"Bushwick Five Points street art"

Within the past year, the walls along Scott, Troutman and St. Nicholas in Bushwick, Brooklyn have evolved into a vibrantly intriguing outdoor gallery. We recently had the opportunity to pose some questions to its curator, Joe Ficalora.

What inspired you to transform this neighborhood into such a wonderful open-air gallery?

I’ve lived in this neighborhood all my life.  Growing up here, I was not even allowed to play outside. The delis were drug spots, and the surrounding blocks teemed with prostitutes and junkies. I was continually exposed to hookers and gangs. My dad was murdered right down the block as he was leaving the L train Jefferson Avenue station. As artists and creative types began moving into the neighborhood, things changed. And after my mother’s death, I was moved to transform the cold industrial aura of this area into something that would revive me and provide the artists with a space to showcase their talents.  I am trying to create an environment that I couldn’t get as a child.

"Icy and Sot street art"

Wow! You are certainly succeeding. Bushwick Five Points has become one of our favorite spots in NYC! How do you manage to have access to so many walls?

Some are family-owned and others I’ve negotiated with their owners. Once these building owners see a finished wall, it is not difficult for them to recognize that the artwork surfacing here is far more appealing than random tags and unspeakable words!

We’ve noticed and love just how varied the artwork is here – in terms of both artists’ backgrounds and styles.  Have you any favorites?

I love them all, and I love the mix! Each piece is special to me. I love watching everything from the progress of the artists to the reactions of the passersby.

"Never street art"

How do you decide which artists to feature on the walls here at Bushwick Five Points?

I look for passion and integrity. I always meet the artist first, and we walk through the neighborhood together.  I show them the walls, and I tell them a bit about the other artists who’ve painted here. If I like the artist’s work and feel right about the artist, it’s a go!

"The Yok and Sheryo street art"

How do you decide which walls go to which artists?

We discuss which spaces are available and the artist then chooses his or her canvas.

Any thoughts about the graffiti/street art divide?

I admire the graffiti that has been surfacing in the vicinity of Morgan Avenue. But I love the varieties of expression that street art offers.

"Dan Witz street art"

How do you feel about the role of the Internet in all this?

I think it’s beautiful. We all get to see and appreciate what’s surfacing throughout the world.

"Hellbent street art"

What’s ahead?

I’m not looking long-term. I’m enjoying what I’m doing now. And I’d love to keep doing what I’m doing the rest of my life!

"OverUnder and LNY street art"

That sounds great! We are so glad you are doing what you are doing.

"Jim Avignon street art"

Special thanks to Bodega Wine Bar for the delicious complimentary snacks we were served while interviewing Joe.

Images beginning with top: Nick Walker, Danielle Mastrion and Concrete Jungle, photo by Dani Mozeson; Icy and Sot, photo by Lenny Collado; Priscila De Carvalho, Maria Berrio & Miriam Castillo, photo by Lois Stavsky; Never, photo by Lois Stavsky; The Yok and Sheryo, photo by Dani Mozeson; Rimx, photo by Dani Mozeson; Dan Witz, photo by Dani Mozeson; Hellbent, photo by Tara Murray; OverUnder and LNY, photo by Dani Mozeson; Jim Avignon, photo by Lois Stavsky


Close to a dozen masters of styles and letters — representing both the East and West coasts — hit the walls in Bushwick this past weekend. Here are a few images:

Queens-based Hoacs

"Hocas graffiti" More after the jump!


"The Yok and Sheryo"

The Centre-Fuge Public Art Project has again transformed a once-abandoned trailer into one of the East Village’s most enticing visual works. Here are some images from Cycle 4 that can be seen on East First Street off First Avenue.

More after the jump!


For the third consecutive year, dozens of talented artists graced the walls of the Welling Court neighborhood of Astoria, Queens with a diverse range of images. We visited several times this past week beginning with the day before the Welling Court Mural Project, organized by Ad Hoc Art, held its official opening. On our most recent visit, we had the chance to observe and speak to neighborhood residents – all of whom expressed tremendous pride in their neighborhood’s visual landscape (and curiosity, as well, about the artists).  Here are a few images whose progress we observed:

New Jersey-based Joe Iurato aka .01

"Joe Iurato at Welling Court"

More after the jump!


