graffiti art

This is the sixteenth in a series of occasional posts featuring the diverse range of trucks and vans that strike our streets:

Wane and Queen Andrea

Soten

ZaOne

Hoacs

Iena Cruz

PJ Linden at work for the House of Yes

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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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Once again, Union Street Park’s magical walls in Hackensack, NJ have been transformed. Pictured above is Washington Heights graffiti legend Totem. Several of these featured images were captured during Rozzy Ken Roz‘s birthday celebration — hosted by Darrius-Jabbar Sollas — two weeks ago. Others were taken when we revisited Union Street Park this past Wednesday.

The superb Sade TCM 

Bronx-based Ricky Montalvo aka Soze527

Flite (L) and Rocky 184 & Gem 13 Collabo

Classic writer Wore IBM at work

The legendary Seen TC5

Graffiti pioneer Part One

Wide view with celebration under way 

Photo credits: 1, 4, 5 & 8 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2, 3, 6 & 7 Lois Stavsky

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Home to a rotating range of vibrant murals by first-rate, often classic, graffiti writers, Hackensack’s Union Street Park is a treasure. While visiting on Wednesday, I had the opportunity to pose a few questions to its founder and curator, Darrius-Jabbar Sollas also known as Nasty Neo.

When did you first begin curating this spot?  It’s a graffiti-lover’s paradise. We’ve been returning regularly to check it out since we first discovered it — by chance — several years ago.

It’s ten years now. I began curating it in 2007. We are celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Congratulations! How did you discover such an ideal spot?  And how did you come to manage its walls?

I used to pass it every day as I took my kid to school.  And it looked like the perfect spot to showcase graffiti. As I went about locating the owners of the adjacent building to secure permission to use the walls, I discovered that a friend of mine was one of the building’s owners. I was given one huge wall.

What was the initial response to your transformation of this space? How did the community react?

The response was wonderfully enthusiastic. The town’s officials couldn’t have been more positive. And soon I was invited to curate the entire space, not just one wall.

Among the many artists who’ve painted here, do any in particular stand out?

Among them: Serve, Bates, Hef, Med, Tats Cru, Poem, Sade, T-Kid, Wane

What have been some of your challenges in managing this space?

The artists themselves! They can be pompous and arrogant. All of the walls are buffed for them, and too many still need to be catered to.

I notice that you guys are buffing the walls now. What’s ahead? Are you getting ready for anything special?

Yes! We have a birthday barbecue coming up Saturday for Roz…our fifth annual one.

Who are some of the artists who will be painting at the birthday barbecue?

FliteServeWore, Jew, Pase, Python, Rocky 184, Gem 13

It sounds great! Have fun! And thanks for bringing so much vibrancy to Bergen County!

Images

1  Union Street Park curator and artist Darrius-Jabbar Sollas aka Nasty Neo

2  Staten Island-based Goal

3  Classic writer Sound7TC5

4  Graffiti legend Part One

5  The masterful Sade TCM

6  Doe of the RTH crew

Photo credits: 1, 4-6 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2-3 Lois Stavsky; interview conducted by Lois Stavsky

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From August 9 – 13th, Under Pressure held the 22nd edition of its annual graffiti festival in Montreal. The largest and longest-running event of its kind in North America, it is a celebration of hip-hop, graffiti and street art culture. The image pictured above was painted by the famed French graffiti crew and family 123 Klan. Several more images that we captured on site follow:

Montreal-based Adida Fallen Angel artworks on door and to its left

Canadian artists Scribe, Francois Leandre and Corey Bulpitt collaboration 

Montreal based MissMe

Montreal-based Monk.E at work on collaborative wall with Ankhone and Fonki

France-native, Montreal-based Sbuone at work

 Tattooist J Mats at work on collaborative wall

Rien, Borrris, Arnold, Naimo & Will Lyf3 203 Crew collaborative mural

Photo credits: 1, 5 & 8 Tara Murray; 2-4, 6 & 7 Lois Stavsky

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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Continuing through this week at Avant Garde LES is Queens-based ZA ONE‘s exuberant solo exhibit, The Evolution of ZA ONE. While visiting last week, I had the chance to speak to its curator, Kate Storch.

ZA ONE is a style master; that is certainly evident here. And it was great fun watching him paint over at First Street Green Park last month. 

