Back in 2005, as I was just delving into the world of NYC street art, the artist Celso and his partner-in-crime C-Monster invited me for a studio vist to their Manhattan loft. Even though we had never met before, their warm and welcoming manner endeared them to me immediately and we have been friends ever since. Over the years, our paths have crossed at countless art openings and happenings. I have enjoyed Celso’s evolution as an artist – both on and off the streets – and have gained a great appreciation for his willingness to experiment with new materials to push himself forward. Armed with a quick wit, an appreciation for the absurd, and an irreverent intelligence, the inimitable C-Monster has conquered a corner of the art blogosphere and made herself indispensable. All this is to say I’m very happy to support Celso and C-Monster’s next big, collaborative adventure: a public art installation for the Museo Convento de Santo Domingo y Qorikancha in Peru. Please consider joining me in making a donation via their project’s Kickstarter.
In addition to John Ahearn’s life casting (which I covered in yesterday’s post), Welling Court was frenzy of painting activity on Saturday afternoon, with the number of artists participating in the Welling Court Mural Project over doubeling from last year! Here is a little slice of some of the walls and people that could be seen:
Joe Iurato (photo by Becki Fuller)
Chris Stain (photo by Becki Fuller)
El Kamino, Alice Mizrachi (photo by Becki Fuller)
Dan Witz (photo by Becki Fuller)
Cycle, Lady Pink, Free Five (photo by Becki Fuller)
Cern (photo by Becki Fuller)
Fumero (photo by Becki Fuller)
Kati Yamansaki and Caleb Neelon, Beau Stanton, Dark Clouds and Celso (photo by Becki Fuller)
Ezra Li Eismont and Bunnie Reiss (photo by Becki Fuller)
Ezra Li Eismont and Bunnie Reiss (photo by Becki Fuller)
Lopi (photo by Becki Fuller)
Never (photo by Becki Fuller)
Jessie Jones, Sinned (photo by Becki Fuller)
Veng RWK, Over Under, Sophia Maldonado and ROA (photo by Becki Fuller)
Going over my pictures from Miami and trying to decide what to post has been almost as challenging (and impossible) as it was to shoot everything that was going on during Art Basel in the first place! But for all that I missed (Burning Candy! London Police! Kid Acne!), I really had a fantastic time and felt like I never stopped moving, running into friends from all over the world and their artwork every step of the way. So, in no particular order, here are some of my favorites from Art Basel, Miami, 2010:
The ever inventive El Celso has returned from a recent trip to Peru with a new bag of tricks. That is, a new series of crazy colorful, handmade prints in the style of South American band posters. With the trees getting bare and the skies taking on an autumnal shade of gray, this added bit of color is most welcome.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my good friends, the very talented photographer Jazz Beaulieu, picked back up one of my favorite ongoing projects of hers, “We Are Law“. Between shoots, I asked her to take a few minutes to explain the series to The Street Spot’s readers:
“‘We are Law’ is a project I started back in 2005. I had been friends with Royce Bannon and Infinity for about a year from going to parties and a bunch of gallery and painting events. You couldn’t help but want to create whenever you were around those guys. I’d meet people who were so passionate about their art. They’d ask me what I was doing and I never had much of an answer at the time…I always felt a little out of place because I wasn’t a street artist or a painter or a graphic designer. I am a portrait photographer and back then, I wasn’t even doing much of that. I had just moved to NY and was more or less just trying to get planted in my industry however I could. Hanging out with those guys reminded me of why I was living there in the first place.”
“So, I began creating again, shooting small projects here and there outside of street art. After spending about 2 years with everyone, I wanted to do something to document them, which is how I came up with the idea for “We Are Law”. I liked the idea of “masking” the artists’ identities while capturing the personas that they work to create. I wanted to make their characters come to life. We’ve all seen portraits of artists with a bandana or a hand blocking their faces or with their back turned etc. I wanted something original. I wanted something that was “collaborative” in the same way that those first parties I went to with them had been. And so was born ‘We Are Law’.”
“The first shoot was with artists and friends – Gore-B, Infinity, Deeker, Celso, Pufferella and Io Wright. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The biggest challenge for most the artists is to create a 3 dimensional piece of art. Most of them only paint 2-D. I was taken back by the effort they put into their creations. I was flattered that they took it so seriously and really brought another level to the work. I knew after that that this was going to be a great project.”
