rag & bone


The masterful Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz returned to NYC earlier this month, where he completed his mural for Coney Art Walls and fashioned a new one in Nolita. Featured above is his wondrous new work  — painted with the assistance of Esagente — at rag & bone on Elizabeth Street. What follows are several more images of the work in progress and the completed mural:

In the beginning


Both artists continue painting on one of the hottest days of the year–


Alexis Diaz takes a brief break; Esagente paints 


Alexis Diaz photographs the final piece


Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 3 Tara Murray; 4 & 5 Karin du Maire



Often showcasing artworks by diverse street artists – from DALeast to Ludo to Meres  – the wall outside rag & bone has also featured various artists who don’t generally share their visions in public spaces. For the past several weeks we have been treated to a selection of pages from the journals of Rainer Judd, the daughter of the late artist Donald Judd,

Close-up from “Sunlight on the Iguanas.” Book no. 6, Black Leather Silver Corner, 1987- 1989 — as seen last week


“The idea was to see books on the wall, changing pages,” Rainer explains. “I’ve been filling journal books since I was 11. On November 16, 2014, I brought Swiss bags full of these books to photographer Henry Leutwyler and Javas Lehn. With a focus on the graphic quality of them as objects I could see them differently. For me, journals are a place of dialogue with myself, a testing ground for ideas, a pal, a repository for the stuff of the highway of my heart. This is a small window into a deep archive.”

Here are some pages from Rainer Judd‘s journal that surfaced in December



Then earlier this month


And through the end of this month, you can check out the final piece now outside rag & bone on Elizabeth Street off 73 East Houston.

Photos 1-3 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; 4 courtesy rag & bone’s Houston Wall Project and 5 by Lois Stavsky 


"Boy Kong"

Orlando, Florida-based artist Boy Kong recently left his mark in NYC. His delightfully fanciful aesthetic has made its way to the exterior of rag & bone on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan and to the shutter at 175 Roebling Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A selection of his distinctly crafted individual pieces can also be seen at Cotton Candy Machine, 235 South 1st Street in Williamsburg, through this week.

On Roebling Street in Williamsburg

"Boy Kong street art"

And a sampling of what’s on view at at Cotton Candy Machine 



"Boy Kong"

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson 



With influences ranging from traditional Korean art to the skateboard culture he embraced at an early age, Yoon Hyup has developed a distinct aesthetic that has recently made its way into downtown Manhattan. We came upon him at work earlier this month outside rag & bone on Elizabeth Street off Houston, where he was painting a mural on a particularly frigid day! I recently had the opportunity to speak to him.

You’ve painted on a range of surfaces and in a variety of places. You’ve exhibited your work in galleries, and you continue to paint on the streets. What initially drew you to the streets? When did it all begin?

I began skateboarding when I was nine years old. That was my introduction to the culture. And then in the mid 90’s, I discovered hip-hop and graffiti magazines at a nearby US Army base.

What was the graffiti/street art culture in Korea like at the time?

It was quite unsophisticated. The spray cans were very basic, and there were few colors available.  Canvases consisted of tunnels or alleys that the writers claimed as their spots.

"Yoon Hyup"

What inspired you to share your talents on the streets?

I was inspired by photos I saw of the artworks that Basquiat and Futura and other artists at the Fun Gallery had painted on the streets of downtown Manhattan back in the day. And then while attending the Art Institute in my late teens, I learned everything — from where to buy spray paint to how to master particular techniques — from ‘Bluce 666’.

You went on to study Graphic Design at Hanseo University. Did your formal art education help you develop as an artist?

When I was a sophomore, I decided to take a break from the university and check out the “real world.” During that time, I did a lot of exhibitions, and I began collaborations with businesses like Nike and MTV. There was so much I had to figure out on my own and solve myself. I would say that a formal education helps, but experience in the “real world” is crucial to an artist’s success.

Tell us a bit about your recent mural outside rag & bone in Nolita. How did that happen? It is one of our favorite spots in town! And your mural looks splendid here!

I had submitted my portfolio to rag & bone, and soon afterwards, I was invited to paint. I think I was lucky to be selected.

"Yoon Hyup"

Your style is quite distinct. Could you tell us something about it?

Many traditional Korean forms, such as vine clouds and wind clouds, surface in my paintings. I often paint with the five colors associated with my native country – red, blue, yellow, black and white. It is my homage to my heritage. It is how I honor my roots.

You’ve shown your work in gallery settings, as well as in public spaces. How do you feel about the movement of street art into galleries?

It’s fine so long as the artists continue to create artwork on public spaces.

And what about the corporate world? You’ve collaborated with such corporations as Nike and Tommy Hilfiger. How do you feel about that?

I don’t have a problem with it, so long as I can be true to my own vision.

"Yoon Hyup"

Is there anyone – in particular – with whom you would like to collaborate?

I would have loved to paint with Kandinsky. I’m particularly fond of him.

I can see that!  Your work is a bit of a fusion between street art and fine art.  How has your art evolved in the past few years?

I feel that I paint more naturally.  My style is becoming looser and freer. My cloud forms have become more abstract.

Do you work with a sketch-in-hand? Or do you just let it flow?

I work with a general layout. But my handstyle flows freely.

"Yoon Hyup"

Are you generally satisfied with your finished pieces?

Not really! I’m always challenging myself.

Have you any other passions or interests?

I love skateboarding. I’ve been doing it since I was nine.  And I love music. My mother, who was president of a music institute, has taught me to appreciate all kinds of music. Both skateboarding and music, along with art, are essential in my life.

What’s ahead?

I’ve been developing a new body of work and will soon be collaborating with a talented Korean toy maker.

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; first photo by Lois Stavsky; all others courtesy of the artist. 1. new mural outside rag & bone; 2. Unlimited Path, Krink on wood, 2013; 3. Nike Air Max 90 Premium Tape – Multi Color Camo, 2013; 4. For “Haechi Parade, spray paint on sculpture, 2009; 5. Rhythm and Flow (Primary’s Masks), Acrylic, ABS Resin, 2013



Last Saturday, Meres painted his first mural since the demise of 5Pointz.  His canvas was the outside wall of rag & bone, the trend-setting fashion store — on Elizabeth Street off Houston — that has hosted some of downtown’s finest murals. It’s great to see Meres and his iconic light bulbs back where they belong – with all of us. Here are a few more images captured last Saturday:


Meres takes a break


And leaves a message


Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson