New York City

A huge fan of zines and independent publications of all kinds, I was delighted to discover Never Blue, featuring artworks by some of my favorite artists — who make their mark both on and off the streets. Curious about it all, I posed some questions to its curator, Mr. Green aka A Color Green.

Never Blue Zine <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

Just who/what is A Color Green? And when was it born?

At the easiest level, A Color Green aka ACG, Mr. Green or Coloure Greene is an independent, NYC-based artist and curator. Mr. Green was born roughly six years ago, about the same time I began to concoct a haphazard entrance into the film industry. And playing off its founder’s last name,  A Color Green was conceived as a film production company title. Today, A Color Green is both an individual artist and his alter ego, as well as a tight-knit production and publishing team – (though always looking to expand into something new!)

Can you tell us something about its logo?

As I began to search for what would be a company “logo,” an immediate connection with the cartoonish face you’ve become familiar with on NYC streets in sticker or tag form was born. Upon realizing the breadth of possibilities or absurdities in this face, ACG expanded into an alter-ego reminiscent of some of my favorite artists or musicians — graffiti legends like Snake 1, contemporaries like Chris RWK and Frank Ape and pop-culture icons like MF Doom, Quasimoto or Big L, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Dupieux, Roger Ebert and more.

Mr Green Mirror Image <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

What spurred you to take Green to the streets?

When I moved back to NYC a few years ago, I didn’t have the resources to pursue my own filmmaking. And inspired by those contemporary artists, I decided to try taking Green to the street, tying in film references. A big inspiration was my intent to develop a curatorial channel to feature these very artists.  And as that “channel” continues to grow, so do the partnerships and connections that have allowed me to branch back into some of my original inspirations in filmmaking and publishing which, of course, leads right back to this interview, Never Blue and some upcoming projects.

Chris RWK keeping theblues away <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

Never Blue is Volume 2 of the zines produced by A Color Green. Can you tell us something about Volume 1? Is it still available? What spurred you to produce Never Blue?  What is the concept behind it?

A Color Green Zine was conceived as a trilogy, each installment correlating to a different side of my character, inspiration, aesthetic and — I suppose — humor. As an artist, I’ve always identified with those masterful creators like Picasso or Kubrick who understood the importance of change and redefining one’s self throughout a career. This trilogy is a direct nod to something like Picasso’s Blue Period or Kubrick’s ability to produce Barry Lyndon directly after A Clockwork Orange. The styles are so radically different, but through the change you still catch a similar glimpse of what drew you there in the first piece — whether a feeling, face or something else entirely. 

Our first edition, Black and White was also a limited edition risograph print co-published by Endless Editions  – as the entire trilogy will be — and featured roughly thirty artists, a number of whom are also featured in Never BlueWhile Black and White was meant to adhere to that gritty, DIY style — which I’d strictly adhered to for two years – Never Blue, was meant to be a sad or celebratory, soulful or seductive step away from the simple shades of B&W. If you missed out on the sold-out first edition, you can download a free copy of the A Color Green Zine Vol. 1 Black & White now on BitTorrent.

Ceez <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

Works by dozens of artists representing a wide range of styles, sensibilities and cultures are featured in Never Blue? That’s quite impressive. How did you decide which artists to include? How did you reach out to them?

While Never Blue is the second official zine I’ve created with A Color Green, it’s actually our third publication following a small print we released over the summer called the Green Carpet Zine. Like I said, we had always intended to make A Color Green Zine an official trilogy, and receiving the proper submissions took some time — so much so that we took a break and created the entirely random Green Carpet Zine.

What differentiates the Green Carpet Zine from the official ACG trilogy is an emphasis on street art and representing that style in an illustrative or photographic form on the page. There were a number of artists I knew who had to be in it – starting with several highly talented friends including: HausRiot, Kristy Elena, Seth Laupus, Zero Productivity, Leaf8k and JCorp TM who were in the first edition. Next, I needed to reach out to some of my favorite contemporaries like Brolga, CEEZ, Chris RWK, City Kitty, Murrz, Abe Lincoln Jr. and Frank Ape who’d inspired me to get back into street art. And as I often find with that community, everyone was wonderfully supportive. I also opened up submissions to artists via the Con Artist Collective where I received dozens of illustrations that were incredibly difficult to choose from. The remaining slots were announced via social media where another couple of dozen artists responded.

