Dee Dee

Since 2015, Wooden Walls has been bringing a diverse range of first-rate local, national and international artists to the boardwalk of Asbury Park, a small — but vibrant — seaside city on the Jersey shore. The image pictured above was designed and painted by West Coast-based artist Mike Shine. What follows are several more Wooden Walls murals recently captured by arts educator and photographer Rachel Fawn Alban:

The mysteriously beguiling NYC-based Dee Dee

Asbury Park-based multidisciplinary artist Porkchop

Brazilian artist Thiago Valdi

With West Coast native Beau Stanton painted above

Beau Stanton, up close

Photos by Rachel Fawn Alban

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This is the sixth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of New York City’s doors that sport everything from tags and stickers to sophisticated images.

Elbow Toe

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RAE

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Dain, Dee Dee and more

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Kenny Scharf

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And seen awhile back, Art Is Trash

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 Photo credits: 1, 2 & 4 Tara Murray; 3 Dani Reyes Mozeson & 5 Lois Stavsky

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Allan-Ludwig-photo-by-Julie Dermansky

Still out there each day with camera in hand documenting what has surfaced overnight, photographer Allan Ludwig aka Elisha Cook, Jr recently shared with us some of his thoughts on the changes that he’s witnessed in his downtown Manhattan neighborhood and more:

You’ve lived here in Soho for decades.  At what point did the changes in your neighborhood become most apparent?

Around 2003, I noticed that the new stores in my neighborhood were — for the most part — only selling expensive items.  I no longer recognized my neighbors’ faces on the streets. Tourists and shoppers were everywhere. I knew then that I must turn my lens onto the graffiti and street art here before it all disappeared.

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And what are some of the changes that you have observed in the street art that surfaces here these days?

It has largely lost its edginess.  Much of the street art here has  gotten exceedingly commercial.  It’s often difficult to tell the difference between what is sanctioned and what is done without permission. Street art and ads have become increasingly interchangeable. And too many “street artists” these days seem to use public space primarily to promote their gallery shows.

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Dasic-Fernandez-photo-by-Allan-Ludwig

What do you suppose has caused these changes?

The monetization of it all.  And I feel that the street art festivals have not only legitimized an underground movement, but have created an elite — not all that different from the mainstream art world.

 We’ve noticed that you tend to focus your camera on illegal works, particularly tags and bombs. Why is that?

Because they are real and raw. I love their poetic spontaneity. I can feel the artist’s pure passion and love for it.

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Not everyone would agree with you! Any thoughts about Mayor de Blasio’s proposed efforts to keep the city graffiti-free?

I don’t see any point to it. It’s a misdirected use of funds. The money should be used, instead, to help the homeless.

We noticed that you were daily documenting the impromptu David Bowie memorial in front of his home. Did you know Bowie personally?

I live just down the block from him, so I’d see him from time to time around the neighborhood. But, no, I didn’t know him personally. I would simply nod in acknowledgement and respect when I saw him. I sensed that he was my kind of person. But I did not want to invade his privacy.

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And what about the memorial? What spurred you to photograph it daily and in such detail?

I loved it! I loved that it was spontaneous and inclusive. There was no hidden agenda!

Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

All photos by Allan Ludwig aka Elisha Cook, Jr, except for the first one — featuring Allan alongside Buff Monster — which was photographed by Julie Dermansky; photo 3 features Dylan Egon; photo 4 features Dee Dee  and photo 5, Dasic Fernandez

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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"Dee Dee"

Opening this evening at 2 Rivington Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and continuing through Sunday is The Day Is My Enemy, street artist Dee Dee‘s first solo exhibit. Presented by Montreal-based Station 16, it features an intriguing array of distinctly curious collaged works. When I stopped by last night, I had the opportunity to speak to Adam Vieira and Emily Robertson of Station 16.

adam-vieria-and-emily-robertson-station 16

Just who is Dee Dee?

She is quite mysterious! But word is that the secretive artist is based in New York City and that she is Japanese.

Interesting! How did you discover her?

We first heard about her from Dain, whose work we’d exhibited at Station 16.

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Yes! They share a similar aesthetic! What is it about Dee Dee‘s work that appeals to you?

We love that she creates her art from scraps of posters and assorted papers that she finds on the streets. And we like that she consistently gets up in a variety of spots. We are thrilled to be back in NYC to present her work in this space.

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Can you tell us something about the concept behind The Day Is My Enemy?

Yes! It is Halloween-based, as it highlights themes of deception and destruction. The works on exhibit explore the contradictions and discrepancies between our private and public selves.

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What can visitors to the opening reception expect — in addition to viewing first-hand all of this intriguing art?

There will be themed hostesses, lighting to complement the mood, a soundscape designed by Dee Dee and more!

It sounds great! Good luck!

Note: The Day Is My Enemy opens this evening from 6-9pm at 2 Rivington Street off the Bowery.

Interview and photos 1-4 by Lois Stavsky

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