Harlem

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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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Born in Brazil in 1982, SALMOS first made his mark in São Paulo’s public spaces and freight trains as ISHI. In 2004, he opened his own tattoo store, and ten years later, he emerged as SALMOS, Sou Artista Livre Mais Ouseda de São Paulo, “the most daring free artist in Sao Paulo.” His current work — both indoors and outdoors — is largely a delightful fusion of graffiti writing and classic comic characters. This past Saturday, SALMOS‘s first NYC solo exhibit, FRACTURED FAIRY TALES  opened at  the Martinez Gallery. While visiting, I had the opportunity to speak to the artist.

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When did you first hit the streets?

Back in 1996-97. I was 14 at the time.

What motivated you to do so?

I was drawn to the streets. Pixação — in particular — inspired me. And I came up with the idea of integrating comical characters into my writing.

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Can you tell us something about these characters? What is their appeal to you?

They are magical!  They fuse the nostalgia that adults feel with the mystification children experience.

And how do you choose your characters? Why — for example — Garfield?

I love the ones that make me feel like I am a kid again! Garfield enchants me!

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And what brought you here to NYC?

The amazing opportunity to paint here. New York City is where it all started. The history of graffiti is here in NYC.

And we here in NYC love how writers from places like São Paulo are taking it to another level. We’re so glad you made it here! Have a safe trip home!

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Curated by Octavio ZayaFRACTURED FAIRY TALES can be seen Mon- Sat, 11AM to 5PM, at the Martinez Gallery on 135th Street and Broadway.

Note: Standing to the left of SALMOS is Martinez Gallery‘s noted director, Hugo Martinez.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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The Education Is Not a Crime Campaign, a street art campaign for educational equality in Iran, continues to grace Harlem with stylishly expressive, mural art on the theme of education. Within the last two weeks, four artists brought their skills and visions to PS 92 — located at 222 W 134th St. Pictured above is Brooklyn-based See One at work. What follows is an interview conducted on site with Not A Crime founder, Maziar Bahari — a journalist, filmmaker and activist who had been arrested without charge in Iran and detained for 118 days during the 2009 Iranian election protests.

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Can you tell us something about the Not a Crime Campaign? Its mission?

The Not a Crime Campaign is an awareness-raising campaign about the educational discrimination directed primarily against the Baha’is in Iran. The Baha’is of Iran are the largest minority in that country. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, they have not been able to enjoy their rights as citizens in terms of employment and education. Our campaign focuses solely on education and the fact that the Baha’is in Iran can not teach or study in universities.

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Why did you choose to use street art to get your message across?

We thought that the best way to fight against suppression and bigotry is with arts and creativity. We’ve been involved with street art, music, film… At this moment the major part of our campaign involves street art. Why street art?  We live in a digital age. And we thought it would be interesting to have something really analog like street art and mix it with digital technology.

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Our campaign is all about dialog and discourse. And through street art we can have different layers of dialog and discourse. I am not a  Baha’i myself, so I have this dialog with the Baha’i community.  And, then as a team, we have a dialog with the artists and with Street Art Anarchy, the organization that helps us choose the artists and negotiate the walls.  The artists, then, have a dialog with passersby.  Then the passersby have a dialog among themselves. And then we create a video about each wall and we put it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And, finally, viewers from all around the wall can interact with the videos.

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What are some of the challenges presented by this project?

We face some challenges, but they are nothing compared to what some people go through every day in different countries. People who are arrested just because they want to be educated…people who are tortured just because they want to teach, to study. I’m almost ashamed of talking about our challenges, which are really minor. But NYC is a big, crowded city with a bureaucratic government. And each wall requires negotiating with the building owners, and there are many by-laws that restrict what we can do. But, again, these challenges are minor.

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How has the response been?  And why Harlem?

The reaction of the Harlem community has been amazing. We have found a home in Harlem. We chose Harlem because the people here understand discrimination. Harlem is in NYC, and the media attention to NY is always amazing. And we wanted to be in NY where world leaders gather in September for the United Nations General Assembly. But also Harlem is synonymous with the Harlem Renaissance.  And we see that people react to our walls here in ways that many people in other places didn’t. People in Harlem get our message immediately, and they appreciate the way we do things. And in addition to working with the street artists who create these beautiful works of art, we also work in the community in terms of outreach and other subjects.

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What’s ahead?

A continuation of what we’ve started. To have more connections with the community…to see what they want from us… what we can offer them in terms of providing our expertise with street art or music. And to talk about the subject that’s dear  to everyone around the world — and especially the people in Harlem — the subject of education and discrimination.

Thank you so much for the interview, Mr. Bahari. And good luck with the campaign.

