Nick Walker

Currently living between Paris and Los Angeles, Belgium-born filmmaker Cedric Godin was recently in New York City for the US premiere of his award-winning film, “X art,” at the Chelsea Film Festival. After viewing the insightful film and panel discussion featuring Patty Astor, Henry Chalfant, Enrique Torres aka Part One and Nick Walker — moderated by Marie Cecile Flageul — we  posed a few questions to Cedric.

What inspired you to produce this film?

I had just completed my first film, PTSD, and had returned from California to Paris. I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible, and as I was seeing street art exhibitions and events everywhere, I decided to do a documentary about the street art movement and culture. Even though I had followed the movement since 2012, I never really thought of doing something on it until I returned to Paris from California.

What is the significance/meaning of your film’s title, “X art?”

After I decided to do a documentary, I started to research the street art culture. Rapidly, I realized how complex the world of street art is. So many artists, techniques, movements, markets… It appeared to me that as street art is such a huge subject, it would be an interesting challenge to get people to better understand it. I had a working title but after a few months “X art” came, as the X suggested “the unknown,” “the transgression,” “the X factor” and more.

So I chose the letter X to start  from “the unknown” —  in order to learn and digress to a point where it would become clearer for an audience and hopefully awaken within viewers the curiosity to investigate the culture on their own after seeing the film.

How did you go about choosing/deciding which artists to focus on?

They had to have a career, a real social or political message in their work, a continuity in their journey and an artistic goal. It was important for me that the artists had enough experience on every level to be able to transmit their passion, techniques and journey to as large an audience as possible.

When did you begin filming “X art”

I started to meet with artists in 2016.

In the film there is a focus not only on the artists and their artwork, but also on the art market. Why did you choose to turn your lens on this aspect of the scene?

Simply because these days, you can’t avoid the financial aspects of things. Fortunately or unfortunately, the market has a big influence on how artists develop their careers. Of course, there are pros and cons, but I wanted to give the audience an idea of what’s happening. From there they could visit galleries, events and auction houses and form their own opinions on the subject.

Did anything in your findings particularly surprise you? In what ways may have making this film personally impacted you? Do you find yourself paying more attention to street art and graffiti?

Of course, I do pay more attention. It is funny to see how my eye, three years later, is more “educated.” When I see a painting or a wall, I can recoup more information to understand and form an opinion on that particular piece. I have also learned how to be a good collector.

What were some of the challenges you faced in seeing this project through?

The usual challenge of being an “indie” filmmaker… time and money. Fortunately, the world of street art is a very generous world for the most part. 99% of the artists were just amazingly helpful. My friend and partner Olivier Le Quellec, a street art fan, financed the project with me. Dotmaster and Ben Eine, two famous UK-based artists, offered to design the poster. Eric Brugier, the French gallerist, connected me to several artists who themselves connected me to more. I think you can’t get into this world if you are not well-connected, but once you are in, you feel like a family member.

How have viewers responded to it?

Amazingly! The most touching thing is when people come up to me and say they have learned something; some are even motivated to further research artists or elements they weren’t aware of.  To me, if filmmaking has a purpose. It is to learn and to transmit.

What would you like your viewers to walk away with?

The will to go deeper into the subject  —  to read, to research, to see events, to meet artists. And we have an incredible chance to be able to do it.

What’s next?

Ideally to secure distribution for “X art,” as I humbly think that this little film has its cultural role to play. I’m currently working on a TV show and a feature film. I work in so many directions these days that I couldn’t tell you what is going to happen next…I will let you know very soon!

Congratulations on “X art.  We certainly hope it is widely distributed and, yes, we are looking forward to what’s next!

Images:

  1. Film poster designed by UK-based artists Dotmaster and Ben Eine
  2. Cedric Godin
  3. Film clip featuring Ben Eine and Pure Evil
  4. Parisian graffiti artist Nasty
  5. Patti Astor, co-founder of the legendary FUN Gallery
  6. Henry Chalfant, noted American photographer and videographer, whose current exhibit, Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987, at the Bronx Museum is a must-see!
  7. The famed UK-born street artist Nick Walker at “X art” Chelsea screening

Photo credits 1, 2, 4 – 6 courtesy Cedric Godin; 7 Ana Candelaria 

Interview questions: Houda Lazrak, Ana Candelaria and Lois Stavsky

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This past Thursday, Tats Cru members BG 183, Bio and Nicer — along with CrashNick Walker and Daze — once again transformed their wall at East Harlem’s Graffiti Hall of Fame. Featured above are BG 183 and UK native Nick Walker at work. What follows are several more photos of the artists in action– all captured Thursday by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad.

