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November 2012

Latest Edition of Brooklyn Street Art Newsletter


Images of the Week 11.25.12

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Butless Supreme, Cunning Linguist, EKG, Enzo & Nio, Inkie, JC, Tara McPherson, Miyok, Nervous, Russell King, Skewville, Swamy, Tone Tank, Zor.

Inkie at Bushwick Five Points (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Swampy and Butless Supreme (photo © Jaime Rojo)

McPherson (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skewville [...]

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Bamboo Replaces Billboard on LA Freeway

 ”Imagine floating, globally connected urban forests growing where billboards stand. Artist Stephen Glassman and his team are doing it.”
Here’s a unique breath of fresh air by artist Stephen Glassman, an LA based sculptor who has worked many times with bamboo for large projects in the public realm. Here he has an idea for designing and [...]

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Fun Friday 11.23.12 – VIDEO Request Edition – Chosen by You

It’s the BSA Reader Video Request edition of Fun Friday for all us peeps who are not shopping today. We asked our Facebook friends and fans for their favorite street art related video flicks and give them to you here- in no particular order. Peace out and have a great Black Friday everybody.
1. Vhils in [...]

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Happy Thanksgiving From Your Friends at BSA

May the harvest be bountiful and your life filled with love, friends and inspiration.

Union Square Green Market. Manhattan. November, 2012. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
As we celebrate the fall harvest in New York and prepare for the cold months of winter, we are happy to count you among the blessings.
We also remember the many who are [...]

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Bathroom Graffiti on Canvas With Mint & Serf

New canvasses celebrate the graffiti-covered bar bathroom and its aggressive lack of style.
A quick snort, a scribbled tag, and you my love.
Now that you are caked with sweat and nearly deaf from gyrating and slamming your body to the music at your favorite jam-packed downtown dive, it’s time to hit the line for the unisex [...]

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REKA’S Ladies in Bushwick, Homage to Sandy

Australian Street Artist Reka was in town in the wake of the hurricane named Sandy and he found his plans for painting disrupted by flooded train lines, but eventually got up in three places in Brooklyn. On tour from his native Melbourne since July, Bushwick is just one more name to be tacked onto the [...]

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Here are some new shots of the planes in the boneyard in Arizona and of ROA’s contribution to the project, exclusively for BSA readers. In the Tucson desert over the summer when the temperatures are at their highest, it’s really almost impossible to get work done during the daytime. Maybe that’s why ROA painting at [...]

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Images of the Week 11.18.12

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, featuring Avoid, Bast, Cekis, Enzo & Nio, JM, Ludo, Numb Nuts, Paul Insect, Rone, Spanky, and Swampy.

Spanky The Goblin King still mad about the election. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BAST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BAST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

LUDO is just over the hill in the French Countryside (photo © [...]

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Carlo McCormick at Nuart 2012

One of the best parts about a celebration of Street Art culture like Nuart in Norway is that there sometimes is an opportunity to speak with and listen to people who make it their mission to put it into context. New York art critic, curator, editor, and writer Carlo McCormick has an exhaustive knowledge and [...]

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Fun Friday 11.16.12

Here’s our greatest hits list for Fun Friday!
1. Lister “Unsung Heroes” (LNDN/New Castle)
2. Abe Lincoln Jr., Robbie Busch “Split Seven” (BK)
3. Portraiture Group Show in Bushwick tonight (BK)
4. Silent Soho Auction For Boardwalks in Coney and Rockaways Saturday
5 Miss Van Going Wild in Rome
6. Cash4 in”Ca$h For” at Tender Trap in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
7. Mexican Collective [...]

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More Skewville Irony: “It’s What’s Outside That Counts”

When a museum is worried that it looks too much like a Home Depot from the outside, even though it has Jeff Koons inside, you could question how they decided on an architect. How they chose an artist to adorn the facade is another question. Street Artist’s Skewville know how to twist clichés and axioms [...]

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“The Last Picture”, Jaime Rojo Shoots the Street

New York streets never sleep, and they are just as raw, maddening, and wondrous as you’ve heard. Well known Street Art photographer Jaime Rojo cannot resist them.
He’s always been attracted to the street and the uglier the neighborhood, the better. Before Rojo began shooting Street Art in the early 2000s he was known as a [...]

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Heavy Metal on the Street, Sculpture With Staying Power

Not all Street Art is ephemeral. Some of it may outlast you.
As winds and rains and the forces of natural erosion go, wheat-pastes and stickers and photographs and other tentatively attached bits of Street Art whimsy are the first to go. After that, aerosol painting, stencils, bucket painted rollers, even hot-glued slabs of wood eventually [...]