Interview conducted by Karin du Maire and edited for Street Art NYC by Lois Stavsky

 Images

1. See One at work

2. Maziar Bahari, founder of  Not A Crime campaign, as captured during interview

3. Tatyana Fazlalizadeh at work

4. Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

5. Lmnopi mural in progress

6. Lmnopi, close-up with young admirers

7. Marthalicia 

 Photo credits: 1-3 & 5 Karin du Maire; 4 Tara Murray and 6 & 7 Lois Stavsky

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The 15th edition of the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame, presented by Joey TDS and James Top, was launched this past weekend inside the famed East Harlem schoolyard on 106th Street and Park Avenue. Pictured above is by French graffiti artist Pro176. Here are several more artworks captured yesterday:

Rhode Island-based PFunk at work

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Local writer Rath

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New York City-based graffiti legend Quik

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NYC-based, Stockholm native Scratch, the sole female to paint this year!

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NYC-based Hops1

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NYC-based Poet

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Keep posted to our Facebook page for more images of new Graffiti Hall of Fame murals.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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

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Not A Crime‘s summer-long street art campaign for education equality continues to enhance the streets of Harlem. Featured above is Paris-based Astro’s first mural in NYC.  Here are several more that have surfaced since the spring:

Chilean artist Cekis, close-up

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South African artist Ricky Lee Gordon

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 Australian artist Rone, close-up of Nasim Biglari

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Brazilian artist Alexandre Keto, close-up

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 Harlem’s legendary Franco the Great

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 South Carolina – based Patch Whisky at work

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Close-up from Patch Whisky‘s completed mural

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Brooklyn-based Elle at work

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Close-up from Elles completed mural

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An expansion of last year’s NYC-based mural campaign covering four boroughs and New Jersey, the #NotACrime Street Art Campaign for Education Equality is curated by Street Art Anarchy.  Now in its second year, the #NotACrime campaign was founded by Maziar Bahari to expose Iran’s human rights violations.

Note: Keep posted to our Facebook page for additional murals from Not A Crime‘s street art campaign for education equality by Erik Burke, Tats CruCol Wallnuts and more. You can also check out videos of artists at work and more on the Education Is Not a Crime Facebook page.

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Photo credits: 1, 4 – 6 & 8 Tara Murray; 2, 3 & 10 Lois Stavsky; 9 & 7 bytegirl

Hailed in a range of media from 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 K Fever has been feverishly busy! Along with creating and installing All Along the Watchtower, an interactive public art installation at Marcus Garvey Park, she was also at work curating Inside Out, a group exhibit at the nearby Heath Gallery, to coincide with her installation.  This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to visit both the installation and the exhibit.

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Another segment of the Marcus Garvey Park installation — at night

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And at the Heath Gallery — Lady K Fever, Mystery

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Jenevieve, Two Views

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Natalie Collette Wood, Eliptical Star

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Marthalicia, Aquatic Boy

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Shame 125, Admiring

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Bio,Tats Cru, Let the Games Begin

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And “the crew” outside Heath Gallery

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The exhibit at Heath Gallery can be seen this weekend: Saturday from 12-6pm and Sunday 12-5pm. All Along the Watchtower remains on view through the end of this month. And for a guided walk of it, you can meet up with Lady K FeverSuprina and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance members at the nearby Chéri Restaurant, 231 Lenox Avenue, between 6-7pm on Friday evening.

All Along the Watchtower is sponsored by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative with funding provided in part by the Harlem Community Development Corporation. 

 Photos: 1-3 & 10 courtesy Lady K Fever; 4-9 Lois Stavsky

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

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In collaboration with the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and NYC Parks, FLUX Public Art Projects has brought over three dozen arresting sculptures and installations — all rich with cultural references — to Marcus Garvey Park. Pictured above is Bayeté Ross Smith, Got the Power: Boomboxes.  Here are several more:

Jordan Baker-Caldwell, Golem

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Jack Howard Potter, Belvedere Torso

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Richard Vivenzio, Untitled

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Suprina, DNA Totem. close-up

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Jason WallaceCrosshairs

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Capucine BourcartTrompe l’oeil

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Bob Clyatt, (E)scape

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Photo credits: 1, 3 & 6 City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen; 2 Lois Stavsky 4, 5, 7 & 8 Tara Murray

Note: Hailed in a range of media from 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 collective of artists based primarily in Harlem, HART has become an active force in the uptown arts scene. While visiting its space, I had the opportunity to speak to one of its founders, Kristy McCarthy aka D Gale.

Can you tell us something about HART’s mission?

Our mission is to use art as a tool to engage, educate and empower the members of our Harlem community.  We are especially interested in beautifying abandoned and neglected spaces.

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When was the Harlem Art Collective first born?  And was anyone – besides you – involved in its conception?

It officially began last February. Gia Gutierrez and I had talked about starting some sort of Harlem-based artist organization. But as she didn’t have enough free time at that point to devote to launching it, Harold Baines and I organized the first few meetings with about 10 other artists and community members.

How did you get the word out?  And how many artists are currently involved?

We initially got the word out mostly via emails and through our personal networks. About 40 artists currently participate.

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Here at HART’s base, you provide space for local artists to live and free studio space for artists to create. In addition, you rent out two of the bedrooms to folks who are in NYC for short periods of time.  How did you come upon such an amazing 5-bedroom space in the heart of East Harlem?

We found out about it from the building’s landlord. And its size and location made it a perfect match for our needs.

