Nepo-at Wix-Lounge-with-art

With their luscious colors and seductive styles, Nepo‘s murals has been enhancing the streets of NYC since the talented artist arrived here from Puerto Rico over two years ago. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to catch up with him after he had finished installing his current exhibit, Fantasia Tropico, at Chelsea’s Wix Lounge.

This space is wonderful, and your work looks perfect here! How did this opportunity come your way?

I’ve known Kamilla Sun, the founder of the creative agency ST.ART, for over a year now.  When she told me about Wix Lounge, a really special co-working, event and exhibit space in Chelsea, I loved the idea of exhibiting my recent series of works, Fantasia Tropico, there.


Can you tell us something about this specific series? 

It references all that I love and miss most from my island, especially my nostalgia for the holidays. This body of works continues to evolve from an exhibit that I was invited to present earlier this year at the University of Wisconsin’s Aylward Gallery. The exhibit here at Wix Lounge, curated by Kamilla Sun, presents several new pieces.

How have the folks here at Wix Lounge responded to your installation?

The reaction has been so positive. People are interested in what I’m doing, and everyone’s been so helpful.


Have you collaborated with ST.ART on any other projects?

Yes! I was commissioned to paint a mural on the Lower East Side last year.

You’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling. What has that been like?

It’s been great! I recently returned from Brazil where I participated in the Street of Styles Festival. It was an amazing experience, and introduced me to some of the best graffiti I’d seen anywhere. I also had the opportunity to paint a huge mural with Son and Spear Torres.


And you’ve also been to Dubai. What brought you there? And what was it like?

I was invited to participate in an exhibit during Art Dubai. It was my first time in that part of the world, and I loved experiencing Arab culture and discovering artists from the Middle East.  I, also, got to return home with several commissions! It was a great feeling!

 What’s ahead?

Painting a few murals! And in a few weeks, I will be assisting Rimx with a huge mural that he was commissioned to paint in Newark, New Jersey. I’m planning to visit L.A. in June.  And in the fall, I’m hoping to visit Lebanon and Jordan and further explore Middle Eastern art. I especially love Arabic calligraphy.

That sounds great! Good luck with it all!


There will be an opening reception for Nepo‘s exhibit tonight, Friday, 6:30 – 9:30 PM at at Chelsea’s Wix Lounge, 235 West 23rd Street. The exhibit remains on view through May.

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky 2 & 4 courtesy of Nepo and 3 Tara Murray; interview conducted and edited by 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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Geoffrey-Carran-and-Rowena-Martinich-street-art-mural-Project- brookLYNK-NYC

Designed to link artists with schools, Project BrookLYNK has transformed EBC High School for Public Service in Bushwick into an exuberant outdoor/indoor gallery. We recently visited the school and spoke to Project BrookLYNK director, Thomas Gleisner aka Tommy Gee.

What a wonderful space! How lucky these students, teachers and staff members are! What exactly is your role in making this happen? And what is your relationship to this school?

I engage the artists, oversee the execution of the murals and organize a range of activities related to the artworks. I also teach art and Special Education.

D-Gale-art-mural-Project- brookLYNK-NYC

 When did it all begin? 

The first mural inside our building, Black Lives Matter — painted by Bevon Brewster — surfaced over four months ago.  Then in June, Melbourne-based artists-in-residence Geoffrey Carran and Rowena Martinich involved our students in painting murals and instructed them in a variety of art activities. Since then, it’s been an ongoing project.

Rob-Plater-art-mural-Project- brookLYNK-NYC

How has your principal responded to this intitiative?

Our principal, Shawn Brown, loves it. I’ve known him since 2010, when we worked together at another high school in Brooklyn. We share a similar educational vision.

nepo-street-art-D-Gale-art-mural-Project- brookLYNK-NYC

And how have the students and faculty members reacted?

Most haven’t seen all of the art yet. But their response to what they did see was positive. The students love it. And the teachers were quite surprised at first, but their response has also been positive.

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How have you managed to involve so many artists — and so many celebrated street artists?

Some are friends; others are friends of friends, and some are referred to me.


 What’s ahead?

More murals, more artists’ residencies and more community engagement and collaborative projects here at EBC High School for Public Service. And I would, also, like to expand Project BrookLYNK to other schools in the fall.


That would be great! We are looking forward to seeing more!

Note: The murals pictured above are a small sampling of the dozens of pieces in disparate styles by local, national and international artists that can be seen inside and outside EBC High School for Public Service located at 1155 Dekalb Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn. More info and links here, and keep posted to our Facebook page for many more images.

