A massive, 700-pound Wolftits sculpture was installed on a previously empty pedestal outside the former ASPCA Rogers Memorial Animal Hospital near the Gowanus in Brooklyn. Behold it in all its wolfking multi-titty glory!
After his yarn installation on the Williamsburg Bridge this summer met with so much interest, I lept at the opportunity to help Minneapolis-based street artist HOTTEA realize his next New York City project. On an unusually warm and sunny November day, I met up with HOTTEA and a small crew of fellow assistants, Jaime Rojo of Brooklyn Street Art, Disco Bryso and Patrick Sullivan.
HOTTEA came prepared with two heavy panels: each bore a meticulously stenciled recreation of one of Dondi’s iconic 1980 Children of the Grave wholecar pieces applied onto a series of yarn rectangles fastened onto a metal framework. It was our job to position these panels in such a way so as to create the illusion of Dondi’s work passing by on the modern subway.
Of his inspiration, HOTTEA wrote, “As an ex-graffiti writer of 12+ years there is no denying the influence of 80’s NYC subway graffiti had on me. I still remember the first time watching Style Wars and how much of an impact it had on me and my work. Dondi’s work stood out to me amongst them all. The way he spoke about his work, the colors and the style in which he wrote his letters were very inspiring. I no longer practice writing graffiti and have taken on yarn as my new medium of choice. I wanted to create a piece about one of my biggest influences non-destructively.”
This was no easy task, as each passing train gave us merely seconds to line up the panels, all the while gauging the proper distance of camera to panel to train to achieve the desired proportions. Multiple attempts had to be made at several Brooklyn locations.
After much trial and error – coupled with some rare patience for the MTA’s labyrinthine weekend scheduling – success! With a little suspension of disbelief, the magic of Dondi on rolling stock is in the air…
In town to introduce his film, Art4Space, French street artist Space Invader wasted no time and immediately got down to doing what he does best… invading. The charming, half-hour film is definitely worth seeing – London, you’re up next – if ever there were a paean to the DIY ethos in street art, this is it.
In celebration of its 150th Anniversary, the Brooklyn Academy of Music commissioned Showpaper to build a five sculpture installation called Brooklyn Shelf Life. Each sculpture has been built not only to stand alone as a piece of art work, but they are also used as a way of independently distributing Showpaper’s free bi-weekly, print only publication about the DIY music and arts scene in the NYC/tri-state area. Much like his past projects for Showpaper, curator Andrew H. Shirley brought together pairs of street & graffiti artists to upend and reinterpert the ubiquitous NYC paper box. So far three of the sculptures, the collaborations by Swoon & Ryan Doyle, Leon Reid IV & Noah Sparkes, and Cassius Fouler & Faust, have been installed outside of BAM (right around the corner from the new bike racks designed by the eternally inspiring David Byrne). The pieces by Gaia & Adam VOID and UFO 907 & W. Thomas Porter have not yet found a home, but hopefully we will see them on the street or in a public space in the very near future. The UFO 907 & W. Thomas Porter collaboration, in particular, is way too epic to be kept under wraps…but until then, here are some pictures and an interview with the guys over at Brooklyn Street Art.
In July 2011, Brooklyn native Ian Wilson brought Cape Town-based graffiti artists Faith47, Dal, Freddy Sam and Mak1one to Rochester, NY for the inaugural year of his mural project “Visual Intervention”. The artists painted several walls alongside members of the local graffiti crew, FUA and Shawn Dunwoody of the Four Walls Gallery. Wilson’s hope was for the walls to inspire and rehabilitate communities, bringing a positive & visually stimulating message of “belief” to a city that spends a good part of the year awash in the grays of winter (as I know all too well from growing up in Syracuse!). Clearly the murals were well received by the city, as later this month “Visual Intervention” will enter into its second movement, known as Wall/Therapy. The project appears to have grown, with more artists participating, coming from as far as Africa, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Belgium and New York City. The impressive lineup of artists, or “therapists” includes: DALEast, Ben Eine, Liqen, ROA, Cern, Case, St.Monci, Mr.Prvrt, Theivin’ Stephen, How and Nosm, and Siloette. See below for pictures of the walls from 2011 and for a list of all Wall/Therapy 2012 related events, including a fundraiser TONIGHT at the delicious Roc Brewing Co.
WALL/THERAPY 2012 Events
WALL\THERAPY “Therapy Session” Fundraiser at Roc Brewing Co.
56 S. Union St
Rochester, NY 14607
Saturday, July 14th 2pm-10pm
WALL\THERAPY Kickoff at 1975 Gallery
89 Charlotte St.
Rochester, NY 14607
Friday, July 20th 7pm-10pm
Street Art Block Party
Pennsylvania Avenue at The Rochester Public Market
280 N. Union St.
Rochester, NY 14609
Sunday, July 22nd 2pm-10pm.
Community Dialogue with the Artists
School of The Arts
45 Prince St.
Rochester, NY 14607
Wednesday, July 25th 6pm-7:30pm
This past weekend’s third iteration of the Welling Court block party, organized by the tireless Alison and Garrison Buxton, was a huge success. The total number of walls now painted in this corner of Astoria has almost reached 100! Here’s a small taste of what went down on Saturday…
The last five years have seen enormous changes to the face of New York City. It’s been especially noticeable on the once illegal wall on Houston at the Bowery – now home to commissioned public art works by international stars of the graffiti and street art scene (on an increasingly pricey piece of real estate).
Update: The links below offer further insight into the history of this wall.
On the occasion of Os Gemeos painting the wall, Martha Cooper shares photos of past artists at the wall from her archive (including Keith Haring). [12ozProphet]
Jeremiah Moss makes the argument that the Houston mural wall is part of the larger gentrification process of “turning the Bowery into a luxury lifestyle destination”. [Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York]
Brian Rose examines the wall’s humble origins as a handball court. [Journal/Brian Rose]