Zimad

An art lover and dear friend to so many street artists, East Village–based Steve Stoppert is a local legend. True to his motto, “Just Paint,” he is the force behind one of NYC’s most visible public spaces – the wall facing the Second Avenue subway station. Dozens of artists have painted there, and dozens more wait their turn. Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Steve in his Second Avenue apartment that brims with art — from floor to ceiling — in just about every media and style.

We are fortunate that you have made New York City your home. Where were you born? And what brought you here?

I was born in Pontiac, Michigan — a northern suburb of Detroit. I came here in 1992 for two weeks to remodel my sister’s bathroom. And I never left. She was living on East 6th Street at the time.

What was it about NYC that so drew you in?

The music scene. It was magic!  Seeing the Pavement at the Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side. Hanging out at CBGB on the Bowery…

And what about NYC’s art scene?

I used to go on my own to the Met. But it wasn’t until an artist friend took me on a tour of the museum and introduced me to Cézanne that something clicked!

What is your first street art/graffiti-related memory?

Definitely Shepard Fairey. Seeing Andre the Giant everywhere!

And how did you become so deeply involved with the current scene?

I started going out with Fumero late at night. I was his “look-out.” I remember thinking, “If only I’d had an aerosol can in my hand when I was 15!”

How has the street art scene changed since you first began paying attention to it? 

It’s different. These days, there are lots of fluffy paste-ups, and just about everyone is documenting it. But I still love it.

What is your favorite aspect of the scene?

I love the hunt. When I first began in 2010, I was obsessed with Jim Joe. I used to hunt for him daily. I chased him everywhere between the Lower East Side and Tribeca competing with folks on Tumblr for the most Jim Joe sightings.

For the past several years you’ve been curating a hugely visible wall right on your block. How do you decide which artists to feature?

I have a list of about 80-100 artists who’ve approached me. We simply select a name at random from a hat. Each month the wall changes.

What has the experience been like?

I love it. I love working with artists. I don’t even mind when they’re flakey or late. I just go with it.

How do you deal with the ever-present politics in this scene?

I ignore it completely.

Do any memorable experiences stand out? 

Fun times! When City Kitty got up on the wall and changed it 6-8 times within three months. And, of course, riding on my bike at 3am to 4am with flashlight and bike light – not knowing what I will see that I haven’t seen before.

What do you see as the future of this scene?

It seems to be at an all-time high with its increasing appeal to commercial buildings and high-end hotels.

Yes! It certainly has changed since I first fell in love with it! And we are thrilled that you are doing what you are doing. The wall that you curate is one of our faves.

Images:

1. Steve Stoppert in front or wall painted last Sunday by Key Detail

2, Noted California-born artist and musician Paul Kostabi

3. The itinerant Sirus Fountain aka Pyramid Oracle

4. Bronx-based Zimad

5. Brooklyn-based Argentine artists Magda Love and Sonni

6. The prolific Optimo NYC aka Optimo Primo, Werds and No Sleep

7. Brooklyn-based Argentine artist Ramiro Davaro-Comas

Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky and Ana Candelaria and edited by Lois Stavsky

Photo credits: 1-3 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 4, 6 & 7 Ana Candelaria

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On view through July 12 at South Bronx gallery WALLWORKS NEW YORK is Memorias en Arte. Curated by South Bronx photographer Gloria Zapata, it features photos captured by Gloria while visiting her homeland, Honduras, along with renderings of them by a range of NYC artists.

Images of memories  from her childhood capture the essence of her native country, while the accompanying artworks further explore the notion of “home.” After visiting the brilliantly conceived and handsomely curated exhibition yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to Gloria.

I love your passion for photography, along with your devotion to documentation. Can you tell us something about its beginnings?

I first studied photography while I was a student at Washington Irving High School. That was back in the nineties. While studying Multimedia Video Arts at the Borough of Manhattan Community College a bit later, I started writing scripts and producing films. I  wanted to be next Stephen Speilberg! After graduating from BMCC, I wrote and directed an award-winning short film “A Mirror of Me,” but I soon discovered that pursuing that passion would require funds and an investment of time that I didn’t have. Then for my 27th birthday, my mother bought me a professional camera. That was a turning point! Currently, while pursuing my passion, I am studying Art and Photography at Lehman College.

Do you remember what you first documented once you had that camera that your mother had bought you?

Early on it was nature and architecture. I especially liked photographing landscapes.

And what about street art and graffiti? When did you first start photographing the walls in your neighborhood?

