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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LES Girl's Club Mural

New Painting in LES between 1st and 2nd ave on 1st street in a community garden:


Portrait of Ida B. Wells who was an early African American Activist who toured Europe extensively speaking out against the Lynch Laws. She was born into slavery and managed to get an education and become an accomplished and published writer after emancipation. A powerful voice in the early part of the struggle for African Americans to get their civil rights.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Younity in Yonkers


I headed up to Yonkers the other day to go to the Younity Collective's Art Opening. It was at the Yonkers Riverside Public Library. Don't let the name fool you. It turned out to be in a very nice gallery space on the 4th floor of the library. The show featured work by some very fine women artists exploring the theme of Mother Earth and Neighborhoods. Please go up and check it out if you are in the area. The show is continuing through December, so that gives you plenty of time!

Here are some photos from the exhibit:

Faith47 "No Gods No Masters" Oil on Wood


Lichiban "Katapulco Rising: The Apparition" Acrylic on Wood

Lady Alezia "Dormeuse aux Fluers" Acrylic & Spray Paint on Canvas

Swoon "Ice Queen" screen print on wood



Marthalicia Matarrita "Untitled" Acrylic on Canvas

Alice Mizrachi


lmnop "cholera" mixed media


lmnop "Zamni" mixed media

I found myself especially moved by Faith 47's work. She is a South African artist and in addition to the very delicately painted portrait of a miner playing dominoes, she had a video loop playing. It was a compilation of a few films made by herself and Rowan Pybus documenting her work in SA. Powerful stuff.

After the library closed, I went outside where the city of Yonkers was having their Riverside Festival. Oh my.
I could barely believe my luck. KISS was playing!


upcoming: Chicken John's new book and Samson Contompasis's Living Walls Exhibit in Albany, NY
Stay tuned! and thanks for reading me.

photo credits: Rachel Eisley

Saturday, September 10, 2011

San Fransisco

I left my accomplice in oakland and rushed off to catch the bart to head to sf on the perfect cruiser bike with two baskets in the back. My tube of prints tied down the middle and my bucket of wheatpaste and tools in the back. Bart does have elevators and is wheelchair friendly, which is more than we can say for the NYC MTA. It's a constant contest for me between the two. It would be that way no matter what city I am visiting. Always comparing and contrasting in my mind. I have alot of planets in Virgo.

I heard from a friend here in NYC that she got a hefty fine for postering around the city for her performance art gospel choir. 16G's to be more exact. It got me concerned. I don't know the actual legality of what I am doing. Writing a blog about it is probably not the most intelligent thing I am doing either. My rationale is that my artwork is anonymous and this blog is anonymous, although there are definitely gaping holes in my logic, I am doing it anyway. I choose my spots carefully. The majority of the spots I paste are abandoned buildings. Eyesores, if you will, depending on your frame of reference. To me abandoned buildings that are half falling down are beautiful. I am taking a huge risk posting this blog and putting my art work out there on public walls without permission. I hope they make the landscape more beautiful. I hope that people see them and are surprised. I hope they are like little treasures to savor as people go about their days.

Probably a dog will just piss on one and go sniff after some girl dog's butt, but that's ok too.

I just think art belongs to the public and ought to be readily available. I know there are people who disagree with street art. I disagree with their disagreement. Does that cancel it out? No, certainly not. That is what freedom is all about.

So, I rode randomly around SF in the mission district, admiring the murals I saw and pedaling laboriously on this 500 lb cruiser. This is some of what I saw:








I was about to paste up next to this hand but then there was a police cruiser hanging around, so I went down the block a bit further. I stumbled upon an alley which is well known for it's art. I didn't know about it, though, so it was a happy accident to find it.
I went down the alley and saw some really great work. Here is a sampling of what I liked:





For those of you in the know, you have probably figured out I am talking about Clarion Alley.
I found a spot sufficiently fucked up on a door and pasted my girl up on it:

As I was pasting it, a woman stuck her head out the window. I was a little worried she was going to be pissed, so I said, "hi! I hope you like it!" She was not mad, only warned me that the door opened out and to be careful not to get knocked in the head by it. She then proceeded to critique street art to me. She said "I wish someone would paint a giant lion on the wall" I told her maybe it would be up to her to paint it. She said "I can't paint, I'm a make up artist" I told her the two pursuits were not that different. She went back inside and promptly stuck her head back out with a drink in her hand. "Why don't people paint mixed race people? You know? You never see that. Why is that?" I told her that I thought the race of some portraits you see were subtle and could be mixed race people. I again pointed out that if she doesn't like what she sees, maybe she ought to take up painting. "I can't paint, I do make up" she said again. I told her it just takes practice.

I've never had someone complain to me before about what the artists are painting on the walls. As if we are all in communication and deciding as a group what goes up or not. People are funny.

