Allan-Ludwig-photo-by-Julie Dermansky

Still out there each day with camera in hand documenting what has surfaced overnight, photographer Allan Ludwig aka Elisha Cook, Jr recently shared with us some of his thoughts on the changes that he’s witnessed in his downtown Manhattan neighborhood and more:

You’ve lived here in Soho for decades.  At what point did the changes in your neighborhood become most apparent?

Around 2003, I noticed that the new stores in my neighborhood were — for the most part — only selling expensive items.  I no longer recognized my neighbors’ faces on the streets. Tourists and shoppers were everywhere. I knew then that I must turn my lens onto the graffiti and street art here before it all disappeared.



And what are some of the changes that you have observed in the street art that surfaces here these days?

It has largely lost its edginess.  Much of the street art here has  gotten exceedingly commercial.  It’s often difficult to tell the difference between what is sanctioned and what is done without permission. Street art and ads have become increasingly interchangeable. And too many “street artists” these days seem to use public space primarily to promote their gallery shows.

Dee-Dee-was here- photo-Allan Ludwig


What do you suppose has caused these changes?

The monetization of it all.  And I feel that the street art festivals have not only legitimized an underground movement, but have created an elite — not all that different from the mainstream art world.

 We’ve noticed that you tend to focus your camera on illegal works, particularly tags and bombs. Why is that?

Because they are real and raw. I love their poetic spontaneity. I can feel the artist’s pure passion and love for it.



Not everyone would agree with you! Any thoughts about Mayor de Blasio’s proposed efforts to keep the city graffiti-free?

I don’t see any point to it. It’s a misdirected use of funds. The money should be used, instead, to help the homeless.

We noticed that you were daily documenting the impromptu David Bowie memorial in front of his home. Did you know Bowie personally?

I live just down the block from him, so I’d see him from time to time around the neighborhood. But, no, I didn’t know him personally. I would simply nod in acknowledgement and respect when I saw him. I sensed that he was my kind of person. But I did not want to invade his privacy.


And what about the memorial? What spurred you to photograph it daily and in such detail?

I loved it! I loved that it was spontaneous and inclusive. There was no hidden agenda!

Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Tara Murray

All photos by Allan Ludwig aka Elisha Cook, Jr, except for the first one — featuring Allan alongside Buff Monster — which was photographed by Julie Dermansky; photo 3 features Dylan Egon; photo 4 features Dee Dee  and photo 5, Dasic Fernandez

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 fourteenth in a series of occasional posts featuring the diverse range of trucks and vans that strike our streets.

Swedish writer Marvel aka Marr


Buff Monster and KA


Iena Cruz

cruz-art-on truck-nyc







Photo credits: 1 Nic 707; 2 Tara Murray; 3 Lois Stavsky; 4 & 5 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 6 Houda Lazrak 

Our highly acclaimed Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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Bushwick continues to host some of NYC’s most stylish graffiti walls featuring international artists alongside local ones. Here are a few we encountered this past Friday on Johnson Street off Bogart:

Swiss artist Tones One


Rime aka Jersey Joe






Denmark’s the Great Bates




 Photos: 1-5 Lois Stavsky; 6 Tara Murray

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

London-based Fanakapan at the Bushwick Collective


French artist Bebar in Brownsville, Brooklyn


Mexican artist Telleache at the Bushwick Collective


Pyramid Oracle at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens


Mr Nerds at the Bushwick Collective


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

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

 UK’s Nick Walker on Manhattan’s Upper East Side

"Nick Walker"

Australian artist E.L.K at the Bushwick Collective


Australian artist Anthony Lister in Bushwick, Brooklyn

"Anthony Lister"

Swedish stencil artist Bly in Dumbo, Brooklyn


 Chilean artist Dasic Fernandez at ABC No Rio on Manhattan’s Lower East Side

"Dasic Fernandez"

Irish native Conor Harrington for the LISA Project in Downtown Manhattan

"Connor Harrington"

Mongolian native Heesco and Australia’s Damien Mitchell for the Bushwick Collective

