The Keith Haring Altarpiece

Add this to the list of Hidden Things in New York. There is a beautiful altarpiece in the Church of St John the Divine in New York City by Keith Haring. It is a triptych in the manner of Eastern Orthodox Christianity incised in clay and then cast in silver alloy. I can't think of any other religious piece by this artist but there is another cast of this specific piece located in St Eustache in Paris. The work was completed in 1990 a few weeks before Haring died of AIDS.

Keith haring altarpiece


An Atrocity Rises From the Ashes of 5 Pointz

Before and After Photographs of 5Pointz Mural Site Show a Bleak Transformation


Lady Pink Creates Memorials for Street Artists

Lady pink‘It’s About Time’: Street Art Trailblazer Lady Pink on Why She’s Painting Memorials to the Unsung Legends of Graffiti

The show at the Museum of Graffiti honors the likes of KEL139, Caine One, Crash, and Erni Vales.

As soon as Lady Pink can get a vaccine, she’s headed down to Miami. The legendary street artist’s solo show—only her second in the last decade—opened on Friday at Miami’s Museum of Graffiti, but she could only attend virtually.

One of the biggest names in street art history, Lady Pink began tagging with graffiti artists including Seen TC5 as a high school freshman in 1979, later co-starring in Charlie Ahearn’s hip-hop film Wild Style. Her work quickly crossed over to the gallery world when she was featured in the first major graffiti art show at New York’s Fashion Moda in 1980.

But despite her regular inclusion in blockbuster graffiti group shows such as “Beyond the Streets,” Lady Pink’s only solo museum show to date has been an offsite exhibition, “Respectfully Yours,” at the Queens Museum in 2015.

Enter the Museum of Graffiti, which opened in December 2019 to provide a permanent showcase for an often-ephemeral art form.

A hybrid museum-gallery model, the for-profit institution has a permanent exhibition showcasing the evolution of graffiti art over the last 50 years, but also stages temporary shows where the work is for sale as a way of funding the operation.

Everything is for sale in the show, except for one canvas consigned to Jeffrey Deitch for an exhibition he is curating next year. Ket hopes to attract institutional buyers for her two new bodies of work: large-scale paintings with feminist themes, and a deeply personal portrait series dedicated to her friends in the graffiti community, including Dondi White, Crash, Lee Quiñones, Daze, and Caine One.


French Street Artist's Amazing Creations

Charles leval

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrolling through Charles Leval's work is not only fun but illuminating. His work can be seen all over Paris. Enjoy!

Street art is a usual sight in many cities and towns. Most of the time, the street art we see is not that impressive—random tags or writings that you can't even read. Sometimes, however, there is artwork that takes your breath away. It livens up the surrounding area and makes it look much more cozy and colorful. And although many people dislike street art, we hope this artist and his work can change your mind.

The French artist Charles Leval, better known as Levalet, creates the kind of art that brings cities to life. He creates designs that interact with their surroundings, often choosing a humorous theme. His art is playful, funny, and very beautiful. He told Bored Panda: "I didn't start working in the streets because I was first and foremost interested in the street. What I wanted—and what keeps being my aim—was to work on reality and produce a context-sensitive art. Not simply to show one’s productions ranging from picture rails on a neutral medium and beckon the eyes to enjoy it, but also an art which is a means of intervention and joins an outside reality and aims at modifying it."

 

 

 

 

 

 


Secret Tiles All Around Tel Aviv

Tel aviv tilesThis from Atlas Obscura -

In the early 20th century, Tel Aviv had a distinguished industry of beautiful decorated tiles, which can still be seen in some private homes, apartments, stairwells, and public buildings. After peaking in the 1920s, the tiles have become more and more scarce over the decades. Now, there’s a renewed appreciation for them.

Between 1921 and 1925, Tel Aviv’s population went from 2,000 to 34,000. The new city’s architects were European Jews who trained in art schools in Eastern and Western Europe. Their building style came to be known as Eclectic. Architect Professor Nitza Szmuk, the guru of historical building conservation in Israel, says Eclectic architecture represented “the attempt to create a synthesis between East and West, thereby generating a local notional style.” The architects’ perception of Palestine and the Near East remained Orientalist, even when walking in the Tel Aviv sunshine or buying a tomato at the local grocer. The tiles in their buildings were part of this European Oriental fantasy. In the words of Architect Yossi Klein in a Domus magazine article, “the contrast between ‘the Oriental style’ and the European building technique allowed Zionists to return to a ‘sterile Orient,’ while maintaining European modes of living.”

“This was the golden age of the painted tile,” says Avi Levi, a landscape architect and hunter of derelict buildings and decorated tiles. “They became a local fixture and the connection to the European origins was forgotten.” The decorated tiles prevailed during the early 20th century in houses in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. They were found in luxurious villas and humble apartments. However, “after three decades, people started to think of the tiles as old-fashioned, expensive and excessive.” Ultimately, “this style flourished only for a short time,” Klein writes, “and as the conflict with the Arab community escalated, Modernist tendencies prevailed.” The romantic, Eclectic style gave way to the clean, modernist Bauhaus. Decorated tiles were abandoned in favor of simple, cheap, industrial tiles. As a result, most of the factories have closed. But at the end of Herzl Street, a street of woodworkers and craftsmen in southern Tel Aviv, the small tile factory of the Gluska family is operating to this day.

 

 


Fill Empty Storefronts with Local Art - A Great Idea

Monica-Banks-in-Window-768x1024With all of the empty storefronts, local administrators on Long Island have a great idea - require empty storefront owners to use their space to showcase local artists. And it looks to be a win-win. This from Artnet --

Landlords in a Tony Hamptons Town Must Fill Their Empty Storefronts With Works by Local Artists—Or Else Pay a Fine

Southampton's mayor proposed the initiative, which is now a law, last summer.

It’s not uncommon for storefronts to remain empty during the colder months in Southampton, the quiet eastern Long Island village overrun by beach-bound New Yorkers every summer. But the pandemic has exacerbated the issue, leaving its commercial streets looking like ghost-town versions of their former selves. 

Now, the village is turning to local artists to breathe a little life into these tenantless properties. 

Last year, Southampton mayor Jesse Warren introduced the Storefront Art Project, an initiative requiring landlords to fill storefront spaces that have been empty for more than a month with creations from community artists, or else be slapped with a $1,000 to $2,500 fine. The idea was signed into village code in July, and its impact is starting to be felt on the streets now. 

Artworks can’t be offensive or overtly political, according to the law, and must be approved by the village administrator or come via sponsorship from the Southampton Arts Center or Southampton Artists Association. (The town encourages artists to go through these organizations for support—financial and logistical—in realizing potential projects.)

A grace period for landlords extends through next month, after which fines will be doled out to nonparticipants. But Mayor Warren doesn’t anticipate many of those.

“Our goal is to partner with the landlords, not to fine them. We want to them succeed so we’ve been pretty lenient with the enforcement,” he tells Artnet News over the phone. “We’ve received mostly positive comments. If anything, people are calling us up and saying, ‘Enforce the law more!’”

Among the first fruits of the initiative was a pair of wavelike assemblages made from coat hangers, price tags, and aluminum can tabs by local artist Alice Hope, which went up in the window of what used to be a Chico’s clothing retailer last November. Following that came an installation of photographs by Kerry Sharkey Miller hung in a former J. Crew earlier this month. 

“The community has been very enthusiastic about the project,” says Amy Kirwin, artistic director of the Southampton Art Center, which sponsored both artworks. “The installations are providing a safe way for people to enjoy art during these challenging times, and it also benefits local businesses by driving more traffic into the village.”

“Of course the ideal situation would be for all of the shops to be rented, but this is a wonderful alternative in the colder months,” she adds.

Kirwin says three other installations are in the works, one of which—a suite of ceramics resembling baked goods by artist Monica Banks—will be revealed in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, there’s a stack of additional proposals still to sort through as more windows become available. 

The artists behind these projects were paid, via honorarium, by the Art Center, but the law doesn’t require landlords to pay installation artists. For most participants, the appeal will come in the form of free exposure—and from that, hopefully, sales.

On this point, Mayor Warren says he encourages landlords to take a note from some of the village’s newest inhabitants—art businesses like Hauser & Wirth, Phillips, and others that have recently opened up Long Island outposts—and market their artists’ work, the way a gallery might. They can even take a cut of potential sales, he says.

