For the past several years NYC-based artist and photographer Appleton has been taking his message of diabetic awareness to our streets. While visiting his hugely impressive solo exhibit, Out of the Cold, I had the opportunity to find out a bit about him and his mission:

appleton skid row art <em>Out of the Cold</em>    Appleton Diabetic Awareness Through Art Exhibit    Continues at 51 Orchard Street through Sunday

The artworks on exhibit here are so impressive.  They are beautifully executed, as well as emotionally and intellectually engaging. How long have you been working on this body of work?

Many of the works displayed here have been created this past year. But this exhibit is, actually, a culmination of my artworks of the last few years.

Can you tell us something about your process, your particular aesthetic? It is certainly distinct.

I have been collecting insulin bottles for the past 35 years. I began shortly after surviving a diabetic coma at age six. The bottle has since  become my iconic image and has clearly informed my aesthetic. I work with a range of media — photography, paint, hand-cut images and sculpture — that almost always feature the insulin bottle.

appleton out of the mine <em>Out of the Cold</em>    Appleton Diabetic Awareness Through Art Exhibit    Continues at 51 Orchard Street through Sunday

You are clearly a man with a mission! 

Yes. I want to raise and spread awareness of diabetes, a devastating disease that impacts over 30 million Americans. Too many people do not understand the challenges that diabetics face daily — the physical and psychological damage the disease can cause. It can be a living nightmare.

And have you a message to diabetics, as well?

Yes! I want them to feel less lonely and alone in the daily battle they face. There are millions of us carrying on. We never — even for a moment — can stop thinking about our disease.

appleton empire state building <em>Out of the Cold</em>    Appleton Diabetic Awareness Through Art Exhibit    Continues at 51 Orchard Street through Sunday

Your wheatpastes featuring bottles of insulin have become part of our visual landscape here in NYC. What other cities have you hit?

Among the cities I’ve pasted up in are: LA, Miami, Chicago, Boston and St. Louis.

How have folks responded to your work — both on the streets and in gallery settings?

The response has been consistently positive. Many folks who have the disease have thanked me for spreading awareness of it.

Appleton Insulin to Ashes  <em>Out of the Cold</em>    Appleton Diabetic Awareness Through Art Exhibit    Continues at 51 Orchard Street through Sunday

Occasionally, I hear that we are close to a cure. 

I wish that were true.  I don’t expect a cure in my lifetime.  If there were one, there would be a global economic breakdown. A cure should have and could have happened by now.

What’s ahead for you?

I plan to take my message abroad this year. Among the cities I will visit are: Paris, Barcelona and London.

Appleton top of the world <em>Out of the Cold</em>    Appleton Diabetic Awareness Through Art Exhibit    Continues at 51 Orchard Street through Sunday

That sounds wonderful and thank you for what you are doing!

Note: Although the exhibit remains open through Sunday, a closing reception takes place tonight, Thursday, from 5-9pm at 51 Orchard Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. There will be limited edition signed artist prints for sale.

appleton closing <em>Out of the Cold</em>    Appleton Diabetic Awareness Through Art Exhibit    Continues at 51 Orchard Street through Sunday

 Images

1. Skid RowMetallic paper, Museum glass, Archival elements

2. Out of the Mine, Mixed media: Paint, Paper, Acrylic

3. Empire State Building, Photograph on metallic paper, Museum glass, Archival elements

4. Insulin to Ashes, Metallic paper, Museum glass, Archival elements

5. Top of the WorldMixed media: Paint, Paper, Acrylic

Interview by Lois Stavsky; photos of artworks: 1, 2 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 3 & 4 Tara Murray

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enzo sarto street art  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

In addition to its dozens of outstanding murals, Montreal teems with intriguing graffiti and street art — fashioned by both local and visiting artists. Pictured above is Enzo Sarto. Here are a few more we captured last week:

Wax Head

waxhead street art montreal  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Mastrocola

mastrocola mural art Montrea  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Chris Dyer

chris dyer street art montreal  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Shalak and Smoky

shalak and smoky street art montreal1  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Earth Crusher

earth crusher graffiti montreal  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Zek 156

zek156 graffiti montreal  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

And beginning today Montreal’s annual Under Pressure Graffiti Festival continues the transformation of the city into a visual wonderland.

