street art

Inspired by the MISSOKO BWITI tradition from the MASSANGO and PUNU tribe he joined when in Africa, the wonderfully imaginative West Coast-based Chor Boogie has recently completed a massive mural in Salem, MA. Commissioned by the Punto Urban Art Museum, the intriguing  artwork, entitled LOVE CHILD, celebrates the gift of life. The artist describes it as “An Offering of Visual Medicine for the SOUL,” as the LOVE CHILD’s arms are open and ready to embrace you.

Closer up

Chor Boogie with his mural

And in progress

Images courtesy of the artist

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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This is the sixteenth in a series of occasional posts featuring the diverse range of trucks and vans that strike our streets:

Wane and Queen Andrea

Soten

ZaOne

Hoacs

Iena Cruz

PJ Linden at work for the House of Yes

Photos by 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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Montreal boasts a wide array of intriguing murals by both local and international artists. The mural pictured above was painted by Julien Malland aka Seth Globepainter for an ongoing mural project organized by MU, whose mission is to transform Montreal into an “open air gallery.” What follows are several more murals we came upon on our recent visit to Montreal:

Tel Aviv-based  Dede Bandaid and Nitzan Mintz — who are currently here in NYC

Montreal-based French artist SBuONe for Montreal’s 2017 Mural Festival

Montreal-based Kevin Ledo does Leonard Cohen for Montreal’s 2017 Mural Festival, close-up

Hamburg-based 1010 forMontreal’s 2017 Mural Festival

Photo credit: 1, 2 & 5 Tara Murray; 3 & 4 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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Home to such projects as 100 Gates and Market Surplus, the streets and venues of Manhattan’s Lower East Side have introduced us to new talents, while showcasing some of NYC’s most prominent graffiti artists and muralists. Artists are now invited to submit ideas for an entire mural — or a segment of it — to be painted on the western façade of Essex Crossing‘s site at 145 Clinton Street that will be home to 107 market-rate apartments and 104 below-market-rate units. Check the Request for Proposals (RFP) for all the details and requirements. You have until December 15th to submit it.

The image featured above was painted by Gera Luz. Here are several more that have surfaced on the Lower East Side within the past year:

Hanksy

Flood

Buff Monster for Market Surplus

Claw Money

Lexi Bella

Photo credit:  QuallsBenson

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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The following guest post is by Houda Lazrak

While in Mexico City shortly before the devastating earthquake, Roberto ShimizuCreative Director of The Antique Toy Museum of Mexico (MUJAM) and co-organizer of Mexico City’s street art festival All City Canvas, introduced me to over a dozen murals — mainly in the neighborhoods of Roma Norte, Doctores and downtown. Featured above is by Mexico City – based Curiot who — upon returning to Mexico City after living in the US —  painted a center for youth who struggle with difficulties within the traditional school system. What follows is a sampling of several more murals, organized by Roberto Shimizu, that I saw:

Arty & Chikle, the first gay street art couple to come out in Mexico City

Valencia-based Escif — at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, where the Tlatelolco massacre occurred on October 2, 1968. Students met in this plaza for a peaceful demonstration and reportedly hundreds of them were shot and killed when the military opened fired on them. The image depicts former Interior Secretary Luis Echeverría requesting President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz to order the shooting. Decades later, Echeverría was put on trial for the massacre.

UK-based D*Face

Mexico City-based Edgar Flores aka Saner

Mexico City-based Hilda Palafox aka Poni

LA-based El Mac on his mural: The image I painted is based on photos I took of a social activist and poet named María Guardado, who was tortured and left for dead in 1980 by government forces during the civil war in El Salvador. She was one of thousands of civilian victims of that war, during which the US-backed Salvadoran government employed death squads to kill and terrorize everyone from poor farmers to nuns to students. Maria survived and fled the country for Los Angeles, where today she is still a passionate fighter for social justice.

All photos by Houda Lazrak

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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A veteran French graffiti writer, designer and illustrator, Jaek el Diablo shared his talents with us in Jersey City earlier this year, painting several walls in coordination with Green Villain, along with independent commissions.  At the time, street and travel photographer Karin du Maire had the opportunity to interview him:

When did you begin doing graffiti?

It’s been about 25 years now since I first started doing graffiti. I began in the early 90’s.

What inspired you at the time?

I was into the skateboard culture back then, and I met many other skaters who were tagging the streets. They exposed me to graffiti, street art, comics and pop culture, in general.

What, would you say, has had the largest impact upon your particular style — both as a graffiti artist and a designer?

Comics! I was always drawing, and the comics I was reading inspired my characters. I think that was the beginning of my story!

How would you define your style? What differentiates it from others?

If I had to define my style, I would describe it as cartoon. I was influenced early on by the Kermits, Disney, Hanna–Barbera… In my work, I try not to reproduce the same thing that I see. I put my own stamp on it! It’s kind of like sampling in hip-hop – a remix of sorts! I see my work as a tribute to some of my favorite characters. It’s always a tribute.

Can you tell us a bit about the difference between French graffiti and the graffiti you’ve seen here while painting in NYC or Jersey City?

I think that back in Europe, we’ve had other influences — such as Mode 2 and the cartoon styles that inspired him. And we have the German graffiti writers whose letters are always evolving. Here in NYC, the writers are very academic; they are Old School academic. Not all  — there is Rime MSK and a few guys who are next level. But most NY writers maintain the classic graffiti style. To me, the two books, Spraycan Art and Subway Art, are the Bible, the base. I love being here and discovering the origin of my religion!

What about the future of graffiti? Where do you see it going?

I see more and more big murals, especially tribute murals, and more illustrators doing street art. I see lots and lots of styles, but there will always be a return to the roots of it all – which is graffiti. I see it  going in a variety of directions. But, I think, in the future there is no museum. It is only in the streets!

Many walls in NYC are now curated. How do you feel about this trend?

On a positive note, the walls are better and better, because the artists are carefully selected. But it’s also a negative thing. Graffiti was meant to be open to all. If you had a can, the wall was free! But, yes, these curated walls help break down the negative stereotypes of graffiti. And that is good for my art! So maybe that is the future!

Photos by Karin du Maire; interview conducted by Karin du Maire  and edited by 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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Presented by New Design High School and Mass Appeal, Rooftop Legends continues to transform the rooftop of the former Seward Park High School into a first-rate open-air gallery. The mural featured above was painted by the legendary Claw Money. The following photos were captured at last Sunday’s celebration of urban art culture and community curated by New Design High School Dean Jesse Pais:

Greg Lamarche aka SP.ONE 

Queen Andrea at work

Cern

 Bluster One 

Pure TFP at work

Cekis at work

Photo credits: 1-4 Tara Murray; 5-7 Lenny Collado

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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Last week, Texas-based John Bramblitt, a professional artist who lost his vision in 2001, visited Bushwick, where he collaborated on a huge mural with Rubin 415 for JMZ Walls. While he was here, travel and street photographer Karin du Maire had the opportunity to interview him and capture him, along with Rubin 415, in action.

Can you tell us, John, a bit about how you got into art?

I think I could draw before I could walk! Art was always a big part of my life. And growing up, I was sick a lot. I had kidney problems. I had severe epilepsy that kept getting worse. All the way through high school, I was literally out of school half the time with something. And art made a bad day better, and it was a great way to celebrate a good day…and so I did art every day and I took every art class I could.

You are now creating art as a blind artist. When did you lose your eyesight?

I lost my eyesight in college, and I thought I lost art, as well. But I learned how to use my hands to do everything that a person’s eyes do. And so now I draw with lines I can touch and feel. When I was sighted, I used to feel excited if a drawing or painting that I did looked like someone. But now it’s more important that it feels like someone… that it is that person. And that’s where the colors and emotions come in.

You just painted your first mural. What was the experience like? How does it differ from working in your studio?

It’s been a great experience! As far as I know, I am the first blind painter to do a mural. It’s my first mural, and it’s been incredible. I’m a studio artist; I work with museums quite a bit. I do commissions all the time. But what I do is paint! Yet, this is so much different. You’re on a wall that’s so much bigger. I’m not going to roll it up and send it away when it’s done. It lives there on that wall.

Does anything in particular about the experience stand out?

One of the things that made this so special is that I love to meet other artists and be around people who are just as obsessed with art as I am. In this project I’ve been able to work with Tony — Rubin 415 – and the whole crew here has been so energetic. For me it’s a dream come true to be able to work with artists who are passionate about what they do. It’s been amazing!

