Walls

Located a short distance south of Madrid’s capital, the city of Fuenlabrada hosts an eclectic range of huge, enticing murals.  The image featured above, titled Cambios, was fashioned by the Spanish artist Manuel J. Hernández Miguel aka Morse. Several more murals we encountered last week while exploring the streets of Fuenlabrada follow:

Argentina-born, Spain-bred abstract artist Felipe Pantone, “OPTICHROMIE FNLBRD”

Spanish artist Lula Goce, “Luz”

Spanish artist Raúl Ruiz aka El Niño de las Pinturas, close-up from huge mural “Armonía Cósmica”

Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel, “Where Is Okuda?”

Barcelona-based artist Amaia Arranzola, “Viva la Diversidad”

Spanish duo FREEgoodzillaKlan One and CafreNear Posterus” 

Photos by Lois Stavsky and Sara C Mozeson

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In this ninth post in our new series, PUSHING IT FORWARD — featuring ILLicit creatives claiming space on NYC streets — we return to Manhattan. Pictured above are Wombat, ZigZag and Toney. Several more Manhattan images by ILLicit creatives follow:

Layne

UWONT

MQ

Ost, Lex and Ansotto

Eok, 2DX

Dase 429 

Zesto

BatOla, Abys, Show2, & OFace

Post by the Pushing It Forward Collective

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Pictured above is a segment from Italian artist Jorit‘s superb visual ode to hip-hop legend KRS-One. Several more images of faces that have surfaced on NYC public spaces in the past few months follow:

Ecuadorian artist Toofly in Astoria, Queens with the Welling Court Mural Project

Thailand-based MUEBON in Bushwick with JMZ Walls

Self-taught Cuban American artist Blanco on the Lower East Side

Brooklyn-based Vince Ballentine in Prospect Heights with Underhill Walls

NYC-born, NJ-based Albertus Joseph in the Bronx with Boone Avenue Walls

Brooklyn-based Lexi Bella at First Street Green Art Park

Photo credit: Lois Stavsky

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Tomorrow evening, Saturday, February 4, Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center and James Top Productions will host a book signing of James Top‘s autobiography, My Life, along with an opening reception to “Life Is Sweet on Sugar Hill,” a solo exhibition of his artwork. If you don’t already own a copy of James Top‘s memoir, this is the ideal setting to pick up a personally autographed one.

James Top, My Life not only celebrates the life of one particularly passionate graffiti artist, curator, educator and activist, but it illuminates elements of the hip-hop culture that NYC birthed.

Growing up in the projects in East New York, a neighborhood plagued by poverty and violence, it was all too easy to succumb to the fiercely brutal life of the streets. But James Top was determined from early on to somehow escape the “war zone” that was his everyday reality and “make it to the top.”

One of the last of his friends to pick up a marker, James — then JEE 2, the writer — went, within a relatively short span of time, from tagging the walls of his building to hitting trains non-stop. In 1974, along with several other writers, he founded TOP, The Odd Partners, a graffiti crew “with a mission to take over every train line and give Central Brooklyn an all-city graffiti presence.”  And that TOP, The Odd Partners did, as its members — principally IN 1, MICKEY729, HURST and JEE 2 — perfected the art of the throw-up as they gained recognition as Kings.

As life evolved, so did the TOP Crew. Members died or were imprisoned; DONDI and NOC 167 were among those inducted; and whole train cars began to roll by. JEE 2 was soon JAMESTOP, and he began actively tagging the streets. “As JAMESTOP, I was a combination of a Central Brooklyn gangster and a Harlem Shaft,” he writes in My Life.

While James Top had found himself enmeshed in a range of personal struggles in the late 80’s, he effectively triumphed over them by the late 90’s after leaving Brooklyn for Harlem. Several hugely impressive accomplishments followed: he curated his first exhibition ever — a DONDI Memorial Show; he launched Graffiti NYC, a TV show centering on NYC’s graffiti art culture; he converted a wall of an abandoned school property into “The People’s Wall” — an open-air gallery,  and he began to lecture on graffiti in various venues, including City College, CUNY.

In 2008, James Top had his first one-man show, “AFROLOGY,”  showcasing adult versions of his signature AFRO character.  And in the late 2010’s, he became actively involved in the Graffiti Hall of Fame, both as a co-director and artist.

You can meet the legendary James Top, view his artwork, and purchase an autographed copy of his memoir tomorrow evening, February 4, from 5-9pm, at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center, 1942 Amsterdam Avenue @ 156 Street.

