urban art

Yeji Cho reflection art Third Annual <em>Scholastic Art & Writing Awards</em> Exhibit Continues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Through May 29

Currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education is a special exhibition featuring more than 600 original works of art and writing from NYC-based Gold Key recipients in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  Previous Scholastic Art Award recipients  include such noted artists as Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay Walking Stick and Luis Jiménez. Pictured above is Reflection by 16-year old Hunter College High School student Yeji Cho. Here are several more Gold Key-awarded artworks that reflect a contemporary urban sensibility:

Iris Khim, The Wall, age 14, Fiorella H LaGuardia High School

Iris Khim the wall Third Annual <em>Scholastic Art & Writing Awards</em> Exhibit Continues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Through May 29

Yerke Abouva, Life of Food, age 15, Professional Children’s School

Yerke Abouva Life of Food art Third Annual <em>Scholastic Art & Writing Awards</em> Exhibit Continues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Through May 29

Anastasia Uraleva, Winter Night, age 17, Edward R Murrow High School

anastasia Uraleva winter night art Third Annual <em>Scholastic Art & Writing Awards</em> Exhibit Continues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Through May 29

Shelly Chung, I’m Going Bananas for Grandpa, age 17, Francis Lewis High School

Shelley Chung art scholastic award Third Annual <em>Scholastic Art & Writing Awards</em> Exhibit Continues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Through May 29

YuQing Gu, Self-Portrait with Skull, age 18, the Windsor School

YuQing Gu self portrait with skull art Third Annual <em>Scholastic Art & Writing Awards</em> Exhibit Continues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Through May 29

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is presented by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. You can view the talents of the NYC-based Gold Key recipients at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through May 29 during regular museum hours.

Photos of images: 1, 3, 4 & 5 Tara Murray; 2 & 6 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 Third Annual <em>Scholastic Art & Writing Awards</em> Exhibit Continues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Through May 29

{ 0 comments }

Louie KR.ONE Gasparro kolorstorm book Louie KR.One Gasparro on: DON1, the Production of <em>KOLORSTORM</em>, His Upcoming Exhibit at the Urban Foundation Gallery and more

Born in East Harlem and raised in Astoria, Queens, Louie “KR.One” Gasparro has been sharing his vast creative talents — both as an artist and as musician — with us for decades.  ”Louie was an original,” Sacha Jenkins writes in the introduction to the recently-released KOLORSTORM: The Art of Louie “KR.One” Gasparro. “KR was a master of paint at a time in graffiti when there were more court jesters than kings, more tags and throw ups than masterpieces.”  Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to catch up with the impassioned artist while visiting his studio.

Louie KR.ONE Gasparro with graffiti Louie KR.One Gasparro on: DON1, the Production of <em>KOLORSTORM</em>, His Upcoming Exhibit at the Urban Foundation Gallery and more

It’s been almost three years now since your first book Don1: The King from Queens was launched with a panel discussion at the Museum of the City of New York. How has the response to that book been?

The response has been overwhelming. I put a light on a NYC graffiti master who had been forgotten.  He had influenced so many of us, but was living in obscurity. I was determined to uncover his story and share it with others. I spent nine years doing that. But my persistence paid off.  I had folks from Italy writing to me after the book was released.

Louie KR.ONE Gasparro the lost art of the tag graffiti Louie KR.One Gasparro on: DON1, the Production of <em>KOLORSTORM</em>, His Upcoming Exhibit at the Urban Foundation Gallery and more

And what about your current book? It’s quite impressive! How did that come about?

While working on Don1: The King from QueensI developed a relationship with its publisher, Schiffer Books. And when I proposed a book of my own works, I was encouraged to see it through.

I love the way your new book is organized into distinct chapters on different themes — such as The Early Days, Black Books, Model Trains, Abstracts, Walls and more. There is such an amazing variety of works and styles represented here, as well as a documentation of your journey as an artist — from subway graffiti pieces dating back to the early 80′s to contemporary urban art. How long did it take you to get it all together?

I spent two years working on it.  The greatest challenge was deciding which works to include. Originally, I had 600 images. I then had to cut that down to 400.

Louie KR.ONE Gasparro subway graffiti Martha Cooper Louie KR.One Gasparro on: DON1, the Production of <em>KOLORSTORM</em>, His Upcoming Exhibit at the Urban Foundation Gallery and more

louie gasparro abstract art Louie KR.One Gasparro on: DON1, the Production of <em>KOLORSTORM</em>, His Upcoming Exhibit at the Urban Foundation Gallery and more

Kolorstorm is also an amazing foray into your inspirations and passions.  Can you tell us something about your influences?

There are many. Comic books, cartoons, graffiti art, rock & roll, heavy metal…

Who were some of your favorite musicians back then?

