fine art

ryan bock mana 1 <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

A collaborative hub for artists, the Mana BSMT occupies the entire lower level of Mana Contemporary‘s Jersey City headquarters. After completing their residency there, Apostrophe NYC’s Base 12 artists presented their artworks in a series of installations and performances this past Saturday evening. The image pictured above was fashioned by Ryan Bock, whose talents have also made their way onto walls on the Lower East Side and Bushwhick. Here are several more images we captured:

Also by Ryan BockSacrificial Shanking

ryan bock art at Mana <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

Kolter Hodgson, Cryami, close-up

Kolter Hodgson art mana <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

James Reyes

James Reyes art Mana BSMT 1 <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

James Rubio with his new Power of Prayer paintings

james rubio mana <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

The Real Love Child, close-up

the real love child <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

Sei Smith, Yellow and Blue — as observed by Houda Lazrak — with artist as masseur

sei smith art mana <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

Alana Dee Haynes, Photo Booth — with fashions designed by the artist

alana dee haynes mana1 <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

Photo credits: 1-7 Lois Stavsky and 8 Houda Lazrak

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

en play badge 2 <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Base 12 Artists at Mana BSMT: Ryan Bock, Kolter Hodgson, James Reyes, James Rubio, The Real Love Child, Sei Smith & Alana Dee Haynes

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lady k fever at marcus garvey Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Lady K Fever has been feverishly busy! Along with creating and installing All Along the Watchtower, an interactive public art installation at Marcus Garvey Park, she was also at work curating Inside Out, a group exhibit at the nearby Heath Gallery, to coincide with her installation.  This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to visit both the installation and the exhibit.

Lady K Fever installation Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Another segment of the Marcus Garvey Park installation – at night

Lady K Installation at night Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

And at the Heath Gallery – Lady K Fever, Mystery

Lady K Mystery Heath gallery Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Jenevieve, Two Views

Jenevieve Two Views Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Natalie Collette Wood, Eliptical Star

Natalie Collette WoodEliptical Star Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Marthalicia, Aquatic Boy

marthalicia heath gallery Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Shame 125, Admiring

shame graffiti on canvas Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Bio,Tats Cru, Let the Games Begin

bio tats cru let the games begin Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

And “the crew” outside Heath Gallery

heath gallery artists Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

The exhibit at Heath Gallery can be seen this weekend: Saturday from 12-6pm and Sunday 12-5pm. All Along the Watchtower remains on view through the end of this month. And for a guided walk of it, you can meet up with Lady K FeverSuprina and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance members at the nearby Chéri Restaurant, 231 Lenox Avenue, between 6-7pm on Friday evening.

All Along the Watchtower is sponsored by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative with funding provided in part by the Harlem Community Development Corporation. 

 Photos: 1-3 & 10 courtesy Lady K Fever; 4-9 Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

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Michael alan art <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

Back in March, Joshua B. Geyer‘s splendidly curated exhibit introduced us to the World Trade Gallery.  We recently returned as its current exhibit, Deep Calls Deep, again features some of our favorite artists. Pictured above is a recent work by the wonderfully talented and highly imaginative Michael Alan.

Also by Michael Alan

Michael alan abstract art <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

michael alan on paper <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

Rubin

rubin abstract art wtc <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

With Erasmo to his left

rubin erasmo world trade gallery <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

Located at 120 Broadway in Manhattan’s Financial District, the World Trade Gallery is open Monday – Thursday 9am-7pm; Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 11am-5pm.

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

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.

en play badge 2 <em> Deep Calls Deep </em> Continues at World Trade Gallery through July 12 with: Michael Alan, Rubin, Erasmo and more

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Rubin415 Brooklyn2 2014 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Recently released by Dokument PressRUBIN NEW YORK SCANDINAVIA is a stunning survey of Rubin‘s distinct abstract and geometrical artworks that are rooted in traditional graffiti. With dozens of images documenting Rubin‘s journey — from Sweden, where he grew up, to NYC, where he is now based – Rubin New York/Scandinavia  offers an overview of the works of an exceptional artist, who has brought a singular beauty to our NYC landscape.

