contemporary art

Curated by Woodward Gallery, several intriguing newly-painted shutter gates have surfaced on Broome and Eldridge Streets on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  The image featured above was painted by Brooklyn-born neo-contemporary artist, JM Rizzi also known as JMR.  More images of these recently refashioned gates follow:

Another by JM Rizzi also known as JMR

Ecuadorian artist Lasak

NYC-based Jose Baez

Illustrator and painter Jen “PROPS” Larkin

Hudson Valley-based self-taught artist Cosbe

Additional images of these gates, along with another painted by David Weeks, can be seen here. And a perfect time to check them all out, along with Michael Alan’s wondrous 30 foot mural, is this coming Sunday’s block party hosted by Kehila Kedosha Jahina Synagogue and Museum from 12-4om  at 280 Broome Street, off Eldridge.

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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Richard Hambleton and His Contemporaries: Al Diaz, Ken Hiratsuka, Scot Borofsky, an exploration of the unsanctioned street art movement in New York City in the 1980s — through four of its most significant visionaries — continues through Friday, July 30, at Ideal Glass Studios.

The image featured above, Jumper, was fashioned in 1995 by the late Canadian artist Richard Hambleton, referred to by many as the “Godfather of street art.”  Hambleton’s mysterious, mesmerizing  silhouetted figures, variations of his iconic “Shadowman,” made their way into hundreds of alleyways and buildings throughout NYC after he had moved to Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Several more images on exhibit in Richard Hambleton and His Contemporaries follow:

Also by Richard Hambleton, “Untitled 1,” 1994, Acrylic on canvas,  70.5 x 62.5 inches

NYC native Al Diaz — prolific text-oriented street artist who had collaborated with Jean Michel Basquiat on SAMO© and maintains an active presence on the streets today — “Forgotten Names,” 2019-20, Mixed media on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Also by Al Diaz, “Ghost Painting,” 2021, Mixed media on canvas, 21 x 30 inches

Japanese sculptor Ken Hiratsuka — who worked with hammer and chisel to create intricate designs  underfoot — “Islands,” 2021, Bluestone, 23.5 x 18 x 3 inches

Also by Ken Hiratsuka, “All Night,” 2010, Black granite, 38 x 26 x 1.5 inches

Vermont native Scot Borofsky — known for his site-specific works referencing ancient art from various cultures — (from left to right) “Farmer’s Daughter,” 1986, Krylon spray paint on linen, 60 x 42 inches; “Yellow Angel,” 1986, Krylon spray paint on linen, 60 x 42 inches; “Meditating Figure,” 1989, Krylon spray paint on linen, 72 x 72 inches

The exhibition can be viewed daily through Friday, July 30m from 2-6pm at Ideal Glass Studios. located at 9 West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. For viewings all other times, you can contact Salomon Arts Gallery at (212) 966-1997 to book an appointment.

Special thanks to Ana Candelaria, who attended the press reception earlier this week and photographed select works to share with us

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Currently on view at Taglialatella Galleries is Cabin Fever, a solo exhibition by the wonderfully inventive, multidisciplinary artist Joe Iurato. Featuring a range of paintings, wood assemblages, works on paper and photographs — along with the artist’s first NFT — Cabin Fever is Iurato’s personal reflection on life during the pandemic.

“It’s an unfiltered, visceral reaction to a life event that I’ll never be able to explain fully,” Joe Iurato comments. The artwork featured above, Over and Out was fashioned earlier this year with spray paint, a hand-scrolled wooden cut out and a reclaimed wood assemblage. Several more artworks on exhibit in Cabin Fever follow:

New Tricks, 2021, Spray paint, hand-scrolled wooden cut out, reclaimed wood assemblage, 21 x 27 x2 inches

Air, Play Connect, 2021, Spray paint, hand-scrolled wooden cut out, reclaimed wood assemblage, 21 x 27 x2 inches

Home Studio, 2021, Spray paint on canvas, 48 x 36 x 2 inches

Shift, 2021, Spray paint on panel, satin varnish, 30 x 24 x 2 inches

Anotherworld (Pink), 2021, Spray paint, hand-scrolled wooden cutout, reclaimed wood assemblage, 26 x 14 x 5 inches

Cabin Fever #1, 2021, 20-Second Loop NFT, from an edition of 25

Located at 229 10th Avenue between West 23rd and West 24th Streets in Chelsea, Taglialatella Galleries is open Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and by appointment.

