Icy and Sot

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Committed to using art to transform the ways that teens are prosecuted and sentenced in New York’s adult criminal justice system, Young New Yorkers’ fifth annual Silent Art Auction will fund its grassroots arts program for teens facing criminal charges as adults. Curated by Layqa Nuna Yawar and Ann Lewis, the fundraiser features works by over 80 artists. On Wednesday, May 10th, the Annual Silent Auction will take place from 7-10pm at 548 W. 28th Street in Chelsea, Manhattan. Its special honoree is the wonderfully gifted, Brooklyn-based actor and activist Michael K. Williams.  Among the artworks to be auctioned are several with a distinct political consciousness. Featured above is Icy and Sot, Stop Police Brutality, Spray paint on wood. Here are several more socially-engaged artworks to be auctioned:

Guerrilla Girls, What’s The Difference Between A Prisoner Of War And A Homeless Person?, Offset lithograph

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Jordan Seiler, Collisions – Bullseye, Inkjet 

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Kara Walker, Lost Mountain at Sunrise: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), Offset lithography and screenprint on Sommerset textured paper

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Distort, Estranged, Enamel and engraving on aluminum

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Nicholas Galanin,  The American Dream is Alie and Well, Archival Ultrachrome ink on Epson ultra smooth fine art paper

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And with the purchase of any artwork from Young New Yorkers, you will receive one of these Amplifier prints designed by Shepard Fairey 

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You can purchase tickers here for May 10th’s Silent Auction and bid on the artworks at Paddle8 here.

Images of artworks courtesy Young New Yorkers

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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This past Sunday, we had the opportunity to meet up with Joshua Geyer, one of the curators of the current installation on the 69th floor of 4 World Trade Center. Curious about it all, we posed a few questions to him:

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We’ve been seeing more artwork by street artists indoors these past few months — in a wide range of unlikely settings — than on the streets. Whose concept was it to turn this floor into a showcase for street art and graffiti?

Several executives who work in this building had visited the World Trade Gallery awhile back, and they loved the art that was exhibited there. It was their idea to invite street artists to paint on this floor.

And how did you become involved with this project?

Last March, I had curated an exhibit at the World Trade Gallery that featured works by over a dozen street artists. And so I was invited back to work on this project.

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Which of these artists did you, personally, engage in this project?

The artists I invited to paint here include: Icy and Sot, Sonni, Cern, Fanakapan, Rubin, Hellbent, Buff Monster, Chris RWK, Jackfox, UR New York, Erasmo and Basil Sema.

How did you decide which ones  to invite?

I chose artists I know — whom I’ve worked with in the past — whose art would work in this particular setting.

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Did this project present any distinct challenges?

This was the first time I’d ever worked with other curators. That was a definite challenge, as we didn’t all have the same vision, and each one of us worked independently. I generally curate on my own. And when I work with Centre-fuge Public Art Project, every decision is made collaboratively, and we are all pretty much on the same page.  But I did learn about different approaches to curating a space and navigating my way through different visions.

Who were some of the other curators?

Among them are: Caitlin CrewsSean Sullivan and Bobby Grandone

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Within the past few weeks, there have been quite a few discussions about the need to financially compensate all artists for work they do within corporate settings. What are your thoughts on this issue?

I absolutely agree. Unfortunately, the art world doesn’t always come through. Creatives can be easily exploited. And if this doesn’t change, we will continue to lose many talented artists. But lots of positive things are happening now in this space.

Can you tell us about that?

Yes. Many students — from local elementary schools to the Parsons School of Design — have visited. They’ve had the opportunity to meet artists and speak to curators, and their response has been great. I look forward to more school visits. And I am hoping, of course, that the artists who painted here will attract clients and gain future opportunities.

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How can folks visit this space? Is it ever open to the public?

I will be giving weekly tours. For specific information and to set an appointment, I can be reached at Tower4Arts@gmail.com. I would love to have schools — and art teachers, in particular — reach out to me.

And what about you? What’s ahead for you?

Later this spring I will be joining several artists — including Vexta, Faith47 and Alexis Diaz — on a trip to El Salvador facilitated by the United Nations. I will be doing a photography workshop with kids, and we will be wheat-pasting their photos outdoors. And currently I’m working with No Longer Empty, with plans underway for an exhibit in Brownsville.

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That all sounds great! We’re looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

Note: The images featured in this post were among those curated by Joshua Geyer. Keep posted to the StreetArtNYC Facebook page for additional images of artworks in this space.

