Gumshoe

I stopped by HG Contemporary‘s impressive new gallery space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn yesterday as several artists were busy at work preparing for tonight’s official launch.

After checking it out, I had the opportunity to speak with Sean Sullivan who, along with Harris Lobel, has curated the gallery’s opening exhibit:

This space is ideal, and the artwork looks wonderful! How did the opportunity come your way to curate this exhibit for HG Contemporary‘s grand opening here in Williamsburg?

Last month, Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim, the founder of HG Contemporary in Chelsea, approached me and asked me if I would be interested in curating an exhibit along the lines of First City, the one I’d curated awhile back in Long Island.  I saw it as a great opportunity to give artists I admire a chance to exhibit alongside the fine artists who generally show at HG Contemporary.

How did you decide which artists to include?

That was difficult, as I would have liked to include many more. I chose artists with whom I’ve successfully worked with in the past, along with five others whose artwork I’ve admired, but with whom I’ve never worked. The final selection was a joint decision between me and Harris Lobel, who was involved in curating, along with me, the First City project. We were interested in showcasing the works of artists whom we believe deserve wide exposure.

I’m familiar with several of the artists — especially those whose work I’ve seen on the streets. Several, though, are new to me. Who are the artists that you both agreed to include in this grand opening?

Our final selection included: Albertus JosephZimer, Gumshoe, Jenna Krypell, Jason AckermanFridge, Jenna Morello, OG Millie and Reso 914.

There’s quite a diverse range of styles here. Had you a specific theme in mind?

We were interested in representing the various elements associated with street art and graffiti.  And so we sought a mix of images, words, letter technique, characters, color and flow.

What were some of the challenges you faced in seeing this through?

As an artist who doesn’t like taking directions, I wasn’t all that comfortable giving directions to others. But it was something that I had to do. And it was difficult asking artists to put a halt to all that they were doing for two to three day, so that they could devote themselves for hours on end to this project.

I’m certain that many artists who worked with you in the past were disappointed that they weren’t included in such a significant exhibit.

Definitely! I was getting too many nasty direct messages. Dealing with that was another huge challenge. Of course, I would have loved to include more artists, and I do hope to include many others in future exhibits that I look forward to curating in this space.

In addition to the works painted directly onto the walls here, what else can visitors to the gallery expect to see?

All of the artists who are partipating will also exhibit works on canvas that are for sale. And in addition to the artists that Harris and I have brought in, HG Contemporary will be presenting a special installation by Franz Klainsek and works by Tim Bengel and Carl McCrow.

And how can folks who can’t make it to the official grand opening see the exhibit?

The gallery is conveniently located at 66 North 3rd Street off Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn .All are invited to visit the gallery during its regular opening hours.

Images

  1. Albertus Joseph
  2. Layer Cake
  3. Zimer
  4. Gumshoe
  5. Jenna Krypell
  6. Jason Ackerman & Fridge
  7. Jenna Morello
  8. OG Milli
  9. Reso 914

Interview and 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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Lulu-reich

I recently stopped by 212 ARTS and had the opportunity to speak to Laura “Lulu” Reich who, along with Marc Leader, founded and directs the gallery.

I’ve heard great things about your current exhibit, Gumshoe: Red, White And Black, and I’m so glad I finally had the opportunity to visit this space! How long has 212 ARTS been here?

We’ve been here as 212 ARTS since this past October.

This space here at 240 East 4th Street is so perfect for a gallery. Why did you choose this particular neighborhood? And how were you so lucky to get this space?

I’m an East Village girl and I love everything about this neighborhood — its history, alternative culture and more. Yes, acquiring this space was mere luck! I had found out from the landlord that it was available.

gumshoe-art-on-canvas-212arts-nyc

What is the vision behind 212 ARTS

It is to give exposure in a gallery setting to urban artists, particularly those who work on the streets, as well as in their studios. It is also to educate folks about the artists in this scene. There are stories to tell, as in this current exhibit, Gumshoe: Red, White And Black.

Can you tell us something about this current exhibit?

It is Gumshoe‘s first solo exhibit in NYC. We chose to present this exhibit because we love Gumshoe’s work and her distinct female energy! And it seemed like the perfect exhibit for Valentine’s Day.

Gumshoe-art-on-canvas

And what about its title, Red, White and Black?

Most of the pieces in the exhibit are red, white and black. The title is a play, of course, on the colors of the American flag, presenting the darker side of the American dream.

And the gum that always makes it way onto those glorious red Louboutin heels? What is that all about?

As we strive for perfection and sometimes almost reach it, we meet inevitable disaster! The gum is the metaphor for that. We get stuck along the way!

gumshoe-installation-212arts

Oh, yes! There is a story to tell! Until when will folks be able to see this exhibit?

We are open Tuesday through Saturday 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm and on Sunday 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  You can also make an appointment to see it by contacting me at laura@212arts.com  Gumshoe‘s exhibit closes on Wednesday, February 17th.

What’s next?

Opening on the 18th is an exhibit featuring artworks by NYC graffiti legends. Among those showing are: Crash, Skeme and T-Kid.

Gumshoe-paints-street-art-nyc

I’m certainly looking forward to that! Good luck!

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; all photos feature Gumshoe‘s work; photo 4 of Gumshoe‘s installation also features Jily Ballistic and Al Diaz; photo 5 of  Gumshoe at work was captured awhile back on the Lower East Side.

