South Bronx

bg183

Opening tonight at More Points Bx in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx is Fight 4 Your Write: The CAMO Show, an exhibit of intriguing art in a range of media and styles suggestive of the notion of camouflage. While previewing the exhibit yesterday, I spoke briefly to More Points Bx directors and curators, Sienide and Eric Orr.

What inspired you to curate this exhibit?

We wanted to bring our friends together, while sharing different styles and techniques of art — all beautiful and unconventional and on a common theme.

sien-and-rae

What are some of the techniques represented here?

There are so many. Among them are: stencil art, aerosol art, mixed media, painting, printing, sketching, drawing with markers…More Points Bx even has its first oil painting featured here.

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Can you tell us a bit about the exhibit’s theme? 

It’s our theme — the concept of camouflage. As graffiti writers, there is much we hide. And much of what we write is only for us to decipher.

bio-steve-cogle-niceer-tats-cru

How did you decide which artists to feature?

We got the word out among our friends, and we reached out to others on social media.

yes-1

There’s quite a range of artists here — from several younger emerging ones to many established legends. How many artists are featured in the exhibit?

There are 36. Dozens of people reached out to us.

Feric-orr-art-more-points

After the exhibit officially opens, how much longer will it remain on view?

It will stay up for a bit over a month — 36 days to be exact!

servefba-art-more-points.

How can folks arrange to see it if they miss the opening or if they wish to view it a second time? There’s so much to see!

One of us is here at 527 Faile Street just about all afternoons and evenings. We can also be reached by email at mrmorepoints@gmail.com.

CAMO

What can folks who attend the exhibit’s opening expect — besides the great art and great company?

Music for the evening will be powered by DJ JAZZY JAY with special guests, and drinks will be provided by Port Morris Distillery. Come out and help us kick off the new season!

Images

1  BG 183, Tats Cru

2  Sienide, Rhonda Rae and Al Diaz

3  Al Diaz

4  Bio Tats Cru, Steve Cogle and Nicer Tats Cru

5  Yes One

6  Eric Orr

7  Serve

Photos and interview by Lois Stavsky

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Okuda-no-commissions

Held in a huge South Bronx warehouse, No Commission features the artworks of over two dozen first-rate established and emerging artists. Curated by the Dean Collection and directed by Swizz Beatz, the four-day event — currently underway — is designed to support artists by offering them free space and 100% of the sale of their artwork. Among the artists featured are several whose works have also surfaced on our streets. Pictured above is Okuda. Here are several more:

John Ahearn does Bio, Tats Cru

John-ahearn-no-commissions

Zio Ziegler

zio-ziegler-artwork-no-commission

Pablo Power

pablo-power-no-commission

 Faile

faile-no-commissions-art

Swoon 

swoon-portrait-no-commissions

Nina Chanel

Nina-Chanel-no-commissions

And on the exterior: Nicer, Tats Cru, close-up from huge mural fashioned collaboratively with Sexer, BG 183, Crash and Bio

nicer-tats-cru-no-commission

Photo credits: 1-3, 6-8 Lois Stavsky;  4 & 5 Sara C Mozeson

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serve-graffiti-on-train-on-canvas

After visiting the superb Ex Vandals exhibit — featuring over 30 artists — at More Points Bx last week, I had the opportunity to speak to its curator, Sienide.

What prompted you to curate an exhibit featuring the Ex Vandals?

It’s my way of paying homage to the pioneering graffiti crew.  It was one of the first organized crews dedicated exclusively to writing that went on to develop various styles of piecing. I am one of the newer members.

sienide-graffiti-on-canvas

What was your greatest challenge in curating such an ambitious exhibit?

Trying to represent the spirit of the Ex Vandals by getting as many writers involved as I possibly could. The Ex Vandals is now international, but the focus here is on local writers.

cone-graffiti-ex-vandal

There’s such an incredibly diverse range of artworks here. I was wondering how that happened. Were artists given specific instructions of assignments?

No! I just asked each artist to bring in one work on canvas.

will-power-canvas

How did the opening go?

It was great! It was definitely the most successful show I’ve done! And we sold several pieces — an added bonus to an amazing event!

Kito-canvas-graffiti

How can folks see the exhibit? 

It will be up through the 29th at 527 Faile Street in Hunts Point. An appointment can be arranged to view it by contacting me at sienide@gmail.com.

tags-subway-map-on-paper

What’s ahead for More Points Bx?

