NYC

In this fifth post of our new series, PUSHING IT FORWARD — featuring ILLicit creatives claiming space on NYC streets — our focus now is on those bombs and throws that have surfaced in Manhattan. The image above features the markings of Spray RBV and Goog, along with dozens of tags. Several more images recently captured on the streets of Manhattan — from Chinatown to Inwood — follow:

Fat Jay

Bat, Cope2, Poke, Ollin Crew, Say No Sleep & more on the Bowery Wall

Acet

Riot

House TOS and Rom89

Mae and Dip

Post and photos by the Pushing It Forward Collective

Note: We return to the borough of Queens in our next PUSHING IT FORWARD post

{ 0 comments }

Queens is major stomping ground. It has been for generations – from the Long Island Railroad in Jamiaca. to Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights. At the turn of the century, Queen’s 7-line train, rooftops, tunnels, and streets were notorious for their graffiti. From 74th street and Roosevelt Avenue all the way up to Flushing Main Street, graffiti was rampant. But then with elected officials like Mayor Rudy Giuliani and District Attorney Peter Vallone, it became scarce. These politicians, alongside prosecutors and judges, came down heavily on graffiti writers. Years went by with very little action on the 7 line. Then came the pandemic.

While most New Yorkers secluded themselves indoors during the early months of the pandemic, an impassioned minority ventured outdoors to make their mark on the city’s newly abandoned streets, storefronts and walls.  An entire new generation of ILLicit creatives with an irrepressible urge to “get up” was born. In an ongoing new series, Street Art NYC will highlight them, while also paying homage to veteran writers who are “pushing it forward.” This first in our series — spanning all five boroughs — focuses on the markings in Queens. The image above features Real. Several more photos recently captured in Queens follow:

Anso

Boni and Kitty

Pure

Angr and Tav

Faes and Sic

MTNW

Post and photos by the Pushing It Forward Collective

{ 0 comments }

In celebration of Earth Day, National Geographic has partnered with ABC Owned Television Stations (OTV) and local artists in four major cities to fashion murals centered on four themes: wildlife, the Amazon, forests and oceans. All of the murals have been inspired by photos from National Geographic’s archive.

The image featured above was painted here in NYC by Brooklyn-based muralist and illustrator Steffi Lynn. Several more images of environmentally-conscious murals that have surfaced this month in collaboration with National Geographic follow:

A close-up from the NYC mural — fashioned by Steffi Lynn — located at 573 Johnson Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Philadelphia-based muralist and multimedia artist Eurhi Jones in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia

Philadelphia-based Eurhi Jones with a close-up of her mural located at the Overbrook Environmental Education Center

The prolific Chicago-based self-taught street artist Sentrock at work

 A wide view of Sentrock and his mural located at ABC Chicago station’s building façade at 190 N State Street

 San Francisco-based illustrator and muralist Alice Lee in partnership with Paint the Void adds the final touches to her mural

Alice Lee with her completed mural, located at the intersection of Divisadero and Haight streets

Featured photos courtesy of National Geographic’s #NatGeoPlanetPossible project

{ 0 comments }

Bringing a touch of the 1920’s to First Street Green Art Park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the prolific Brooklyn-based muralist Lexi Bella painted the image featured above last month on the occasion of FSG’s 2nd annual New Year New Murals & Clothing Drive.  What follows are several more faces fashioned by artists in NYC open spaces that I’ve encountered in recent meanderings around the city:

Moscow-born, NYC-based Urban Russian Doll in Manhattan’s Chinatown

Brooklyn-based self-taught Haitian American artist Alan Aine in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Bronx-native Andre Trenier in East Harlem with the 2021 Grandscale Mural Project

British-Israeli artist Solomon Souza in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Photos: Lois Stavsky

{ 0 comments }

Roycer and Matt Siren — two of my favorite native New York artists — have been making their mark on the streets of my city for as long as I can remember. It is always a treat to view their playfully alluring works in gallery settings, as well. And for the next few weeks, a range of their artworks continues to be on view at ilon Art Gallery in Harlem.

The title image featured above was painted with acrylic on canvas by Roycer in 2021. Several more images of artworks showcased in the exhibition by both artists follow:

Matt Siren, Diamond Dust, 2021, Acrylic screen print

Roycer, Garcon de Feur pt 3, 2021, Acrylic on canvas

Matt Siren, 25 Cents, 2021, Mixed media

Roycer, Other Worlds, 2021, Acrylic on canvas

Matt Siren, Planet XXX, 2021, Acrylic on canvas

Roycer and Matt Siren collaboration, Untitled, 2021, Acrylic on canvas

Open most afternoons, ilon Art Gallery is located at 204 West 123rd Street in the heart of Harlem. To schedule a visit, contact: Loni Efron at loni@ilon.com or 917-270-4696.