Images: 1. Cover photo  Jamel Shabazz; 2-5 ©James Top, My Life

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Through art murals and installations, the aWall Mural Projects creates opportunities for artistic expression while engaging youth and enhancing public spaces — one wall at a time. Last month, a group of first-rate national and international artists transformed the exterior walls of the Paul Laurence Dunbar K-8 Center, while bringing “the power of art to the next generation.”

The hugely impressive mural featured above was painted by German artists Daniel Ferino and Stone Graffiti.  What follows are several more images of murals at the Dunbar K-8 Center facilitated by the aWall Mural Projects. All photos were captured by the highly accomplished travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad.

Brooklyn-based Jason Naylor

Washington D.C. native Nicholas Zimbro

 Michigan-based Zach Curtis

Boston-based Sophy Tuttle at work

NYC-based Tom Bob does renowned photographer Martha Cooper

All photos Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad

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In this eighth post in our new series, PUSHING IT FORWARD — featuring ILLicit creatives claiming space on NYC streets — we return to the Bronx. Pictured above are Mustard and Taboo — as captured in Woodlawn, while riding the Metro North Harlem Line. Several more Bronx images by ILLicit creatives follow:

Ovie and Tye

Cous, Edo, Loose, Noe, Trac and more-

Rep2

Ansotto

MTNW

VSK

Scoo

Post by the Pushing It Forward Collective

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Opening this evening, Friday, January 13 and running through February 5 at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn is POSITIVE VIBRATIONS. Curated by Collect with Lulu and Silvertuna Studios, it is an exhilarating exhibition featuring an eclectic scope of works by a range of contemporary artists from legendary graffiti writers to pro skaters.

The image featured above was fashioned by the wonderfully talented Bronx-based Zimad, who also painted a huge, brightly-hued mural at City Point’s Flatbush Atrium as a tribute to the approaching Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit. A limited-edition of Year of the Rabbit coloring book calendar will be also available for purchase at the gallery.

A small selection of images of additional artworks on exhibit in POSITIVE VIBRATIONS follow:

Bronx-based Eric Orr

American Pro skater Christian Hosoi

NYC-based Australian artist Damien Mitchell

Bronx-based legends Cope 2 (top) and T-KID 170

Greek artist Andreas Rousounelis

Chicago-based Rubén Aguirre

The gallery is welcoming to children, as well. Among the exhibition’s highlights are classes scheduled for children by the legendary Al Diaz on “How to Create Your Own Graffiti Alphabet.”

Located at 445 Albee Square West, the gallery is open Monday – Wednesday by appointment and Thursday – Sunday 12-7pm. Gallery contacts are lulu@collectwithlulu.com and silvertunastudios@gmail.com

Photos of images: Lois Stavsky

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Since 2014, The Raw Project has been bringing intrigue and inspiration to schools in Miami and beyond at a time when American schools continue to see their arts education programs defunded. First rate artists from across the globe transform blank school walls into alluring open-air canvases inspired by the students, school and community. Under the curatorial direction of Robert Skran and Audrey Sykes, magic once again came to Miami during the week of Art Basel, 2022. And travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad was there to capture it.

The image pictured above was painted by Montreal-based Kevin Ledo, Titled “Fabian,” it portrays a first-grader at the West Little River K-8 Center. What follows is a sampling of several more murals that surfaced last month on the walls of the West Little River school.

Los Angeles-based Eric Skotnes, “Nolite Timere” (“Don’t Be Afraid”)

Miel Krutzmann of the Dutch duo Telmo Miel, “Minds Unfolded”

Telmo Pieper of the Dutch duo Telmo Miel, “Throwing Sticks and Chasing Stains’ 

London-based Dale Grimshaw at work on “Linky” — titled by a student

Oslo-based Hama Woods 

  Dutch artist Mr June at work on his magical mural

Photos: Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad 

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In this seventh post in our new series, PUSHING IT FORWARD — featuring ILLicit creatives claiming space on NYC streets — we return to Brooklyn. Featured above is Jarp  beneath the subway platform alongside the tracks

Snuze

Fame, Dest, RS, Ajes and Pure

Des and Nilo, All City Crew

Dip

Keazy

Stack, ZigZag and varied tags

Unidentified fragment spotted in Bed-Stuy

Post by the Pushing It Forward Collective

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Despite the many changes in Philly’s West Kensington neighborhood, the walls along North 5th & Cecil B Moore continue to host a huge range of  striking, first-rate graffiti murals. The image pictured above is the work of the gifted Philly-based Colombian artist Busta. Three more adjacent murals — all on the theme of the greek myth “Jason and the Argonauts” — follow:

Veteran graffiti writer Sew

Philly-based Spanish artist Saoka

Philly-based Spanish artist Imse

And a newly-fashioned nearby wall by Philly graffiti stylist Esteme

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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