Walls

During the first wave of the pandemic, several artists — largely working separately as they painted images onto plywood — joined forces to form the Soho Renaissance Factory. A diverse selection of these original works were salvaged and are on view through Tuesday, June 28 at ChaShaMa in Union Square. The exhibition, Beautiful Barriers: Street Art Beyond Walls, also features varied customized products including apparel, accessories, and skateboards in partnership with CocoRedoux. And joining the members of the Soho Renaissance Factory are guest artists EyeanticOPTIMONYCVanessa Kreytak, and 0H10M1ke.

The image pictured above was fashioned by the indigenous American multidisciplinary artist, Konstance Patton. Several more images captured while visiting the exhibition earlier this month follow:

Contemporary painter Brendan T. McNally

Brooklyn-based African American self-taught artist Amir Diop

Brooklyn-based muralist Manuel Alejandro aka The Creator

NYC-born, Jersey City-based Sule

 The legendary OPTIMONYC, guest artist

Hand-painted apparel, a small sample

A Closing Reception will be held on June 28, 6-9pm. You can register here:

Note:

June 26, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm
Moderated by T.K Mills, Editor-in-chief of UP Magazine
Featured artists: OPTIMONYC, Vanessa Kreytak, Eyeantic, Calicho, and Ohio Mike

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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Launched in 2009, Welling Court Mural Project has transformed Welling Court and its surrounding blocks in Astoria, Queens into a welcoming, wondrous open-air gallery. Under the curatorial direction of Alison Wallis, a diverse range of artists are now busily bringing their talents and visions to Welling Court in preparation for this weekend’s festivities. When visiting on Monday evening, I came upon several artists at work and a few newly fashioned murals. Pictured above is artist, curator and arts educator Alice Mizrachi with spray can in hand. Several more images follow:

Style master Noah TFP at work

The renowned Greg Lamarche aka Sp.One

Thailand-based artist Headache Stencil

The legendary Lady Pink, close-up from her almost-completed mural

Another detail from Lady Pink’s hugely impressive and uplifting mural

Japanese artist Shiro brings new vibes to her old spot

These next few days will bring many more artists to Welling Court culminating this weekend in a two-day festival. Featuring live painting a  marketplace and more, it will take place June 25 and 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 11-25 30th Avenue.

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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The Second Annual Troutman Rock has once again brought some of  NYC’s most intriguing writers together for a riveting first-rate production in Ridgewood, Queens. The image pictured above features the skills and visions of  FCEE, Nic1 and Curve. Several more murals follow:

French artist Seb Gorey, Homage, In Memory Of Kings

The legendary Greg Lamarche aka Sp.One

Queens-based style master Carlo Nieva aka Diego 127

The ever-ingenious Queens-based Chip Love aka Whisper

The amazingly skilled veteran graffiti writer Strider

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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When East Tremont resident Kay Love was offered the opportunity to paint a huge wall outside the nearby Colombian restaurant La Masa, she jumped at the opportunity. And what emerged was the first all- female artists’ production wall in the Bronx inspired by Colombia’s beauty — its divine indigenous women, history, culture and nature.

Among the talents featured in the mural segment pictured above are those of the legendary Japanese artist Shiro and self-described “Defender of the Bronx” artist Kay Love. Several more segments of the delightfully tantalizing mural follow — all fashioned by members of the  graffiti crew and collective  GW2 (Girls Write Too).

Colombia-born, East Harlem-based mixed media artist Gia, Secta 7 Collective member Neku, and graffiti writer & muralist Jai

Queens-based Asian American graffiti writer Ming and Shiro 

Stockholm-born, East Harlem-based graffiti writer and muralist Scratch

Bronx-based veteran graffiti writer Erotica

Special thanks to Scratch for sharing the backstory of the mural.

Photo credits:  1, 2 3 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 4 Kay Love

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While checking out several new murals at Underhill Walls in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn last week, I was delighted to discover a new open air gallery just a few blocks away.  Located at Washington Avenue and Clark Place and, also, curated by community resident and leader Jeff Beler, it hosts a captivating array of murals. A brief interview with Jeff Beler — its founder — follows:

What a wonderful addition go the neighborhood! What motivated you to launch this new project, Washington Walls?

I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 17 years and this spot had always been an eyesore.  It had originally been a garage, but it had been empty for years — with damaged panels in need of replacement.

How did you made this transformation happen — in terms of permissions?

I spoke to the contractor who contacted the owner of the property. The panels were replaced, and I was given the “Go ahead!”

When did it officially launch? And how did it go?

In February — right after Valentines Day. The entire community pitched in. Kids got involved. Everything went beautifully, and we all had fun!

These walls feature such a wide range of talents, styles and themes. I am familiar with many of the artists from Underhill Walls and elsewhere, yet several are new to me. How were you able to engage so many artists? And how did they find out about this project?

I put up a post on Instagram that I was seeking artists to paint, and the response was great.

What’s ahead?

A second edition of Washington Walls in September. We are also planning to launch shirts, tote bags, prints and stickers, along with a  book documenting the past seven years of Underhill Walls. And currently we are completing the newest set of murals at Underhill Walls featuring TV Nostalgia.

