gallery exhibit

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Opening tonight at More Points Bx in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx is Fight 4 Your Write: The CAMO Show, an exhibit of intriguing art in a range of media and styles suggestive of the notion of camouflage. While previewing the exhibit yesterday, I spoke briefly to More Points Bx directors and curators, Sienide and Eric Orr.

What inspired you to curate this exhibit?

We wanted to bring our friends together, while sharing different styles and techniques of art — all beautiful and unconventional and on a common theme.

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What are some of the techniques represented here?

There are so many. Among them are: stencil art, aerosol art, mixed media, painting, printing, sketching, drawing with markers…More Points Bx even has its first oil painting featured here.

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Can you tell us a bit about the exhibit’s theme? 

It’s our theme — the concept of camouflage. As graffiti writers, there is much we hide. And much of what we write is only for us to decipher.

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How did you decide which artists to feature?

We got the word out among our friends, and we reached out to others on social media.

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There’s quite a range of artists here — from several younger emerging ones to many established legends. How many artists are featured in the exhibit?

There are 36. Dozens of people reached out to us.

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After the exhibit officially opens, how much longer will it remain on view?

It will stay up for a bit over a month — 36 days to be exact!

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How can folks arrange to see it if they miss the opening or if they wish to view it a second time? There’s so much to see!

One of us is here at 527 Faile Street just about all afternoons and evenings. We can also be reached by email at mrmorepoints@gmail.com.

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What can folks who attend the exhibit’s opening expect — besides the great art and great company?

Music for the evening will be powered by DJ JAZZY JAY with special guests, and drinks will be provided by Port Morris Distillery. Come out and help us kick off the new season!

Images

1  BG 183, Tats Cru

2  Sienide, Rhonda Rae and Al Diaz

3  Al Diaz

4  Bio Tats Cru, Steve Cogle and Nicer Tats Cru

5  Yes One

6  Eric Orr

7  Serve

Photos and interview by Lois Stavsky

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charlie-ahearn-in-scratch-ecstasy-PPOW

Scratch Ecstasy, an exhibition of  work in a range of media by visual artist and legendary filmmaker Charlie Ahearn, continues through June 24 at P.P.O.W in Chelsea. A chronicler of the rise of hip-hop and street art culture, Ahearn has documented the movement since the 80’s through photography, film and slide shows.  The following is adapted from an interview conducted by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire with Charlie at the gallery:

Can you tell us something about the title of your current show, Scratch Ecstasy? To what does it refer? 

Yes! The word “scratch” actually has a double meaning. It refers to scratching on a surface, but it also refers to a technique pioneered by Grand Wizzard Theodore of a needle going back and forth on a record — which creates a very jazzy, electronic effect.

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And what about the word “Ecstasy” in the title? What is its reference?

It’s a reference to a real place in a real time — the Ecstasy Garage, where I was listening to not only Grand Wizzard Theodore scratch his music, but also to Chief Rocker Busy Bee on the microphone or Grand Master Cass, along with many other artists who were performing there. I spent a lot of time at  the Ecstasy Garage doing a slide show and watching different hip-hop performances, largely to an audience of high school kids. It was a very out-of-the-way place.

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What was your mission back then? 

It is similar to the mission of this show — to create a record of what was going on so that people today can pinpoint certain people and places that should get recognition and be remembered.

What about your own paintings that are on exhibit here? Can you tell us something about the process?

It started with me doing the painting on canvas with the forms that would be in it. The colors I chose reflect the bright fluorescent colors that were prominent in inexpensive flyers that the kids would hand out to get others to show up.

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And what about the slide show that is going on? 

It is the slide show that I gave at the Ecstasy Garage with Grand Wizzard Theodore as the DJ. As presented here with the music, it is a reflection of what was going on back there at the time. I gave it at the Ecstasy Garage as a kind of way of working on Wild Style — the slides in a particular order to tell a story, and it all ended up in the movie, one way or another.

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Thank you for preserving and sharing so much history with us.

Note:  P.P.O.W will be screening Charlie’s 1979 kung fu film, The Deadly Art of Survival, tomorrow, Friday evening, at 7pm. The gallery is located at 535 West 22nd St, 3rd Floor, in Chelsea.

