Esteban del Valle

This is the eighth in a series of occasional posts featuring some of the curious characters that surface on NYC streets:

Mike Lee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Werc, close-up in Long Island City


Elle and the London Police on Manhattan’s Lower East Side

elle-and-london-police-street-art-nyc 2

Buff Monster at the Bushwick Collective


Binho in Long Island City


Esteban del Valle at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens


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



Brooklyn-based artist Esteban del Valle has been busy! The culmination of seven months of travels throughout the United States, Displacing Waves, his upcoming exhibit, reflects on the artist’s role as a member of the “creative class” that creates new settlements, while displacing others. Esteban’s distinctly adroit mixed-media approach — blurring the lines between drawing and painting — brilliantly captures the anxiety, along with the comical irony, that the threat of gentrification poses to various communities, including the gentrifiers themselves.  Here is a sampling of Esteban’s painterly musings on contemporary colonialism that will be on exhibit at LA’s’ Superchief Gallery opening this coming Saturday.

Appetite, Acrylic ink and collage on panel, 9″ x 12″


Cocktails near the poor man’s riviera, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 48″ x 60″


We are running out of cities, Ink and collage on paper, 11″ x 8.5″

Esteban-del-Valle-running-out-of cities-ink-and-collage-on-paper

And the artist at work at Superchief Gallery as he readies for his West Coat exhibit


Opening this coming Saturday, January 9, at Superchief Gallery, 739 Kohler Street, in Los Angeles, Displacing Waves remains on view through January 31.

Note: Opening image is Looking for sediment, Acrylic ink and collage on panel, 8″x 10″

All photos courtesy the artist



Highlighting the impact that Mexican civilization has had on other cultures, The Impact Show, El Momento del Impacto, presents a stunning array of artworks that reflect various aspects of the Mexican experience. Here are a few more images that can be seen in the backyard garden of the lovely Cafe de la Esquina in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Danielle Mastrion

"Danielle Mastrion"

Esteban del Valle, close-up


Juan Carlos Pinto

"Carlos Pinto"

Albertus Alburg, close-up

"Albertus Alburg"

Ben Angotti


Curated by Savior Elmundo and Frankie Velez, the Impact Show remains on view for the next several weeks — with a closing party 7-10pm on Thursday, June 25 — at 225 Wythe Avenue, a short walk from the Bedford stop on the L train.  

Note: First image is a close-up from  Savior Elmundo‘s Frida.

Photos: 1 – 6 Dani Reyes Mozeson and 7 Lois Stavsky


Currently on exhibit at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Hang It or Skate It features over 20 inventive artworks, each incorporating at least one skateboard.  Here are a few:

Chris Soria, Harold Hunter

chris-soria-hang-it-or skate-it

Savior ElMundo and N Carlos Jay, Legends Never Die


Danielle Mastrion, Brooklyn Banks


Ben Angotti, Hamya

"Ben Angotti"

Esteban del Valle, The Curator, Collector and Artist


Curated by Savior ElMundo, Terry Nelson and Frankie Velez and presented by Hip Hop USA, the exhibit continues through February 27 at the Abrazo Interno Gallery on 107 Suffolk Street.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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With new murals outside and an array of artworks inside, Be Electric Studios on 1298 Willoughby Avenue is the site of a new exhibit featuring over 20 street muralists.  Here are a few images captured hours before it opened last night.

Chris & Veng RWK and Nicole Salgar & Chuck Berrett


Nicholai Khan at work, FumeroRaquel EchaniqueChris & Veng RWK and Nicole Salgar & Chuck Berrett

 "street Murals"

Magda Love at work

"Magda Love"



Joseph Meloy

"Joseph Meloy"



And Esteban del Valle adding some finishing touches to his indoor mural


Curated by Kevin Michael, the exhibit continues through Monday, 12 – 11pm.

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson



We were introduced to Esteban del Valle’s remarkable talents a number of years back at 5Pointz. We’ve since seen his deftly crafted artwork in Bushwick, the Lower East Side, Red Hook, Welling Court and recently at the 21st Precinct Art Exhibit.  And in addition to forging his own artwork, Esteban has been sharing his skills and vision with youth this past summer in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  Last week, the mural created by 17 young men in Groundswell’s Summer Leadership Institute, along with Esteban and his assistant artist, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez, was officially unveiled.  Located at 417 Junius Street on the wall of the Food Bazaar Supermaket, it represents the best possible model for public art. At the mural’s dedication ceremony, I had the opportunity to find out from Esteban a bit more about this particular project, P. I. C. T. U. R. E. S Prison Industrial Complex: Tyranny Undermining Rights, Education and Society.


This mural is quite amazing. When did you begin working on it?

We began on July 2nd.

Can you tell us something about the process?

We spent the first two weeks researching the issue, discussing the justice system and designing our representation of it. The final four weeks were devoted to painting the mural.


Why this topic?

It’s of particular relevance to this community. We see this mural as a way to raise awareness and provoke discussion about the subject of the prison industrial complex. Some of the youth involved in this all-male Making His’tory mural team have had first-hand experience with the way the justice system functions.


How have the young muralists responded to this project?

The response has been great. We’ve had many intense discussions and we can all walk away with a sense of accomplishment.

What has this experience been like for you, personally?

It was very exciting. And it was great for all of us to see an idea executed into a reality.


Have you any personal message?

With these tools (pen and paint brush in hand), you can change your life and your community.

Elijah Barrington, one of the project’s participants, added the following to our conversation:  We sweated every day to get this wall to look the way we wanted it to. I felt focused and happy, and I learned so much. I’m already looking forward to the next project.