Among your projects is the always-engaging Guerilla Gallery on 116th Street off 2nd Avenue. It has introduced us to many new artists, and it also showcases art by some of our all-time favorite ones. What other projects have you initiated? 

We have partnered with other community organizations — such as the East Harlem Block Nursery, Concrete Safaris and the Manatí Community Garden — to paint murals at block parties and community events. We worked with Urban Innovations to paint and install little free libraries in community gardens around Harlem, and we have hosted free art workshops at the HART house.

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How can an artist join your collective?

We hold meetings twice a month. Anyone interested in attending and finding out more about HART can contact us via our Facebook page. We are also going to start a monthly newsletter this spring and, hopefully, add a community calendar to the Guerilla Gallery.

What’s ahead?

We are working on organizing a spring show that will feature artists from the collective and from the neighborhood. We are also working on starting other Guerrilla Galleries on abandoned construction walls around Harlem. And we are planning to paint more murals that directly involve the community. We have, also, recently formed a women’s caucus within the collective to organize projects specifically dedicated to women’s issues and female empowerment.

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That sounds great! Good luck with it all. We are looking forward!

Images:

1. El Nino de las Pinturas, inside the Hart House

2. Lexi Bella, Danielle Mastrion and Kristy McCarthy in East Harlem

3. Kristy McCarthy in East Harlem

4. The Guerrilla Gallery in East Harlem, as seen earlier this year

5. Steve Perez, Zerk Oer and Bio,Tats Cru at the Guerrilla Gallery in East Harlem, as seen this past week on massive wall spelling out E-L  B-A-R-R-I-O

Photo credits: 1 & 4 Tara Murray; 2, 3 & 5 Lois Stavsky

Interview by Lois Stavsky

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A collaborative venture between the National Audubon Society and the Gitler & ____ Gallery, the Audubon Mural Project, has brought a series of tantalizing murals of climate-endangered birds to the late John James Audubon’s upper Manhattan neighborhood.

Iena Cruz, Tri-colored Heron, 432 West 163 Street, close-up

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Gaia, Endangered Harlem, 1883 Amsterdam Avenue, close-up

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Gaia, Endangered Harlem, the complete mural

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Hitnis, Fish Crow, 3750 Broadway

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LNY, Swallow-tailed Kite, 575 West 155 Street

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LNY, Swallow-tailed-Kite, close-up

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Mr. Mustart, House Finch, 5 Edward M. Morgan Place

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Keep posted to our Facebook page and this blog for many more Audubon Mural Project images.

Photo credits: 1, 2, 4 & 6 Tara Murray; 3, 5, 7 & 8 Lois Stavsky

Note: This blog will be on vacation through Nov 28th. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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While visiting the Free Radicals graffiti exhibit at ALL CITY this past Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to noted Martinez Gallery director Hugo Martinez who — together with Dr. Juan Tapia — envisioned and helped realize this wonderful space that serves as a graffiti art gallery, arts center and pediatric clinic.

What an amazing venture this is! A pediatric clinic, a dynamic art gallery and lounge all sharing the same space. Whose concept was this?

It was Einstein’s. “After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity and form,” he once stated. There is a natural synthesis between art and medicine, and a health clinic is an ideal setting to realize it.

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What made this extraordinary space possible?

2.5 million dollars and seven years.

Who were the main forces behind it?

I work with Dr. Juan Tapia, a pediatrician and former graffiti artist known as C.A.T. 87.  We were inspired to observe and measure evidence-based results of fusing two seemingly antithetical concepts.

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How did you two come to collaborate?

I met Juan over 40 years ago when I was a student at City College and he was a Warlord for the neighborhood division of the Young Savage Nomads gang.  In 1972, we co-founded the United Graffiti Artists (UGA) as an alternative community to the established art world. Juan then went on to earn his GED and attend college and medical school. We have since collaborated on many community-based art and health projects. And in 2008, we established the ALL CITY Foundation.

Can you tell us something about the ALL CITY Foundation?

It is a community-based health and arts collaborative that has brought together a network of medical practitioners, artists and designers to create and run coordinated health and art programs for youth in New York City.

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Your current exhibit, Free Radicals, is a remarkable representation of various works in different media by a range of prolific artists.

Yes. All of the artists in this exhibit have established all-city reputations, most in NYC and a few in other large cities.

Why did you choose this particular space on the corner of 135th Street and Broadway? It is quite impressive.

It is close to City College, where UGA was first established. And the lay-out of the building, the former Claremont Theater – a 22,500-square-foot landmark that was the first theater to show photoplays — is perfectly designed for our purposes.

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What’s ahead?

A range of programs, activities and revolving art exhibits.

Note: Free Radicals continues through March 31 at 3332 Broadway at 135th Street in Harlem. All artworks are for sale. You can follow the Martinez Gallery online at martinezgallery.com and on Instagram at instagram.com/martinezgallery. You can also visit the space with NY1 and check out this recent story in the New York Times.

Photos

1. Kaput, Noxer and Giz

2Noxer

3. False and Navy8

4. Navy8

5. Soviet, close-up

6. Various artists, as seen from the outside looking inside

Interview and photos by Lois Stavsky

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