Fin DAC

Recently released by Schiffer is Tokyo Graffiti, a delightfully intriguing and wonderfully informative survey of  Tokyo’s current street art and graffiti scene documented by London-born photographer David Sharabani aka Lord K2. After reading the book, I posed a few questions to Lord K2:

You’ve documented urban art in several cities and have previously published a book on Santiago’s rich street art scene.  What drew you to Tokyo?

Tokyo’s street art scene has never been documented and published before in a book of this format, and its urban art is relatively overlooked by locals and tourists alike. The walls and streets are so pristine and well-organized — many with an abundance of logos and commercials – that you may get the impression that street art is not needed. But when well-placed and in the right context, it enhances Tokyo’s well-planned and maintained architectural surroundings.

Also, I saw this book as a challenge. I was in Tokyo photographing the Sumo wrestling culture. The majority of my time was spent handling bureaucratic paperwork, and out of frustration and impatience, I decided to hit the streets. Initially, I wasn’t entirely sure there would be enough art out there to justify a book. But the more I dug in, the more hidden gems I discovered. Since Tokyo’s graffiti is not so apparent, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a book of some of the most significant pieces in one format to be viewed easily.

How does Tokyo’s street art and graffiti scene differ from other cities you’ve visited?

Regarding graffiti and art that is often regarded as vandalism, it’s not in the nature of Japanese to vandalize, rebel or speak up. Their economy functions well; there is virtually no street crime, and the education system is excellent. It seems that there is not too much to protest about. Also, conformism is an integral part of the Japanese way. Going against the flow of polite dignified behavior is considered a far more extreme form of misconduct than it is in most other countries.

Another distinct difference between Tokyo and many other cities is that in Tokyo it is a nightmare-of-a-process to obtain permissions, limiting the quantity of “decorative art,” even though the quality is generally high.

There are, though, a fair amount of stickers mounted in the highly populated central neighborhoods of Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku, since these are quick and easy to put up with a minimal chance of being caught. Many of these stickers have been put up by foreigners.

What were some of the challenges you’ve faced in documenting it?

A big challenge was getting the artists to talk. They were happy to be interviewed, but cautious as to what they would reveal. It was hard to extract any juicy or emotive information. Fortunately, I was introduced to Little Pink Pills, who was already well-informed on the scene. She ended up writing the book’s text that accompanies my photos.

The other challenge was sourcing the graffiti. Even though artists would pinpoint locations, this didn’t suffice. I had to scout the streets for hours on end on my bicycle. I was inevitably much fitter for it.

Do any particular images or styles stand out to you? Any that are distinctly Japanese?

The mural that stands out most to me is one that was painted by German artist Case Maclaim. It’s a gigantic mural on the back of a building in Tennozu Isle painted for Pow! Wow! Japan depicting Sumo video game fighter E .Honda. It’s striking to see it in the distant urban scape.

Half the street art in Tokyo is painted by Westerners. They often incorporate images from popular Japanese culture such as Samurai, Geishas, Sumo, as well as comics that portray social issues. Japanese artists do not have a collective style of painting, as each individual/crew has its own distinctive style. Many of them incorporate less commercial elements of Japanese culture. For example, Usugrow blends Japanese calligraphy with pointillism and Los Angeles Cholo culture. Shizentomotel paints Namahage, a traditional Japanese folklore demon. Dragon‘s style is a fusion of graffiti, manga and ukiyo-e. Tamura Yoshiyasu, a manga artist, painter and illustrator, mixes modern manga with traditional Japanese art.

I’m so glad that you and Little Pink Pills made this book happen! Congratulations!

Photos 1 Book cover 2 Fin DAC 3 Unidentified 4 Kami and Sasu aka Hitotzuki 5 Assorted stickers 6 Little Pink Pills 7 Case Maclaim  & 8 Makoto; interview 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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Findac-street-art-amsterdam

Street Art Today celebrated King’s Day 2017 with the third edition of the annual Kings Spray Street Art Festival. On April 27, a part of the NDSM-wharf in the north of Amsterdam was transformed into a giant street art castle. Thirty-five national and international street artists created artworks of 3,5 by 5 meters inside the castle and on its walls. Pictured above is London-based Fin DAC at work. What follows is a photo report of the festival by street art and travel photographer Karin du Maire:

Dutch graffiti master Ces53 at work

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Brazilian artist Sipros at work

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Holland-based Mr  June at work

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Belgium-based Philip Bosmans aka Bosmaus

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Berlin-based artist Sokar Uno

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London-based Fanakapan at work

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Amsterdam-based Besok at work

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Kings Spray Street Art Festival was organized by Peter Ernst Coolen, the founder and curator of Street Art Today.

Photos by Karin du Maire

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Several stunning new murals recently surfaced on Morgan Avenue and Stagg Street in Bushwick. While visiting Livestream last week, I spoke to visual artist and curator Bianca Romero about Skillosophy, the movement behind these artworks.

Just what is Skillosophy? And when was it launched?

It’s an exhibition/showcase series that takes place four times a year with a focus on multi-disciplinary artists. It was launched last year by the co-founders of Lyricist Lounge & Defiant Ent and Livestream. For this past quarter, Danny Castro — Lyricist Lounge co-founder — and I decided to feature outdoor murals for the fall exhibition during Bushwick Open Studios, in addition to the art that is on exhibit inside the Livestream headquarters.

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What spurred you to add this outdoor element to Skillosophy?

Typically, Skillosophy is indoors, inside the Livestream studio space. But we wanted to take it outside for Bushwick Open Studios. It seemed like a great way to give exposure to the talented muralists and street artists, and it was a great addition to our Block Party to have it done live. We loved the communal and public aspect of it.

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You’ve done a wonderful job of curating it all. The art both inside and outside is wonderfully eclectic and is beautifully presented. Have you a background in art? 

Both my parents are artists. My father, in fact, was a pioneer in graphic design and has taught design at the School of Visual Arts and at the Parsons School of Design. My mother was a fashion designer, and I, myself, am an artist.

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And can you tell us a bit about Livestream? When was it first founded and what is its mission?

It was founded in 2007 with the mission to make any every event available live online through video.

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And how has Livestream responded to Skillosophy?

The love it. They’ve thoroughly embraced it. They love the idea of bringing the extraordinary talents of Bushwick into our offices. A walk through our offices — that are covered with work by local artists — is like a walk through the neighborhood!

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Who is Skillosophy‘s audience?

All art lovers! Anyone who loves any aspect of art — music, dance, film or visual art.  The venue has hosted hip-hop shows, film industry mixers and skillshares in addition to art exhibits. We’ve had a very diverse audience…from working class folks to art collectors to party people!

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How can folks best keep up with your events? And how can they arrange a visit to Livestream‘s headquarters for private viewings of the indoor art?

They can follow Skillosophy on Instagram, and they can contact us at skillosophyshow@gmail.com to schedule a private viewing and inquire about pricing and events. And any artist or performer interested in participating in a future Skillosophy exhibition and showcase can contact as at this email, as well.

 Images

1 & 2 Fin DAC at work

3 Rubin at work

4 Danielle Mastrion and Lexi Bella

5 Jerms

6 Misha T 

7 N Carlos J

Photo credits 1-5 & 7 Karin du Maire and 6 Tara Murray; interview with Bianca Romero conducted by Lois Stavsky

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An incredible variety of faces — representing a range of styles, techniques and sensibilities — make their way onto Miami’s walls. Here’s a small sampling of what has surfaced in Wynwood:

PichiAvo. a larger segment of huge mural in Wynwood Walls

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Miles Toland, close-up

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Christina Angelina aka Starfightera and Fanakapan, close-up

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Vhils in Wynwood Walls

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Kevin Ledo and Fin DAC, close-up

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DALeast and Cryptik, close-up

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 Photo credits: 1 & 2 Sara C. Mozeson; 3-7 Lois Stavsky

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This is the 17th in an occasional series of posts featuring images of girls — and women — who grace NYC public spaces:

New Zealand-based Owen Dippie at the Bushwick Collective

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Spanish artist Belin in Williamsburg

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Colorado-based Bunny M in Soho

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Tokyo-native Lady Aiko at the Bushwick Collective

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Irish artist Fin Dac in Bushwick

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Brazilian artist Nove in Bushwick

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Brazilian artists Panmela Castro & OPNI at First Street Green Art Park

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Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 4 City-As-School intern Stefan Vargas; 3, 5-7 Tara Murray

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On our brief visit to Dublin, Ireland, we discovered a vibrant street art and graffiti scene teeming with infectious images. Here are a few more:

Cork, Ireland native Fin DAC, whose aesthetic we first came upon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Dublin-based James Earley, close-up

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Dublin-based Fink

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Irish illustrator and painter Dan Leo

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South African native MARCAMIX aka bryite1one

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Belfast-based Friz

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Irish graffiti artists Koce and Vents

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Photo credits: 1, 2, 4, 6 & 8 Tara Murray; 3, 5 & 7 Lois Stavsky

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While in L.A. earlier this week to celebrate the expansion of the Google Cultural Institute’s Street Art Project, Houda Lazrak  – co-curator of the Bushwick Collective online exhibit and the earlier 5Pointz one – had the opportunity to check out the neighboring streets. Here’s a sampling of what she found:

Beau Stanton

"Beau Stanton"

Pixel Pancho

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Fin DAC and Christina Angelina

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Lady Aiko

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Hueman

Hueman

Roa

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Photos by Houda Lazrak

Note: Houda Lazrak, a graduate student in Museum Studies at New York University, is a frequent contributor to StreetArtNYC and co-curator of the Bushwick Collective and 5Pointz on-line exhibits for the Google Cultural Institute’s Street Art Project.

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This is the twelfth in a series of posts featuring images of girls — and women — who grace New York City’s public spaces:

Brazilian artist Eli Sudbrack in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Danielle Mastrion in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"Danielle Mastrion"

Veng and Chris, RWK in Little Italy

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Katie Yamasaki with Groundswell youth in Park Slope, Brooklyn

"Katie Yamasaki and Groundswell youth"

Sest 2 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side

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Fin DAC & Christina Angelina — tribute to Lou Reed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"Fin DC and Christina Angelina"

Photo of Fin DAC & Christina Angelina by Dani Reyes Mozeson; of Chris & Veng, RWK by Tara Murray; all others by Lois Stavsky

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