Yarnbombing

With street artists fiercely focusing now on addressing the social, economic and racial inequalities that the pandemic has only accentuated, Bill Posters’ new book, The Street Art Manual, is particularly timely. It is a paean to the spirit of art as activism.

For the past decade, Bill Posters — an award-winning artist, author and agitator — has worked alongside other artists and activists to create some of the world’s most illicit and impressive art projects. In The Street Art Manual, he earnestly, but playfully, presents practical guidance and advice on creating street art that challenges the inequitable status quo.

Providing tactics for successfully mounting campaigns that infiltrate the public sphere with everything from graffiti, stencils and pasteups to huge murals, projectiles and guerrilla projections, Poster discusses and describes in detail the necessary materials and techniques each mission demands. He also provides an extensive list of DO’s and DON’T’s for each of the distinct genres of street art. Should you subvert advertisements, for example, you are advised to “look like an employee of an outdoor-ad company” and not to “go out at a time that is different from when the real worker goes out to work.”

While many of the interventions featured are unsanctioned and can — if not carried out cautiously — involve a range of risks, not all are. One of the mediums included in The Street Art Manual is mural art. Large-scale murals — which so many of us have come to identify with corporate interests and gentrification — can also enrich neighborhoods. Artists painting outdoor murals have the opportunity and space to raise awareness of critical issues, celebrate distinct cultures and engage local folks. It is a way for artists, contends Posters, to give back to others while awakening consciousness.

The Italian artist Millo, for example, painted an 11-story-tall mural in the center of Santiago symbolizing “the hope that we must all find in relation to protecting the environment and reversing the ecological destruction that is causing our climate to collapse.”

Of particular interest to us street art aficionados is Post’s summary of each art form’s history. Wheat-pasting or poster-bombing can be traced back to 2000 BCE when papyrus was used to create promotional posters and flyers — formerly called bills — in such places as ancient Arabia, China, Greece, Rome and Egypt.  And we learn that yarn bombing, an increasingly popular international mode of public guerrilla expression, originally started in Houston, Texas in 2005 by a woman named Magda Sayeg who went on to gather a crew, Knitta Please.

Illustrated by Matt Bonner and published by Laurence King Publishing, Bill Posters’ The Street Art Manual delights, informs and provokes. It also renews our faith in street art as a tool for progressive social change in these fragile times.

Released globally today, September 3, the book is available here.

Images courtesy Laurence King Publishing.

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In addition to the first-rate graffiti in the vicinity of Philly’s 5th Street and Cecil B Moore, the entire city is home to a remarkable range of public art — hosting everything from striking unsanctioned interventions to hundreds of hugely impressive murals. The image featured above is the work of Philly-based Adam Crawford. Several more images I captured on my recent visit to Philadelphia follow:

Baltimore-based duo Jessie and Katey 

Philly-based crochet street and installation artist Nicole Nikolich aka Lace in the Moon

Philly-based San Salvador-born Calo Rosa

Philly-based Jes

And Philly’s iconic stikman

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Located on 120th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem, Eugene McCabe Field is now home to two tantalizing public art installations.  Featured above is a close-up from local fiber artist Naomi RAG‘s 12 x 24 foot mural fashioned from yarn.

A larger segment of the mural

The mural, La Flor De Mi Madre, in its entirety

Harlem-based Capucine Bourcart, Eat Me!, a photographic mosaic of approximately 1,500 printed metal square pictures of local healthy food — asking to be eaten!

Photos captured at dusk in the heat by Lois Stavsky

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

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Celebrating the 90th anniversary of Walt Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse and his influence on popular culture throughout the globe, Mickey: The True Original Exhibition is an exuberant tribute to the beloved, famed mouse. Featuring artworks in a range of media — including: painting, comic art, yarn bombing, sculpture and installation art — in a labyrinth-like setting, the pop-up exhibition continues through February 10 at 60 10th Avenue in the Meatpacking District. Pictured above is Keith Haring‘s rendition of Mickey Mouse. Several more images from Mickey: The True Original Exhibition follow:

The legendary Kenny Scharf, Cosmic Cavern, close-up, inspired by Mickey Mouse watch

Brooklyn-based Katherine Bernhardt, 99Cent Hot Dog, close-up 

Japanese Pop Art pioneer Keiichi Tanaami, Mickey’s Japan Tourism

LA-based multimedia artist Michael John Kelly, Toon Town

Brooklyn-based fiber artist London Kaye

Mickey: The True Original Exhibition is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am – 8pm. To enter  you must have a ticket purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased online here.

Photo credits: 1, 2 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 3, 4 & 5 Houda Lazrak

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

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While wandering the streets of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, I’ve come upon dozens of portraits of females in a wide range of styles and media. The artwork pictured above was fashioned by the city’s celebrated veteran muralist Rami Meiri. More images of girls on walls, including several that surfaced within the past few months, follow:

Tel Aviv-based muralist and graffiti writer Arad Levy

Tel Aviv-based muralist and tattoo artist MUHA ack

Tel Aviv-based muralist and graffiti writer Dales One

Mosaic of over 50,000 beer bottle caps — collected throughout Europe — fashioned by Rinat Look Elhik

Tel Aviv-based crochet artist and yarn bomber Liza Mamali

Tel Aviv-based designer and street artist Imaginary Duck

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Noted Brazilian artist Mag Magrela recently spent a month in New York City. In partnership with AnnexB — a company focused on promoting Brazilian art in NYC — Mag Magrela painted several murals in different neighborhoods and presented her first NYC solo exhibit, Pindorama in Flames, at Galeria, a delightful gallery/cafe located at 43 Clinton Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Pictured above is Sem mais. The broken boat: eu tenho sue o pedaço que agora é meu in Long Island City. Here are several more outdoor murals:

“Pequenos atos de contra ataque,” Astoria, Queens with the Welling Court Mural Project

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“Dá a cara à tapa,” Bushwick

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“A paixão das ancas,” Brooklyn Brush X Mural Project

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And from her exhibit Pindorama in Flames, at Galeria featuring works created during her NYC residency:

Linha de frente

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“Suadade de sertão encantado” —  with figure painted live to the right

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“Meu murk” – the artist’s signature performance-installation at Brooklyn Brush, Brooklyn, New York

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The exhibit at Galeria — featuring a range of works that address the dichotomy between the ideal Utopian world and the bitter real one — continues through September 15th.

Note: Mag Magrela is a featured artist in Alexandra Henry‘s documentary film Street Heroines

Photos: 1, 3, 4 & 7 courtesy AnnexB; 2, 5 & 6 Lois Stavsky

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East Harlem resident Naomi RAG has continued to yarn bomb her neighborhood, enhancing it with color, warmth and intrigue. Here are some more images of trees that she has cloaked:

Tree pictured above, as seen last week from another angle

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As seen last week 

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As revisited a few weeks back at night

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And as seen a few weeks back at dusk

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Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson

Note: Our highly acclaimed Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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