Joe Ficalora and his ragtag collection of street artists at the Bushwick Collective have been turning the neighborhood’s dreary industrial walls into what amounts to an en plein air gallery. Now, for the first time, the Collective takes its talent indoors for a grown-up exhibition as part of Bushwick Open Studios.
Soothingly, the show is being held in a rough-around-the-edges warehouse on an industrial stretch of Troutman, near St. Nicholas, at the nucleus of the Collective’s usual space. So it feels like an organic extension of the team’s work. Some of the Collective’s biggest names are represented: local and international artists like Blek Le Rat, Dan Witz, Joe Iurato, Jerkface, Solus, and Beau Stanton. (You’ll also be able to catch some of these guys painting live as part of the Bushwick Block Party: just wander around the Jefferson Street stop to see murals in progress.)
The lineup makes for an eclectic mix of aesthetics, and at a preview of the exhibition last night, Ficalora was waxing nostalgic about his makeshift family. “I love everybody in this room,” he said, glancing around. “None of this was planned. This was like an accidental pregnancy.” In the best way possible, it’s implied.
The affection is clearly mutual. “Out of all the guys I’ve worked with, Joe’s one of a kind,” says Solus, a burly fellow with an impressive mustache and a thick Irish accent. “There’s a lot of bitching that goes on — but Joe just says we’re a family and gets on with it.”
Solus himself would prefer to be outdoors spray-painting on the street rather than working in a studio, but he admits that the small-scale, salable work helps pay the bills. And these pieces don’t necessarily come cheap: prices at the show range from $200 to $20,000. That being said, Ficalora didn’t even think to have a sales desk set up — Solus had to point out they might need one.
Click through the slideshow to see the Brooklyn-centric artwork.
Bushwick Collective Art Show, May 30 to May 31 from noon to 8 p.m., June 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., 426 Troutman Street, bet. Wyckoff and St. Nicholas Aves., Bushwick