street artists

The following book review is by Street Art NYC contributor Houda Lazrak

For over a decade, the POW! WOW! Street Art Festival has been bringing standout murals by internationally renowned artists to cities throughout the globe. POW! WOW! WORLDWIDE!: 10 Years of International Street Art, authored by the festival’s founder and curator Jasper Wong and published by Paragon Books, pays a well-deserved homage to the hundreds of murals created during the festival’s many iterations.

POW! WOW! WORLDWIDE!: 10 Years of International Street Art, chronicles POW! POW!’s many editions in fifteen cities, with page spreads of striking murals. Each chapter begins with an image of a location’s discerning geographic or urban features: Taiwan’s sprawling nightlights, Long Beach’s palm-tree lined waterfront, Antelope Valley’s field of tulips, Haiwai’s oceanside downtown, Rotterdam’s glass-lined buildings.

Photographs of the murals follow with many in-progress images of artists at work including: Nychos, Jeff Soto, Cinta Vidal and Tran Nguyen. The process shots are dynamic and illustrate the labor of mural making. Readers are also provided with biographical information of each of the participating artists.

Featured are many examples of collaborative murals. The mural painted by James Bullough and Ricky Watts, for example, fuses Bullough’s realistic portraiture with Watts’ fluid shapes and psychedelic patterns. In another mural highlighted, Rone’s figurative signature style meets Aaron de la Cruz‘s calligraphic mazes. And featured, too, is a three-person collaboration between Cambodian, Japanese and Hawaiian artists Andrew Hem, Yoskay Yamamoto and Edwin Ushiro, respectively.

The book also features candid shots of festival goers, participants and organizers, offering a window into the festival’s atmosphere beyond the art-making. In his forward, editor-in-chief of Booooooom Jeff Hamada, describes the festival’s intention as a “naive desire to bring people together – not just to paint walls and go home, but to actually get to know each other, share stories, and form real friendships.

Jasper Wong also writes that the festival’s name itself, POW!WOW!, “is taken from a Native American term that describes a gathering that celebrates culture, music and art, which spoke to [their] core mission to beautify, educate and bring people together through art and music.” The book portrays this intention and the excitement that unravels. The unique urban culture of cities is also shown in image compilations. Among these are: Korea’s thriving music and food scene, and San Jose’s bicycle culture.

POW!WOW! is often invited to return to its host cities, attesting to the positive value that murals add to the vitality of metropolises. In flipping through the pages, the location types are noticeable: artworks are often erected in residential areas, discrete alleyways, and unpretentious parking lots. It serves as a reminder of POW!WOW!’s contribution to diverse neighborhoods, beyond hyper visible spots in downtowns areas or arts districts.

POW! WOW! WORLDWIDE!: 10 Years of International Street Art is a welcome addition to any street art aficionado’s library and can be purchased from most online book stores.

Featured images

1 Book cover, TRAV MSK, in Long Beach, California, 2018

2 Overview of Taiwan

3 Nychos & Jeff Soto, Hawaii, 2013

4 James Bullough and Ricky Watts, Hawaii, 2018

5 Jet Martinez, San Jose, 2017

6 PichiAvo, Worcester, 2017

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On our first-time, long-overdue visit to Jersey City’s Deep Space Gallery this past Sunday, we were greeted by a treasure trove of first-rate artworks in a wide range of styles and media. Currently on exhibit is MORE MINIS, the gallery’s annual miniature show, showcasing works by over 60 contemporary artists. While many are formally trained, others are self-taught. All produce delightfully intriguing work.

Featured above is a close-up from an installation of spray cans painted by Jersey City-born and bred multimedia artist and graffiti veteran T.DEE, along with a small sculpture — from the series Elephas Maximus Indicus — crafted by noted India-born, Newark-based “3D light artist” Sunil Garg.

What follows are several works by featured artists who also have a strong presence on our streets:

NJ-based GOOMBA, “#8 of 9,” Acrylic, spray paint and ink on canvas

NYC-based Optimo NYC, “AIDSERIES #5: And It Don’t Stop,” Aerosol, enamel and acrylic on canvas

NJ-based RH Doaz, “Moving On,” Mixed media on reclaimed wood

Jersey City-born, bred and based Clarence Rich, “Maelstrom,” Acrylic on canvas

Jersey City-based Catherine Hart, “Love Note 3,” Resin art, one of 12

Wide view of segment of MORE MINIS exhibition

Founded in 2016 by the multi-faceted Jenna Geiger and artist Keith VanPel, Deep Space Gallery is  located at 77 Cornelison Avenue in Jersey City’s Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood. To visit Deep Space Gallery and view the distinctly alluring artworks on exhibit through mid-February, you can send a direct message to its Instagram account. or drop an email to deepspacejc@gmail.com.