As of last week, some 75 storefronts on Southampton’s two biggest commercial stretches, Jobs Lane and Main Street, remained empty, according to the Washington Post


Love These Hats!

Hat donut-1000x563According to Israel21c, Maor Zabar makes some crazy hats. They are definitely artworks unto themselves.

Growing up in Haifa, Maor Zabar was the kind of kid who painted on the furniture and drew on the walls.

“I used to drive my parents nuts,” admits the 42-year-old award-winning costume and hat designer.

Fortunately, his parents indulged their little boy’s artistic exploits. They sent him to afterschool art lessons and the WIZO Haifa Academy of Design for high school. He spent a year living with an uncle in New York, learning makeup artistry before finding his true calling.

Zabar’s famed creations include the attention-grabbing getup that Netta Barzilai wore for her winning performance in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. In 2014, Zabar started his hat business.

He doesn’t consider himself a milliner. He simply loves hats and wanted to create them freely outside the confines of his theatrical costume commissions.

“I don’t treat my hats as fashion items. I refer to them as art pieces,” he says.

It wasn’t long before images of his hats – featuring food, carnivorous plants, sea creatures, pride, and bride themes – from his online Etsy store began making a buzz in the blogosphere. “I get inspired by things I come across, even pictures in a book or a vacation I took,” explains Zabar.

You can spot Zabar’s hats on stylish heads at launch events, red-carpet events and British horseraces.

“If you’re daring enough and want to make a fashion statement, a hat is the most standout item to do that with,” says Zabar.


The Australian Town That Turns Trash Into Christmas Trees

The 2020 tree is made from farm castoffs.A great find from Atlas Obscura -

The traditional public Christmas tree in Lismore, the largest town in the northeast of Australia’s New South Wales, used to be pretty ho-ho-hum.

Before 2015, a Cook pine in the middle of a roundabout was dressed up each holiday season as a tannenbaum. But, like all Cook pines, the tree leans toward the equator, so the effect of decorating it was underwhelming. “Everyone said ‘Oh, that’s a bit sad, it can’t even stand straight,’” says Neil Marks, acting mayor of Lismore City Council.

The first tree—built under the cover of night out of a pile of bicycles—debuted in 2015 and ushered in a new tradition. In subsequent years, the tree has been made from used tires, old road signs, broken umbrellas, and potted plants combined with solar-powered lighting. Materials are sourced from the town’s junkyard, and various town staff take on design and construction.

Like most things in this unusual year, the 2020 tree was a little different. It was a group effort, since most staff worked from home due to COVID-19 restrictions. And the tree is an ode to resilience. “This year’s tree is a nod and a tribute to our rural community,” says Marks, who spoke to Atlas Obscura while he waited to see whether flood waters in town would recede and allow him to travel back to his workplace. “They’ve had a tough time. They’ve gone through fires, a drought, and now a little too much rain.” Local farmers have also suffered from indirect effects of COVID-19, including border closures, despite Lismore being one of the many regions of Australia that has had no active cases of the virus.

This year’s 23-foot tree is made from recycled 6.5-gallon drums that store chemicals for use on farms. The decorations are made from used animal feed bags, piping, and discarded metal.

Many in the community love the scrappy, garbage-inspired trees. “I’m very much in the ‘bah-humbug’ community but, despite my general pessimism, I have grown fond of our tree,” says Lismore resident Gray Wilson.

 

 

 

 

 


LA2 Has Show at Miami's Graffiti Museum

LA2For the past three decades LA2 has applied spray paint and ink to canvas, clothing, and various found objects in his unwavering journey to push his personal graffiti pop style. Fluorescent colors rooted in his Puerto Rican heritage, bold lines and tags learned in the streets, and cartoons tributes to his friend and long-time collaborator Keith Haring, make each painting a sweet piece of candy for your eyes. The energy of the old NYC dance clubs, of the Avenues filled with cars blaring music, and the children who grew up on this street art culture are channeled onto each canvas that explodes with positive energy and life – a life of art, color and celebration. Email hey@museumofgraffiti.com to request a catalog of all available works for sale.

I had a show with LA2 and other artists at the Dorian Gray Gallery in NYC in 2010 and interviewed him at the opening event.