Some artists are working alone; others are hitting the walls collaboratively. And while many are long-term NYC residents, quite a few are just passing through. Together, they are transforming Bushwick’s visual landscape. Here are a few images we caught this past week:

Flying Fortress and Most in from Germany and Austrian artist Nychos with NYC’s Chris and Veng of the Robots Will Kill collective

More after the jump!


Yesterday was a busy day in Bushwick, as artists from across the globe, along with locals, transformed the visual landscape of some of the neighborhood’s key spots. Here are a few images captured in the late afternoon:

Australian artists Dabs & Myla

"Dabs and Myla"

Brooklyn-based designer Matt Dobbs

"Matt Dobbs in Bushwick"

More after the jump!


"Gilf! street art in Brooklyn, NYC"

Brooklyn-based Gilf! has been busy this past year gracing NYC’s landscape with playful images that often expose our political and personal hypocrisies. Inspired by Morton Salt’s famed Umbrella Girl,  Gilf!’s most recent piece, When it Rains it Pours — featuring an eerily fashionable figure with Gucci bag in hand — suggests wastefulness and indulgence in a time of economic crisis.

Gilf! began painting on Friday —

"Gilf street art in Brooklyn, NYC"

And continued yesterday —

"Gilf! creates street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn"

"Gilf! street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn"

"Gilf! street art in Brooklyn, NYC"

Nearby, Bishop 203, one of Brooklyn’s most active street artists, began fashioning a variation of his signature character onto a parked trailer.

"Bishop 203 street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn"

"Bishop 203 street art character on Bushwick, Brooklyn trailer"

And on the opposite side of the trailer, Never got busy with his iconic owl.

"Never street art in Brooklyn"

"Never street art on Bushwick trailer"

Keep posted to our Facebook page for the completed images!

Photos by Lenny Collado and Tara Murray


"Never & Sheryo street art in NYC"

Distinct backgrounds, nationalities and styles seamlessly came together this past weekend on Bushwick’s Moore Street. Despite the fierce winds, the mood was mellow as the Yok, Sheryo and Never – all based in Brooklyn these days – graced the visual landscape of their current locale.

"Yok street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC"

After some months abroad, Australia’s Yok is back in action here in NYC with his wondrous characters.

"The Yok street art in Brooklyn, NYC"

"The Yok street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC"

Working alongside the Yok, is Singapore native Sheryo. A member of the Army of Snipers crew, she has been sharing her talents and her uncanny, oddly appealing, characters with folks around the globe for the past few years.  Currently based in Williamsburg, she recently began getting busy here in NYC.

"Sheryo street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn"

"Sheryo street art character in Brooklyn, NYC"

And adding to the cast of characters and intriguing narrative is Never’s — constantly evolving — signature owl.

"Never street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn"

"Never street art character in Bushwick NYC"

Photos by Lenny Collado and Tara Murray


Although the streets of Bushwick almost always attract visiting artists, it is home to many NYC-based artists whose works surface regularly. Among these are Veng, Bast, Ewok, Never & Wane.

Veng’s signature character on Stewart Avenue off Johnson Avenue

"Veng street art in Bushwick, NYC"

More after the jump!


Speaking with NEVER

January 20, 2012

Never street art and graffiti in Brooklyn

For the past year, Atlanta native NEVER has been gracing the walls of New York City with a range of artwork from first-rate graffiti pieces to stylish street art murals. Recently Street Art NYC had the opportunity to speak with him.

We’ve been wondering about your name, NEVER. It must have a story!

After I’d been writing for a few years, my friends started to make fun of me for being so overly critical of everything I do. They started calling me “Mr. Never Satisfied.”  That name stuck.

We started noticing your work here about a year ago – when we met you at 5Pointz. What brought you to New York City?

I grew up just outside of Atlanta. It’s a great city but also a very small city. I got tired of it and eventually decided it was time to move on. I couldn’t even walk into a random grocery store without bumping into five folks I knew.

How do you feel about Brooklyn – where you are living now?

I love it. I love its diversity, and New York City is a constant source of inspiration.

Anything about New York City you don’t like?

There are far too many cops here. I rarely had trouble with cops down in Atlanta, but here they hassle me all the time. While throwing out the trash, I was accused of drinking in public. Then they accused me of painting graffiti because they noticed some paint on my arms. I do a lot of painting at my job so it’s very rare for me to actually NOT have paint on me. One of my friends here spent a night in jail for having a sharpie on him. He isn’t even a writer.