As I was pasting up, many people were walking by. A couple dudes stopped and asked me "Did you paint that?" Being a sarcastic NYer I said "No, I am pasting someone else's work up" to which they replied "that's dope" One dude left the other kept hanging around and talking to me. Turns out he is one of the muralists in the alley. He invited me to put another piece up on the "free wall". So I did. As I was prepping the wall to paste on it, I was ripping off shredded old bits and found this under neath one:

well, ok. poop in your mouth too.


this is the free wall in clarion alley. I went back later and pasted another one way up high. I precariously balanced on my borrowed tanker bike to reach it. I am kind of digging the collage of peeling layers.

I left and rode over to Cell Space to see about putting something up there. But it was all full!
I saw my friend Swoon up over there:

and also what looks like a Chris Stain:

this photo is a little blurry because it was getting dark out

I proceeded to pedal back to the mission and pasted up some more work. As I was pasting up on a spot on Valencia, a dude started to yell at me. "hey! what are you doing there!" I turned and it was a friend from Brooklyn. Small world. Either that or it could be explained by a certain huge ass festival in the desert that happens every year. It's like Disney land for weirdos.

I went to a really great little Mexican restaurant near the mission st and 16th bart and had some tacos.

All in all it was a great day.

thanks for reading me and please don't bust me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

west coast

I went on a little tour of the west coast, aka the best coast. After a solid week of camping in the foothills of the sierras, I went into the bay area and stayed with friends in west oakland. I noticed a very aggressive buffing out of graffiti everywhere. The places where I chose to paste up, seemed less likely to be scrubbed. I found it to be very unlike Brooklyn, where everywhere you look, there is something up on a wall and it tends to stay longer.

My buddy took me out to a place called the Bulb, which is a land fill / nature preserve out on the bay. A bunch of rubble from the Loma Prieta Earthquake ended up there. Some people used the debris to build a bunker there, which is now covered with paintings. Random chunks of rubble have become canvases for art.
I took photos of some of my favorites:

Art Pop:


Becauz:

It says "digital dude" but I think it's the same cat that paints as "becauz". I actually randomly met this kid on the bart platform. I unrolled my posters and was showing them to a friend while we waited for the train and he started to chat me up. He gave me a sticker which looks exactly like this style. I love his shit. here is another one that I found at the bulb:


Btw, the bart sucks. It only runs until midnight. Hello? NYC runs all night long. Also, they charge you different prices according to where you are going. It's expensive! NYC subway charges you the same no matter where you are going. You could take a train from Brooklyn all the way through Manhattan and then out to the Bronx and then down to Queens for one fare. $2.25. Complain all you like, NYers, but it's a great deal. You can even transfer to a bus without paying more!! And it runs All Night Long. (sing it) I know I started this blog entry off with calling the west coast the best coast but I still heart nyc.

here are more shots from the Bulb:

Chiu

Here is the bunker someone built out of random chunks. Someone had taken water based pink/purple paint and plastered it over a bunch of other people's paintings. It looked kind of shitty. What was under that looked like it was cool before. But that is the nature of street art. Temporary. I don't paste over other people's shit unless someone else already has, so I put her up on top of the pink paint in the middle of a king and above a cute little cat on the bottom. I don't usually paste up on concrete but this had so many layers of paint on it, it stuck pretty well. I put the pink one there. It looks darker because in the photo it's still wet. The brown parts dry lighter.


I toured around Oakland and Berkley looking for spots to throw up my wheatpaste. I had two paintings with me and I pasted up all of them. I think there were 20 in all. I sent one to LA with some friends to put in an art auction to benefit their ongoing work in Haiti. The organization is called "Give Love". They build composting toilet systems for camps, schools and clinics and teach people how to operate them. Awesome work. Check them out and donate. Even a few bucks goes a long way.

My friend who shall remain anonymous became my accomplice. That sounded like a poem.
We passed by this building that made me make groaning noises like a wild boar because it was so beautifully decayed and decrepit. I pulled a board out of the fence and climbed up the rickety steps and pasted her on the door. It was like her house after that. This portrait is of a girl who lives at an orphanage in Port Au Prince.


This painting found a home in Berkley on Ashby:
the face next to it is also a wheatpaste. My girl is in good company.

We hit up some more spots in Oakland and a few in Berkley. I'm not going to post every location, where's the mystery in that?

I will be blogging soon about my trip into the Mission in SF. Many more photos of street art to come, so stay tuned!!

Also, REMINDER: My work will be in an exhibition opening tomorrow day up in Yonkers. It's a group show featuring the work of some very fine women street artists. Please come by and check it out if you are in the area!! There will be free beer and munchies and some kind of river festival happening at the same time. Here is the flyer with location: