fine art

I stopped by HG Contemporary‘s impressive new gallery space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn yesterday as several artists were busy at work preparing for tonight’s official launch.

After checking it out, I had the opportunity to speak with Sean Sullivan who, along with Harris Lobel, has curated the gallery’s opening exhibit:

This space is ideal, and the artwork looks wonderful! How did the opportunity come your way to curate this exhibit for HG Contemporary‘s grand opening here in Williamsburg?

Last month, Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim, the founder of HG Contemporary in Chelsea, approached me and asked me if I would be interested in curating an exhibit along the lines of First City, the one I’d curated awhile back in Long Island.  I saw it as a great opportunity to give artists I admire a chance to exhibit alongside the fine artists who generally show at HG Contemporary.

How did you decide which artists to include?

That was difficult, as I would have liked to include many more. I chose artists with whom I’ve successfully worked with in the past, along with five others whose artwork I’ve admired, but with whom I’ve never worked. The final selection was a joint decision between me and Harris Lobel, who was involved in curating, along with me, the First City project. We were interested in showcasing the works of artists whom we believe deserve wide exposure.

I’m familiar with several of the artists — especially those whose work I’ve seen on the streets. Several, though, are new to me. Who are the artists that you both agreed to include in this grand opening?

Our final selection included: Albertus JosephZimer, Gumshoe, Jenna Krypell, Jason AckermanFridge, Jenna Morello, OG Millie and Reso 914.

There’s quite a diverse range of styles here. Had you a specific theme in mind?

We were interested in representing the various elements associated with street art and graffiti.  And so we sought a mix of images, words, letter technique, characters, color and flow.

What were some of the challenges you faced in seeing this through?

As an artist who doesn’t like taking directions, I wasn’t all that comfortable giving directions to others. But it was something that I had to do. And it was difficult asking artists to put a halt to all that they were doing for two to three day, so that they could devote themselves for hours on end to this project.

I’m certain that many artists who worked with you in the past were disappointed that they weren’t included in such a significant exhibit.

Definitely! I was getting too many nasty direct messages. Dealing with that was another huge challenge. Of course, I would have loved to include more artists, and I do hope to include many others in future exhibits that I look forward to curating in this space.

In addition to the works painted directly onto the walls here, what else can visitors to the gallery expect to see?

All of the artists who are partipating will also exhibit works on canvas that are for sale. And in addition to the artists that Harris and I have brought in, HG Contemporary will be presenting a special installation by Franz Klainsek and works by Tim Bengel and Carl McCrow.

And how can folks who can’t make it to the official grand opening see the exhibit?

The gallery is conveniently located at 66 North 3rd Street off Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn .All are invited to visit the gallery during its regular opening hours.

Images

  1. Albertus Joseph
  2. Layer Cake
  3. Zimer
  4. Gumshoe
  5. Jenna Krypell
  6. Jason Ackerman & Fridge
  7. Jenna Morello
  8. OG Milli
  9. Reso 914

Interview and 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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I first came upon JR‘s ingenious aesthetic ten years ago when I discovered a series of his portraits of Israelis and Palestinians pasted face to face along the Separation Wall in Abu Dis, Jerusalem. Celebrating the similarities between Israelis and Palestinians, the Face 2 Face Project heightened the absurdity of this seemingly endless conflict among cousins — and has stayed with me since. Within this past decade, JR has continued to bring his wondrous talents and socially-conscious vision to dozens of sites across the globe, often giving a voice to those whose voices are silenced.

This past week, Galerie Perrotin NYC  launched Horizontal featuring an eclectic selection of JR‘s works. His first NYC solo show, Horizontal presents — in addition to the artist’s archival prints — a range of mixed-media installations.

Featured above is Migrants, Mayra, Picnic Across the Border, Quadrichromie, Tecate, Mexico – U.S.A. 2018. What follows are several more images from Horizontal captured by street and travel photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad.

Mixed media installation featuring JR‘s signature eye

Women Are Heroes, Le Havre, France, 2014

Giants, Kikito, Front View, Work in Progress, Tecate, Mexico – U.S.A2018

On Galerie Perrotin NYC exterior

And outside the gallery with street artist TomBob

The exhibit continues through August 17 at Perrotin New York, 130 Orchard Street.  Running concurrently at Perrotin is ALOALO, Mahafaly Sculptures of the Efiaimbelos.

