art collective


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!



The Love Child


Julia Powers


James Reyes


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


Morell Cutler and artwork by James Rubio on right


Alana Dee Haynes


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


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.

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We recently had the opportunity to meet up with Apostrophe founders and curators — Sei and Ki Smith  — and find out a bit about their plans for 2016:

Just what is Apostrophe?

Apostrophe began as a gallery and performance space in Bushwick in 2012, and it has since evolved into a series of pop-up exhibits and events. As a collective, it is designed to offer exposure to artists while sparking a creative energy that can be experienced by everyone.  Our last exhibit, Subway Show, took place at the Kosciusko Street stop on the J train.  The subway passengers, along with anyone else who came by, were treated to art, music, a comedic performance and refreshments!


What about its name, Apostrophe?

Our concept came before the name. The name was inspired by the title of Frank Zappa’s eighteenth album Apostrophe’.  It suggests an inclusive fusion of energies.

What is Apostrophe’s current mission?

The mission of our current project Base 12 is to highlight the art of twelve talented artists in a dozen diverse, unconventional settings, while making their art accessible to folks who might not otherwise see it.  When art is shown exclusively in gallery settings, its audience can be limited.


What kinds of alternative settings are you referring to?

Of the nine upcoming pop-up shows here in NYC, three will take place on subway platforms, three in museums and three in parks. They will all engage passersby in non-traditional ways. Details will  be announced the day of the event via Instagram and Facebook.

That sounds great! How did you select the artists?

Some had participated in exhibits in our former Bushwick space; others we met through friends. And some we discovered through our open call for submissions.  We’ve all gotten to know one another, and we all work well together.  Once a month we come together, and we critique each other’s artworks. We love not only the works of the artists we are showing, but their energy, as well!


Do you both have a formal art education?

We both went to art school, but neither of us finished. We grew up, though, in a family of artists and have always engaged in art-related projects here and abroad.

What’s ahead?

In addition to what will be happening here in NYC, we are planning three exhibits and events abroad: at Alan Istanbul in Turkey; at corretger5 in Barcelona, and at a gallery space — to be announced — in London.


It’s all very exciting!  Lots of luck! We will definitely keep posted to your Instagram.

Interview by Lois Stavsky with Houda Lazrak

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2-4 courtesy of Apostrophe; 5 Tara Murray

2  Subway Show 

3  James A Reyes, My Shorty

4  Sei Smith, Half Portrait No. 5

5  James Rubio, Black Flowers, close-up of public art work

Apostrophe’s Base 12 will also feature the works of Caslon BevingtonRyan Bock, Morell Cutler, Alana Dee Haynes, Kolter Hodgson, Charlie Hudson, The Love ChildJulia Powers and Bruno Smith

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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