Photo credits: 1, 2, & 6 Lois Stavsky; 3-5 Dani Reyes Mozeson and 7 Courtesy of the artist

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NYC-based Australian-American multidisciplinary artist and muralist Charlie Hudson has been exploring the city by foot over this past year. Inspired by these walks, he has crafted an extraordinary range of geometric artworks on wood. With their seductive colors, alluring patterns and tantalizing textures, they are at once gritty and elegant. Several works captured on our recent visit to Charlie’s solo exhibition, Points of Distraction, at Ki Smith Gallery follow:

Elevated Trains, 2021, Acrylic and oil on wood, 38 x 6 x 4 in.

Subway Over Bridge, 2021, Acrylic and oil on wood, 19 x 51 x 3.5 in.

Vanishing Point, 2021, Acrylic and oil on wood, 22 x 15 x 3 in.

Orange Mist, 2021, Acrylic and oil on wood, 14 x 14 x 3 in.

Sun Spot, 2021, Acrylic and oil on wood, 52 x 27 x 3 in.

Small segment of installation of sculptural paintings

Located at 197 E 4th Street, Ki Smith Gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday, 12:30 – 6:30 p.m.  You can also book an appointment for a private viewing here.  Points of Distraction continues through May 9.

Photo credits: 1, 2, 4-6 Lois Stavsky; 3 & 7 Sara C Mozeson

Note: The first image features the artist standing outside Ki Smith Gallery .

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Not only was the late legendary writer Fernando Miteff — known to most of us as Nic 707 — a master of multiple styles, but he was also the founder and curator of one of NYC’s most distinctly impressive public art projects, InstaFame Phantom Art.

Beginning in 2009 until his untimely death last year from Covid, Nic 707 regularly rode the MTA trains with the singular mission of transforming their interiors into a one-of-a-kind pop-up gallery in motion. Having accompanied him on many of these adventures, I witnessed first-hand not only his boundless passion for graffiti, but his deep love for all art, as he showcased contemporary artworks in styles ranging from figurative to abstract, along with his and other writers’ tags, throw-ups and pieces.

And the response of the train riders who viewed Nic’s pop-up shows was almost always overwhelmingly positive. Many posed questions to Nic as they photographed his installations, and in response, Nic would graciously school them on the history of graffiti, its impact on contemporary art, the personal histories of the varied artists and more.

InstaFame Phantom Art (Volume 1): The Nic 707 Collection (NYC Transit Exhibition Catalog) is the perfect tribute to Nic — a paean to his creative energy and vision — and a gift to us all. Penned by his brother, Karim Miteff, it not only features dozens of images of works by Nic and by several other artists that rode the trains between 2009-2013, but it tells the story of graffiti and of Nic’s particular circumstances, including his 27-year hiatus from the culture. Much, in fact, is presented in Nic’s own words, as told to Karim.

Among the key subjects the book covers — in addition to Nic 707’s story — are: the tools writers use, the evolution of their styles, their code of ethics and the development of crews. Nic 707 was, in fact, the founder and first President of the Bronx-based OTB Crew.

And featured, of course, are dozens of images of variations of Nic’s iconic Kilroy character, described by the artist as “a kind of an entity…a presence. Even though he has no eyes, he sees all…but he doesn’t judge. He promotes love and holds the key to a silent and ancient wisdom. He represents the potential for alien intervention to help save mankind.”

Nic 707 was one-of-a-kind. He was, as his brother accurately describes him, a “Style Master. Visionary. Time Traveler.”

Writing about InstaFame Phantom Art back in 2015 in The New York Times, David Gonzalez described the project as one “with hundreds of one-of-a-kind panels that would be the envy of any urban gallery.”

I am already looking forward to the second volume of InstaFame Phantom Art: The Nic 707 Collection (NYC Transit Exhibition Catalog). 

Images:

1 Book cover, 2021

2 Black Star Bumper Car on the IRT 4 train, 2013

3 Lollipop$, 2012

4 Souls in Transit, 2013

5 Choose Your Palette, 2012

Photos 1, 3-5 Courtesy Karim Miteff; Photo 2, Lois Stavsky

Book Review by Lois Stavsky

Note: The book is available here.

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Lower East Side native Marcus Glitteris is not only an intriguing self-taught artist but a passionate curator, as well.  Largely  influenced by New York City’s Downtown club scene, he teems with the energy that permeated it. Earlier this week, I stopped by Home Grown, an exhibit he curated at Village Works in the East Village, and posed a few questions to him:

Can you tell us something about your vision in curating this exhibit?

Its main focus is to showcase the varied works of a wide range of artists who live or have lived on Manhattan’s Lower East Side or East Village.

And what about this wonderful space?

Village Works is the name of this new gallery. Designated specifically as a space to showcase NYC artists, it sells rare art books, as well as art. My friend, Joe Sheridan, is the creative director here. We know each other from the night life scene, but since, Joe has since ventured into the the artist community and invited me to curate here. This space used to be an architectural firm.

What about the show’s title? It does seem appropriate now that I know a bit of the backstory. 

“Home Grown” is a term lots of New Yorkers, especially those in urban neighborhoods, grew up with. It references the distinct qualities and influences of a particular neighborhood. In my case — and in the case of many artists in this show — it is the Lower East Side.

The range of artists here is so varied — in terms of their backgrounds and choice of media. How did you choose which artists to include in this exhibition? 

It’s a community. Many I’ve known for a long time. Others I met and got to know in varied circumstances. Carol Fassler, for example, is a photographer I met on many occasions over the years on Thursday nights at the New Museum. And then there are artists who were new to me…whom I didn’t know anything about. Nora Timbila, for example, was introduced to me by Joe. When I curate, I like to mix up shows with artists who are established, artists who are emerging and artists who’ve never had a show before.

What were some of the challenges you faced in seeing this exhibit through?

Working with artists in any industry can be complex. Some of the artists — especially the more established ones  — ask, “Who else is in the show?” or “Where is the venue?”  So I have to deal with that. And it can get stressful!  To be a successful curator, though, I have to admit that I’m not always right, and yet still set boundaries. A curator has to have patience, compassion and love.

How was the response to this particular exhibit?

It was wonderful! The energy was great, as were all the people who came by.

Congratulations!  I especially loved discovering artists in Home Grown who were new to me.

Note:  Home Grown continues at Village Works, 90 East 3rd Street, through next Wednesday, April 14. Text 917.749.0319 to find out if the gallery is open or to make an appointment.

Images:

1 Optimo NYC 

2 Marcus Glitteris

3 Marina Reiter

4 BC1 NBA

5 Nora Timbila

6 A. Candela

7 As seen from the outside — Renda Writer and Hektad

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Photo credits: 1, 4, 5 & 7 Lois Stavsky; 2, 3 & 6 A. Candela

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Prolific, passionate, and hugely inventive, both Clarence Rich and Mr Mustart are among Jersey City’s most prominent street artists. POLARITY: New works by CLARENCE RICH & MR. MUSTART, showcases their talents  — individually and collaboratively — in a tantalizing exhibition that continues through April 13 at Jersey City’s PRIME Gallery.  The image pictured above, 3rd Eye, was fashioned with mixed media on canvas by Clarence Rich. Several more images from the exhibit — curated by PRIME  Gallery director, Maria Kosdan — follow:

Mr Mustart, Polaris, Mixed media on canvas, 11 x 14”

Clarence Rich, Solace Sky, Mixed media on canvas, 24 x 30”

Mr Mustart, Dry Ice, Mixed media on canvas 16 x 20”

Clarence Rich, Hippy, Mixed media on canvas, 16 x 20”

Mr Mustart, All Eyes On You, Mixed media on canvas, 40 x 60”

Clarence Rich & Mr Mustart, Poetic Justice, Mixed media on canvas, 11 x 14”

And painted directly onto the wall by Clarence Rich & Mr Mustart

PRIME Gallery is located at 351 Palisade Avenue in Jersey City Heights. To visit you can contact its director here.

