Mr. Mustart

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While visiting Hip-Hop Utopia: Culture + Community at Hudson County Community College‘s Dineen Hull Gallery this past Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to Michelle Vitale aka woolpunk who — along with Fred Fleisher — curated the wonderfully eclectic exhibit.

What a fabulous tribute to hip-hop this is! What would you say is the exhibit’s mission?

Its mission is to celebrate the culture of hip-hop. Its four elements —  MCing, Graffiti, DJing and Breakdancing — have had a huge, positive impact on today’s society. This exhibit is our way of paying tribute to these elements and to the community that has nurtured them.

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Did anyone or anything —  in particular — inspire it?

The notion of curating an exhibit on hip-hop was first suggested by Hudson County Community College Vice President Dr. Pando.  It seemed like a great concept, as I love the communal aspect of hip-hop. Among the many inspirations was music industry veteran Tony Drootin who serves on the board of  Hip Hop Public Health.

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Just what is Hip Hop Public Health? I see it is represented in this exhibit.

Based in NYC, Hip Hop Public Health uses music as a message to improve health literacy and encourage positive behaviors among school children.  Its founder and president, Dr. Olajide Williams, MDMS serves as Chief of Staff of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center.  Among the artists involved in Hip Hop Public Health are: Doug E. FreshEasy A.D Harris and Jordan Sparks.

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Can you tell us something about some of your other partners? There are some great T-shirts on display here!

Among our partners is Chilltown Collective, an apparel and lifestyle brand based here in Jersey City. It was co-founded in 2015 by Lovelisa Dizon as a platform for “passionate creatives.”

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And there are quite a few bikes in the gallery!

Yes! We’ve partnered with both Grove Street Bicycles and Animal BikesGrove Street Bicycles is a nearby full-service shop that sells all kinds of bikes, accessories, clothing and shoes and handles all kinds of bicycle repairs. And Animal Bikes, owned by Ralph Sinisi, supplies bike parts for BMX street riding and also sells gear.

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What are some of the challenges you faced in curating an exhibit as multi-faceted as this one?

Once we knew what direction we wanted to go with the theme of Hip-Hop, everything came together easily. Our Karma has been great! We are showcasing works of noted established artists together with talented younger ones, several who are Hudson County Community College alumni. We have local DJ’s participating, as well as spoken-word artists.  We’ve planned a range of events open to the community.

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How has the response to the exhibit been?

We’ve been open just a few days, and the response has already been great.  We’ve been featured in the Jersey Journal and listed as one of the top 10 current attractions in Jersey City.

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How can folks see the exhibit?

Our opening reception takes place Tuesday evening, January 31, from 6-8pm. The exhibit continues through Tuesday, February 21 at 71 Sip Avenue 6th Floor. Gallery hours are: Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free and those who attend have a chance to win a graffiti-tagged, fat-tire bicycle donated by Grove Street Bicycles.

Michelle-Vitale

Congratulations! It’s looking great!

Images

1.  Raphael Gonzalez, The Art of the Throw Up! Giz

2.  Alex Melo, Diplomatic Immunity

3.  Yishai Minkin, Biggie

4.  Karlos Carcamo, One, Two Three… 

5.  Mr Mustart with Chilltown Collective, I free myself…

6. Freddy Samboy, two works suspended from ceiling; Grove Street BicyclesDonated Fat Tire Bikes and Videos courtesy  Grove Street BicyclesAnimal & Hip Hop Public Health

7.  Raphael Gonzalez, Danielle

8. Freddy Samboy, Breaking Free

9. Jeremy Coleman Smith, DJ Shrine with Michelle Vitale aka wool punk seated

Photos and interview 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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While exploring the streets in the vicinity of the PATH train’s Newport Station, I came upon a series of intriguing murals curated by Green Villain. Featured above is by Greetings Tour with Victor Ving. Here are several more.

Mr. Mustart

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Veer One and Tiper

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Nychos, close-up

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Key Detail

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Clarence Rich

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Jaek El Diablo

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Photo credits: 1, 2, 4-7 Lois Stavsky; 3 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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iena-cruz audubon-murasl-project-NYC

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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Currently on view at Jersey City’s Shuaspace is Street Level, an exhibit featuring works by a range of artists from Old School graffiti writers to contemporary muralists. While visiting the space this past Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak with its curator, Allison Remy Hall.

What a fun exhibit! It’s such a wonderful mix of styles and genres. How did it all come about? 

When the owners of Shuaspace, Joshua Bisset and Laura Quattrocch, met me at the previous show that I had curated, they invited me to curate in this space. I’d always wanted to curate a graffiti exhibit, and this seemed like the perfect venue and opportunity. I then contacted artists whom I knew, who put me in contact with other artists.

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Why graffiti? What draws you to graffiti?

I’ve always loved its aesthetic. I love its rawness and spontaneity.

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When and where were you first introduced to it?

My older siblings first introduced me to graffiti. I was about eight years old and living in New Haven at the time. Even as a child, I felt there was something bold and bad about it that appealed to me.

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What — would you say — is the mission of  Street Level?

It’s a celebration of the organic nature of neighborhoods. With gentrification so much of the aesthetics and social dynamics of neighborhoods have been lost.

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What was the experience of curating your first graffiti exhibit like?

It was wonderful! Everyone was so supportive and helpful and generous with their time. It was the most fun of any show I’ve curated!

Note: You can visit  Street Level, at Shuaspace this coming weekend from 1-6pm at 340 Summit Ave, a few blocks from Journal Square in Jersey City. You can also arrange a visit by contacting Alison at aremyh@gmail.com.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

1.  Ree and Snow, painted on gallery wall interspersed with black and white photographs

2. Curator Allison Remy Hall at gallery space

3. Distort and Acropainted on gallery wall interspersed with black and white photographs

4. Mr. Mustart

5. Sam Pullin aka Bedbugspainted on gallery wall interspersed with black and white photographs

Photographers on exhibit: Andrew Blumenthal, Miguel Peralta and Giovani Santoro

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Wane-graffiti-Demolition-Exhibit-Jersey-City

Green Villain‘s Demolition Exhibition — the brainchild of  Greg Edgell aka Green Villian — has it all! With everything from stylish tags to captivating characters to first-rate pieces, it is a graffiti lover’s wonderland. Just minutes away from Downtown Manhattan, it is located at 410 Marin Boulevard, a short wall from Newport Mall. Here are a few more images I captured in the interior of the former Jersey City Pep Boys Auto Store while visiting Monday evening. 

Doves

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Curve and Mr. Mustart

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The prodigious Evikt

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Jahan

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Mes, ThemoDistoart and Kingbee

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Era

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Goomba and Stay One

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This amazing feat — coordinated with dozens of artists and community members — was accomplished in partnership with real-estate developers Forest City Enterprises and G&S Investors. Through this weekend, you can visit the space any day from 12-8pm.

First image is Knows aka Wane; all photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Check out StreetArtNYC on Instagram for more photos of images from Demolition Exhibition, and keep posted to our Facebook page, as well.

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“There’s some amazing talent here,” commented a rather staid looking older man – dressed in a three-piece suit – as he saw me approaching the former Pep Boys shop in Downtown Jersey City. And, indeed, there is! Thanks to the efforts of the indefatigable Greg Edgell aka Green Villian and the dozens of artists who came together last week, the former shop now boasts some of the finest graffiti to be found anywhere.  Here is just a sampling:

Greg Lamarche aka SP.ONE

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Mr Mustart and Distort

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Mr Mustart and Era

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Mr Abillity and Chopla

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Pomer

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Distort and Mr Mustart

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Clarence Rich, Dzel and Nark

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Paws 21 — with Green Villain to the right

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The Pep Boys shop is located on 410 Marin Boulevard, a few blocks away from Newport Mall. Originally slated for demolition this past Friday, the building will remain for at least another month. We will be back!

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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"Alice Pasquini"

In my meanderings around Jersey City this past year, I came upon a number of first-rate murals by a wonderful array of artists signed Savage Habbitalong with the artists’ signatures. Just who or what is Savage Habbit? I found out this weekend as Inez, its founder, gave me a tour of Savage Habbit’s walls and answered some questions about its mission:

"Mr. Mustart"

Just what is Savage Habbit?

It is foremost a blog that was founded in 2011.  It is dedicated to showcasing the best art that has made its way onto the streets across the globe.  Among Savage Habbit’s missions today is to bring more street art to our local community.

What motivated you to launch Savage Habbit?

I wanted a blog that represented the art that I love, and the only way I could do that was to start my own.

"Li Hill"

And what about the murals?

I’m a New Jersey girl. I was born and raised here. I wanted to walk around my neighborhood and see art in my community. And I wanted to give back to my state. These murals benefit everyone!

When did your first mural surface?

Last year — in 2013.

Ekundayo

What has been your greatest challenge?

Finding walls.

You seem to have facilitated quite a few murals. How do you find the artists?

Some contact me, and others I contact when I see that they are in town.

"Sean Lugo"

What’s ahead?

There are five confirmed walls.  Savage Habbit’s next wall will feature Nanook and Mata Ruda.

And what about the name “Savage Habbit?” What does it represent?

The name is derived from a Wu Tang quote:  Ricochet Rabbit had a habit, he was a savage. We are savagely passionate about our habit, art!

"case maclaim"

That sounds right!  We look forward to seeing more art on the streets of Jersey City.

Brief interview and photos by Lois Stavsky

1. Alice Pasquini, close-up

2. Mr. Mustart

3. Li-Hill at work yesterday

4. Ekundayo

5. Sean Lugo

6. Case, MA`CLAIM, close-up

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I came upon Serringe’s artwork on the streets of Jersey City earlier this year. I soon discovered that he was the force behind Element Tree and dozens of first-rate videos. I was delighted to finally have the opportunity to meet up with him at his store in Weehawken — just minutes away from Manhattan.