Yes! ZA ONE is a true artist. He is fearless in his determination to keep on pushing his craft further and further.  He spent the past two years working on these canvases.

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When did ZA ONE first hit the streets?

He first hit the streets in the mid-eighties. And in 2012, he started going all-city. It was non-stop adrenalin. He is a street killer, as well as a masterful artist.

How did you meet ZA ONE

Jerms introduced us about two years ago. I feel like ZA ONE was a gift. And I love the way he involves his children in his art.  He is a dedicated father, as well as a dedicated artist.

How did the opening of the show go? I’ve heard great things about it!

Yes, it was amazing. There was so much love from other writers. And the exhibit attracted a wonderfully eclectic mix of people including fine artists and musicians.

What’s next for you?

I’ve been busily planning and promoting this coming Friday’s Summer Classics Block Party in honor of National Hip Hop Day.

What can folks who attend it expect?

It will feature live DJs and some of the best graffiti artists and muralists — a mix of both legendary classics and contemporary talents.

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It sounds great! Good luck with it all!

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview with Kate Storch conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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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Plasma-slug-A-colony-of-love

Portal, a thoroughly enticing exhibit of new artworks in a range of media by the legendary Brooklyn-based artist Plasma Slug, continues through tomorrow at ArtHelix, 289 Meserole Street in Bushwick. When I stopped by yesterday, I had the chance to pose a few questions to the artist.

This is so impressive! Can you tell us a bit about the title of this — your third solo exhibit?

Yes! The exhibit is a portal — an entrance — to another world. Viewers will step into something that will take them out of their routine and they will, hopefully, leave with their minds expanded.

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These are all new works. About how many are in this exhibit? And how long have you been working on this particular body of work?

There are over 40 new pieces, and I’ve been preparing for this exhibit for the past four months.

How do the works on exhibit here differ from your previous ones?

I did not use spray paint to create these new pieces; after much soul-searching, I decided to paint with a brush.

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And why is that?

It was a way for me to “cross over,” — to gain more respect as an artist. The tools we artists use are important as to how we are perceived.

Any other differences between these new works and your previous ones?

This is the first time I’m showing three-dimensional work.

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What prompted you to do that?

My son was flipping out over a 3-D chalk board he was using, and I liked the effect.

Everything here is so engaging, and your prices are so reasonable.  How can folks see the exhibit if they missed the opening or if they wish to see it again? I could spend hours here!

We’re open today and tomorrow, Sunday from 12-6.

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 Congratulations! It’s quite amazing!

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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meres-graffiti-nyc

The walls at and in the vicinity of  Brooklyn Reclaimed brim with first-rate graffiti by artists from near and far. Pictured above is by Brooklyn Reclaimed curator, Meres One.  Several more images that I recently captured follow:

The legendary T-Kid 170

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NYC-based Rath

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Bronx-based Pase

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The itinerant VIP Rap

vip-rap-graffiti-nyc

Texas-based Sloke

sloke-graffiti-nyc

New Jersey-based 4Sakn

4-saken-graffiti-nyc

 Photos by Lois Stavsky

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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bg183

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!

servefba-art-more-points.

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.

CAMO

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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Epic-uno-live-painting

A master of his craft with a formal educational background in graphic design, Epic Uno has been sharing his talents with us here in NYC public spaces for the past several years. He is one of the many talented artists who will be participating tomorrow in the 3rd edition of the Street Art Expo in Elmhurst, Queens. I recently had the opportunity to meet up with him:

When and where did you first get up here in NYC? 

It was around 1997-98. I had left Puerto Rico to attend Pratt University, and I first got up on and off the campus of Pratt.

What inspired you at the time to hit the walls?

I did it because I could! It felt good to get up. It was a rush!

Epic-uno-cloud-mural

Do any early graffiti-related memories stand out?

I was about nine or ten years old when I saw a Sen2 piece on an abandoned building back in Puerto Rico. I was struck! Years later when I met Sen2, he gave me the best advice any mentor could give. He said, “Draw every day.” And I do!

Would you rather work legally or illegally?

These days it’s not a choice. I have a family, and I’m not 20 any more. But I do miss the rush.

I’ve seen your work up in the Bronx, in Long Island City and at Welling Court. It’s quite impressive! Who have been some of your influences? Have any particular artists inspired you?

