Chris Stain

This is the second in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that surface on NYC public spaces:

Chris Stain at the Bushwick Collective

Chris Stain

Alice Pasquiniclose-up from huge mural at the Bushwick Collective

Alice Pasquini

James Rubio in the East Village

James Rubio

Sonni at the Bushwick Collective

Sonni Adrian

Icy and Sot, close-up from huge mural in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Icy and Sot

 El Niño De Las Pinturas, close-up from huge mural at 5Pointz in Long Island City

El Nino de las Pinturas

Fumero in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Lisete Alcalde at the Bushwick Collective

Lisete Alcalde

 Photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky, except for Lisete Alcalde, courtesy of the artist


One of NYC’s most spirited public art events celebrates its fourth year tomorrow with a huge block party at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens. For the past week, dozens of artists have been busy at work for this dynamic project, curated by Ad Hoc Art. Following is a glimpse of what we saw earlier this week:

Billy Mode and Chris Stain

Billy Mode and Chris Stain

Toofly at work with Fumero to the left

Fumero and Toofly

Lady Pink at work

Lady Pink

 Alice Mizrachi  and Olek

Alice Mizrachi and Olek

 The Royal Kingbee at work


Logik One at work

Logik one

Dan Witz

Dan Witz

Dennis McNett, close-up

Denis McNett

Keep posted to our Facebook page for many more images in the week ahead.

Photos by Tara Murray


The walls at the Bushwick Collective continue to showcase a range of masterful artistic expressions. In addition to the wonderful mural featured here earlier by Sheryo & the Yok, an astonishing variety of new works —  by  local, national and international artists —  have found a home here. A sampling follows:

Puerto Rico-native David RIMX Sepulveda


Baltimore-based Billy Mode at work earlier in the month

Billy Mode

The final mural by Billy Mode and Chris Stain

Chris Stain and Billy Mode

Baltimore-based artist Mata Ruda at work

Mata Ruda

South Carolina-based Patch Whisky

Patch Whisky

The prolific Fumero


South Africa-based Nard Star



 Atlanta-based Trek Matthews

Trek Matthews

South Carolina-based Ishmael


Keep posted to our Facebook page for the latest news on the Bushwick Collective and for photos of Gaia’s new piece.

Photos by Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky


This is the first in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that surface on NYC public spaces:

Chris Stain and Billy Mode at the Bushwick Collective

Chris Stain and Billy Mode

Joe Iurato at the Bushwick Collective

Joe Iurato

And at Cheryl Hazan Contemporary Art

Joe Iurato

CAW — Creative Arts Workshops for Kids — in East Harlem

CAW public art

 Iranian artist Mad in Bushwick


Icy and Sot in Bushwick

Icy and Sot

Baltimore-based Nether in Brooklyn


John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres in the South Bronx

John Ahearn

Swoon — close-up — in Red Hook, Brooklyn



Photos by Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky


Speaking with Chris Stain

December 19, 2012

Queens-based artist Chris Stain is best known for his splendid stencil images that often reflect his concern with social inequality. We recently had a chance to speak to him following the opening of  Sowing the Seeds of Love at Munch Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Chris Stain

When did you start getting up in public spaces? And where were you living at the time?

In 1984.  I was 11 years old and living in Baltimore.

What motivated you to hit the streets?

The movie Beat Street had a huge impact on me, as did the book Subway Art by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant. I also caught Style Wars on PBS.

Were there any particular writers who inspired you back then?

Most of us starting out in Baltimore were inspired by local writers, Zek, JamOne and RomeOne. Zek, considered the king at the time, was a lefty and had a distinct left-handed style that we all borrowed and tried to make our own.  Another writer who influenced us all was Revolt who came down to Baltimore from NYC in the early 80’s.

Chris Stain

Have you a first graffiti memory?

I was 11 when I did my first tag on the last house of a row of houses on my block. The kids on my block would usually find some flat black or white paint lying around somewhere in their fathers’ basement. But I used cherry red spray paint – the Testor spray paint that was bought for plastic car models — to put up my first tag. 