Christian Serringe

Tell us something about Element Tree. When did it launch?

Element Tree started as a blog in 2009.  I grew up in Jersey City around a bunch of talented people, and I needed a platform to post their work and share it with others in hopes of promoting them and myself.  Artists like Snow, T.Dee, 4sakn, Loser, Then One, Mr. Mustart and Distort —  to name a few.  There are others, but these are some of the original artists I felt people should definitely know about if they already didn’t.

When did Element Tree become a store?

I rented the space in Weehawken in February 2012. If I can’t do graff 24/7, I want to be around it. I also like the idea of nurturing the culture and keeping it healthy, and this store gives me the platform to do that.

Serringe

What inspired you to start your own business?

I have a strong entrepreneurial streak. I don’t want people telling me who the “real artists” are. I want to help the people – whose work I love — make money.

Besides the first-rate art that you show here, you also sell art supplies. What do you see as the future of this space?

I will continue to provide affordable art for folks who love graffiti and street art. Not everyone can afford to spend $1500 on a canvas. And I’m interested in providing opportunities for artists — such as commissioned murals, design work for album covers and general creative direction. I see Element Tree as a house of creative energy and incubator for ideas.

Serringe

What initially spurred your interest in graffiti?

I was always into graffiti from the time I was six years old. My older brother was a writer for a short period of time in the 90’s, and he sparked my brain, along with all the other local writers that were doing their thing when I was a kid. If they could do it, so could I. When I was a young teenager, my mom became ill and begged me not to write graffiti on the streets. She believed in my art, though… so until I was 19 years old, I detached myself from graffiti out of respect for her. She passed in 2004 — and aside from the occasional tag, I know she would be proud of me.

Did you develop any other passions while growing up?

I grew up in 80’s and 90’s: DJs, producers, skateboarders, punk rockers were everywhere. I became interested in all kinds of creative expression, and I began to create home videos with friends as a way to explore filmmaking.  Within the past three years, I created 140 videos.

Mr Mustart

And you also paint in public spaces these days.  Since you began doing so, have you had any particularly memorable experiences?

Art Basel 2012. It was the first time I traveled to paint on a wall that was sponsored at a major art event like Basel.  Art Primo powered us with the paint and Element Tree’s Mr. Mustart and Distort showcased their talents for all who passed by. It was great experience to paint among people we respected.

Have you exhibited your work?

I’ve been in a handful of shows, but Mustart, Then One and Distort stay doing their thing, showcasing and exhibiting through Element Tree-based projects and also on an independent level.  We are currently working on setting up the first Element Tree official group show… so if you’re a gallery owner, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Distort

Any thoughts about the graffiti and street art divide?

Eventually they will meet. Street art is still a baby in relation to graffiti. There are many street artists I respect. Banksy is a genius! Other favorites include: Blek le Rat, Invader and Shepherd Fairey. Oh, and if you don’t know… check out LNY. I see good things in him.

How would you explain the reluctance of the art establishment to embrace graffiti and street art?

Most people don’t understand it, and if you don’t understand something, you don’t know how to deal with it.

Then-art-Element-Tree

What do you see the future of graffiti?

It can’t be stopped. And eventually, it will gain acceptance as a legitimate art form.

No doubt!

Interview and photos by Lois Stavsky, photos 1,2 and 3 of Serrenge; photo 4, Mr. Mustart; photo 5, Distort and final image, Then One.

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Just over the river — about ten minutes away from Manhattan — a street art scene is flourishing in Jersey City. Here’s a sampling of what was seen yesterday:

Italian artist Pixel Pancho paints in celebration of the 23rd Annual Jersey City Artists Studio Tour

Pixel Pancho

LNY

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 MOR on the exterior of Hudson County Art Supply

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Dulk from Valencia, Spain

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NoseGo

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Nose Go

Mr. Mustart, Serringe, Distort and Then One

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S.A.G.E Collective, segment of huge mural

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Hawaiian native Ekundayo, close-up

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Photos by Lois Stavsky 

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Mr.-Mustart-character-at-Green-Villain-in-Jersey-City

Just a short drive from NYC, a seemingly abandoned warehouse is home to a treasure trove of urban images — from sundry tags to stylish graffiti to wondrous murals. Based in Jersey City, the Green Villain serves as a gallery, a studio space for artists and musicians, a lounge, a showroom and more. Mesmerizing images — by both local and international artists — grace its interior and outdoor walls. Here are a few captured on our recent visit:

Newark-based Mr. Mustart, close-up from huge murals on interior walls

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Serringe  

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Then One, Mr. Mustart and Nasko artwork — for sale

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Tags, tags and more tags!

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Sqew

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And among the dozens of images gracing the outside —

4sakn

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 French writer Ezor

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And currently underway are plans for the Green Villain’s first NYC event.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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