Doze Green

Opening this week in Wynwood, Miami is the Museum of Graffiti, the world’s first museum dedicated solely to graffiti art.  Fostering an understanding of the work of the pioneering graffiti artists, who started tagging in the New York subways in the early 1970s, the museum’s permanent exhibition, under the curatorial direction of Alan Ket, features paintings, photographs, mixed media sculptures, assorted memorabilia and interactive installations “that will allow visitors to travel through time and learn about the evolution of the worldwide graffiti art movement.”

Featured above is veteran all-city writer Charles Henry aka Flip One, captured back in the day by graffiti writer and photographer Flint Gennari.  Several more photos, taken by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad while previewing the Museum of Graffiti last week, follow:

Museum co-founder and lead curator Alan Ket

Vintage spray paint cans 

NYC-based writers Ghost aka Cousin Frank and Giz

Graffiti pioneers Mare139, Blade, Ero, Sonic Bad and Lady Pink

Masters Mare139Doze Green, Defer and JonOne

Defer , closer up

And the branding of the art form

Also featured at the Museum of Graffiti’s inaugural exhibition is a special exhibit showcasing works by Amsterdam-based calligraffiti master Niels Meulman a.k.a. Shoe. Open daily, except for Tuesday, from 11am to 7pm, the Museum of Graffiti is located in the heart of Wynwood at 299 NW 25th Street, Miami. And in addition to what is housed and takes place indoors, the exterior boasts a range of rotating murals by first-rate graffiti artists.

Photos: Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad 

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eleven-spring-book-cover

To celebrate the launch of the new book from Wooster CollectiveELEVEN SPRING: A CELEBRATION OF STREET ART, artist ELBOW-TOE remembers the historic event and its impact on the world of street art.

I was talking to a younger artist the other day about street art that I was involved in as opposed to murals — which she considers street art — and she said, “Oh, you mean vandalism.”

How did we get here?

elbow-toe-11-spring

I recall the moment that I knew I wanted to be a street artist – I was at work, and one afternoon, my friend pointed me to this post on a blog I had never heard of called Wooster Collective. It was an image by an artist who had photoshopped street signs, so that they looked transparent from the correct angle. It was absolutely magical. How did it get there? Who was the artist? I had seen some street art around over the years: WK Interact when I was in school in the early 90’s and around the early 2000’s quite a bit of NECKFACE around the corner from a print shop I was using.

wk-interact-11-spring

As I began to explore the archives of Wooster Collective, I saw that there was in fact a community that had built up around these random acts of art that I had paid little heed beyond the internal “huh, that’s interesting.” What was truly fascinating about the work was that, aside from a moniker, the work was anonymous. In that anonymity there existed a mystery. It elevated even the most banal work, purely by the act of risk that was involved. And for the first time in over a decade in the city, it pulled me out of my tunnel vision and got me looking at the walls as spaces to be activated.

11-spring-street

The Wooster Collective site was such an impeccably curated space that it got people outside of the movement to give it their attention. Having known the Schillers over those early years, I, of course, was head over heels when I was asked not only to be involved in their secret project but to be given a coveted space on the main floor. At the time I don’t think any of us realized that this exhibition would have the impact that it did.

sheard-fairey-at-work-11-spring

11 Spring was truly a transformative exhibition; it reflected the very transition that would occur wholeheartedly in this movement just by walking from the outside of the building to the inside. The exterior of the building still had the raw power of getting your work up. The work was often messy and might last only a few hours before being covered by a new piece. Contrast the organic energy of the ever-changing composition on the shell with an impeccably curated show inside the five floors of a gutted building, where all these artists were able to truly flex their technical and creative muscles without concern of the work being damaged or transformed by others.

barnstormers-11-spring

It was this mercurial quality of traveling from the outside to the inside and then back out again that gave this show such power in my opinion. I am not sure that there is a direct correlation of this show to the mural program that followed, but it certainly opened a larger audience up to the possibilities of their public spaces’ potential.

I will always cherish the experience.

judith-supine-david-zucco

Note: With its outstanding documentation, along with an introduction by Shepard Fairey and an afterword by JR,  ELEVEN SPRING: A CELEBRATION OF STREET ART captures an important moment in the history of the movement. Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29 — from 6:30 to 8:00 PM — Marc and Sara Schiller, along with FAILE, Lady Pink, Michael DeFeo, and WK Interact, will be at the Strand for a special signing and celebration of the book’s launch. You can buy tickets to the event here

Images 

1.  COVER, ELEVEN SPRING: A CELEBRATION OF STREET ART

2.  ELBOW-TOE  (BRIAN ADAM DOUGLAS), EVERYBODY’S GOT ONE, MADE WITH WOOD BURNER, YARN, AND PAINT. PHOTO ELBOW-TOE

3.  WK INTERACT, THE FIRST ARTIST INVITED INSIDE THE BUILDING. PHOTO JAKE DOBKIN 

4.  11 SPRING STREET, THE DAY OF THE OPENING. PHOTO JAKE DOBKIN 

5.  SHEPARD FAIREY, HARD AT WORK, MAKING IT LOOK EASY. PHOTO WOOSTER COLLECTIVE 

6.  BARNSTORMERS’ COLLABORATION WITH PAINTINGS BY Z¥$, DOZE GREEN AND KENJI HIRATA. PHOTO JAKE DOBKIN

7  JUDITH SUPINE AND DAVIDE ZUCCO (R3KAL), THERE IS HELL IN HELLO. PHOTO DONALD DIETZ 

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"Prophet in the Desert"

A graffiti writer and b-boy back in the 70’s, California-based Doze Green crafts extraordinary artwork that exudes all the energy, exuberance and irreverence of the New York City streets that were once his.  Out of Nowhere, his current exhibit and fifth solo show at Jonathan LeVine, continues through Saturday at 557C West 23rd Street. Here are a few more images:

Set with Osirian Strap (Penis Envy)mixed media on canvas

"Set with Osirian Strap-On (Penis Envy)"

Napoleon Bonefart, mixed media on wood

"Napoleon Bonefart"

H Thrice, mixed-media on canvas

"H Thrice"

The Initiate, mixed media on canvas 

"The Initiate"

The Jonathan LeVine Gallery is open from 11am to 6pm.

Photos of images by Dani Reyes Mozeson; first image is Prophet in the Desert, mixed-media on canvas

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