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2-7 Tara Murray

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felipe pantone mural art montrealjpg Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

Pictured above is Argentine artist Felipe Pantone, painted for this year’s Mural Festival. Here are several more murals we captured on our visit to Montreal last week:

UK-based D*Face, 2016

dface mural montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

Montreal-based Xavier Raymond aka X-Ray, 2016

X Ray mural art montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

Australian artist Reka, 2013

Reka close up mural montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

Toronto native Troy Lovegates aka Other, 2013

troy lovegates mural art montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

Tel Aviv-based Klone, 2016

klone mural montreal mural festival Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

Belgian artist Roa, 2013

Roa mural art montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

Note: LOST PARADISE, a solo exhibit featuring the work of Xavier Raymond aka X-Ray will be on display at Montreal’s Station 16 Gallery from August 18th to September 10th.

X Ray lost pariadise station 16 Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

Photo credits: 1, 6 & 7  Tara Murray; 2-5 Lois Stavsky

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.

en play badge 2 Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part II: Felipe Pantone, D*Face, X Ray, Reka, Troy Lovegates, Klone and Roa

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five8 street art Montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part I: Five Eight, Meggs, Buff Monster, Acidum Project, Inti and Mateo

Since 2013, Montreal has been hosting MURAL, an annual public art festival featuring a wonderful array of murals by both local and international artists. Here is a small sampling of what we saw while wandering on and off Boulevard Saint-Laurent this past week:

Montreal-based Five Eight, 2016

Five8 street art mural Montreal1 Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part I: Five Eight, Meggs, Buff Monster, Acidum Project, Inti and Mateo

Melbourne-based Meggs, 2016

Meggs mural montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part I: Five Eight, Meggs, Buff Monster, Acidum Project, Inti and Mateo

NYC-based Buff Monster, 2016

buff monster mural festival montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part I: Five Eight, Meggs, Buff Monster, Acidum Project, Inti and Mateo

Brazilian collective Acidum Project, close-up, 2016

acidum mural close up montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part I: Five Eight, Meggs, Buff Monster, Acidum Project, Inti and Mateo

Chilean artist Inti, 2014

inti mural art montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part I: Five Eight, Meggs, Buff Monster, Acidum Project, Inti and Mateo

France native Mateo, 2016

mateo mural art montreal Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part I: Five Eight, Meggs, Buff Monster, Acidum Project, Inti and Mateo

Photo credits: 1-3, Lois Stavsky; 4, 5 & 7 Tara Murray and 6 Sara C Mozeson

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.

en play badge 2 Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part I: Five Eight, Meggs, Buff Monster, Acidum Project, Inti and Mateo

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All-City Express, a hugely impressive interactive art exhibitionmade its world premiere last weekend at Randall’s Island’s Panorama. Under the curatorial direction of 5Pointz Creates leaders Meres One and Marie Flageul, Lady Pink, Tkid 170Toofly, Meres One, Jerms, Topaz, and See tf painted live, covering digital subway cars with original artwork. Fusing graffiti’s underground roots with innovative video technology, the project was developed by Brooklyn-based AST Studios with Tangible Interaction. Here are a few images captured in the course of this three-day cutting-edge homage to traditional graffiti art.

Five of the 5Pointz Creates crew with Marie Flageul in foreground — on green screen

5pointz creates with marie <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Lady Pink and Toofly at work on green screen

lady pink and toofly graffiti <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

And with completed piece as viewed on virtual subway train

lady Pink and Toofly graffiti production <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

See tf and Python with completed piece on green screen

see tf and python <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Jerms and Topaz  as a mix of technologies brings them at work onto a NYC train in real time

Jerms graffiti projection <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

T-Kid with completed piece on green screen

T Kid graffiti <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

And as viewed on virtual train

T Kid Randalls <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Meres One at work on green screen

meres paints graffiti <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Digital tagging by AST Studios; graffiti software by Tangible Interaction & advanced motion capture by PhaseSpace

5 pointz tags <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

And the trains roll by throughout NYC with AST Studios‘ life-like visual effects and editorial content by Possible Productions

graffiti trains <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Photo credits: 1, 3-10 Nic Lyte and 2 Rachel Fawn; videos produced by AST Studios

Note: This blog will be on vacation through Sunday, August 7. You can follow us on Facebook and on Instagram.

