graffiti

No Comments

RAE BK Had an Old-School Art Party With DJ Kool Herc and It Went Like This

(Courtesy of RAE BK)

(Courtesy of RAE BK)

The last time I saw a bunch of RAE BKs work all in one place was in 2015, just after the street artist and Brooklyn-native had opened his guerrilla-style solo exhibition in Chinatown. But the show wasn’t held at a gallery, instead RAE’s site-specific installation was housed inside a dingy old basement, accessible only by way of an unmarked, totally unassuming rust-red metal door adjacent to a bustling produce market. Even then, I was so jaded that I couldn’t allow myself to believe that this was a real basement with real dirt and dust everywhere. But actually it wasn’t just a fancy pop-up rental space with a stage-grit makeover, nor was it an attempt by some developer to “activate” a particular corner before the building was torn down. As RAE told me, the basement was simply on loan from a recently-retired butcher with whom he had a “tentative relationship,” and the show, called Trunk Work, was one of those rare art happenings that was both real and strange.

Keep Reading »

1 Comment

‘Style Wars’ Producer Henry Chalfant Offers Panoramic Views of Graffiti’s ‘Golden Age’

Henry Chalfant's subway photographs now on view (Image courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery)

Henry Chalfant’s subway photographs now on view (Image courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery)

Since Thursday, the white walls at Eric Firestone Gallery have been wholly devoted to just a small portion of Henry Chalfant’s  archive of “subway photographs.” Henry Chalfant: 1980 focuses on a year in which graffiti was still regarded as subversive and dangerous. At the same time, street art was at its most vibrant and anarchic. The work offers not only a trip back to the “golden age of graffiti,” but a thorough “visual anthropology,” as Chalfant describes it– a studied view of street culture back when it actually came from the streets.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Muralist Returns for Third Try after Bad Luck Streak of ‘Biblical’ Proportions

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

After a false start three weeks ago, street artist Logan Hicks is ready to give his Bowery Graffiti Wall mural another shot. The stencil mural, entitled Story of My Life, was supposed to go up the last week of July, but was scrapped after the wood panels that held the canvas shifted positions overnight, ruining the half-finished piece.  Keep Reading »

No Comments

On the LES, Street Artists #FeeltheBern With a Bowie-Bernie Mashup and More

(Photo: Kavitha Surana)

(Photo: Kavitha Surana)

Didn’t wake up at 1 a.m. to get a spot in line to see Vampire Weekend serenade Bernie Sanders at Washington Square Park this afternoon? There’s still plenty of Bernie love to go around the city ahead of the primary next Tuesday.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Graffiti-Blasting DOT Aims to Turn New York Into State of Washing-Ton

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

The Department of Transportation thinks your graffiti is vulgar, and will power-wash it into oblivion until New York City is restored to the sparkling shiny gem it once was. At least, that seemed to be the general message at this morning’s press conference with DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg, held under an overpass of the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Inside the Sticker Museum That’s Hiding in Bushwick

(Photos: Karissa Gall)

(Photos: Karissa Gall)

When I saw a sticker museum advertised on Instagram, I envisioned walls of retro scratch and sniffs. But that’s not what I found when I rang buzzer #203 at 1009 Broadway in Bushwick. Standing at the top of an unadorned grey stairwell was a bearded man who asked, “You here for the sticker museum?” Yes and no, I thought, looking around at the remnants of a recent stickerbomb event and realizing that scratching the stickers wouldn’t release the fragrance of Strawberry Shortcake.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Bowie in the East Village, Then and Now

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

This morning we noticed graffiti artist Hektad had made some modifications to his 2nd Avenue F stop mural of a giant splattering heart, in honor of the man who fell to earth. A Bowie lightning bolt now pierces the heart, and messages of “Let’s Dance” and “David Bowie Rest Well” are scribbled on the edges. Appropriate, given the subway stop’s proximity to the setting of Lazarus.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Con Artist Has Art So Cheap You Can Eat It, Trust

"The $20 Art Show" at Con Artist Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“The $20 Art Show” at Con Artist Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

I’d never seen art move so quickly off the walls as I did last night at Con Artist Collective‘s Lower East Side gallery. Things were so hectic that it was difficult even to talk to founder Brian Shevlin about the unusual exhibition. His eyes were too busy darting to and from the small, rectangular pieces of art as they were gently taken off the walls, wrapped in red plastic bags, and quickly replaced by more art works. It felt like a feeding frenzy, and I couldn’t help but join in. Snagging some art myself, I realized I’d never even considered buying art in a gallery before this. I mean, definitely the $20 price tag had something, a lot, to do with making an already appealing piece of work feel accessible. “We did this based on Bread & Puppet Theater’s Why Cheap Art? Manifesto,” Shevlin explained. “Basically, we believe that artists should be required to make cheap art.”

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Checking Out the Coney Art Walls As They Near Completion

IMG_5453

While Bushwick Collective has been hogging all the attention lately (even from local cops), a series of equally impressive murals have been going up these past few weeks in Coney Island, where the New York art world’s prodigal son Jeffrey Deitch has called on some big names to paint a couple dozen walls dotting a concrete lot shared with Coney Smorgasburg.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

A Fact-Checking Note for This Bar-Hating Graffitist

Graffiti at 151 Avenue C (Photo: Jenna Marotta)

Graffiti at 151 Avenue C (Photo: Jenna Marotta)

One curmudgeonly graffiti artist is not on board with the watering hole set to open at 151 Avenue C.

The artist should note that Nublu, the bar/experimental music venue taking over this space, previously existed just down the street at 62 Avenue C. The venue, which is a popular haunt for musicians, was forced to temporarily relocate to 1st Avenue back in 2011 when the city revoked their liquor license (it was discovered that Nublu was located too close to a nearby Jehova’s Witness Kingdom Hall to legally serve liquor).

At any rate, Nublu isn’t an additional bar (i.e. “more”). Perhaps our anonymous naysayer failed to do his or her research.

 

 

No Comments

Celebrate the Release of Outdoor Gallery at This Indoor Gallery Done Up By Street Artists

Mural by El Sol 25 outside of 17 Frost (Photo: Yoav-Litvin)

Mural by El Sol 25 outside of 17 Frost (All photos: Yoav Litvin)

Tomorrow night there’ll be a party in Williamsburg to celebrate the release of Outdoor Gallery, a book of photographs that author Yoav Litvin hopes will be viewed for decades to come as a historical document of the city’s street art. Most of the 46 street artists Litvin spotlights have contributed works to an exhibit he curated at 17 Frost.
Keep Reading »