Iena Cruz

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While visiting Miami’s Design District yesterday, I had the opportunity to preview FAAM‘s sixth edition of its “Major Street Art Auction.”  Pictured above is one side of Faile‘s hugely impressive tower. Here are several more images of works that will remain on exhibit through Sunday, with a live auction tomorrow, Saturday evening, at 5PM.

Another view of Faile‘s Tower with Banksy’s Caveman on far right

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Federico Massa aka Iena Cruz, Glass Eye, Acrylic on canvas

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Tracy 168, Wild Style, Mixed-media on canvas

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Luis Berros, Khalo, Mixed media on wood panel

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Tats Cru and more, Mixed media with enamel paint on digital photo on five foam core panels

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Abstrk, Untitled, spray enamel on wood panel

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Speedy Graphito, American Kings, Acrylic on canvas

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Flyer with info — featuring Banksy’s Caveman

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 Photos of artworks 1-7 by Lois Stavsky

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The windows of NYU’s Kimmel Center are now home to a wide range of street art and graffiti artworks. Presented in partnership with 3rd Culture Creative, a cutting-edge media development company, ART STREET 13 WINDOWS 1 WALL showcases the distinct aesthetic of 15 artists whose works have surfaced on our streets. I recently had the opportunity to speak to its principal curator Pamela Jean Tinnen — who for the past five years has curated New York University’s Kimmel Galleries.

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I’m always delighted when universities embrace street art. Can you tell us something about how this project came to be? What might have prompted it?

Yes! Awhile back I went on a street art tour of the Bushwick Collective, conducted by one of my colleagues, Izzy Church. I loved what I saw, and I soon began researching street art. An exhibit featuring street art became a passion project of mine, and the Kimmel Windows Gallery seemed like the ideal site to showcase public art, particularly during the summer months.

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Exhibiting works by street artists and graffiti writers in a public space – that can be seen by everyone — is certainly a cool notion! Are there any other particular concepts underlying this exhibit?

Yes. Placing works of street art behind a glass wall also hints at the monetary value of the artworks by those street artists who have achieved mainstream success.

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How did you and your co-curators — Izzy Church and Marten Kale —  decide which artists to include?

We reached out to our favorite artists, and several of the other artists reached out to us.

Did you encounter any unanticipated challenges in seeing it through?

The unconventional nature of the artworks demanded careful attention to their placement in this particular setting.

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I think it looks great! Each window is engaging. How has the response to it been?

The response has been wonderful. I’ve received so many positive messages, particularly from my colleagues.

Until when will it remain on view?

 It has been extended through September 12th.  And during these next few weeks, be prepared for some surprises as we make some changes in the windows! A closing event will be held on Saturday, September 10th from 7:30 – 10pm in the Grand Hall at NYU Global Center, 238 Thompson Street, 5th Floor. There will be art, music and a cash bar.

It all sounds great! 

Kimmel

Images

1. Francisco de Pájaro aka  Art Is Trash

2. Gilf!, Iena Cruz and Cope2 with Indie

3. Ron English

4. Cost and Enx

5. Richard Hambleton

Located on Laguardia and West 3rd St, Kimmel Windows also features: John Fekner, ASVP, Lady Pink, Jonathan “Meres” Cohen, Fumero, Raquel Echanique, Federico Massa a.k.a. Iena Cruz, B.D. White, Joe Iurato, Martian Code and Skewville.

Photo credits: 1-4 Lois Stavsky; 5 courtesy Woodward Gallery; interview by Lois Stavsky

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

Swedish writer Marvel aka Marr

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Buff Monster and KA

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Iena Cruz

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Kepts

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Taboo

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Signal

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Photo credits: 1 Nic 707; 2 Tara Murray; 3 Lois Stavsky; 4 & 5 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 6 Houda Lazrak 

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

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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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We stopped by the Henley Vaporium earlier this week to watch two of our favorite artists — NDA and Iena Cruz — as they were collaboratively painting a huge wall in the splendid backyard garden at 23 Cleveland Place. We also had the opportunity to speak to Kimyon Huggins, the curator of the newly launched Secret Garden Series.

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This looks fabulous! Just what is the Secret Garden Series?

Beginning this month and continuing through late fall, several leading street artists and muralists will spend one week each month collaboratively painting the back wall of the garden at 23 Cleveland Place.  During that week, visitors to the Henley Vaporium will be able to watch the artists in action. And at the end of the week, a reception will be held to unveil the final work and to celebrate the artists.