I’d always loved murals. For years I’d seen works on the street by Tats Cru and Crash, but I had no idea who these artists were. Then one day — about five years ago — I met Crash when he was painting on the streets, and he invited me to WALLWORKS NEW YORK. Nothing’s been quite the same since!

And how did you meet all the street artists and graffiti writers — among the other artists —  whom you included in your show? I assume you met many here at WALLWORKS NEW YORK?

Yes! And I met several while I was volunteering as a teaching assistant with ICP (The International Center of Photography) at the Point.

I love the conversation between your photos and the artists’ interpretations of them. How did you decide which artists to include in Memorias en Arte? Its concept is brilliant.

I included artists whose works speak to me and who responded enthusiastically to my concepts of “home” and “memories.” A few of the artists I approached had too many other commitments at the time to participate in Memorias en Arte, but I hope to collaborate with them in the future — perhaps in an expanded version of the project.

What were some of the challenges you faced in seeing such an ambitious project through?

Following through with the artists to make sure that their pieces would be completed in time and sufficiently believing in my vision to see it though. But working with WALLWORKS NEW YORK has made any challenges so much easier to overcome.

How have folks reacted to this show?

The response has been great. And people tell me all the time how much they love the exhibition’s concept.

I first saw your work several months ago on exhibit at the Point’s Riverside Campus for Arts and the Environment. Where else have you exhibited? What were some some of the key shows?

I participated last summer in Through A Feminine Lens, a group show — curated by Juanita Lanzo and Kimberly Vaquedano-Rose — that featured photography and mixed media works exploring motherhood, immigrant perspectives, equity and race at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos Community College. Earlier, I showed in a group exposition, Exposure, here at WALLWORKS NEW YORK.  And in 2017, I participated in The Next Generation of Bronx Photographers at the Andrew Freedman Home.

Have you any particular favorite subjects as of late?

Yes, I’ve been focusing on portraits – especially of dancers — and sunsets.

Wow! You certainly have a wide range of interests! Have you any favorite photographers? Photographers who have inspired you?

Yes! Among them are: Martha Cooper, Joe Conzo and Ricky Flores. I love their commitment to community. I love Martha’s photography —  from the images she started shooting in the 80’s through those she currently captures  — and I love her story, along with the stories her photos tell. I was so happy to have an opportunity to work with her. In terms of photographers who capture dancers, my favorite is Andrea Mohin, a staff photographer for the New York Times, whom I’ve also had the chance to meet and work with.

How can folks see your current exhibit, Memorias en Arte?

It will be on view through next Friday, July 12, at WALLWORKS NEW YORK, 39 Bruckner Blvd. in the South Bronx. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 11am – 5pm and weekends by appointment.

Featured images:

1 Zimad and Gloria Zapata

2 Photo of Gloria Zapata

3  Gloria Zapata and Lady jDay

4 NicerGloria Zapata and BG183

5 YesOne and Gloria Zapata

Eric Orr and Gloria Zapata

7 Installation close-up, Gloria Zapata

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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Gracing the 21-floor staircase of the new citizenM New York Bowery is MoSA (the Museum of Street Art), a rich range of images and words fashioned by 21 5 Pointz Creates artists under the curatorial direction of Marie Cecile Flageul. After visiting the soon-to-open hotel, I had the opportunity to speak to Marie who, along with 5 Pointz founder Meres One, has been directing the project since its inception:

This project is quite remarkable! Can you tell us a bit about its background? 

In Fall 2016, we held our first meeting with citizenM‘s chief marketing officer, Robin Chadha, a huge art lover who is intent on integrating art into his projects. He had been following the entire 5 Pointz story from Amsterdam, where he is based. He approached us because he was interested in bringing back a bit of 5 Pointz to NYC. The result is MoSA,

What about the staircase installation, A Vertical Love Letter to the Bowery? What is the concept behind it?

citizenM tries to understand and embrace the communities they move into. And this particular Lower Manhattan neighborhood has an incredibly rich history, which we attempted to capture with images of significant faces, places, moments and words.

How did you decide which artists to include?

Every artist included had contributed to 5 Pointz. Once I came up with the story line and quotations, it was easy for me to select artists. I had learned from Meres how to look at aerosol art and understand its visual voice.

What were some of the challenges that came your way in the course of managing and curating this project?

A major challenge was giving up control and trusting the artists once they understood the concept and direction of the project. There were also several logistic issues. There was no air conditioning early on, and the lack of elevators became a joke. But it all evolved into a kind of musical chaos, as all of the workers and staff here have been incredibly enthusiastic and supportive.

As it is nearing completion, what are your thoughts regarding the final outcome of this project?

