Welling Court Mural Project

This is the twelfth in a series of occasional posts featuring the art that has surfaced on NYC shutter and gatess:

The legendary Greg Lamarche aka SP.ONE up in East Harlem with the 100 Gates Project

Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Omer Gal in Bushwick

Brooklyn-based muralist Danielle Mastrion in Hamilton Heights

Brooklyn-based Matthew Stavro on the Bowery

Queens-based Free5 at Welling Court Mural Project

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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This is the 13th in a series of occasional posts featuring the range of faces that have surfaced in NYC open spaces:

Toofly at the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens

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David Choe, close-up from his all-too-ephemeral mural on Bowery & Houston

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Cernesto at the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens

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Tristan Eaton at Coney Art Walls

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See One in Long Island City for Arts Org

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Berlin-based Spanish artist Victor Landeta aka Aum in Bushwick

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 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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Curated by Ad Hoc Art, the Welling Court Mural Project is once again bringing a diverse range of intriguing murals to Welling Court and its neighboring blocks in Astoria, Queens. Many artists have already begun painting in anticipation of tomorrow’s Block Party. A few have already finished. Pictured above is a completed mural by See One. Here are several more images I captured today:

Queen Andrea

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 SP One at work

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Bluze

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Sinned NYC

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Onel and Roberto Castillo

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ASVP at work

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Tomorrow’s Block Party begins at noon at 11-98 Welling Court at 30th Avenue & 12th Street in Astoria, Queens.

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.

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Since we first discovered Karin du Maire‘s Instagram account, we’ve been fans of her hugely impressive documentation of street art and graffiti. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with her.

We love your documentation of the current street art and graffiti scene – in NYC and in your travels. When did you first turn your lens to urban culture, particularly street art?  

As a travel photographer, I developed a strong interest in urban culture in 2006 while in Rio de Janeiro photographing Passinho dancers in the city’s favelas. At about that time, I started paying more attention to the background, and I began using abandoned buildings as settings. And back here in NYC, I often combined my visits to MoMA PS1 in Long Island City with 5Pointz, where I particularly loved photographing B-boy battles.

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Are you formally trained as a photographer?

No, I studied Business, and I earned an MBA degree from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. But I’ve taken courses in photography at SVA and I’ve participated in B&H’s Event Space workshops. I also ran a Twitter chat focusing on photography.

When did you first become interested in photography? 

It was a passion of mine in the late 80’s and early 90’s. And then in the late 90’s, I began getting paid assignments as a travel photographer.

You’ve photographed dozens of artists at work. How have they responded to you?

In general, they’ve been very welcoming. They appreciate my photography skills and the exposure that I offer them. I always ask for permission first, and I share my photos with them. Many artists have become my friends, and it is fun to chat and watch them paint.

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What are some of the challenges that you face in the work you are now doing?

Keeping up with all that is happening on the streets; wanting to capture an image when the light is wrong or when there are cars in the way, and trying to help artists by arranging walls for them.

What — would you say — is your current mission?

There is an intrinsic reward in what I am doing – documenting creativity and helping artists grow. And coming from a travel photography background, I would like to get sponsored to photograph street art in different places.

Do you have any particularly memorable experiences from your work here in NYC?

Watching Nychos paint at Coney Art Walls – his amazing raw energy as he sketched freehand.

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Any favorite cities?

Rio de Janeiro and London are among my favorites.

Any proud accomplishments from documenting art on the streets?

My proudest accomplishments generally involve capturing someone in the right place at the right time. It’s the split second that makes the difference! I was so happy, for example, to meet and photograph Sebas Rivas from Córdoba in Argentina while he was sitting aside, off on his own — selling his delightful artwork – amidst all the activity at Art Basel in Miami last year.

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We’ve noticed that you use your iPhone as opposed to a standard camera to capture images.

Yes. I use the iPhone to photograph just about everything that is not an assignment. Most cameras these days are good. What matters is not the camera – but the eye of the photographer… the composition, the light, the moment. In addition, iPhones are less intimidating than huge cameras. And the entire process is shorter, as I have very little editing to do.

What’s ahead for you?

I’m now off to Art Basel in Miami and I am planning to return soon to Cuba, where there is a burgeoning street art scene.

Where do you think street art and graffiti are headed?

Street art will continue to beautify our cities. It will continue to become more mainstream, and there will be more opportunities for artists. I also suspect that there will be more art activism.

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Thank you! And do keep on doing what you are doing! We love it!

Images

1. Beyond on LIC rooftop

2. Meres mural in background with b-boys at 5Pointz in LIC

3. Icy and Sot in Astoria with the Welling Court Mural Project

4. Nychos at work for Coney Art Walls with Martha Cooper with camera

5. Sebas Rivas in Miami

6. Ces photographing his mural at Broadway Junction

All images © Karin du Maire

Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

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For the past several years, Queens-based photographer Raphael Gonzalez aka Zurbaran1 has been creating intriguing, visually dynamic images of street art, often focusing on the artists at work.  Within the past year, his photos have made their way into several shows including his first solo exhibit, The Hand of An Artist. He has also been featured in Yoav Litvin‘s blog, 2createart. I recently had the opportunity to meet up with him.

I love what you are doing! When did you first begin to photograph NYC’s street art and graffiti?

About four years ago.

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What inspired you to do so? 

Several years ago, my daughter visited Berlin and returned home incredibly excited about the street art she had seen there. Her enthusiasm, along with the photos that she showed me, inspired me to check out what was happening on the streets of NYC. And I first became serious about it all in October, 2013 when Banksy hit NYC with his month-long day residency Better Out Than In.

Within the few years that you’ve been shooting street art, you seem to have established friendships with many of the street artists you photograph.  Can you tell us something about that?

The very first street artist I met was Alice Mizrachi. I was standing in front of her mural at Welling Court when she noticed me. She was living right there at the time, and — almost at once — came out in her pajamas to speak to me! I was so impressed by her intelligence and craft. I photographed her in front of her mural, and we struck up a friendship right then.  She was the first street artist I photographed and spoke to. Since that day, I’ve become friends with many more.

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You’ve been photographing many artists as they work. How have they responded to this? Are they open to it?

The response has been great! And when I share the photos I’ve taken with them, they are so appreciative.

That’s great! As street art is so ephemeral by nature, it’s so important to document it. And I’m a huge fan of artful photographers who document the process. I notice that you’ve focused quite a bit on the artists’ hands.

Yes, I like observing their hands in action. And photographing hands gives me a chance to use my long lens which I love doing!

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And you’ve also begun collaborating with some of the street artists whose works you photograph. How do you go about engaging them?

Yes! I love collaborating. The process makes me think a little differently, and the artists have been wonderful.  Among them are FumeroGizTrans1NoirCity Kitty. Some I’ve approached, and others have approached me.

What are some of the challenges that you face in seeing your projects through?

There’s never enough time. And there are so many artists! Going through all the photos that I take and then editing them is a lengthy, time-consuming process.

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How has the scene changed since you first started photographing street art?

There are fewer walls, and street art has become more commercial. And it seems that in the past few years, street artists have achieved celebrity status. It’s almost like they are the new rock stars!

What’s ahead for you?

I would like to engage in more collaborations…different in nature than the usual ones!

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I look forward to seeing them all, and I will be keeping up with you — in the meantime — via your Instagram!

All photos © Raphael Gonzalez aka Zurbaran1; interivew conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Images

1. El Niño de las Pinturas, Brooklyn Is the Future, Brownsville

2. Hendrik Beikirch aka ECB, Bushwick

3. Dasic Fernandez, Welling Court Mural Project

4. Fanakapan, Bushwick Collective

5. Noir, as featured in Raphael Gonzalez‘s solo show at Fatty’s in Astoria, Queens

6. Futura, Bushwick Collective

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Noted Brazilian artist Mag Magrela recently spent a month in New York City. In partnership with AnnexB — a company focused on promoting Brazilian art in NYC — Mag Magrela painted several murals in different neighborhoods and presented her first NYC solo exhibit, Pindorama in Flames, at Galeria, a delightful gallery/cafe located at 43 Clinton Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Pictured above is Sem mais. The broken boat: eu tenho sue o pedaço que agora é meu in Long Island City. Here are several more outdoor murals:

“Pequenos atos de contra ataque,” Astoria, Queens with the Welling Court Mural Project

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“Dá a cara à tapa,” Bushwick

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“A paixão das ancas,” Brooklyn Brush X Mural Project

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And from her exhibit Pindorama in Flames, at Galeria featuring works created during her NYC residency:

Linha de frente

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“Suadade de sertão encantado” —  with figure painted live to the right

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“Meu murk” – the artist’s signature performance-installation at Brooklyn Brush, Brooklyn, New York

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The exhibit at Galeria — featuring a range of works that address the dichotomy between the ideal Utopian world and the bitter real one — continues through September 15th.

Note: Mag Magrela is a featured artist in Alexandra Henry‘s documentary film Street Heroines

Photos: 1, 3, 4 & 7 courtesy AnnexB; 2, 5 & 6 Lois Stavsky

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Recognized for his folksy outsider aesthetic, Brooklyn native Steven Cogle has shared his talents on public spaces for the past few years at the Welling Court Mural Project.  I recently met up with him.

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When did you first begin drawing?

I was five or six when I started drawing cartoons.

Any inspirations back then?

I was a big fan of Charles Schultz.’s Peanuts comic strip, and I also loved Bugs Bunny.

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Did your family have any response to your early drawings? Did they encourage you?

Not really! But my classmates did. I was always drawing characters for them.

What about your teachers?

I took an art class when I was a student at George Gershwin Junior High School in East New York.  I couldn’t say, though, that my teacher encouraged me.  But when I discovered Lee J. Ames’ How to Draw books in the library, I used them to teach myself how to draw.

Did you go on to study art in a formal setting?

No. I’m self-taught.

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How would you describe your particular aesthetic? It’s been referred to as Neo-Expressionism.

My artwork reflects me – tribal Africa crossed with urban blight. Growing up in East New York, I witnessed a lot of tragedy and loss, along with hope and survival. As I layer the painting on the canvas, I am also layering the experiences that I saw.

Have any specific artists influenced you?

Eric Orr became a mentor to me, and explained the business side of art to me.  And I was influenced by Picasso’s versatility, Basquiat’s palette and Clemente’s spirituality. 

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What about galleries? When did you first show your work in a gallery setting?

In 2004 my work made its way into two Brooklyn spaces and into an exhibit at the Chelsea Center for the Arts in Manhattan. I’ve since exhibited in several galleries in Brooklyn and in Manhattan, and my work is in collections across the globe. My dream is to see my work in a museum setting.

I first discovered your artwork in Astoria, Queens, where you painted with the Welling Court Mural Project. This year, in fact, you collaborated with Al Diaz.  You don’t generally paint in public spaces. What brought you to Welling Court?

I’m fond of Garrison Buxton, the project’s organizer, and I love the make-up of the neighborhood. I’ve painted there for the past four years.

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Have you any favorite artists among those active on our streets?

I like the way Chris RWK and Joe Iurato bring me back to my childhood. And there are several Staten-Island based artists I especially like: ErinKelli, John Exit and Kwue Molly.

What’s ahead? 

I’ve been working on a film to be released in 2017. It tells my story, while showcasing a range of creative artists. I plan to move to Italy by the end of this summer, and I wanted to document my life here. And, of course, more painting is ahead.

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Why the move? 

It’s time for a change!

Yes, change is good! Good luck with it all! 

Photo credits: 1 Lidia Santana; 3, 4-6 courtesy of the artist; 2 Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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This is the tenth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that have surfaced on NYC public spaces.

BK Foxx with JMZ Walls in Bushwick, Brooklyn

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Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks at the Bushwick Collective

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Ernest Zacharevic — based on photo by Martha Cooper — in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

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Swoon in Red Hook, Brooklyn

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Long-running Cekis in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

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Rubin 415 and Joe Iurato with the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens

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Photos 1 Courtesy of John Woodward; 2-4 Tara Murray; 5 Dani Reyes Mozeson and 6 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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Engaging a wide range of artists and art lovers of all ages, along with members of the local community, the Welling Court Mural Project celebrated its 7th anniversary with a huge block party on Saturday. Pictured above is the legendary Lady Pink at work. Here are several more images captured from the Welling Court Mural Project‘s annual event organized by Garrison & Alison Buxton.

Caleb Neelon at work on collaborative mural with Katie Yamasaki

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Fumero at work on tribute mural to Muhammed Ali

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Mike Makatron and Caroline Caldwell aka Dirt Workship at work on a collaborative mural

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Cre8tive YouTH*ink, close-up of huge mural painted by youth under the direction of  Jerry Otero aka Mista Oh

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Erasmo

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Chris Cardinale at work

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Joel Artista at work on collaborative mural with Chris Soria and Marc Evan

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Pyramid Guy

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Joseph Meloy, Ellis G and Abe Lincoln, Jr

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Photos by Tara Murray

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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Organized by Garrison & Alison Buxton, the Welling Court Mural Project is back gracing Welling Court and its neighboring blocks in Astoria, Queens with a wonderfully diverse array of artworks. Here is a sampling of some of the completed murals, along with others in progress, as artists ready for tomorrow’s official launch and block party.

Miro 

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Mr June

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Billy Mode and Chris Stain

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Daze and Crash

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Vagabonddom at work

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Tamara Heller for Crisis Text Line

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OneL NYC checking out his mural

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Magda Love, with her assistant Jamie, at work

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You can view the murals, meet the artists and join the festivities tomorrow — Saturday — from 12-8 along 30th Ave and 12th Street and neighboring blocks.

First image features Toofly, work in progress to be completed tomorrow, Saturday

Photo credits: 1, 2 4-9 Tara Murray; 3 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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