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.

en play badge 2 <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

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keith Haring city kids mural art copy <em>Truth to Power</em> Showcases Socially Engaged Art: Keith Haring, Mear One, Beau Stanton, Shepard Fairey, Lmnopi, Mata Ruda and more

Coinciding with the Democratic National Convention, the non-profit Rock The Vote launched its Truth to Power campaign in Philadelphia earlier this week. Among its events was a three-day pop-up art exhibit featuring a varied range of socially and politically engaged works in different media. Among the artists who participated are many whose works have also surfaced in public spaces. Pictured above is Keith Haring with the City Kids Foundation. Here are several more:

Mear One, False Profits

Mear One political art <em>Truth to Power</em> Showcases Socially Engaged Art: Keith Haring, Mear One, Beau Stanton, Shepard Fairey, Lmnopi, Mata Ruda and more

Beau Stanton, Elemental Crisis 

beau stanton political art <em>Truth to Power</em> Showcases Socially Engaged Art: Keith Haring, Mear One, Beau Stanton, Shepard Fairey, Lmnopi, Mata Ruda and more

Shepard Fairey aka Obey

Obey political art <em>Truth to Power</em> Showcases Socially Engaged Art: Keith Haring, Mear One, Beau Stanton, Shepard Fairey, Lmnopi, Mata Ruda and more

Lmnopi, Tehrir

lmnopi political art <em>Truth to Power</em> Showcases Socially Engaged Art: Keith Haring, Mear One, Beau Stanton, Shepard Fairey, Lmnopi, Mata Ruda and more

Mata Ruda, How Can I Write My Own Future with My Hands Bound?

mata ruda political art <em>Truth to Power</em> Showcases Socially Engaged Art: Keith Haring, Mear One, Beau Stanton, Shepard Fairey, Lmnopi, Mata Ruda and more

Photo credits: 1-3, 5 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 4 Sara Ching 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.

en play badge 2 <em>Truth to Power</em> Showcases Socially Engaged Art: Keith Haring, Mear One, Beau Stanton, Shepard Fairey, Lmnopi, Mata Ruda and more

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James Kusel at work graffiti ar Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

While visiting the incredible Living Museum housed at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village earlier this week, I unexpectedly came upon a graffiti artist at work.  He introduced himself as James Kusel, and when I shared my passion for graffiti with him, he spoke about his experiences back in the day and his current mission to give back.

When did you first get up?  

It was during my sophomore year of high school. I was 16 years old.

What inspired you back then?

I was working in a luncheonette in Woodhaven, and I saw the black books of the kids who were also working there. It was love at first sight! And getting up was a great outlet for me. I was a troubled kid – almost always alone – and graffiti gave me something to live for at the time…and a sense of belonging. I was passionate about it.

james kusel name graffiti Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

What were your main spots?

I started hitting the trains immediately. Among the lines that I hit were: the M, J, 7, the E and F and the 2 line. My favorites were the BMT flats. I bombed the outsides of the trains with Krylon and Rust-Oleum, and the insides with Pilots, Unis and Flow Markers. I also hit yards and rooftops. I wrote Aero.

What is the riskiest thing you ever did back then?

Everything I did was risky. Here I was a white kid – piecing at 3 in the morning in the M and J yards while ducking from the cops. It’s not where I should have been. But the riskiest thing I ever did was bombing while I was high on angel dust.

How did your family feel about what you were doing back?

My mother hated it. When she couldn’t take any more of me, she shipped me away to High Point Hospital.  I spent 2 ½ years there, and since 1988, I’ve been coming here. I’ve been sober now – free of drugs and alcohol – for 28 years. If I hadn’t been locked up during the height of the crack epidemic, I’d be dead now – like so many of my friends from back in the day.

james kusel its a beautiful life graffii art Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

Have you ever shown your work in galleries or museums – besides the Living Museum?

Yes. I painted a gigantic mural at the Queens Museum in 2002 for its exhibit In the Flow: Artists From the Living Museum. By then I had changed my name to Insane. And I’ve painted and shown murals in alternative spaces when I worked as a DJ.

Have you ever studied art in a formal setting?

No. Why should I? I like to do things my way. I’m too cool for art school!

Did any particular cultures influence you?

Black culture. Most of my friends have been Black. I’ve been raised by that culture.

James Kusel New York graffiti art Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

What’s your favorite place to create art these days?

Right here! I love the Living Museum. The people are wonderful, and I feel as though I am a part of a community of artists. There’s a great sense of camaraderie.

Have you any other particular interests and passions?

Yes! I love music, all music. And I am also a culinary artist and ex-surfer.

Are there any graffiti artists whose works have inspired you?

Yes! Among the artists who’ve inspired me are: Dondi, Zephyr, Duster and Lee.

James Kusel Help graffiti art Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

Any shout-outs?

T-Kid! I identify with him and all that he’s overcome.