Images

Icy and Sot

2 Josh standing next to Chris RWK

Buff Monster, with fragments of Hellbent to the side

Cern

Fanakapan

Jackfox

Sonni

Photos & interview by Lois Stavsky

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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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Penned by photographer, writer, neuroscientist and street art aficionado, Yoav Litvin, 2Create: Art Collaborations in New York City is a distinctly elegant ode to the art of collaboration. Recently released by Schiffer Publishing, it was formally launched last month at the Bronx Museum of the Arts alongside a collaborative photography exhibit, 2gether: Portraits of Duos in Harlem and the South Bronx by Litvin and Tau Battice. A textual and visual documentation of the creative and collaborative process among nine pairs of artists, 2Create also presents first-hand accounts of each one’s early life and work.

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Featuring such duos from NYC-based Al Diaz and Jilly Ballistic to the Iranian brothers Icy and Sot, 2Create: Art Collaborations in New York City showcases a broad range of styles, sensibilities and processes. It also introduces us to the specific locale — from Manhattan’s Union Square Subway Station to a Greenpoint, Brooklyn rooftop — of each of the collaborative works featured. With its astute insights and superb design, it stands out among the dozens of street art-related books published last year.

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After reading the book, I posed a few questions to Yoav:

Your first book, the highly acclaimed Outdoor Gallery: New York City, focused largely on individual artists. Why did you decide to focus on duos in this book? 

In contrast to other art forms, such as music or dance, the visual arts involve a more solitary practice. Painters are famous for being hermits: closing themselves off from the world in their studios where they paint their masterpieces. At least, that’s the popular narrative. I feel that because the visual arts are easily commodified and objectified, they have evolved in such a way.  While I was working on Outdoor Gallery, which focuses on 46 individual artists, I noticed several duos of street and graffiti artists who produced incredible works, and I was fascinated by their practices. In 2Create I seek to investigate the art and practice of collaboration in different mediums — collage work, screen printing, stenciling, graffiti and mural making. My goal with 2Create is twofold: to present the behind-the-scenes processes of these artists and to investigate the secrets of collaboration, with the ultimate aim of encouraging others to create together. Just like any skill, collaboration needs to be practiced!

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How did you decide which duos to feature in 2Create?

My process with 2Create was mostly democratic. I was looking to present a diversity of styles, messages, mediums and locales. I am cognizant and weary of the politics involved in the arts and attempted to focus on artists that I felt were doing radical, innovative work and were constantly challenging themselves. Throughout my research on collaborations, I discovered there were two major categories that lie on a continuum — from complementary collaborations – individual works presented side by side – to integrative, a single piece that seamlessly integrates the work of two artists. I chose nine duos that present the full spectrum.

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What insights did you, yourself, gain into the collaborative process, particularly among visual artists?

Collaboration is a skill that should be practiced by any visual artist as part of his/her development. Collaboration is an exciting and stimulating process that can produce immense growth if approached correctly, but can be very challenging at times. An artist needs to respect and trust his or her collaborator and be willing to be adaptable and open to critique. The collaborative process can open new doors for an artist  — in techniques, messages, ideas and human connections that can be useful moving forward.

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The book, itself, is masterfully designed. Can you tell us something about that? 

For the design I worked with the designer Dan Michman, who is also an excellent childhood friend. It was important for me that every aspect of this project be collaborative. Dan is the best designer I know, plus I like him a lot and knew from experience that we’d collaborate well. Our process was incredible. Dan took my materials — images and texts — along with my notions on the artistic process and on collaboration, and created a stunning design “language” for the book. It was a truly integrative collaborative process. I could not be happier with the way it turned out. Plus, the cover design is simply stunning. Lastly, Schiffer Publishing did a great job in the book’s production.

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How has the response been to 2Create?  Is there any particular readership you’d like to reach?

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. In addition to appealing to the street art and graffiti fan crowd, my hope is that 2Create will integrate as a text book for art schools, colleges and universities. I believe the behind-the-scenes process shots, the revealing interviews and the insight into the art of collaboration make it a unique resource for artists in general, and visual artists in particular. But 2Create is more than a book on art. It is a document that presents the collaborative duo as the basic unit of a collective humanity in which empathy and collaboration trump disregard and domination. In an era of the cult of celebrity, war and climate change, collective action is not only beneficial, it is necessary. 2Create expresses these radical notions and I hope it will serve to inspire activists fighting for the greater good.

For more listen to Yoav speak on Counterpunch Radio here.

Images

1 & 2 Rubin and Dasic 

3 & 4 Bunny M and Square 

5  Stikki Peaches and Dain

6 & 7 Icy & Sot

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All images © Yoav Litvin

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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Currently on view at Chelsea’s Porchlight is New York State of Mind, a group show featuring a diverse range of artworks by eight of our all-time favorite artists. While visiting the space earlier this summer, I spoke to its curator, Joshua B. Geyer.

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This space is lovely, and the artworks are beautifully displayed.  How did you connect to such an ideal space?

My buddy, Michael Shain, is the general manager. We’d first met when we were students at the University of Hartford.  And after Michael saw my exhibit at the  World Trace Gallery, he invited me to curate a show here.

Can you tell us something about the title of the show – New York State of Mind?

Yes. All eight of the artists on exhibit have been active on the streets of NYC and have created artworks on a range of media while living in NYC.  And with the exception of Hellbent, all were born outside of the US. This is why there is such a diversity of styles.

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Every one of these artists has exhibited in a traditional gallery setting. How did they respond to your invite to show in an alternative setting such as this one?

They were all open to it. Here they can reach people who may not regularly visit galleries. And on our opening night we sold two pieces.

Yes, a reception was held here earlier this summer. How did that go?

It was great! All of the artists who were in town came, and I was told that it was the venue’s busiest evening.

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Did this exhibit present any particular challenges to you?

The biggest challenge was getting the word out about the exhibit. And then, of course, letting people know that the art is actually for sale!

How can folks see the exhibit?

Porchlight is open Monday through Wednesday from 12 pm until 12 am; from 12 pm until 2 am on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturdays from 4pm to 2am. It is located at 271 11th Avenue at the corner of 28th Street. The exhibit continues through the fall.

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 Images

1. Luna New Year, Ccollanan Pachacamac

2. Sonni, Rise and Grind

3. Icy and Sot, Hunger

Note: Final image with list of artists features Lady Aiko

Photo credits: 1 & 2 Lois Stavsky; 3 Tara Murray; interview by Lois Stavsky

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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The newly released LET HER BE FREE documents Iranian brothers Icy and Sot‘s foray from skateboarding teens in Iran to politically-conscious, internationally acclaimed artists. To celebrate the launch of their book, the artists invite you to a pop-up exhibition of small and mid-scale stencil artworks that have been created exclusively for this book launch. Opening tomorrow evening. July 23 at 51 Orchard Street with a book signing, the exhibit continues through July 30.

Unity, spray paint on canvas

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Justice, spray paint on cut-out wood

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In Long Island City 

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And book cover

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Published by Lebowsi Publishers with an introduction by filmmaker and poet Jess X Chen and an afterword by Brooklyn Street Art‘s Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington, the artists’ first collection of works features over 200 full color photos.

All images courtesy Icy and Sot

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We recently had the opportunity to speak with writer and photographer Yoav Litvin about 2Create, his ongoing project and upcoming book on creative collaborations.

We love your recently launched 2Create Facebook Page and Group. Can you tell us something about the concept behind 2Create? What is its mission?

The aim of 2Create is to study and promote teamwork and fellowship as it showcases the art of collaboration. Folks tend to place far more emphasis on competition than on collaboration. But so much more can be accomplished if we work together.

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Yes! We tend to glorify individualism, particularly in the West.

And my point is that when two people create, it is greater than two. 1 + 1 is not 2, but something more. The duo is the basic unit of a collective.  And we need to look at forming collectives as a means to solve our societal problems.

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One of your initial projects, related to this larger one, is your upcoming book, 2Create: Art Collaborations in New York City.  Can you tell us something about it?

Yes. It will be released by Schiffer Publishing this fall. It showcases the works and processes of nine pairs of NYC graffiti and street artists. Each duo consists of two artists whose unique styles came together to create a larger-than-life work of street art in a NYC neighborhood. The book focuses on the backgrounds, techniques, and collaborative processes of the featured duos.

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What spurred you to produce this particular book? What was your impetus behind it – in addition to promoting the concept of collaboration?

There were a number of factors. I was interested in expanding the documentation that I began in Outdoor Gallery New York City by getting to know more of my favorite artists – like Cekis and Rubin. But most of all, it was a project that enabled me to further develop myself as an artist by integrating my background in psychology, my passion for progressive politics and my respect and love for graffiti and street art in NYC.

