Marka57 art on canvas Bucketfeet At BucketFeet in SoHo with Marka27, JC Rivera, Jimmy Sheehan & more

Born in 2011, BucketFeet has since connected with over 2000 artists in more than 35 countries to design original footwear. But BucketFeet isn’t just about shoes. It is a celebration of artistic expression across cultures.  Here in New York City, a range of artists — from graffiti writers to tattooists to illustrators — not only share their designs on footwear at BucketFeet’s SoHo venue, but exhibit and sell their artworks there, as well. Here is a small sampling what we saw on a recent visit:

Marka27, this past month’s artist-in-residence, whose artwork has also graced our walls for the Juicy Art Festival

Marka57 art Bucketfeet At BucketFeet in SoHo with Marka27, JC Rivera, Jimmy Sheehan & more

Chicago-based JC Rivera

J C Rivera artwork bucketfeet nyx At BucketFeet in SoHo with Marka27, JC Rivera, Jimmy Sheehan & more

JC Rivera artwork At BucketFeet in SoHo with Marka27, JC Rivera, Jimmy Sheehan & more

New York-based Jimmy Sheehan

Jimmy Sheenan art Bucketfeet NYC At BucketFeet in SoHo with Marka27, JC Rivera, Jimmy Sheehan & more

Jimmy Sheehan art Bucketfeet SoHo NYC At BucketFeet in SoHo with Marka27, JC Rivera, Jimmy Sheehan & more

In addition to the works on exhibit, BucketFeet also sells dozens of wonderfully affordable prints both online and in its NYC store at 108 Wooster Street in SoHo.

Photos of artworks by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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Born in Argentina and now based in Brooklyn, Lucia Reissig is a young photographer and artist with a deep passion for street art and documenting the streets. I met her in late spring in Bushwick when I was interviewing the Argentinian artist Cabaio, whom she had photographed at work earlier that day.  We met again last week at Exit Room, and I had the opportunity, this time, to find out a bit about her.

lucia reissig cabaio new york Lucia Reissig on Photography, Street Art, Community and more

When did you first become interested in photography?

I was 12 years old and living in Buenos Aires.  I had told my mother’s friend that I was interested in photography, and he gave me a camera. It was a 35 mm Canon.

And then what happened?

I didn’t know what to do with it. And so I took my new Canon to a camera store, and the shop owner installed film for me and set it on “Automatic.” He said, “Just shoot!” So that’s what I did! And I fell in love with the art form at once.

Did you ever study photography on a formal basis?

Early on, I began visiting photographers’ studios, and I started taking classes with them. The classes were informal – with no more than five students in a class.

cabaio street art NYC Lucia Reissig on Photography, Street Art, Community and more

What — would you say — is photography’s appeal to you? What is it about this art form that so engages you?

With a camera in hand, I feel that I am somewhat in control of my environment. And it allows me to create compelling narratives. I am obsessed with paradoxes – and recording them.

What brought you to New York City?

I felt a strong need to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone.

How has living here affected you and your passion for photography?

I quickly found myself seeking other Spanish speakers and other immigrants. And the streets became even more important to me. I see public spaces as a reflection of society.

Lucia Reissig Rockaways Lucia Reissig on Photography, Street Art, Community and more

And what about street art?  You’ve documented hundreds of images. When first I met you, you had just finished photographing Cabaio at work over at the Bushwick Collective and you seem to be quite involved over here at Exit Room – one of my favorite spaces. What is the appeal of street art to you?

It serves as both a mirror of society and as a perfect expression of resistance. I love the way the artists take ownership of the streets, and their work on city streets looks amazing. Street art has the power to change a city – visually and psychically. It also makes art accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise see it. It’s an always-open free museum. And documenting the art I discovered on these streets – along with its people – saved my life!

Have you any favorite artists who work on the streets?

Among my favorite ones are: Cabaio, Iena Cruz, Werc and Ever.

Lucia Reissig Lucia Reissig on Photography, Street Art, Community and more

What’s ahead for you?

Since coming to NYC, I’ve become more aware – than ever – as to the importance of community. There is a lack of community here, and there is a need for more alternative spaces where people can come together to create and to share. I am beginning an informal series of workshops on photography – similar to the ones I attended back in Buenos Aires. They are on a pay- what-you-can basis. I can be contacted at lucia.reissig@gmail.com.  And on a personal level, I am continuing a series I began earlier focusing on immigrant life here in NYC.

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky. Photos by Lucia Reissig.

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stephen powers a love letter to the city Stephen Powers: A Love Letter to the City    A Look at the Book

The following guest post is by Houda Lazrak, a graduate student in Museum Studies at New York University.  

To the discontent of many, the corporate advertisements plaguing the urban landscape have become integral to our every-day visual vocabulary.  As a response, street art is often offered as an alternative platform to reclaim public space from the impersonal iconography of corporate publicity.  However, Philadelphia native Stephen Powers has employed that very language to empower his own personal vision.

Steve Powers Espo street art Stephen Powers: A Love Letter to the City    A Look at the Book

A Love Letter to the City tells the tale of how artist Steve Powers’ witty lettering and profound insight turned advertising on its head.  Authored by Powers himself, the book is a visually astonishing compilation of his large scale public art projects in cities across the globe, such as Philadelphia, New York City, Dublin, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg.  With each chapter focusing on a metropolis, the book illustrates the artist’s engagement and collaboration with local communities and art organizations to “reflect their collective visions and dreams… to make art for the people.”

Powers’ outrageously honest introduction retraces his debut into the graffiti world under the moniker of ESPO in Philadelphia.  In first-person narratives, he highlights his experiences and encounters that propelled him to the status of acclaimed public artist.  Readers are treated to his eloquent personal recollections, as well as captivating photographs of his beautifully executed street art pieces.

Stephen Powers street art NYC Stephen Powers: A Love Letter to the City    A Look at the Book

Steve Powers’ employs signage style graphics to produce poignant conceptual pieces, ranging from single word slogans to multiple line phrases. The publication’s images bear witness to Powers’ ability to marvelously blend colors into the pre-existing urban hues.  Prior to hand-painting site-specific murals, Powers deeply immersed himself in the spirit of each city.  He embraced the values and needs of communities, deciphered central issues of local histories, and appreciated the soul of its neighborhoods.

Steve Powers Street Art NY Stephen Powers: A Love Letter to the City    A Look at the Book

In Coney Island, Powers worked with local citizens to revitalize an abandoned space into a sign shop/social club. The shop produced street signage for the inhabitants free of charge, which served to invigorate local businesses, as well as to enhance the community’s visual landscape.  In another instance in Dublin, Powers altered his design plans when he saw a neighborhood recurrent tag: “Please call me, I am home, the door is open, ” followed by a phone number.  Inspired by the message of love and loneliness, Powers then created a mural that spoke to similar concerns.

steve powers Espo street art Philadelphia Stephen Powers: A Love Letter to the City    A Look at the Book

A Love Letter to the City provides invaluable insights into the creative mindset of a unique street artist.  It sheds light on the back-stories of his sign pieces, from his improbable conversations with passersby to the formally held community meetings.  Ultimately, the book illustrates how Powers and his team remarkably wove intricate typographic art into the fabric of multiple cities around the world.

All images courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press

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Outdoor Gallery New York City author and photographer Yoav Litvin continues readings from his book and conversations about New York City street art this evening, August 6, from 5-:30 – 7:30 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Among the topics he will discuss are: documenting street art and graffiti; constructing and editing interviews, and publishing and promoting his book.  Admission is free and you can hop off the Bronx Trolley that provides a free arts and culture tour of the South Bronx on the first Wednesday of every month. Yoav will be joined this evening by the wonderfully talented artist and art educator, Alice Mizrachi, who will speak about her own art and its evolution.

Alice Mizrachi street art NYC Outdoor Gallery New York City Author Yoav Litvin Continues Readings and Conversations with Alice Mizrachi, Jilly Ballistic and Chris Stain

On Wednesday, August 20, Yoav’s special guest, Brooklyn-based street and subway artist Jilly Ballistic, will join him at Word at 126 Franklin Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The discussion will begin at 7pm.

Jilly Ballistic street art NYC Outdoor Gallery New York City Author Yoav Litvin Continues Readings and Conversations with Alice Mizrachi, Jilly Ballistic and Chris Stain

And on Thursday, August 28, Chris Stain, one of our favorite stencil artists and muralists, will be joining Yoav at 7pm at the collectively-owned Bluestockings at 172 Allen Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Chris Stain Street Art NYC Outdoor Gallery New York City Author Yoav Litvin Continues Readings and Conversations with Alice Mizrachi, Jilly Ballistic and Chris Stain

Photos by Yoav Litvin

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

Icy and Sot at the Bushwick Collective

Icy and Sot Street Art NYC Guys on Walls, Part VI: Icy and Sot, Jason Coatney, Never, El Sol 25, Abstrk, Elbow Toe, Sien and Bradley Theodore

Jason Coatney in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Jason Coatney mural Greenpoint 2 Guys on Walls, Part VI: Icy and Sot, Jason Coatney, Never, El Sol 25, Abstrk, Elbow Toe, Sien and Bradley Theodore

Never in Bushwick

never street art Bushwick NYC Guys on Walls, Part VI: Icy and Sot, Jason Coatney, Never, El Sol 25, Abstrk, Elbow Toe, Sien and Bradley Theodore

El Sol 25 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

el sol 25 street art NYC Guys on Walls, Part VI: Icy and Sot, Jason Coatney, Never, El Sol 25, Abstrk, Elbow Toe, Sien and Bradley Theodore

Abstrk in Bushwick, Brooklyn — in this past weekend from Florida on the 004 East Coast tour

Abstrk graffiti character NYC 2 Guys on Walls, Part VI: Icy and Sot, Jason Coatney, Never, El Sol 25, Abstrk, Elbow Toe, Sien and Bradley Theodore

Elbow-Toe in Red Hook, Brooklyn

street art  Guys on Walls, Part VI: Icy and Sot, Jason Coatney, Never, El Sol 25, Abstrk, Elbow Toe, Sien and Bradley Theodore

Sien on Bronx Rooftop

sien street art Bronx 2 Guys on Walls, Part VI: Icy and Sot, Jason Coatney, Never, El Sol 25, Abstrk, Elbow Toe, Sien and Bradley Theodore

Bradley Theodore in downtown Manhattan

Bradley Theodore street art NYC Guys on Walls, Part VI: Icy and Sot, Jason Coatney, Never, El Sol 25, Abstrk, Elbow Toe, Sien and Bradley Theodore

Photos of Icy & Sot and Abstrk by Tara Murray; Jason Coatney, El Sol 25, Elbow-Toe and Bradley Theodore by Dani Reyes Mozeson; Sien by Lois Stavsky

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 Raquel Echanique and Al Ortiz and Joshua David McKenney Centre fuge Public Art Project Centre fuge Public Art Project — Cycle 14 with Raquel Echanique, Al Ortiz Jr, J David McKenney, Moody Mutz, Jeromy Velasco, Nether and Abiter

Last weekend, the DOT trailer at First Street off First Avenue was — once again — transformed into a beguiling open-air gallery. Here are a few more images:

Joshua David McKenney at work

Joshua David McKenney Centrefuge Centre fuge Public Art Project — Cycle 14 with Raquel Echanique, Al Ortiz Jr, J David McKenney, Moody Mutz, Jeromy Velasco, Nether and Abiter

Moody Mutz, Jeromy Velasco, Nether and Abitar

centre fuge public art project edited 1 Centre fuge Public Art Project — Cycle 14 with Raquel Echanique, Al Ortiz Jr, J David McKenney, Moody Mutz, Jeromy Velasco, Nether and Abiter

 Moody Mutz at work 

Mood Mutz spraypaint Centre fuge Public Art Project — Cycle 14 with Raquel Echanique, Al Ortiz Jr, J David McKenney, Moody Mutz, Jeromy Velasco, Nether and Abiter

Jeromy Velasco and Nether

Jeromy Velasco Nether Centrefuge Public Art Project NYC Centre fuge Public Art Project — Cycle 14 with Raquel Echanique, Al Ortiz Jr, J David McKenney, Moody Mutz, Jeromy Velasco, Nether and Abiter

Nether at work

Nether Centrefuge Public Art Project NYC Centre fuge Public Art Project — Cycle 14 with Raquel Echanique, Al Ortiz Jr, J David McKenney, Moody Mutz, Jeromy Velasco, Nether and Abiter

Abiter

Abitar CF14 Centre fuge Public Art Project NYC Centre fuge Public Art Project — Cycle 14 with Raquel Echanique, Al Ortiz Jr, J David McKenney, Moody Mutz, Jeromy Velasco, Nether and Abiter

This cycle of the Centre-fuge Public Art Project continues through September 25, 2014.

