The Legendary John Matos aka Crash    on the Streets, on Exhibit and on Ferrari Cars

With spray paint on canvas in Broken English at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Wrapped in My Own Existence

Wrapped in my own existence The Legendary John Matos aka Crash    on the Streets, on Exhibit and on Ferrari Cars

On exhibit in City as Canvas at the Museum of the City of New York, acrylic on canvas, 1986

Crash city as canvas The Legendary John Matos aka Crash    on the Streets, on Exhibit and on Ferrari Cars

For the Crash Ferrari Art Project, a collaborative venture with Joe “MAC” of Martino Auto Concepts and the Dorian Grey Gallery, on exhibit beginning today, July 24, through July 28 at Art Southampton

Matos art on Ferrari The Legendary John Matos aka Crash    on the Streets, on Exhibit and on Ferrari Cars

Matos paints auto The Legendary John Matos aka Crash    on the Streets, on Exhibit and on Ferrari Cars

Matos and Martino Auto concepts The Legendary John Matos aka Crash    on the Streets, on Exhibit and on Ferrari Cars

Photos: 1, 3 and 5 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; photo 2 by Lois Stavsky; photo 4 courtesy of the artist and photos 6-8, courtesy Bettina Cataldi

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All Girls graffiti graffiti universe Bronx NYC All Girls at Graffiti Universe in the Bronx with Scratch, Lady K Fever, Mrs, Vik and more

This past weekend, the walls of Graffiti Universe — located at 2995 Boston Road in the Bronx — were transformed into an all-girls’ canvas.  While up there on Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak to Scratch, who — along with Lady K Fever — organized the event.

This is a first for Graffiti Universe. How did it happen?

Lady K Fever and I had painted together earlier this year. We were eager to involve more female writers. I spoke to Dennis Stumpo, who manages Graffiti Universe, and he offered us nine walls!

scratch graffiti graffiti universe Bronx NYC All Girls at Graffiti Universe in the Bronx with Scratch, Lady K Fever, Mrs, Vik and more

Had you girls ever painted together before? How did you decide whom to invite?

Many of us had met and painted together at 5Pointz and a few of us recently did the wall on 207th Street in Inwood. We wanted to include girls who were serious about graff and who could have fun together. I’m from Sweden; Lady K is from Canada; Vic is from Poland; Erica is from Mexico.  And graffiti brought us together. We’re all at different levels, but we respect one another and we each want to get better and better. It’s not about who’s the best.

Lady K Fever graffiti graffiti universe Bronx NYC All Girls at Graffiti Universe in the Bronx with Scratch, Lady K Fever, Mrs, Vik and more

And this seems like the perfect way to hone your skills! Are there any particular challenges that you, as female writers, face?

We have this sense that we always have to prove ourselves. We are often not taken seriously enough.

Mrs Big Stuff graffiti graffiti universe Bronx NYC All Girls at Graffiti Universe in the Bronx with Scratch, Lady K Fever, Mrs, Vik and more

Have you any messages to the male writers out there?

We can do it without you! We can do it ourselves!

Vik graffiti graffiti universe Bronx NYC All Girls at Graffiti Universe in the Bronx with Scratch, Lady K Fever, Mrs, Vik and more

 What’s ahead?

More graff And we’d like to do some production walls with characters and backgrounds. That’s the plan!

Good luck! We look forward to seeing them!

Photos: 1. From left to right — Scratch, Anji, Lady K Fever, Erica, Chare and Vik — shutter by Topaz who had to “beg the girls to paint.”  2. Scratch  3. Lady K Fever 4. Mrs  5. Vik

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Born in Canada, Lady K-Fever is a NYC-based interdisciplinary artist, art educator and curator. A recipient of numerous grants, she currently works with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Bronx River Arts Center and the Laundromat Project.

Lady K Fever graffiti NYC Speaking with Lady K Fever

When and where did you start getting up?

I started bombing in Vancouver, Canada in the early 90’s. I got all over the city. No block was safe.

What inspired you back then?

In 1992, I found The Faith of Graffiti at a thrift shop and bought a bootleg copy of Wild Style. I immediately fell in love with graffiti.  I was also into skateboarding at the time, and I was a member of the Riot Grrlzs: The Vancouver Chapter.  We were invited to create an installation for an exhibition “Artropolis 1993.” We collaborated to create a graffiti-inspired tag wall about human rights.

What spurred your interest and engagement in social issues?

I was inspired by activism of the Black Panthers and counter culture of the 1960’s & 70’s.

What about graffiti crews? Did you belong to any?

My first crew was the one I created with some of my friends in Vancouver, the ILC crew: The Independent Ladies Crew. I have since put down with lots of other crews: CAC, TLV (the Latin Vandals), IBM, and WOTS.  Right now I am down with KD-TDS-INDS.

Lady K Fever and Cern Speaking with Lady K Fever

Any early graffiti memories?

I’ll always remember the first three-color piece/bomb I did on my own.  It was all about timing.  It was in 1996 in downtown Vancouver, and I had hidden behind a car. I started to paint in the shadow of the car and hide when traffic was coming by. It was a thrill, and I wanted to do more.

When did you first get up in NYC?

My first time painting here was in 2001 at The Phun Phactory before it became 5Pointz. While there, I met so many people and artists who have helped me along my path. I am so grateful that there was a place like that – a place for the global graffiti movement to connect and blossom in New York City.

Have you ever been arrested?

Pleading the 5th and the 4th. 

Have you exhibited your works?

I began exhibiting my work in galleries in 1993 in Vancouver.  In NYC, I have exhibited at  the Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, Longwood Art Gallery, The Corridor Gallery, Andrew Freedman Home and MoMA.

HOWIEGARCIA LADYKFEVER Kathleena 12 op 640x356 Speaking with Lady K Fever

What percentage of your time is devoted to your artwork?

100 percent. All day. Every day. It’s my life. Life is my art. My art is the facilitation of my experiences as a creative human on this planet. I am inspired and find inspiration all day long.

Have you made money from your work?

I sell pieces, do commissions, apply for grants and residencies, teach and consult with museums and arts organizations, speak at schools and conduct workshops. Hustle is hustle.

Any thoughts about the so-called graffiti/street art divide?

The boundaries continue to blur.  I thought we all fought hard for graffiti to be considered “art”. A writer is a writer; an artist is an artist. Both are valid and beautiful and all artists have the right to decide how they want to be identified. What I do not like is the dogma and the prejudices that arise. If graffiti and street art are ultimately forms of freedom of expression, then what really is going on?

Do you prefer working alone or working with others?

Both. I like working alone, and I like the interaction that happens when artists work together. I go through phases.

Lady Fever students Speaking with Lady K Fever

Do you have a formal arts education?

Yes and no. I studied fine art in high school and in college, but I formally went on to major in Theatre.  I worked as a studio assistant with a Canadian pottery artist and as a scenic painter on film/TV sets to gain art trade skills.

What is the riskiest thing you’ve done?

I have done a lot of risky things. On my last day in Toronto, I did a bridge piece along a highway in downtown Toronto.  I wrote the name Lady K Fever in huge letters on the whole bridge.  As I was finishing, I saw a set of police lights flash across the highway. I ran and hid all the way home. That was my exit from Toronto.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

I’m influenced by all cultures. I go through inspirational phases. I love texture and color. I like to work with Indian, African and Mexican fabrics and designs.  Music is also an influence – its sounds, beats and lyrics.

Are you generally satisfied with a finished piece?

Yes and no.  Sometimes, I just have to walk away and move on to the next.

Fever graffiti South Bronx Husky Speaking with Lady K Fever

How has your work evolved throughout the years?

I continue to refine my style and explore concepts.

How would you describe the role of the artist in society?

The artist’s role is to tell stories through personal and collective reflections and responses and to raise questions. The artist is a messenger of universal truth who challenges others to see and acknowledge what they might not want to

Interview with Lady K-Fever conducted by Lenny Collado and edited by Lois Stavsky; photo credits 1. Lenny Collado; 2. Tara Murray; 3 – 5. courtesy of the artist

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South Bronx native Luis “Zimad” Lamboy began gracing walls with his graffiti skills at age 14, and had his first exhibit at Fashion Moda in 1984. Since, he has exhibited his artwork in galleries world-wide and continues to share his skills on public spaces across the globe. Tomorrow evening, he  will be showing a series of new paintings – alongside James Sexer Rodriguez – at Rogue Gallery Chelsea, 508 West 26th Street.

Zimad graffiti South Bronx nyc Speaking with Luis Zimad Lamboy

When and where did you first get up?

It started back in 1979. I grew up in the South Bronx on 156th and Courtland, and that’s where I first got up.

What inspired you?

Throw-ups and bombs were everywhere. I especially loved what I saw on the handball courts.  There was FDT 56, KID 56, Mad2 and the Bronx Artists crew.

Have you any early graffiti-related memories that stand out?

I remember the time I shocked my arm in the lay-ups. It became numb, but I continued bombing. That same night we got chased out of the lay-ups by workers in the middle of the night. I remember running down Pelham Parkway, while the MPC Crew were throwing rocks and bottles at us.  That was a night!

Did you represent any crews?

Crews I’ve painted with include: BA, OTB, DWB, TCM, CWK and TD4.

Zimad street art at the Bushwick Collective Speaking with Luis Zimad Lamboy

What is the riskiest thing you did?

Hitting up a white train on an elevated track wearing a red bubble coat in broad daylight. I had people yelling at me from the street.

How did your family feel about what you were doing?

My mom said, “You better be careful.” My father never acknowledged what I was doing. I really don’t know if he knew or not.

Have you ever been arrested?

A few times. Not too many. I remember when I was locked up with Sexer for painting a handball court right across from a police station.  Just as we were finishing it, the entire precinct came out and surrounded us. We got off easily, though. We were charged with criminal mischief and had to pay a $50.00 fine.

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

I used to sketch out my letters before hitting a wall. But I mostly let it flow.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece? 

Lately I’ve been. But I have mixed feelings about some of my earlier pieces

Zimad at 5Pointz Speaking with Luis Zimad Lamboy

Do you have a formal art education?

I’m self-taught. I’ve been drawing since I was five years old. I learned just about everything I know from the streets.  And in my mid-20’s, I attended FIT. The classes that I took there helped me fine-tune my skills.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

The spiritual life has been my greatest influence. I’ve been particularly inspired by Sacred Geometry.

Any other inspirations?

Basquiat.  Just watching the movie inspires me.

Do you prefer working with others? Or would you rather paint alone?

When I’m outside, I prefer working with others. I collaborate lots with Sexer these days. But when I’m in my studio, I like to paint alone.

Zimad on canvas Speaking with Luis Zimad Lamboy

Any thoughts about the graffiti/street art divide?

Graffiti writers often feel that street artists disrespect them. And, unlike graffiti writers, many street artists have formal art educations.  This, too, leads to tensions between the two, as street artists have a different take on it all and are more accepted by the art establishment. Their work is also more accessible to most people.

Why do you suppose the art world has been so reluctant to embrace graffiti?

Well, it’s the only element of hip-hop that’s illegal. And that’s a problem. Gallery owners don’t want the police knocking on their doors.

Any favorite arists?

Doze Green, Mars1, Dondi and Basquiat.

How has your work evolved in the past few years?

I leave graffiti for the walls. In my studio I continue to move in the direction of fine arts. When I am painting in my studio, I am building a legacy.

zimad graffiti action at 5Pointz Speaking with Luis Zimad Lamboy

Have you any thoughts about the movement of graffiti into galleries?

I think it’s great, but once it’s in a gallery, it’s not graffiti. It’s aerosol art.

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

On the positive side, it gets my work out all over the world. But it also makes it too easy for people to imitate one’s work.

Have you any feelings about the photographers in the scene?

Some are good; some aren’t. But I think if a photographer sells his photos, he should share his profits with the artists.

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

To invite the public into their world. To share their story with others.

Urban Convictions Rogue Gallery Speaking with Luis Zimad Lamboy

What do you see as the future of graffiti?

Graffiti is the biggest art movement in the world. It will continue to grow.

What about you? What’s ahead for you?

For me, I will continue to create every day of my life and share what is on my mind through my art for the world to see.

Interview by Lois Stavsky; Photo 1, Zimad as a young teen, courtesy of the artist; photo 2, Zimad at the Bushwick Collective by Tara Murray; photo 3, Zimad at 5Pointz by Lois Stavsky; photo 4,  Zimad at 5Pointz by Tara Murray; photo 5, Zimad on canvas by Lois Stavsky

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Boone Avene graffiti and street art Bronx NYC Boone Avenue Refashioned    Part I: Marthalicia Matarrita, Cern, Lady K. Fever, Cope2, UR New York, Skeme, Reme, Chris RWK & more

It’s been busy up on Boone Avenue near the Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx these past few days. Here are a few images captured yesterday during its current transformation:

Marthalicia Matarrita 

Marthalicia Matarrita street art Bronx Boone Avenue Refashioned    Part I: Marthalicia Matarrita, Cern, Lady K. Fever, Cope2, UR New York, Skeme, Reme, Chris RWK & more

Cern and Lady Fever at work

Lady K Fever and Cern Boone Avenue Refashioned    Part I: Marthalicia Matarrita, Cern, Lady K. Fever, Cope2, UR New York, Skeme, Reme, Chris RWK & more

Cope2

Cope Boone Avenue Refashioned    Part I: Marthalicia Matarrita, Cern, Lady K. Fever, Cope2, UR New York, Skeme, Reme, Chris RWK & more

Fernando Romero aka Ski at work

Baca paints graffiti Bronx NYC Boone Avenue Refashioned    Part I: Marthalicia Matarrita, Cern, Lady K. Fever, Cope2, UR New York, Skeme, Reme, Chris RWK & more

Skeme, Reme at work and Chris RWK

Skeme Reme Chris RWK graffiti and street art Bronx Boone Avenue Refashioned    Part I: Marthalicia Matarrita, Cern, Lady K. Fever, Cope2, UR New York, Skeme, Reme, Chris RWK & more

 All photos by Tara Murray. Part II to follow.

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Last month, Girls on Top aka GOT, UK’s all female crew established in 2000, visited NYC.  Along with some of NYC’s finest female graffiti artists, they hit up a huge wall on Boone Avenue in the Bronx on one of the rainiest days of the season. Here are some images captured this past week from the historic My Thuggy Pony All-Girlz Jam.

Manchester-based graffiti artist and educator Chock and founder of G.O.T

Chock graffiti in Bronx NYC The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

London-based active G.O.T. member Pixie

Pixie graffiti in Bronx NYC The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

Bronx-based artist, educator and leader Miss 163

Miss 163 graffiti in Bronx NYC The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

 Queens-native visual artist Abby – with 1980′s graffiti roots

Abby graffiti in Bronx NYC The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

Passionate Bronx-based graffiti artist and jam facilitator Erotica 67

erotica graffiti in Bronx NYC The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

NYC-based designer and graffiti writer extraordinaire, Queen Andrea

Queen Andrea graffiti in Bronx The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

And Neks

Neks graffiti in Bronx NYC The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

A range of art works by members of G.O.T can be seen and purchased through this weekend at an exhibit curated by Jessica Pabon at bOb Gallery at 235 Eldridge Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Here are two of the many on view:

Syrup

GOT Crew SYRUP on canvas The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

Lyns, Da Crew, 2013

got crew on canvas The Girls Up on Boone Avenue: UK Girls on Top (G.O.T) Join Local Writers for My Thuggy Pony All Girlz Jam

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Last Monday – Memorial Day – SinXero, Sien, Fumero and Joe Conzo brought their vision to a new legal wall in the Bronx. Inspired by SinXero’s memories of growing up on 181st Street and Prospect Avenue, the collaborative mural pays homage to the roots of graffiti and hip-hop.

SinXero Fumero Sien and Joe Conzo SinXero, Sien, Fumero and Joe Conzo Fashion a Soulful Ode to the Birthplace of Hip Hop

Located at 1401 Ferris Place, this mural is the first of four legal Bronx walls by the TAG Team — in collaboration with such legendary documentarians as Joe Conzo, Ricky Flores and Henry Chalfant. Sponsored by All City Paint, the murals are intended as a tribute to those who played a significant role in the development of the borough’s distinct culture that continues to impact the world. These walls also represent, SinXero reports, an effort to bring a new form of street art, grafstract– with its melding of styles — to the birthplace of it all.  Here are a few more images:

Sinxero pastes up his iconic “Ode to the Streets” image. Photo by Trevon Blondet.

Sinxero street art Bronx NYC SinXero, Sien, Fumero and Joe Conzo Fashion a Soulful Ode to the Birthplace of Hip Hop

Close-up of SinXero image with Sien to the right. Photo by Tara Murray.

sinxero and sein street art close up Bx NYC SinXero, Sien, Fumero and Joe Conzo Fashion a Soulful Ode to the Birthplace of Hip Hop

Sien at work. Photo by Trevon Blondet.

sien street art Bronx NYC SinXero, Sien, Fumero and Joe Conzo Fashion a Soulful Ode to the Birthplace of Hip Hop

SinXero and Fumero in front of completed mural. Photo by Trevon Blondet.

