street art

basquiat <em>Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s</em> at the Whitney Through May 14: Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Martin Wong, Kenny Scharf & more

Among the diverse works on display in Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s at the Whitney Museum are several by artists whose contributions to the graffiti and street art movement have been monumental. Pictured above is LNAPRK by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Here are several more:

Keith Haring, Untitled, Fiber-tipped pen on synthetic leather

haring <em>Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s</em> at the Whitney Through May 14: Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Martin Wong, Kenny Scharf & more

 Martin Wong, Closed, Acrylic on canvas; the artist’s extensive graffiti collection was the subject of City as Canvas at the Museum of the City of  New York in 2014

Martin Wong painting Whitney <em>Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s</em> at the Whitney Through May 14: Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Martin Wong, Kenny Scharf & more

Kenny Scharf, When the Worlds Collide, Oil and spray paint on canvas against wallpaper adapted from Keith Haring mural at the Pop Shop

 kenny scharf and keith haring painting <em>Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s</em> at the Whitney Through May 14: Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Martin Wong, Kenny Scharf & more

Kenny Scharf, close-up 

Kenny Scharf painting whitney museum <em>Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s</em> at the Whitney Through May 14: Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Martin Wong, Kenny Scharf & more

Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s continues through May 14 at the Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District. Check here for hours. Admission is Pay-What-You-Wish on Friday’s, 7-10 pm.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 <em>Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s</em> at the Whitney Through May 14: Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Martin Wong, Kenny Scharf & more

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Richard hambleton woodward gallery windows nyc  Richard Hambleton: <em>I Only Have Eyes for You</em> Continues Through May 5 at Woodward Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

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

Richard Hambleton Art woodward gallery  Richard Hambleton: <em>I Only Have Eyes for You</em> Continues Through May 5 at Woodward Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

Dancing Shadowman

Richard hambleton shadow man woodward gallery nyc  Richard Hambleton: <em>I Only Have Eyes for You</em> Continues Through May 5 at Woodward Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

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

Richard Hambleton artworks Woodward Gallery NYC  Richard Hambleton: <em>I Only Have Eyes for You</em> Continues Through May 5 at Woodward Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

Another variation of the Marlboro Man as seen from the outside

woodward gallery nyc  Richard Hambleton: <em>I Only Have Eyes for You</em> Continues Through May 5 at Woodward Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

At the Tribeca Film Festival

shadowman  Richard Hambleton: <em>I Only Have Eyes for You</em> Continues Through May 5 at Woodward Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

With a rare public appearance by the elusive Richard Hambleton

hambleton at tribeca film festival  Richard Hambleton: <em>I Only Have Eyes for You</em> Continues Through May 5 at Woodward Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

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.

en play badge 2  Richard Hambleton: <em>I Only Have Eyes for You</em> Continues Through May 5 at Woodward Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

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Hydeon and sticky monger public art centrefuge NYC Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

The once-dreary trailer on East First Street — where the Lower East Side meets the East Village — has again been redesigned under the curatorial direction of Jonathan Neville, Joshua Geyer and Matthew Denton Burrows. And we love it! Pictured above are Hydeon and Sticky Monger at work. What follows are several more images — some of the artists captured in progress and others of the completed pieces.

Ian Ferguson aka Hydeon and Stickymonger, as seen this past week

Hydeon and sticky monger public aart nyc Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

Jenna Krypell

Jena Krypell painting nyc Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

John Exit aka scrambledeggsit at work

John exit live painting NYC Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

John Exit aka scrambledeggsit, as seen this past week

John Exit public art East Village NYC Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

Grimace NYC at work

Grimace NYC public art centrefuge Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

Grimace NYC, as seen in the bright sun this past week

IMG 8227 Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

Kat Lam aka Lamkat

lamkat public art east village nyc Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

Photo credits: 1, 4, 6 & 8 Tara Murray;  2, 3, 5 & 7 Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 Centre fuge Public Art Project, Cycle 22: Hydeon, Stickymonger, Jenna Krypell, John Exit, Grimace NYC and Lamkat

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Alice pasquini street art mural madrid spain <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