Brief interview and photos by Lois Stavsky


Curated by Robert Aloia, along with VNA Magazine, Beau, Todd Masters, NY St. Gallery and Suzuki Capital LLC, 21st Precinct opens this evening at the former space of the 21st Precinct at 327 East 22nd Street. Reminiscent of this past winter’s Surplus Candy – although on a much larger scale – dozens of artists have transformed five stories into an expressive, inventive canvas charged with unfettered energy. What follows is a small sampling of close-ups from larger installations:

Esteban Del Valle

:Estevan Del Valle

Sheryo and the Yok

"sheryo and the yok"

N. Carlos Jay

"N Carlos Jay"



Chris Soria

"Chris Soria"



Ghost, GIZ and Duel with a message

"Ghost, Giz and Duel"



Lorenzo Masnah, APC


Presented by Outlaw Arts, Savior Elmundo and Pesu, the exhibit opens this evening at 6pm. It will be open again tomorrow from 1-6pm and next Saturday and Sunday 1-6pm.

exhibit--outlaw -arts

Photo of Nepo by Lois Stavsky; all others by Sara C. Mozeson

Note: Keep posted to the StreetArtNYC Facebook page for more images from this landmark exhibit.

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"Exit Room"

A wonderfully diverse group of artists have been busy these past 10 days fashioning the walls of Exit Room in preparation for tonight’s opening of Track 1, the first in a series of short exhibitions. Here’s a sampling of what’s been going down:

Esteban del Valle

"Esteban del Valle"



Nicole Salgar

"Nicole Salgar"

Marka 27

"Marka -27"

 Ramiro Davaro

"Ramiro Davaro"



And here’s a close-up of a collaborative work in progress that we captured last Thursday:

Sonni, Marka 27 and Carlos Pinto

"Sonni, Marka 27 and Carlos Pinto"

Other featured artists include: Chuck Berret, Ricardo CabretChris RWKAdam Dare, Jeff Enriquez, Art by KenNepoJohn Paul O’Grodnick and Gio Romo. There will also be a live musical performance by Mike Larry Draw X 86 SUPREME. Tonight’s opening takes place at 270 Meserole Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn from 6 – 11pm.

All photos of artists at work courtesy of Dariel Mtz and Zoe; photo of Sonni, Marka 27 and Carlos Pinto collaborative work in progress by Lois Stavsky


This is the fifth in an occasional series featuring images of males who surface on NYC public spaces:

Esteban del Valle on Manhattan’s Lower East Side

Esteban del Valle

Ramiro Davaro-Comas in Bushwick, Brooklyn

"ramiro davaro comas"

Close-up from huge wall by Swoon and Groundswell youth on the Bowery and Houston


James de la Vega in East Harlem

"de la vega"

Paul Paddock in the East Village

"Paul Paddock"

Tats Cru in the East Village

"Tats Cru"

Mataone in Bushwick, Brooklyn


 Photo of Swoon by Tara Murray, of Mataone by Dani Reyes Mozeson and all others by Lois Stavsky


Currently based in Brooklyn, Chicago native Esteban del Valle is an interdisciplinary artist whose public artworks have surfaced in NYC, as well as in Chicago, IL, San Antonio, TX, and Kansas City, MO. We first came upon his extraordinary work at 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens.

Esteban de Valle

When and where did first get up?

I was in junior high school back in Chicago when I did my first tag on a school bench.  I was soon hitting the back of K-Mart and piecing under nearby bridges.

What inspired you to hit the streets? Have you any early graffiti memories?

I was in sixth grade when I saw a legal wall in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village that was all graffiti.  I thought, “Wow! I want to do something like that!”

Back in Chicago, did you paint alone or were you part of a crew?

Both. Just about all the guys I went to school with were into hip-hop. We called ourselves FYM (Free Your Mind).

What percentage of your time these days is devoted to art?


Esteban del Valle

Is art, then, the main source of your income?

Yes, I sell studio work. I do commissions and I work for Groundswell, an organization that engages youth in creating community murals.

How does your family feel about what you are doing?

They’re fine as long as what I do is legal.

Any thoughts about the graffiti/street art divide?

I love both.  But what I especially love about street art is that it inspires people to take to the streets to do more than just their names.

How do you feel about the movement of street art and graffiti into galleries?

It’s fine. Artists need to make a living from their work. But once it’s in a gallery, it isn’t “street art” any more.

Esteban del Valle

Why do you suppose graffiti is held in higher esteem in Europe than it is here in the States?

For the same reason public intellectuals are valued in Europe.  There’s a greater appreciation of culture, in general. And the Europeans have different notions of public space.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet in all of this?

It’s great. It makes art accessible to so many.

Have you a formal art education?

I have a BFA in Art History and Painting from Southern Illinois University and a Masters Degree in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design.

What inspires you these days?

Innovative music and performance art are my main inspirations.  The Mars Volta and Geo Wyeth come to mind.

Esteban del Valle

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

Hip-hop and Chicago’s rich mural culture.

Do you work with a sketch-in-hand or just let it flow?

I don’t like to work from sketches. I’d rather sketch on a wall. But much of what I do has to be pre-approved, and so I need to have a basic drawing of what I plan to paint.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece? 

Yes. I push it until I feel satisfied.

How has your work evolved through the years?

I’ve begun to develop my own language. I’m more experimental and I’m more about moving to do what challenges me.

Esteban del Valle

Any favorite artists?

Many. Among them are: Carrie Moyer, Haig Aivazian, Jayson Musson, Trenton Doyle Hancock and Dave McKenzie.

What about those who work in public spaces?

Os Gemeos and Poser aka Pose MSK are among my favorites.

What do you see as the role of the artist in society?

To challenge and to contribute to the collective thought.

What’s ahead?

More art. More income from art. More traveling and, generally, doing what I want to do.

Interview by Lois Stavsky. All photos courtesy of the artist, except the first one at 5Pointz by Lois Stavsky

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