Carlos Pinto

163rd Street off Broadway was the place to be last week.  Multidisciplinary artists Carlos Pinto and John Sear brought their wondrous skills to The Audubon Mural Project, adding two elegant trumpeter swans to the approximately 100 uptown murals featuring endangered birds. The Audubon Project’s first mosaic mural fashioned entirely with recycled objects — from shards of glass to shattered plates  — garnered a huge welcome from the neighborhood, with volunteers eager to assist in the process.

Featured above is the completed mural that was captured this past Monday. The images that follow were taken last week as the mural was still in progress:

Carlos Pinto at work

And from another angle

John Sear at work

The artists take a brief break

Local folks assist Carlos Pinto and John Sear 

John Sear speaks to Audubon Mural Project director and curator Avi Gitler, who is standing next to Totem TC5‘s memorial to his son, Chris — a special, welcome addition to the mural

Photo credits: 1, 2 & 7 Lois Stavsky;  3-6 City-as-School student Jasper Shepard 


"Exit Room"

A wonderfully diverse group of artists have been busy these past 10 days fashioning the walls of Exit Room in preparation for tonight’s opening of Track 1, the first in a series of short exhibitions. Here’s a sampling of what’s been going down:

Esteban del Valle

"Esteban del Valle"



Nicole Salgar

"Nicole Salgar"

Marka 27

"Marka -27"

 Ramiro Davaro

"Ramiro Davaro"



And here’s a close-up of a collaborative work in progress that we captured last Thursday:

Sonni, Marka 27 and Carlos Pinto

"Sonni, Marka 27 and Carlos Pinto"

Other featured artists include: Chuck Berret, Ricardo CabretChris RWKAdam Dare, Jeff Enriquez, Art by KenNepoJohn Paul O’Grodnick and Gio Romo. There will also be a live musical performance by Mike Larry Draw X 86 SUPREME. Tonight’s opening takes place at 270 Meserole Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn from 6 – 11pm.

All photos of artists at work courtesy of Dariel Mtz and Zoe; photo of Sonni, Marka 27 and Carlos Pinto collaborative work in progress by Lois Stavsky


"Carlos Pinto"

Currently on view at the Elena Ab Gallery, 185 Church Street in Tribeca, the Collective Show celebrates a diversity of cultures, styles and techniques. Among those artists featured who have also shared their visions in public spaces are: Carlos PintoKen HiratsukaLinus CoraggioMegan Kindsfather and John Paul O’Grodnick. Here’s a sampling:

Another signature Carlos Pinto portrait

Carlos Pinto

Internationally acclaimed sculptor Ken Hiratsuka, commissioned by Goldman Properties to create a huge granite sidewalk sculpture for 25 Bond Street

Ken Hiratsuka

Celebrated metal sculptor Linus Coraggio, whose work is documented in Trespass by Carlo McCormick and Wooster Collective founders Marc and Sara Schiller


Megan Kindsfather, close-up

"Megan Kindsfather"

John Paul O’Grodnick

John-Paul- OGrodnick-art-Elena-Ab-Gallery

Among the other works on exhibit — of particular interest to us street art aficionados — is an early work attributed to Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Launched earlier this year by the painter Elena Ab as a meeting space for friends, artists and collectors, the Elena Ab Gallery is open daily from 12-8pm and by appointment.


First photo: Carlos Pinto, Keith Haring close-up by City-as-School intern Eduardo Dibone; all others by Lois Stavsky


This is the fourth in an ongoing series featuring the range of faces that surface daily in NYC’s open spaces:

Alice Mizrachi aka AM at the Bushwick Collective

Alice Mizrachi

How and Nosm, close-up in the South Bronx

How and Nosm

ND’A in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Cern and Lee Quiñones in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Cern and Lee Quinones

Carlos Pinto in Flatbush, Brooklyn

Carlos Pinto

Paul Richard in the East Village — on the pavement

Paul Richard

ECB on the Lower East Side


Photos by Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky


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

England’s Ben Eine and Sweet Toof — as seen in the snow this past Sunday in Bushwick, Brooklyn

"Ben Eine & Sweet Toof"

Sweet Toof of the London-based Burning Candy Crew at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

"Sweet Toof"

Muck123 and UFO on Manhattan’s Lower East Side

"Muck123 and UFO"

Darkclouds, Deeker & Flying Fortress at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Darkclouds, Deeker and Flying Fortress

How and Nosm on East 14th Street in Manhattan

How and Nosm

How and Nosm at Hunts Point in the Bronx 


Carlos Pinto does Bob Marley in Flatbush, Brooklyn

Carlos Pinto

Beau on Manhattan’s Lower East Side


And — Pixote bringing stylish Brazilian writing to the streets of NYC


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


Carlos Pinto

Best-known for his diverse works fashioned from a range of salvaged material and found objects, Guatemalan native Juan Carlos Pinto continues to transform the landscape of his Flatbush, Brooklyn environs.  His remarkable portraits crafted from bits and pieces of Metro cards are currently on exhibit at Le Salon d’Art on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. You can meet Carlos at the opening party on February 14 at 90 Stanton Street from 7-10pm.

You’ve been living in NYC for over ten years now.  What first brought you here?

New York City has a magnetic attraction to a street art enamorado.

What made you decide to call Brooklyn home?

Brooklyn is the Paris of 100 some years ago.

You also spent considerable time on the Lower East Side when you first arrived.

Yes. My second home away from home was the Lower East Side/East Village, as I found work with the guys — a wonderful crew that supports art — at “The Crooked Tree,” a creperie at 110 St. Marks.

Do you have a formal art education?

No, but I do have degree in Industrial Design that I earned at URL, Landívar in Guatemala.

Carlos Pinto street art

What inspires you to get your work out on the streets?

It is the most powerful means for me to get my message across. And art is more powerful than machetes and swords.

And have you a specific message?

I’m against corporations and waste. My approach is largely ecological. And when I work on the streets, I engage the community in my projects. Art is not the privilege of the rich. That is the museum attitude. And I offer a challenge to it.

Tell us something about your work on exhibit at La Salon d’Art. When did you start working with Metro cards?

It started as a means of protest in 2002 when the MTA announced that it was planning to raise the fare. It is also a statement about recycling.

Carlos Pinto Metro card art

Have you ever been arrested for the work you’ve put up on the streets here?

A good thief never gets caught.

Have you shown your work at galleries?

I generally don’t like the gallery attitude, but, yes, I have shown my work in galleries.  Both Frankie Velez and Paul Cabezas include me in shows that they curate.

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

The Internet can teach you everything that an art school can teach you. A formal art education in an established art school is a waste of time and money.

Carlos Pinto

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Don Rimx, Meres One of 5Pointz, Ken Hiratskua and Jim Power, who was also a personal mentor.

What is the attitude of your family and friends towards what you do?

They are all involved in what I do. My son is with me just about all the time that he isn’t in school.

What is the source of your income?

I sell art, receive grants and do commissions. I am a recipient of a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council. Everything I do is art. Being an artist is a full time gig. It’s like being gay; you can’t turn it on or off.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope I’m alive. I live day by day.

Photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky