John Matos

"Tats Cru"

Founded by John Matos aka Crash and Robert Kantor and directed by Anna Matos, WallWorks NY is a wonderful new gallery space at 39 Bruckner Boulevard in the South Bronx. While visiting its current  — and final — unofficial exhibit, Open Gallery, we had the opportunity to speak to Anna.

"anna matos"

When did WallWorks NY open?

We had our first “unofficial” opening exhibition, First Taste, on September 12.  Its focus was on promoting street art and graffiti as a viable art form within galleries and museums. Among the many local and international artists whose works were featured were: Daze, Futura, Nick Walker, Stash and TATS CRU members: Bio, Nicer and BG 183. This was followed by Point. Focus. Click. featuring photos – that had never been exhibited before — by such photographers as Henry Chalfant, Martha Cooper, Joe Conzo, David Gonzalez, Lisa Kahane, Francisco Reyes II and Ricky Flores.

Such

This current exhibit, Open Gallery, introduces us to many new artists.

Yes. It’s our final show before our official opening next month.  Along with works by emerging local artists in Open Gallery, are artworks in various media by artists from around the country – many of whom had never exhibited their works in a gallery setting before.

Buz163

How have these “unofficial” openings gone?

The response has been great. And the success that we’ve achieved so far is more than we could have imagined!

Why did you choose to open a gallery in the South Bronx?

Why not the South Bronx? Its history is so rich, and hopefully we will encourage people to visit it.

Funest

What is WallWork’s NY’s mission?

In the experimental and explorative vein of Fashion MODA, we want to exhibit new and exciting work from both emerging and established artists.

How did this space come to be?

My father, Crash, had dreamed for a long time of opening a gallery, and I loved the idea of directing one. On our trips into the city, we repeatedly passed this empty space on Bruckner Boulevard – that we saw as a potential site for a gallery.  After discussing it with an art dealer in Paris last summer, my father said, “Let’s do it!” And then a partnership with entrepreneur Robert Kantor made it possible for my father to realize his dream.

"John Paul O'Grodnick"

What experiences and skills do you bring to your position as gallery director?

I grew up around art. As a child, I regularly accompanied by father to his studio – where I would sit and draw. For a long time, in fact, I thought I would be an artist. But as a senior in high school, I discovered that I was more interested in the concepts behind the art than in creating art. I then majored in Art History with a double minor of Philosophy and Black Studies at Fairfield University, and after graduating from college, I studied Art Business at FIT.  And in addition to several internships, including one as Special Project Manager the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, I served as a liaison for my father, assisting him in everything from creating a strong social media presence to installing and selling art. I see myself as someone who is committed to each artist’s personal development and financial success — as well as to the success of the gallery.

"Stephanie Burr"

What’s ahead?

Our official launch takes place on next Saturday, January 10, with Ikonoklasts, featuring never-before-seen works by three legendary NYC artists: A-One, Dondi White and Rammallzee. Following Ikonoklasts will be our first solo show featuring works on canvas by Nicer of TATS CRU.

That sounds wonderful! We are looking forward!

Interview conducted by City-as-School intern Zachariah Messaoud and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos by Lois Stavsky

Photos

1. TATS CRU

2. Anna Matos, gallery director

3. Such Styles

4. Buz163

5. Funqest

6. John Paul O’Grodnick

7. Stephanie Burr

Note: Open Gallery continues until January 7 at 39 Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx.

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With Sheryo and the Yok completing the missing letter — S — , the B-U-S-H-W-I-C-K mural at the Bushwick Collective is now complete. Here are some images:

Sexer at work after completing the letter ‘B.’ Letter ‘U’ by David Louf aka June1 to its right

"seder and David Louf"

 Sheryo and the Yok, the letter ‘S’

"Sheryo and the Yok"

Dasic Fernandez at work on the letter ‘H’

Dasic

Billy Mode at work on the letter ‘W’

"Billy Mode"

Eelco ’Virus’ Van den Berg, the letter ‘I’, with Bushwick Collective founder and curator Joe Ficalora to its right

Eelco

John Matos aka Crash, the letter ‘C’ 

Crash

Zimad at work on the final letter, ‘K’

Zimad

With some additions

Bushwick-graffiti-Bushwick-Collective

 Photo credits: 1, 4 & 7 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8 by Lois Stavsky

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Topaz

Yesterday at noon, the 14th edition of the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame, presented by Joey TDS and James Top, was officially launched inside the famed East Harlem schoolyard on 106th Street and Park Avenue. Here is a small sampling of what went down during the early afternoon:

Topaz

Topaz

Scratch

scratch-graffiti-hall-of-fame

Ligisd

Graffiti-Hall-of-Fame

Hops

Hops

Bver

Bver

Wiz Art

"Wiz Ar"t

Queen Andrea

"Queen Andrea"

 And earlier in the week, Tats Cru — with Crash and Nick Walker — fashioned a huge mural outside the school yard. Here are some close-ups:

crash-bio-nick-walker

"Tats Cru"

Tats Cru

The 14th edition of the NYC Graffiti Hall of Fame continues today from noon to 8pm.

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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The legendary Bronx-based graffiti artist John Matos aka Crash has been busy these days — with work on the streets, on exhibit and on Ferrari cars.  Here’s a sampling:

At work on the Lower East Side last month for the Lisa Project

"John Matos aka Crash"

Recently-completed mural up in the Bronx for TAG Public Arts Project

"John Matos aka Crash"

At opening of Broken English at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Crash-at-opening

With spray paint on canvas in Broken English at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Wrapped in My Own Existence

"John Matos aka Crash"

On exhibit in City as Canvas at the Museum of the City of New York, acrylic on canvas, 1986

"John Matos aka Crash"

For the Crash Ferrari Art Project, a collaborative venture with Joe “MAC” of Martino Auto Concepts and the Dorian Grey Gallery, on exhibit beginning today, July 24, through July 28 at Art Southampton

"John Matos aka Crash"

Matos-paints-auto

Matos-and-Martino-Auto-concepts

Photos: 1, 3 and 5 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; photo 2 by Lois Stavsky; photo 4 courtesy of the artist and photos 6-8, courtesy Bettina Cataldi

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Blurring the lines among abstract graffiti, pop art and fine art, Dorian Grey’s current exhibit, Flow, features the works of the legendary Bronx-based artist John Matos aka Crash and UK’s Remi Rough. Some of the works were painted individually; others were fashioned collaboratively. All are distinctly stylish. Here’s a sampling:

Remi Rough and Crash, Make her blue eyes blue

"Remi Rough and Crash"

Remi Rough, Never yours completely

"Remi Rough"

Crash, Fantastic

Crash

Remi Rough and Crash, Letter R reconstructed

"Remi Rough and Crash"

Remi Rough and Crash, Eye 03

"Remi Rough and Crash"

Remi Rough and Crash, Letter C reconstructed

"Remi Rough and Crash"

Flow continues through February 23, 2014 at Dorian Grey, 437 East 9th Street and Avenue A.

Flow-Remi-Rough-and-Crash-at-Dorian-Grey

Photo of Make her blue eyes blue by Lois Stavsky; all others photos of artworks by Dani Reyes Mozeson 

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