Note: In observance of Independence Day, the gallery will be closed through July 4th. It will open at 10am on Thursday.

Photos by  Karin du Maire

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We first came upon Alexis Duque‘s tantalizing aesthetic several years ago, when we discovered a meticulously detailed wheatpaste of his on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. We’ve been huge fans ever since. His rich and inventive sensibility is now on view in Paradise Lost— a solo exhibition opening tonight, March 7, and continuing through March 31 — at Paul Calendrillo New York.  Pictured above is Calaveras X, rendered with acrylic on canvas against a background inspired by post-colonial floor tiles of traditional Latin American homes — as seen by the artist on his many visits to his native country, Colombia. Several more masterfully crafted images, all suggestive of a world in which Paradise is lost, follow:

Truck, Acrylic on canvas, 2017, 16″ x 12″

Diana, Acrylic on canvas, 2017, 24″ x 16″

Slum, Acrylic on canvas, 2013, 31.5 x 23.5

And one of several sculptures on exhibit —

Dwelling, Cardboard, modeling paste, ink and acrylic, 2018, 20″ H x 10″ W x 10″ D

Paul Calendrillo New York is located at 547 West 27th St, Suite 600, in Chelsea and is open 11:00am to 6:00pm Tuesday – Saturday with extended hours on Thursdays that offer an opportunity to meet the artist. Tonight’s opening reception takes place from 6:00 to 8:00pm.

Photos of images: 1-4, Lois Stavsky & 5 Tara Murray

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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Fusing the wild style graffiti style he had mastered while growing up in Denmark with a contemporary fine art sensibility, Mikael B creates sumptuous murals, characterized by bold shapes and mesmerizing colors. He was recently invited to paint the exterior of Art Share L.A., a nonprofit organization that supports Los Angeles-based artists by providing a creative environment for them to live, work, develop, perform and exhibit. Pictured above is one side of the huge 9,300 sq. ft space. Several more images follow:

The artist at work on one segment of the mural

And here on another segment

While taking a moment’s break

The completed project

Photos courtesy of the artist

You can follow the artist on Facebook here and on Instagram here.

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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Featuring a selection of large scale drawings and ninety six playing cards, Michael Alan‘s newest exhibition Mind Body Sound opens this evening, December 6, at KHORASHEH + GRUNERT,  524 West 19th Street in Chelsea.  What follows are several more of Michael’s seductively poetic images to be exhibited:

Kindred Spirit the Floating Princess, Watercolor, marker, pencil, acrylic, airbrush, gouache, paint marker on paper, 36″x48″

Sit and Sing, White ink on red paper, 30″x40″

Royal Petite, Mixed media on baseball card

Purple Nurple Grace, Mixed media on baseball card

In conjunction with the exhibit, the artist’s iconic Living Installation will take place in the center of the gallery as Michael Alan and Jadda Cat will create a four-hour HUG human sculpture using their bodies, props, fabrics, sounds and emotions. The Living Installation is by admission only this coming Saturday from 8pm-12pm.

People are welcome to come gather, watch, photograph, make art, become one! For tickets, visit here.

Images courtesy of the artist

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As alluring as the artist herself, Lady K Fever’s workspace is an oasis of feverish creativity. Featured above is a selection of Lady K Fever’s handbags from her line of newly crafted accessories. What follows are several more images I captured while visiting her Bedford Park studio space last week:

Spray-painted spray cans

Be Boy, Be Ready

Feverish, logo for Lady K Fever’s accessories

In the Key of F Minor, Close-up

And Lady K Fever modeling her bag and new line of street wear

A selection of Lady K Fever‘s new line of accessories and handbags can be purchased at the Bronx Museum of the Arts‘ gift shop and at the upcoming Bronx Museum Artisan Market on Saturday, December 9th. You can check out Lady K Fever‘s Etsy shop here.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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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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I first came upon WC Bevan‘s mesmerizing aesthetic at an exhibit — curated by Jason Mamarella aka d.w. krsna — that I attended back in 2013 at 17 Frost. I was delighted to rediscover it on the streets of Detroit during my recent trip, where I, also, had a chance to visit the artist’s studio and speak to him.