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What were some of the challenges that you faced in the process?

Identifying artists who could work well together and produce first-rate artwork was the initial challenge. I also had to gain their confidence and access to their relationship so that they would speak freely about the process.  And some of the artists were quite shy – which was an additional challenge. And, then, for some of the works I had to secure walls, materials and more.

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What’s ahead for 2Create?  Where are you going with it?

I want to continue documenting and interviewing duos that work together in a wide range of scenarios: visual arts, dance, music and more!

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How can we become engaged with your project? Can we contribute to it?

You can Like the project on Facebook and share your own collabs and connect with others here. You can also follow it on Instagram and on Twitter.

It sounds great! And what a wonderful concept!

Images

1. Dasic Fernandez with Rubin 415

2. Icy and Sot

3. Cekis with Cern

4. ASVP

5. Jilly Ballistic with Al Diaz

6. Alice Mizrachi with Trap IF

7. Logo design by Dan Michman

Photos © Yoav LitvinYoav in conversation with Lois StavskyTara Murray and City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen

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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Coney Art Walls, one of last summer’s highlights, returns this weekend to its home at 3050 Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island. Joining such internationally acclaimed artists as Retna, el Seed, Miss Van and Ron English, is a wonderfully diverse array of artists, including several who returned this year to paint new murals. The following images were captured these past two weeks in this outdoor museum of street art, curated by  Joseph J. Sitt & Jeffrey Deitch and presented by Thor Equities:

Tats Cru at work

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Icy and Sot at work

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Lady Aiko at work

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Lady Aiko‘s completed piece

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Eric Haze with his completed mural

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Pose

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Mister Cartoon

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Daze

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Crash

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John Ahearn at work

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Nina Chanel at work with Khari Johnson Ricks to her right

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Bordered by Bowery Street, West 15th Street and Stillwell Avenue near the Coney Island boardwalk and beach, Coney Art Walls encompasses Greenwood Beach featuring popular food vendors including Dinosaur Bar-B-QueCalexico, and Table 87. All murals will be completed in time for the Mermaid Parade on June 18.  In addition, three walls will be painted by children and young adults from the local community this summer. Opening tomorrow, Coney Art Walls will remain open from 12pm to 10pm daily — with the exception of Monday, Memorial Day — through October.

Photo credits: 1-4, 6, 9-12 Tara Murray; 5, 7 & 8 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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Featuring stencil art by some of our favorite artists, STENCILED opens this Thursday evening, April 28, at Montreal’s Station 16 Gallery. Here is a small sampling of what will be on exhibit through May 21:

Also by Joe Iurato

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Logan Hicks

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Lady Aiko

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Icy and Sot

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Also featured in STENCILED is UK-based Snik

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 All photos courtesy Station 16

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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Opening this evening from 6-9pm at World Trade Gallery is Off the Wall, an exhibit featuring artwork by some of our favorite artists. We recently had the opportunity to speak to its curator, Joshua B. Geyer.

What is the concept behind this exhibit?

I wanted to showcase in a gallery setting artworks by a diverse group of high-caliber artists who work in public spaces, as well as in their studios. My current job is just a few blocks away from the Top to Bottom Mural Project on 21st Street. I pass it every day, and I love it. I thought it would be a great idea to feature those artists, as they are among the best anywhere.

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When did you first begin working on Off the Wall?

I first found out about the availability of the space three weeks ago. One of my friends who works in World Trade Gallery offered me the opportunity to curate an exhibit beginning in mid-March.

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What was your greatest challenge in getting this together in such a short timespan?

My greatest challenge was selecting the artists.  There was so much talent to choose from.  Close to 50 outstanding artists have painted in the Top to Bottom Mural Project.  I also wanted to take into consideration the input I was given from the team — James P Quinn and Geoff Kuffner — who implemented the project.

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Do you feel that you have accomplished your mission?

Yes! The artworks in Off the Wall are representative of the diverse range of outstanding pieces that have surfaced at 43-01 21st Street in LIC since this past September. And this space couldn’t be more ideal!

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We love your flyer. Did you design it?

It was a collaborative venture between See One and me. The photo is mine and the actual design is See One’s.

What’s ahead?

I’d love to build a relationship with World Trade Gallery, and I look forward to curating more exhibits featuring artists whose works are seen on our streets.

Images

1. Icy and Sot, close-up

2. Erasmo and Case Maclaim

3. See One

4. Daze

Photo credits: 1, 3 & 4 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2 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 here for Android devices.

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