Speaking with Mor

March 26, 2015

For the past several years, Mor‘s exquisitely-fashioned stencils have been surfacing on the streets of NYC and beyond. I had the opportunity to speak to Mor earlier this week at Con Artist, where she was preparing for tomorrow’s opening at City Bird Gallery.


When did you first get up on the streets? What was your medium at the time?

I started almost five years ago with hand-made stickers. And the following year, I pasted up my first one-layer stencil – a face looking upward — in Williamsburg.

What inspired you to work with stencils?

When I was in middle school, I was living in Bushwick — in its early stages of gentrification. I remember passing Swoon’s work on my way to school. Its beauty astounded me. She is my greatest inspiration. And C215’s amazing work – that surfaced in Brooklyn back then — also moved me to experiment with stencils.

What about the streets? What was the appeal of the streets to you?

I love the notion of creating something beautiful and just giving it to others.


Were you ever arrested back then?

I was once caught tagging with a black marker, and I ended up spending the night in jail. It is a risk that all street artists take.

How did your family feel about what you were doing?

They were positive, encouraging me to do what makes me happy

Do you have a formal arts education?

I am, for the most part, self-taught.  But my art teachers always encouraged me.


Any thoughts on the graffiti street art divide?

There definitely is a divide, and there will always be some kind of beef between graffiti writers and street artists. It’s not cool when a street artist goes over graffiti. Nor is it cool when a writer tags over street art.  But I think the media – particularly the Internet – is partly responsible for the beef.

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

It has definitely changed the playing field!  It’s great that it gives permanence to a transient art form. But — on the negative side — it boosts a type of showmanship, while giving exposure to mediocre artwork.

What inspires you these days?

Much of my inspiration comes from my dreams. I’m also into mysticism.


Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

Tribal ones have the most influence.

Have you collaborated with other artists? 

I haven’t in the past, but I will be painting with Ian Bertram at City Bird in preparation for our joint exhibit.

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

As my father is an artist, I grew up around galleries. I do think, though, that there is something sterile about galleries as compared to public spaces.  Showing in a gallery is very different from getting up on the streets.  And I don’t feel that the art world understands art — not just street art, any art!


How has your work evolved in the past few years? 

The streets have energized me to keep pushing myself. I feel that I’ve grown so much in just finding my process.

Have you any preferred surfaces when you are out on the streets?

I love brick walls — the way art ages on brick walls. And I like smooth doors because they’re easy to use.

How would you describe your ideal working space?

At the moment I have my ideal working space — here at Con Artist.  I love my Con Artist family. But I can imagine some day sharing a huge space with the extraordinarily talented Ian Bertram, a constant source of inspiration!


What percentage of your time is devoted to art?

As much time as I possibly can — when I’m not dealing with family responsibilities or bartending, my main source of income.

Any thoughts about the marketing of graffiti by the corporate world?

We all know that the corporate world is filled with scoundrels and pirates, but we also know that as artists, we need its financial support.

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

It is the artist’s role to channel deeply seated emotions and creativity in a positive way. It is an essential role.


What do you see as the future of street art?

I have no idea where it’s going. There’s been too much hype around street art.  But graffiti will always sustain. Someone will always be writing his or her name on a wall.

What’s ahead for you?

I just want to continue to channel my creativity into living a productive life as an artist, while engaging and, hopefully, enriching others.  Tomorrow night I will be showing my newest pieces, alongside Ian Bertram, at City Bird Gallery.

Ian-Bertram-and-Mor-City-Bird Gallery

 Congratulations! That sounds great!

Photos: 1 and 7 City-as-School intern Zachariah Messaoud; 2, 4 and 5 Lois Stavsky; 3  Sara C. Mozeson & 6 Ian Bertram


This is the fourth in an occasional series featuring images of New York City’s doors that sport everything from tags and stickers to sophisticated images.

Ewok in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Mor in Downtown Manhattan


Long-running David Shillinglaw in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"David Shillinglaw"

Stikki Peaches in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"stikki peaches"

Jordan Betten in Chelsea

"Jordan Betten"

Alice Mizrachi aka AM in abandoned East Village building

"Alice Mizrachi"

Jerkface in Little Italy


LMNOP in Bushwick, Brooklyn


Ludo in Little Italy


Photos of  Mor, Jordan Betten, Alice Mizrachi, Jerkface and Ludo by Dani Reyes Mozeson; of Stikki Peaches by Emily Robertson; of Ewok, David Shillinglaw and LMNOP by Lois Stavsky



The now-iconic trailer on First Street and First Avenue is undergoing yet another transformation. For its current cycle, Cycle 11, the Centre-fuge Public Art Project invited artists who’ve painted there this past year to return. Here are a few images captured earlier in the week from the still-in-progress huge, energetic collage of distinct styles.

 Matthew Denton Burrows at work; Damien Miksza on left; Phetus on right


Phetus with Nicole Salgar & Chuck Berrett on right


 CS-Navarrete at work




Joseph Meloy




Royce Bannon with Miishab on right


ElleDamien Mitchell and Korn


Keep posted to our Facebook page for more photos of the completed pieces.

Photo of  CS-Navarrete at work by Lois Stavsky; all others by Dani Reyes Mozeson

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Just over the river — about ten minutes away from Manhattan — a street art scene is flourishing in Jersey City. Here’s a sampling of what was seen yesterday:

Italian artist Pixel Pancho paints in celebration of the 23rd Annual Jersey City Artists Studio Tour

Pixel Pancho



 MOR on the exterior of Hudson County Art Supply


Dulk from Valencia, Spain




Nose Go

Mr. Mustart, Serringe, Distort and Then One


S.A.G.E Collective, segment of huge mural


Hawaiian native Ekundayo, close-up


Photos by Lois Stavsky 

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In partnership with the New Museum’s Ideas City Festival, Centre-fuge’s Cycle 8, Influx in Flux, expanded to include additional containers on East 1st Street, along with wide panels inside the First Street Green Park. Here are a few images captured this past week:

Italian artist Federico Massa aka Cruz at work


Brooklyn-based Elle at work


Brooklyn native Mor at work


Brooklyn-based ND’A


Simply signed “Exit”


Veteran graffiti master Demer at work


The legendary Claw Money at work

Claw Money

NYC-based painter and musician Yuri Velez at work

Yuri Velez

Noted painter and sculptor Ray Smith

Ray Smith

Puerto Rican native Sofia Maldonado at work 

Sofia Maldonado

The young, talented members of Cre8tive YouTH*ink at work 

Cre8tive YouTH*ink

Recently cited in TimeOut New York as one of NYC’s Top Spots for Street Art, the Centre-fuge Public Art Project, under the curatorial vision of Pebbles Russell and Jonathan Neville, is committed to transforming transitional spaces and construction sites in New York City into public works of art. To assist the Centre-fuge Public Art Project with funds needed to continue and expand their project, check out its Indiegogo campaign.

Keep posted to our Facebook page for additional images of artwork by Sheryo, The Yok, Cram Concepts and more.

Photos by Lenny Collado, Dani Mozeson, Tara Murray & Lois Stavsky


This is the eighth in a series of posts featuring images of girls — and women — who grace New York City’s public spaces:

Italian artist Alice Pasquini at the Bushwick Collective

Alice Pasquini

Jordan Betten in Chelsea

Jordan Betten

Alice Mizrachi  at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Alice Mizrachi

Lady Pink at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens

Lady Pink

 Mor in Chelsea


 Photos by Lois Stavsky


This is the fourth in an occasional series of images of girls — and women — who grace New York City’s walls:

Celso González of Puerto Rico in Bushwick, Brooklyn

More after the jump!