Lady K. Fever

lady-k-Fever-with-graffiti-writers

Conceived and curated by Lady K FeverA Timeline of Handstyles: Signatures from the 1960’s to Present Day, presents an extraordinary array of writers’ signatures spanning three generations. While visiting the space — across from the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse — I had the opportunity to speak to Lady K.

I love this! There is so much history here. What prompted you to organize this?

When I first hit the streets, I did so as a tagger. And the first book I ever read on this culture, The Faith of Graffiti, alerted me to the significance of the tag. On a more personal level, this wall is also my way of paying homage to the old school writers who were so supportive of me when I first moved to NYC.

Charmin65-and-Swan3-Old-School-Writers-Time-line-of-handstyles

This wall serves as a canvas for early legends, as well as for some of the new artists on the scene. How did you get the word out?

I spoke to a number of writers from different generations, and asked them to invite others.

Stella-handstyle

Nicholai-Khan-handstyle

What were some of the challenges you faced in curating this?

Figuring out the logistics of it all, engaging younger writers, and dealing with the inevitable politics.

Dun-one-handstyle

Meek-hand-style

Were there any particular surprises?

Folks rumored to be dead suddenly surfaced! Seeing Swan 3 was, perhaps, the biggest surprise! What a pleasure that was! And I was surprised — and delighted — that so many folks were willing to travel here from afar to tag this wall.

Broham-380-handstyle

What’s next?

I’d love to curate a huge warehouse and engage far more people.

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The mural will remain on view through the end of this month — with a special public viewing on Sunday, June 28, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Note: Special thanks to Delicioso Coco Helado for providing the space and supporting the project.

Photos: 1-7 Lois Stavsky; 8 & 9 Lady K Fever

Note: Photo 2 features Charmin 65 and Swan 3; photo 3 Stella Isabella; photo 4 Nicholai Khan; photo 5 Dun One; photo 6 Meek; photo 7 Broham380

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Deborah-Fisher-Paul-Ramirez-Jones

Almost 40 years ago the historic Old Bronx Courthouse building closed its doors. This past Thursday evening, the landmark structure reopened to host When You Cut Into the Present the Future Leaks Out, a thoroughly engaging multi-media exhibit, curated by Regine Basha for No Longer Empty Featuring over two dozen artists on three levels, its title references the remix suggested by William S. Boroughs. Here are a few more images captured on Thursday:

Teresa DiehlL-Alber-Into, Video and sound installation

Teresa-Diehl

 Another view of  Teresa Diehl‘s ever-transforming hallucinatory musical installation

Diehl

Shellyne RodriguezPrototype For Belphegor’s Eye, 168 flesh-tint dyed mousetraps, rhinestones, gold chains, copper wire, plywood

Shellyne

Shellyne RodriguezGeperudeta, Ceramic

Shellyne-Rodriguez-Geperudeta

David Scanavino, Untitled, Linoleum tile

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Ellen HarveyAlien Souvenir Stand (close-up), Oil on aluminum, watercolor on gesso board, propane tanks, plywood, aluminum siding and poles, aluminum diamond plate, magnets

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Lady K FeverAll Rise (close-up), Mylar on façade of  building

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The exhibit continues through July 19, along with a variety of programs ranging from fashion shows to presentations by such Bronx-based artists as Eric Orr, Per One and Joe Conzo. The old Bronx Courthouse is located at 878 Brook Avenue at East 161 Street and Third Avenue in the South Bronx. 

Note: First photo features Deborah Fisher and Paul Ramirez Jonas, Something for Nothing, Mixed media, Custom designed neon sign

Research for this post by City-As-School student Diana Davidova; photos 1, 5, and 7 Diana Davidova; 2-4, 6 and 8 Lois Stavsky

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Boone-Room-Bronx-graffiti-Cope2

Some of NYC’s most vibrant and striking murals–on Boone Avenue between 172nd and 173rd Streets in the Bronx–were demolished last year to be replaced by residential buildings. But thanks to the efforts of SLO Architecture, various artists, neighboring Fannie Lou Hamer High School, Maria Krajewski, City-As-School students and several others, the spirit of Boone Avenue lives. Featuring dozens of images, interviews and more, the Boone Room website, constructed by City-As-School students, can now be viewed online. To celebrate its launch, the public is invited to join the City-As-School family, several of the artists and a host of performers and musicians tonight at Exit Room.

 Artists interviewed for the Boone Room website include: Cope2, Eric Orr, Marthalecia and Valerie Larko who has preserved the walls in her amazing photorealistic paintings.