Murals:

  1. Uncutt Art
  2. Calicho Arevalo — with Jeff Beler on the left
  3. Paulie Nassar
  4. Jaima
  5. Outer Source
  6. Majo San
  7. Carnivorous Flora

Photos: Lois Stavsky

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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In June 2018, Ohio’s Massillon Museum hosted “Moniker: Identity Lost & Found,” an exhibition featuring a distinctly remarkable documentation of mark-making and monikers, a grassroots movement which began in rail yards in the late nineteenth century. An exhibition catalog published at the time sold out almost immediately. This month heralds the release of a second edition in softcover format of Moniker: Identity Lost & Found in conjunction and cooperation with the Black Butte Center For Railroad Culture and its current exhibit, End Of The Line.

Published by Burn Barrel Press, the just-released Moniker: Identity Lost and Found features 148 full-color pages of rare archival documents, photographs, and artwork, along with a glossary of relevant terms. A fascinating foray into a distinctly American subculture of ephemeral artworks, it also offers a glimpse into many of these artists’ minds in their own voices. What follows is a sampling of images from the pages of this significant book as it brilliantly introduces us to an art form that is often overlooked by so many, including us graffiti and street art aficionados.

Who is This J.B. King? – from The Saturday Evening Post article by Jean Muir, May 1945 — referencing the prodigious “writer”  J. B. King, who was identified by his loopy scrawl

20,000th mark, 2002,  From the collection of  Smokin’ Joe

Writing implements, courtesy of Scot Phillips

Hoboe’s (sic) Directory, Nevada; 1910 Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Library, University Archives, (UNRS-P2017-07)

I Want to Be a Boss. Photograph by Sally and Jerry Romotsky, 1969. 35mm color transparency. Rail worker graffiti under the Fourth Street Bridge in Los Angeles. Courtesy Sally and Jerry Romotsky

Matokie Slaughter – Photo by Kurt Tors

You can order the paperback edition of  the hugely informative and entertaining Moniker: Identity Lost & Found here.

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As the Bushwick Collective readies for its 11th Annual Block Party, a first-rate array of artists from near and far have been busy at work around Troutman and St Nicholas Avenues and its surrounding blocks. Pictured above is the Dutch artist David Louf aka Mr. June working on a small section of his new huge, hugely impressive mural. Several more images of newly-fashioned murals captured in the rain yesterday evening follow:

The distinctly skilled Italian artist Ligama, segment of huge stunning mural

 The wonderfully talented Milan-based Mr. Blob at work on a small segment of his huge tantalizing mural

The New York-based highly versatile visual artist Cody James

Pittsburg-based artist Ashley Hodder, close-up from wonderfully ravishing mural

And — on a lighter note — West Coast based aritst James Smith aka 1.4.4.0 completing his delightfully playful mural 

You can view all of the murals — including many by local artists — this Saturday, June 4 at the Bushwick Collective Annual Block Party, while enjoying performances by KRS ONE , STATIK SELEKTAH & FRIENDS, NEMS, TERMANOLOGY, POSITIVE K, & 30 other talents.

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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Adjacent to Old Jaffa’s bustling flea market and a short walk from its famed Clock Tower is its Greek Market, whose restaurant and shop doors serve as open-air canvases to an eclectic range of artists. The image featured above is the work of Tel Aviv-based fashion designer Athalia Lewartowski.  Several more images — captured on my recent far too brief visit to Tel Aviv — follow:

Also by Athalia Lewartowski

 

The masterly visual artist Elad Green

Tel Aviv born and based illustrator and graphic designer Tal Shetach

The ever-intriguing Soskee

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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To turn the page is to progress. It is often difficult, though, to turn a page. Each page  — as is each new day — is a fresh start that holds uncertainties. Eventually, the page must turn, no matter how long we take to reflect on it. And in Beirut, a city plagued by tragedy, poverty, economic crisis and corruption, we’ve learned how to turn the page and move forward.

The work pictured here, Turning the Page – قلبة الصفحة – is how three artists — Spaz, Kabrit and Exist — are moving forward in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Beitelbaraka to renovate Geitewe, a neighborhood that had been devastated by Beirut’s 2020 massive explosion.

Beirut-based Spaz

Lebanese artist Kabrit

Beirut-based graffiti artist and graphic designer Exist 

Exist, detail

Special thanks to Spaz for this post

Photos by Lebanese photographer Ihab Fayad 

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In celebration of Earth Day, National Geographic has partnered with ABC Owned Television Stations (OTV) and local artists in four major cities to fashion murals centered on four themes: wildlife, the Amazon, forests and oceans. All of the murals have been inspired by photos from National Geographic’s archive.

The image featured above was painted here in NYC by Brooklyn-based muralist and illustrator Steffi Lynn. Several more images of environmentally-conscious murals that have surfaced this month in collaboration with National Geographic follow:

A close-up from the NYC mural — fashioned by Steffi Lynn — located at 573 Johnson Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Philadelphia-based muralist and multimedia artist Eurhi Jones in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia

Philadelphia-based Eurhi Jones with a close-up of her mural located at the Overbrook Environmental Education Center

The prolific Chicago-based self-taught street artist Sentrock at work

 A wide view of Sentrock and his mural located at ABC Chicago station’s building façade at 190 N State Street

 San Francisco-based illustrator and muralist Alice Lee in partnership with Paint the Void adds the final touches to her mural

Alice Lee with her completed mural, located at the intersection of Divisadero and Haight streets

Featured photos courtesy of National Geographic’s #NatGeoPlanetPossible project

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