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]
The sleepy town of Grottaglie, located in the high heel of the boot that is Italy, is admittedly not on most tourist itineraries. Yet thanks to the tireless efforts of Studiocromie’s Angelo Milano, whose Fame Festival this summer celebrated it’s 4th year, I have made two pilgrimages to the tiny town – known primarily for ceramics – deep in southern Italy. Fame has attracted some of the international street art and graffiti scene’s most talented artists and let them paint the town red. Big walls by Blu, Aryz, Sam3, Ericailcane – to name but a few – and whimsical characters by Os Gemeos scattered across the medieval town center have made Grottaglie a must-see destination for a street art aficionada like me. The images below are some of my favorite walls, all shot over two, gloriously warm, and sunny days this past November.
Every time my work takes me to Munich, I make a beeline to the Kultfabrik. The immense factory complex next to the Ostbahnhof, once the home to the manufacturer Pfanni, now houses more than 20 nightclubs, a handful of small theaters and artists’ ateliers, as well as an indoor climbing wall. What interests me the most about the Kultfabrik – no surprise here – is the graffiti on the exterior factory walls. The Kultfabrik complex is something like Munich’s 5 Pointz. With walls run by Loomit, it boasts pieces by some of the biggest names in graffiti. Click here for some of my Kultfabrik photos from recent years.
Much like Graffoto’s delight at coming across an untouched 2005 Os Gemeos wall in Athens recently, I return to the Kultfabrik time and time again to see walls painted by the twins (which I believe were also done in 2005). They feature collaborations with Loomit, Nina, Vitche, Herbert Baglione and Sat One. Most were still running as of this past November, but sadly this under-the-sea mural featuring an Os Gemeos mermaid is no more.
There are a handful of Os Gemeos characters scattered across the factory complex – despite repeat visits, I only recently came across a few of these.
The twins’ riot scene, next to a piece by Nunca, could be ripped out of today’s headlines…
This long, curvy wall together with Vitche, Nina and Loomit takes my breathe away every time I see it.
Last but not least, there’s a wall directly adjacent to the one above. I like the use of red rather than black lines employed by the twins here (perhaps from an earlier visit?).
Last I heard, Munich plans to tear down parts of the Kultfabrik complex to make room for – what else? – condominiums…
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:
Os Gemeos’ whirlwind tour of painting around the world has made another stop in New York City with the lucky kids at Chelsea’s PS 11 the intended audience of this massive, multiple-storied mural in collaboration with Futura. More to come as the work is completed.
As soon as I heard word that the Os Gemeos had been tapped by Deitch (home of the twin’s stellar exhibition in New York last summer) to paint a mural in place of the Keith Haring tribute, I knew I had to make my way down to the corner of Houston and the Bowery as soon as possible. This is the mural in progress near the end of the second day of painting. I suppose it will take several days to finish and – like the rest of the global street art community – I am on the edge of my seat in anticipation of seeing this completed!