Rubin415 Brooklyn NYC 20141 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

The book’s succinct text by Björn Almqvist introduces us to Rubin’s experiences as a child of Finnish immigrants who made their way to Sweden in search of work. The alienation that Rubin felt among Swedes, along with the stark grey concrete walls of the housing complex that enveloped him, were calls to pick up a can and make a mark.

Rubin415 Tony Sjoman Gothenbur8g 199 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Inspired by Scandinavian design, Rubin has developed a unique aesthetic that uses geometrical, symbols in lieu of letters. With his splendid craftsmanship and unique aesthetic, he transforms the gritty language of graffiti into his own distinct expression that is as effective on the streets of the South Bronx, as it is inside a church yard or on the outside of a Manhattan boutique.

Rubin415 New York 2015 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Rubin New York/Scandinavia also provides us with a handsomely curated survey of Rubin’s studio work that has been increasingly making its way into galleries.

Rubins Cube Gallery Nine5 New York 2014 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Rubin New York/Scandinavia is a splendid ode to a distinctly wonderful artist. Its NYC release took place last month at WallWorks, where the artist’s  works remain on exhibit through June 29th.

Rubin cover On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

Images

1. & 2. Brooklyn, 2014

3. Brooklyn, 2014

4. Gothenburg, 1989 

5. Brooklyn, 2015

6. Gallery nine5, 2014

Photo credits: Tony “Rubin” Sjöman and Mika Tuomivuo; all photos courtesy of Dokument Press; book review by Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 On <em>RUBIN NEW YORK/SCANDINAVIA</em> from Dokument Press

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valeri larko Bronx Museum of art NYC with painting With Valeri Larko at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

On view through June 26 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts is Bronx Focus: Paintings by Valeri Larko, an extraordinary visual ode to a borough whose landscape is rapidly changing. Among Valeri Larko‘s paintings are many that are infused with the Bronx’s gritty graffiti. With her impeccable renderings of tags, throw-ups and pieces, the artist has immortalized our favorite art form in the borough that birthed it. On revisiting the exhibit last week, I had the opportunity to meet Valeri, who gave a tour of her exhibit.

We love the way you are keeping some of our favorite walls alive through your paintings. What spurred you to focus on this aspect of the Bronx?

I’ve always been interested in the urban landscape, and when I moved from New Jersey to New Rochelle — just a short drive from the Bronx — I discovered the just how rich the graffiti in the Bronx is. I think it is gorgeous, and I love how sites with graffiti always have great stories to tell.

valeri larko obey and more With Valeri Larko at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Can you tell us something about your process? How long does it take from beginning to end to create a painting?

Everything is done on location. If a site interests me, I begin with a quick pen and ink sketch in a small notebook using a uni-ball pen. If I then decide that I want to do a painting of the particular scene, I do an oil sketch of it. For most of my studies, I work on 300 pound watercolor paper that I staple to a board. For the larger version, I typically paint two to three months, also on location.

Valeri Larko Boone With Valeri Larko at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

What are some of the challenges you face in producing this work?

The weather is, by far, my greatest challenge. The wind is my biggest enemy. My car is — many times — my only shelter, and that is where you will often find me painting, especially in the winter months.

How do the graffiti artists feel about what you are doing? 

They love it. If they see a blank surface at a particular space where I am painting, they will sometimes ask if they can leave their mark on it — to be included in my painting.

valeri larko Bronx drawbridge With Valeri Larko at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

What is your most memorable experience of painting on location?

There are so many, but here is one that comes to mind: I had been working at a site for several weeks on Top Dollar, a painting of a trailer truck. Then one day when I showed up, I was surprised to find a very large boat in front of the truck. I could’t imagine how it got there! Luckily, I had mostly finished the painting, and the boat seemed too clean, too pristine and too out of place to include. But a few days later, the graffiti artist SAET with his friend NARO showed up. Once SAET had christened the boat with his tag, it was totally transformed. And so I decided to add the boat to the painting. I was even thinking of doing a new painting of the boat. But that never happened!

Valeri Larko painting Top Dollar With Valeri Larko at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Why was that? Why didn’t you get to do the new painting of the boat?