Murals: 1. Geoffrey Carran and Rowena Martinich 2. D. Gale 3. Rob Plater 4  Nepo 5. Hori Shin 6. See One 7Phetus

Photos: 1-4 Lois Stavsky; 5-7 Tara Murray

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This is the sixth in a series of occasional posts featuring the range of curious characters that have made their way onto NYC open spaces:

French artist André in Downtown Manhattan


Bradley Theodore in SoHo

"Bradley Theodore"

French artist Kashink in Bushwick 


Dasic and Spanish artist Spok Briller at the Bushwick Collective


 Nick Kuszyk aka RRobots in Williamsburg


See One at the Bushwick Collective

See One

Robert Plater for JMZ Walls

"Robert Plater"

Puerto Rican artists Nepo and Son in Bushwick for this past summer’s Juicy Art Fest


Photos: 1, 2, 5-7 & 9  Lois Stavsky; 3 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 4 & 8 Tara Murray

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This is the fifth in a series of occasional posts featuring the range of curious characters that have found a home on NYC streets:

Buff Monster in Little Italy

"Buff Monster"

Federico Massa aka Cruz in Bushwick


Nepo in Bushwick


Nemo — in from Italy — in Williamsburg


Pose in SoHo


stikman in SoHo


Unidentified artist in Brooklyn


Claw Money in Midtown Manhattan

"Claw Money"

Photo of Pose by Lois Stavsky; all others by Dani Reyes Mozeson



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.

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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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Representing a range of artistic expressions from the comical to the spiritual,  Exit Room’s current exhibit COROGRAFIA features works by members of Puerto Rico’s celebrated EL CORO graffiti crew. Here’s a sampling of what can be seen through today:











Located at 270 Meserole Street, right off the Montrose Ave. stop on the L train, the gallery space is open today, Sunday, from 5-8pm. Tentative plans for a closing party for August 2 are underway. Keep posted to Exit Room’s Facebook page for further details.

Photos of artwork by Lois Stavsky


Dariel Mtz and Zoe Beatwoman

The brainchild of Dariel Mtz and Daniela Croci aka Zoe, Exit Room is more than just another art gallery. Located at 270 Meserole Street, minutes away from the Montrose Ave. stop on the L train and next door to the Well, it serves as an incubator and showcase for film productions, spoken word performances, musical presentations, as well as for visual art. The current exhibit, Outsight In, features works by RimxDanielle Mastrion, Nepo, Ricardo Cabret and Cern — all providing “insights through outside perspectives.”  Here’s a sampling:

Danielle Mastrion

"Danielle Mastrion"



Ricardo Cabret

"Ricardo Cabret"

Cern, close-up


Rimx, close-up


Exit Room is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 5pm to 8pm; keep posted to Exit Room’s Facebook page for news of upcoming events, including a video program on Thursday, January 16.

Photo of Dariel and Daniela by Stefano Ortega; Rimx, courtesy of Dariel; all others by Lois Stavsky


The founder of New York Street Gallery, a collective of international artists working together in NYC, Dariel MTZ is committed to providing outdoor canvases to a global network of street art and graffiti artists.


Tell us a bit about New York Street Gallery.

I started this project with my girlfriend, Daniela Croci aka Zoe, in January, 2013. We wanted to provide a platform for street artists to collaborate with those artists who may have never used the streets as a canvas.

How did it all begin?

We started by painting the exterior walls of my father’s tire shop in Bushwick. The response was so positive that we expanded to other walls, including some in Williamsburg.


Who are some of the artists involved in your project?

Among the many talents are: Nepo, Don Rimx, Iena Cruz, Vato, Alex Seel, Pixel Pancho, LNY, Guillermo Perez III, David Rothman and Kike Seba.

Pixel Pancho

How has this project impacted you personally?

This project was an invitation to the culture.  It has given me the opportunity to learn first-hand about street art and graffiti.

What about Zoe? What is her role?

She is the official filmmaker of this project. She has documented all that has happened so far.


What’s ahead?

This coming Friday, November 15, we will be showcasing the works of a group of extraordinarily talented artists at The Well on 272 Meserole Street in Bushwick.

Where would you like to see your project in five years?

I’d like to see us manage a gallery space, organize festivals and provide opportunities for artists to do big productions. It’s all about creating opportunities for the artists. You can follow us on Intagram @nystgallery.

 Good luck! It all sounds great.

Interview by Lenny Collado; photos of Nepo, Pixel Pancho and LNY by Tara Murray

Editor’s note: Our blog will be on vacation through Monday, November 25. You can follow us on Facebook and on Google+. And be sure to keep posted to The Aqueduct Murals. Organized by the always-wonderful Joe Iurato, this meeting of street art and horse racing features an amazing array of artists including Logan Hicks, Chris Stain, Zed1, Faith47 and Rubin 415. It opens to the public at noon on Saturday, November 23 followed by a reception from 6-10pm, with an opportunity to meet the artists, along with the jockeys and trainers of New York racing.  Lois Stavsky


Speaking with NEPO

November 7, 2013


We are thrilled that Puerto Rican native Nepo has brought his superb skills to us here in NYC, delighting us with his wondrous characters, sensuous styles and bold colors.  He’s been busy in Bushwick these days, where he will be painting live and exhibiting his work with New York Street Gallery next Friday, November 15th.