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Your first public reception takes place this Saturday, May 16. What can visitors expect?  

They can expect, of course, to meet and socialize with the artists and view the completed murals. They can also expect music by such DJs as DJ Jaclyn, KC and the Real Christiano?, along with food and drink. And they will find themselves among a great community of artists, art lovers, patrons and tourists from throughout the globe.

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How did you discover this particular venue? It is lovely.

The owners are friends and I like their anti-establishment vibe. The Henley Vaporium is part retail store, part education center and part social hub. Featuring a huge lounge, performance space and outdoor garden, it is ideal. Each month smaller works of art by each of the artists will be displayed inside the Henley Vaporium. Along with limited edition photographs of the completed murals, they will be made available for purchase online, with 10% of the proceeds going to public arts advocate StreetArtNYC and vape industry advocate SFATA (Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association).

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Which artists can we expect to see in the months ahead?

Other artists already lined up include GILF and Ivan Orama in June and Elle and Vexta in July.

It sounds great! We are looking forward to it all.

Note: The Henley Vaporium is located between Spring and Kenmare Streets and is easily accessible by public transportation.

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Interview and photos 2, 4 and 5 by Lois Stavsky; photos 1 and 3 by City-as-School intern Diana Davidova

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This is the ninth post in an occasional series featuring the diverse range of artwork on NYC shutters:

Claw Money

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Fumero

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Daze

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Iena Cruz

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Plasma Slug

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Madsteez

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Armas Carino

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Margot Bird

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JR

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Photos: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 & 9 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 3 Tara Murray; 5 & 8 Lois Stavsky

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Living and working as a full-time artist in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Milan native Federico Massa aka Iena Cruz first visited NYC in 2008. He has since moved here, enhancing NYC and beyond with his strikingly stylish aesthetic. This post is the first in a new series of interviews with artists born abroad who have decided to make NYC home.

"Iena Cruz" "Federico Massa"

When did you first visit NYC?

It was the summer of 2008. I stayed here for a month.  At the time, I didn’t know anyone in NYC.

What brought you here? Why NYC?

I was on vacation, and I was interested in exploring other cities. I had begun to feel that Milan is too small for me.  NYC seemed like a logical place to visit.

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What was your first impression of NYC?

I fell in love with it at once.  I didn’t understand it, but I loved it. I felt inspired by the chance to be connected to so many different cultures. I thought everything about NYC is great!

What was your image of NYC back in Milan?

It was out of focus. The only image I had of it came from what I saw in movies and music videos. I really had no idea what to expect.

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When did you decide to return here? 

I knew soon after my first visit that I needed to come back.

How did your family feel about you leaving Milan for NYC?

They were supportive. They know how difficult life is for an artist in Milan. Back home no artist is taken seriously until after he is past 50.

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What were some of the challenges you faced once you decided to make NYC home?

I had to learn a new language. I had to find work to meet basic living expenses. I constantly had to concern myself with visa requirements and paper work. And in order to do all this, I had to put aside my painting. There was a general sense of instability.

Your current living situation is ideal – as your home is also your studio. How did you get so lucky?

I discovered this place on craigslist. When I contacted the owner, he asked me to show him a sample of my artwork! As soon as he saw it, he took me on as a tenant. At the time there were two other artists living here, both Mexican.

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What was that like – sharing the space with these other artists?

It was wonderful at the time! And they’ve had a tremendous influence on my aesthetic. Through them, I discovered Mexican culture, and I’ve since adapted elements of it into my artworks.

Now that the space is all yours, how do you meet all your expenses?

Largely through a variety of commissioned projects. I also sell artworks and do set design.

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Do any particular projects stand out?

The huge mural I did for the Williamsburg Cinemas on the corner of Grand and Driggs was an experience! It was unlike anything I had done before – both aesthetically and in terms of the people with whom I interacted while painting it.  And last month, I had the opportunity to participate in FAAM, Fine Art Auction Miami in Wynwood.

How has your artwork evolved or changed since you came here?

My current works feature and fuse elements of Italy, Mexico and NYC.  And as I’m inspired to push myself here, my art is certain to continue to evolve and develop.

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How receptive have New Yorkers been to your artwork? To you?

It’s been so positive. My sense is that folks here admire my work, and they’ve been so welcoming.

What’s ahead?

Now that I have my green card, I just want to keep painting murals and exhibiting my artwork.

Interview by Lois Stavsky with City-as-School intern Zachariah Messaoud  

Photos: 1. In Miami for the FAAM MAJOR STREET ART AUCTION and 4. In Puerto Rico, courtesy of the artist; 2. In the artist’s studio, Lois Stavsky; and 3, 5-7, In NYC, Dani Reyes Mozeson

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Art-Is-Trash

Featuring a diverse range of artists – many active in the streets – the Future Is Now continues through the 20th at 60 Orchard Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. While visiting the exhibit soon after it had opened, I had the chance to speak to Kimyon Huggins, who along with Kennedy Yanko, curated it.

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This show is wildly eclectic – featuring a broad range of visions and styles. Can you tell us something about this exhibit’s title? Its mission? What does it all mean?

The Future Is Now references a new form of Dadaism, where artworks of varied styles from artists of different backgrounds come together in a cohesive fashion.

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Is there any common theme to these dozens of artworks?

It’s all an ode to the 80’s – to punk rock and its DIY sensibility.

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How did you choose these particular artists? There is quite a range here, with many active on the streets.

They are all people that Kennedy Yanko and I know – urban artists whose artworks represent the theme of the exhibit.

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And what about this space, 60 Orchard?

It couldn’t be more perfect. A space like this on the Lower East Side is where “the future is now.”

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The Future Is Now remains on view through January 20 at 60 Orchard Street between Hester and Grand on the Lower East Side.

Photos

1. Francisco de Paja aka Art is Trash

2. Joseph Conrad-Ferm

3. Ross Brodar

4. Jamie Martinez

5. Iena Cruz

6. Kimyon Huggins

7. NDA

Photos 1, 4 and 5 by Tara Murray; 2, 3, 6 & 7 by Lois Stavsky

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A 3000 sq. foot gallery and performance space housed on the 5th floor of 67 West Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Succulent Studios opened earlier this year with an exhibit featuring over 30 artists of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Currently on exhibit —  through June 21 — is PALABRA, an installation-based show featuring works by Rubin, Sek3, Iena Cruz, Beau Stanton, El Sol 25, S. Rose, Katie Balloons and Michael Alan. On a recent visit, I had the opportunity to speak to its owner and founder, Sek3.

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Could you tell us something about the birth of Succulent Studios? What motivated you to launch this space? It is quite remarkable.

The idea was born in Miami at Art Basel back in December.  Cern, Cekis, Bisc, Stefano Alcantara and I had set up a pop-up show in Wynwood.  It was so successful – with one of my paintings selling the very first day — that I decided I wanted to continue doing shows back in NYC. Cern introduced me to Daniel Weintraub, who soon took on the role of Creative Director. I see street art as the last vestige of originality and this space as the ideal venue for street artists to bring their visions inside.

"S. Rose"

Folks are still talking about your Inaugural Show that opened in early spring.

Yes, it was amazing! More successful that I could have imagined! 33 artists – including legendary writers like Daze and Ket — were represented. A piece by Old School writer FIB was sold raising $800 for dog shelters  —  with an additional $200 donated by Succulent Studios. And despite heavy rains, thunderous storms and issues with public transportation, hundreds of people showed up.

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What about your current exhibit? What is the concept behind PALABRA?

It is installation-based with each artist given a particular section to engage in any way he or she pleases.

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How has the response to this exhibit been?

It’s been tremendous with lots of media coverage and great sales.

What would you say has been your greatest challenge?

The sheer amount of work that running this space requires. It’s a 24-hour day job. I need to hire someone just to sleep!

"Iena Cruz"

What’s ahead?

There will be a closing party for PALABRA next Saturday evening — June 21 at 7pm — presenting The Living Installation by Michael Alan.  And then the following week we will be exhibiting a selection of murals created for Governors Ball.  Much more in the months ahead including a show featuring the artwork of fine artists Akira Beard and Jaclyn Alderete and more exhibits with works by street artists. There will also be projects and classes that will directly engage members of the local community.

It sounds great! Good luck!

Interview and photos by Lois Stavsky; photo info: 1. Sek3 2. S. Rose 3. Rubin 4. Beau Stanton 5. Iena Cruz