BG 183

Crash

Nick Walker 

Daze

Bio

Nicer

The artists — Nick WalkerDaze, BG 183, Crash, Bio and Nicer

And the wall

Photos by Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad

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The first New York edition of the Urban Art Fair continues through 3pm tomorrow afternoon at Spring Studios in Tribeca.  The artworks pictured above are collaborative works by NYC graffiti pioneers Revolt and  Lin Felton aka Quik at the Green Flowers Art Gallery booth. What follows are several more images of urban artworks, representative of a range of styles, genres and techniques.

NYC native, Paris-based JonOne with Fabien Castainer

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Lower East Side-based LA2 with Dorian Grey Projects

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Swoon with Taglialatella Galleries

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French artist Swiz with David Bloch Gallery

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NYC-based multi-media artist Alexis Duque with H Gallery

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Nick Walker with Galerie Brugier-Rigail

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Bronx-based graffiti legend John Matos aka Crash for Spring Studios

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The Urban Art Fair continues at 50 Varick Street today until 9pm and tomorrow, Monday, from 11am to 3pm. Ticket information is available here.

Photo credits: 1, 3, 7 & 8 Karin du Maire; 2, 4-6 Sara C Mozeson

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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Splendidly curated by Ellis Gallagher, Collaborations features selected works by Crash fashioned collaboratively with both local and global artists. The mural pictured above was painted by Crash in collaboration with Stash. What follows is a sampling of works — representing the diverse range of collaborative styles and sensibilities — inside the gallery at 17 Frost Street in Williamsburg:

Crash with Nick Walker and Bio, Tats Cru

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Crash with KAWS

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 Crash with Remi Rough

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Crash with Bio

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Crash with BR163

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 Crash with James Choules aka She One

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Collaborations remains on exhibit through June 26 at 17 Frost by appointment only.

Photo credits: 1 & 7 Lois Stavsky; 2, 4, 5 & 6 City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen and 3 Tara Murray

Note: 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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On Urban Art Legends by KET

February 15, 2016

The following post is by Houda Lazrak, a contributor to StreetArtNYC and recent graduate of NYU’s Masters Program in Museum Studies

Urban Art Legends, by the renowned graffiti writer, photographer, curator and author Alan Ket aka KET, presents 39 engaging profiles of key urban artists, along with photos of their significant works.

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After a concise and informative introduction, in which he terms urban art as “this other art world,” KET introduces his readers to such pioneering and influential artists as ATOME, Futura, JON ONE, Lady Pink, Mode 2, Os Gemeos and Saber. Included in the artist profiles are: essential career highlights, defining artistic features, style evolutions, crew associations and specific creative projects, along with the artists’ engagement with the fine art world.

We learn, for example, that in addition to painting train graffiti, DAZE exhibited alongside Basquiat and Haring at NYC’s Mudd Club, lectured at universities and designed a train station — with Lee and Crash — in Germany.  Iconic musicians such as Madonna and Eric Clapton have purchased his canvases and numerous museums in the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands have added his paintings to their collections.

crash-graffiti

Crash, KET notes, pioneered the graffiti movement’s relationship with the gallery world with the exhibit, Graffiti Art Success for America, that he curated at Fashion Moda in 1980. He has since exhibited in museums throughout the world and partnered with a range of companies on varied projects. And he is now, once again, active on the streets.

KET also selects some 20 artists — including Sane Smith, Risk and JON ONE — to whom he awards  “legendary status.”  We discover, for example, that Sane Smith was sued for three million dollars for painting a work visible for miles on NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge. Risk attains “legendary status” for being the first Los Angeles writer to paint a NYC subway train when he visited in 1978. And KET confers legendary status on Paris-based Harlem native JON ONE for receiving France’s premier award, the Legion of Honor, for his contributions to art and culture in France.

jonone=graffiti-Le Départ

KET also seamlessly links the two worlds of street art and graffiti by telling the stories of individuals — such as Ben Eine and Os Gemeos – who have dual identities as both graffiti writers and street artists.

Urban Art Legends beautifully captures the diversity of artistic practices found in our cities — from subway trains to galleries and back onto the streets. KET’s enthusiasm and passion for urban art pervade these pages as he writes that “justice cannot be done to all those incredible talented individuals who have informed and advocated” the urban art movement.

