Futura

Learn and Skate — an organization dedicated to promoting skateboard culture and education in disadvantaged areas, while encouraging youngsters to pursue their dreams was conceived in France in 2012 by Toulouse-based Jean Claude Geraud, with the assistance of Richard Schenten. After building a skate park in the Ugandan countryside in 2016 with funds raised from auctioning skateboard decks, Learn and Skate is now raising funds to help support the production of the first skate park in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Ride for Mongolia, a charity exhibition dedicated to raising the money to make this happen, will take place from May 28 to June 2 at Manhattan’s MADE Hotel, 44 West 29th Street, with an official opening on May 31 from 6pm to 1am. Dozens of acclaimed artists from a range of countries throughout the globe have fashioned skate decks that will be available in auction. The three decks featured above are the work of the Canadian artist Sandra Chevrier. Several more skateboard decks featured in Ride for Mongolia follow:

The legendary NYC-based Futura, close-up, Gears, Black and white markers on skateboard, 2018

Toulouse, France-based Woizo, Figure – 037 Shakti, Acrylic and oil on skateboard, 2018

Bronx-based legendary graffiti artist, T-Kid, T-Kid, Spray paint and marker on skateboard, 2018

French artist Little Madi, Cactus Love, Acrylic on skateboard, 2018

You can check out all of the details for the NYC exhibit — beginning with its soft opening — here. And you can bid online here from May 29 to June 12.

All images courtesy Jean Claude Geraud

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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For the past several years, Queens-based photographer Raphael Gonzalez aka Zurbaran1 has been creating intriguing, visually dynamic images of street art, often focusing on the artists at work.  Within the past year, his photos have made their way into several shows including his first solo exhibit, The Hand of An Artist. He has also been featured in Yoav Litvin‘s blog, 2createart. I recently had the opportunity to meet up with him.

I love what you are doing! When did you first begin to photograph NYC’s street art and graffiti?

About four years ago.

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What inspired you to do so? 

Several years ago, my daughter visited Berlin and returned home incredibly excited about the street art she had seen there. Her enthusiasm, along with the photos that she showed me, inspired me to check out what was happening on the streets of NYC. And I first became serious about it all in October, 2013 when Banksy hit NYC with his month-long day residency Better Out Than In.

Within the few years that you’ve been shooting street art, you seem to have established friendships with many of the street artists you photograph.  Can you tell us something about that?

The very first street artist I met was Alice Mizrachi. I was standing in front of her mural at Welling Court when she noticed me. She was living right there at the time, and — almost at once — came out in her pajamas to speak to me! I was so impressed by her intelligence and craft. I photographed her in front of her mural, and we struck up a friendship right then.  She was the first street artist I photographed and spoke to. Since that day, I’ve become friends with many more.

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You’ve been photographing many artists as they work. How have they responded to this? Are they open to it?

The response has been great! And when I share the photos I’ve taken with them, they are so appreciative.

That’s great! As street art is so ephemeral by nature, it’s so important to document it. And I’m a huge fan of artful photographers who document the process. I notice that you’ve focused quite a bit on the artists’ hands.

Yes, I like observing their hands in action. And photographing hands gives me a chance to use my long lens which I love doing!

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And you’ve also begun collaborating with some of the street artists whose works you photograph. How do you go about engaging them?

Yes! I love collaborating. The process makes me think a little differently, and the artists have been wonderful.  Among them are FumeroGizTrans1NoirCity Kitty. Some I’ve approached, and others have approached me.

What are some of the challenges that you face in seeing your projects through?

There’s never enough time. And there are so many artists! Going through all the photos that I take and then editing them is a lengthy, time-consuming process.

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How has the scene changed since you first started photographing street art?

There are fewer walls, and street art has become more commercial. And it seems that in the past few years, street artists have achieved celebrity status. It’s almost like they are the new rock stars!

What’s ahead for you?

I would like to engage in more collaborations…different in nature than the usual ones!

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I look forward to seeing them all, and I will be keeping up with you — in the meantime — via your Instagram!

All photos © Raphael Gonzalez aka Zurbaran1; interivew conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Images

1. El Niño de las Pinturas, Brooklyn Is the Future, Brownsville

2. Hendrik Beikirch aka ECB, Bushwick

3. Dasic Fernandez, Welling Court Mural Project

4. Fanakapan, Bushwick Collective

5. Noir, as featured in Raphael Gonzalez‘s solo show at Fatty’s in Astoria, Queens

6. Futura, Bushwick Collective

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Straddling the border between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the building at 106 Bayard Street was transformed this past spring into a 3,000-square foot outdoor canvas.  The 70’s and 80’s NYC subway and graffiti movement was the theme of the inaugural 106 Bayard mural project, curated by Gee Dajani and Keene Carse.  Here are a few more images from both the exterior and interior of 106 Bayard captured when we recently revisited the spot.

Part One, Dr. Revolt, Wolf 1 AOK and Futura

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Lady Pink

Lady Pink

A wide view from across the street with Part OneDr. Revolt, Wolf 1 AOK, Futura and Team

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And inside — Whisper and Pure TFP, segment of huge mural

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Created and sponsored by Cirkers Fine Art Storage & Logistics, 106 Bayard will be transformed once again this coming spring.

Note: First photo features the legendary Cycle with Jackson and artwork by Williamsburg Charter High School students.

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

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"Royce Bannon"

Do you ever wonder what music your favorite street artists listen to?   Well, Bomarr has the answer!  And in addition to presenting first-rate podcasts that share this music with us, the Bomarr Blog also features brief interviews with these artists and selections from their artworks. We love what Matt is doing and recently posed some questions to him:

Tell us something about yourself – your background.  

I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire.  When I was 21, I moved to Oakland to put out records and tour with my friends on a label called Anticon.  We were a very art-focused group of creative and inspiring people. After spending 10 years in the Bay Area, I moved with my now-wife back to the East Coast and have been in NYC ever since.

What spurred this project?

The Background Noise project grew out of my interest in the New York art world. Initially, it was going to solely focus on NYC-based street artists. The NYC art scene in particular has a completely different energy and feel than the Bay Area one, and I sensed it as soon as I landed here. Don’t get me wrong!  There’s some great art out there in galleries and on the streets, but again, just a completely different feel.  I had seen a few ASVP wheatpastes in San Francisco before I moved, but when I got here, I saw them all over the place, and they seemed to make more sense here. Soon after, I discovered Jim Joe and started, with two friends, a Jim Joe-dedicated site called Cult of Joe, which is now just an Instagram account that I maintain (@cultofjoe) .  It was this general interest in what was going on, and a curiosity I had about what sort of music gets the creative juices flowing for artists whose work I enjoy that really started the project.

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How do you decide which artists to interview? 

It pretty much comes down to people whose work I personally am drawn to and have some sort of respect for. Whether it’s a legend like Futura or the guy who writes Spring Break everywhere, it’s all stuff that I like. It can be mindblowing art, political, or humor-based. It’s all art to me, and if it’s something that sparks my curiousity, I will try to reach out to them to see if they’re interested.

How have the artists responded to this project?

Everyone has responded with great enthusiasm so far. I think what helps is that I’m providing yet another way for these artists to express themselves, which is what artists do.  So when given another avenue to do this, they often jump on it right away.  Some take longer than others, but they always come through. It’s also great for the artists who have maintained anonymity for quite some time. This still allows them to remain anonymous. I’m not meeting up with them in person, talking to them on the phone, or anything like that. It stays strictly through email, so I think the feeling of safety has really allowed people to be willing to participate. I’ve met quite a few of these people since starting the project because I think it’s built a bit of trust, which is great.  But if I never meet some of these people, I’m completely fine with that.

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 Have any particular responses to your questions surprised you?

I think the only response that has surprised me so far is one from last week’s Futura episode, where I asked him how important he thinks music is to his creative process.  I was surprised when he, a legend — who has appeared on a Clash song, recorded music himself, and worked with musical artists such as UNKLE — replied, “Not that important.”  But, we all get inspiration in different ways. He has great taste in music, regardless.

Who are some of the other artists you’d like to interview?

I have a laundry list. There are a few I’m actively trying to get, to the point where I might be annoying them. And some of them are long shots, but my wishlist in no particular order: Judith Supine, Jim Joe, ASVP, Paul Insect, Ron English, Neckface, Erik Yahnker, How & Nosm, Icy and Sot,  Sheryo + The Yok, Adam Wallacavage, Skullphone, Raymond Pettibon, Cameron Gray, Asger Carlsen, ElSol25, Douglas Kolk, Swampy, David Shrigley, Stinkfish, Theo Rosenblum, Maurizio Cattelan, Trustocorp, Olek, Jean-Paul Malozzi, Faile.  If anyone can help me out with any of these, please message me!

OverUnder

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I literally listen to it all. I’m a bit fan of 80’s synths, whether it’s synth pop or obscure minimal synth music — Gary Numan/Tubeway Army, all that stuff.  I love 60s psych rock, hip hop, metal, John Fahey, Fennesz….I’m all over the map.

What do you think of New York City’s current street art scene? 

I think it’s great! It’s really starting to gain some momentum too lately. Maybe I wasn’t as in tune with it a couple of years ago, but it seems like there’s a lot going on right now. It’s great seeing things like Hanksy’s Surplus Candy show, another Jim Joe solo show at the Hole, all these shows that Royce Bannon is curating, the Yoav Litvin Outdoor Gallery book. The New York City current street art scene is really bustling, and I think people are going to start to notice even more very soon.

Tony DePew

What’s ahead for you?

I’m having a baby girl in a few weeks, so that’s first and foremost on my mind right now.  But outside that, I just want to keep this project going for as long as I can. I have a lot of great artists lined up: Jilly Ballistic, Elle, Left Handed Wave, Don Pablo Pedro, C215, Beau, Cash 4, Hellbent, Joseph Meloy, Hanksy, N’DA….all very exciting. Stay tuned!

Congratulations! It all sounds great!

Images with links to their podcasts

1. Roycer  2. RAE  3. Enzo & Nio  4. OverUnder & 5. Tony Depew

Questions for Bomarr by City-as-School intern, Annie Loucka; interview edited by Lois Stavsky. 

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