Tats Cru

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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Opening tomorrow — June 3, from 2-6pm — is The Art of TATS CRU, an exhibit and block party celebrating 37 years of the legendary Bronx-based crew. While previewing the exhibit yesterday, I had the opportunity to pose a few questions to its curators, Eileen Walsh and Laura James.

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This is such a handsome exhibit and such a wonderful tribute to TATS CRU. What spurred you to focus this exhibition on TATS CRU?

After curating BRONX NOW that showcased over two dozen artists in 2016, we decided that we wanted to focus on a smaller group of artists this year. And TATS CRU — Nicer, Bio and  BG183 — seemed the perfect choice. They represent the best of the Bronx and they “kick ass!”

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How would you define the mission of the exhibit?

Its intent is to tell the story of these three artists — through their own artworks and through photos and videos produced by Miguel Teck Arteaga. It is the story of three Bronx-based artists who transformed a youthful passion into a successful career on their own terms. And although they have traveled throughout the world with their art, they’ve chosen to remain here — in the Bronx.

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How did you decide which artworks to present?

The artists — for the most part — made the selections. They wanted to represent themselves with a range of distinct styles and techniques.

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In addition to meeting the artists and viewing their artwork, what can visitors expect to experience at tomorrow’s opening?

The Block Party will feature homegrown, Bronx entertainment. DJ Pusha will keep the party going, along with dance performances by BBoy and Emcee Chief69 and Hip-Hop legend Rokafella‘s Full Circle Souljahs dance troupe. There will be live music performances by up and coming Bronx MINDY artists Static Vision and by alternative music group The Nobodies. There will also be a presentation by spoken word artist and rapper Safiel VonayThe Bronx Children’s Museum will host creative activities for children and families and will have its Museum on the Go Bus parked on the street outside the gallery.

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How can folks see the exhibit, particularly if they can’t make it to the opening?

Located at 305 E 140 Street between in the South Bronx, BronxArtSpace is open Wednesday through Friday from 12-6:30pm and Saturday 12-5pm. The exhibit will also be open on Wednesday, June 7, from 6-8pm for Trolley Night. And on Thursday, June 22, at 6pm there will be an artist talk with Hector Nazario aka Nicer, Sotero Ortiz aka BG183 and Wilfredo Feliciano aka Bio, along with the premiere of The Jardin Orange Project, a short documentary that features some of the world’s most renowned streets artists, including TATS CRU, as they come together to paint massive murals in the city of Shen Zhen, China.

Note: Tomorrow’s event — free and open to the public — is sponsored by neighborhood businesses JCAL Development Group, ID Studio Theater, Zaro’s Bakery, La Grata Italian Restaurant, Filtered Coffee, and Bronx Native, along with the support of Port Morris Distillery and The Bronx Brewery.

Images

1  Invite featuring BG183, Nicer and Bio

2  Curators Eileen Walsh and Laura James

3  Nicer

4  Bio

5  BG 183

6 Bio with guests at preview

Photos 2-6 by Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky — who will also be moderating the Artist Talk on June 22. Special thanks to Scratch for her assistance at the preview!

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Opening tomorrow — Saturday evening — and continuing through March 29, BG 183′s new solo exhibit — aptly titled The Wall — is on view at Wall Works NY, a contemporary art gallery in the South Bronx.  A brief interview with the legendary artist — one of the founding members of the famed Tats Cru – The Mural Kings  — follows:

Your exhibit is titled The Wall. Can you tell us something about the theme of this solo exhibit?

Yes! It’s about bringing images that are on huge walls outside onto canvases inside.

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What inspired it?

People would often suggest that I paint on canvas what I paint on the streets. This way they could bring an image of what’s outdoors home with them.

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About how many works can we expect to see in the exhibit?

I’ve completed close to 25.

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And how can folks meet you?

They should come to the opening — Saturday, the 25th from 5-8 — where they can meet me, take photos and get autographs! Many other artists will also be there!

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Congratulations!

Thank you! When Wall Works reached out to me last year to do my own solo show, I felt honored. I hope to see you there!

Interview conducted by Karin du Maire and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos 1 & 3 courtesy Jenny Norberg aka Scratch; 2 & 4 Karin du Maire

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While visiting Miami’s Design District yesterday, I had the opportunity to preview FAAM‘s sixth edition of its “Major Street Art Auction.”  Pictured above is one side of Faile‘s hugely impressive tower. Here are several more images of works that will remain on exhibit through Sunday, with a live auction tomorrow, Saturday evening, at 5PM.