Photo credits: 1 & 7 Ana Candelaria; 2-6 Lois Stavsky

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On March 26, 2020 the #ArtClinicNYC opened its front window on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Eager to find out more about this essential art resource, I posed several questions to SacSix, the artist who had conceived and launched it.

What is the mission of the Art Clinic? What motivated you to launch it?

At the beginning of the global quarantine — as businesses, schools and restaurants were required to shut down — I began to think about what makes something “essential.” Liquor stores, gun shops, marijuana dispensaries and even golf courses in some states are deemed “essential.” But what about art resources for kids? Art is essential to life. We need art to survive. And the Art Clinic’s mission is to provide necessary materials to kids to create art. The Art Clinic provides FREE coloring packs and crayons to each family member.

How were you able to access the storefront? 

The storefront is actually my studio. I gained access to it in mid-January.

It’s great that you had the space. And what about some of the challenges in seeing this project through?

The initial challenge was finding a place to print 1000 pages. All of the local print shops were closed. Through a connection at the Cheese Grille, I found a printer in Queens that was still open.

How did you source the materials — from crayons to coloring pages?

Over 75 global artists contributed to the project. I first started reaching out to my NYC street artist friends for the coloring page designs. Then I began expanding my network to artists throughout the country. After seeing my posts on Instagram in reference to this project, many more artists reached out, eager to be part of it.

And what about the crayons?

I personally funded the 500 packs of crayons and the cost of printing. Six-page packs are taped to the front window of the #ArtClinicNYC. Instructions prompt passersby to just pull the items off the window.

How has the response been to your venture?

The response has been great. I see it in people’s smiles — people of every age, sex and race. That’s why I do it. I try to snag photos of people, from the inside, as they pull off the coloring packs and crayons. Their smiles and excitement are so genuine.

Congratulations on this venture! It is wonderful!

Featured pages:

Image 2: Fumero, JPO, Con$umr, Pure Genius, Chris RWK, BK Foxx, Savior ElmundoSacSix, Crash, Al Diaz and Sandra Chevrier

Image 3: RX Skulls

Image 4: Danielle Mastrion

Image 5: Dirt Cobain

Image 6: Dr Scott

Photo credits: 1, 3, 5, 7 & 8 Ana Candelaria; 2, 4 & 6 courtesy SacSix 

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Just in time for Halloween, Roycer and Matt Siren — two NYC legends known for their iconic characters that continue to surface on our streets — have collaborated on a sometimes gory, always captivating, exhibit of playful artworks in a range of media.  Fusing elements of street art, graphic design, fantasy, folk art and fine art,  Ember City presents the artists’ iconic characters inhabiting a riveting post-apocolytic universe. What follows are several images from the exhibit at the inviting new project space, Best World Gallery:

Roycer, Stuff I Can’t Afford, Acrylic on canvas, 2017

Matt Siren, Untitled, Plexi & enamel on wood, 2017

Matt Siren, Terrible Visions, Acrylic Silkscreen on Wood, 2017

Matt Siren, Roycer, and 907 Crew, 9:07, Acrylic and enamel on wood, 2017

Roycer, Float, Krink & acrylic on canvas, 2017

Curated by Natasha Quam and Rebecca Shenk, Ember City remains on view through November 4 at 219 Madison Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 1-7pm. To schedule a visit at any other time, email ROYCERXSIREN@GMAIL.COM.

Photo credits: 1, 2, 4 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 3 & 6 Tara Murray

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JT-Liss-Face-Value-2

Currently on view at La Maison d’Art in Harlem is Styles and Storytellers, the first installment of a series of exhibits and artist talks conceived and curated by artist J.T. Liss. In this intriguingly provocative exhibit, four different artists present four unique stories in four distinct styles. Each of the four artists — J.T. LissMisha TyutyunikMarthalicia Matarrita and Jeff Henriquez — also share their talents with us on our city streets. Pictured above is Face Value by J.T. Liss. Here are several more images from the show:

J.T. Liss, Face Value II, Photographic art on canvas

J.T.-Liss-face-value-2

Misha Tyutyunik, Mourning, Acrylic on canvas

MDot-Mourning

Marthalicia Matarrita, Frida Kahlo, En la Lucha, Mixed media

MM

Jeff Henriquez, Night Moves #5, Photographic art on canvas

Jeff-Henriquez-night-moves

Styles and Storytellers: Volume I continues until June 30th with an artist talk and open-mic poetry/spoken words/music next Friday, June 2, 6-9 pm. To schedule an appointment to visit the exhibit at another time, you can contact gallery owner Stephanie Calla at stephanie@lamaisondartny.com or at 917-533-4605. La Maison d’Art is located at 259 W 132nd Street in Harlem.

