JMZ Walls

The shutter featured above was painted by New York-based Chilean artist Nelson Rivas aka Cekis on East Houston Street, around the corner from his recent mural at Rag & Bone.  Several more images featuring the enticing art that has surfaced on NYC shutters and gates follow:

The legendary Kenny Scharf in the East Village

Brooklyn-based Master Moody Mutz on the Lower East Side

Staten Island-based Kwue Molly in Astoria, Queens with the Welling Court Mural Project

Barcelona-based El Xupet Negre in Bushwick

Ecuadorian artist Apitatán in Bushwick with JMZ Walls

Photos by Lois Stavsky


Earlier this month, Brazilian artist Marcelo Ment returned briefly to NYC, gracing a huge corner at JMZ Walls on Myrtle and Broadway in Bushwick. For three days, he worked approximately eights hours each day, interacting with local folks from the neighborhood and walking away with a strong sense of the place and the people who call it home. He described the time he spent there as “one of the most intense experiences of this life.” Featured above is one segment of the mural. Following are several more photos we captured on Marcelo Ment‘s final day of painting:

The artist in action

The Light: One Love, Respect and Loyalty

And the mural continues with a tribute to Biggie and Brooklyn

Biggie Smalls, closer up

Photo credits: 1, 4 & 6  Lois Stavsky; 2, 3 & 5 Ana Candelaria

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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The following guest poet is by Lower East Side-based photographer Ana Candelaria

As I was heading home this past Saturday after three hours of photographing street art on the Lower East Side — with my camera battery down to 10 percent — I unexpectedly ran into an artist whose work was unfamiliar to me. Impressed with what I saw, I introduced myself and found out that I had come upon Thailand-based artist MUEBON. Then the following day, on Sunday, I unexpectedly came upon him at work at JMZ Walls In Bushwick. What were the odds? Call it street art karma!

Pictured above is the artist at work on the Lower East Side. Several more photos I captured this past weekend follow:

Earlier on  — on the LES

At work at JMZ Walls in Bushwick

Another character at JMZ Walls

With Ana Candelaria at JMZ Walls

Photo credits: 1-5 Ana Candelaria 6. Alberto, JMZ Walls


Last week, Texas-based John Bramblitt, a professional artist who lost his vision in 2001, visited Bushwick, where he collaborated on a huge mural with Rubin 415 for JMZ Walls. While he was here, travel and street photographer Karin du Maire had the opportunity to interview him and capture him, along with Rubin 415, in action.

Can you tell us, John, a bit about how you got into art?

I think I could draw before I could walk! Art was always a big part of my life. And growing up, I was sick a lot. I had kidney problems. I had severe epilepsy that kept getting worse. All the way through high school, I was literally out of school half the time with something. And art made a bad day better, and it was a great way to celebrate a good day…and so I did art every day and I took every art class I could.

You are now creating art as a blind artist. When did you lose your eyesight?

I lost my eyesight in college, and I thought I lost art, as well. But I learned how to use my hands to do everything that a person’s eyes do. And so now I draw with lines I can touch and feel. When I was sighted, I used to feel excited if a drawing or painting that I did looked like someone. But now it’s more important that it feels like someone… that it is that person. And that’s where the colors and emotions come in.

You just painted your first mural. What was the experience like? How does it differ from working in your studio?

It’s been a great experience! As far as I know, I am the first blind painter to do a mural. It’s my first mural, and it’s been incredible. I’m a studio artist; I work with museums quite a bit. I do commissions all the time. But what I do is paint! Yet, this is so much different. You’re on a wall that’s so much bigger. I’m not going to roll it up and send it away when it’s done. It lives there on that wall.

Does anything in particular about the experience stand out?

One of the things that made this so special is that I love to meet other artists and be around people who are just as obsessed with art as I am. In this project I’ve been able to work with Tony — Rubin 415 – and the whole crew here has been so energetic. For me it’s a dream come true to be able to work with artists who are passionate about what they do. It’s been amazing!

And what about the community? Lots of people have been passing by. How have they reacted?

That’s been my favorite part of this entire experience. I’ve painted live before, but this is a completely different experience. During the whole time I was putting this up, people were coming over. This is where they live, and I feel as though I am painting it in their home! The feedback has been so positive! People seem grateful that you are making their community more beautiful and bringing energy to it. They come over and hug us! Today a little boy stopped by and added a bit to the mural – and so we have one more street artist in the making!

Now that you’ve painted your first mural, can you tell us a bit about what your plans are for the future? Do you plan to paint more murals?

I do. I expect to be painting a mural in Dallas to help a non-profit. And I will be working more with museums. October is National Disability Awareness Month, and I will be traveling all over the country. And I would definitely love to do more mural work. The impact it has on the community is incredible. You just can’t beat it!

Photos by Karin du Maire; interview conducted by Karin du Maire and edited by Lois Stavsky

Support for this inspiring project has been provided by See Now.

