Welling Court

This is the seventh in a series of occasional posts featuring the range of curious characters that have made their way onto NYC open spaces:

London-based Fanakapan at the Bushwick Collective

fanakapan-street-art-Bushwick-Collective=NYC

French artist Bebar in Brownsville, Brooklyn

Bebar

Mexican artist Telleache at the Bushwick Collective

tellaeche-street-art-bushwick-nyc

Pyramid Oracle at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

pyramid-oracle-street-art-nyc

Mr Nerds at the Bushwick Collective

Mr-nerds-street-art-nyc

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

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icy-sot-welling-court-street-art_edited-1

Curated by Ad Hoc Art, the Welling Court Mural Project is once again bringing a wonderfully diverse array of public art to Welling Court and its neighboring blocks in Astoria, Queens. Here is a sampling of what’s been happening as artists ready for today’s official launch:

Chris Cardinale

chris-cardinale-welling-court-street-art

LMNOPI

LMNOPI-street-art-welling-court

Wane

wane

RRobots and Evan Cairo to his right

RRobot-evan cairo

Sinned

sinned-street-art-action-welling-court

See One

See One

Queen Andrea

queen-andrea-graffiti-welling-court

The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project officially opens with a block party today, Saturday, June 13, at 30th Ave & 12th Street from 12-8PM.

Note: First image is of Icy & Sot.

All photos by Tara Murray.

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This is the sixth in an occasional series featuring images of males who surface on NYC public spaces:

Dasic at the Bushwick Collective

"Dasic Fernandez"

Connor Harrington for the LISA Project in Downtown Manhattan

"Conor Harrington"

Icy & Sot and Sonni for the Bushwick Collective

icy-and-sot-and-sonny-street-art-Bushwick-Collective

Sexer for the Bushwick Collective

Sexer-Bushwick-Collective-love 2

Damien Mitchell at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

damien-mitchell-at-welling-court 2

 Danielle Mastrion near Yankee Stadium in the Bronx

Danielle-Mastrion-shutter

Photos 1 and 6 by Lois Stavsky; 2-5 by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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Speaking with Zed1

October 29, 2013

With his wondrous skills, Italian artist Zed1 has been enhancing the walls of our city.  His signature characters have recently surfaced in Brooklyn and at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens. Earlier this month, we stopped by Williamsburg’s Bottleneck Gallery, where he was painting, and had the chance to speak to him.

Zed1

When and where did you first get up?

Back in ’93 in Tuscany. I was 16. I started the way just about every graffiti artists does – with tags and letters.

What inspired you?

A friend showed me photos of graffiti walls in the U.S. that he had discovered in a book store. And then when I began hitting walls, it seemed like the perfect way for me to express myself.

What is the riskiest thing you did?

Painting on moving trains.

Why were you willing to that that risk?

I love making people happy by bringing trains to life. I also like the adrenalin rush that comes with painting trains.

Zed1

Have you ever been arrested?

I was stopped only once. But the police liked what I was doing and let it go. The whole attitude towards graffiti is different back home and the police are different. They are more relaxed.

Do you work with a sketch-in-hand or do you just let it flow?

I like the freedom that comes with working without a sketch. But if the wall that I’m doing is especially challenging, I usually bring a sketch with me.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece? 

No. It always seems incomplete to me. It never feels finished.

Zed1

How has your work evolved through the years?

It has evolved tremendously.  I started off as a graffiti writer, but now I am more of a muralist. Also, I am much more concerned with the concept behind the work than I used to be. And I’m intent on communicating with the public.

Could you tell us something about your second-skin work – the pieces you create that evolve into something different with time?

I came up with the idea about two years ago when I created an animal with the head of a man that peels away to reveal another face. I love giving folks the opportunity to interact with my work and play with my art. And there’s a message here: We all see things differently. We each have our own perspective. And if you want to understand another person’s way of perceiving the world, you must change heads.

That certainly makes sense! Do you prefer working legally or illegally?

I like both. Working illegally give me more freedom, but working in a sanctioned space gives me more time.

Zed1

Have you exhibited your work in a gallery setting?

I much prefer to paint on the streets. It is far more democratic. I don’t like most galleries, and I don’t paint to get the attention of gallerists. I’d rather paint on a public wall than on a canvas. That way I can share my work with everyone, not just the elite. But I am beginning to show my work in galleries that respect my vision.

Have you a formal art education?

No. I studied graphic design, but I was never a good student.

How do your parents feel about what you do?

They don’t understand. My mother tries to, but my father has an entirely different notion of  “success” that’s tied in with material things.