We are booked through November with a new exhibit every month. Among those artists who will be featured are: the TMT graffiti crew and the photographer Joe Conzo. We are also planning a pop-up show featuring new works by BG 183.

Great! We are looking forward!

Special thanks to Eric Orr for hosting us at More Points Bx on short notice!

Images of artworks on exhibit:

1. Serve

2. Sienide

3. Cone

4. Will Power

5. Kool Kito

Photo credits: 1, 2 & 5 Tara Murray; 3, 4 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 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 here for Android devices.

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el-mac-celso-gonzalez-cero-street-art-East-Harlem

Monument Art, an international mural festival — similar in scale and scope to Los Muros Hablan NYC  that took place in 2013 in East Harlem and the South Bronx — was launched earlier this month. Curated by Celso Gonzalez and presented by the La Marqueta Retoña initiative, in collaboration with the City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, it features a stunning array of soulful, site-specific murals.

South African artist Faith 47, 103 St & Madison Ave

faith72-mural-monument-art-east-harlem-nyc

Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican photographer Luis R Vidal, 111 St & 1 Ave

"Luis Vidal"

Belgian artist Roa at work, 1o8 St & Lexington Ave

roa-at-work-monument-art-east-harlem-nyc

 Roa‘s completed piece

roa-mural-art-monument-art-east-harlem

Mexican artist Sego at work, 103 St & Madison Ave

sego-paints-monument-art-East-harlem-nyc

Sego‘s completed mural

sego-street-art-monument-art-nyc

NYC-based Viajero at work, 113 St & 2 Ave

Viajero-at-work

Viajero‘s completed mural

Viajero-MonumentArtNYC-East-Harlem

Argentine artist Ever at work on 99 St & 3 Ave

ever-siempre-mural-monumentart-NYC

Ever‘s completed piece

ever-siempre-public-art-nyc

Andrew Antonaccio and Filio Galvez of the Miami-based collective 2Alas, 138 St & Park Ave, South Bronx

2alas-street-art-close-up

2alas-mural-south-Bronx

The first image — a portrait of Puerto Rican novelist Nicholasa Mohr on 111 St and Lexington Ave — was painted by LA based El Mac in collaboration with Puerto Rican artists Celso Gonzalez and Roberto Biaggi, Cero.

Photo credits: 1 & 9 Lois Stavsky; 2, 3, 5-8 & 10-13 Tara Murray; 4. Dani Reyes Mozeson 

Note: This blog will be on vacation through Nov. 1. You can follow us on our Facebook page and on Instagram.

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eric-orr-robot-head

Best known for his iconic Robothead and his subway collaborations with Keith Haring, South Bronx native Eric Orr can now be found most days in his new Hunts Point studio. I recently had the opportunity to meet up with him there.

What a great space! When did you begin working here?

It’s been four months now. It couldn’t be more perfect, as it’s just a short ride from my house and convenient to just about everything.

eric-at-work

How does working in a studio differ from working in your apartment?

It’s an entirely different experience. There’s a lot less traffic here. I can leave my paint on the floor and know that it will still be there when I return. I have the freedom to create without having to put things away. And my family is happy too! No more fumes and no more paint in their way!

How does having your own space impact your work as an artist?

Bigger thoughts and bigger pieces. I’m planning to design huge sculptures and paint on larger surfaces. Can you imagine what I’d be doing now if I had a space like this 40 years ago!

Dennesa-Andrea Usher-and-Eric-Orr-collab

You are currently participating in Leave a Message, a group exhibit — curated by Tes One at St. Petersburg’s Morean Arts Center. What’s next?

I’m showing in Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination, an art and design exhibit — curated by John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson — at the Schomburg Center’s Latimer Edison Gallery. On exhibit are photos of the 1984 Eric Orr and Keith Haring subway drawings, along with an original 1986 cover of my Rappin Max Robot comic book. I will also be exhibiting five new Robothead masks recently created in the new studio space. Then later this year I will have a solo exhibit at WallWorks Gallery.

eric-orr-record-robot-head

What about the upcoming New York Comic Con? Can we expect to see you there?

Yes! I will have hand-embellished mini posters of the cover of my Rappin Max Robot #1 comic book available for purchase. I will also be speaking on the Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining panel discussion with Depth of Field‘s, Patrick Reed on October 8, 2015 at 11 AM.