Among them are: Jimi Hendrix, Rush, Yes… For me — and for many of us — graffiti was never related to hip-hop. The connection was largely an illusion that was accepted by many as “fact.” Graffiti transcends all concepts of race, religion, culture and class. That’s what makes it so great.

Louie KR.ONE Gasparro illustration band member Louie KR.One Gasparro on: DON1, the Production of <em>KOLORSTORM</em>, His Upcoming Exhibit at the Urban Foundation Gallery and more

In what ways has your work evolved through the past few years?

The entire process has become easier. My artwork is more detailed, and my line works are better.

Your Abstrakts are on a whole different level! What inspired them?

I was just experimenting with colors and shapes. The Abstrakts evolved from the experimentation. I’ve been told that they are “informed by graffiti.” And so they may be!

Louie KR.ONE Gasparro ART AS AN ANSWER exhibit nyc Louie KR.One Gasparro on: DON1, the Production of <em>KOLORSTORM</em>, His Upcoming Exhibit at the Urban Foundation Gallery and more

What’s ahead?

More art, of course! And opening Saturday (tomorrow) night is Art As An Answer, a one night only pop-up show with new works, presented by The Astoria Boyz and The Urban Foundation Gallery, at 208 East 73rd Street in Manhattan.

Congratulations!  It’s certain to be wonderful!

Images:

1. Cover of KOLORSTORM: The Art of Louie “KR.One” Gasparro, published by Schiffer Books

2. Louie “KR.One” Gasparro in his studio

3Louie “KR.One” Gasparro, The Lost Art of the Tag, True York

4. KR.One and Fome 1, IRT #2 Line, Bronx, 1982, Photo © Martha Cooper

5. Louie “KR.One” Gasparro, Abstract, Greyburst3

6Louie “KR.One” Gasparro, Band Member, Keyboardist

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; images 1, 4, 5 & 7 courtesy of the artist; 2, 3 & 6 photographed by Lois Stavsky in Louie’s studio

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 Louie KR.One Gasparro on: DON1, the Production of <em>KOLORSTORM</em>, His Upcoming Exhibit at the Urban Foundation Gallery and more

{ 0 comments }

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

{ 0 comments }

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

{ 2 comments }

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

{ 0 comments }

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

{ 0 comments }

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

{ 1 comment }

BX Foxx painting auction A Benefit Auction for Medair: BK Foxx, Logan Hicks, Bianca Romero, Hueman, Cernesto, Wrdsmth and More to End Thursday

A humanitarian organization dedicated to helping people in devastated communities, Medair brings relief and recovery to people in crisis.  Proceeds raised in Paddle8′s auction — ending this Thursday, March 30, 10 PM – will support Medair‘s emergency services. Pictured above is Pride, oil on gesso board, by BK Foxx. Here are several more images of works by both established and emerging artists — whose visions have also surfaced on our streets – included in the Medair benefit auction.

Logan Hicks, Slipping Away, Stencil spray paint on canvas

Logan Hicks Untitled2014  A Benefit Auction for Medair: BK Foxx, Logan Hicks, Bianca Romero, Hueman, Cernesto, Wrdsmth and More to End Thursday

Bianca Romero, Water Is Life, Acrylic, print collage, and epoxy resin

bianca Romero painting A Benefit Auction for Medair: BK Foxx, Logan Hicks, Bianca Romero, Hueman, Cernesto, Wrdsmth and More to End Thursday

Hueman, Fantastic Voyeur, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas

hueman fantastic voyager A Benefit Auction for Medair: BK Foxx, Logan Hicks, Bianca Romero, Hueman, Cernesto, Wrdsmth and More to End Thursday

Cernesto,The  Sunset of Humanity, Acrylic, ink, graphite, and polymer on canvas

Cernesto Sunset Of Humanity A Benefit Auction for Medair: BK Foxx, Logan Hicks, Bianca Romero, Hueman, Cernesto, Wrdsmth and More to End Thursday

Wrdsmth, Under Construction, Spray paint via stencil on reclaimed street sign

Wrdsmth UnderConstruction A Benefit Auction for Medair: BK Foxx, Logan Hicks, Bianca Romero, Hueman, Cernesto, Wrdsmth and More to End Thursday

This Thursday evening, Medair will host its first New York Gala at Stephan Weiss Studio in the West Village to support the organization’s work in raising funds for a range of emergency relief and recovery surfaces. The elegant black-tie event will feature a cocktail reception, silent auction and live auction by Sotheby’s. All artwork has been curated by photographer and filmmaker Luca Babini in partnership with Sarah Sperling of Goldman Global Arts, Thomas Allen of Fillin Global and @just_a_spectator.

Note: All images courtesy paddle8; you can bid online here.

{ 0 comments }

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

{ 0 comments }

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

{ 0 comments }