fine art

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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.

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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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alexis-Diaz-street-art-mural-nolita-nyc

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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Mikael-B.-studioj.pg

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

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 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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quik-and-revolt-graffiti-urban-art-fair

The first New York edition of the Urban Art Fair continues through 3pm tomorrow afternoon at Spring Studios in Tribeca.  The artworks pictured above are collaborative works by NYC graffiti pioneers Revolt and  Lin Felton aka Quik at the Green Flowers Art Gallery booth. What follows are several more images of urban artworks, representative of a range of styles, genres and techniques.

NYC native, Paris-based JonOne with Fabien Castainer

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Lower East Side-based LA2 with Dorian Grey Projects

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Swoon with Taglialatella Galleries

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French artist Swiz with David Bloch Gallery

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NYC-based multi-media artist Alexis Duque with H Gallery

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Nick Walker with Galerie Brugier-Rigail

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Bronx-based graffiti legend John Matos aka Crash for Spring Studios

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The Urban Art Fair continues at 50 Varick Street today until 9pm and tomorrow, Monday, from 11am to 3pm. Ticket information is available here.

Photo credits: 1, 3, 7 & 8 Karin du Maire; 2, 4-6 Sara C Mozeson

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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Michael-alan-mom-and-child-portrait

The wildly imaginative and splendidly talented Michael Alan aka Michael Alan Alien is busily planning an artistic tribute to his mom, Raindrop, in his childhood Staten Island home this coming Saturday, June 17th.  What follows is a brief interview with him about it:

What spurred you to plan this tribute to your mom?

All that my mom has done — and continues to do — for me.  She saved me from the dark as I was growing up, and she inspired me to be the artist I am today. My mom is living art.

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Can you tell us something about the role your mom played in your artistic career?

My mom was the first performer in my Living Installation projects. She helped me get started by modeling for my drawings at this very home and by modeling — clothed — at the early stages of Drawathon.  She has given so much to help me forge my career.

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What can visitors to her home — your childhood home — in Staten Island next Saturday expect to experience?

There will be a seven hour tribute — from 5pm to 12am — for my mom with music, models, comedy and a BBQ. It will be on her property, and she will be performing with her husband, Michael, and the cast of the Living Installation. Part of the house will be set up as an installation of my mom’s past memories.  Jadda Cat, Living Installation’s new leader, will perform in a kids’ pool and do face-painting for kids. And there will be a chance for everyone to make art.

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And what about your art? Will any of it be shown at this event? 

Yes, over 60 of my works will be on display, along with photos of my mom and her religious prophesies.

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How can folks attend the event? 

Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased here.  The address will be provided to ticket holders. It is just a 10-minute bus ride from downtown Manhattan and the perfect retreat!

Editor’s note: For an intimate look into the artist, check out the following video produced by Alan Ket.

Photos provided by Michael Alan; interview by Lois Stavsky

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PAUL-RICHARD-GENTLEMAN (1)

Opening this evening at 212 ARTS is DRIP, a solo exhibit by the iconic NYC-based artist Paul Richard. An outstanding representational painter, Paul Richard is best known to us street art aficionados for his drip paintings that surface on NYC sidewalks. While visiting the exhibit yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to 212 ARTS gallerist, Marc Leader.

This is such an elegantly handsome show! What spurred you to feature an exhibit of Paul Richard‘s works?

Paul has been an iconic figure in NYC culture for over 20 years. Although low-key, he is also subtly prolific. And this is his first NYC exhibit in five years.

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How did you decide which artworks to include in the exhibit?

About one year ago, Paul and I began discussing the concept of an exhibit featuring his work at 212 ARTS. Then Paul ran with it. He created a few dozen new works, and together we decided which ones to feature.

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How many are included in DRIP?

There are two dozen works of varying sizes.

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It is always a thrill to glance down to the pavement and come upon one of Paul Richard‘s iconic faces!

Yes! Even before he first moved to New York in 1997, Paul Richard recognized that people constantly scan the ground in front of them — making it the perfect place to find an audience.

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It’s great to see your gallery continue to bring a diverse range of first-rate artists — who remain active on our streets — to its East Village home. To what do you attribute its success?

It’s the passion we bring to our projects.

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Photos of artworks and interview by Lois Stavsky

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Montreal-Mural-Festival-June-2016-Felipe-Pantone

As part of this year’s edition of the Montreal Mural Festival, Station 16 Gallery will host PLANAR DIRECTION, a solo exhibition by the wonderfully talented Argentine-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone. Opening this Thursday evening, June 8, PLANAR DIRECTION will showcase a series of Pantone‘s striking works, characterized by distinct geometric shapes that fuse black and white designs with bold florescent colors. Pictured above is the mural that Pantone painted for last year’s Mural Festival. What follows is a brief preview of his new works for PLANAR DIRECTION:

Planar Direction 3

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Planar Direction 6

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Planar Direction 4

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Station 16 Gallery

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Station 16 Gallery is located at 3523 Boul St-Laurent in Montreal.

All images courtesy Station 16 Gallery

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.

