Three years after he first painted at Welling Court, Polish stencil artist M-City returned to the quiet Queens neighborhood yesterday to paint another one of his signature, large-scale murals. Tirelessly working against the clock in a race against the setting winter sun, M-City signed off on his stenciled carousel at dusk, having taken roughly five hours to complete. Up next he paints a massive wall in the South Bronx – when it’s done, I promise you won’t be able to miss it.
Tag Archives: stencil
With the completion of her intricate, stenciled mural titled Here’s Fun For Everyone, Japanese-born, Brooklyn-based artist Lady Aiko has the distinction of being the first female artist to paint the famed Bowery/Houston wall.
Click here to see previous iterations of this wall.
Last week, Cost completed his mural on the exterior of a garage at Bushwick’s Five Points.
Although he’s never really gone for long, it’s been great to see Bäst hit New York City streets with renewed vigor recently. I’ve really been enjoying his latest work, especially these stencils.
His recent stencil work has also included a couple legal murals in Brooklyn, including one in Bushwick together with Aiko.
But what’s got me most excited, is this new crop of classic Bäst collages, wheatpasted to doors and walls in lower Manhattan…
For more classic Bäst, check out my set on Flickr.
I couldn’t be happier that Stikman, one of my favorite street artists, will be opening a show of all-new work at Brooklyn’s Pandemic Gallery tomorrow night. Titled “20″, the show marks an astonishing twenty year career of installing his now iconic stikmen characters on the streets. His ability to reinvent the stikman figure in new mediums and willingness to experiment with different configurations is seemingly boundless. Because the pieces are never the same, they are a challenge to find – but fans of his work no doubt agree there is a special thrill to recognizing one of his pieces.
Of the show, Stikman writes, “To celebrate twenty years of playing in the street with sticks I have created a special battalion of twenty figures to send out into the world with the hope that the friends of stikman will take him along on new journeys to places he has not yet been. I have also created twenty works on paper to commemorate the paper element associated with stikman. Ten of these are PAINTBLAST, which is a form of automatic painting that occurs when I paint the wood figures.”
March 16-April 6, 2012
Opening: Friday, March 16, 7-11pm
37 Broadway btwn Kent and Wythe
Brooklyn, NY 11211
L train to Bedford ave, J train to Marcy ave, or Q59 bus to Broadway/Wythe
As Luna mentioned in her post earlier today, we had a great time at Albany’s Living Walls festival this past weekend. Not only was it an opportunity to catch up with friends and to make the acquaintance of artists and other photographers from near and far, but we were also fortunate enough to meet and interact with many members of the communities that will be living with these walls for some time to come. Some were so enthusiastic that they hopped right into my pictures to model for me! And since no two shots are ever quite the same, here are my highlights from the weekend (See Luna’s here):
This Friday, August 26th, Herm and Cycle will be throwing a big bash on a huge loading dock, fully decked out in murals by the two artists. I stopped by over the weekend to see how things were coming along, and to take some pictures to share. I can definitely say that it’s a cool space, and these guys have been busting themselves to get it ready, so here’s hoping that there’s a big turn out on Friday! Note that there’s a $5 cover at the door, but all proceeds are going to a residential rehabilitation center & school for high-risk girls in Isreal. So basically, you can party and support a worthy cause, which makes every beer taste so much sweeter!
It’s hard for me to believe, but it was only a year and a half ago when the stencil work of New Jersey based artist Joe Iurato first caught my eye. It was a portrait the he had painted of skateboarding legend Mark Gonzales, which is cool in and of itself. But it was the quality of the artistry and the fact that this was such a talented local guy that I had never heard of before that really piqued my interest. And I was apparently not the only one taking notice, because shortly after that, Joe’s work was showing up everywhere: from the Ad Hoc curated Willoughby Windows, to the Eames Inspiration display at Barney’s, Beacon’s Electric Windows, and Art Basel in Miami (to name just a few!). It would seem to be a meteoric rise for this artist, though as many of us know, success rarely comes without experiencing some falls, bumps and bruises first.
And it is exactly these aspects of his life that Iurato explores in his upcoming solo show “Fall and Rise” at DC’s Art Whino Gallery. While he was preparing for this show, I proved just how highly I regard Joe’s work by braving the crazed mobs at the Port Authority and enduring the eight minute train ride to his studio in New Jersey (I kid, I kid). Aside from getting a sneak preview of the show, I also got to watch Joe at work and he kindly answered a few of my questions to share with the readers of The Street Spot.
Becki Fuller: Your art has a very personal quality to it. How do you feel that your themes and artistic directions are influenced by your environment and your every day life?
Joe Iurato: My work has always been very personal. With it, I explore things that have made the greatest impacts on me emotionally – people, places, world issues, states of mind – and let them out of my head at the exact moment I feel them pressing. It’s more about delving into and crystallizing the chapters of my own life than it is about creating a fictitious world around somebody else’s. I don’t want to live in a fantasy. I want to better understand who I am and why things happen the way they do in this world.
That’s why the themes and general direction of my work is constantly changing. The way I see it, no day is ever a carbon copy of the day before. And if you compile all of the days that make up the years in a lifetime, you’ll wind up with a formidable collection of ups and downs, open questions and closed chapters. My work reflects that idea. Being a person who creates art as both a means of finding and expressing himself, I can’t just sit in one pocket and paint the same things over and over again - even if what I was previously doing really “worked” in the eyes of my peers. I might stay in one frame of mind for a while, but eventually I’ll have to move on.
BF: When I first saw some of the new work that you are doing with shadow boxes, I thought that the entire piece was a stencil. But upon closer inspection it became clear that the background was actually a photograph. Can you tell us a little about your use of photography? What kind of camera were you using and what is your printing process?
JI: Stencils, for the most part, are born from photographs. They may vary stylistically, but they almost always begin with a photograph. I’ve had this idea for a while, where I’d take the stencil and place it back into its origins – basically merge the two mediums, which are so closely related, and see how they can play off each other. I’ve always liked when a piece of art can tell a story. And I think that by integrating these photographs, I can tell a story in a sense and also make a greater emotional connection with the audience. I mean, ultimately that’s the plan. I’m still in early stages with this, but I’m happy with the foundation that’s been built so far.
I shoot with a cheap plastic camera called a Holga. It takes medium format film and it costs about 25 bucks. It costs more to develop 2 rolls of film than it does to buy the camera actually. But what I love about this camera is its unpredictability. It’s plastic. Its lens is plastic. The shutter operates with a small metal spring. It leaks light in places that’ll completely overexpose the film if you don’t use black electrical tape on the seams. You can have the most perfect fucking shot set up, but you also have to keep in mind there’s a good chance this camera’s going to blow it. But when it doesn’t, the images are nothing less than hauntingly beautiful.
As for the process, I want to keep the images grainy, grungy and textural, just as the film is, so I don’t do any digital manipulating to them. The more imperfect they are, the better I feel about them. I don’t think they’d work well with the stencils if the images were clean, crisp and vibrant. I print them out on a large laser printer and mount them on archival foam core with a hot mounting press. These become the backgrounds for the new pieces I’ve been doing.
BF: I love the 3-D effect that you are working with right now. Where did the idea come from to build the three dimensional shadow boxes?
JI: Thank you. You know, it started while I was experimenting painting on glass. I wanted to create some sort of dimension. So I began working with glass shadow boxes, or display cases, painting on the front of the glass and then collaging and painting inside the box. But the problem was I’d shatter more transporting them than I’d get to show. So I decided to stop working with the glass and instead float cutouts within the shadow box.
What I’m doing now is I build the frame around the background photograph, which has already been mounted and hot pressed onto the archival foam core. Then I affix the stencil cutout within the scene, sans glass front. I’m basically creating dioramas.
BF: You use the number :01 essentially as your signature. What is that in reference to and what does it mean to you?
JI: In 2008 I was let go from a job during a really critical time in my life and it just completely sent me into a downward spiral. I couldn’t find another decent job, I had a family to take care of, we were completely broke, and I was just bitter. I’d been making art all along to combat the depression I was feeling, something I’d done my whole life. And there was this instant when I just sort of stopped sulking and decided I was going to pick myself up and make shit work. I promised myself I’d start moving forward again, doing all that I love, and never turn back. For me, that was huge. By nature I’m a really, really pessimistic person, so to turn a bad situation around and be as positive as I was being was really something big for me. That’s when I began using :01.
It means one second. It only takes a second to decide you’re going to move forward regardless of the challenges and obstacles that life throws at you. I began writing it to remind myself of that promise I made. But then I also hoped it would inspire others to do the same.
BF: You seem to be having a very busy summer. Aside from the birth of your second child (congratulations!) and preparing for your upcoming solo show at Art Whino in DC, you participated in the Welling Court mural project, released a print in collaboration with The Poster Cause Project to benefit disaster relief in Japan, painted a NBA backboard for the Art of Basketball, and collaborated with the NJ graph legend SNOW, for an episode of Element-Tree’s “Yard Work” Series. Do you have any other upcoming shows or projects in the works?
JI: Yes, thank you, the highlight of my summer for sure was the arrival of my second kid, Maddox. He’s two months old today, and he’s awesome. As for the art, I’ve had a great summer so far collaborating with good friends, getting involved in some amazing projects and, fortunately, I’m keeping that ball rolling. After the Art Whino show, I’ll be preparing to go to Albany for the Living Walls conference in September. Then I have a solo show at Kondoit, a new gallery in Wynwood, Miami in October. I’ve got a few fun projects and commissions lined up for November, and then I plan on heading back to Art Basel Miami in December. After that, who knows….but right now I’m just thankful to have these opportunities on the horizon.
“Fall and Rise” the solo show of Joe Iurato
Opens on Saturday, Aug 20th, from 8-11pm
Art Whino Gallery
120 American Way
National Harbor, MD 20745
Show End Date: September 12th
When my friend Jaime Rojo of Brooklyn Street Art heard that I was going to the Mexican city of Oaxaca for vacation, one of the first suggestions that he made to me was to look up the street art collective Lapiztola. Prior to our conversation, I had never thought of Oaxaca as having much in the way of street art, but thinking more about it, it makes a lot of sense. Oaxaca is a state know to revere its native cultures and crafts, has produced many notable contemporary painters, and it’s history of political unrest and protest has made for a fertile street art environment .
In fact, the Lapiztola collective formed during a political uprising that took place in Oaxaca during a seven month period of time in 2006. It began with teachers’ strikes and extended into a wider revolt and open confrontation with the Mexican state in protest of political corruption and acts of repression. Lapiztola, the name itself a telling play on the Spanish word lapiz (pencil) and pistola (pistol), took action to support the people’s movement by bringing their politically charged art to the streets. In a great interview with Jeffrey Pena of Curbs and Stoops, the collective talks more about the influence of the uprising and of the government in general on their art work.
Two members of the collective, Roberto & Rosario, were kind enough to meet up with me while I was in Oaxaca to discuss street art, graffiti and politics over a couple of beers and to give me a tour of their studio. The work of Lapiztola typically combines more graphic, repetitive elements in the form of silk screening with a stencil overlay used to illustrate more immediate elements. Their work appears to frequently explore themes of freedom and captivity, innocence and violence, and the power of the individual vs the government, all with a reverence for Mexican culture and heritage. Sometimes the meaning behind a piece of work may be more subtle than it is at other times, but the images are always strong & powerful.
And though we have not seen much of their work here in New York, they have maintained a very busy schedule participating in shows around Mexico, South America, and Europe. Hopefully in the near future we will have a chance to welcome them here! Until then, if you are interested in buying artwork from Lapiztola, I found several prints available on the Just Seeds website, reasonably priced at $50 each. To see more of their work, check out the Lapiztola blog.