Unfortunately, not all of the artwork could make it in, and that’s where we needed to put on the curatorial hat and figure out which submissions not only fit the theme, but worked together in a layout as well. Emphasizing the different styles is very important to us, and when you flip through the zine, you’ll find we pair similar styles together and contrast different looks. The result is a blend of hand-style, graphic design, illustration, wheat-paste and whatever else.

Abe Lincoln Jr <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

What was your greatest challenge in getting this zine out? How did you promote it once it was published?

Time is always the greatest challenge. The balancing act of juggling work, life and responsibility. Every artist who submitted to the zine — whether anonymous or not — has a life outside of their alter-ego, and so do I. We couldn’t dictate a strict delivery for some submissions, because we desperately wanted some artists to partake, and I would have pushed the printing back for some people if need be.  But after receiving over fifty submissions, we knew we had to cut it off and set a release date. That release date, after two years gave ACG and Endless Editions the much needed fire under our asses, and within two months we had two hundred fresh risograph copies and an opening set at Con Artist NYC where another 25 artists donated work to hang on the walls.

Promoting after such a long build up was the easy part and it took place mostly via social media — across 30 somewhat artist pages on different platforms — in addition to a couple of NYC art listings and press releases. Con Artist also has been a major champion of our work and promoted it heavily across their channels.

MURRZ Never Blue <em>A Color Green</em> on Mr. Green, Zine Curation, <em>Never Blue</em>, an Imminent Film Release and More

What’s ahead for A Color Green?

Up next for ACG is a long-awaited rest from zine curation and my official directorial debut in MUTE which will have its hometown world premiere with the BK Horror Club and Brooklyn Horror Fest tomorrow, April 21. The short film features Danish star Albert Bendix as a tongue-chopping madman and is followed in double-feature form by a screening of the modern-classic You’re Next, sponsored by Throne Watches and Narragansett Beer. Tickets can be purchased here. And If you’re yet to check out Never Blue, you can buy a copy at Con Artist while supplies last or head over to Printed Matter, Inc where the zine will go on sale later this month. More on www.acolorgreen.com.

Interview by Lois Stavsky; all images courtesy Mr. Green

Images: 

1. Mr. Green with Never Blue

2. Mr. Green

3. Chris RWK

4. Ceez

5. Abe Lincoln Jr.

6. Murrz

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Graffiti A New York copy Francesco Mazza on Directing and Producing <em>Graffiti A New York</em>    and Bringing it Back Home to New York

Aired last year in Italy, Sky Art’s underground documentary hit Graffiti A New York brilliantly chronicles the history of graffiti in NYC focusing on several key figures in the scene. After viewing the documentary, we had the opportunity to pose some questions to its producer and director Francesco Mazza.

You grew up in Italy. What spurred your interest in NYC graffiti? And how were you first introduced to its culture?

In the early 90′s a number of original graffiti writers from the Bronx moved to Italy looking to recover – thanks to the good weather and the healthy food — from the “crazy 80′s” in New York. They, maybe, needed what we now think of as a “detox” after the tumult.  At the time, graffiti writing had already come to the European consciousness through the movie Style Wars and the book Subway Art, but because of the influence of these newly migrated Masters, Italy, unlike the rest of Europe, developed a graffiti style akin to that of New York City’s.  It was the kind of style created by Phase 2, who moved to Italy himself, back in the 70′s. The walls of my neighborhood, Milano Lambrate, in the early 90′s looked exactly like those in the Bronx during the 70′s and the 80′s.