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

I was about 15 or 16 and living in Ohio. I had gotten my driver’s license, and in between delivering pizzas, I’d find walls under train bridges.

What ignited your interest back then in graffiti?

A punk named Gabe Razor gave me his half-filled black book. He wrote, but never disclosed who he was.

Had you any favorite surfaces to hit up back then?

Besides the walls under the train bridges, I liked abandoned spaces – of any kind — and the quarries.

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These days — when you are out on the streets — would you rather work legally or illegally?

Both. 

Were you ever arrested?

Once in Memphis. I just had to repaint the wall and pose for a photo.

What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever done while painting in the streets?

In Memphis, I painted a big, googly eyeball 26 stories above the ground while hanging off a bar.

Why did you?

It was fun! Why not? 

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Would you rather paint alone or collaborate with others?

I like collaborating with rich people who commission me to paint their walls!

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

I don’t feel it much here in Detroit. We’ve all been through so much together.

What percentage of your time is devoted to art these days?

About 90%.

How does your family feel about what you are doing 

They love it. They’re cool! My father is a folk musician.

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What are some of your other interests?

I record music as a hobby, and I bike.

How do you feel about the engagement of the corporate world with graffiti writers and street artists?

It depends on the nature and mission of the company or corporation. It’s okay as long as the artist is aware of the company’s agenda and can work with it.

What is the main source of your income?

Working on commissioned murals and selling my work privately. 

Have you shown your work in galleries?

Yes. I’ve been in lots of shows – both group exhibits and solo shows. When I was based in NYC, I showed at 17 Frost.

Wc-Bevan-fantasy street-art

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

A loose sketch.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished work?

Yes. And, if not, I’ll fix it. So far, I’ve only painted over one piece.

Do you have a formal art education?

I attended the Memphis College of Art for almost two years.

Was it worth it?

It wasn’t the way I wanted to do it, but I did get a lot of art supplies out of it!

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Are there any particular cultures or movements that have influenced your aesthetic?

I’ve been influenced by South American art, the Renaissance and architectural designs.

How has your work evolved through the years?

With the space and time I’ve had since moving to Detroit, it has evolved quite a bit.  It’s tighter and bigger.

What inspires you these days?

Pure vision and free association.

Do any particular artists inspire you?

JJ Cromer, Martin Ramirez, Louise Nevelson, Kenny Sharf, R Crumb, Motohiro Hayakawa, Minnie Evans

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

If a graffiti artist paints something and it doesn’t appear on Instagram, did it really happen?  My advice to graffiti artists is: Don’t show your face or location. But the Internet does make it easier for us to sell T-shirts!

What’s ahead?

Murals in the Market, a trip to Cuba and more painting!

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

To provide meaning, encourage reflection, and offer people the possibility of seeing things differently.

Photo credits: 1, 5 & 6 courtesy of the artist; 2-4 & 7 Lois Stavsky; interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

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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The masterful Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz returned to NYC earlier this month, where he completed his mural for Coney Art Walls and fashioned a new one in Nolita. Featured above is his wondrous new work  — painted with the assistance of Esagente — at rag & bone on Elizabeth Street. What follows are several more images of the work in progress and the completed mural:

In the beginning

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Both artists continue painting on one of the hottest days of the year–

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Alexis Diaz takes a brief break; Esagente paints 

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Alexis Diaz photographs the final piece

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Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 3 Tara Murray; 4 & 5 Karin du Maire

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With roots in the graffiti milieu of southwest Copenhagen, where he painted hundreds of walls under his alias KETS, Mikael B has since developed a signature identity fusing elements of wild style graffiti, fine art and graphic design. Aptly titled Reality ShiftMikael B‘s upcoming exhibit presents an alternate reality bursting with bold colors and boundless energy. Pictured above is the artist at work in his studio as he prepares for his solo exhibit opening Saturday evening from 7-10pm at Gregorio Escalante Gallery. Several more images of the artist’s work follow:

Time Bending

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Breaking Out

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Close-up

Mikael- B-abstract-graffiti-art.

 Skyfall

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Located at 978 Chung King R0ad in Los Angeles, Gregorio Escalante Gallery is open Wednesday — Sunday from 1pm — 6pm and by appointment.

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All photos courtesy Gregorio Escalante Gallery 

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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