Another view of Faile‘s Tower with Banksy’s Caveman on far right

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Federico Massa aka Iena Cruz, Glass Eye, Acrylic on canvas

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Tracy 168, Wild Style, Mixed-media on canvas

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Luis Berros, Khalo, Mixed media on wood panel

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Tats Cru and more, Mixed media with enamel paint on digital photo on five foam core panels

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Abstrk, Untitled, spray enamel on wood panel

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Speedy Graphito, American Kings, Acrylic on canvas

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Flyer with info — featuring Banksy’s Caveman

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 Photos of artworks 1-7 by Lois Stavsky

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Lady K Fever has been feverishly busy! Along with creating and installing All Along the Watchtower, an interactive public art installation at Marcus Garvey Park, she was also at work curating Inside Out, a group exhibit at the nearby Heath Gallery, to coincide with her installation.  This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to visit both the installation and the exhibit.

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Another segment of the Marcus Garvey Park installation — at night

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And at the Heath Gallery — Lady K Fever, Mystery

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Jenevieve, Two Views

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Natalie Collette Wood, Eliptical Star

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Marthalicia, Aquatic Boy

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Shame 125, Admiring

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Bio,Tats Cru, Let the Games Begin

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And “the crew” outside Heath Gallery

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The exhibit at Heath Gallery can be seen this weekend: Saturday from 12-6pm and Sunday 12-5pm. All Along the Watchtower remains on view through the end of this month. And for a guided walk of it, you can meet up with Lady K FeverSuprina and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance members at the nearby Chéri Restaurant, 231 Lenox Avenue, between 6-7pm on Friday evening.

All Along the Watchtower is sponsored by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative with funding provided in part by the Harlem Community Development Corporation. 

 Photos: 1-3 & 10 courtesy Lady K Fever; 4-9 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 for Android devices here.

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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

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Zio Ziegler

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Pablo Power

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 Faile

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Swoon 

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Nina Chanel

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

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

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Coney Art Walls, one of last summer’s highlights, returns this weekend to its home at 3050 Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island. Joining such internationally acclaimed artists as Retna, el Seed, Miss Van and Ron English, is a wonderfully diverse array of artists, including several who returned this year to paint new murals. The following images were captured these past two weeks in this outdoor museum of street art, curated by  Joseph J. Sitt & Jeffrey Deitch and presented by Thor Equities:

Tats Cru at work

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Icy and Sot at work

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Lady Aiko at work

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Lady Aiko‘s completed piece

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Eric Haze with his completed mural

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Pose

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Mister Cartoon

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Daze

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Crash

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John Ahearn at work

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Nina Chanel at work with Khari Johnson Ricks to her right

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Bordered by Bowery Street, West 15th Street and Stillwell Avenue near the Coney Island boardwalk and beach, Coney Art Walls encompasses Greenwood Beach featuring popular food vendors including Dinosaur Bar-B-QueCalexico, and Table 87. All murals will be completed in time for the Mermaid Parade on June 18.  In addition, three walls will be painted by children and young adults from the local community this summer. Opening tomorrow, Coney Art Walls will remain open from 12pm to 10pm daily — with the exception of Monday, Memorial Day — through October.

Photo credits: 1-4, 6, 9-12 Tara Murray; 5, 7 & 8 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 for Android devices here.

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Splendidly curated by Laura James and Eileen WalshBronx Now showcases a wide range of artworks in different media by some of the best artists working in the Bronx. Among these are several whose works also enhance public spaces. While visiting the exhibit on Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak to both curators and pose a few questions to Laura James, the founder of BX200.

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Just what is BX200? And when was it launched?

BX200 is a directory of 200 artists, all of whom live or work in the Bronx. It was officially launched at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in March 2015.

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 What is its mission? And what spurred you to launch it?

Its mission is to connect our borough’s best artists to as wide an audience as possible from curators to collectors to other artists. My initial incentive in launching it was to get to know other artists living and working in the Bronx.

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You and  Eileen Walsh have, obviously, accomplished so much working together. The directory looks great, and this exhibit is wonderful. How did you two initially meet?

Awhile back, Eileen had invited me to participate in an exhibit she was curating elsewhere. Then when she read about BX200, she was eager to partner with me.

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The art here is spread across two rooms, and it all looks amazing. How did this great space come your way?

Eileen introduced me to it, and I thought it would be an ideal setting to introduce a selection of Bronx artists to folks who frequent Brooklyn spaces, particularly in Bushwick where so much is happening.

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How did you decide which artists to include in Bronx Now?  Some of the artists are quite young and relatively unknown, and others have established reputations and have exhibited in renowned museums.

We were interested in presenting a snapshot of the Bronx featuring works that we love — in a variety of styles and media — from a wide range of artists.