To us kids playing soccer in the street, those wall paintings were a sort of a mystery, and kids love mysteries. So, out of curiosity, we started asking questions to the older guys, and we all got involved.   From that point on, graffiti became an essential part of our lives — in our neighborhoods and in our identities as individuals.

graffiti A New York process shot Francesco Mazza on Directing and Producing <em>Graffiti A New York</em>    and Bringing it Back Home to New York

What made you decide to produce a film on the topic? 

Having lived in New York for three years already, I was looking for a way to show the city to an Italian audience from a fresh and original perspective. I asked myself, “What do I know best?” The answer was clear: graffiti. I figured that behind the history of the graffiti movement, there was the history of the city itself. Really, graffiti writing could flourish only because of the terrible financial situation of New York during the 70′s. I always found it fascinating that all the crime and pain and blood of the 70′s spawned, at least, the most vibrant art movement the world has ever seen.

How long did the process take — from its conception to its completion?

The film itself took about a year to be made, but there are some elements of the history that I’d still like to add. I’m hoping for the opportunity to re-shoot some parts and add additional ones for a US release.  I’m searching for funding right now.  As great as it was to bring this to the Italian market, it has become clear to me that the documentary was the kind of record of a movement that deserves to be a part of the American canon, as well.  It’s about NYC. It documents the scene decade by decade. It’s really important to find a way to bring this history “home.”  Hopefully, I’ll find the financial backers; and due to the nature of the film, I’d love to partner with a museum, if possible.

graffiti A New York Francesco Mazza on Directing and Producing <em>Graffiti A New York</em>    and Bringing it Back Home to New York

How did you decide which artists to include?

“Graffiti writer” is a label. When you look beyond the label, there is literally everything. Artists, addicts, entrepreneurs, fools, poets, murderers; you name it, I saw it. Right off the bat, you have to understand that you won’t be able to get close to everybody if you want to stay somewhat safe.  It’s also very hard to gauge the importance of the single artist. Is a graffiti artist important because he had or has a great style? Cool, but what if the said writer has done only a couple of hits and nobody in the community cared about him? And what if you focus on the quantity, but then the style of that writer — whose name was everywhere — literally sucked?

There was a balancing act.  I, of course, chose artists with historical importance, but I also reached out to the writers that I like and that inspired me when I was a kid. Fortunately, most of them were willing to help me with the project.  I also felt strongly about making sure women were represented in the film.  They were absolutely a part of the movement, but sometimes when history chronicles events, women don’t always get the due they deserve in the record.  It was important to me to not fall into that trap as a director.

lady pink graffiti artist Francesco Mazza on Directing and Producing <em>Graffiti A New York</em>    and Bringing it Back Home to New York

How did the artists respond to you?

Some of them were skeptical at the beginning, and they were absolutely right. When mainstream media talks about graffiti writing, they tend to create confusion. If we consider the art world, I think that after the 19th century, nobody considered an artist as someone who can only “make something look pretty.” Nobody thinks that Pollock, so to say, was an amazing artist because he could simply “make a canvas look pretty”; there was a complexity that was beyond — or sometimes even consciously lacking — beauty.  For some reason, all around the world, when media, or institutions, or public opinion deal with graffiti writers, they consider the graffiti writers’ work just on their ability to “decorate” a wall in a happy, colorful way. To me, and I think to all graffiti writers, there is, indeed, decoration. Maybe beautiful, wonderful decoration, but graffiti writing is also something else. Graffiti writing points right to the contradiction of contemporary society where we all matter. We all pay taxes and have the right to vote —  but, at the same time, to what degree do we really matter to the machine?  I think it’s a question everyone asks. As a result, millions of individuals decide to express their identity, their presence in the world by writing on a wall, consciously facing the consequences of their deeds.

When I walk in my Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn and I see a portrait of a dragon on a shutter, I think, nice illustration, but nothing beyond that. When I see a rough tag on a wall, I don’t say, “Look at that! So pretty!” but I think about a guy or girl that, despite the risk of getting busted and sentenced to two years of prison, decided to face the challenge and put his freedom at jeopardy to have me see his name.  Now, what is more interesting, from a social/cultural point of view? The fellow who copies an illustration of a dragon and gets paid for that, or the one who takes the risk for free to screw up his life forever just to have one individual out of one hundred thousand reading his name?  I personally have no doubt about which is both more interesting and matters more.  So, the graffiti writers I contacted were really scared that I was another guy from the media industry with no grasp at all of the roots and the meaning of the movement. It took me a lot of time and efforts to gain their trust, but once they realized what I was talking about, they were really cooperative and with some of them I built great friendships.

tkid graffiti artist Francesco Mazza on Directing and Producing <em>Graffiti A New York</em>    and Bringing it Back Home to New York

What were some of the challenges you faced in producing the film?

I served as writer, director, and executive producer. The network, Sky Art,  gave me a budget, and I was free to manage it however I liked.  But that was hard, because as a director, I always wanted more  – more days of shooting, more footage, more writers to interview — but as an executive, I had to put some limits. It was like being two different people at once.  Now that I can look back, I better understand the limitations I had and their effects on me. And an American alternative presentation — that wasn’t able to be made at the time —  is something important to pursue going forward, as much to “do right” by NYC.

Who was/is your target audience?

The original documentary targets an Italian audience who is fascinated with New York but doesn’t really have a knowledge of it, as well as everybody else who wants to know, once and for all, the real history of one of the most relevant artistic, cultural and, to a certain extent, political movements of the 20th century.  Now I need to broaden the reach beyond Italy.

snake graffiti artist Francesco Mazza on Directing and Producing <em>Graffiti A New York</em>    and Bringing it Back Home to New York

Will New Yorkers have the opportunity to view it?

Unfortunately, as of now, they don’t, and that’s a travesty.  That’s where my fight is now — finding a means to change that.  Everything about this movie is New York City.  The residents need this film.  It needs to be a contribution to their historical record.  Hopefully, I’ll find the funding for what is really a “preservation” project.  People aren’t around forever.  The interviews with important artists in Graffiti A New York, all in English, need to come “home.”

I certainly agree!  Graffiti A New York is not only a passionate homage to the roots of graffiti, but an essential visual and spoken record of a significant NYC era.  What’s ahead for you? Can we expect any more films on the topic of street art or graffiti?

Currently I’m working on a project for the Discovery Channel for which I hope to be able to announce details soon.  Later this year I’m doing a documentary on Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalogue that I’m very excited about.  This fall I’ll be shooting a short project in New York again.  I’m also continuing to show Frankie: Italian Roulette, my short fictional film from last year, at festivals across the US.  Next up for Frankie is the Crossroads Festival in Jackson, MI on April 2. Even Frankie is about life in NYC and fighting to stay there, so — going forward —  it’s no surprise that I’ll, of course, continue to focus on the themes present in Graffiti A New York: art, actions of consequence, social responsibility of both the system and the individual, and, of course, the city of New York itself.  And, fingers crossed, we can make the US adaptation of Graffiti A New York.  That really must happen.

The questions for this interview were formulated by Lois Stavsky and Tara Murray after viewing the European market release Graffiti A New York.

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.

en play badge 2 Francesco Mazza on Directing and Producing <em>Graffiti A New York</em>    and Bringing it Back Home to New York

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Patrick Verel Graffiti Murals Patrick Verel on <em>Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art</em>

In his highly acclaimed book Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art, free-lance writer and photographer Patrick Verel presents six case studies, along with dozens of photographs, exploring the role of sanctioned graffiti murals and street art in the urban environment. I recently met up with him and had the opportunity to ask him a few questions:

What spurred your interest in this topic?

I was always into graffiti.  I have a short attention span, and I love being surprised! Cities stimulate me and graffiti is part of that stimulation.

How did this initial interest evolve into a book?

I never thought I’d actually write a book. It developed from the thesis that I wrote when I was enrolled in Fordam University’s Urban Studies Master’s Program.

Wallnuts Crew graffiti mural Gowanus Patrick Verel graffiti murals NYC Patrick Verel on <em>Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art</em>

You focus on six cases from the South Bronx to Trenton, New Jersey. How did you connect to all of the folks whom you interviewed?