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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This is the twelfth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that have surfaced on NYC public spaces:

Brooklyn-based Jeff Henriquez at the Bushwick Collective


Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks collaboration at the Bushwick Collective


BK Foxx with JMZ Walls in Bushwick


Brazilian artist Sipros in Bushwick with the Bushwick Collective


The nomadic Joel Artista in collaboration with youth in Bellerose, Queens

German artist Case Maclaim, — new for Monument Art in East Harlem




Photo credits: 1, 2 & 7 Lois Stavsky; 3 & 5 Tara Murray; 4 & 6 Karin du Maire

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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Brazilian artist Marcelo Ment recently brought his infectious, spirited aesthetic back to NYC, where he painted in Bushwick for JMZ Walls, on the Lower East Side for the New Allen and at First Street Green Park for International Hip Hop Day. While he was here, I had the opportunity to interview him.

When and where did you first get up?

It was in 1992 in Rio. I was 15 at the time.

What inspired you back then?

I always loved graffiti. My friends used to bring back graffiti magazines from the States, and I loved what I saw. I wanted to do it too. And from the time I was a young child, my older sister had always encouraged me to draw.

How did it feel at the time – the first time you got up?

It was great! I was so excited, I had butterflies in my stomach. It was love at first touch.


How did your family feel about what you were doing back then?

My mom didn’t understand it.  She said, “You have talent. So why are you doing this?” But now my entire family is proud of me.  They respect that I can make a living from what I love doing.

Yes, that’s the best! What is the principal source of your income?

Commissions, graphic design and canvasses.

What was the riskiest thing you’ve done?

Painting in high places that were not safe.

So then why did you?

I told myself that I have to.


What about these days? Do you prefer to work in legal spots or in unsanctioned ones?

These days I tend to do more legal work. I’m 40. I’m not a kid anymore, and I have serious responsibilities. But I respect illegal art and I miss the adrenalin rush.

Have you any thoughts about the graffiti/street art divide?

I don’t feel it in Rio. There’s a sense of mutual respect.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your style?

My initial and principal influence was classic NYC graffiti. I love letters.

Do you have a formal art education?

No! I’m self-taught.


What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

Almost 100%.

Have you any other interests? Passions?

Music is very important to me. I especially love reggae – all kinds of it.

Have you shown your work in galleries?

Yes, I’ve exhibited in Rio and in Amsterdam.

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with others?

I love collaborating with friends.


Are there any artists you would particularly like to collaborate with? Artists who have inspired you?

Among them are: Marko 93 from Paris, Germany’s Can2 and the Brazilian artist, Tarm.

What is your ideal working environment?

Anywhere I have access to paint!

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

It varies. I prefer to freestyle.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished work?

I don’t think I am.  We are all so far from our best.


How has your work evolved through the years?

It’s evolved from painting letters to painting women. Painting women has been particularly challenging. And as I continue to grow as an artist, I tend to fuse my various styles and skills.

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

It’s good and bad. Some are too eager to share what’s not worth sharing.

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

To share knowledge and awareness.


Photos: Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited 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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“Helping to make the JMZ lines more colorful one wall, one gate, one space at a time,” JMZ Walls continues to bring a diverse range of first-rate street art and graffiti — by both local and global artists — to South Bushwick. I recently had the opportunity to speak to its founder, Alberto Mejia.

When was JMZ Walls first launched?

In the fall of 2014.

What spurred you to initiate it?

I’d been living in Bushwick – off the JMZ lines – for 20 years. In the past several years, I saw positive changes in in other parts of Bushwick that I didn’t see happening here.


And many of these changes are directly related to the art that had begun surfacing on the streets.

Yes! My vision was to bring street artists, graffiti writers and muralists to my end of Bushwick. And I didn’t think that these genres should be kept separate from one another.  Why shouldn’t graffiti writers share space with street artists and muralists?

I agree! And the visual impact of JMZ Walls has been great. How did you go about getting walls for artists?

I know many of the building owners. At first I started asking for gates, and soon the owners were offering walls to me.


Who were some of the first artists to paint for JMZ Walls?

The first piece was by a German graffiti writer, Byond.  He was followed by Queen Andrea, Claw Money and Dasic Fernandez.  I was inspired by Queen Andrea, in fact, to dedicate an entire block — Lawton Street — to female artists!

How do you decide which artists to include?

I’m interested in giving opportunities to local graffiti artists who haven’t had all that many occasions to paint in legal spots. And I love hosting talented artists from abroad who are seeking a space to paint.  I also like giving opportunities to artists who don’t generally paint in public spaces.


Yes! I was introduced to several artists – including BK Foxx – through JMZ Walls. How has the local community responded to JMZ Walls?

Families have been very appreciative, and the kids love the art. I often hear them saying, “That’s cool!” when they pass by.