Note: The first photo features Raquel EchaniqueAl Ortiz Jr and Joshua David McKenney.

All photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson, except for Moody at work by Lois Stavsky

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SinXero ShadowsKissProduction street art Bronx SinXero, Sexer and Chris & Veng RWK Transform Bronx Skyline

The Tag Public Arts Project, founded and directed by SinXero, is continuing its transformation of the Bronx’s visual landscape. In addition to the alluring murals that have surfaced on the streets within the past few months, new artwork recently made its way up to a rooftop, visible from the 6 line.

Sexer (left) and SinXero at work:

sexer and sinXero rooftop art SinXero, Sexer and Chris & Veng RWK Transform Bronx Skyline

SinXero pays tribute to the legendary graffiti artist Christopher Lee aka Shadow in “Shadow’s Kiss”

Sexer paints Bronx NYC SinXero, Sexer and Chris & Veng RWK Transform Bronx Skyline

Sexeis “Soaring High”

sexer Bronx rooftop art NYC SinXero, Sexer and Chris & Veng RWK Transform Bronx Skyline

And Chris and Veng RWK bring their iconic characters along

Chris and Veng RWK Bronx rooftop art SinXero, Sexer and Chris & Veng RWK Transform Bronx Skyline

 All photos courtesy Tag Public Arts Project

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 Sheryo and the Yok: From the Jungles of Java to Krause Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

Two of our favorite artists, Sheryo and the Yok, have been busy — learning the ancient technique of Batik in Indonesia’s jungles of Java. The Yok reports that that he and Sheryo ”rode motorbikes around and spent two months in a small village in Java” creating one-of-a-kind works on fabric.  Opening tomorrow evening, Friday, August 1st, 7-9pm, at Krause Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is “Nasty Goreng,” featuring  a selection of these hand-made Batik artworks.

 Sheryo at work

Sheryo at work Sheryo and the Yok: From the Jungles of Java to Krause Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

Hoodbat Party

 Sheryo and the Yok: From the Jungles of Java to Krause Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

 Piña Colada Java Dreams

Sheryo and the Yok Pina Colada Java Dreams  Sheryo and the Yok: From the Jungles of Java to Krause Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

Fish Spray Spray

 Sheryo and the Yok: From the Jungles of Java to Krause Gallery on Manhattans Lower East Side

Krause Gallery is located at 149 Orchard Street near Rivington.  And for a more intimate look at it all, check out this wonderful video.

 All images courtesy of the artists.

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Born in 1986 in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Raquel Echanique is making her mark in NYC – both on the streets and in galleries.  I recently had the opportunity to speak to the talented young artist whose solo exhibit, Chain Reaction, opens tomorrow evening at 7pm at Spinelli Galleries in Chelsea.

Raquel Echanique street art NYC Speaking with Raquel Echanique

When did you first paint on a public surface? And what inspired you to do so?

The first time I ever painted in an open space was for the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens in 2013. It was by chance! My boyfriend – at the time – had been assigned a wall. But because he had to DJ that day, he offered it to me.

What was the experience like?

I loved it! It was surprisingly easy. It actually felt easier than painting on canvas or paper.

Your works on canvas and paper have made their way into galleries worldwide. When was your artwork first exhibited?

I was 17 when my work was first shown in a museum back in Ecuador.

Wow! You were quite young. How were you “discovered?”

When I was 15, I participated in a live painting competition. I won first prize.

Raquel Echanique paints welling court Speaking with Raquel Echanique

How does your family feel about what your work as an artist.

They have never supported it. My mom encourages me, instead, to pursue steady, permanent work.

What percentage of your day is devoted to your art? Do you have a “day job?”

During the day I work at the Whitney Museum. When I’m not working, I’m doing my own art. Art occupies my mind all day!

What are some of your other interests?

I write poetry and I’ve won awards for my poetry back in South America.

Any thoughts on the graffiti/ street art divide?

I love them both. But I think of graffiti as a superior art form – in terms of the skills that it demands.

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

I think it’s fantastic. We can see what other artists are doing and other artists and the general public can see what we are doing.

Did you study art formally?

For brief periods of time! Twice in Ecuador and once in Argentina.

Raquel Echanique for centre fuge public art project Speaking with Raquel Echanique

What inspires you these days?

Everything I see inspires me!

Have any particular cultures influenced your aesthetic?

Certainly South American culture and its tradition of portraiture.

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

When I work in my studio, it is without a sketch. When I’m on the streets, I have with me a sketch with a concept.

Are you generally satisfied with your work?

I love it!

How has your work evolved in the past few years?

It’s been getting stronger, especially since I moved to NYC.

Fumero and Raquel Echniqye street art Bushwick Collective NYC Speaking with Raquel Echanique

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

To put something really good – aesthetically pleasing – out there.

What about society’s view of the artist? How do you feel the artist is perceived?

The artist is – paradoxically — both respected and degraded.

How do you feel about the photographers and bloggers in this scene?

They are important, as they offer an alternative, more authentic, voice than the mainstream media.

What’s ahead?

My solo show, Chain Reaction, curated by Frankie Velez opens on Thursday, the 31st, at Spinelli Galleries in Chelsea.  On Saturday I am participating in the exhibit, Justice, at Succulent Studios in Greenpoint.  Next week I will be painting in the TAG Public Arts Project.  And — looking ahead — on Friday, October 3, I will be participating in Street Murals: An Exhibition, curated by Kevin Michael.

It all sounds great! Good luck!

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky. Photo 1, by Lenny Collado; photo 2, Welling Court, 2014 by Lois Stavsky; photo 3, Centre-fuge Public Art Project and photo 4, collab with Fumero by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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This is the 13th in an occasional series of posts featuring images of girls — and women — who grace our public spaces:

Swoon in Bushwick

swoon bushwick close up. Girls on Walls, Part XIII: Swoon, Bàlu, Jana & Js, Damien Mitchell, William Power & Joseph Meloy, Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella and Zeso

Bàlu in Inwood

Balu art girl Girls on Walls, Part XIII: Swoon, Bàlu, Jana & Js, Damien Mitchell, William Power & Joseph Meloy, Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella and Zeso

Jana and Js at the Bushwick Collective

Jana and Jes street art Bushwick Collective  Girls on Walls, Part XIII: Swoon, Bàlu, Jana & Js, Damien Mitchell, William Power & Joseph Meloy, Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella and Zeso

Damien Mitchell at the Bushwick Collective

damien mitchell nina simone street art Bushwick 2 Girls on Walls, Part XIII: Swoon, Bàlu, Jana & Js, Damien Mitchell, William Power & Joseph Meloy, Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella and Zeso

William Power and Joseph Meloy in the Bronx

William Powers and Joseph Meloy street art Bronx NYC Girls on Walls, Part XIII: Swoon, Bàlu, Jana & Js, Damien Mitchell, William Power & Joseph Meloy, Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella and Zeso

Danielle Mastrion and Lexi Bella at Welling Court

Danielle Mastrion and Lexi Bella street art Welling Court NYC 2 Girls on Walls, Part XIII: Swoon, Bàlu, Jana & Js, Damien Mitchell, William Power & Joseph Meloy, Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella and Zeso

Zeso in Garden City

Zeso street art Garden City New York1 Girls on Walls, Part XIII: Swoon, Bàlu, Jana & Js, Damien Mitchell, William Power & Joseph Meloy, Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella and Zeso

Photos of Swoon, Jana & Js, Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella by Dani Reyes Mozeson; of Bàlu, Damien Mitchell, William Power & Joseph Meloy by Lois Stavsky; of Zeso courtesy of the artist 

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