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

To keep his talent, the artist must give it away. That is his role. To share it with others.

What’s ahead for you?

I’d like to create more art expressing positive messages and I want to interact more with members of the community.

Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Bonnie Astor and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos 1 & 2 Lois Stavsky

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ApostropheNYC art exhibit subway platform NYC <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

Earlier this year we met up with the wonderfully talented and intrepid Apostrophe founders and curators — Sei and Ki Smith. Since, they’ve successfully hosted guerrilla pop-ups at The Whitney Museum  of American Art — from which they’ve been banned for life – and at MoMA PS1. This past Friday we attended Apostrophe‘s  Base 12 Subway Show, a pop-up exhibit at the Kosciuszko Street stop on the J Line featuring works from Apostrophe‘s 12 artists. And what fun it was!

Kolter

kolter art apostrophenyc nyc <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

The Love Child

the love child art apostrphenyc <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

Julia Powers

Julia powers art apostrophe nyc <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

James Reyes

James Reyes art apostrophenyc nyc <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

Sei Smith, curator and recently featured, along with his brother, in Time Out New York’s 10 NYC artists 35 and under you should know

sei smith art apostrophenyc nyc <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

Morell Cutler and artwork by James Rubio on right

Morell Cutler and James Rubio art Apostrophenyc subway station nyc <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

Alana Dee Haynes

alana dee Haynes art apostrophenyc subway platform nyc <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

And healthy non-alcoholic beverage — provided by Costa Brava — served at artists’ reception on subway platform!

apostrophe nyc reception <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

Apostrophe‘s Base 12 Project will continue throughout the year with three pop-ups in city parks, three in European galleries, one more museum pop up and then finally a project retrospective at Mana Contemporary that will exhibit all 144 paintings from the 12 pop-ups.

Photo credits: 1-7 Lois Stavsky; 8 & 9 Tara Murray; additional photos on the Street Art NYC Instagram

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.

en play badge 2 <em>Apostrophe NYC</em> Transforms Subway Station into a Pop Up Gallery

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Icy and Sot flyer Icy and Sot Pop Up Exhibit and Book Signing at 51 Orchard Street

The newly released LET HER BE FREE documents Iranian brothers Icy and Sot‘s foray from skateboarding teens in Iran to politically-conscious, internationally acclaimed artists. To celebrate the launch of their book, the artists invite you to a pop-up exhibition of small and mid-scale stencil artworks that have been created exclusively for this book launch. Opening tomorrow evening. July 23 at 51 Orchard Street with a book signing, the exhibit continues through July 30.

Unity, spray paint on canvas

icy and sot Unity   30x36 inch   stencil spray paint on canvas  Icy and Sot Pop Up Exhibit and Book Signing at 51 Orchard Street

Justice, spray paint on cut-out wood

Icy and Sot Justice   30x24 inch   stencil spray paint on cut out wood  Icy and Sot Pop Up Exhibit and Book Signing at 51 Orchard Street

In Long Island City 

Icy and Sot street art long Island city BYC  Icy and Sot Pop Up Exhibit and Book Signing at 51 Orchard Street

And book cover

icy and sot let her be free book cover Icy and Sot Pop Up Exhibit and Book Signing at 51 Orchard Street

Published by Lebowsi Publishers with an introduction by filmmaker and poet Jess X Chen and an afterword by Brooklyn Street Art‘s Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington, the artists’ first collection of works features over 200 full color photos.

All images courtesy Icy and Sot

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Caps Matches Color HomeStyle HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Celebrating the history of today’s spray paint culture, Bristol-based HANGFIRE has teamed up with U.S.- based spray brand collectors Cap Matches Color to present HomeStyle.  On display and for purchase will be a strong collection of spray paint memorabilia from the archives of  Cap Matches Color and U.K. based collector, Ticks. Also on exhibit will be limited edition photographic prints from worldwide traveller and photographer Mr. Yoshi and original artwork and limited prints from Cheo.

Cheo graffiti art HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Copies of Two Decades of Digging will be available for purchase, along with limited edition silkscreened skate decks featuring vintage spray paint graphics of Marabu Buntlack, Krylon and Rust-Oleum by HANGFIRE.

cap matches color book HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

The exhibit opens at tomorrow — Friday evening — at 49 North Street, BS3 1EN Bristol, UK on the eve of Bristol’s famed Upfest Festival and continues through August 5th.

Home style exhibit HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Images for this post courtesy HANGFIRE and Cap Matches Color; photo of Cap Matches Color by Lois Stavsky

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