Photos of artworks by Lois Stavsky

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BX-Foxx-painting-auction

A humanitarian organization dedicated to helping people in devastated communities, Medair brings relief and recovery to people in crisis.  Proceeds raised in Paddle8′s auction — ending this Thursday, March 30, 10 PM — will support Medair‘s emergency services. Pictured above is Pride, oil on gesso board, by BK Foxx. Here are several more images of works by both established and emerging artists — whose visions have also surfaced on our streets — included in the Medair benefit auction.

Logan Hicks, Slipping Away, Stencil spray paint on canvas

Logan-Hicks-Untitled2014-

Bianca Romero, Water Is Life, Acrylic, print collage, and epoxy resin

bianca-Romero-painting

Hueman, Fantastic Voyeur, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas

hueman-fantastic-voyager

Cernesto,The  Sunset of Humanity, Acrylic, ink, graphite, and polymer on canvas

Cernesto-Sunset-Of-Humanity

Wrdsmth, Under Construction, Spray paint via stencil on reclaimed street sign

Wrdsmth-UnderConstruction

This Thursday evening, Medair will host its first New York Gala at Stephan Weiss Studio in the West Village to support the organization’s work in raising funds for a range of emergency relief and recovery surfaces. The elegant black-tie event will feature a cocktail reception, silent auction and live auction by Sotheby’s. All artwork has been curated by photographer and filmmaker Luca Babini in partnership with Sarah Sperling of Goldman Global Arts, Thomas Allen of Fillin Global and @just_a_spectator.

Note: All images courtesy paddle8; you can bid online here.

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Currently on view at Chelsea’s Porchlight is New York State of Mind, a group show featuring a diverse range of artworks by eight of our all-time favorite artists. While visiting the space earlier this summer, I spoke to its curator, Joshua B. Geyer.

LNY-Porchlight

This space is lovely, and the artworks are beautifully displayed.  How did you connect to such an ideal space?

My buddy, Michael Shain, is the general manager. We’d first met when we were students at the University of Hartford.  And after Michael saw my exhibit at the  World Trace Gallery, he invited me to curate a show here.

Can you tell us something about the title of the show – New York State of Mind?

Yes. All eight of the artists on exhibit have been active on the streets of NYC and have created artworks on a range of media while living in NYC.  And with the exception of Hellbent, all were born outside of the US. This is why there is such a diversity of styles.

icy-and-sot-hunger-stencil-art

Every one of these artists has exhibited in a traditional gallery setting. How did they respond to your invite to show in an alternative setting such as this one?

They were all open to it. Here they can reach people who may not regularly visit galleries. And on our opening night we sold two pieces.

Yes, a reception was held here earlier this summer. How did that go?

It was great! All of the artists who were in town came, and I was told that it was the venue’s busiest evening.

Sonni-rise-and-grind

Did this exhibit present any particular challenges to you?

The biggest challenge was getting the word out about the exhibit. And then, of course, letting people know that the art is actually for sale!

How can folks see the exhibit?

Porchlight is open Monday through Wednesday from 12 pm until 12 am; from 12 pm until 2 am on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturdays from 4pm to 2am. It is located at 271 11th Avenue at the corner of 28th Street. The exhibit continues through the fall.

A-New-York-State-of-Mind

 Images

1. Luna New Year, Ccollanan Pachacamac

2. Sonni, Rise and Grind

3. Icy and Sot, Hunger

Note: Final image with list of artists features Lady Aiko

Photo credits: 1 & 2 Lois Stavsky; 3 Tara Murray; interview by Lois Stavsky

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.

en-play-badge 2

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Cern

Piece, a wonderfully eclectic exhibit featuring a range of artworks from sketches to completed pieces, remains on exhibit at Spreadhouse through March 28 at 116 Suffolk Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. While most of the artists are familiar to us street art aficionados, some simply have a distinctly urban or outsider sensibility. Curious as to what was going on here, I posed some questions to Robert Aloia who spearheaded the show.

This is a great venue here. Can you tell us something about it?

It is an all-around creative space launched by the film production company, Spreadhouse, aka shny.

"Matthew Denton Burrows"

How did you discover it? It’s the perfect space to showcase art and its location is ideal.

My friend, the artist Peter Passuntino, had an exhibit here last month, curated by his son Greg. It was the first art show at shny and it introduced me to this space.

"icy and sot"

What is the concept behind Piece?

This exhibit is my way to showcase this space at Spreadhouse and to give viewers a glimpse into the creative process – from inspiration to finished product. Many of the pieces were created right here!

"Leah Weber"

Among the dozens of artists featured here are many who are active on the streets and others who are new to me. How did you hook up with so many talented folks?

Friends and friends of friends and assistant curators.

"Leo Uzai"

What’s ahead?

We’re at work on a number of wide-ranging exhibits. But you can expect to see some street art elements in all of them.

That sounds great. Good luck!

Images: 1. Cern  2. Matthew Denton Burrows  3. Icy and Sot  4. Leah Weber and 5. Leo Uzai

Photos of images by Lois Stavsky

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