Zed1

Do you make money from your art? What is the main source of your income?

I earn money by doing commissions and I sell art. Art is my life.

Is there much of a graffiti/street art divide back home?

Not as much as here, and the lines continue to blur. Festivals invite both graffiti writers and street artists, and many writers include characters in their pieces.  But there is some tension, as far fewer people understand graffiti. Street art is far more accessible to most folks.

Have you painted in other countries – besides Italy and the US?

I’ve painted in Denmark, Romania, Norway, Spain, the UK and Brazil.

Zed1

Have you any favorite places to paint?

I especially like to paint in poor, run-down neighborhoods. I like interacting with the people who live in them, and I like enhancing their spaces.

Any favorite arists?

Particular favorites include: Blu, Banksy and Os Gemeos.

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

It is very important. It has given birth to many careers.

Zed1

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

I can’t speak for other artists. But my role is to communicate with people by bringing beauty into their lives and raising issues they might not – on their own — think about.

What’s ahead?

More travel. I love painting in different countries. And more artworks and videos illustrating my second skin concept.

Interview by Lois Stavsky; photos 1,2, & 3 Zed1 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn by Tara Murray; photo 4 at Welling Court and photo 5 at Bottleneck Gallery by Lois Stavsky; photo 6 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by Dani Reyes Mozeson, and final photo in Greenpoint, Brooklyn by Tara Murray

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A range of curious characters have found a home on the streets of NYC. Here are a few in the first of our series featuring some of our favorite ones:

Zio Ziegler in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Xio Ziegler

Sheryo in the East Village

Sheryo

JC at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

JC

Lamour Supreme in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Lamour Supreme

Reme821 in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Reme821

Sinned at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Sinned

QRST at the Bushwick Collective

qrst-in-bushwick-collective

Mr. Penfold at the Bushwick Collective

Mr. Penfold

Photos by Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky

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This is the fifth in an occasional series of artwork on NYC shutters.

Kenji Takabayashi at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Kenji Takabayashi

Kosby at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Kosby

Zam Art at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Zam

Sheryo and the Yok in Manhattan’s Little Italy

Sheryo and the Yok

Phetus in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Phetus

Hef atWelling Court in Astoria, Queens

Hef

Joseph Meloy at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Joe Meloy

Fumero in NoLita

Fumero

Wisher914 at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Wishe914

Photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky

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The Welling Court Mural Project officially launched its fourth year yesterday with a wide array of wonderful walls fashioned by a remarkable range of artists.  Here are a few of the dozens that continue to alter the visual landscape of this Queens community:

Icy and Sot — wall in progress

icy-and-sot-mural-art-at-welling-court

Korel and Honexl Xi

Korel and Honexl Xi

Christopher Cardinale at work

Chris-cardinale-paints-at-welling-court

R. Nicholas Kuszyk

R-Nicholas-Kuszyk

Vexta at work

Vexta

Cern

 

Cern

LMNOP

LMNOP-paints-at-welling-court

Queen Andrea

Queen Andrea

You can help fund Ad Hoc’s wonderful work in collaborating with members of the Welling Court community and the dozens of artists who made this project possible by making a donation here.

 Photos by Tara Murray

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One of NYC’s most spirited public art events celebrates its fourth year tomorrow with a huge block party at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens. For the past week, dozens of artists have been busy at work for this dynamic project, curated by Ad Hoc Art. Following is a glimpse of what we saw earlier this week:

Billy Mode and Chris Stain

Billy Mode and Chris Stain

Toofly at work with Fumero to the left

Fumero and Toofly

Lady Pink at work

Lady Pink

 Alice Mizrachi  and Olek

Alice Mizrachi and Olek

 The Royal Kingbee at work

KingBee

Logik One at work

Logik one

Dan Witz

Dan Witz

Dennis McNett, close-up

Denis McNett

Keep posted to our Facebook page for many more images in the week ahead.

Photos by Tara Murray

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This is the third in an occasional series of artwork on NYC shutters by both local artists and those visiting from abroad:

Phlegm — in from Sheffield, UK — in the East Village

Phlegm

Brooklyn-based Never in Astoria, Queens

Never street art

NYC-based Faust’s tribute to Sure RIP in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Faust graffiti

Meres at 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens

Meres

Germany’s Most and Flying Fortress at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Most and Flying Fortress

NYC’s Ozbe at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Ozbe

Veteran artist Kenny Scharf on the Lower East Side

Kenny Scharf

Grad of Smart Crew in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Smart Crew

The legendary Tracy168 at West Farms in the Bronx

Tracy168

Photos by Lenny Collado, Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky

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