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Lady K Fever

"Lady K Fever"

Kashink — who was visiting NYC from Paris — to the left of Lady K Fever

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 Tonight at 270 Meserole Street in Bushwick

Boone-Room-Launch-Party

Post by City-As-School intern Zachariah Messaoud with Lois Stavsky; photos 3 and 4 courtesy Maria Krajewski

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lady-k-fever-installation-longwood-gallery-nyc

Bronx-based Canadian artist Lady K Fever has been gracing the walls of her borough and beyond with her distinctly expressive aesthetic for over a decade. When I met up with her last week, she was feverishly at work on her inventive installation for her upcoming exhibit, Dubbed, at the Bronx Council of the ArtsLongwood Art Gallery.

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lady-k-fever-installation-in-progress

This is all quite amazing! There is so much going on here, and I love it all. What is the concept behind this? What is going on?

I am playing with the language of graffiti. It’s a mix of sketches, drawings, pieces, tags, stickers, wheatpastes, paintings on Plexiglas and cardboard, found objects, transparencies, selfies, subway tiles, razor wire and all that I associate with graffiti. It is quite conceptual. The razor wire represents — among other things — a prison yard and the risks we graffiti writers take. The new drawings made for this exhibit have all been done in conversation with myself or a friend or a family member, exploring direct transmission through the self and hand.

Lady-K-Fever-Longwood-gallery-close-up-art

When did the concept for this exhibit first come to you? How did it originate?

It began five years ago when I had a solo exhibit at Masterworks Museum in Bermuda. I became interested in playing with lines and mixing elements. It took me back to my reggae roots. The title of this exhibit Dubbed is a reference to the technical term for copying sound or other media from one tape to another. My installation explores how rhythm and emotion can translate into painted vibration and word.

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When did you begin the actual work for this exhibit?

I began working on it about two months ago. But I’ve been thinking about it for the past two years.

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What would you like your viewers to walk away with?

I want them to understand that there is more to graffiti than what one generally assumes. It is a rich, highly sophisticated aesthetic that involves a deliberate process.

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Why did you choose the the Longwood Art Gallery as your venue?

Since I participated in a group exhibit at Longwood Art Gallery in 2011, I’ve always wanted to have a solo show here. It is the ideal space, as it nurtures and celebrates experimentation.

Note: An opening reception will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, from 5-9 at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos, 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. Curator Laura Napier will also be in attendance.

Interview and photos by Lois Stavsky

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The-Bronx-Graffiti-Art-Gallery

The Bronx Graffiti Art Gallery, a new outdoor public art space located in the courtyard of Gustiamo at 1715 West Farms Road, officially opens tomorrow, Saturday, October 18, 1-5pm.  Committed to preserving and celebrating the culture of graffiti in NYC, its first exhibit features works by such Bronx legends as Ces, Kingbee, and Tats Cru, along with artwork by its curators, Lady K Fever and Scratch.

Here’s a sampling of what’s been going down:

Tats Cru‘s Bio, BG 183 and Nicer

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Ces

CES

Kingbee

Kingbee

Lady K Fever

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BG 183 and Scratch

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Hush Tours will provide free transportation from Manhattan to tomorrow’s event. For further information, contact Hush Tours at 212-714-3527.

All photos courtesy Scratch.

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"All Girls"

This past weekend, the walls of Graffiti Universe — located at 2995 Boston Road in the Bronx — were transformed into an all-girls’ canvas.  While up there on Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak to Scratch, who — along with Lady K Fever — organized the event.

This is a first for Graffiti Universe. How did it happen?

Lady K Fever and I had painted together earlier this year. We were eager to involve more female writers. I spoke to Dennis Stumpo, who manages Graffiti Universe, and he offered us nine walls!

Scratch

Had you girls ever painted together before? How did you decide whom to invite?

Many of us had met and painted together at 5Pointz and a few of us recently did the wall on 207th Street in Inwood. We wanted to include girls who were serious about graff and who could have fun together. I’m from Sweden; Lady K is from Canada; Vic is from Poland; Erica is from Mexico.  And graffiti brought us together. We’re all at different levels, but we respect one another and we each want to get better and better. It’s not about who’s the best.

"Lady K Fever"

And this seems like the perfect way to hone your skills! Are there any particular challenges that you, as female writers, face?

We have this sense that we always have to prove ourselves. We are often not taken seriously enough.

Mrs

Have you any messages to the male writers out there?

We can do it without you! We can do it ourselves!

Vic

 What’s ahead?

More graff And we’d like to do some production walls with characters and backgrounds. That’s the plan!

Good luck! We look forward to seeing them!

Photos: 1. From left to right — Scratch, Anji, Lady K Fever, Erica, Chare and Vik — shutter by Topaz who had to “beg the girls to paint.”  2. Scratch  3. Lady K Fever 4. Mrs  5. Vik

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Born in Canada, Lady K-Fever is a NYC-based interdisciplinary artist, art educator and curator. A recipient of numerous grants, she currently works with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Bronx River Arts Center and the Laundromat Project.