Urban Art Legends certainly comes close, as it offers readers a solid grasp of over three dozen of those individuals who have significantly impacted the urban art scene.

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Published in the UK by LOM ART, Urban Art Legends is now available online and in most NYC bookstores.

All images courtesy LOM ART:

1. Book cover, designed by Jamie Keenan; Nick Walker, 2015, Photography by Paul Green

2. CRASH, panel piece on subway train, Bronx, New York, USA, 1980. Photography by Phade

3. JONONE, Le Départ, spray paint and acrylic on canvas, 600 x 300 c.m., 1994, Speerstra Collection

4. ATOME, Sydney, Australia, 2014. Photography by artist

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Best-known for his sharply dressed, bowler-hatted vandal, the legendary British stencil artist Nick Walker — the  first ever artist-in-residence at the Quin Hotel — has returned!  Curated by DK Johnston, a series of Walker’s new artworks, along with his classic iconic stencil works, remain on view at the Quin through February 18th.  What follows are a few more images of his works on exhibit:

The vandal on 57th Street across from the Quin

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The vandal gets busy

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The vandal leaves his mark on a pair of Louboutins

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And here are a few of his huge stencil works currently on the streets of Manhattan:

In Chelsea

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On the Upper East Side

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In Little Italy

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The Quin Hotel is located at 101 West 57th Street at Sixth Avenue.

Photos: 1 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 3 Sara Mozeson; 4 courtesy DK Johnston and 5 & 7 Tara Murray

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Brimming with stylish graffiti, witty stencil art and a wonderfully eclectic mix of murals, Bristol has it all!  Here is a small sampling of images that we captured earlier this month:

Bristol-based Sepr

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Bristol native Nick Walker

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Bristol’s legendary Banksy, “Well-Hung Lover”

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Bristol-based Philth and UK artist N4T4

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Bristol-based Jody Thomas

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Bristol-based Epok

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Bristol-based Soker

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 Photo credits: 1, 4-7 Tara Murray; 2 & 3 Lois Stavsky

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This is the eighth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that have surfaced on NYC public spaces:

Nick Walker in the South Bronx

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Izolag in Hunts Point

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Chain for JMZ Walls in Bushwick

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Lorenzo Masnah on the Lower East Side

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Miss 163 in Hunts Point

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Australian artist Adnate at the Bushwick Collective, close-up

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Icy and Sot on the Lower East Side, close-up

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Shiro in Bushwick

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Note: Entre La Guardia y El Dorado, featuring works by Lorenzo Masnah (featured above) and Alex Seel, will open this evening at 6pm at XY Atelier Gallery, 81 Hester Street on the corner of Orchard. It will remain on view until August 30.

Photo credits: 1 Tara Murray; 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8 Lois Stavsky; 4 courtesy of the artist 7 Dani Reyes Mozeson

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On view through August 9 at Dorian Grey Gallery in Manhattan’s East Village is an eclectic array of stencil-based compositions spanning 35 years. Among the 25 artists featured in the exhibit are several whose works are also presently on the streets of NYC. Here is a sampling of these artists’ pieces at Dorian Grey.

Lady Aiko, Drip Skull

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Icy & Sot, Starlight

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 Blek le Rat, The Violinist

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Chris Stain, Bukowski

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Joe Iurato, Cosmic Kid

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Nick Walker,  I love New York

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Solus, Dream Big

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Located at 437 East 9th Street off Ave A, Dorian Grey Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday 12pm-7pm and Sunday until 6pm.

Photos: 1 Tara Murray 2-7 Dani Reyes Mozeson

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This is the seventh in an occasional series featuring images of males who surface on NYC public spaces:

 UK’s Nick Walker on Manhattan’s Upper East Side

"Nick Walker"

Australian artist E.L.K at the Bushwick Collective

ELK

Australian artist Anthony Lister in Bushwick, Brooklyn

"Anthony Lister"

Swedish stencil artist Bly in Dumbo, Brooklyn

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 Chilean artist Dasic Fernandez at ABC No Rio on Manhattan’s Lower East Side

"Dasic Fernandez"

Irish native Conor Harrington for the LISA Project in Downtown Manhattan

"Connor Harrington"

Mongolian native Heesco and Australia’s Damien Mitchell for the Bushwick Collective

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Photo credits: 1,2 and 7 by Lois Stavsky; 3-6 by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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