Yup! You have certainly enlivened this end of Bushwick! It’s worth a ride on the J, M or Z line out here just to see these walls you’ve curated! I’ve done it often! What – would you say – has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge has been financing it. Supplies and paints are expensive, and artists’ budgets are often limited. You can find out here how you can help support us through our recently launched GoFundMe Campaign.


Thank you for all that you’ve done for the community and for all of us street art and graffiti aficionados. We look forward to what’s ahead for JMZ Walls.  And good luck with your GoFundMe Campaign.


1. BK Foxx

2. Brazilian artists Thiago Valdi & l7m

3. Rio de Janeiro-based  Marcelo Ment

4. Kesta 

5. Montreal-based Philippe Mastrocola aka Spraycam

Photo credits: 1 & 2 Tara Murray; 3-5 Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from Wide Walls 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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Moscow-based artist Yulia Vanifatieva aka Hula recently made her way to NYC and left her mark in Bushwick, Brooklyn. After she’d finished painting several outdoor murals in collaboration with JMZ Walls, I had the opportunity to meet up with her and find about a bit about the young Russian artist and her Pink Power art project.

When did you first get up in a public space?

A lot of my childhood friends were painting on the streets, and it was something that I had always wanted to do.  But I didn’t attempt to until four years ago when I was already a university graduate.

And what was it about street art that appealed to you?  That made you want to try it?

I liked the idea of expressing my individuality in a public space.


How did the other street artists respond to you — as a woman in the scene?

At first no one took me seriously. But that has been changing.

Have you collaborated with other street artists?

I’ve never deliberately collaborated, but it’s happened accidentally — when friends start painting on a wall after they’ve seen me begin. Then it — unintentionally — evolves into a team effort!

Do you work from a sketch when you paint?

I have a basic sketch, but I don’t really refer much to it or think about the process. I just do it!


Do you have a formal art education?

Yes. I graduated from the Ivanova State Textile Academy in 2008 with a degree in Fashion Design. And then between 2010 and 2012, I studied Visual Communications at the British Higher School of Art and Design. But I’d been drawing all my life, and I always knew I wanted to be an artist!

What has been your main source of income — as an artist?

Designing window displays for high-end department stores.

Can you tell us something about your particular aesthetic? How has it developed?

I am interested in experimenting with different surfaces, styles and materials. While studying Fashion Design, I began to use magazines as my canvas. I created fashion illustration sketches with cosmetics instead of with paint and with money instead of with paper. I am increasingly interested in concepts.


Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

At first, I’m not! It takes me awhile to like it.

How has your work or process evolved within this past few years?

Initially, it was difficult for me to execute what I had envisioned. But that has gotten much easier.

Have you any favorite street artists? Artists who have inspired you? 

Among my favorites are Anthony Lister and Herakut.


Yes! I  can see their influence. They are among my favorite ones, as well! Has your family been supportive of your career choice?

Always! My parents have always encouraged me to follow my passions. They understand how challenging and exciting an artist’s life is.

We street art aficionados have come to identify you with your Pink Power project.  Just what is the concept behind it?

It is a celebration of female power. The concept behind it is that a woman can be strong, clever and beautiful. A woman’s seemingly delicate veneer should not be confused with or mistaken for weakness.

You recently participated in Moscow’s Artmossphere Street Art Biennale. Can you tell us something about that?

Moscow’s Artmossphere Street Art Biennale is a huge showcase of international street art. This year’s marks its second anniversary. I was among 42 international artists — including Miss VanLi-Hill, M-City and the London Police — and 26 Russian artists whose work was presented.


That’s quite impressive! You’ve painted several walls here in NYC — most recently in collaboration with JMZ Walls. What is your impression of our city?

I love it here. I love this city’s energy and its free atmosphere. NYC is such an open-minded place.

What’s ahead?

I’d like to do less commercial work so that I can focus further on developing and refining my own aesthetic and artistic vision.

That sounds great! Good luck with it all!

Photo credits: 1-3 Lois Stavsky; 4-6 courtesy of the artist; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky with assistance from Anastasia Foresman whose translation skills came to the rescue!

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

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This is the eleventh in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that have surfaced on NYC public spaces

Vince Ballentine for Educated Little Monsters in Bushwick


Faile in Greenpoint


BK Foxx with JMZ Walls in Bushwick


Theresa Kim with Spread Art NYC in Bushwick


Sipros for the NYC Arts Cypher in Staten Island


Photo credits: 1, 2, 4 & 5 Lois Stavsky; 3 Tara Murray

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

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This is the tenth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of children that have surfaced on NYC public spaces.

BK Foxx with JMZ Walls in Bushwick, Brooklyn


Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks at the Bushwick Collective


Ernest Zacharevic — based on photo by Martha Cooper — in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn


Swoon in Red Hook, Brooklyn


Long-running Cekis in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn


Rubin 415 and Joe Iurato with the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens


Photos 1 Courtesy of John Woodward; 2-4 Tara Murray; 5 Dani Reyes Mozeson and 6 Lois Stavsky

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

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