"Lady K Fever"

When and where did you start getting up?

I started bombing in Vancouver, Canada in the early 90’s. I got up all over the city. No block was safe.

What inspired you back then?

In 1992, I found The Faith of Graffiti at a thrift shop and bought a bootleg copy of Wild Style. I immediately fell in love with graffiti.  I was also into skateboarding at the time, and I was a member of the Riot Grrlzs: The Vancouver Chapter.  We were invited to create an installation for an exhibition “Artropolis 1993.” We collaborated to create a graffiti-inspired tag wall about human rights.

What spurred your interest and engagement in social issues?

I was inspired by activism of the Black Panthers and counter culture of the 1960’s & 70’s.

What about graffiti crews? Did you belong to any?

My first crew was the one I created with some of my friends in Vancouver, the ILC crew: The Independent Ladies Crew. I have since put down with lots of other crews: CAC, TLV (the Latin Vandals), IBM, and WOTS.  Right now I am down with KD-TDS-INDS.

"Lady-K-Fever"

Any early graffiti memories?

I’ll always remember the first three-color piece/bomb I did on my own.  It was all about timing.  It was in 1996 in downtown Vancouver, and I had hidden behind a car. I started to paint in the shadow of the car and hide when traffic was coming by. It was a thrill, and I wanted to do more.

When did you first get up in NYC?

My first time painting here was in 2001 at The Phun Phactory before it became 5Pointz. While there, I met so many people and artists who have helped me along my path. I am so grateful that there was a place like that – a place for the global graffiti movement to connect and blossom in New York City.

Have you ever been arrested?

Pleading the 5th and the 4th. 

Have you exhibited your works?

I began exhibiting my work in galleries in 1993 in Vancouver.  In NYC, I have exhibited at  the Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, Longwood Art Gallery, The Corridor Gallery, Andrew Freedman Home and MoMA.

"Lady K Fever"

What percentage of your time is devoted to your artwork?

100 percent. All day. Every day. It’s my life. Life is my art. My art is the facilitation of my experiences as a creative human on this planet. I am inspired and find inspiration all day long.

Have you made money from your work?

I sell pieces, do commissions, apply for grants and residencies, teach and consult with museums and arts organizations, speak at schools and conduct workshops. Hustle is hustle.

Any thoughts about the so-called graffiti/street art divide?

The boundaries continue to blur.  I thought we all fought hard for graffiti to be considered “art”. A writer is a writer; an artist is an artist. Both are valid and beautiful and all artists have the right to decide how they want to be identified. What I do not like is the dogma and the prejudices that arise. If graffiti and street art are ultimately forms of freedom of expression, then what really is going on?

Do you prefer working alone or working with others?

Both. I like working alone, and I like the interaction that happens when artists work together. I go through phases.

"Lady Fever"

Do you have a formal arts education?

Yes and no. I studied fine art in high school and in college, but I formally went on to major in Theatre.  I worked as a studio assistant with a Canadian pottery artist and as a scenic painter on film/TV sets to gain art trade skills.

What is the riskiest thing you’ve done?

I have done a lot of risky things. On my last day in Toronto, I did a bridge piece along a highway in downtown Toronto.  I wrote the name Lady K Fever in huge letters on the whole bridge.  As I was finishing, I saw a set of police lights flash across the highway. I ran and hid all the way home. That was my exit from Toronto.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

I’m influenced by all cultures. I go through inspirational phases. I love texture and color. I like to work with Indian, African and Mexican fabrics and designs.  Music is also an influence – its sounds, beats and lyrics.

Are you generally satisfied with a finished piece?

Yes and no.  Sometimes, I just have to walk away and move on to the next.

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How has your work evolved throughout the years?

I continue to refine my style and explore concepts.

How would you describe the role of the artist in society?

The artist’s role is to tell stories through personal and collective reflections and responses and to raise questions. The artist is a messenger of universal truth who challenges others to see and acknowledge what they might not want to

Interview with Lady K-Fever conducted by Lenny Collado and edited by Lois Stavsky; photo credits 1. Lenny Collado; 2. Tara Murray; 3 – 5. courtesy of the artist

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Bronx graffiti

It’s been busy up on Boone Avenue near the Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx these past few days. Here are a few images captured yesterday during its current transformation:

Marthalicia Matarrita 

Marthalicia Matarrita

Cern and Lady Fever at work

Lady K Fever and Cern

Cope2

Cope2

Fernando Romero aka Ski at work

Mike Baca

Skeme, Reme at work and Chris RWK

Skeme, Reme and Chris RWK

 All photos by Tara Murray. Part II to follow.

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