While I was still working on Top Dollar, Tommy — who was living in the Jay’s Hot Dog Camper — informed me that the site was about to be demolished. That is one of the hazards of working on site. Whoa! I still needed at least a week to finish my painting. Luckily I found the guys doing the demolition work, and they agreed to give me one more week to complete my painting! It actually took me eight days, and within hours after I finished, everything on the site was demolished. And what about Tommy who had been living in the camper? He headed on a Greyhound back home to Kansas City where he and his sons had built two houses!

Valeri Larko Top Dollar Bronx With Valeri Larko at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

What’s next? Are any walls calling you? Any sites that particularly intrigue you?

Yes! I discovered an abandoned golf course across from Co-op City. And since I don’t know how much longer it will be around, I’ve been heading there as often as I can!

 What an incredible visual history you are creating!  And we are already looking forward to your upcoming solo exhibit at WallWorks in the fall.

Images

1. Valeri Larko — as seen last week — at the Bronx Museum

2. Ferris Stahl Meyer Diptych, close-up

3. Corner of Boone Avenye and 173rd Street

4. Bronx Drawbridge

5. Valeri Larko painting at Top Dollar

6. Top Dollar

Photo credits: 1-3 Lois Stavsky; 4 City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen; 5 John Wyatt & 6 courtesy of the artist; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky with Sol Raxlen

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.

en play badge 2 With Valeri Larko at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

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giz ghost RIS bushwick collective museum 2016 At the Bushwick Collective <em>Museum</em> with: Giz & Ghost, Dan Witz, Tim Okamura, Enx, Anna Orcutt Jahns, Nicer, See One and more

While visiting the Bushwick Collective on Thursday as it was readying for its 5th Annual Block Party, we had the opportunity to spend some time in its wondrous pop-up museum at 198 Randolph Street. The brainchild of Bushwick Collective founder Joe Ficalora, it showcases an extraordinary array of works by Bushwick Collective artists, along with art by community members, local youth, Parsons School of Design at the New School students and more.  We also had the chance to speak to the Bushwick Collective Museum‘s director, Asja Gleeson.

asja gleeson dan witz bushwick collective museum edited 1 At the Bushwick Collective <em>Museum</em> with: Giz & Ghost, Dan Witz, Tim Okamura, Enx, Anna Orcutt Jahns, Nicer, See One and more

This is all so amazing! There are works here by artists who’ve exhibited in museums, along with art by children who live in the neighborhood. Just about every art genre and style is represented here. How did you connect to so many diverse artists?

Joe Ficalora simply gave me a list of the folks he’d already reached out to. In the five years since he’s founded the Bushwick Collective, he’s made so many wonderful connections.

tim okamura fine art bushwick collective gallery At the Bushwick Collective <em>Museum</em> with: Giz & Ghost, Dan Witz, Tim Okamura, Enx, Anna Orcutt Jahns, Nicer, See One and more

How did you connect to Joe? 

Dan Witz introduced me to Joe two years ago, and I worked with Joe and Dan on the exhibit for the Collective’s 3rd Annual Block Party.  The experience was so fantastic that I was thrilled to have an opportunity to be involved once again with the Bushwick Collective.

enx bushwick collective museum At the Bushwick Collective <em>Museum</em> with: Giz & Ghost, Dan Witz, Tim Okamura, Enx, Anna Orcutt Jahns, Nicer, See One and more

As director, what are some of your responsibilities in managing an exhibit of this scope?

I had to contact all the artists and make sure that their work arrived in a timely fashion. I assisted Stan Sudol  the director of the Mana Urban Arts Project, in installing the works. And, basically, I was in charge of organizing the exhibit and assuring that it runs smoothly.

What — would you say — was your greatest challenge?

Getting it all together in the span of a week.

anna orcutt jahns art At the Bushwick Collective <em>Museum</em> with: Giz & Ghost, Dan Witz, Tim Okamura, Enx, Anna Orcutt Jahns, Nicer, See One and more

That’s quite an accomplishment! Have you an academic or professional background in art? 

Both my parents are artists, and I studied Art History and related fields at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. I’ve also worked in several Chelsea galleries.

How does working here differ from working in Chelsea?

It’s more of a labor of love here! The pace is faster, and there’s far more community involvement here in Bushwick than in Chelsea.