Never street art at 5Pointz in New York

You seem to seamlessly blur the line between graffiti and street art. How did it all begin?

I’ve always been good at drawing since I was a kid. Then I hit my skater punk days and stopped drawing for a while. I began tagging on things when I was 14 or so. A girl in high school cheated on me, and I got a laugh out of writing the word “Trust” everywhere. At the time I didn’t think it was something I was going to get so hooked on, and I definitely did not think of all the politics behind what I was doing. After a few “name changes,” I did my first actual “piece” under a bridge when I was 16.

We’re curious about your owl. It seems to surface in all of your pieces.

A little over a year ago — just before I moved to NY — I got stuck in a hospital room in Atlanta overnight with a nasty staph infection while “recovering” from knee surgery. I was in a drugged-up state sitting in a hospital bed in a depressing hallway, and for whatever reason I felt compelled to draw a sad little handicapped owl. After that night I decided I liked the thought of making that a recurring character for me.

Have you a formal art education?

I studied graphic design at a university in Atlanta. But to anyone who thinks that getting a formal art education makes you a legitimate artist, you are dead wrong!

Have any specific artists inspired you?

I love Aryz. He inspired me to pick up an extension pole! I also love How and Nosm, Daim, Roa, Nychos, and Os Gemeos. Honestly there are way too many others. But any artist I had to study about in school lost credibility….except for, maybe, Duchamp. That dude was pretty hilarious. I always had a tendency to reject information that I felt was being “fed” to me.

Never street art in Brooklyn New York

As you actively collaborate with both graffiti writers and street artists, what differences have struck you between the two?

I grew up in the graffiti community and find it a source of constant inspiration. I generally don’t like to differentiate between graffiti and street art. It’s really all in the same realm to me. But there are differences. Generally, there’s too much tension, jealousy, and hate among writers. I now find myself more among “street artists.” But before anyone coined the term “street art,” I had plenty of friends who I painted with who fit the “street artist” description, and at the time I just saw them as a person I painted with who didn’t do letters. I also enjoy painting legal walls. To a lot of the writers back in Atlanta, I’ve turned into an “art fag.” But that’s okay. I’m proud, in fact, to be called an “art fag.”

Any other differences you’ve observed?

Another big difference is that a lot of writers have no interest in getting any messages across. It’s a lot more about technical skills and/or having balls to do crazy things. Most of my graffiti friends don’t like any kind of political references in their pieces. But if you are going to call yourself a “street artist,” then you are a fool if you don’t pay respect to graffiti, whether you like it or not. The way I see it, the lines between graffiti and street art will continue to blur.

Have you ever created artwork that is overtly political?

I despise corporate crime. And when I went through a phase of creating portraits, I was obsessed with Ken Lay, the main guy behind the Enron scandal. I couldn’t stop painting portraits of him. I did it for about two years, just before the Enron trials started. My graff friends hated it, but it managed to get attention from people who otherwise did not follow graff.

How have people here responded to your art?

I’m not very up on what people think. I do what I do regardless of what people think of it. It’s nice to get the occasional compliment here and there, but at the end of the day I am doing what I do to stay sane.

Never graffiti in Brooklyn New York

Have you painted outside of the U.S.?

I’ve painted in Barcelona, Berlin, Venice, Milan, and Tuscany. I hope to travel more once I get myself a little more financially stable.

What is your ideal space to paint?

I love empty buildings with awesome textures and walls with history that I can work my pieces around.

Any memorable experiences while getting up on the streets?

Many back in Atlanta — amidst the crackheads, prostitutes and perverts. There are way too many funny stories to go into. I’ve also stumbled on to a couple of meth labs and discovered a bag of heroin stashed in a cinder block.

We’ve found almost a dozen walls of yours in Bushwick.  Have you a day job?

I pick up work in a carpentry shop. I help build things for movie sets and fashion shoots. I also prowl around for graphic design work. I have not had a “normal” job with a set schedule in over seven years now. I’m kind of hoping to find some stability these days.

What about the future? What do you see yourself doing in five years or so?

Painting more ugly walls, I guess. I’m not sure.

Well, you are certainly beautifying them. We’re looking forward to seeing many more!

Photos by Street Art NYC & Dani Mozeson