I sent out lots of emails after poking around the Internet.  And I made some of the connections via my Flickr contacts — like the photographer Luna Park, who hooked me up with Robots Will Kill.

What were some of the obstacles you encountered while doing your research?

Getting people to talk to me and synthesizing all of the information.

Patrick Verel 5Pointz graffiti NYC Patrick Verel on <em>Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art</em>

You seem to have accomplished that quite well! What — would you say – was the mission of your book?

To change the way so many people think about graffiti. To introduce them to the positive benefits of graffiti murals in enhancing the urban environment.

Are there any particular factors that assure the success of these interventions?

So much depends upon the owner of the space and his relationship with the artists. That owner must be able to trust the artists to do what they want.  And a successful collaboration demands money, effort and time.

Robots Will Kill Peeta Never ECB graffiti mural art Patrick Verel NYC Patrick Verel on <em>Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art</em>

Were there any unexpected outcomes following the publication of the book?

Yes! I received a positive response from City Government, and I connected to Natalie Raben of the Lower East Side BID and the 100 GATES Program.

Have you noticed any changes in the graffiti/street art since you wrote your book?

There seem to be more projects, like the Bushwick Collective and the Welling Court Mural Project, that give artists legal opportunities to paint outdoors.

TerraCycle patrick verel graffiti murals NJ Patrick Verel on <em>Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art</em>

Published by Schiffer Publishing, Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art, is available online and in most bookstores.

Interview by Lois Stavsky

Photos of murals by Patrick Verel

1. Book cover, Lank completes mural he painted with Delve, Luv1 and Casso in Jersey City

2. Wallnuts mural in Gowanus with Dos, Chester, Muse, Been3 and Werc

3. 5Pointz in LIC with Meres, Zimad and more

4. Robots Will Kill in Bushwick with Chris, Veng, Peeta, Never & ECB

5. Taste, Mek, Evak, Sno Reo & Zoe at TerraCycle in Trenton, NJ

Note: Our highly acclaimed Street Art NYC App is now available here at Google Play for Android devices.

en play badge 2 Patrick Verel on <em>Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art</em>

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This is the 17th in an occasional series of posts featuring images of girls — and women — who grace NYC public spaces:

Swoon in Red Hook

swoon street art nyc Girls on NYC Walls, Part XVIII: Swoon, JR, Gabriel Pitcher, Panmela Castro with Opni, Ramiro Davaro and Anthony Lister

JR in the East Village

JR sreet art nyc Girls on NYC Walls, Part XVIII: Swoon, JR, Gabriel Pitcher, Panmela Castro with Opni, Ramiro Davaro and Anthony Lister

Gabriel Pitcher in Bushwick

gabriel pitcher street art nyc Girls on NYC Walls, Part XVIII: Swoon, JR, Gabriel Pitcher, Panmela Castro with Opni, Ramiro Davaro and Anthony Lister

Panmela Castro with Opni in the Bronx

panmela castro street art bronx nyc Girls on NYC Walls, Part XVIII: Swoon, JR, Gabriel Pitcher, Panmela Castro with Opni, Ramiro Davaro and Anthony Lister

Ramiro Davaro with JMZ Walls in Bushwick

ramiro davaro street art nyc Girls on NYC Walls, Part XVIII: Swoon, JR, Gabriel Pitcher, Panmela Castro with Opni, Ramiro Davaro and Anthony Lister

 Anthony Lister in Bushwick

Anthony Lister street art bushwick nyc 2 Girls on NYC Walls, Part XVIII: Swoon, JR, Gabriel Pitcher, Panmela Castro with Opni, Ramiro Davaro and Anthony Lister

Close-up of Lister’s ballerina

Lister street art close up bushwick nyc Girls on NYC Walls, Part XVIII: Swoon, JR, Gabriel Pitcher, Panmela Castro with Opni, Ramiro Davaro and Anthony Lister

