Stik

Brimming with exuberant energy and stylishly striking images, HIGH & TIGHT, LA2‘s solo exhibition, is a cause for celebration.  Proclaimed by Keith Haring — with whom he had collaborated in the 80’s — as the “Graffiti King of the Lower East Side,” LA2 is tighter than ever. Pictured above is LA2 standing next to the exhibit’s curator and gallerist, Jonathan Satin. Several more images captured while I visited the space at 198 Allen Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side follow:

Installation of several canvases, sneakers, skateboard deck and more 

 

Several more artworks and memorabilia reminiscent of LA2’s collaborations with Keith Haring

Canvases, repurposed traffic sign, skateboard deck, guitar and collaboration with London-based Stik

 

You can join LA2 tonight — from 8-11pm — at 198 Allen Street. He promises “live painting and dancing” in celebration of Independence Day. And through Sunday’s 5pm closing, the space is open every day from 12-8pm

Photos: 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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London-based Stik — one of our favorite street artists — recently announced that he had signed, dated and authenticated an original street art work to be auctioned at Phillips this coming Thursday, December 8.  We spoke to him about it:

Can you tell us something about this particular piece? Where was it first painted? And when?

This piece was painted in 2009 on the former Magpie Social Centre in Bristol, England.

What was the significance of the particular space to you at the time?

Bristol was the capital of street art at the time, and Magpie had always opened their doors to me when I took the four-hour coach trip down from London. Earlier this year, Magpie contacted me and asked me to help them raise funds to relocate after they were suddenly evicted from a building where they’d been for about a decade.

stik-street-art-bristol

Selling artwork that had once been in a public space is quite controversial. Have you any thoughts about that?

By working directly with communities in order to manage their artworks, we are trying to preserve the true social nature of street art in a creative way that benefits that community without negatively impacting the artist. All proceeds go back to the community the artworks were painted for.

Have you authenticated other works? If so, can you tell us a bit about them?

Most of my murals have a strong social meaning and that is represented by where the proceeds are allocated. There have been two others — a satellite dish and a garage door from 2012 — that raised money for local organizations in Hackney, East London. This wooden panel from the old Magpie building will help build a new Magpie Project Space to support a new generation of artists.

stik-street-art-london

Whom can folks contact if they are interested in acquiring the work?

This piece is going through Phillips London who have been very generous in their support for the sale. Lot 90, New Now Sale, Phillips London 8th Dec 2016. A log of all authenticated street pieces can be seen here

Interview by Lois Stavsky; images courtesy of the artist

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’ve been huge fans of Stik and his distinctively singular — now iconic — character since he first visited NYC several years ago. We are delighted that his first book that was released in the UK last year is now available here throughout the US.

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Featured in STIK are dozens of artworks ranging from unsanctioned pieces on the streets of East London — painted when the artist was homeless — to huge international murals across the globe. All are fashioned from six lines and two dots, the style Stik began when he had to paint quickly to evade the authorities.

stik-2004

Described by the artist as “a journal of the progression of the Stik Project,”  STIK is a fascinating journey into the artist’s consciousness and aesthetic. Stik’s strong social mindfulness and acute political awareness are evident in this first collection of his works, as he increasingly devotes his talents and energies to a range of causes, often working in collaboration with children and members of vulnerable communities.

Stik-mural-book

With over 200 heavy gloss pages and an exclusive, limited edition print, the book — published by Penguin — has now made its way into bookstores across the globe.

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You can meet Stik and purchase a signed copy of his book with an orange or teal print — exclusive to the first US edition of the book — tomorrow, Thursday evening from 6-8pm at Strand Books, 828 Broadway on the corner of 12th Street.

stik-book-penguin

Anyone who buys a copy of STIK or brings in a pre-purchased copy of the book for Stik to sign at Strand Books is eligible to enter a lottery to win a pair of artist’s unfolded, card stock Stik posters, signed by Stik himself. The posters, one orange and one blue, are number one of only five artist’s proofs and depict the same image seen on the book’s cover.

All photos courtesy Stik and Penguin Press

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Stik

Known for his iconic life-size stick figures that have surfaced throughout the globe, East London-based Stik has attained celebrity status with Random House‘s recent release of his first book. While in London last month, I had the opportunity to speak to the artist.

When did Stik first surface? And where?

It was back in 2003 in Hackney Wick along the canal.  It was the safest place to paint at the time.

Can you tell us something about Stik’s origin? What was the concept behind it?

I came up with the idea of six lines and two dots simply because it was the quickest way to paint without getting caught.  My first Stik drawing represented my struggle to find shelter and survive. While homeless, I had lost all my drawings. Anything I could get up on the streets could be seen, at least, for a time.

stik

How did folks respond to your work at the time?

They liked it. They could identify with it. It especially spoke to lonely people.

How has Stik evolved since it first surfaced?

At first I only painted lonely people.  It was my way of reflecting on my personal struggles. Then as my circumstances improved, I became involved with causes and the figure changed as its context changed.

stik-street-art-london

What are some of these causes?

Homelessness, gentrification, the National Health Service, underground cooperatives and more.

Your new book, simply titled Stik, is currently a best-seller in London.  What was the concept behind it?

It is a journal of the progression of the Stik project.

stik-street-art-character-London

Your book is so stunningly presented and has gotten such wonderful press in London. When did the idea of first publishing a book come to you?

In 2010, while living in a homeless hostel, I was writing a monthly column for the Hackney Citizen that included a mural related to a news story. I did this for a year, and it made me think about articulating meanings.

Any plans to visit NYC?

Yes! I plan to visit NYC in the spring.

stik-reads-book

That sounds great!  We are certainly looking forward to seeing you again in NYC!

Photo credits: 2. Tara Murray 3. Dani Reyes Mozeson 4-5. Lois Stavsky; interview by Lois Stavsky

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Drawing artists from across the globe, alongside its diverse mix of local artists, London’s walls reflect a wildly varied range of aesthetic sensibilities. Here’s a sampling of what we viewed last week:

London-based David Walker and Barcelona native Pez to the side

"David Walker and Pez"

London-based Stik in front of long-running mural

stik-with-london-street-art

French artist Vinie

vinie-street-art-london

 Argentinian artist Martin Ron

martin-ron

 Chilean artists Jekse & Cines

cines-and-jekse-street-art-london

Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz and Argentinean artist Elian

alexis-diaz-elian-street-art-london

Dutch duo TelmoMiel

telmomiel-london-check-tara

Note: Part II to follow

Photo credits:  1 – 3 Tara Murray; 4 – 7 Lois Stavsky

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This is the third in an occasional series featuring images of males who surface on NYC public spaces:

Stik across from Dorian Grey Gallery in the East Village

Stik

Blek le Rat at the Bushwick Collective

Blek le Rat

Icy and Sot and Gilf!, close-up from huge mural for First Street Green and Centre-fuge Public Art Project

icy and sot and gilf!

Gaia at Bushwick Collective

Gaia

LNYCost and Enx in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

LNY, Cost and Enx

Vexta in Bushwick

Vexta and Gilf!

Manny Vega in East Harlem

Manny Vega

Photos by Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky

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Coordinated by Joe Ficalora and See One, the Winter Mural Project brought over ten artists together this past Saturday to Troutman and Wyckoff at Bushwick Five Points.  The spirited afternoon was a cause for celebration for both the talented artists and the enthusiastic spectators. Here are some images:

London-based Stik and veteran Bronx-born artist Zimad

Stik and Zimad street art

 Queens-based Alice Mizrachi aka AM

Alice Mizrachi

Alice Mizrachi

Col of the legendary Wallnuts  crew– to the left of AM

Col Wallnuts

Brooklyn-based Danielle Mastrion

Danielle Mastrion

Danielle Mastrion

Geobany Rodriguez aka Bowz at work; final image here

Bowz

Iranian artists Icy and Sot

icy and sot

Icy and Sot

Brooklyn-based Gilf! at work

Gilf!

 Brooklyn-based See One

See One

Brooklyn-based LNY at work

LNY

Photos by Lenny Collado and Tara Murray

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Speaking with Stik

October 19, 2012

"Stik on Brooklyn rooftop"

One of London’s best-known and most active street artists, Stik has been creating his elegantly stark stik characters for over ten years.  On his recent trip to New York City, Stik found a home for his Stik people up in the Bronx and at Bushwick Five Points.  We were delighted to have the opportunity to pose a few questions to him:

When was Stik born?

In the early part of the century.

Who is he/she/it?

My little meditations…my way of transforming the complex into the simple.  Stik is a loud whisper.

Why did you decide to get Stik up on walls and share him with others?

I wanted to keep him safe. I’ve always been drawing living things, and I didn’t want them to stay on paper. I feel they are safer on the streets.   And it is also my signal to the world that I exist – somewhat in the vein of a graffiti artist. The street is like a theatre. When I get up there, I join the dialog.  My art becomes my voice.

"Stik in the Bronx"

How do you decide which walls to hit?

When I walk by a column or wall, I try to imagine Stik there.  I like the idea of giving a personality to a wall that will be visible to others.

What about the risky aspects of what you do – both physically and legally?  Why are you willing to take such risks?

It’s a matter of putting my mark on the land. And when I’m painting, I feel connected to the wall. I feel safe. It’s my sense of entitlement and ownership. There is also a social purpose to what I am doing. Advertisers tag public spaces to push consumerism – it’s almost as though they can buy and sell our lives. People are the products. I’m pushing aesthetics. I feel as though graffiti writers get the rap for the frustration folks feel towards the advertisers.

What if a major corporation were to approach you and ask you for their use of Stik for commercial purposes?

That has already happened.  My answer is, “No.” I will not allow companies to use my image to sell products.

"Stik street art"

How have folks responded to Stik?

They love him.  They respond to his simplicity.  I like watching people’s reactions to Stik from my studio window.

Tell us something about your style.

It’s always been simple, and it seems to be getting simpler as time passes. I appreciate simplicity.

What are your feelings about street art in gallery settings? Are you comfortable creating Stik on canvas or paper and selling him?

I keep the street street and the gallery gallery.  The gallery can be a whore house, but it’s an honest living.

What brought you to NYC?

I wanted to meet people in New York. I want to find out what real New Yorkers are like. I want NYC to fess up and show me its vulnerability.

Has it? What do you think of NYC?

It’s still a big scary beast of a city, but if you’re lucky, it will roll over and let you tickle its tummy.

What’s ahead?

I have a couple of big social projects coming up in the UK and other countries.  And I plan to return to New York in the near future.

"stik on Bushwick rooftop"

That sounds great! We are already looking forward to your next visit.

Photos by Lenny Collado, Dani Mozeson and Sara Mozeson

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