Images

1  Charlie Ahearn at P.P.O.W — as interviewed by Karin Du Maire — with Data Rock, silkscreen on canvas

2  Scratch Ecstasy, silkscreen on canvas

3  The World of Hip Hop, silkscreen on canvas

4  Nathan, silkscreen on canvas

5  Howard the Duck, Lee Quinones, LES mural

Photo credits: 1 & 2 Karin Du Maire; 3, 4 & 5 (still from slide show) Lois Stavsky; interview conducted by Karin Du Maire and edited by Lois Stavsky

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JT-Liss-Face-Value-2

Currently on view at La Maison d’Art in Harlem is Styles and Storytellers, the first installment of a series of exhibits and artist talks conceived and curated by artist J.T. Liss. In this intriguingly provocative exhibit, four different artists present four unique stories in four distinct styles. Each of the four artists — J.T. LissMisha TyutyunikMarthalicia Matarrita and Jeff Henriquez — also share their talents with us on our city streets. Pictured above is Face Value by J.T. Liss. Here are several more images from the show:

J.T. Liss, Face Value II, Photographic art on canvas

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Misha Tyutyunik, Mourning, Acrylic on canvas

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Marthalicia Matarrita, Frida Kahlo, En la Lucha, Mixed media

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Jeff Henriquez, Night Moves #5, Photographic art on canvas

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Styles and Storytellers: Volume I continues until June 30th with an artist talk and open-mic poetry/spoken words/music next Friday, June 2, 6-9 pm. To schedule an appointment to visit the exhibit at another time, you can contact gallery owner Stephanie Calla at stephanie@lamaisondartny.com or at 917-533-4605. La Maison d’Art is located at 259 W 132nd Street in Harlem.

Photos of artworks by Lois Stavsky

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Richard-hambleton-woodward-gallery-windows-nyc

A contemporary of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel BasquiatRichard Hambleton, the Godfather of Street Art, began making his mark on the streets of his native Vancouver in the mid-70’s. His Image Mass Murder Art — a recreation of crime sceneshit the streets of 15 major cities throughout Canada and the US from 1976 through 1979. In the 80’s, his iconic Shadowman paintings surfaced across NYC and through Europe, including the Berlin Wall. He has since attained legendary, though infamous, status. To coincide with the highly anticipated World Documentary Premiere of SHADOWMAN by Oscar-nominated director Oren Jacoby, a historical selection of paintings by Artist Richard Hambleton his now on view at Woodward Gallery.

 Woodward Gallery Windows, Shadow Jumper, center with Shadow Head portraits to the right and left

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Dancing Shadowman

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Wide view, as seen through Woodward Gallery windows,  featuring the Marlboro Man to the left of Shadow Man portraits on paper 

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Another variation of the Marlboro Man as seen from the outside

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At the Tribeca Film Festival

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With a rare public appearance by the elusive Richard Hambleton

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Woodward Gallery is located at 132A Eldridge Street off Delancey on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Visitors are invited to observe Richard Hambleton’s works from the outside and through gallery windows, as Hambleton intended in his vision. Special viewings are available by appointment. The artworks remain on view through May 5th.

Images courtesy Woodward 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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pablo-power-Gay-science-and-joyous-wisdom

Currently on view at Okay Space at 281 North 7th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is Philly VS New York: A Declaration of Co-Independence. Featuring works — fashioned both individually and collaboratively — by legendary Philly rapper Schoolly D and New York-based multi-disciplinary visual artist Pablo Power, this exhibit is a follow-up to their 2013 exhibition, Am I Black Enough?  Presented by Okay Space and Black Swan Projekt, Philly VS New York: A Declaration of Co-Independence continues through April 1. Pictured above is Gay Science and Joyous Wisdom by Pablo Power. What follows are several more images on display:

Schoolly D, Smoke Some Kill, Ink on paper

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 Pablo Power, Crack Another 40, A Birthday on Chrystie, Mixed media

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 Pablo Power, Dekalb Didactic, Mixed media

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Schoolly D,  Cheeba, Cheeba, Mixed media

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Schoolly D and Pablo Power, Philly Vs New York, Giclée Prints, edition of 30. Release and Exhibit Reception Tonight

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And on this coming Wednesday evening, a series of short films will be screened:

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 Photos of images 1-5 by Tara Murray

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Hektad-and-Urbanimal-Repurposed-art-Fat-Free-Art

An extraordinary array of found objects have been transformed into intriguing repurposed art for Fat Free Art‘s first annual Bizarre Bazaar.  Pictured above is Hektad‘s American graffiti flag looming over Urbanimal‘s table. Here are severel more works from this stylishly imaginative exhibit.