And for an opportunity to learn the basics of  NFTs and for early access to NFTs by Matt Siren and Roycer, be sure to check out the following workshop, hosted by ilon Art Gallery director Loni Efron and led by Georgia Andre.

DATE: Wednesday, February 9th
TIME: 7pm
LOCATION: Zoom 

Photo credits: 1-3, 5-7 Lois Stavsky; 4 and 8 courtesy ilon Art Gallery

{ 0 comments }

Curated by Woodward Gallery, several intriguing newly-painted shutter gates have surfaced on Broome and Eldridge Streets on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  The image featured above was painted by Brooklyn-born neo-contemporary artist, JM Rizzi also known as JMR.  More images of these recently refashioned gates follow:

Another by JM Rizzi also known as JMR

Ecuadorian artist Lasak

NYC-based Jose Baez

Illustrator and painter Jen “PROPS” Larkin

Hudson Valley-based self-taught artist Cosbe

Additional images of these gates, along with another painted by David Weeks, can be seen here. And a perfect time to check them all out, along with Michael Alan’s wondrous 30 foot mural, is this coming Sunday’s block party hosted by Kehila Kedosha Jahina Synagogue and Museum from 12-4om  at 280 Broome Street, off Eldridge.

Photos: Lois Stavsky

{ 1 comment }

Richard Hambleton and His Contemporaries: Al Diaz, Ken Hiratsuka, Scot Borofsky, an exploration of the unsanctioned street art movement in New York City in the 1980s — through four of its most significant visionaries — continues through Friday, July 30, at Ideal Glass Studios.

The image featured above, Jumper, was fashioned in 1995 by the late Canadian artist Richard Hambleton, referred to by many as the “Godfather of street art.”  Hambleton’s mysterious, mesmerizing  silhouetted figures, variations of his iconic “Shadowman,” made their way into hundreds of alleyways and buildings throughout NYC after he had moved to Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Several more images on exhibit in Richard Hambleton and His Contemporaries follow:

Also by Richard Hambleton, “Untitled 1,” 1994, Acrylic on canvas,  70.5 x 62.5 inches

NYC native Al Diaz — prolific text-oriented street artist who had collaborated with Jean Michel Basquiat on SAMO© and maintains an active presence on the streets today — “Forgotten Names,” 2019-20, Mixed media on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Also by Al Diaz, “Ghost Painting,” 2021, Mixed media on canvas, 21 x 30 inches

Japanese sculptor Ken Hiratsuka — who worked with hammer and chisel to create intricate designs  underfoot — “Islands,” 2021, Bluestone, 23.5 x 18 x 3 inches

Also by Ken Hiratsuka, “All Night,” 2010, Black granite, 38 x 26 x 1.5 inches

Vermont native Scot Borofsky — known for his site-specific works referencing ancient art from various cultures — (from left to right) “Farmer’s Daughter,” 1986, Krylon spray paint on linen, 60 x 42 inches; “Yellow Angel,” 1986, Krylon spray paint on linen, 60 x 42 inches; “Meditating Figure,” 1989, Krylon spray paint on linen, 72 x 72 inches

The exhibition can be viewed daily through Friday, July 30m from 2-6pm at Ideal Glass Studios. located at 9 West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. For viewings all other times, you can contact Salomon Arts Gallery at (212) 966-1997 to book an appointment.

Special thanks to Ana Candelaria, who attended the press reception earlier this week and photographed select works to share with us

{ 1 comment }

Not only was the late legendary writer Fernando Miteff — known to most of us as Nic 707 — a master of multiple styles, but he was also the founder and curator of one of NYC’s most distinctly impressive public art projects, InstaFame Phantom Art.

Beginning in 2009 until his untimely death last year from Covid, Nic 707 regularly rode the MTA trains with the singular mission of transforming their interiors into a one-of-a-kind pop-up gallery in motion. Having accompanied him on many of these adventures, I witnessed first-hand not only his boundless passion for graffiti, but his deep love for all art, as he showcased contemporary artworks in styles ranging from figurative to abstract, along with his and other writers’ tags, throw-ups and pieces.

And the response of the train riders who viewed Nic’s pop-up shows was almost always overwhelmingly positive. Many posed questions to Nic as they photographed his installations, and in response, Nic would graciously school them on the history of graffiti, its impact on contemporary art, the personal histories of the varied artists and more.

InstaFame Phantom Art (Volume 1): The Nic 707 Collection (NYC Transit Exhibition Catalog) is the perfect tribute to Nic — a paean to his creative energy and vision — and a gift to us all. Penned by his brother, Karim Miteff, it not only features dozens of images of works by Nic and by several other artists that rode the trains between 2009-2013, but it tells the story of graffiti and of Nic’s particular circumstances, including his 27-year hiatus from the culture. Much, in fact, is presented in Nic’s own words, as told to Karim.

