New York City

A multidisciplinary artist and stage designer based in Quito, Ecuador, Irving Ramó recently shared his talents with us on his recent visit — sponsored by Somos Fuana — to New York City  To the delight of us street art aficionados, he painted alongside Colombian artists Guache and Praxis on a wall curated by Spread Art NYC.  While he was here, I had the opportunity to speak to him.

What brought you to NYC?

I traveled from Ecuador for an exhibit featuring my recent work — an investigation into my ancestor’s writings.

What spurred your interest into conducting that kind of research?

Curiosity! I’m obsessed with ancient civilizations that have disappeared.

And while you were here in NYC, I was introduced to you through your mural art! When did you first start painting on public spaces?

I started in Quito about five years ago.

And where else have you done public art?

I’ve also painted in Spain and here in the US in Miami and now in NYC.

Do you work with a sketch-in-hand when you paint on a public surface? Or do you just let it flow?

I often use a photo as a reference, and I have a rough sketch with me.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

I usually feel happy!

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with other artists?

I can adapt to any kind of situation. I’m happy to have a chance to collaborate with others.

You are amazingly versatile. Do you have a formal art education?

I studied graphic and industrial design. But I am mostly self-taught.

How has your aesthetic evolved through the years?

It changes every day – depending on what I need to express at the time.

What do you see as the role of the artist in society?

It’s to give visual expression to ideas. To show people that ideas can be real.

Images:

1 In Bushwick, Brooklyn with Spread Art NYC, 2017

2 Exhibit at Martillo in Barcelona, Spain, 2016

3 Gargar Festival in the of village of Penelles, Spain, 2016

4 With La Suerte and Apitatan in Quito, 2017

5 Close-up from collaborative wall with La Suerte and Apitatan in Quito, 2017

Photos: 1 Karin du Maire, 2-5 courtesy of the artist; interview 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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A range of artworks and writings — by members of the Harlem Art Collective aka HART and the East Harlem community — on the theme No Rezoning, No Displacement, No Gentrification have made their way onto the Guerrilla Gallery on East 116th Street. The image pictured above — painted by Kristy McCarthy aka DGale and Zerk Oer — features a color-coded map with median prices of real estate sales and incomes of East Harlem residents, illustrating how increasingly difficult it is for working-class folks to afford to live in their own community. Several more images follow:

The following two images — featuring actual people who live in the neighborhood, including the homeless man who sleeps in front of the Guerrilla Gallery every night and the woman who sells tamales on the corner — were painted collaboratively by Rosi Mendoza, Maire Mendoza, Marisa Steffers, Harold Baines, Samuelson Mathew, O’Sheena Smith, Michael Mitchell, Amar Bennett, Shani Evans, Anni Merejo, Ralph Serrano, and Nathan Zeiden. The “Derecho A Techo” and “El Barrio No Se Vende” (further down below) signs were fashioned by Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification.

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The Trojan Horse — centerpiece of project

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 Earlier on — Ralph Serrano at work

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Kristy McCarthy aka DGale prepares wall for public comments —

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The community contributes: a poem by the Poets of Course from Urban Innovations, assorted artwork, an article about the cost of keeping one person in prison for one year ($60,000 +), prints of paintings depicting the arrivals of Christopher Colombus and Hernán Cortéz and other depictions of colonizers “discovering” new lands.

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 Adam Bomb with an announcement

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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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This is the twelfth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that have surfaced on NYC public spaces:

Brooklyn-based Jeff Henriquez at the Bushwick Collective

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Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks collaboration at the Bushwick Collective

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BK Foxx with JMZ Walls in Bushwick

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Brazilian artist Sipros in Bushwick with the Bushwick Collective

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The nomadic Joel Artista in collaboration with youth in Bellerose, Queens

German artist Case Maclaim, — new for Monument Art in East Harlem

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Close-up

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

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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A contemporary of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel BasquiatRichard Hambleton, the Godfather of Street Art, began making his mark on the streets of his native Vancouver in the mid-70’s. His Image Mass Murder Art — a recreation of crime sceneshit the streets of 15 major cities throughout Canada and the US from 1976 through 1979. In the 80’s, his iconic Shadowman paintings surfaced across NYC and through Europe, including the Berlin Wall. He has since attained legendary, though infamous, status. To coincide with the highly anticipated World Documentary Premiere of SHADOWMAN by Oscar-nominated director Oren Jacoby, a historical selection of paintings by Artist Richard Hambleton his now on view at Woodward Gallery.

