Recently installed on the embankment of Sajsary Lake in Yakutsk, Russia — the second coldest city in the world —  is a massive sculpture fashioned by Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel.  Forged with steel in his infectious signature style, the 4-meter public art object represents the artist’s vision of the primitive man —  a punk-like figure sporting spiked hair, released from civilization’s shackles.

Curated by the National Art Museum of the Republic of Sakha in collaboration with Artmossphere, Okuda’s 4-meter public art object, Ancestral Retromirage, is the final project of the fifth International Yakut Biennale of Contemporary Art that began in April 2018.

Photos courtesy of Artmossphere


In his wonderfully handsome and poignant exhibit, Too Young for Type One, Appleton has created an alternative universe in a range of media that not only delights us aesthetically, but provides us with an entry into the world of a diabetic.  Currently on view from 1-9pm at the Tenth Avenue Gallery, 287 Tenth Avenue at 26th Street, Too Young for Type One ends with a closing reception this Wednesday, November 15th from 6-10pm. What follows are several images I captured on my recent visit:

Appleton with one of his many perturbingly powerful installations

The End, Part One, Photographic transfer / Archival 27″ x 27″

A New Hero Emerges (the Tin Man as Diabetic), Mixed media / Found work 40″ x 28″

Appleton with his Insulin Tree

A small segment of “Too Young for Type One”

Photo credits: First image courtesy Appleton; 2-6 Lois Stavsky

Note: The exhibit is open today, Sunday, until 9pm.



Opening tonight at Contra Galleries at 122 West 26th Street in Chelsea is Over the Rainbow, an exhibit of new works by Frank Ape, the iconic character created by Brandon Sines. Curious about Frank Ape? I was!

I’ve been a huge fan of Frank Ape since I first came upon him on our streets several years ago.  Just who is he?

Frank is a fun-loving Sasquatch who lives in NYC among us humans.  Always caring and positive, he is an ape that often takes the form of a cartoon.

4 Frank Ape - Maui - Brandon Sines

When and where was he born?

He was born in NYC in 2010 shortly after I moved here. He evolved from a mix of various mythological creatures, pop-icons and original characters that I’d used in my earlier artwork.

Can you tell us about the relationship between you, Brandon Sines, the artist and the lovable Frank Ape — whom we’ve come to associate with you?

I identify with Frank Ape on a highly personal level. He gives me an opportunity to be invisible — while, at the same time, present — in his work.

Frank -Ape-in-New- York- City

What can visitors to tonight’s opening expect to experience? 

From 6-10pm, visitors can expect to be taken on a magical adventure in the multi-roomed gallery through the eye of Frank Ape. They will be able to interact with several site-specific exhibitions, view new large-scale Frank paintings, scoop limited edition collectibles at the pop-up gift shop and dance through the night to some of Frank’s favorite songs. And they will have the opportunity to meet the real life Frank!

It all sounds great! What’s ahead?

On August 10th, a new exhibit at Contra Galleries will feature my non-Frank paintings, along with a launch of my book Lips and Drips.

Frank-Ape - Good- Morning - New -York -City - Brandon -Sines

Good luck with it all. It’s quite ambitious!

Photos courtesy Brandon Sines

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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DDG’s 100 Franklin Street in Tribeca is now the site of a new massive mural by JR, the internationally acclaimed Parisian artist. The image is an enlargement of a photo that was originally taken in Ellis Island in 1908 and was featured in JR,’s Unframed — Ellis Island exhibit.

Installation in progress


With assistant Joshua B. Geyer taking command


The completed installation, as seen this past weekend


This same wall was the site of JR’s 100-foot ballerina, one of our favorite street art pieces of 2015. The following video by Jesse Whiles documents its transition:

We especially appreciate the new mural  — and its reminder that we are a nation of immigrants — at a time when so many are seeking refuge from catastrophic events throughout the globe.

Photo credits: 1 Courtesy DDG; 2-4 Tara Murray

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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A mythological dragon fashioned by the wonderfully talented Aaron Li-Hill surfaced earlier this month in Chinatown’s East Broadway mall. With its movement of wood and paint, it represents the journey of  the migrants who have come to NYC in search of the American Dream, along with the movement of  the “capital and goods dictated by the demands of global economic markets.”

Li-Hill-installation-IPOP sign

A metaphor for the struggles and successes of immigration, the piece was initially inspired by the 1993 Golden Venture incident that exposed a large human trafficking ring that brought migrants from the Fujian province — the main ethnic group within the East Broadway Mall — to America.


“My own background, being half Chinese and half Austrian, speaks to such struggle and success, “ explains Li-Hill, “I would not have the life I do now if it was not for the hardships faced by my grandparents in leaving their home country”


The dragon, a Chinese symbol of abundance and prosperity, aptly represents the American dream, which remains elusive to so many.

You can visit the installation at the East Broadway Mall, 88 East Broadway, Stall 149, in Manhattan’s Chinatown.  And you can find out more about this site-specific installation directly from Li-Hill in the video by Hardpin here:

 Photos: 1, 2 & 4 courtesy of the artist; 3 Dani Reyes Mozeson



The Studio Street Home duo — Colombian native Yeimi Salazar and Puerto Rican native Melvin Sanchez — began collaborating six years ago, soon after they met in NYC. Their first solo exhibit will open tomorrow and Saturday at Exit Room NY during Bushwick Open Studios. While visiting Exit Room last week, we had the opportunity to speak to its art director Daniela Zoe.

It’s great to see Exit Room NY so alive again! What a wonderful home for Studio Sweet Home‘s first solo exhibit!

Yes! To coincide with Bushwick Open Studios, I wanted to feature artists with a unique multidisciplinary approach. And I’m delighted to host Studio Sweet Home here at Exit Room NY, as Juguetería/Toys Warehouse is a great opportunity for the artists, our space and the public.



Can you tell us something about this upcoming show? What will Juguetería/Toys Warehouse feature?

There will be paintings, installations, sculptures, video projects, and performances. There will be something for everyone – as Juguetería/Toys Warehouse is not just an art exhibit, but an interactive experience.  A participatory performance will be held at 7pm on both opening days.


Have you worked with Studio Sweet Home artists Yeimi Salazar and Melvin Sanchez in the past?

Yes, they have participated in group shows before here at Exit Room NY.


What was it about Yeimi Salazar and Melvin Sanchez that initially drew you to them?

Their mastery of their craft, their talents and their versatility.  And I love the way their works attract participants.


What do you expect those who visit the show to take away from it?

The constructed objects and scenarios are certain to engage the viewer’s senses. There will be so much to see, stories to hear and objects and people to touch. And there are many subtle, suggestive, somewhat ironic, messages.


What’s ahead for Exit Room NY?

We are expecting a visit from a legendary street art crew in August. We will keep you posted!

It sounds great! Good luck! We are looking forward to it all!

Note: The exhibit’s opening will take place tomorrow and Saturday, the first two days of Bushwick Open Studios. The exhibit will then continue until June 26. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.  EXIT Room is located on 270 Meserole Street, a short walk from the Montrose stop on the L train.

Interview conducted by City-As-School intern Diana Davidova. All photos courtesy Studio Sweet Home and Exit Room NY.


N-Carlos-J-The Beautiful-Decay of-fear

Exuding beauty, decay and fear, the extraordinarily atmospheric The Beautiful Decay of Fear opens Friday at 12pm. We visited yesterday evening and got a glimpse of the installation in progress. Here are a few close-ups:

Another image by curator N Carlos J


Kirby Santos, close-up


Justin Carty, close-up


Danielle Mastrion at work


The site of the exhibit is 225 Starr Street, where you will be greeted by a masterful outdoor mural by the wonderfully talented Ben Angotti.

the beautiful decay of fear

 Photos: 1 & 2 City-As-School intern Diana Davidova; 3-5 Lois Stavsky



Last month, Minneapolis-based artist Eric Rieger aka Hottea came to NYC with a message. Here’s what he has to say about his installation on the iconic, recently-purchased building on Bowery and Spring Street:

Can you tell us something about this specific site?  What is its significance to you?