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The exhibit opened with a reception Saturday evening How did the opening go?

It was fantastic! About 300 people came and we had Andre Trenier painting live

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What are some of the other events we can look forward to this week? 

This Thursday, May 5, there will be a Bronx Now Artist Talk from 6-8pm. Participants will include Tats CruJohn Ahearn, Rebecca Allan, Danny Peralta and Alicia Grullon. And this Saturday there will be a closing reception from 5-8pm with a performance by Paco Cao. From Wednesday through Saturday’s closing, the gallery — located at 119 Ingraham Street — opens at noon. Enter through Terra Firma.

Congratulations on BX200 and this wonderful exhibit! I’m looking forward to more.

Images

1. John Ahearn with curators Laura James and Eileen Walsh

2. Bio, Tats Crew

3. Eric Orr

4. Crash

5. Nicer, Tats Cru

6. Andre Trenier, close-up

7. MRS

Photo credit: 1, 2, 4-7 Lois Stavsky; 3 courtesy Laura James; interview conducted and edited 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 for Android devices here.

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Continuing through March 8 at 212 Arts in the East Village is Graffiti Legends, an exuberant exhibit of artworks by legendary Bronx artists: Bio, BG 183, Ces, Crash, Nicer, Skeme and T-Kid.  What follows is a sampling:

Another by T-Kid

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Skeme

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 BioTats Cru, close-up

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Ces

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Crash

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And a range of tags  — many, also, legendary — that surfaced on canvas opening night

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Curated by 212 Arts director Marc Leader, Graffiti Legends remains on exhibit through next Tuesday at 240 East 4th Street.  Hours are:  Tuesday through Saturday 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, and Sunday 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Photo credits: 1 Tara Murray; 2 Houda Lazrak; 3 Lois Stavsky and 4-7 Dani Reyes Mozeson

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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A founding member of the legendary Bronx-based Tats Cru, the masterful BG 183 recently met up with us at his solo exhibit, Autumn Spray, in Hunts Point.

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When did it all begin?

Actually, my big sister got me started. I used to watch her draw all the time, and I was amazed! I wanted to try it too! So when I was about four — and she was nine — she noticed me drawing and encouraged me. I never stopped!

What inspired you to hit the streets?

Graffiti was all around me. I loved its bright, bold colors. But I had to begin by practicing my tag, the real element of it all. And then after hitting up stacks of paper, I began bombing on public surfaces. I was about 16 at the time. I wanted the fame!

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Any early memories that stand out?

Bombing the inside of James Monroe High School and hitting the trains riding back and forth from school.

Any particularly risky moments?

Getting chased while painting trains and dealing with other crews.

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How did your family feel about what you are doing back then?

My mother was cool – until Michael Stewart’s death. Then she became very uneasy about what I was doing.

I can understand that. What percentage of your day is devoted to your art these days?

100%. I’m either doing commissions or working on my own body of work.

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What keeps you painting after all these years?

I love it, and I want to be the best.

How do you feel about the movement of graffiti and street art into galleries?

It’s a natural progression.

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Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with others?

Both. Working with my crew – Tats Cru – helps me keep my skills on a high level.

You’ve painted throughout the globe. Why do you suppose graffiti is more respected as an art form in Europe than here in the U.S.?

There is a huge respect there for anything from New York.

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And yet the European writers have largely taken graffiti to another level – beyond what we see here in NYC. Why do you suppose that is so?

Many of the writers here don’t really try to. They simply don’t feel the need to evolve.

Interesting! How you feel about the role of the Internet in this scene?

It’s great! It gets my name out there.

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Do you have a formal arts education?

None! Just the Major Art class I took in high school. That’s where I got to know Bio.

Are you generally satisfied with your work?

Yup!

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What about your name? How did you get the name BG 183?

When I was in high school, I was the one to BrinG the bats to the baseball team. And 183 refers to the number of my styles – as I have so many!

Yes! You certainly are versatile. The work in this exhibit is so different from most of your work that I’ve seen on the streets. What inspired it?

The life I live! The images represent my life.

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And what about the colors. They are wonderful!

Fall was on my mind, and my wife suggested these particular colors.

What’s ahead?

I’d like to focus more on creating a body of work that can be shown in galleries and museums.

Note: Curated by Sien and Eric Orr, Autumn Spray remains on view through November 15th at More Points Bx, 727 Faile Street in Hunts Point.

Photo credits: 1, 2, 6, 7, 9 & 10 Lois Stavsky; 3 (with Crash on the left) Dani Reyes Mozeson; 4, 5 & 8 Tara Murray; interview by Lois Stavsky

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