gallery exhibition

A member of Avant, the first artist group in NYC to use the street as an exhibition space for works that were created in the studio on paper, Christopher Hart Chambers, along with David Fried, will be exhibiting a selection of his artworks for ten days beginning this Friday at 17 Frost Gallery

StreetArtNYC contributor Lenny Collado aka BK Lenny recently had the opportunity to interview the legendary artist.

When did you first start drawing?

From the moment I could hold a crayon in my hand. I was about one or two.

What are some of your earliest art memories?

I remember when I was in the 4th grade, we were asked to draw a figure of a tree. I drew the tree. We were told not to color it. I colored it anyway – only to be told that I’d ruined it. I could never follow assignments; I always did my own thing. I also have memories of copying from baseball cards, making pencil sketches of baseball players. I remember, too, going to a museum and seeing all these grey wooden boxes with soda cans and wrappers. I had a piece of garbage with me, and I threw it in. Suddenly, all the guards raced at me. I didn’t get it. I was 11 at the time.

What about cultural influences? Any particular ones?

Jimi Hendrix — his music and visual projections. I give him major props because Hendrix rode a wave, divorcing himself from being a creator. When he was on, he was not really there. When the magic happens, the ego isn’t really there. The art takes on a life of its own.

What did your family think about what you were doing? Were they supportive?

My mother used to ask me, “Have you considered having a career?” I‘d say, “I have a career!” She never understood, and she never hung any one of my pieces. She didn’t like my stuff. My father, however, had pieces hanging from the floor to the ceiling.

How important is the viewer’s response to your work?

I like people. But I don’t think their opinion would actively make me change a piece. While creating, I really don’t want to hear what others think. Afterwards, I’ll listen.

Are you generally satisfied with your art work?

I never ditch a piece; I put it aside and keep at it. When they’re good, it’s like, I didn’t do it. I’m a conduit. I’m like, “Wow, where did that come from?”

Have you a favorite medium?

Automotive paints.

How long do you generally spend on a piece?

Impossible to answer. Several years. I don’t think I’ve ever effectively finished something in less than thirty seconds. My posters take about four days and I do 20 at a time.

What percentage of your time is dedicated to your art?

All of it! Even if I’m watching TV or sipping iced tea, it’s all part of it.

Do you have a favorite place to work?

I’ve always liked my studio. I’ve always lived in my studio.

How has your art evolved throughout the years?

It was simplistic at first. I’ve gotten better. When graffiti first hit, I guess I was still holding back. But then I started to feel like a fool. So, I said, “Just go for what you want now. Just do it!” That was about ’77. And since, I’ve explored several different mediums.

You were one of the earliest folks to impact the street art scene. Can you tell us something about that?

We were all about going on a campaign and using the street as an alternative space. We were in revolt against the galleries and the commodification of art. That was Avant. There was a strategy to the whole thing. When the street kids were going to the galleries, we were bringing the studio to the street. We were like a rock band, hitting as many venues as we could. We used paste-ups and paint to put up art on the street. The late painter and poet Rene Ricard called us “the enemy,” because of what we represented. We were on a mission.

Who were Avant’s inspirations back them?

We were largely inspired by Al Diaz and Jean-Michel Basquiat. SAMO© was a phenomenon, as it captured people throughout the city.

What is your main source of income these days?

Selling art, selling stories, and writing about other artists.

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

He’s a priest or a cobbler with a compulsion, feathering the nest.

You’ve exhibited in dozens of venues from alternative sites to museums.

Yes! Among them were 51X Gallery, MoMA PS1, A.S.A.G.E. Gallery, Nassau County Museum of Art and Causey Contemporary. And my next exhibit opens this Friday, September 21 at 17 Frost Gallery, where I will be showing along with David Fried. in an exhibit presented by d.w. krsna.

Good luck! We are looking forward to that!

Interview by Lenny Collado; all photos, courtesy of the artist, selected by Tara Murray; and special thanks to 17 Frost Creative Director Javier Hernandez-Miyares

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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Opening this Wednesday evening. July 25, from 6-9pm at GR Gallery at 250 Bowery is “Super Matter,” a solo exhibition featuring new works fashioned collaboratively by Simon Grendene and Victor Anselmi, known to us street art aficionados as ASVP.  Segments of recognizable icons, reimagined as shapes of expressive energy, mesmerize the viewer with their dynamic strokes and bold contours. The tantalizing image featured above was fashioned on wood.  A small sampling of additional works from the upcoming exhibit follow:

On canvas

On wood panel

And on a similar vein to their mural art that surfaced a few months back on the Lower East Side

Images courtesy GR 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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17 Frost Gallery — Brooklyn’s widely impressive hub of “community, camaraderie and collaboration” — is back! And to celebrate its renovation and expansion that began in January 2017, when it closed its doors to the general public, it is hosting WELCOME BACK, ON TRACK this Saturday evening from 7-11pm.

A rebirth of sorts, WELCOME BACK, ON TRACK, features dozens of artists working in a range of media representing contemporary art, street art and graffiti genres.  While 17 Frost Gallery had previously presented monthly solo and group shows, it is now gearing towards exhibiting pop-up shows, with artists encouraged to present new works.

All are invited to celebrate 17 Frost Gallery‘s “rebirth” this Saturday evening. Among the dozens of artists in this premier exhibit — curated by Ellis Gallagher — are such modern legends as Al DiazCope2, Eric Orr, UFO97 and Cost.

With DJ Choice Royce, music and Brooklyn Gin, libations

Featured images

1 EKG

2 Alex Itin

3 Close-up from collaborative work by Cabaio Spirito, rené, Alex Itin and netism

Photos courtesy Ellis Gallagher

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Celebrated across the globe for his inventive stencil art, Joe Iurato continues to inspire and delight us with his innovatively conceived  and beautifully executed artwork. On exhibit at Castle Fitzjohns through this week is “Bottles + Cans,” an exhibition of new works, along with a life-size instillation of a Bistro. Pictured above is Modern Love (Sunset), 2018 spray paint on wood cut out, reclaimed wood. Several more images captured at the exhibit follow:

He Was Here a Second Ago, 2018 spray paint on wood cut out, reclaimed wood

It’s All Downhill From Here, 2018 spray paint on wood cut out, reclaimed wood

Watering Can (Peace), 2018 spray paint on wood cut out, reclaimed wood

Street Stories and Rhymes, 2018 spray paint on wood cut out, reclaimed wood

James ‘right to sing the blues, 2018 spray paint on wood cut out, reclaimed wood

Installation, Bottles + Cans, mixed media

Castle Fitzjohns is located at 98 Orchard Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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

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

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

Slum, Acrylic on canvas, 2013, 31.5 x 23.5

And one of several sculptures on exhibit —

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

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

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

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

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With his boldly elegant visual language, Spanish artist J Demsky has been reinventing the alphabet for over 20 years. Here in NYC, he has recently brought his talents to our streets. And through February 10, his distinct aesthetic remains on view in OFF THE WALL, a duo exhibition with sculptor Brad Howe, at GR Gallery, 255 Bowery.

Pictured above is a mural painted by J Demsky in Manhattan. Following are two more murals that J Demsky has graced us with:

At the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria

In Ridgewood

And two of several artworks newly crafted by J Demsky on view at GR Gallery:

Electricworm, Synthetic enamel on ACP, 45.2″ x 59″ 

Multistellar 1Synthetic enamel on ACP, 33.4″ x 48″

Located at 255 Bowery between East Houston and Stanton Streets, GR Gallery is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm.

All images courtesy GR 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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Opening this coming Saturday, September 23, at Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery is D*Face’s only U.S. solo show this year. The legendary UK-based artist — who has recently shared his talents with us New Yorkers in Downtown Manhattan with the Lisa Project NYC, at Coney Art Walls and at the Bushwick Collective — set out to resurrect romance in the contemporary era. Aptly titled Happy Never Ending, D*Face creates a family of dysfunctional characters, as he takes on such issues as illusive intimacy and conspicuous consumerism.

Regarding his new works, D*Face states: “For me this work is about the tragedy of losing someone you love. Not just in the physical sense of death but also in the metaphorical way that romance has become such an artificial thing in recent years. Courtship used to be a craft, something careful and considered; marriage was an everlasting bond of trust and commitment. Today, though, romance is comparable to a shop bought commodity – instantly attainable at the touch of a button or swipe of a screen. In a constant search for someone or something better, people treat others as if they were mere objects – infinitely attainable and instantly disposable.”

He continues: “With this new series of work I wanted to re-kindle the lost romance of a bygone era, back when, even in death, the memory of a loved one could last an eternity and a marriage went beyond just a symbolic gesture. For the show I want to construct a mini chapel where we can actually hold a real ceremony and a graveyard in which I want people to leave momentos to the people they have lost. If romance is truly dead, then I want to resurrect it for the modern age.”

By rethinking, editing and subverting imagery — such as currency, advertising and comic books — drawn from decades of materialistic consumption, D*Face transforms these now iconic motifs, figures and genres in order to gain new insight into today’s values.

Happy Never Ending‘s opening reception will be held this Saturday from 7-11pm in Gallery 1 at Corey Helford Gallery. The exhibit remains on view and is open to the public through October 21st.

Photo credit: Spraying Bricks, in-process shots from D*Face’s studio 

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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A huge fan of the Oakland-based street artist GATS since I first saw his iconic mask imagery across the globe several years ago, I was delighted to view his artwork here in NYC — both in the brilliantly conceived and curated exhibit Against the Grain at SPOKE ART NYC and on the streets of Little Italy. Pictured above is a segment of a huge mural featured in Against the Grain. Here are several more images — all fashioned on found objects — from the exhibit:

Death by Pebble, Acrylic on 1960’s skateboards, 4 of 8

gats-skateboards

Traveler, Acrylic on found wooden case (top); Trackside, acrylic on spraycan (bottom)

gats-traveler

Stripes, Acrylic on found shipwreck

gats-stripes

Eliminator, Enamel on vintage sprayer

gats-reclaimed-fire-extinguisher

 And on the streets of Little Italy — with the L.I.S.A Project

gats-little-italy

 Close-up

gats-little-italy-close-up

Against the Grain continues at SPOKE ART NYC through June 25th. The gallery is located at 210 Rivington Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Photo credits: 1, 3-7 Lois Stavsky; 2 Karin du Maire

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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