The Tabacalera – a former tobacco factory — in the Lavapies neighborhood of Madrid is now a cultural Mecca hosting over two dozen exterior murals. Curated by the Madrid Street Art Project, the murals — referred to as Muros Tabacalera – change yearly and focus on environmental issues that impact this district’s residents. The mural pictured above was painted by the Italian artist, Alice Pasquini. What follows are several others I captured on my recent trip to Madrid:

Málaga-based artist Dadi Dreucol

Dadi Dreucol street art mural madrid spain <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

Argentine artist Animalitoland

Animalitoland street art mural madrid spain <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

Digo Diego

digo diego street art mural madrid spain <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

Nano 8414

Nano 4818 street art mural madrid spain <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

Madrid-based Okuda

okuda mural project madrid <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

Dubai-based Spanish artist Ruben Sanchez

ruben sanchez street art madrid <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

Add fuel and Gripface

add fuel and grip face street art mural Madrid Spain <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Special thanks to Javier Garcia of Cool Tours Spain for introducing me to this project.

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.

en play badge 2 <em>Muros Tabacalera</em> in Madrid, Spain with: Alice Pasquini, Dadi Dreucol, Animalitoland, Digo Diego, Nano 4814, Okuda, Ruben Sanchez, Add Fuel and Gripface

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Julieta XLF street art valencia spain On the Streets of Valencia, Spain: Julieta XLF, Disney Lexya, Benuz, Laguna, Thiago Goms, Emilio Cerezo, Deih and David de Limón

The walls of the historical district of El Carmen,Valencia brim with stirring street art and graffiti. Pictured above is by Valencia-native Julieta XLF. Here are several more I captured last week while visiting Spain:

Disney Lexya

disney lexya street art valencia On the Streets of Valencia, Spain: Julieta XLF, Disney Lexya, Benuz, Laguna, Thiago Goms, Emilio Cerezo, Deih and David de Limón

Benuz and Laguna

benuz and laguna street art valencia spain On the Streets of Valencia, Spain: Julieta XLF, Disney Lexya, Benuz, Laguna, Thiago Goms, Emilio Cerezo, Deih and David de Limón

Thiago Goms, Laguna and Emilio Cerezo

Thiago goms laguna and emiliocrezo street art valencia On the Streets of Valencia, Spain: Julieta XLF, Disney Lexya, Benuz, Laguna, Thiago Goms, Emilio Cerezo, Deih and David de Limón

Deih

deih street art valencia spain On the Streets of Valencia, Spain: Julieta XLF, Disney Lexya, Benuz, Laguna, Thiago Goms, Emilio Cerezo, Deih and David de Limón

The ubiquitous David de Limon

david delimon street art valencia spain On the Streets of Valencia, Spain: Julieta XLF, Disney Lexya, Benuz, Laguna, Thiago Goms, Emilio Cerezo, Deih and David de Limón

 Photos by Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 On the Streets of Valencia, Spain: Julieta XLF, Disney Lexya, Benuz, Laguna, Thiago Goms, Emilio Cerezo, Deih and David de Limón

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Lady pink painting <em>Fem is in</em> Continues Through Next Saturday at Fat Free Art with: Lady Pink, Alice Mizrachi, Queen Andrea, Jane Dickson, Swoon & more

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

Alice Mizrachi art <em>Fem is in</em> Continues Through Next Saturday at Fat Free Art with: Lady Pink, Alice Mizrachi, Queen Andrea, Jane Dickson, Swoon & more

Queen Andrea

queen andrea typography art <em>Fem is in</em> Continues Through Next Saturday at Fat Free Art with: Lady Pink, Alice Mizrachi, Queen Andrea, Jane Dickson, Swoon & more

Jane Dickson

jane dickson art <em>Fem is in</em> Continues Through Next Saturday at Fat Free Art with: Lady Pink, Alice Mizrachi, Queen Andrea, Jane Dickson, Swoon & more

Swoon, close-up

swoon <em>Fem is in</em> Continues Through Next Saturday at Fat Free Art with: Lady Pink, Alice Mizrachi, Queen Andrea, Jane Dickson, Swoon & more

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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Pantone interferences Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery on the Bowery and on the Streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and more

Within the past year, we came upon Felipe Pantone‘s mesmerizing vision on the streets of Miami, Montreal, Atlanta, NYC and Valencia, Spain. And recently we viewed his distinctly bold, infectious aesthetic in a gallery setting here in NYC. Until Sunday, April 16 several of the artist’s studio works remain on view in the brilliantly alluring group exhibit, Interferences: Contemporary Op and Kinetic Art, at GR Gallery, 255 Bowery. Pictured above is OPTICHROMIE 85, enamel on wood panel. What follows are two more of Felipe Pantone‘s works on exhibit at GR Gallery.