What did you first write?

I wrote Savage. I wanted a name that sounded cool. Later I wrote Stain after hearing it rapped by Rammellzee in his song Beat Bop.

These days we identify you with huge stencils that surface on city streets. When did you first begin working with stencils?

I began in the late 90’s. In the beginning of my artistic endeavors I was into traditional graffiti lettering. Long after I graduated high school, I began stenciling to tell more of a personal story.

Chris Stain

Have you ever been arrested?

Three times…when I was eleven, sixteen and thirty-nine.  I remember being grounded for two months after my first arrest.

We’ve seen your work in a number of galleries here in NYC. Have you exhibited outside of the U.S.?

My work has been exhibited in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Germany, and Norway.

Have you any thoughts about the street-art graffiti divide?

I don’t think about it. Both have their different energies. To me it’s all creativity.

With whom have you collaborated?

Among those with whom I’ve collaborated are:  Josh MacPhee and the Justseeds crew , Billy Mode, Swoon, The Polaroid Kidd, Bill Daniels, Martha Cooper, Skewville, Login Hicks, C215, Armsrock, Know Hope, Nick Walker, Blek Le Rat, and Chris & Veng of Robots Will Kill, Hell Bent, and a host of others.

Chris Stain and Billy Mode

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

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it’s taken away from the specialness – the underground secrecy – of the counterculture. But it also allows us to easily share our work with one another. And that is a plus.

Do you have a formal art education?

No. I never attended art school.  Not formally at least. I tried some continuing education classes to build a portfolio after I got out of high school but I had a hard time with the discipline.

Your artwork reflects a strong social consciousness – both in your subject matter and placement.  Could you tell us something about this?

I was brought up to respect other people’s struggles.  It is important that we treat others the way we would like to be treated – regardless of race, nationality or social status.  If there is a message in my artwork, it is that we need to be more aware of each other.

Chris Stain

What do you see yourself doing five years from now?

Teaching art, still painting with Billy Mode and working with JustSeeds. And I’d like to continue to show my work in galleries and create public works as well.

That sounds great! We are looking forward to seeing your artwork anywhere!

 Interview by Lenny Collado; photos of Chris Stain street art by Lois Stavsky; photo of Chris Stain and Billy Mode by Dani Mozeson

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Committed to the transformative power of art, the members of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative create works that reflect a strong political and social consciousness. Currently on exhibit at Munch Gallery at 245 Broome Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is Sowing the Seeds of Love, the first Justseeds group exhibition in New York City. Over 20 Justseeds members have created new pieces specifically for this exhibit that continues through December 23. Many of these artists have also participated in public art projects. Here is a sampling of what is on view at Munch Gallery:

Chris Stain, Occupy

"Chris Stain"

Roger Peet, Great Auks 

"Roger Peet"

Colin Matthes, Personal Continuous Evacuation Dwelling

Colin Matthes

Meredith Stern, Mutual Aid

Meredith Stern

  Josh MacPhee, Even the Worms Must Produce

"Josh MacPhee"

 Photos by Lenny Collado, Sara Mozeson & Lois Stavsky


From the playful to the poignant, dozens of girls — and women too — grace the walls of New York City.  Here’s a sampling of some that are currently part of NYC’s visual landscape:

Cekis close-up in downtown Brooklyn

"Cekis street art in Brooklyn"

Chris Stain close-up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

 Cro stencil in West Harlem

"Cro stencil in Harlem"

Dasic portrait in the South Bronx

"Dasic street art in the Bronx"

Elle paste-up in Chelsea

"Elle paste-up in Chelsea"

Shiro in Bushwick, Brooklyn

"Shiro street art in Brooklyn"

Toofly mural in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"Toofly street art in Williamsburg, Brooklyn"

Photos by Street Art NYC, Lenny Collado & Dani Mozeson