I am humbled by the amount of love, hard work and dedication every artist has put into this project. Their attention to detail has inspired me. I am hopeful that thousands will see it — 5000 square feet that anyone can enjoy and a priceless gift to Downtown Manhattan.

How can folks who are not hotel guests gain access to the exhibit?

As early as October 1, anyone can come into the lobby — between 10am and 5pm — with ID and walk through the exhibition. I will be giving a personal tour to the first 500 folks who register. Groups of 10 or more people can email me at marie@5ptz.com 

Congratulations! And what a great way for visitors and students to learn about the history of this historic neighborhood! I look forward to revisiting it soon.

Note: All of the artists who participated in this project are identified here, and brief interviews with them with videography by Rae Maxwell, along with original soundtrack by Say Word Entertainment artists Rabbi Darkside and The Grand Affair, can be viewed here. In addition to A Vertical Love Letter to the Bowery, a court installation is underway by Rubin 415, Esteban del ValleDon Rimx, Lady Pink and Meres One. And gracing the plaza outside the hotel’s entrance is a captivating mural by Meres One, blurring the line between graffiti and fine art.

citizenM New York Bowery is located at 189 Bowery off Delancey Street.

Images:

1. Meres One

2. Marie and Meres on roof top of citizenM New York Bowery

3. Nicholai Khan

4. See TF

5. Zimad

6. Vince Ballentine

7. Kenji Takabayashi  aka Python

8. Elle

9. Noir

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos by Lois Stavsky

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meres-otm-graffiti-bushwick-NYC

With its vibrantly seductive murals, the exterior of Brooklyn Reclaimed — curated by Meres One — has become an oasis of color and style.  Here are a few more graffiti murals that have recently surfaced — all by artists who’d frequented the former 5Pointz:

Demer

demer-graffiti-brooklyn-reclaimed

Topaz and Jerms

topaz-Jerms-graffiti-brooklyn

Zimad

zimad-graffiti-brooklyn-reclaimed

Bishop 203 aka Jats

Jats-graffiti-Bushwick

Photos by City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen

Keep posted to our Facebook page and Instagram for more graffiti and street art on the grounds of Brooklyn Reclaimed.

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available here for Android devices.

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Produced by Sade TCM for Nasty, Neo FC, the Blaze of Hackensack has refashioned the always-brilliant graffiti walls in Hackensack, New Jersey’s famed open-air gallery. Here’s a sampling of what surfaced last month:

Bronx-based Pase

Pase

NYC artists Per One and Hef

PerOne

Bronx-based John Matos aka Crash

Crash

Bronx-based Ces

Ces

The Blaze of Hackensack curator Sade TCM

Sade

Bronx-based Bio, Tats Cru

Bio-tats-cru-graffiti-Hackensack-new-jersey

Bronx-based Zimad

Zimad

Bronx-based BG 183, Tats Cru

BG183-graffiti-hackensack-new-jersey

Veteran graffiti writers Sonic and Part One, Dedicated to the Victims in Paris

sonic-part-graffiti-mural-hackensack-New-Jersey

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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bk-foxx-art-all-city-street-art-expo

Opening tomorrow at 23 Meadow Street in East Williamsburg, the three-day All City Art Expo 2015 is an exuberant celebration of NYC’s outdoor art culture. We stopped by yesterday and had the opportunity to speak to Evan Tobias of Cluster Wall who, along with Kevin Michael, curated the exhibit.

dain-all-city-art-expo-nyc

This is quite an eclectic collection of art here! What is the concept behind the All City Art Expo?

It is a celebration of all outdoor art. We wanted to showcase a range of artwork — by sticker artists, graffiti writers, street artists and muralists — all in one setting.

see-one-all-city-art-expo-nyc

And it looks great! How did you find such an ideal setting?

We began looking at spaces awhile back. And Mona Liza Furniture — a huge arena with ample outdoor space —  offered to host us.

rob-plater-all-city-art-expo

It couldn’t be more perfect! When did you begin working on this All City Art Expo?

I met Kevin Michael many months ago. We began working together on this project back in the winter.

zimad-graffiti-character-all-city-art-expo

There are so many artists here representing so many different styles, concepts and genres. How did you choose which ones to include?

When Kevin and I came up with this concept, we wrote up a wish list that included a range of artists from Old School graff guys to ones whose works have surfaced recently on our streets.

taki-183-nic-707-all city-art-expo

What was your greatest challenge in organizing this event?

Handling the logistics behind working with over 100 artists!

art-is-trash-all-city-art-expo

What can visitors expect — besides a chance to see and purchase such an extensive selection of artworks?

The Sticker Social Club will join us and visitors will have a chance to “slap and share.”  There will be a Black Book Jam on Sunday with many Old School writers in attendance. On both Saturday and Sunday a Groundswell artist will lead mural workshops. And there will be music all weekend by DJ Pumpkin, food by Arrogant Swine, along with drinks, vendors and raffles.

rocko

Can you tell us something about your relationship with Groundswell?

We have asked each artist to donate a canvas — an All City Compact Canvas — that will be sold for $150.00. Proceeds will be donated to Groundswell to support the wonderfully transformative projects the organization brings to our communities in its work with youth.

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Good luck!  It’s all so impressive, and it looks like it will be so much fun!

Images: 1. BK Foxx 2. Dain 3. See One 4. Rob Plater 5. Zimad 6. Taki 183 and Nic 707 7. Art is Trash 8. Rocko

Interview by Lois Stavsky

Photo credits: 1, 3 5-8 Lois Stavsky; 2 & 4 Dani Reyes Mozeson

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This is the ninth in a series of occasional posts featuring the range of faces that surface on NYC open spaces:

James Bullough at the Bushwick Collective

"James Bullough"

Alan Aine in Bedford-Stuyvesant

"Alan aine"

Vexta in the East Village

Vexta

Zimad at the Bushwick Collective

Zimad

Anser in Bushwick

Anser

Sam Kirk in Williamsburg

provoke-culture-street-art-nyc

Rafael de los Santos aka Poteleche in Williamsburg

HD-Crew-Street-art-nyc

Photo credits: 1 & 3. Tara Murray; 2, 4, 6 & 7 Lois Stavsky; 5. Dani Reyes Mozeson

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With Sheryo and the Yok completing the missing letter — S — , the B-U-S-H-W-I-C-K mural at the Bushwick Collective is now complete. Here are some images:

Sexer at work after completing the letter ‘B.’ Letter ‘U’ by David Louf aka June1 to its right

"seder and David Louf"

 Sheryo and the Yok, the letter ‘S’

"Sheryo and the Yok"

Dasic Fernandez at work on the letter ‘H’

Dasic

Billy Mode at work on the letter ‘W’

"Billy Mode"

Eelco ’Virus’ Van den Berg, the letter ‘I’, with Bushwick Collective founder and curator Joe Ficalora to its right

Eelco

John Matos aka Crash, the letter ‘C’ 

Crash

Zimad at work on the final letter, ‘K’

Zimad

With some additions

Bushwick-graffiti-Bushwick-Collective

 Photo credits: 1, 4 & 7 by Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8 by Lois Stavsky

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This past Saturday, the LISA Project celebrated its second anniversary party with a spirited Secret Walls battle in the now-famous parking lot on Little Italy’s Mulberry Street. Team Lowbrow’s Bishop 203MastroZimad, and Steiner competed against Team Supreme’s Lamour SupremeJeremyville, Boy Kong, and Nick Gazin. Here are a few images:

Bishop 203 and Zimad (R)

Zimad-and-bishop203-street-art-and-graffiti-NYC

Mastro

Mastro

Lamour Supreme at work

supreme-team-Secret-walls

Jeremyville‘s draft 

Jeremyville

The illustrious judges: Sean Corcoran, Martha Cooper, Terror 161 and Carlo McCormick

Sean-corcoran-&-Martha-Cooper-&-Terror161-and-Carlo-McCormick-LISA-Project-Secret-Walls

The winning Team LowBrow members with LISA Project founder and director Wayne Rada

"Team LowBrow"

And the beloved “Taggers Delight” wall with NYC-based illustrator Sashalyn leaving her mark — to the left of Stikki Peaches

Sashalyn

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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Under the curatorial direction of Tag Public Arts Project founder, SinXero, the walls on and off the 6 line in the South Central section of the Bronx have become one of the borough’s visual highlights.  Loved by both local residents and passersby, these murals, in fact, are now incorporated into an official tour of the Bronx. Here is a small sampling of what can be seen:

Marthalicia Matarrita and Raquel Echanique 

Raquel-Echanique-street-art-Bronx

Marthalicia Matarrita, close-up

"Marthalicia Matarrita"

Sexer

Sexer

 SinXero

SinXero

See TF

SeeTF

Col Wallnuts

Col

Werc

Werc

Daek William — in from Australia 

"Daek William"

Damien Mitchell

"Damien Mitchell"

Billy Mode and Chris Stain

"Billy Mode and Chris Stain"

Zimad — close-up 

Zimad

Keep posted to our Facebook page for many more Tag Public Arts Project images and check here for piece painted by the legendary John Matos aka Crash.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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