Raphael Gonzalez, An Ciana

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Tomaso Albertini, Butterfly Effect, huge segment of framed piece

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What Will You Leave Behind, Worth Nothing

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Icy and Sot, Let Her Be Free

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Bianca Romero, The Muse Says — to the right of  Hektad‘s spray cans — and shoes designed by SacSix on shelf below

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JPO, 3 of a Kind

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Suckadelic, Pussy Grabs Back

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The exhibit continues through March 4 at Fat Free Art, 102 Allen Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. It is open Tuesday – Saturday 11AM-7PM & Sunday 12PM-5PM,

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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

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sticker-collage-fridge-dc

Currently on view at the FridgeDC is DC Street Sticker EXPO 3.0, an extraordinary ode to street art stickers. Curated by iwillnot and hosted and sponsored by the Fridge Gallery, it features over 100,000 striking stickers. They’re all here: handsome handstyles, curious characters, political posits and social statements. While in DC, I had the opportunity to speak to iwillnot.

When did you first become involved in the sticker art culture? And what attracted you to it?

It was about ten years ago. I liked the way I could easily transport stickers in my pockets and get them up quickly on the streets.

And what was it about the streets that appealed to you?

Getting my name and message across in a public space.

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This is the third sticker art exhibit that you’ve curated at the FridgeDC. What inspired you to bring it indoors?

My son was born five years ago. I no longer had the time to hit the streets. Nor could I take the legal risks. DC’s laws are harsh. One can get fined $1,000.00 and be sentenced to 3o days in jail just for getting a slap up.

Gee… And with Trump here, the penalties could get even harsher.  How does this current exhibit differ from the previous two that you curated?

This is the first one that covers the entire gallery. There’s been more involvement, and — with a six-week run — it will be the longest-running sticker expo that I’ve curated.

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What were some of the challenges involved in curating such a huge exhibit?

It’s quite costly. Getting something like this together is expensive. And it demands endless hours of work, including time spent training volunteers.

How were you able to collect so many stickers? There are tens of thousands here!

When I first started posting my stickers online, Skam reached out to me to trade stickers. I’ve been trading with artists all over the world ever since. Every participant in the expo gets a return pack from me. It takes months to get them mailed out… but a trade is a trade.  After years of trading with artists I have hundreds of thousands of stickers.

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And how do you keep track of them?

I document each and every entry. I tag each one and acknowledge receiving it.

That must be some task!

It’s a year-round lifestyle.

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How has the response been to this show? The opening was packed with folks of all ages!

The reaction has been great. People seem to have discovered an untapped passion for this art form. All year round, I’m asked about the “next sticker expo.”

How can folks see the exhibit?

It continues through New Years Eve at the FridgeDC, 516 1/2 8th Street SE, and is open Thursday-Saturday 1–8pm & Sunday 1-5pm.

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Great! I’m already looking forward to next year’s!

Note: Among the many artists featured in the above close-ups are: SkamBeas, Klozr, Jamie XV, Ed Geiniwillnot Hugh BrismanSarah JamisonSladge & Konjak, 2front, Psyco, Nikolay Milushevda_weiss, 702er, P Lust, Zas, Chris RWK, nite owl, Feln One,…(more to come!)

Photo credits: 1 Tara Murray; 2 – 6 Lois Stavsky; interview by Lois Stavsky

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art-as-trash

With his delightfully unorthodox approach to both art and the streets, Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash recently brought his vision to NYC.  What follows is a glimpse into the man and his whimsically provocative work:

The completed piece pictured above — in his solo exhibit MATURA — as seen at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery 

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With Art Is Trash‘s newly published book to its right

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The artist at work 

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Segments of MATAÚRA

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Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, exterior

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And the artist with noted photographer Donna Feratto

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The exhibit remains on view until November 3oth at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, 95 Orchard Street, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Photo credits: 1, 4 & 5 Audrey Connolly aka Bytegirl; 2, 6 – 8 Karin du Maire and 9 Lois Stavsky

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my-dog-sighs-street-art

UK-based artist My Dog Sighs hits New York City this week with the London Ibiza Collective. Presented by Imagination in Space, the exhibit opens tomorrow, October 6th, and runs until the 16th at S Artspace Gallery, 345 Broome Street, in Lower Manhattan. What follows is an interview with the widely-acclaimed artist who has come to New York for the first time:

When did you begin hitting the streets? 