 Woodward Gallery Windows, Shadow Jumper, center with Shadow Head portraits to the right and left

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Dancing Shadowman

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Wide view, as seen through Woodward Gallery windows,  featuring the Marlboro Man to the left of Shadow Man portraits on paper 

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Another variation of the Marlboro Man as seen from the outside

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At the Tribeca Film Festival

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With a rare public appearance by the elusive Richard Hambleton

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Woodward Gallery is located at 132A Eldridge Street off Delancey on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Visitors are invited to observe Richard Hambleton’s works from the outside and through gallery windows, as Hambleton intended in his vision. Special viewings are available by appointment. The artworks remain on view through May 5th.

Images courtesy Woodward Gallery

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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In its mission to shed light on the plight of child workers and raise funds to halt child slavery, Street Art for Mankind — a non-profit public charity that promotes art for social change — has engaged dozens of artists renowned for sharing their talents and visions in public spaces. Pictured above is a huge mural fashioned by Clandestinos currently on view at 7401 NW Miami Ct in Little River, Miami. What follows are several more images — some just seen this past week in Miami and others captured last month in New York City at the closing ceremony for #AtThisAge, the first United Nations exhibit featuring street art.

Clandestinos —  Bruno Smoky and Shalak Attack — at The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in NYC

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London-based Mr Cenz, close-up, as seen in Miami

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Mr Cenz aThe French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in NYC

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Portuguese artist Mr. Dheo in Miami

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Mr. Dheo at The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in NYC

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Copenhagen-based Victor Ash in Miami

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Victor Ash at The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in NYC

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Parisian artist Jo Di Bona in Miami

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Jo Di Bona at The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in NYC

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Trek6 in Miami, his home town

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And Trek6 educating youngsters on the art of the spray can on the Miami grounds of Street Art for Mankind

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The dozens of murals remain on view through tomorrow, Monday, at 7401 NW Miami Ct in Little River. And, also, tomorrow, 70 masterpieces — from 4×4 feet to 40×8 feet  — will be be auctioned. Check here for further info about the closing day’s activities and the auction that will raise funds for the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) to help rescue and rehabilitate enslaved children across the world. And there’s much ahead for Street Art for Mankind as exhibits, workshops and auctions are planned for Paris, Sao Paulo, Dubai and Seoul.

Photo credits: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 & 12 Lois Stavsky; 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 Karin du Maire 

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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While visiting CCCADI’s inaugural exhibit in its new East Harlem home, I had the opportunity to speak to one of its curators, Regina Bultron-Bengoa

Just what is CCCADI?

The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute is a multi-disciplinary arts center that showcases and promotes the distinct contributions of African Diaspora cultures.

How would you define its mission?

Through arts, education and activism it strives to advance change by uniting the various cultures of the African Diaspora, while promoting their value.

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When was it originally established?

Dr. Marta Moreno Vega founded it in 1966 as a center where African and Native cultures of Caribbean and Latin American countries could be recognized and honored. Its first home was on East 87th Street and its last home was in a brownstone in Hell’s Kitchen.

Can you tell us something about its present locale here in this landmark space on East 125 Street in East Harlem?

A few years back, several shuttered landmark firehouses were offered to cultural institutions. With city and state support, nine million dollars were raised to renovate this particular historic one for CCCADI, and on September 16, 2004, we broke ground.

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Who is its audience?

We have a wide audience from students and educators to arts professionals to families. We offer a huge range of free or low-cost exhibits, workshops and activities.

Your inaugural exhibit, Home, Memory, and Future is quite impressive. It is divided into three distinct parts.

Yes. Part I: Harlem: East and West features the works of three acclaimed photographers who have been documenting Harlem since the 70’s. Part II: Harlem and Home in the Global Context showcases artworks that suggest how cultural traditions are used to establish “home” in distant places. And Part III: Mi Quirido Barrio (My Beloved Community) – focusing on the social history of El Barrio — takes place outdoors and in cyberspace, using augmented reality. Among its themes are: migration, nostalgia for the past. gentrification and looking to the future.

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Can you tell us some more about the outdoor element of the exhibit?

Yes. It features locations of importance within the social history of El Barrio. Among these are memorial walls painted on the streets — whose history is documented on a free mobile app, Blippar. Through augmented reality, the app allows us to bring the past to life.

That is quite amazing! How has the response been to CCCADI‘s new home and inaugural exhibit?

The response has been great. There were long lines for the fall opening, and folks who see it love the art and identify with it.

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How can folks contact CCCADI if they would like to visit or become involved?

They can email: info@cccadi.org

Images 

1 & 2 Adrian “Viajero” Roman, Mixed media, 2016

3  Scherezade Garcia, Sea of Wonder, Mixed media, 2016

4 & 5 Oliver Rios & Luis Martinez, Memorial Walls, as seen on the Blippar app while on site

Photo credits: 1-3 Lois Stavsky; 4-5 Courtesy CCCADI

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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This is the twelfth in a series of posts featuring the range of faces have surfaced in NYC open spaces:

Werc in Bedford-Stuyvesant with the Open Society Foundations

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Vexta and Askew in Williamsburg for the Greenest Point, one fragment of huge mural

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Joel Bergner aka Joel Artista in Bellerose, Queens with the DOT

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LMNOPI in Long Island City with Arts Org

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Cern in Williamsburg, close-up

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Thiago Valdi in Staten Island with the NYC Arts Cypher

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Leticia Mandragora, Bushwick 

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 Photo credits: 1, 3 & 7 Tara Murray: 2, 4-6 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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With the mission of fostering a dialog with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape, High Line Art — curated by Cecelia Alemani — presents a wide array of provocative artworks in a range of media. Pictured above is I want a president, Zoe Leonard‘s 1992 text-based work installed on the occasion of today’s election. Here are several more works that can be seen on the High Line.

 Tony Matelli, Sleepwalker — for Wanderlust, a group exhibition exploring the themes of walking, journeys and pilgrimages

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And alone at dusk

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Matt Johnson, Untitled — repurposed original High Line rail track  — for Wanderlust

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 Kathryn Andrews, Sunbathers II, as seen at dusk

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Barbara Kruger, “BLIND IDEALISM IS REACTIONARY SCARY DEADLY, an adaptation of a quote from Frantz Fanon

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Photo credits: 1 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 4 Dani Reyes Mozeson and 3 & 5 Romare Taylor

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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Directed by Queens-based filmmaker Raul Buitrago, the recently released GOUCH is a sensitive, gripping portrait of a Brooklyn graffiti bomber living a dual life. After viewing the short, insightful documentary — chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick — I had the opportunity to speak to Raul.

What drew you to graffiti? You obviously have a deep understanding and appreciation of its culture.

Growing up in Eastern Queens in the 90’s, I was exposed to graffiti early on. Graffiti was part of the punk and skateboard culture that was all around me. And I found myself gravitating to it.

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And what about this particular writer? Why did you choose Gouch? And how did you connect with him?

Gouch was one of my personal favorite graffiti writers while growing up.  His style and flow are incredible.  I’d known about Gouch years before I reached out to him.  He was featured in the legendary State Your Name DVD, and it was in that video that I first saw him in action. The footage was raw, gritty and true NY graff to the max. I contacted him via his Instagram in 2014.

Are there any issues regarding graffiti that particularly engage you? Any messages you wish to convey to your viewers?

As a fan and student of graffiti culture, I’m interested in its power to lure seemingly ordinary people. Its sway is amazing – and the way it always seems to call you back. So often, it becomes an obsession. I also find it very interesting that it can be glorified and vilified at the same time.  Graffiti has made its way onto advertisements, clothing and other forms of branding while some of its practitioners end up doing time in Rikers Island.  Graffiti is used for commercial purposes because it has that edge that can’t be found in other artistic realms.  It’s unfortunate that big companies are profiting off something that’s created through the toils and risks of people who have such a deep appreciation, knowledge and ability in something so historically rich.

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Yes, that is unfortunate, and it is something I’ve thought about quite a bit.  It is — obviously —  graffiti’s aspect of illegality that gives it that edge…You clearly won Gouch’s trust. I imagine that might have been your greatest challenge. What were some of the other challenges you faced in producing GOUCH?

As it was my first documentary, I was learning how to do it as I was doing it!  I’d previously focused on music videos.  That was my greatest challenge.  Gaining Gouch‘s trust was actually incredibly easy.  Upon first meeting, we spoke about graffiti at length.  Because of my knowledge about the culture and my previous video work, he knew he could trust me. Other challenges I faced included coordinating schedules and making sure that his family was comfortable throughout the filming process.  It was important to me that they be comfortable with the finished project since it’s so personal.

Have you a formal education in filmmaking?

I studied Photography at NYU, but I never studied filmmaking. I’m a self-taught filmmaker.

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How long did it take you to produce GOUCH?

When I first met up with Gouch, I thought I would produce a two – three minute video. But it evolved into something far more, and I ended up working on it for one and a half years.

I’m so glad it worked out that way! Gouch – in all his complexity — is certainly worth knowing.  And the music by Jazzsoon that accompanies your film perfectly complements it. I find myself viewing it again and again!

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You can view the film in its entirety here.

All images courtesy Raul Buitrago; interview with Raul 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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We love how the walls at Brooklyn Reclaimed — under the curatorial direction of Meres One — have become rotating outdoor canvases.  Pictured above is Panic Rodriguez at work. Here are a few more recent murals —  some captured while in progress, and others when completed.

Amuze

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ZA One at work

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Kais

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Wore at work

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Kenji Takabayashi aka Python

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Pase, BT

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Meres

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Photo credits: 1, 3 & 5 Tara Murray; 2, 4, 6-8 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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