Nicer graffiti art At the Bushwick Collective <em>Museum</em> with: Giz & Ghost, Dan Witz, Tim Okamura, Enx, Anna Orcutt Jahns, Nicer, See One and more

What is your impression of the art on exhibit here? Have you any favorites?

I’m so impressed by the quality of it all. There are so many wonderful pieces. Among my favorites is the one by Enx. It speaks to me!

see one art At the Bushwick Collective <em>Museum</em> with: Giz & Ghost, Dan Witz, Tim Okamura, Enx, Anna Orcutt Jahns, Nicer, See One and more

How can folks see this exhibit? It’s an amazing opportunity to not only view such an eclectic selection of quality artworks, but to purchase art at remarkably reasonable prices — with all proceeds going directly to the artists.

It remains open to the public from 10am-5pm through the weekend. 

Images

1.  Giz and Ghost, RIS

2. Dan Witz, with director Asja Gleeson

3. Tim Okamura

4. Enx

5. Anna Orcutt-Jahns

6. Nicer, Tats Cru

7.  See One

Photo credits:  1, 2, 4 – 7 Tara Murray, City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 At the Bushwick Collective <em>Museum</em> with: Giz & Ghost, Dan Witz, Tim Okamura, Enx, Anna Orcutt Jahns, Nicer, See One and more

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Splendidly curated by Laura James and Eileen WalshBronx Now showcases a wide range of artworks in different media by some of the best artists working in the Bronx. Among these are several whose works also enhance public spaces. While visiting the exhibit on Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak to both curators and pose a few questions to Laura James, the founder of BX200.

John Ahearn Eileen Walsh Laura James Bronx Now  BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

Just what is BX200? And when was it launched?

BX200 is a directory of 200 artists, all of whom live or work in the Bronx. It was officially launched at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in March 2015.

bio tats cru art bronx now BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

 What is its mission? And what spurred you to launch it?

Its mission is connect our borough’s best artists to as wide an audience as possible from curators to collectors to other artists. My initial incentive in launching it was to get to know other artists living and working in the Bronx.

eric orr Bronx Now BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

You and  Eileen Walsh have, obviously, accomplished so much working together. The directory looks great, and this exhibit is wonderful. How did you two initially meet?

Awhile back, Eileen had invited me to participate in an exhibit she was curating elsewhere. Then when she read about BX200, she was eager to partner with me.

John Crash Matos  BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

The art here is spread across two rooms, and it all looks amazing. How did this great space come your way?

Eileen introduced me to it, and I thought it would be an ideal setting to introduce a selection of Bronx artists to folks who frequent Brooklyn spaces, particularly in Bushwick where so much is happening.

Nicer tats cru hip hop BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

How did you decide which artists to include in Bronx Now?  Some of the artists are quite young and relatively unknown, and others have established reputations and have exhibited in renowned museums.

We were interested in presenting a snapshot of the Bronx featuring works that we love — in a variety of styles and media — from a wide range of artists.

andre Trenier Bronx Now Prince Portrait BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

The exhibit opened with a reception Saturday evening How did the opening go?

It was fantastic! About 300 people came and we had Andre Trenier painting live

Mrs art Bronx Now BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

What are some of the other events we can look forward to this week? 

This Thursday, May 5, there will be a Bronx Now Artist Talk from 6-8pm. Participants will include Tats CruJohn Ahearn, Rebecca Allan, Danny Peralta and Alicia Grullon. And this Saturday there will be a closing reception from 5-8pm with a performance by Paco Cao. From Wednesday through Saturday’s closing, the gallery — located at 119 Ingraham Street — opens at noon. Enter through Terra Firma.

Congratulations on BX200 and this wonderful exhibit! I’m looking forward to more.

Images

1. John Ahearn with curators Laura James and Eileen Walsh

2. Bio, Tats Crew

3. Eric Orr

4. Crash

5. Nicer, Tats Cru

6. Andre Trenier, close-up

7. MRS

Photo credit: 1, 2, 4-7 Lois Stavsky; 3 courtesy Laura James; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 BX200 Exhibit <em>BRONX NOW</em> Brings the Best of the Bronx to Brooklyn: John Ahearn, Tats Cru, Eric Orr, Crash, Andre Trenier, Mrs and More

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Michael Alan 9 Lives Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

Michael Alan‘s wonderfully inventive new works remain on view through Saturday at Chelsea’s Tanja Grunert Gallery, 524 W 19th Street. After visiting his riveting exhibit, Nine Lives, we posed a few questions to the prolific artist.

Can you tell us something about the title of your current exhibit? What is the significance of Nine Lives to you?

The title, Nine Lives, is a play on my health issues and my determination to not focus on them, but to take what I’ve I learned and help others through my art. The works in this exhibit expand beyond my human life.

Michael Alan art work Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

How have recent life events impacted this body of work? 

Everything that happens to me impacts my work. I represent the tradition of creating work based on my life. My work is my life’s visual journal.

Michael alan close up Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

We love your characters. Who or what inspired them? Are they based on people you know? Or are they simply figments of your imagination?

I see them as part of my visual language — from ghosts of my past to art history references, to my friends and my models and now everyone! Draw the world, and do everything you can do! Life is short. Don’t stay limited or become a brand.

Michael Alan vertical Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

There’s quite a mix of styles and media on exhibit in Nine Lives. Have you any favorite piece or pieces? Any favorite medium?

I wish I could choose a favorite. My mind would be more simple — in a sense — if I could. But I’m a complex multitasker, and I love all things equally! I try as hard as I can to edit and make each work better or at least equal to the last. I think every piece should all hold up on its own.

Michael alan new art work Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

How did the opening at Tanja Grunert Gallery go? It is such a lovely space.

The opening attracted over 500 people. Paul Jacobson had a solo show in the bottom-level gallery, and I loved showing with him. We didn’t have much time to promote our exhibits, but so many people came! Thanks to all! Thank you!

Michael alan outside tanja grunet Michael Alan on <em>Nine Lives</em> at Tanja Grunert Gallery

 What’s next?

I couldn’t say what’s to come, because if I did, I wouldn’t have to do it. It would be done! Every day is a gift, even a bad day! So I just count everything as a blessing…even if it’s a negative.

Photo credits: 1 courtesy Michael Alan; 2-5 Tara Murray and 6 Jennifer Lopez, courtesy Michael Alan

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Misha Tyutyunik MDOT SoHo Mural Art Speaking with the Prolific and Talented Misha Tyutyunik aka MDot

Based in Brooklyn, Misha Tyutyunik aka MDOT is an accomplished painter, muralist and illustrator. His recent venture, fashioned along with a team of Groundswell youth, looms large at 11 Howard Street in SoHo. Earlier this week, we visited his studio and had the opportunity to speak to him.

When and where did you first make your mark on the streets?

Back in 1999, Wisher 914 and I hit up the water tower in Mohegan Lake in North Westchester where we grew up.  But my outdoor work is largely commissioned murals. I painted my first one for SoBro in the Bronx in 2006.  My most recent one is a collaboration with Groundswell youth at 11 Howard Street in SoHo, the site of Aby Rosen’s latest hotel venture.

Misha Tyutyunik MDOT mural 11 Howard Speaking with the Prolific and Talented Misha Tyutyunik aka MDot

You’re also a prolific painter of smaller works – from works on paper to paintings on huge canvasesHave you exhibited your works in gallery settings?

Yes!  I’ve exhibited throughout NYC in a range of spaces from CATM in Chelsea and  Tambaran on the Upper East Side to a variety of alternative venues.

Do you have a formal arts education? And was it worthwhile?

Yes, I have a BFA in Design and Illustration from Pratt. And, yes, as I learned how to problem solve through creative means.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

I spent my first seven years in the Ukraine, and was definitely influenced by social realism. Other influences include: graffiti in its heyday; Japanese prints; abstract expressionism; traditional mural painting and German expressionism.

Misha Tyutyunik mdot rapper painted on canvas Speaking with the Prolific and Talented Misha Tyutyunik aka MDot

What about artists? Any particular influences?

Among the many artists whose aesthetic has influenced me are: Diego Rivera, Klimt and Egon Schiele.

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with others?

I used to prefer working alone, but lately I’ve become more open to collaboration. I recently collaborated with Chris Soria.

