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
If you are in the Boston area this Friday, stop by Lot F for the opening of Idle Construction, a show featuring new works from local artists Matt Siren and Destroy & Rebuild, as well as Jesse Edwards and Gabriel Urist.
DJ will be spinning and
Refreshments will be provided.
Lot F Gallery
145 Pearl St, #4
Boston, MA 02110
Friday, October 22nd
Show runs until November 18th
This coming up Friday night, September 10th from 6-9, the Mighty Tanaka gallery in DUMBO will be taken over by a slew of native New Yorkers for the exhibition Iconography: A Reflection of Anonymity. Matt Siren, Royce Bannon, Chris & Veng of Robots Will Kill, 2Esae & SKI of URnewyork, and Peat Wollaeger (stenSOUL) will explore the iconic images they have come to be known for from their work on the streets and beyond.
68 Jay St, Suite 416 (F Train to York St)
Brooklyn, NY 11021
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!
Street artist Matt Siren has teamed up with My Plastic Heart and the Woodward Gallery to bring his iconic Ghost Girl graphic to three dimensional vinyl form. The black edition, released on June 1st, retails for $45 and is available for purchase here. Six other colors (orange, white, red, pink, blue, and glow in the dark) will soon become available at yet to be determined stores throughout the NYC area. But if you just can’t wait to own them all, a signed seven piece limited edition set is currently available via Woodward Gallery.
For anyone wanting more information, I Heart Cool Stuff has this informative unboxing video:
And in celebration of their three year anniversary, I Heart Cool Stuff is also sponsoring a figure give away. But hurry up, because your chance to participate ends on June 16th (yes, that’s tomorrow) and the drawing is on the 17th.
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.
Aside from the M-City and Dolk opening at the Brooklynite Gallery this Saturday, there is one more not-to-miss opening at the Woodward Gallery. The Great Outdoors explores the inspirational effect and cultural exchange that occurs when art intended for the unprotected elements is taken and placed in an indoor-gallery setting. It features some of street art’s finest names: Royce Bannon, Darkcloud, Michael De Feo, El Celso, LA II, Kenji Nakayama, Neck Face, Lady Pink, Matt Siren, Stikman, and Swoon.
Note that this opening starts an hour before Brooklynite does, so there is definitely time to catch both!
133 Eldridge St, New York, NY