Photo credits:1 & 4 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 5 Dani Reyes Mozeson and 3 Houda Lazrak

Note: Our highly acclaimed Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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Okudua-street-art-on-Lafayette-David Sharabani-in-NYC

A huge fan of Lord K2’s photography and his outstanding book, Street Art Santiago, I was delighted to discover that Lord K2 has also been photographing NYC’s street art and graffiti.  During his most recent stopover in NYC, I had the opportunity to speak to him.

Why NYC?

Because it is the epicenter of it all.  It is where graffiti was born, and where the best artists from across the globe come to paint.

Buff-Monster-in-Bushwick,-Brooklyn,-NYC

Any distinct standouts?

Os Gemeos immediately comes to mind. But just about every artist who has painted on the famed Bowery wall is extraordinary. And the L.I.S.A Project, too, has brought so many first-rate artists to Manhattan.  My initial focus was just Manhattan because the borough attracts so many outstanding artists.

But you had begun to photograph beyond Manhattan.

Yes. I decided that I did not want to limit myself. And among the sites I’ve photographed outside of Manhattan are the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens and the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn.

David-Sharabani-At-Welling Court Mural Project

Many of your photos are in black and white. Why is that?

Too much color in a book can oversaturate the senses. And when I capture the artists in action, I find that limiting the image to black and white often creates a more satisfying overall portrait.

Any particular inspirations among the photographers out there?

I was definitely inspired by Martha Cooper’s work. And the late Garry Winogrand’s photos of Manhattan have influenced my approach to street photography.

Geobany

How have the artists you’ve photographed responded to you?

They’ve all been welcoming and warm.

How long have you been working on this project?

I began two years ago  Taking my time allows me to photograph the new art works that arise which, in turn, allows me to curate from a larger selection.

Gumshoe-art-photo-David Sharabani-NYC

You spent a considerable amount of time in South America. What are some of the most striking differences between the street art scene here in NYC and what you experienced there?

I found that in South America the artists generally paint for the love of it. And making a living out of art is a bigger challenge in South America than it is here. In NYC, financial considerations come more into play, as many of the artists have more opportunities to get the attention of gallerists and collectors.  Also, in South America lines are blurred between what is legal and what is illegal. There’s a general leniency towards unsanctioned art, while here in NYC painting illegally is quite problematic.

Icy-and-Sot

Absolutely! And accessing legal walls can be quite challenging! When can we expect to see you back in NYC?

I plan to return in the summer.

That sounds great! The walls are waiting for you!

Interview by Lois Stavsky; all photos Lord K2

Images: 1. Okuda  2. Buff Monster  3. SweetCrimes  4 .Geobany  5. GumShoe & 6. Icy and Sot

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Fumero

The rooftop of the 407 Bushwick, located at 407 Johnson Avenue, elevates the wonder and energy of street art. I recently had the chance to visit it and speak to its curator, Fumero.

You’ve transformed this rooftop into a vibrant canvas drenched with dazzling colors in an array of styles. How did this come about?

A friend of mine, dj and producer Onda Skillet, lives at the 407 Bushwick.  He was looking to bring some color to the rooftop that was covered mostly with old throw-ups. And I saw this as a great opportunity to bring the energy of the streets up to the roof.

Nicole-Salgar-and-Chuck-Berrett-and-Raquel-Echanique-at-the-407-Bushwick-street-art

You invited such a wonderfully diverse group of artists to paint here. Can you tell us something about how that came about?

In curating this rooftop, I chose artists whom I’ve met — and often worked with — throughout the years in different settings. I asked them to bring their distinct iconography with them. Some had never painted on walls before.

"Gumdrop and Whisbe"

You are consistently active on the streets. What is the appeal of the roof to you?  I remember catching glimpses of your pieces up here from street level and feeling frustrated that I couldn’t see more of them!

That’s part of the appeal. It incites interest. The roof is kind of a secret society. We are free to invite whom we want and no haters are allowed!

Cruz

Where would you rather paint – on the streets or on a rooftop?

I like them both.  They are different experiences. When I paint on the streets, I can engage people. But the roof has a distinct energy that I love.

"Craig Anthony Miller and Federico Cruz"

Your recent event Art in the Air, Music Underground, hosted by Aphotic, featured music, as well as art. Can you tell us something about that? How integral is music to what you are doing at the 407 Bushwick?

Its role is essential. The audio creations, performed by Onda Skillet with his Aerotropic label, were the perfect complement to the art. Opening rooftops to music and art is the next big thing! What’s happening here is a landmark. It is the future.

"JP O’Grodnick"

What about the location of the 407 Bushwick? Any thoughts about that?

The location couldn’t be more perfect. Bushwick is what the Lower East Side was 30 years ago. It’s the hub of cutting-edge art and music. The 407 Bushwick is the new CBGB.

Elle

What’s ahead?

More great energy, art and music! The second Art in the Air, Music Underground will take place this summer. The artists are already lined up, and we are now seeking sponsorship.

Fumero

It all sounds wonderful! What a great outdoor gallery NYC is!

Photos: 1. Fumero; 2. Nicole Salgar & Chuck Berrett with Raquel Echanique on right; 3. Gumshoe and Whisbe; 4. Cruz; 5. CAM and segment of Cruz; 6. John Paul O’Grodnick; 7. Elle, and 8. Fumero

Interview with Fumero and photos by Lois Stavsky; also featured on the roof of the 407 Bushwick are new works by Joseph Meloy, AOM, NS/CB, The Cupcake Guy, Rafal Pisarczyk and Robyn Henderson.

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