Fumero Sinxero street art mural Nrpmx NYC SinXero, Sien, Fumero and Joe Conzo Fashion a Soulful Ode to the Birthplace of Hip Hop

Joe Conzo with image based on his photo of Bronx hip-hop legends, the Cold Crush BrothersPhoto by Trevon Blondet.

Joe Conzo Bronx NYC SinXero, Sien, Fumero and Joe Conzo Fashion a Soulful Ode to the Birthplace of Hip Hop

Close-up of Cold Crush Brothers. Photo by Lois Stavsky.

Joe Conzo Sinxero cold crush bnrothers street art Bronx NYC SinXero, Sien, Fumero and Joe Conzo Fashion a Soulful Ode to the Birthplace of Hip Hop

Westchester Square Plumbing Supply Co., Inc  has provided TAG with multiple legal walls for this project.

All photos by Trevor Blondet, courtesy of SinXero — except for SinXero and Sien close-up by Tara Murray and final close-up by Lois Stavsky.

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While not conducting his post-doctoral research on Brain and Behavior at The Rockefeller University, Jerusalem native Yoav Litvin can be found on our city streets pursuing his passion for street art. We recently met up for a chat.

1 Dain Wythe Ave. Williamsburg Brooklyn Yoav Litvin on his Street Art Passions and Pursuits

What spurred your interest in public art?

As a result of an injury, there wasn’t much I could do other than walk around.  So that’s what I did. And once I began to notice street art, I couldn’t stop taking photos of it. I also appreciate the risks artists take when putting up pieces; it’s a rush I can relate to. And I admire the artists’ generosity in taking these risks to share their vision with the public.

2 Alice Mizrachi and Cope2 Boone Avenue Bronx Yoav Litvin on his Street Art Passions and Pursuits

What is it about street art that continues to so engage you?

I love its beauty and humor. I appreciate its aesthetic and the way it challenges convention. It is a beautiful, non-violent way to raise issues in the public sphere.  And as a political person, I am drawn to the confrontational nature of much of it.

3 Never Bedford Ave Williamsburg Brooklyn Yoav Litvin on his Street Art Passions and Pursuits

What do you see as the role of the photographer in today’s street art movement?

Because of the transient nature of public art, I see it as essential. The image is important, but so is its context and appropriate accreditation to the artist.  And documentation of NYC’s street art trends is especially essential as this city is the world’s cultural Mecca.

4 Grattan St. Bushwick Brooklyn Yoav Litvin on his Street Art Passions and Pursuits

Tell us a bit about your current project.

I’ve been working for over a year now on a book that profiles 46 of the most prolific urban artists working in NYC.  It will feature images and interviews, along with some exciting supplements.

6 Jilly Ballistic Astor Place Manhattan Yoav Litvin on his Street Art Passions and Pursuits

Have you any favorite artists whose works you’ve seen here in NYC?

There are too many to list. I love them all for different reasons.

5 Enzo and Nio Wythe Ave. Williamsburg Brooklyn Yoav Litvin on his Street Art Passions and Pursuits

How do you keep up with the current scene?

In addition to documenting what I see and speaking to artists, I follow popular street art blogs such as StreetArtNYC, Brooklyn Street Art and Vandalog.  I also check Instagram daily for new images that surface not only on NYC streets, but across the globe. And I try to attend gallery openings as often as possible.

7 NDA right and Elle Deadsex tag on left Jefferson St. Bushwick Brooklyn Yoav Litvin on his Street Art Passions and Pursuits

We certainly look forward to reading your book.  Tell us more about its current progress. How close it is to publication?

I’ve finally completed the stage of collecting texts and images, and am currently working together with a first-rate designer. I am now seeking a publisher.

Yoav can be contacted at yoavlitvin@gmail.com

Featured photos are in the following sequence:

1) Dain. Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

2) Alice Mizrachi and Cope2. Boone Avenue, The Bronx.

3) Never Satisfied. Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

4) gilf! Grattan Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn.

5) Jilly Ballistic. Astor Place 6 Train station, Manhattan.

6) Enzo and Nio. Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

7) ND’A and Elle Deadsex. Jefferson Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn.

All photos by Yoav Litvin.

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