It’s been a busy summer for New York City street art with new works by perennial favorites Judith Supine, Gaia, and Elbow-Toe, who just put up the first of what he promises will be a handful of new linocuts. After having taken a break to concentrate primarily on his paper collage portraits for this summer’s show at London’s Black Rat Press gallery, it’s nice to see him return to form.
As someone who follows both street art and graffiti with equal interest, I often find myself simultaneously amused yet frustrated by the narrow definitions members of each group employ to label and judge one another’s work. I realize people will have their hardened opinions about what is and isn’t graffiti — I’ll save the tired “art vs. vandalism” discussion for another post — but I personally don’t see things in such black and white terms. Regardless of what medium is used, I am interested in aesthetics: I appreciate the beauty of a skillfully crafted handstyle as much as a masterfully cut stencil.
That having been said, I increasingly find myself most excited by artists who function on the cusp of both the graffiti and street art worlds, artists who are equally accomplished and respected in both worlds and defy conventional classification. I’m sure I will be posting plenty of other examples in the coming months, but one such artist is Canadian artist Other, who recently came through New York.
Like his contemporary Labrona, Other is known for painting freight trains. From a 2008 interview: “Really the best part of my work is coming home with paint all over my clothes and a giant rip in my pants … a good cop chase and a good painting up somewhere on a train or a building … graffiti is the pinnacle … it is the freight hopping of art.“
From a stopover in Brooklyn last winter:
While it’s quite likely he graced some NYC freight cars with his black and white figures, he also put up some colorful, painted works on paper:
For more insight into the work of Other, read his answers to Posterchild’s questions from earlier this year.
The Street Spot is very excited for tonight’s grand opening of the lovely & super talented Keely Brandon’s new gallery in Williamsburg, Pandemic 37 (37 Broadway btwn Wythe & Kent). Just a short distance from the main drag of Bedford Avenue, this show will be featuring the work of 14 of our favorite artists, a DJ, and of course drinks! What’s not to love about that?
And be sure to stop by the Rockstar Bar (49 Kent Ave btwn S. 5th St & W’burg Brg) for an after party celebrating the launch of this blog. We are very excited to be embarking on this new endeavor, and we hope to have as many of you as possible around to help us in celebrating! There will be t-shirt giveaways and more, courtesy of Robots Will Kill, and Pandemic 37 was kind enough to arrange for $2 PBR specials and $6 shot & beer specials all night. This should be a night to remember, so don’t miss it!
If you missed last week’s opening of Brooklyn Bailout Burlesque at Factory Fresh, you can make up for it by attending the Live Music Special tonight from 8 to 11pm. The group show features work by Jon Burgerman, Jim Avignon, Roman de Milk & Wodka, Ema, Asuka Ohsawa, Daniel Dueck and Christine Young.
Several of the artists will be providing the evening’s musical entertainment: Roman de Milk & Wodka as Larry Bang Bang and Jim Avignon as Neoangin will be joined by special guest Kim Vermillion Boekbinder. As city backyards go, Factory Fresh has one of the best (see above) – leave your sweltering apartment behind and come out for a night of art and music, Bushwick-style.
If you’re not in New York or can’t make it to Factory Fresh in person, be sure to have a peak at the (very reasonably priced) show here.
This summer Gaia has been busy getting up bigger and better than ever. Just last night he hit the streets of Chinatown to bring us his latest handpainted linoleum block print.
Check out some more flicks of Gaia’s recent work on the steets New York and see what he has to say about The Street Spot on his blog for Juxtapoz Magazine.
Mid-town crowds can now look forward to something other than a new chain store opening, with the street artist Infinity bringing his live art performance “Spool” to the Chashama Window Space this week. Armed with black ribbon and a staple gun, Infinity and a rotating cast of guest artists (19th: AVOID pi, 20th: Royce Bannon, 22nd: Celso) will spend the day weaving a three dimensional web covering the entirety of the space over the span of five movements: Pollack, Zorn, Barney, Celso, and Ellis. “The five movements are based on the order of actions that one must take to make an interesting i.e. successful ‘drawing in space’, which actually is the goal, like any other drawing. So since each movement is comprised of a certain set of actions, I named each one after an artist whose signature work is similar to that set” says Infinity.
There are only two performances left, so make sure to stop by and catch some of our favorite members of the Endless Love Crew in action.
Infinity and AVOID pi
The Schedule of Events
Welcome to the Street Spot with Luna Park and Becki Fuller! We’ve both been documenting the New York City street art and graffiti scenes for several years now and many of you will already know us from Flickr. Through our new partnership with Robots Will Kill, we’re excited about this opportunity to expand our reach and share our enthusiasm for the community. We plan on covering the streets of New York from our favorite homegrown artists to international artists passing through. From established graffiti legends to up-and-coming street artists and everything in between, we draw no boundaries. In the months to come, we’ll take you behind the scenes by bringing you process shots, artist interviews, studio visits, and photo essays… stay tuned to keep up to date on happenings in our area.
This coming Saturday, August 22nd, brings us two reasons to celebrate: the Grand Opening of Pandemic Gallery at 37 Broadway between Kent and Wythe Avenues in Brooklyn from 7-11pm AND the Street Spot Afterparty at Rock Star Bar at 351 Kent Avenue at South 5th Street starting at 11pm. Be there or be square.
— Luna & Becki