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Lady-pink-painting

Curated by Alice Mizrachi, Fem-is-in is an homage to the female spirit in this time of female-led activism.  Featuring a diverse range of work by female artists who have forged their distinct paths, Fem-is-in engages and entices.  The artwork pictured above is by the legendary Lady Pink. What follows is a small sampling of works that can be seen at Fat Free Art through next Saturday.

Alice Mizrachi

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Queen Andrea

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Jane Dickson

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Swoon, close-up

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Also featured in Fem-is-in are works by: Lady Aiko, Diane McClure, Ann Lewis aka Gilf!, Janette Beckman and Martha Cooper.

Located at 102 Allen Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side,  Fat Free Art is open Tuesday-Saturday 11AM-7PM and Sunday 12PM-5PM.

Photos of images: 1, 4 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 3 Tara Murray

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Pantone-interferences

Within the past year, we came upon Felipe Pantone‘s mesmerizing vision on the streets of Miami, Montreal, Atlanta, NYC and Valencia, Spain. And recently we viewed his distinctly bold, infectious aesthetic in a gallery setting here in NYC. Until Sunday, April 16 several of the artist’s studio works remain on view in the brilliantly alluring group exhibit, Interferences: Contemporary Op and Kinetic Art, at GR Gallery, 255 Bowery. Pictured above is OPTICHROMIE 85, enamel on wood panel. What follows are two more of Felipe Pantone‘s works on exhibit at GR Gallery.

CHROMADYNAMICA 16, Enamel on wood panel

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SCROLL PANORAMA 11, Enamel spray paint on aluminum and acrylic

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And while here for the opening of Interferences: Contemporary Op and Kinetic Art, Felipe Pantone shared his talents with us on the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn

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Several other of his works we sighted outdoors these past few months include:

In Atlanta, Georgia  for the Outer Space Project

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In Montreal, Canada for the Mural Festival

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And spotted this past weekend in Valencia, Spain, where the Argentine artist is based 

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Featured along with Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery are Gilbert Hsiao, Nadia Costantini, and Sandi Renko, whose innovative works “investigate and advance the discourse around pattern, optical and perceptual abstract painting.” Located at 255 Bowery — between Houston & Stanton —  GR Gallery is open Tue- Sat 12:00pm – 7:00pm.

Photo credits: 1 – 3 Courtesy GR Gallery; 4-6 Tara Murray & 7 Lois Stavsky

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.

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Michael-alan-ink

Ranging from the mischievous to the mystical, Michael Alan‘s ever-evolving body of artwork always entices.  We recently had the opportunity to visit the prodigious artist’s studio and find out a bit about it and its role in his life.

What a great space in such an ideal building! How long have you been here?

I’ve been in this building for two years. I first began sharing a studio here with Nick Greenwald, an illustrator. That was soon after I had lost my previous space to a flood at my home in Staten Island. And when Ashley Azelinskie — who oversees this building — saw his much work I was doing, she provided me with this studio.

Your studio has such a warm vibe. It is so welcoming.

Yes! I have tried to duplicate the aesthetics of my home. I want to work in a place that is relaxed and motivating.

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How did you decide what to transport here to keep you company?

I chose to bring over the artwork, books, magazines and toy sculptures that matter the most to me.

Yes! I’ve noticed baseball cards — that you’ve refashioned — that must have been with you since your childhood. And your black books date back years! What about the logistics of moving everything here and setting it up?

I had put an ad on my Instagram — “Help me move, and we can draw,” — and 40 people showed up.  Then once I was here, Michael Kronenberg, a formerly homeless friend of mine — who’d been released from Bellevue after trying to harm himself — helped me curate the space. The studio is a place — for not just me — to create positivity. I wanted him to have a space he could work with me on, and not end up in a bad space again. He had landed in Bellevue after losing hope in art and ever attaining success. He is a talented artist, and I wanted to encourage him not to let others take him down. And my friend, Janna, helped me turn it into a home. It took about two to three weeks.

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What role does this studio play in your life?

It is my life. My sanctuary. A constant show for myself. I’d always been hesitant to look at my stuff. But now I do. I even put a book together here.

Can you tell us something about what has gone down here — in addition to what you paint, draw and endlessly create?

We host weekly performances and drawing groups that have attracted folks ranging in age from 18 – 70. People of all styles and skill levels are welcome. The next one will be held this coming Saturday evening, March 25th beginning at 8pm. Tickets and more information are available here.   Musicians have performed here, including Ramsey Jones of the Wu Tang Clan. Alan Ket has been here filming a documentary in which I am one of the featured artists. And I give tours to college kids and collectors here.

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How do you feel about this neighborhood — Bushwick?

These days I spend most of my life here. I like this building, and I like the people in it. But Bushwick is not my neighborhood. I find the gentrification here distasteful. The friends I grew up with couldn’t afford to live here. But I’m happy to have a studio here, as so many studios in NYC are infested with drugs, roaches and rats, along with people you don’t want to be around. I’ve been in studios where things were stolen from me and where my mother got robbed.

It’s great that you have this now. What’s ahead for you — in addition to everything that is happening in this space? 

I’m preparing for a solo show in a new, huge gallery, Space 42, in Jacksonville, Florida. It will open on Friday, April 28th at 7pm.

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 Good luck!  It all sounds great!

Photos of images: 1-3 Lois Stavsky; 4 Tara Murray & 5 Michael Alan

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.

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