This building used to be the old Germania Bank and was built in 1898-99.  Today it is no longer a bank, but a residence.  For such a big building you would think that there is more than one tenant.  Not the case.  There is only one family living there, and that is the family of Jay Maisel.  Unfortunately, this is not for much longer.  He reportedly sold the property for 50 million dollars.  That is quite the profit considering he bought it for around 100k.  Over the years that Jay and his family lived there, they refused to clean its exterior walls.  The outcome was a collage of graffiti, wheatepastes and stickers. This building is significant to me because it made me think of a different way of installing my work.


Why did you choose to install the word “UUGGHH?”

I wanted this piece to be about the recent purchase of the building and the decision to turn it into a condo development/private gallery space.  I have seen gentrification taking place all over the world, and NYC is no stranger to it.  There are so many iconic buildings that are lost due to the desire for “New.”


What about the process of the installation?  How did you go about it?  How long did it take?

The process was done in three parts.  I did a lot of organizing in my hometown of Minneapolis, such as ordering lumber, reserving a moving truck, etc.  The second part was gathering all the materials once in NYC and building the lettering.  This proved to be much more complicated than I was expecting.  Many of the supplies were hauled via the subway and once on site, there was little room to work.  We used an abandoned lot, but got kicked out so we just worked in front of where I was staying.  Not much room at all.  The third and final part was hauling the letters on site and installing. The whole process from beginning to end took about two weeks.


What kinds of responses has your installation received?

A lot of people were curious when I was installing.  They were curious as to what it meant and who it was for.  I think a lot of people assume that if you are wearing a reflective vest and working during the day, that you must be doing something for a brand or for the city.  This installation was done to remember what NYC once used to be.  I was never able to experience it first-hand, but through images and video I was able to sense the energy and spirit behind the work being done. The reactions have been like mine.  UUGGHH, not another building lost to gentrification.  

And for a wonderful documentation of it all, check out this video.

All photos courtesy Hottea



Amidst the cameras, printers and sundry photography gear at this year’s pdn PhotoPlus Expo, we discovered DUMBO’s Craig Anthony Miller aka CAM at work, along with the Nigerian artist and musician, Laolu Senbanjo.  Here are a few more images that we captured yesterday at the remarkable installation, Inside the Studio, presented by Nikon at the Javits Center.

Another image of Craig Anthony Miller aka CAM at work

"Craig Anthony Miller"

Laolu Senbanjo at work


Collaborative artwork by Craig Anthony Miller aka CAM and Laolu Senbanjo


And a huge fragment of another collaborative piece


The pdn PhotoPlus Expo continues through today, Saturday.

Photos 1, 2, and 3 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; 4 and 5 by Lois Stavsky


The following guest post is by Rachel Fawn Alban, a NYC-based photographer, arts educator and regular contributor to untapped cities.

Swoon‘s highly anticipated installation is now on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, and it is a masterpiece.


Featuring a 60-foot tree with a trunk made from material colored with instant coffee, paint and fabric dye, Submerged Motherlands is at once beautiful and provocative.


At the tree’s base, a constructed environment has been assembled from sculpted boats and raft — and a gazebo with wasp nest and honeycomb detailing. Delicate paper cutouts, along with Swoon’s signature prints and drawings, are interspersed throughout the installation.


The prints include a few familiar characters from the artist’s lexicon, as well as some new ones.  Among the most striking images are those which enhance the theme of motherlands: Swoon’s friend and her new baby and portraits of her mother’s life cycle.


All of these elements create an immersive, engaging and beautiful environment.  And in a short video on view in the gallery space, Swoon describes the many processes involved in the creation of this epic work, including dying the tree fabric, transporting the boats and painting the rotunda walls using a fire extinguisher.  Reflecting both societal and environmental issues, the remarkable Submerged Motherlands continues through August 24.


Upcoming events include tomorrow’s Members Family Day with Swoon and June 12th’s celebration with Swoon and her collaborators of the work on view through film, music and performance.

Photos by Rachel Fawn Alban