If you could collaborate with any artist – alive or deceased – with whom would you collaborate?

Picasso – all day every day – and Max Ernst.

Mdot mixed media on canvas Speaking with the Prolific and Talented Misha Tyutyunik aka MDot

How does your family feel about what you are doing?

They love it!  None of them are artists, but they all love what I am doing!

What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

Pretty much all of it.

Is art the main source of your income?

Yes, the money I earn from commissions, along with income from teaching mural-making and art sales. I’ve also begun working on fashion design.

MDot Fashion Design Speaking with the Prolific and Talented Misha Tyutyunik aka MDot

How you feel about the role of the Internet in this scene?

It’s everything! Without the Internet I’d be nowhere.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished work?

I think so. But the question is: Is anything ever really finished?

How has your artwork evolved in the past few years?

By leaps and bounds! I’m much more comfortable than I used to be with different styles. My visual language has become more confident.

Misha Tyutyunik M Dot Mixed media on canvas Speaking with the Prolific and Talented Misha Tyutyunik aka MDot

As your work on the streets is largely commissioned murals, have you run into any conflicts with street artists or graffiti writers?

On occasion.  While painting a commissioned wall down in DC, for example, I was approached by graffiti writers who told me that the wall was theirs. When I explained to them what I was doing and they saw my work in progress, they came around.

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

I see my role as to reflect on our times, while bringing a strong aesthetic sensibility back into a largely conceptual realm.

What’s ahead?

Everything! Taking over the art world!

misha Tyutyunik SoHo Speaking with the Prolific and Talented Misha Tyutyunik aka MDot

That’s quite ambitious! Are there any particular projects we can look forward to?

I am currently painting an anti-gun violence mural in conjunction with BRIC, and I will soon begin working on a mural with Groundswell youth at Stapleton in Staten Island. And opening tonight and continuing through March 31 is The Internal Muse, a selection of my new paintings at Melet Mercantile at 84 Wooster Street in SoHo.

It all sounds great! Congratulations!

Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

Photo credits: 1 & 2 courtesy Lindsey Brown McLravy | SLATE PR; 3, 5 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 4 Tara Murray 

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

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Esteban del Valle looking for sediment art on panel Esteban del Valle on Contemporary Colonialism: <em>Displacing Waves</em> to Open January 9 at Superchief Gallery LA

Brooklyn-based artist Esteban del Valle has been busy! The culmination of seven months of travels throughout the United States, Displacing Waves, his upcoming exhibit, reflects on the artist’s role as a member of the “creative class” that creates new settlements, while displacing others. Esteban’s distinctly adroit mixed-media approach — blurring the lines between drawing and painting — brilliantly captures the anxiety, along with the comical irony, that the threat of gentrification poses to various communities, including the gentrifiers themselves.  Here is a sampling of Esteban’s painterly musings on contemporary colonialism that will be on exhibit at LA’s' Superchief Gallery opening this coming Saturday.

Appetite, Acrylic ink and collage on panel, 9″ x 12″

Esteban del Valle appetite art on panel Esteban del Valle on Contemporary Colonialism: <em>Displacing Waves</em> to Open January 9 at Superchief Gallery LA

Cocktails near the poor man’s riviera, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 48″ x 60″

Esteban del Valle Esteban del Valle Cocktails near the poor mans riviera art on canvas Esteban del Valle on Contemporary Colonialism: <em>Displacing Waves</em> to Open January 9 at Superchief Gallery LA

We are running out of cities, Ink and collage on paper, 11″ x 8.5″

Esteban del Valle running out of cities ink and collage on paper Esteban del Valle on Contemporary Colonialism: <em>Displacing Waves</em> to Open January 9 at Superchief Gallery LA

And the artist at work at Superchief Gallery as he readies for his West Coat exhibit

Esteban del Valle process superchief LA Esteban del Valle on Contemporary Colonialism: <em>Displacing Waves</em> to Open January 9 at Superchief Gallery LA

Opening this coming Saturday, January 9, at Superchief Gallery, 739 Kohler Street, in Los Angeles, Displacing Waves remains on view through January 31.

Note: Opening image is Looking for sediment, Acrylic ink and collage on panel, 8″x 10″

All photos courtesy the artist

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