Photo credits: 1-7 Lois Stavsky; 8 Courtesy PRIME Gallery

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On our first-time, long-overdue visit to Jersey City’s Deep Space Gallery this past Sunday, we were greeted by a treasure trove of first-rate artworks in a wide range of styles and media. Currently on exhibit is MORE MINIS, the gallery’s annual miniature show, showcasing works by over 60 contemporary artists. While many are formally trained, others are self-taught. All produce delightfully intriguing work.

Featured above is a close-up from an installation of spray cans painted by Jersey City-born and bred multimedia artist and graffiti veteran T.DEE, along with a small sculpture — from the series Elephas Maximus Indicus — crafted by noted India-born, Newark-based “3D light artist” Sunil Garg.

What follows are several works by featured artists who also have a strong presence on our streets:

NJ-based GOOMBA, “#8 of 9,” Acrylic, spray paint and ink on canvas

NYC-based Optimo NYC, “AIDSERIES #5: And It Don’t Stop,” Aerosol, enamel and acrylic on canvas

NJ-based RH Doaz, “Moving On,” Mixed media on reclaimed wood

Jersey City-born, bred and based Clarence Rich, “Maelstrom,” Acrylic on canvas

Jersey City-based Catherine Hart, “Love Note 3,” Resin art, one of 12

Wide view of segment of MORE MINIS exhibition

Founded in 2016 by the multi-faceted Jenna Geiger and artist Keith VanPel, Deep Space Gallery is  located at 77 Cornelison Avenue in Jersey City’s Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood. To visit Deep Space Gallery and view the distinctly alluring artworks on exhibit through mid-February, you can send a direct message to its Instagram account. or drop an email to deepspacejc@gmail.com.

Photo credits: 1 & 7 Ana Candelaria; 2-6 Lois Stavsky

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Twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo aka OSGEMEOS returned this fall to Lehmann Maupin with their magic.  Portal, their second exhibition at the Chelsea gallery, draws us into a fantastical dreamworld at a time when we most need to escape the “real” one we have been living in. The wonderfully gifted artists’ fanciful characters — fashioned in their iconic bright yellow tones in a range of uncanny settings — delight and intrigue. The image featured above, Mix Master Coconut, is is one of 13 new mixed media artworks that — according to the artists — “are like PORTALS or windows into a new dimension.”

Several more images captured on my visit to PORTALS follow:

The Pretty Island, 2019, Mixed media and sequins on MDF board (medium-density fiberboard)

The Composer, 2019, Mixed media on MDF board

All Connected, 2020, Mixed media on MDF board

Taking the Dog for a Walk, 2019, Mixed media on MDF board

Liquid Room, 2019, Mixed media on MDF board

The gallery is located at 501 W 24th Street and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM.

Photos of images by Lois Stavsky

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In early May — before the brutal death of George Floyd and the ongoing protests that followed it — members of the The Bowery Union began installing images of artworks on Soho’s shuttered spaces. As The Street Art Project progressed, artists from outside of NYC began to contribute their talents, as well.

Over a dozen of the boards have since been salvaged and are now on view at The Bowery Union‘s spacious gallery space at 329 Broome Street. And along with them are works by these same artists on a range of surfaces.

The two large portraits featured above — Barack Oh Mama and Regina George Washington — were fashioned by NYC-based artist and writer Isabella Cortez. And making its way in between them is the now-familiar face created by Jessi Flores aka Stealth Art. Several more images seen on my recent visit to The Bowery Union follow:

Brooklyn-based Cavier, “From Dust to Dawn”

Tomaso Albertini, Duel RIS and Swoon; Swoon’s image was initially made for  the ‘Create Art for Earth‘ campaign 

 NYC-based Oscar Lett, “In Still Waters”

NYC-based Miishab, “Heaven’s Gate,” to the left of Romanian artist Gagyi Botond, “Silence 2.0”

NYC-based Adrian Bermeo, “Bustelo Boy #2”

Dominican-American artist Indie 184, “Take Back Your Power”

All are invited tomorrow (Tuesday) evening for an artist’s talk featuring Doc Hammer at 7pm and to the exhibition’s opening reception on Thursday at 8. Check here for specific details.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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