 Photo credits: 1 & 2 Tara Murray; 3-5 Lois Stavsky, and 6 & 7 Dani Reyes Mozeson

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On a mission to find public art in my Manhattan neighborhood, I hit Riverside Park yesterday afternoon. Here’s a sampling of what I found walking among the snow drifts — overlooking the Hudson River — from 72nd Street down to 59th Street:

Sukyung KimFlow 1 – Cascade

Sukyung Kim Flow1 Cascade NYC sculpture public art Searching for Public Art in Riverside Park on a Snowy Sunday Afternoon: Sukyung Kim, Kate Jansyn, Paola Morales, Lee Apt and Ken Shih

Kate Jansyn, Fragment of an Angel

Kate Jansyn Fragment of an Angel Public Art Sculpture NYC Searching for Public Art in Riverside Park on a Snowy Sunday Afternoon: Sukyung Kim, Kate Jansyn, Paola Morales, Lee Apt and Ken Shih

Paola Morales, Thrive

Paola Morales Thrive public art sculpture Riverside Park Searching for Public Art in Riverside Park on a Snowy Sunday Afternoon: Sukyung Kim, Kate Jansyn, Paola Morales, Lee Apt and Ken Shih

Lee Apt, Jubilation

Lee Apt Jubilation sculpture NYC Searching for Public Art in Riverside Park on a Snowy Sunday Afternoon: Sukyung Kim, Kate Jansyn, Paola Morales, Lee Apt and Ken Shih

Jubiliation, in its entirety from another angle

Lee Apt Jubilation public art sculpture NYC Searching for Public Art in Riverside Park on a Snowy Sunday Afternoon: Sukyung Kim, Kate Jansyn, Paola Morales, Lee Apt and Ken Shih

Ken Shih, Can Love Pervade Space? close-up of huge installation

Ken Shih Can Love Pervade Space public artsculpture close up NYC. Searching for Public Art in Riverside Park on a Snowy Sunday Afternoon: Sukyung Kim, Kate Jansyn, Paola Morales, Lee Apt and Ken Shih

Accidental art

Accidental Art Riverside Park NYC Searching for Public Art in Riverside Park on a Snowy Sunday Afternoon: Sukyung Kim, Kate Jansyn, Paola Morales, Lee Apt and Ken Shih

Note: Images 1-6  – of the Model to Monument Program (M2M) – represent a collaboration between the Art Students League of New York and New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Space invader street art Installation NYC Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

For several weeks this fall, Invader was here in NYC installing dozens of his ingenious tile mosaics throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Among them were several NYC icons, along with a range of images and characters representing popular culture. Here are a few of our favorites:

Joey Ramone at the Bushwick Collective

space invader street art bushwick collective Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

Lou Reed in the East Village

invader lou reed street art nyc Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

In the East Village with the Lisa Project

Invader black white e v nyc  Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

Andy Warhol in the East Village with the Lisa Project

space invader in the east village1 Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

Michelangelo on the Lower East Side with the Lisa Project

space invader Michelangelo ninja turtles street art nyc Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

In Crown Heights

Space Invader street art crown heights brooklyn Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

Leonardo on the Lower East Side

Space Invader Rivington Street street art nyc Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

In the Village

space invader street art village NYC Invader in the Big Apple with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Leonardo and more

Note: This blog will be on vacation through December 27th.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

All photos by Tara Murray

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Okudua street art on Lafayette David Sharabani in NYC Lord K2 Turns His Lens on the Streets of NYC with Okuda, Buff Monster, Geobany, GumShoe, Icy and Sot & more

A huge fan of Lord K2’s photography and his outstanding book, Street Art Santiago, I was delighted to discover that Lord K2 has also been photographing NYC’s street art and graffiti.  During his most recent stopover in NYC, I had the opportunity to speak to him.

Why NYC?

Because it is the epicenter of it all.  It is where graffiti was born, and where the best artists from across the globe come to paint.

Buff Monster in Bushwick Brooklyn NYC Lord K2 Turns His Lens on the Streets of NYC with Okuda, Buff Monster, Geobany, GumShoe, Icy and Sot & more

Any distinct standouts?

Os Gemeos immediately comes to mind. But just about every artist who has painted on the famed Bowery wall is extraordinary. And the L.I.S.A Project, too, has brought so many first-rate artists to Manhattan.  My initial focus was just Manhattan because the borough attracts so many outstanding artists.

But you had begun to photograph beyond Manhattan.

Yes. I decided that I did not want to limit myself. And among the sites I’ve photographed outside of Manhattan are the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens and the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn.

David Sharabani At Welling Court Mural Project Lord K2 Turns His Lens on the Streets of NYC with Okuda, Buff Monster, Geobany, GumShoe, Icy and Sot & more

Many of your photos are in black and white. Why is that?

Too much color in a book can oversaturate the senses. And when I capture the artists in action, I find that limiting the image to black and white often creates a more satisfying overall portrait.

Any particular inspirations among the photographers out there?

I was definitely inspired by Martha Cooper’s work. And the late Garry Winogrand’s photos of Manhattan have influenced my approach to street photography.

Geobany Lord K2 Turns His Lens on the Streets of NYC with Okuda, Buff Monster, Geobany, GumShoe, Icy and Sot & more

How have the artists you’ve photographed responded to you?

They’ve all been welcoming and warm.

How long have you been working on this project?

I began two years ago  Taking my time allows me to photograph the new art works that arise which, in turn, allows me to curate from a larger selection.

Gumshoe art photo David Sharabani NYC Lord K2 Turns His Lens on the Streets of NYC with Okuda, Buff Monster, Geobany, GumShoe, Icy and Sot & more

You spent a considerable amount of time in South America. What are some of the most striking differences between the street art scene here in NYC and what you experienced there?

I found that in South America the artists generally paint for the love of it. And making a living out of art is a bigger challenge in South America than it is here. In NYC, financial considerations come more into play, as many of the artists have more opportunities to get the attention of gallerists and collectors.  Also, in South America lines are blurred between what is legal and what is illegal. There’s a general leniency towards unsanctioned art, while here in NYC painting illegally is quite problematic.

Icy and Sot Lord K2 Turns His Lens on the Streets of NYC with Okuda, Buff Monster, Geobany, GumShoe, Icy and Sot & more

Absolutely! And accessing legal walls can be quite challenging! When can we expect to see you back in NYC?

I plan to return in the summer.

That sounds great! The walls are waiting for you!

Interview by Lois Stavsky; all photos Lord K2

Images: 1. Okuda  2. Buff Monster  3. SweetCrimes  4 .Geobany  5. GumShoe & 6. Icy and Sot

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dee dee recycled art station 16 Gallery Station 16 Presents Dee Dee: <em>The Day Is My Enemy</em> at 2 Rivington

Opening this evening at 2 Rivington Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and continuing through Sunday is The Day Is My Enemy, street artist Dee Dee‘s first solo exhibit. Presented by Montreal-based Station 16, it features an intriguing array of distinctly curious collaged works. When I stopped by last night, I had the opportunity to speak to Adam Vieira and Emily Robertson of Station 16.

adam vieria and emily robertson station 16 Station 16 Presents Dee Dee: <em>The Day Is My Enemy</em> at 2 Rivington

Just who is Dee Dee?

She is quite mysterious! But word is that the secretive artist is based in New York City and that she is Japanese.

Interesting! How did you discover her?

We first heard about her from Dain, whose work we’d exhibited at Station 16.

dee dee collage celebrate brooklyn edited 1 Station 16 Presents Dee Dee: <em>The Day Is My Enemy</em> at 2 Rivington

Yes! They share a similar aesthetic! What is it about Dee Dee‘s work that appeals to you?

We love that she creates her art from scraps of posters and assorted papers that she finds on the streets. And we like that she consistently gets up in a variety of spots. We are thrilled to be back in NYC to present her work in this space.

Dee Dee Collage Art Station 16 Presents Dee Dee: <em>The Day Is My Enemy</em> at 2 Rivington

Can you tell us something about the concept behind The Day Is My Enemy?

