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!
Tonight Pandemic Gallery is celebrating the opening of their new show, curated by Shai Dahanan of the Abztract Artist Collective. Work from 12 of Abztract’s Featured Artists will be displayed on skateboard decks and wood panels.
Sept. 25th, 2009
7 – 11 pm
37 Broadway, Brooklyn NY (between Kent and Wythe Ave)
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!