When and where did you first get up?

I began bombing and tagging my name back in 1996 in Puerto Rico.  I was 16.

What inspired you to start writing?

At first I didn’t write. I used to help my friend Ensa with his fills when he did pieces. I also served as his look out. Eventually I started tagging. And Ensa was the one who gave me the name Nepo. It was kind of a joke, but it stuck.

Had you any preferred surfaces back then?

No. It was location that mattered. We focused on getting a spot where as many people as possible would see the work. Surface didn’t matter. Although, I’ll say, I do love shutters. They present a challenge I enjoy.

Nepo and Rimx

Do you paint with any crews? Or do you paint alone?

Both. I get up by myself and I also paint with El Coro and NST – both here and in Puerto Rico.

Have you exhibited your work?

I have. In Puerto Rico, I contributed to Carry On, a collective that went on to tour in Boston and in Oakland. I had two solo shows back home, and I’m working on an upcoming one here. I’m also now preparing for a group show with Bushwick’s New York Street Gallery.

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

Artists need to make money. In Puerto Rico, there are underground art galleries that support graffiti and really show love for it.  I haven’t felt that here in NYC.

How does your family feel about what you do?

My mother and father didn’t get it for a long time. They thought it was crazy that I was spending so much time and money without getting paid. But then after they attended some of my shows and read about me in the news, they knew that I was progressing as an artist. And they grew to appreciate it.


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

I’m almost always working on a canvas, flyer, T-shirt, print, painting or wall. It may not yet be 100%, but I hope it will soon be.

Have you earned any money from your artwork?

I have. I designed a sign for the Well Project that brought me some money. And I will soon begin working for the Roberto Clemente Center, painting outdoors with five other artists.

Any thoughts on the graffiti/street art divide?

I have tremendous respect for graffiti and I identify with it. But these days I’m more of a street artist or muralist. I like doing legal walls because I can take my time. There is a divide, though, even though many street artists started as graffiti writers.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

I’d like to do something with Os Gemeos. And if they were still alive, I’d work with Diego Rivera and Basquiat. Ha-ha!


Do you have a formal arts education?

Yes. I studied art with a focus on traditional graphics, silkscreen, etching and printing.

Are there any particular cultures you would say have influenced your aesthetics?

The many bright colors that I use and the animals I reference are influenced by Puerto Rican culture.

Do you work with a sketch in hand or do you work free hand?

For murals, yes, I use sketches, especially for proportions.

Are you generally satisfied with a completed work?

Yes. When I have given my all to a particular project, the quality is there.


When you look back at what you’ve done in the last two years, is there anything you would have done differently?

I’d have done bigger work, larger scale murals and more of them. Here in NYC, I’ve done four and that’s not enough.

How has your art evolved throughout the years?

Initially, I began with paint brushes. But because I love to learn and expand, I moved on to spray paint and became obsessed. I continue to enjoy learning new spray paint techniques.

What was the riskiest thing you’ve done as a graffiti writer?

Ha-ha! I actually tagged the door of a Senator’s house in Puerto Rico. My friends and I were drunk, and we decided to tag it at four in the morning. Since we didn’t have our cameras with us, we ran home to get them. But by the time we returned, someone was already power-washing the tags off the building.


How do you feel about the photographers and bloggers on the scene?

We need them. Their job takes time and love.  It’s not just about the artists; it’s also about the people who share their love for what we do with others.

What’s ahead?

I’m part of the first New York Street Gallery group exhibit that will take place next Friday, November 15, at 272 Messerole Street on Bushwick Place.

Interview by Lenny Collado; Photo 1 in Bushwick by Tara Murray; photo 2 at 5Pointz by Dani Reyes Mozeson; all others courtesy of Nepo


A range of curious characters have found a home on the streets of NYC. This is the second of our occasional series:

Buff Monster in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Buff Monster

Nathan Mellott in the East Village

Nathan Mellott

Nepo in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Nepo in Bushwick

Craig Anthony Miller aka CAM in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


KingBee in the East Village


One of the 13 Portals in the East Village

13 Portals Project

 Photos of Buff Monster and Nepo by Tara Murray; of Nathan Mellott and KingBee by Daniel Reyes Mozeson; of Craig Anthony Miller and Portal by Lois Stavsky