I met the writer HUMAN back at Pratt. His dorm room was across from mine. And he taught me the basics. Among the many artists who have inspired me are: Sen2, the late Swiss graffiti legend Dare TWS, Rime MSK, 123 Klan and Does from the Netherlands.

epic-uno-skull-hat

Have you painted with any crews?

I’ve painted with A Dying Breed and 4Burners.

\Would you rather paint alone or collaborate with others?

I generally prefer painting alone, but when I paint with the “right” person, there’s nothing better. I love painting with Sen2 and Logek.

Can you tell us something about your name Epic Uno? Its origin?

I first started as Elastic. But it wasn’t working for me, and I wanted a new name. I checked Art Crimes to find a name that nobody else had. I came up the name Epic and then added Uno to identify my Latin roots.

epic-uno-with-black-book

Have you any thoughts about the graffiti/street art divide?

Although there are some of us who bridge both worlds, there is a definite divide. The backgrounds and mentalities of most street artists and graffiti writers are quite different.  And I especially feel it here in NYC.

What percentage of your time is devoted to art these days?

Just about all or it! I used to be into snowboarding, but I barely have any time these days for anything besides my art and my family.

How do you feel about the engagement of graffiti writers and street artists with the corporate world?

We artists have to live. I’ve collaborated with brands such as Coach and Nike. And I, of course, use my discretion regarding which corporations and brands I work with.

epic-uno-graffiti-character

Have you shown your work in galleries?

I’ve been in lots of small group shows. Here in New York City I’ve shown in all boroughs except Staten Island. I’ve also exhibited in San Diego, Minneapolis and back in Puerto Rico.

Do you work with a sketch in hand or do you let it flow?

I’m always over prepared. Without a plan I get stressed and anxious.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished work?

I am satisfied only if I’m able to include every detail I want to include.

Epic-Uno-street-art

How has your work evolved through the past few years?

I’m somewhat more comfortable with the process. I’m less confined by my initial plan or sketch. I’ve learned how to take imperfections and make them seem organic.

What inspires you these days?

I’m inspired by the 1920’s… ads, graphics, art deco. I’m interested in incorporating traditional typography into my current work.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

Definitely the graffiti and hip-hop culture. Back in Puerto Rico, I was a break dancer, and I emceed and deejayed with my friends before I ever started piecing.

epic-uno-with-mural-art

How do you feel about the role of social media in all of this?

Instagram was a turning point for me as an artist, as I made so many contacts through it. But I see social media as a loaded weapon. It can be very beneficial, but it can also be hurtful.

Can you tell us something about your current day job?

I work as an Art Director for Equity Brands. My office is here in Midtown.

Do you feel that your formal art education played a positive role in your art career?

Definitely. My studies in Graphic Design at Pratt Institute gave me the tools to be able to do the work that I do today.

epic-uno-graffiti-burner

What’s ahead?

I have recently been commissioned to paint a mural at a hotel. Next month I will be painting in the 8th Annual Welling Court Mural Project. I will be participating in the Robots Will Kill exhibit at My Plastic Heart on the Lower East Side in July. And on Sunday (tomorrow), you can find me at the Street Art Expo — at Elks Lodge, 82-20 Queens Blvd in Elmhurst, Queens — where I will be displaying and selling my art and a range of my products, taking commissions and signing black books.

It all sounds great! I look forward to seeing you then.

All photos courtesy of the artist; first photo by Rachel Fawn Alban; interview conducted and edited by 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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T-Kid-graffiti-nyc

Last Tuesday, First Street Green Park — on the corner of Houston Street and 2nd Avenue — was home to a buoyant celebration of International Hip-Hop Day. Hosted by PeepThis and organized by Anthony Bowman and Kate Storch, the event featured legendary graffiti artists, along with hip-hop and DJing pioneers. The mural pictured above was painted by T-Kid. Here are several more images we captured:

Jerms

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Doves

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Lady K Fever at work

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Andres Correa at work, to the left of Kool Kito

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Marcelo Ment — in from Brazil

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La Femme Cheri, Ree and Theresa Kim aka Resa Piece

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The crew

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Other featured New York graffiti and street art legends included: Will Power, Flint 707, Nic 707, Keo, Omni and Frank Wore Croce. The hip-hop music — featuring DJ Grand Wizard Theodore and DJJS1 — was broadcast live on Damatrix Studios.

Photo credits: 1-4 & 7  Lois Stavsky 5 & 6 Tara Murray & 8 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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