Among the key subjects the book covers — in addition to Nic 707’s story — are: the tools writers use, the evolution of their styles, their code of ethics and the development of crews. Nic 707 was, in fact, the founder and first President of the Bronx-based OTB Crew.

And featured, of course, are dozens of images of variations of Nic’s iconic Kilroy character, described by the artist as “a kind of an entity…a presence. Even though he has no eyes, he sees all…but he doesn’t judge. He promotes love and holds the key to a silent and ancient wisdom. He represents the potential for alien intervention to help save mankind.”

Nic 707 was one-of-a-kind. He was, as his brother accurately describes him, a “Style Master. Visionary. Time Traveler.”

Writing about InstaFame Phantom Art back in 2015 in The New York Times, David Gonzalez described the project as one “with hundreds of one-of-a-kind panels that would be the envy of any urban gallery.”

I am already looking forward to the second volume of InstaFame Phantom Art: The Nic 707 Collection (NYC Transit Exhibition Catalog). 

Images:

1 Book cover, 2021

2 Black Star Bumper Car on the IRT 4 train, 2013

3 Lollipop$, 2012

4 Souls in Transit, 2013

5 Choose Your Palette, 2012

Photos 1, 3-5 Courtesy Karim Miteff; Photo 2, Lois Stavsky

Book Review by Lois Stavsky

Note: The book is available here.

{ 0 comments }

Lower East Side native Marcus Glitteris is not only an intriguing self-taught artist but a passionate curator, as well.  Largely  influenced by New York City’s Downtown club scene, he teems with the energy that permeated it. Earlier this week, I stopped by Home Grown, an exhibit he curated at Village Works in the East Village, and posed a few questions to him:

Can you tell us something about your vision in curating this exhibit?

Its main focus is to showcase the varied works of a wide range of artists who live or have lived on Manhattan’s Lower East Side or East Village.

And what about this wonderful space?

Village Works is the name of this new gallery. Designated specifically as a space to showcase NYC artists, it sells rare art books, as well as art. My friend, Joe Sheridan, is the creative director here. We know each other from the night life scene, but since, Joe has since ventured into the the artist community and invited me to curate here. This space used to be an architectural firm.

What about the show’s title? It does seem appropriate now that I know a bit of the backstory. 

“Home Grown” is a term lots of New Yorkers, especially those in urban neighborhoods, grew up with. It references the distinct qualities and influences of a particular neighborhood. In my case — and in the case of many artists in this show — it is the Lower East Side.

The range of artists here is so varied — in terms of their backgrounds and choice of media. How did you choose which artists to include in this exhibition? 

It’s a community. Many I’ve known for a long time. Others I met and got to know in varied circumstances. Carol Fassler, for example, is a photographer I met on many occasions over the years on Thursday nights at the New Museum. And then there are artists who were new to me…whom I didn’t know anything about. Nora Timbila, for example, was introduced to me by Joe. When I curate, I like to mix up shows with artists who are established, artists who are emerging and artists who’ve never had a show before.

What were some of the challenges you faced in seeing this exhibit through?

Working with artists in any industry can be complex. Some of the artists — especially the more established ones  — ask, “Who else is in the show?” or “Where is the venue?”  So I have to deal with that. And it can get stressful!  To be a successful curator, though, I have to admit that I’m not always right, and yet still set boundaries. A curator has to have patience, compassion and love.

How was the response to this particular exhibit?

It was wonderful! The energy was great, as were all the people who came by.

Congratulations!  I especially loved discovering artists in Home Grown who were new to me.

Note:  Home Grown continues at Village Works, 90 East 3rd Street, through next Wednesday, April 14. Text 917.749.0319 to find out if the gallery is open or to make an appointment.

Images:

1 Optimo NYC 

2 Marcus Glitteris

3 Marina Reiter

4 BC1 NBA

5 Nora Timbila

6 A. Candela

7 As seen from the outside — Renda Writer and Hektad

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Photo credits: 1, 4, 5 & 7 Lois Stavsky; 2, 3 & 6 A. Candela

{ 1 comment }

One of my favorite spots in town, First Street Green Art Park continues to host — under the curatorial direction of Jonathan Neville — a wonderfully diverse mix of mural art and graffiti.  The image featured above was recently painted by Brooklyn-based Danielle Mastrion. Several more murals that have made an interim home in this now-legendary spot, where the Lower East Side meets the East Village, follow:

Outer Source aka Star Farther, another of his galactic space-scapes that continue to enhance our cityscape

Brooklyn-based Brazilian style master Primo1

Brooklyn-based Stavro 

The legendary Meres One 

Argentine artist Ramiro Davaro-Comas

Staten Island-based John Exit

Photos by Lois Stavsky

{ 1 comment }