Heesco-and Damien-Mitchell-NYC

Photo credits: 1,2 and 7 by Lois Stavsky; 3-6 by Dani Reyes Mozeson


Sometimes they last for months; other times for weeks or even just days. But the graffiti that surfaces on Bushwick’s walls, particularly on those streets off the L line, are among NYC’s best.  Here’s a small sampling of what we captured last month:

Denver-based Home



"Owns graffiti"



Spot KMS captured at work; completed piece here


Yes1 captured at work, with Shiro to his right

"Yes1 and Shiro"





Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson


Speaking with 0H10M1ke

February 27, 2014

You may have seen 0H10M1ke on the streets of NYC or at a public event where he creates instant matchbook portraits of strangers he meets. We discovered him at work on his serially numbered one-minute portraits at the opening of LA2’s solo exhibit at the Leila Heller Gallery this past December.  We recently had the opportunity to find out more about him.


When did you begin drawing? Is this something recent?

I never had a formal art education, but I’ve been drawing all my life. I started way back as a kid in Ohio. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t doodling or sketching on some surface.

When did you first come to NYC? And what was your initial experience like?

I moved here in 2002, and I became involved with a cult. I gave two years of my life to it, and by the time I left it, I couldn’t even draw a circle. I knew then that I had to reinvent myself.

How did you go about doing that?

The year of my 30th birthday – in 2006 – I did 1,000 drawings.  I started my matchbox series of portraits, and my work was featured in a show in Williamsburg. I completed portrait 10,000 on June, 2011 at Governor’s Island.


Have you continued to exhibit your work?

Yes, I’ve exhibited in a range of places from Berlin, Germany to Governor’s Island here in New York City.

What inspired you to create your artwork in public settings – where you interact almost entirely with strangers?

My inspiration came from seeing UFO’s work on NYC streets.  I love the way his iconic character surfaces unexpectedly.

These days, about what percentage of your time is devoted to art?

About 50%. I am a social worker by profession.



How has your work evolved in the past few years?

I began with one-line drawings and I have moved to color, digital and live drawings that I incorporate into performances.

How does your family feel about what you are doing?

My family loves me, but I don’t think they get it.

Any other interests?

Music. All kinds of music. I draw to music. It’s all about art and music. I create live drawings to the music of Comadante Zero, a Brooklyn-based electro funk music/art collective.


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

I’m over it. We’ve been oversaturated.

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

I learned from Robert Henri how important it is to be a creator. According to Henri, the artist “enlightens and opens ways for better understanding.”

What about you? What’s ahead for you?

My goal is to create 100,000 matchbox portraits and tour with my band as its resident artist.


Editor’s note: 0H10M1ke will be drawing live with Comandante Zero at The Rubin Museum April 4 at 7 PM.

Photo 1 and 2: 0H10M1ke at the Leila Heller by Dani Reyes Mozeson; photo 3: 0H10M1ke sketch, courtesy of the artist; photos 4 and 5: PhotosL1ght Graff1t1 projected onto Brooklyn rooftop by Oz Skinner

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"Maya Hayuk"

With luscious colors and spirited strokes, Maya Hayuk has brought her distinct visual rhythms to the wall on Houston Street and the Bowery in Lower Manhattan.

Earlier on

"Maya Hayuk paints"

Maya takes a break

"Maya Hayuk"

Close-up of completed wall 

"Maya Hayuk"

The completed mural with its delicious drips

"Maya Hayuk"

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeson


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

Brazilian artist Eli Sudbrack in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


Danielle Mastrion in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"Danielle Mastrion"

Veng and Chris, RWK in Little Italy

Chris and Veng RWK

Katie Yamasaki with Groundswell youth in Park Slope, Brooklyn

"Katie Yamasaki and Groundswell youth"

Sest 2 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side


Fin DAC & Christina Angelina — tribute to Lou Reed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"Fin DC and Christina Angelina"

Photo of Fin DAC & Christina Angelina by Dani Reyes Mozeson; of Chris & Veng, RWK by Tara Murray; all others by Lois Stavsky