CHROMADYNAMICA 16, Enamel on wood panel

Felipe Pantone Interferences Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery on the Bowery and on the Streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and more

SCROLL PANORAMA 11, Enamel spray paint on aluminum and acrylic

pantone scroll Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery on the Bowery and on the Streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and more

And while here for the opening of Interferences: Contemporary Op and Kinetic Art, Felipe Pantone shared his talents with us on the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn

felipe pantone street art NYC Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery on the Bowery and on the Streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and more

Several other of his works we sighted outdoors these past few months include:

In Atlanta, Georgia  for the Outer Space Project

Felipe pantone atlanta street art Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery on the Bowery and on the Streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and more

In Montreal, Canada for the Mural Festival

felipe pantone mural art montreal Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery on the Bowery and on the Streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and more

And spotted this past weekend in Valencia, Spain, where the Argentine artist is based 

pantone valencia Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery on the Bowery and on the Streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and more

Featured along with Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery are Gilbert Hsiao, Nadia Costantini, and Sandi Renko, whose innovative works “investigate and advance the discourse around pattern, optical and perceptual abstract painting.” Located at 255 Bowery — between Houston & Stanton —  GR Gallery is open Tue- Sat 12:00pm – 7:00pm.

Photo credits: 1 – 3 Courtesy GR Gallery; 4-6 Tara Murray & 7 Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 Felipe Pantone at GR Gallery on the Bowery and on the Streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and more

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brazilian art at andrew freedman 1 <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

A sumptuous selection of artworks by Brazilian street artists is currently on exhibit at the historic Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx. This past Sunday, we had the opportunity to speak to the lovely Larissa Ferreira, one of the exhibit’s curators.

What an exhilarating exhibit! What inspired it? Any significance to its timing — as it opened on March 26th?

It is an homage to Brazil’s rich street art and graffiti tradition. And, yes, the date is significant! Brazil’s “National Day of Graffiti” on March 27th was established in 1987 after the death of the artist Alex Vallauri (1949-1987), one of the pioneers of contemporary urban art in the country.

Fefe Romanova lady siren and the seahorse 1 <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

What, exactly, was your role in producing this exhibit? 

I curated it in collaboration with Ligia Coelho Martins of Duetto Arts and Roberta Prado of Urban Walls Brazil in partnership with Andrew Freedman Home and CUFA – Central Única das Favelas.

bugre family 1 <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

How many of these artists are currently based in NYC?

Just three: Henrique BeloittiFefa Românova and Camila Crivelenti. The others are based in Brazil, but several will be traveling here to NYC in the months ahead.

HENRIQUE BELOTTI 1 <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

What — would you say — is the mission of Synopsis of an Urban Memoir?

In recent months, we have witnessed the disappearance of art on the streets of my hometown, São Paulo. This exhibit is our way of paying homage to urban art as an artistic and social movement.

goms zoomorphia urbana 1 <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

What were some of a the challenges involved in producing an exhibit of this nature? 

Finding the right site for the exhibition and selecting the artists.

mateus bailon Arauto do Outono <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

How did you go about selecting the artists?

With difficulty! We originally wanted to include 10-13 artists. We ended up showcasing the words of 19: Alto*Contraste, Branco, Bugre, Camila Crivelenti, Ciro Schu, Combone, Criola, Fefa Românova, Goms, Henrique Beloitti, Ju Violeta, Júlio Vieira, Mag Magrela, Mateus Bailon, Panmela Castro, Pecci, Siss, Tikka and Vermelho. Each of these artists represents a distinct style and sensibility.

vermeoho Gula <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

How did the opening of the show go?

It was wonderful! So much enthusiasm, spirit and great music!

ciro shu circuit seris 1 <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

How can folks see this exhibit? It’s a definite must-see!