I am looking forward to it all! 

Note: Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination opens tomorrow evening, Friday, September 25, at the Schomburg Center’s Latimer Edison Gallery, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem.

unveiling-at-schomburg center

 Photo credits: 1 & 3, courtesy of the artist; 2 & 4 Lois Stavsky; interview by Lois Stavsky

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izolag-johnny

On view at BronxArtSpace is the brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed exhibit, Faces from the Block, featuring works by Brazilian artists Izolag and Ananda Nahu and Bronx-based photographer Ricky Flores. While visiting last week, we had the chance to speak to Ananda Nahu.

You and Izolag have so beautifully interpreted Ricky Flores’s photos of the Bronx of the 80’s. How did this collaboration come about?

Back in 2007, we discovered Ricky Flores’s photos of the South Bronx — the photos he’d taken 20 years earlier — on his Flickr account.  They had affected us so deeply that we were inspired to bring these people to life on our streets in Brazil.

Ricky-flores

Why do you suppose you felt such a strong connection to these South Bronx residents?

Back in Brazil, we have enormous respect for the culture of the South Bronx.  We identify it with the birth of hip-hop that has enriched our lives so much and has greatly influenced our culture.

Ananda-Nahu-Rock-Steady-crew

You visited last year and painted a mural over at the Point, and now you are back — not only to exhibit with Izolag and Ricky Flores — but to paint again on our streets. What is your personal impression of the South Bronx?

I love it. I love its energy and the wonderful cultural mix of the people who live here.

izolag-drawing

How have the folks here in the Bronx reacted to this exhibit?  As we are speaking, people of all ages are coming by to check it out.

The folks here seem to love it. Everyone has been so supportive and helpful, always wishing us well. It was quite a thrill to meet at our opening some of the actual people whom Ricky Flores had photographed over 20 years ago!

Ananda-Nahu

And what about Ricky Flores? How has he responded to this project?

He is delighted to have so deeply inspired us. It’s been a wonderful partnership.

izolag-mural-in-gallery

What’s next? What happens to this project when it leaves the Bronx?

It will travel next to Los Angeles and then to São Paulo.

izolag-street-art-South-Bronx

That sounds great, and we are so glad you are bringing a taste of your culture to us here in NYC.

Note: Follow StreetArtNYC on Instagram and Facebook for images of murals — sponsored by Casita Maria — that Izolag and Ananda are painting this week with youth in the South Bronx.

Photos: 1, 4 and 6. Izolag by Lois Stavsky; 2. Ricky Flores by Tara Murray; 3. Ananda Nahu by Tara Murray;  5. Ananda Nahu by Lois Stavsky & 7. Ananda Nahu and Izolag by Lois Stavsky

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Interspersed among some of the drabbest streets in the South Bronx Mott Haven-Port Morris neighborhood is an intriguing array of public art.  Here’s a a sampling:

 Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Wepa Woman

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz

Seth Mathurin, Bronx Bull

"Seth Mathurin"

Dek 2DX

Dek2DX

Unidentified artist has money falling from trees!

Money-on-trees-mott-haven-the-Bronx-NYC

Dennesa Usher, Unlock Your Dreams, close-up

"Dennesa Usher"

 Photos: 1-3 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 4 City-as-School intern Zachariah Messaoud

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"Tats Cru"

Founded by John Matos aka Crash and Robert Kantor and directed by Anna Matos, WallWorks NY is a wonderful new gallery space at 39 Bruckner Boulevard in the South Bronx. While visiting its current  — and final — unofficial exhibit, Open Gallery, we had the opportunity to speak to Anna.

"anna matos"

When did WallWorks NY open?

We had our first “unofficial” opening exhibition, First Taste, on September 12.  Its focus was on promoting street art and graffiti as a viable art form within galleries and museums. Among the many local and international artists whose works were featured were: Daze, Futura, Nick Walker, Stash and TATS CRU members: Bio, Nicer and BG 183. This was followed by Point. Focus. Click. featuring photos – that had never been exhibited before — by such photographers as Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Joe Conzo, David Gonzalez, Lisa Kahane, Francisco Reyes II and Ricky Flores.

Such

This current exhibit, Open Gallery, introduces us to many new artists.

Yes. It’s our final show before our official opening next month.  Along with works by emerging local artists in Open Gallery, are artworks in various media by artists from around the country – many of whom had never exhibited their works in a gallery setting before.

Buz163

How have these “unofficial” openings gone?

The response has been great. And the success that we’ve achieved so far is more than we could have imagined!

Why did you choose to open a gallery in the South Bronx?

Why not the South Bronx? Its history is so rich, and hopefully we will encourage people to visit it.

Funest

What is WallWork’s NY’s mission?

In the experimental and explorative vein of Fashion MODA, we want to exhibit new and exciting work from both emerging and established artists.

How did this space come to be?

My father, Crash, had dreamed for a long time of opening a gallery, and I loved the idea of directing one. On our trips into the city, we repeatedly passed this empty space on Bruckner Boulevard – that we saw as a potential site for a gallery.  After discussing it with an art dealer in Paris last summer, my father said, “Let’s do it!” And then a partnership with entrepreneur Robert Kantor made it possible for my father to realize his dream.

"John Paul O'Grodnick"

What experiences and skills do you bring to your position as gallery director?

I grew up around art. As a child, I regularly accompanied by father to his studio – where I would sit and draw. For a long time, in fact, I thought I would be an artist. But as a senior in high school, I discovered that I was more interested in the concepts behind the art than in creating art. I then majored in Art History with a double minor of Philosophy and Black Studies at Fairfield University, and after graduating from college, I studied Art Business at FIT.  And in addition to several internships, including one as Special Project Manager the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, I served as a liaison for my father, assisting him in everything from creating a strong social media presence to installing and selling art. I see myself as someone who is committed to each artist’s personal development and financial success — as well as to the success of the gallery.

"Stephanie Burr"

What’s ahead?

Our official launch takes place on next Saturday, January 10, with Ikonoklasts, featuring never-before-seen works by three legendary NYC artists: A-One, Dondi White and Rammallzee. Following Ikonoklasts will be our first solo show featuring works on canvas by Nicer of TATS CRU.

That sounds wonderful! We are looking forward!

Interview conducted by City-as-School intern Zachariah Messaoud and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos by Lois Stavsky

Photos

1. TATS CRU

2. Anna Matos, gallery director

3. Such Styles

4. Buz163

5. Funqest

6. John Paul O’Grodnick

7. Stephanie Burr

Note: Open Gallery continues until January 7 at 39 Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx.

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"John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres"

A stunningly evocative selection of life-like sculptures by John Ahearn, made in collaboration with Rigoberto Torres, is currently on exhibit at Alexander and Bonin at 132 10th Avenue in Chelsea.  Fashioned between 1981 through 1991, the works on display are an ode to the spirit and soul of the folks who called the South Bronx home during that decade.

Raymond

"John Ahearn"

Luis and Virginia Arroyo

"John Ahearn"

Lazaro

"John Ahearn"

Freddy with Cigarette

"John Ahearn"

Kate

"John Ahearn"

Titi in the Window

"John Ahearn"

The exhibit continues through February 22 at 132 Tenth Avenue in Chelsea.

Photos of images by Dani Reyes Mozeson; the first sculpture pictured here, Double Dutch, can be seen at Intervale Avenue and Kelly Street in the South Bronx.

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From August 19 – August 25, Los Muros Hablan, an international urban arts festival, gave a voice to silent, empty walls in East Harlem and the South Bronx. Presented by La Repuesta, a leading Puerto Rican cultural space, Los Muros Hablan NYC, featured a wonderfully eclectic group of global artists.

Axel Void, 201 East 103rd Street in East Harlem

Axel Void

Pastel, 138 Street & Grand Concourse in the South Bronx — close-up from huge mural captured via instagram

Pastel

Celso Gonzalez and Roberto Biaggi, 54 East 116th Street in East Harlem

Celso Gonzales and Roberto Biaggi

Viajero, 2022 Third Avenue in East Harlem

Viajero

Viajerto

Rimx,154 East 100th Street, as seen in progress last week

Rimx

Betsy Casañas, 1664 Park Avenue in East Harlem

Betsy Casanas

LNY, 195 East 100th Street in East Harlem

LNY

Jufe, 2018 Third Avenue in East Harlem

Jufe

Elian138 Street & Grand Concourse in the South Bronx

Elian

Photos by Dani Mozeson & Lois Stavsky; keep posted to our Facebook page for more images of the completed murals from this week-long Los Muros Hablan NYC event presented in collaboration with Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito and El Museo del Barrio.

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