Yes! It is Halloween-based, as it highlights themes of deception and destruction. The works on exhibit explore the contradictions and discrepancies between our private and public selves.

Dee Dee Opening Station 16 Presents Dee Dee: <em>The Day Is My Enemy</em> at 2 Rivington

What can visitors to the opening reception expect — in addition to viewing first-hand all of this intriguing art?

There will be themed hostesses, lighting to complement the mood, a soundscape designed by Dee Dee and more!

It sounds great! Good luck!

Note: The Day Is My Enemy opens this evening from 6-9pm at 2 Rivington Street off the Bowery.

Interview and photos 1-4 by Lois Stavsky

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dorothy gale street art centre fuge public art project Centre fuge Trailer Cycle 17 on East First Street with: D. Gale, Vince Ballentine, Smurfo, HissXX, Pawn, Kingbee and Ramiro Davaro

Earlier this summer, the Centre-fuge Public Art Project once again transformed the now-famed trailer on East First Street off First Avenue, bringing color and intrigue to Manhattan’s East Village.

D. Gale at work

Dorothy Gale at work Centrefuge public art project east village Centre fuge Trailer Cycle 17 on East First Street with: D. Gale, Vince Ballentine, Smurfo, HissXX, Pawn, Kingbee and Ramiro Davaro

Vince Ballentine

Vince Ballentine Centrefuge public art Centre fuge Trailer Cycle 17 on East First Street with: D. Gale, Vince Ballentine, Smurfo, HissXX, Pawn, Kingbee and Ramiro Davaro

 Smurfo 

smurfo graffiti centre fuge public art project nyc Centre fuge Trailer Cycle 17 on East First Street with: D. Gale, Vince Ballentine, Smurfo, HissXX, Pawn, Kingbee and Ramiro Davaro

HissXX

Hissxx street art centrefuge public art project NYC Centre fuge Trailer Cycle 17 on East First Street with: D. Gale, Vince Ballentine, Smurfo, HissXX, Pawn, Kingbee and Ramiro Davaro

Pawn

Pawn street art centre fuge public art project Centre fuge Trailer Cycle 17 on East First Street with: D. Gale, Vince Ballentine, Smurfo, HissXX, Pawn, Kingbee and Ramiro Davaro

Kingbee

Kingbee centrefuge public art project street art nyc Centre fuge Trailer Cycle 17 on East First Street with: D. Gale, Vince Ballentine, Smurfo, HissXX, Pawn, Kingbee and Ramiro Davaro

Wide view with PawnKingbee and Ramiro Davaro

centre fuge public art project nyc Centre fuge Trailer Cycle 17 on East First Street with: D. Gale, Vince Ballentine, Smurfo, HissXX, Pawn, Kingbee and Ramiro Davaro

Photos: 1, 3-6 & 8 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2 & 7 Tara Murray

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Klone dreamscape sacrifice Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

On view through June 20th at Garis & Hahn at 263 Bowery is Topography of a Daydream, a solo exhibition of works by the Tel-Aviv based artist Klone. A huge fan of Klone’s distinct aesthetic since I first saw his works on the streets of Tel Aviv several years ago, I was captivated by his new drawings, sculptures, animations and site-specific murals featured in his first solo exhibit in NYC.

klone site specific mural Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

With his mythical creatures, Klone explores his childhood memories of emigration from the Ukraine to Tel Aviv, taking us along with him on his journey.

All That Is Mine I Carry With Me, Ink on paper

Klone gallery view Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

Close-up

Klone All That Is Mine Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

Installation, various media

klone installation Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

 klone saggital slice Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

Ways to Hide, Paper, metal, wire and paint

klone mixed media gallery Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

Newly painted in Red Hook, Brooklyn

klone street art mural nyc Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv, as seen this past fall 

klone street art tel aviv Tel Aviv Based Artist Klone in Solo Exhibit at Garis & Hahn and on the Streets of Brooklyn and Tel Aviv

Photos credits: 1 & 4 City-As-School intern Diana Davidova; 3, 5, 6 & 9 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 7 & 8 Lois Stavsky

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