And what about the community? Lots of people have been passing by. How have they reacted?

That’s been my favorite part of this entire experience. I’ve painted live before, but this is a completely different experience. During the whole time I was putting this up, people were coming over. This is where they live, and I feel as though I am painting it in their home! The feedback has been so positive! People seem grateful that you are making their community more beautiful and bringing energy to it. They come over and hug us! Today a little boy stopped by and added a bit to the mural – and so we have one more street artist in the making!

Now that you’ve painted your first mural, can you tell us a bit about what your plans are for the future? Do you plan to paint more murals?

I do. I expect to be painting a mural in Dallas to help a non-profit. And I will be working more with museums. October is National Disability Awareness Month, and I will be traveling all over the country. And I would definitely love to do more mural work. The impact it has on the community is incredible. You just can’t beat it!

Photos by Karin du Maire; interview conducted by Karin du Maire and edited by Lois Stavsky

Support for this inspiring project has been provided by See Now.

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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A global art movement connecting world-wide artists with local artists in Ecuador, Fiesta de Colores brought together 25 international, national and local artists to collaborate with the community of Canoa last year. Six months after the earthquake had destroyed much of the Ecuadorian coast and killed hundreds of people, Fiesta de Colores created an outdoor mural gallery of over 30 large-scale murals, while sharing skills and ideas with the community.

This November the project will be expanded with an additional 30 murals, along with a deepening of the partnership with the local high school. It will also be extended to the Amazonian region of Ecuador, where artists and the community will work together to create public art projects and bio-murals to promote environmental awareness.

Tomorrow, September 28,  you can support the project by joining Fiesta de Colores, the Public Service Artists Guild, and Chemistry Creative for an evening of art, music, food, spirits and camaraderie.  Tickets can be purchased here. If you are unable to attend the fundraiser, but would still like to support these projects, you can donate to its online fundraiser here.

What follows are a few of the many works that will be on exhibit and for sale at tomorrow’s fundraiser:

Gaia

Layqa Nuna Yawar

JT Liss

The event takes place from 7-11PM at Chemistry Creative, 315 Ten Eyck in Williamsburg

Note: The first three photos are from Fiesta de Colores, 2016

1 Don Rimx

2 Damaris Cruz

Don Rimx, Layqa Nuna Yawar and Gera Luz

All images courtesy Kristy McCarthy

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One of the highlights of my recent trip to Philly was my visit to the legendary TATTOOED MOM on South Street. Not only is it a first-rate restaurant and bar, but it is also an extraordinary oasis of creativity and street art. On this past trip, I discovered its overwhelmingly impressive second level.  An ever-evolving site that hosts a range of events, it was home — this time — to Characters Welcome 6, its sixth annual international sticker art exhibit. While there, I had the opportunity to speak to its visionary owner and director, Robert Perry.

What an amazing space this is! I was familiar with the downstairs. But this upstairs level is phenomenal! It is the perfect antidote to the — almost aseptic — direction so much of street art is taking. I’m so happy to have discovered it!

Yes! I tend to think of it as a hidden gem!

How long has TATTOOED MOM been around?

It was founded in 1997. This year it is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

And what about its name — TATTOOED MOM? What is its origin? Is it a reference to how welcoming it is to folks of all ages? 

It’s actually a reference to a specific person, Kathy “Mom” Hughes, who was a mother to so many — including band members who traveled through Philly.

I noticed downstairs works by Shepard Fairey, Wordsmith and other key street artists. And this upstairs has evolved into an authentic street art museum. 

Yes! I see it as an unofficial street art museum — anarchistic and ephemeral in its nature.

I assume, then, there are no official curators.

Yes, it’s all freestyle…uncurated. Everything that happens here is organic.

And I’ve noticed folks of all ages here today, including children.

Yes, children are invited to participate in several of our community-oriented activities. But in the evenings, this space is only open to adults.

I’m loving this sticker show. Philly has always been home to an amazing array of sticker artists.

Yes! It’s our sixth annual one — with contributions from many artists who aren’t local. And dozens of stickers from previous years’ shows remain on the walls.

What’s ahead?

We are constantly changing and evolving. We are always growing and expanding our activities and programs as we make new friends.

It sounds ideal! You’ve created quite a Utopia here!

Special thanks to Alberto of JMZ Walls for introducing me to Robert.

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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