“I chose the name “We Are Law” to give credit to the artists as creators who choose where and when their artwork will be seen without any weigh on the propriety/legality of it. They made their own laws and law enforcement is still trying to catch up, so I thought “We Are Law” was an appropriate name that depicts them as trail blazers rather then criminals. The lineup backdrop is just mockery.”
“This project is ongoing and ultimately I’d like to have an exhibition with the masks on display along with the printed pieces and publish a book as well.”
In the most recent shoot for this series, Jazz has included the artists Dark Clouds, Keely, Royce Bannon, Billi Kid, Chris & Veng of Robots Will Kill, Anera, Matt Siren & Rob Fokused and has an upcoming shoot planned for UR New York, Peru Ana Ana Peru, Abe Lincoln Jr., Wrona and Elbow Toe. Any other artists interested in participating in “We Are Law” should contact Jazz at firstname.lastname@example.org
In conjunction with the Northside Music & Arts Festival in Williamsburg this weekend, Pandemic Gallery is having a live silk screening event at the gallery. Featured artists include Royce Bannon, Celso, Buildmore, Darkcloud, Deeker, Keely, Matt Siren and Gay Sex. Bring your own shirt, paper, and anything else that you would like silkscreened or buy one of the many items at the gallery – but hurry up, because the fun ends at 6pm today!
It probably wouldn’t surprise anyone who follows our blog to hear that we love Williamsburg’s Pandemic Gallery. Going to one of their openings can feel like stepping into an updated scene from Beyond The Valley of the Dolls: artists, bikers, rockers, pinatas, models, wigs and leather whips, moms offering trays of cookies…and everyone there is part of the big, happy Pandemic family. And just like in any family, from time to time, help is needed.
Pandemic has the opportunity to go global this October by participating in City Art KonT’ner, a contemporary urban art event specializing in street art, in Paris. But shipping art isn’t cheap, and the gallery needs help with the funding of $7,500 to pay for the rent of the container. Any extra money raised will go towards help the artists themselves to get to the city of lights to share in this amazing experience. Artists involved include: ARMER, BUILDMORE, CELSO, DARKCLOUD, DEUCE SEVEN, JUDITH SUPINE, KEELY, KENJI NAKAYAMA, MATT SIREN, ROYCE BANNON, STIKMAN, SWAMPY, UR NEW YORK, VENG, WRONA
So, break out your piggy banks, make a donation today, and your next shot of tequila at Pandemic is on me!
Yesterday, members of the Welling Court neighborhood in Queens and a veritable who’s who of the street & graffiti world came together via Ad Hoc Art for a day of eating, dancing, painting & pasting. Wanting to beautify their neighborhood walls and enliven their surroundings, the ethnically diverse melting pot welcomed artists representing over 50 years of the street art movement to do the job. Participating artists include: Alice Mizrachi, Beast, Chris Mendoza, Chris Stain, Celso, Cern, Cey Adams, CR, Cycle, Dan Witz, Darkclouds, Daryll Peirce, Don Leicht, Free5, Gaia, Garrison & Alison Buxton, Greg Lamarche, John Fekner, Lady Pink, Leon Reid, Matt Siren, Michael De Feo, Mr. Kiji, Pablo Power, Peripheral Media Projects, R. Nicholas Kuszyk, Ron English, Royce Bannon, Sofia Maldonado, Swoon, TooFly, Tristan Eaton, and Veng RWK.
If you want to see the walls for yourself, a searchable address is 11-98 Welling Court, Queens, NY 11102. The project begins at the intersection of Welling Court, 30th Avenue and 12th Street and extends north along 30th Avenue and then east along Main Avenue, across the street from the Two Coves Community Garden.
As previously mentioned, Luna Park and I are pleased to be taking part in the show Stokenphobia opening this Friday at Pandemic Gallery in Brooklyn. When I stopped by to drop my piece off, I was blown away by the quality of the work that is being featured in this show. Not only are the drawings by Gore B as stellar as one would expect, but many of my favorite artists have turned out some of the best work that I have seen from them in a while. Even better are the prices – whether you are a collector or just an admirer who would like to own a piece from your favorite artist (but had never been able to afford it), shows like this are an excellent opportunity to pick up a smaller work without breaking the bank. I already have dibs on the Deuce Seven boat, but there is plenty more available to choose from…or just come out and enjoy what is bound to be yet another memorable night at the always fun Pandemic Gallery!
Opens Friday, March 12th, 7-11pm
37 Broadway (btw. Kent & Wythe)
Brooklyn, NY 11211