It remains on exhibit here at the Andrew Freedman Home – 1125 Grand Concourse, directly across from the Bronx Museum of the Arts – through April 14. Hours are: Mon – Thu, 9am – 7pm; Fri: 9am – 5pm and Sat: 10am – 5:30pm.

Images of artworks

1. Wide view of segment of the exhibit

2. Fefa Românova, The Return of the Wild Woman

3.  Bugre, Family

4. Henrique Beloitti, Raios de Oya

5.  Goms,  Zoomorfia Urbana

6. Mateus Bailon, O Portador das Flores

7. Vermelho, Gula

8. Ciro Schu, from Circuit Series

Photo credits: 1, 2 & 8 Houda Lazrak, 3-7, Lois Stavsky; interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Houda Lazrak and edited by Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 <em>Synopsis of an Urban Memoir</em>: An Homage to Brazilian Street Art Continues at Andrew Freedman Home through April 14

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lmnopi Tara Houska detail 2 Lmnopi on Street Art, Gentrification, Her Mission as an Artist & more

With her passion for justice and her elegant aesthetic, Brooklyn-based Lmnopi has been enhancing public spaces in NYC and beyond while raising our consciousness. I recently had the opportunity to visit her studio and speak to her:

When and where did your artwork first surface here on NYC walls?

I pasted up the first time in 2008, in Williamsburg, a stencil of my cat, Joe. I think it was on North 9th Street.

What inspired you to do so?

The thrill of lawlessness. Freedom, beauty, passion and communication beyond gallery walls. I just felt like it.

lmnopi street art Delon the Pigeon Lmnopi on Street Art, Gentrification, Her Mission as an Artist & more

Was there anyone in particular who inspired you to hit the streets?

I remember hanging out at Ad Hoc Art on Bogart Street a bunch and meeting other artists there. Chris Stain gave me some solid advice early on about stencil painting. I used to be really into C215. I love the artist Blu. He’s probably my all time favorite, actually. It wasn’t any one person though… more the lure of freedom that inspired me.

You’ve gotten up and painted in legal spots – such as Welling Court Mural Project and Arts Org in Queens. Yet much of what you do is unsanctioned. Have you any preference?

I prefer pasting up without permission. I have favorite places that I revisit now and again. It takes me awhile to pick my spots; I watch them for a little while first. Placement becomes more important when your paste-up is the only one in existence at a particular site. I also love the aesthetic of decay as erosion happens. Right now there is a piece of mine on Jefferson — that has been there for so many years — all that is left are her eyes and her mouth. It’s uncanny how that happens. It makes me pause and wonder: Why did her eyes and mouth stay the longest? What’s that about?

Have you any preferred surfaces?

My favorite is plywood. My least favorite is brick. I love pasting on glass, especially new condo windows.

LMNOPI Water Protector WIP Lmnopi on Street Art, Gentrification, Her Mission as an Artist & more

How do you feel about the increasing tie-in between street art and gentrification? The role of street art in gentrification?

People often blame gentrification on artists — instead of the underlying cause which is capitalism. Street artists are often used as tools for real estate CEO’s to increase their property’s value. However, it’s up to us as artists to decide if our work serves the community’s interest or the profit motive. I try to approach my work with the community in mind. When painting a mural on someone’s block, I take into consideration who lives there and how can I reflect their reality in my work. As great as it is to see tons of murals on walls, it turns people’s neighborhoods into destinations for outsiders to spend money in businesses that are run by non-local owners, so the financial benefit is not kept within the community, at all. The neighborhood becomes hollowed out; a place where people who grew up feel they no longer belong or can afford to live. The money spent there leaves the neighborhood when bodegas are run out by bourgie delis and trendy cafes and bars. When rich developers from other countries altogether come in and tear down perfectly good buildings and build hideous condos, it rips a hole in a community. It changes the landscape, removes the character and homogenizes the place. Gentrification is essentially urban colonialism. Creating community run-organizations which provide gathering spaces not centered around commerce and profit,  but instead around: discussion; education; making art, growing food; organizing and sharing resources, is an effective way to combat gentrification.

Yes! And in the current political climate — more necessary than ever.  I’ve also seen your work in gallery settings. How do you feel about bringing street art into galleries?

