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 two-man collective that is UR New York are the most recent in an increasingly long line of talented artists to mount their work on the public exhibition space across from the Lower East Side’s Woodward Gallery. Titled “Eye of the Beholder”, the four-panel installation features the duo’s trademark multimedia collage of handstyles, flourishes and urban imagery. The installation is on view around the clock on Eldridge Street between Delancey and Broome.
While most of our readers are probably familiar with the fantastic art blog Curbs and Stoops, what you may not be aware of is that, in collaboration with Welner Associates, they will be opening the Curbs and Stoops Active Space this Friday, February 18th. Spanning over 6,000 feet, the space will be used for art exhibitions, studios, and a residency program, all with the goal of forming a progressive cultural center designed to promote community through art. In the true spirit of ‘go big or go home’, Friday’s ambitious grand opening will include five exhibitions, three open studios and a party all curated to highlight the scope and caliber of artists that they will be collaborating with. Participating artists include: Angel Otero, Ashley Zelinskie, Brian Maller, Brian Matthew, Christopher Rivera, Hector Arce, Hector Hernandez, Jason Mones, Jeffrey Peña, Jonathan Chapline, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Pep Williams, Rachel LaBine, Sebastian Vallejo, Lapiztola Collective, UR New York Collective and Super Pop Collective. It also happens to be the fifth installment of Norte Maar’s Beat Nite, which is sponsered this time around by our friends over at Hyperallergic.
Last night The Curbs and Stoops crew were gracious enough to show me around their new space and to give The Street Spot readers a preview of what they have in store for us this Friday:
Friday, February 18, 6-10PM
Morgan L Stop
566 Johnson Street 2nd Floor
Opening night party with DJ Grimmace.
Beers courtesy of DogFish Head.
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
Saturday afternoon I stopped by Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo to check out two “art battles” organized by the Mighty Tanaka. Thanks to the MTA throwing a wrench in my travel plans, I missed out on Abe Lincoln Jr and Royce Bannon’s battle (Alex holds one of their two collaborative pieces above). But 2esae and Ski of URNEWYORK (below) had just stepped into the ring and started flinging paint fast and furious. Over the course of the next 2 hours, the artists alternated turns working the canvases – and working the steady crowd of onlookers and well-wishers surrounding the ring. In the end, the battle was too close to call and declared a tie. *ding*
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
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!