I’ve been leaving some sort of mark on the streets for about 15 years now.  I’d tried the gallery route a few years before and I failed.  It was so elitist. I began to realize that what you saw on gallery walls was dictated by curators. Not representative of the artists out there. I tried painting what I thought galleries would like, and that was a disaster. Watered down drivel.

So was it the democratic nature of street art that appealed to you?

Yes!  Having stumbled across some early street art — and then Wooster Collective — I loved the way street art engaged a truly democratic audience. The interaction it offered… It had such aesthetic too, so often working with the beauty of  urban decay. I started taking a piece of my work out with me on the way to catching the train to work on a Friday. I would find a nice quiet spot and leave it there for someone to spot and possibly take home. It was liberating.  I got excited as I walked away from the piece.

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What were some of your thoughts at the time?

A million questions ran through my head.  Who would see it?  What would they think?  Would they take it?  Would they feel wrong to take it?  Would they feel it’s right to take it? Would they carry the thought around with them all day? Might it encourage them to do the same? Imagine hundreds of little pieces of art hidden around the city! I started posting images online with the tag line Free Art Friday, and I started to get a good response…not just from the street artists and graffiti writers but also from lots of people who just liked the sentiment of the altruistic act.

And so that was the beginning of the Free Art Friday movement! How were you able to afford to do this?

Yes! Little did I know that it would explode across the globe! Working without funds meant I used what I could find. So scraps of cards, junk and crushed food tins became my canvas.

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Can you tell us something about your name? It is certainly distinct!

When I started working on the street, there were no street artists. There was just the art. There was no celebrity status like there is today. No one was interested in the artist. Just the art. And I loved that. I was never interested in being recognised for producing the work. I just liked the fact it was going to be seen. It was going to force people to question their everyday existence. It was going to confuse them and allow them to just break the monotony of the daily grind. With that in mind, I didn’t really want a ‘name’. It wasn’t necessary. I just wanted something easy to remember and that might add a layer of confusion to the viewer. The phrase My dog sighs had been sitting in my head for decades after seeing it scrawled on a fence in Biro as a kid. I remember looking at it for just a split second, but its melancholy and surreal nature just embedded itself in my brain. I can’t remember things one minute to the next, but I could not forget this phrase.  When I was trying to think of  something to write next to my work, it seemed to make complete sense to use this random phrase.  I never, for a moment, imagined that 15 years later I’d walk into a bar and get referred to as My Dog or Mr Sighs.

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Much of your work focuses on eyes. Can you tell us something about that?

That developed from a can. I’d started painting cans with eyes that were closed, but then I thought I’d try one with eyes open. I nailed the eyes but messed up the nose. Feeling frustrated, I threw the can aside. A week or so later, I walked past a woman in a full burka. Everything was hidden except these beautifully made-up eyes. There was something so alluring and mysterious about seeing just eyes. I was completely captivated. I immediately came home and painted everything black on the cans except for the open eyes. Just like the burka. That can was one of my favorites. I then began to think about the power of seeing so little, and I started to explore the image of a pair of eyes in a narrow aperture. Initially, it was just a window the eyes looked through, but later I began exploring  that letterbox aperture in different formats; tags, drips, paint splashes. And I started to notice how when you look into someone’s eyes, you can see your own silhouette in the reflection. And as I continued to explore this, I began to hide narratives in the reflection. Little hidden stories that may at first be completely overlooked but — once discovered —  could be intriguing! It’s a huge cliche, but the saying The eyes are the window into the soul is often thrown at me. And I suppose I’m exploring that idea. Maybe it’s that I’m not very good at painting noses!

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What can we expect to see in your upcoming exhibit — here in NYC?

For this show I went right back to one of the key moments in my life that shaped my interest in art. As a kid at school, art was about viewing traditional English landscapes and endlessly drawing cross sections of fruit and dead house plants in boring art classes. Then one day I saw a Lichtenstein print in a shop window. It blew me away. This bold brash comic book image was something I completely related to. And here it was masquerading as art. Unsettling and infiltrating the art world! Lichtenstein was my gateway into Pop — the shock of the new and the idea that art could be unsettling and naughty and ultimately very powerful. I’ve been exploring the burka stripe behind eyes in different formats and when the opportunity to show in NY came up, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. To pay homage to a hero.

When we were in London last year, we came upon your collab with the Brazilian artist Cranio. We loved it!  Have you collaborated with others? Do any of these collaborations stand out? Would you rather work on your own or collaborate with other artists?

Oh yeah. I love a good colab. It really gets you thinking outside the box. When you rock up to a wall on your own, you have a good idea about what the end result will be. But working with someone else is like cooking. When it works well, the sum of the two parts can be more than the ingredients. Among the artists I’ve collaborated with are: Snub23, Farkfk and Julian Kimmings. But I think my favorite was with Toasters in Bethnal Green last year. I was painting with a true hero, and the whole piece just seemed to work so well. We both had really in-tune ideas about what we wanted to achieve and it all just flowed so well.

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For the past several years, your works have also made their way into galleries and art fairs across the globe.  How do you feel about that – the move of street art into galleries? And of your work, in particular, in this setting? 

I always feel like I’m juggling with hot coals a little with this question. Street art is such a pure art form. Maybe not quite as pure as graffiti but up there. It is so democratic. Art by anyone for everyone. It offers so much but asks for so little. And to do it makes my heart soar. But by its nature, it does not pay your rent or feed your kids. For a good while, I had a day job and kept art and money completely separate. But this drastically limited how much time I had to do it. After ten years of putting work out on the street I began to be approached by people to buy my work. Initially this funded the purchasing of new art resources, but eventually I began to see it as an opportunity to paint and create more. A few years ago I found myself in a position where I could paint full time. All day everyday. To get paid for something you adore doing…for something that makes your heart sing is an incredible thing. My work, both for the gallery and the street, has developed and evolved into so much more with all the time I’ve been able to dedicate to it. Showing in galleries across the globe gives me opportunities to paint and leave free art across the globe. In that way it’s the perfect symbiotic relationship.

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Your work exudes a social and political consciousness. Have you any thoughts about the increasing link between corporations and street artists? Have you done any corporate work? Would you consider doing so?

I have a social and political conscience, and I have a family to support. There is always a balance. I have been approached, but — as yet —  haven’t worked on any corporate projects. I can completely understand, though, why artists do choose to work with corporations. They have rent to pay, and I’d never judge anyone for doing so.

How has your work evolved since you first started sharing it with others in public spaces?

For over ten years nothing I painted was ever over a few feet in diameter; it was often only an inch or two. Then ‘muralism’ seemed to arrive in full force and all of a sudden my contemporaries were painting huge walls. And it’s getting bigger and bigger: 16-18 story buildings. And part of what I now do is painting murals around the globe. But that to me is a different form of  street art. Many of today’s mural artists have never run around the streets at night, working at speed, considering placement or finding ways to convey a message in creative shorthand. Look at Anthony Lister. With just few quick paint splashes, a thousand pages of prose appears on a street corner. Sublime! People often comment about how quickly I work. It’s about finding the simplest way to convey the message.  Huge murals  have their place, but we mustn’t forget that there’s also something special about discovering a tiny paste-up or hidden piece that you might stumble across or completely miss if you’re not looking carefully.

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Absolutely!  What brings you to New York? 

It’s New York! Do I really need to explain? It’s the draw of that energy that NYC exudes. It’s the history of public mark making. It’s the melting pot of creativity. How can I not want part of my creative journey to take place in New York?

What’s ahead?

I’m not a great planner. Once the show is over and the downer of leaving NYC is over, I’ll wake up, go to the studio and find something that I can paint. If I’m lucky, the piece will come to life, and I’ll find a way of sharing it with the world.

Good luck with it all! And welcome to NYC!

Interview by Lois Stavsky

Photo credits 1, 2, 4 & 7 courtesy of the artist; 3 & 5 Lois Stavsky & 6 Tara Murray

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