While it’s wonderful that MoMA PS1 is bringing it’s art-star-laden Rockaway! exhibition to Fort Tilden this summer, I’d like to point out that Tilden was home to a much more organic, arts movement long before Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Rockaways…
One of my surprise favorites this year has been the New York based artist, Over Under. While I was really enjoying some of the collaborative murals that he was doing with Cahil Muraghu prior to his travels around Europe with Other, it wasn’t until his return to the city earlier this summer that we got to see more of the range that Over Under is really capable of. Two recent posts of mine highlighted some of the phenomenal wheatpastes that he has been producing lately, however there is also something to be said for his simple outlines and Over Under-isms that can be found on an increasing number of doors and walls around the city.
Recent ex-New Yorker and all-around renaissance man Over Under (aka Erik Burke) needs your help to get his next venture rolling!
I first came across Erik’s work via his Small Worlds project in the summer of 2008:
I had the pleasure of meeting him shortly thereafter, when he helped Broken Crow complete a large mural in Bushwick:
What never ceases to amaze me are the sheer number of projects Erik juggles at once. While completing his MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons last year, he found time to collaborate with New York based and visiting artists as well as install a faux memorial plaque on the legendary Writers Bench and code a tribute to the golden days of NYC subway graffiti.
For an exhibition at MOHS in Copenhagen this spring, Erik and Canadian artist Other plan on cycling across Europe, gathering material and inspiration for the show along the way. To that end, they are trying to raise $2,000 to cover “travel expenses related to sustenance, survival, and the creation of work”. You can read about their plans and donate here. I’ve already put my money where my mouth is and I encourage you to do the same. Not only are you supporting a good cause, but you’re also helping two genuinely talented artists make their marks.
As someone who follows both street art and graffiti with equal interest, I often find myself simultaneously amused yet frustrated by the narrow definitions members of each group employ to label and judge one another’s work. I realize people will have their hardened opinions about what is and isn’t graffiti — I’ll save the tired “art vs. vandalism” discussion for another post — but I personally don’t see things in such black and white terms. Regardless of what medium is used, I am interested in aesthetics: I appreciate the beauty of a skillfully crafted handstyle as much as a masterfully cut stencil.
That having been said, I increasingly find myself most excited by artists who function on the cusp of both the graffiti and street art worlds, artists who are equally accomplished and respected in both worlds and defy conventional classification. I’m sure I will be posting plenty of other examples in the coming months, but one such artist is Canadian artist Other, who recently came through New York.
Like his contemporary Labrona, Other is known for painting freight trains. From a 2008 interview: “Really the best part of my work is coming home with paint all over my clothes and a giant rip in my pants … a good cop chase and a good painting up somewhere on a train or a building … graffiti is the pinnacle … it is the freight hopping of art.“
From a stopover in Brooklyn last winter:
While it’s quite likely he graced some NYC freight cars with his black and white figures, he also put up some colorful, painted works on paper:
For more insight into the work of Other, read his answers to Posterchild’s questions from earlier this year.