I enjoy group shows and getting out and being with the community of other street artists. I like to make miniatures of my murals for folks who want to bring them home and live with them. I struggle with the dissonance between anti-capitalism and the need to survive in a capitalist society. But it’s a great feeling to sell work.

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with others?

I generally prefer working alone. but in the context of a larger community working towards change, I prefer being part of that wave.

lmnopi Backwater singer Lmnopi on Street Art, Gentrification, Her Mission as an Artist & more

Are there any other artists with whom you’d like to collaborate?

I look for certain people when I am out scouting locations, locally. It’s like having a delayed visual conversation on the street with other wheat paste artists like Myth NYCity KittyEl Sol 25, QRST, Sean Lugo… I also am inspired by the work the Justseeds cooperative is doing. Art and propaganda are like cinnamon and sugar on toast. So delicious. I’d like to collaborate with Chip Thomas from the Painted Desert Project. I also hope to do some painting in Indian country soon. I want to collaborate with people who are also committed to environmental justice.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

Yes. I feel like they come alive.

What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

Most of it when I am not sleeping or gardening or exploring.

lmnopi refugees are welcome Lmnopi on Street Art, Gentrification, Her Mission as an Artist & more

Have you a formal art education?

Yes. I studied painting and printmaking at SUNY Purchase where I got my BFA.  But most of what I am doing now is all self-taught.

What is your ideal working environment?

I’d love to have a studio in a straw bale house on land by a river with enough open area to grow food and enough forested area to forage wild mushrooms. I have a tiny studio which works all right for the time being, though, with my rooftop garden here in Brooklyn.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet in all this?

The Internet never forgets…which can be good or bad depending on what is out there to not be forgotten. For my kind of work, which is ephemeral by nature, it’s great. I love instagram because I get to see fellow artists’ work from all over the world. There is little static; it’s all visual. But as someone who was an adult before the phenomenon of the Internet existed, there was something really profound about seeing work in person that seems a bit lost now because everything is so accessible. People don’t have to travel to see anything; they just click around. Maybe that promotes a devaluation of work. I make a lot of work, but I don’t put a lot up. I think less is more…kind of a homeopathic approach.

lmnopi Indiria 2015 Lmnopi on Street Art, Gentrification, Her Mission as an Artist & more

Did any particular cultures influence you?

Ancient wall art. Petroglyphs. The earliest known graffiti art. I’ve seen them in person and it’s a mystical experience being in the presence of art that old.

How has your art evolved in the past few years?

From paint brush to x-acto knife back to paint brush. I went from painting with oils – high brow – to materials I could buy in a hardware store. The transition from oil painting was through stencils and spray paint. But I got really sick of using an exacto knife…too rigid. I love the paint brush. These days I like painting with house paint the most.

Do you work from a sketch or do you just let it flow?

When doing a mural, I sketch it out first; usually, I make a small painting of it prior to getting up on the wall.  When I am working in my studio, I just go to it.

lmnopi earth revolution street art nyc Lmnopi on Street Art, Gentrification, Her Mission as an Artist & more

What inspires you these days – with both your street art and studio art?

Right now my heart is very much with frontline communities who are bearing the brunt of the fall out from the corporate take over of the government: climate change (aka climate chaos), the fight against the fossil fuel industrial complex, the plight of kids caught in refugee situations and the Indigenous environmental movement. I am working from these struggles — working to communicate and amplify those voices, especially those of women, elders and kids.

What’s ahead?

I’m busy making art about everything that everyone else I know is also freaking out about. I am working on staying calm and making self-care a priority so I don’t burn out. I am developing some prints from paintings and drawings, a way to duplicate my work to make it more accessible for people who might enjoy having it or wearing it. I am thinking in terms of how to translate the continuous tone of painting into printable dot and line patterns for printing. I love the aesthetic of engravingsl and I have been training myself to paint in a way that mimics it. I am weaving the concept of editions that was possible with stencils together with the language of paint strokes I have been cultivating. In my painting practice, I have been destroying the object in a sense, breaking up the portrait with under-paintings of topographical maps, macro designs from botanicals and geometric forms and bringing in the occasional surrealistic imagery..Travel and time in nature are ahead of me and more frontline stands, hopefully some hot springs, plenty of walls to paint out there and forgotten doorways to paste up in.

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

Artists are change makers and translators; art transcends borders and language barriers. Art is a unifying force. Artists can speak truth to power. We can show that the emperor is not wearing any trousers. We have artistic license; so far we still have free speech. We lift people’s spirits and let them know they are seen. We embolden people to laugh at fear. We clear out tear ducts.

Note: You can follow Lmnopi on her Instagram here and check out her online store here.

Interview by Lois Stavsky; all images courtesy of the artist

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icy and sot stencil world trade center Speaking with Joshua Geyer at 4 World Trade Center

This past Sunday, we had the opportunity to meet up with Joshua Geyer, one of the curators of the current installation on the 69th floor of 4 World Trade Center. Curious about it all, we posed a few questions to him:

Joshua Geyer and Chris RWK art Speaking with Joshua Geyer at 4 World Trade Center

We’ve been seeing more artwork by street artists indoors these past few months — in a wide range of unlikely settings — than on the streets. Whose concept was it to turn this floor into a showcase for street art and graffiti?

Several executives who work in this building had visited the World Trade Gallery awhile back, and they loved the art that was exhibited there. It was their idea to invite street artists to paint on this floor.

And how did you become involved with this project?

Last March, I had curated an exhibit at the World Trade Gallery that featured works by over a dozen street artists. And so I was invited back to work on this project.

buff monster mural art world trade center Speaking with Joshua Geyer at 4 World Trade Center

Which of these artists did you, personally, engage in this project?

The artists I invited to paint here include: Icy and Sot, Sonni, Cern, Fanakapan, Rubin, Hellbent, Buff Monster, Chris RWK, Jackfox, UR New York, Erasmo and Basil Sema.

How did you decide which ones  to invite?

I chose artists I know — whom I’ve worked with in the past — whose art would work in this particular setting.

cern mural art world trace center Speaking with Joshua Geyer at 4 World Trade Center

Did this project present any distinct challenges?

This was the first time I’d ever worked with other curators. That was a definite challenge, as we didn’t all have the same vision, and each one of us worked independently. I generally curate on my own. And when I work with Centre-fuge Public Art Project, every decision is made collaboratively, and we are all pretty much on the same page.  But I did learn about different approaches to curating a space and navigating my way through different visions.

Who were some of the other curators?

Among them are: Caitlin CrewsSean Sullivan and Bobby Grandone

fanakapan scultpture wtc Speaking with Joshua Geyer at 4 World Trade Center

Within the past few weeks, there have been quite a few discussions about the need to financially compensate all artists for work they do within corporate settings. What are your thoughts on this issue?

I absolutely agree. Unfortunately, the art world doesn’t always come through. Creatives can be easily exploited. And if this doesn’t change, we will continue to lose many talented artists. But lots of positive things are happening now in this space.

Can you tell us about that?

Yes. Many students — from local elementary schools to the Parsons School of Design — have visited. They’ve had the opportunity to meet artists and speak to curators, and their response has been great. I look forward to more school visits. And I am hoping, of course, that the artists who painted here will attract clients and gain future opportunities.

jack fox art Speaking with Joshua Geyer at 4 World Trade Center

How can folks visit this space? Is it ever open to the public?

I will be giving weekly tours. For specific information and to set an appointment, I can be reached at Tower4Arts@gmail.com. I would love to have schools — and art teachers, in particular — reach out to me.

And what about you? What’s ahead for you?

Later this spring I will be joining several artists — including Vexta, Faith47 and Alexis Diaz — on a trip to El Salvador facilitated by the United Nations. I will be doing a photography workshop with kids, and we will be wheat-pasting their photos outdoors. And currently I’m working with No Longer Empty, with plans underway for an exhibit in Brownsville.

sonni mural art world trade center Speaking with Joshua Geyer at 4 World Trade Center

That all sounds great! We’re looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

Note: The images featured in this post were among those curated by Joshua Geyer. Keep posted to the StreetArtNYC Facebook page for additional images of artworks in this space.

Images

Icy and Sot

2 Josh standing next to Chris RWK

Buff Monster, with fragments of Hellbent to the side

Cern

Fanakapan

Jackfox

Sonni

Photos & interview by Lois Stavsky

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