photography

A huge sticker fan, I first discovered iwillnot‘s stickers almost a decade ago while combing the streets of DC in search of striking street art. Soon afterwards, I met him and was struck by not only his outstanding aesthetic sensibility, but his huge passion for stickers and its wonderfully democratic collective culture.

In his recently released and hugely popular book, Smashed: The Art of the Sticker Combo, iwillnot shares not only his story, but provides us with tremendous insights into the entire sticker culture.

Intent on trading his stickers with other sticker artists, iwillnot had early on established a network of artists to exchange sticker packs. He was soon installing sticker combos in cities throughout the East Coast. And in 2011, he began to envision “smashing an art gallery in a major city with thousands and thousands of stickers.” Smashed: The Art of the Sticker Combo documents the realization of this dream.

With the support of street art enthusiast and Fridge Gallery founder and curator Alex Goldstein, iwillnot curated a 12.5 feet tall by 20 feet wide 10,000 sticker installation in 2013. By 2016, the entire gallery was smashed with hundreds of thousands of stickers, representing over 500 artists from 15 countries. The 2016 DC Street Sticker Expo reached over three million people.

With dozens of photographs documenting it all, Smashed: The Art of the Sticker Combo is certain to appeal to all of us sticker art fans and street art aficionados. The book can be purchased through Amazon or directly from the author here. And if you would like to participate in this year’s DC Street Sticker Expo, you still can!

All images courtesy iwillnotthe third image features — Foes, Mr Say, Skam, Sore Infest (top) RX Skulls, Obit, Who, and Ride (bottom); book reviewed by Lois Stavsky

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I first came upon JR‘s ingenious aesthetic ten years ago when I discovered a series of his portraits of Israelis and Palestinians pasted face to face along the Separation Wall in Abu Dis, Jerusalem. Celebrating the similarities between Israelis and Palestinians, the Face 2 Face Project heightened the absurdity of this seemingly endless conflict among cousins — and has stayed with me since. Within this past decade, JR has continued to bring his wondrous talents and socially-conscious vision to dozens of sites across the globe, often giving a voice to those whose voices are silenced.

This past week, Galerie Perrotin NYC  launched Horizontal featuring an eclectic selection of JR‘s works. His first NYC solo show, Horizontal presents — in addition to the artist’s archival prints — a range of mixed-media installations.

Featured above is Migrants, Mayra, Picnic Across the Border, Quadrichromie, Tecate, Mexico – U.S.A. 2018. What follows are several more images from Horizontal captured by street and travel photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad.

Mixed media installation featuring JR‘s signature eye

Women Are Heroes, Le Havre, France, 2014

Giants, Kikito, Front View, Work in Progress, Tecate, Mexico – U.S.A2018

On Galerie Perrotin NYC exterior

And outside the gallery with street artist TomBob

The exhibit continues through August 17 at Perrotin New York, 130 Orchard Street.  Running concurrently at Perrotin is ALOALO, Mahafaly Sculptures of the Efiaimbelos.

Note: In observance of Independence Day, the gallery will be closed through July 4th. It will open at 10am on Thursday.

Photos by  Karin du Maire

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In his wonderfully handsome and poignant exhibit, Too Young for Type One, Appleton has created an alternative universe in a range of media that not only delights us aesthetically, but provides us with an entry into the world of a diabetic.  Currently on view from 1-9pm at the Tenth Avenue Gallery, 287 Tenth Avenue at 26th Street, Too Young for Type One ends with a closing reception this Wednesday, November 15th from 6-10pm. What follows are several images I captured on my recent visit:

Appleton with one of his many perturbingly powerful installations

The End, Part One, Photographic transfer / Archival 27″ x 27″

A New Hero Emerges (the Tin Man as Diabetic), Mixed media / Found work 40″ x 28″

Appleton with his Insulin Tree

A small segment of “Too Young for Type One”

Photo credits: First image courtesy Appleton; 2-6 Lois Stavsky

Note: The exhibit is open today, Sunday, until 9pm.

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Curated by Alice Mizrachi, Fem-is-in is an homage to the female spirit in this time of female-led activism.  Featuring a diverse range of work by female artists who have forged their distinct paths, Fem-is-in engages and entices.  The artwork pictured above is by the legendary Lady Pink. What follows is a small sampling of works that can be seen at Fat Free Art through next Saturday.

Alice Mizrachi

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Queen Andrea

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Jane Dickson

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Swoon, close-up

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Also featured in Fem-is-in are works by: Lady Aiko, Diane McClure, Ann Lewis aka Gilf!, Janette Beckman and Martha Cooper.

Located at 102 Allen Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side,  Fat Free Art is open Tuesday-Saturday 11AM-7PM and Sunday 12PM-5PM.

Photos of images: 1, 4 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 3 Tara Murray

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For the past several years, Queens-based photographer Raphael Gonzalez aka Zurbaran1 has been creating intriguing, visually dynamic images of street art, often focusing on the artists at work.  Within the past year, his photos have made their way into several shows including his first solo exhibit, The Hand of An Artist. He has also been featured in Yoav Litvin‘s blog, 2createart. I recently had the opportunity to meet up with him.

I love what you are doing! When did you first begin to photograph NYC’s street art and graffiti?

About four years ago.

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What inspired you to do so? 

Several years ago, my daughter visited Berlin and returned home incredibly excited about the street art she had seen there. Her enthusiasm, along with the photos that she showed me, inspired me to check out what was happening on the streets of NYC. And I first became serious about it all in October, 2013 when Banksy hit NYC with his month-long day residency Better Out Than In.

Within the few years that you’ve been shooting street art, you seem to have established friendships with many of the street artists you photograph.  Can you tell us something about that?

The very first street artist I met was Alice Mizrachi. I was standing in front of her mural at Welling Court when she noticed me. She was living right there at the time, and — almost at once — came out in her pajamas to speak to me! I was so impressed by her intelligence and craft. I photographed her in front of her mural, and we struck up a friendship right then.  She was the first street artist I photographed and spoke to. Since that day, I’ve become friends with many more.

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You’ve been photographing many artists as they work. How have they responded to this? Are they open to it?

The response has been great! And when I share the photos I’ve taken with them, they are so appreciative.

That’s great! As street art is so ephemeral by nature, it’s so important to document it. And I’m a huge fan of artful photographers who document the process. I notice that you’ve focused quite a bit on the artists’ hands.

Yes, I like observing their hands in action. And photographing hands gives me a chance to use my long lens which I love doing!

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And you’ve also begun collaborating with some of the street artists whose works you photograph. How do you go about engaging them?

Yes! I love collaborating. The process makes me think a little differently, and the artists have been wonderful.  Among them are FumeroGizTrans1NoirCity Kitty. Some I’ve approached, and others have approached me.

What are some of the challenges that you face in seeing your projects through?

There’s never enough time. And there are so many artists! Going through all the photos that I take and then editing them is a lengthy, time-consuming process.

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How has the scene changed since you first started photographing street art?

There are fewer walls, and street art has become more commercial. And it seems that in the past few years, street artists have achieved celebrity status. It’s almost like they are the new rock stars!

What’s ahead for you?

I would like to engage in more collaborations…different in nature than the usual ones!

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I look forward to seeing them all, and I will be keeping up with you — in the meantime — via your Instagram!

All photos © Raphael Gonzalez aka Zurbaran1; interivew conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Images

1. El Niño de las Pinturas, Brooklyn Is the Future, Brownsville

2. Hendrik Beikirch aka ECB, Bushwick

3. Dasic Fernandez, Welling Court Mural Project

4. Fanakapan, Bushwick Collective

5. Noir, as featured in Raphael Gonzalez‘s solo show at Fatty’s in Astoria, Queens

6. Futura, Bushwick Collective

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DDG’s 100 Franklin Street in Tribeca is now the site of a new massive mural by JR, the internationally acclaimed Parisian artist. The image is an enlargement of a photo that was originally taken in Ellis Island in 1908 and was featured in JR,’s Unframed — Ellis Island exhibit.

Installation in progress

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With assistant Joshua B. Geyer taking command

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The completed installation, as seen this past weekend

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This same wall was the site of JR’s 100-foot ballerina, one of our favorite street art pieces of 2015. The following video by Jesse Whiles documents its transition:

We especially appreciate the new mural  — and its reminder that we are a nation of immigrants — at a time when so many are seeking refuge from catastrophic events throughout the globe.

Photo credits: 1 Courtesy DDG; 2-4 Tara Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It sounds great! And what a wonderful concept!

Images

1. Dasic Fernandez with Rubin 415

2. Icy and Sot

3. Cekis with Cern

4. ASVP

5. Jilly Ballistic with Al Diaz

6. Alice Mizrachi with Trap IF

7. Logo design by Dan Michman

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

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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While in Miami this past week, I visited Chor Boogie‘s current exhibit, Heiros Gamos: A Vision of Feminine Power, at Wynwood’s Macaya Gallery. I  also had the opportunity to speak to its curator, Daniel Stanford.

I’ve been mesmerized by Chor Boogie‘s aesthetic since I first saw his vibrant murals on the streets of various cities several years ago. But I don’t often get to see his work in gallery settings. What spurred you to curate an exhibit of Chor Boogie‘s artworks?

Patrick Glémaud, Macaya Gallery‘s director, and I met Chor Boogie during Art Basel 2015.  After viewing several of his artworks, Patrick felt that the Macaya Gallery would be the ideal place to showcase Chor Boogie‘s distinct aesthetic. And I was pleased to have the opportunity to curate an exhibit of his works.

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What is it about Chor Boogie’s aesthetic that appeals to you?

I was taken by his level of precision and complexity. His technique is superior.

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And as is evident in his murals that have surfaced in public spaces, Chor Boogie‘s choice of colors is always brilliant.  His works consistently arouse both my senses and my mind. Just what is going on here?

These works — as the title suggests — reference a sacred union. The artworks pose the question, “Sacred or profane?” as they present a vision of feminine power. Aesthetic elements of the Rococo and Baroque periods, along with Madonna iconography, are reinterpreted through the medium of spray paint and contemporary street art styles.

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What challenges did you face in curating this exhibit? 

The works currently on display are quite diverse and also very rich. The biggest challenge was presenting a variety of distinct works in a balanced way.

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You certainly seem to have achieved that! What’s ahead for Macaya Gallery?  

Our next exhibit is a collective show featuring works by Emma DunlaveyFrançois Duerinckx and Mercedes Lasarte.  A select group of Chor Boogie‘s paintings will remain, and a series of his political works will be featured later this year.

Images:

1. Chor Boogie, The King and Eye, on the exterior of Macaya Gallery

2. Chor Boogie, Immaculate Conception

3. Chor Boogie, The Silver Queens, close-up

4. E. Bast in collaboration with Chor Boogie, The Nine Virgins, close-up

5. Chor Boogie in collaboration with Daniel Stanford, The Color Visions of Raquel

Photos: 1 courtesy of Daniel Stanford; 2-4 Lois Stavsky and 5 courtesy of Chor Boogie

Note: To find out about the inspiration behind this body of work, check out Chor Boogie Shines Love Into Macaya Gallery by Alexandra Martinez in last week’s Miami New Times.

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On view through tomorrow at 548 West 28th Street is Urban Reference, an engaging exhibit of works in a variety of media by Lorenzo Masnah, Alex Seel and Guillermo Perez.  When I visited earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak to Lorenzo.

Just what is going on here?

When an opportunity to exhibit art in this space came our way, we decided to launch a show on the theme of urban life. It is what we know best!

There seem to be a few different motifs going on here.

Yes! Alex‘s photos were shot in Colombia’s capital city, Bogota. He spent several weeks there working on a documentary focusing on the city’s street life  Highlights include: live bombing by APC members, including Stinkfish; an interview with Bogota’s legendary MC, Manny from the underground rap group, Crack Family and advice from assorted characters who dwell on the streets of Bogota.

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And what about Guillermo Perez? I love his paintings.

Guillermo Perez was born in the Dominican Republic into a family of master painters. On exhibit are his small works referencing people he’s met in the urban sphere.

How did you all three meet?

A number of years back, we shared the same living space in Bushwick — before the neighborhood became so gentrified.

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You are continuing your series of dancers and musicians here, along with new works with a distinct urban flair and outsider sensibility.  What are your primary media?

I work with the “tools of the trade,” — Mean Streak markers and paints on a huge range of surfaces. And I find myself incorporating graffiti elements.

 How did you get the word out about the exhibit — on such short notice?

Largely through Instagram and Facebook. And, of course, we let all our close friends know.

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How can folks see the exhibit?

It will continue through tomorrow, Friday. We are on the third floor of 548 West 28th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Note: Lorenzo can be contacted at thirdwolrdpirate@gmail.com to confirm a visit

 Images:

1.  Lorenzo Masnah

2.  Alex Seel

3.  Guillermo Perez

4.  Lorenzo Masnah, close-up

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 3 Dani Reyes Mozeson & 4 courtesy of  Lorenzo Masnah

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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The Newsstand, the underground zine and visual art space that ran inside the Lorimer L/G subway station from 2013 to 2014, has been recreated for MoMA‘s exhibit, Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015,  And it is certain to delight not only fans of photography and zines, but graffiti and street art aficionados, as well! Here are a few images we captured on our visit:

Back in the day

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With fire extinguisher in hand

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Along the tracks

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The Domino Sugar Factory and more

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Lele Saveri‘s photos of commuters, tags on bills and more

the-newsstand-bills-photos and more

 Close-up

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Produced in collaboration with Alldayeveryday, the installation remains on view through March 20th. Lele Saveri and other artists from The Newsstand and 8-Ball communities will present two free zine workshops for NYC high school students next month. You can check out the details here.

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2 – 7 Dani Reyes Mozeson

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

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