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New David Gouny in Paris

New images here of a curious collection of curvaceous ladies from Paris by David Gouny. Meant to be amusing and empowering, the messages and symbols they appear with are aimed at the French but have a wider appeal in their simplicity and cheekiness.

David Gouny (photo © David Gouny)

David Gouny (photo © David Gouny)

David Gouny (photo [...]

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Impaled Pumpkins A Tradition in Cobble Hill Brooklyn

Untapped Cities reports of a wonderful tradition in the neighborhood of Cobble Hill Brooklyn - they impale the used Halloween pumpkins on a iron fence. Read the entire article here.

I love to photograph decaying pumpkins that are left on the street in NYC after Halloween but it is a real treat to see so many in one place. Their expressions are priceless. Here is one of Aby Sam's great photos. There are more at the link.

BTW, Happy Thanksgiving!

Impalements_Jane-Greengold_Cobble-Hill_Brooklyn_Halloween-005 Amy San



The End of Tacheles

I am bereft. Tacheles, the famous Berlin street art mecca is being dismantled. The artists living there are being tossed out and dispersed and for what? You guessed it -- greed and money.

Gentrification of the surrounding neighborhood has made Tacheles, an abandoned, hollowed out department store (ignored for decades) suddenly chic and valuable. Aren't the artists who clustered around Tacheles during its resplendent street art days the reason why the neighborhood is so vital, artistic and desirable?

Goodbye Bohemia. Hello Upper East Side.

Here is the full jubilent Business Week article. Read it and vomit:

On a crisp September morning outside the graffiti-covered former Berlin department store known as Tacheles, Martin Reiter watched his fellow squatters haul their art away. Artists colonized the store shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, and though they had fended off more than a dozen eviction attempts, the 40 current occupants finally lost their studios. The real estate had become too valuable. “There is no point in fighting this any longer,” says Reiter, 50, who once made motorized sculptures from stolen construction equipment. As bailiffs supervised the eviction, Reiter excoriated the private consortium of banks with claims on the property. “These zombies don’t care whether people are evicted or not,” he says. “To them, all that matters is the profit.”

One of the artists gave this parting shot: “You can’t make good art amidst all these boutiques”Photograph by Klaus Muenzner/Ostkreuz

One of the artists gave this parting shot: “You can’t make good art amidst all these boutiques”

When artists first occupied Tacheles—German for “straight talk”—in 1990, the surrounding East Berlin neighborhood was a grim assembly of barren lots and crumbling facades still scarred from World War II. Today Mitte, as the area is called, is the German capital’s most expensive quarter, lined with upscale restaurants, designer boutiques, and art galleries. “Twenty years ago, nobody knew what a hot spot that area would become,” says Hanns-Joachim Fredrich, head of Berlin real estate at Cushman & Wakefield. Slightly larger than a Manhattan block, Tacheles will likely give way to luxury apartments and high-end shops.

Since the artists’ early years, the neighborhood has come up a notchPhotograph by Christian Jungeblodt/Redux

Since the artists’ early years, the neighborhood has come up a notch. While Berlin has few large companies and one of the highest unemployment rates in Germany—12 percent compared with the national rate of 6.8 percent—the city of 3.5 million has spent the years since the global financial meltdown transforming itself into Europe’s up-and-coming capital. Two years ago, it overtook Rome as the third-most visited destination in Europe after London and Paris. Unlike the rest of the country, Berlin has seen its population grow in the past eight years, swelling with young creative professionals and technology entrepreneurs, who start more companies in the city each year than in any other in Germany. Now real estate investors are piling in, sending prices for residential properties surging 17 percent in the past 12 months and 31 percent in the five years ended in July, according to broker ImmobilienScout 24. Berlin apartments average about €2,000 ($2,555) per square meter, less than one-third of the going rate in Paris and less than a quarter of the London price.

Rental income from a typical Berlin apartment building provides about a 5 percent annualized return, better than many other assets as the European Central Bank keeps interest rates at record lows. “We’re starting from a weak base, prices are low, and rent has a long way to go,” says Pär Hakeman, the country manager for Akelius Fastigheter, a Swedish property firm that owns about 6,500 apartments in Berlin. Private equity firms Blackstone Group (BX) and Benson Elliott Capital Management have bought thousands of Berlin apartments in the past year. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, U.S. fund managers such as MFS Investment Management and Invesco (IVZ) have bought shares in GSW Immobilien (GIB), a property company that owns 53,000 city apartments. Wealthy families from Spain, Italy, and Greece are buying multifamily buildings to protect their savings, says analyst André Adami of market research and consulting firm BulwienGesa.

Photograph by Jörg Brüggemann/Ostkreuz

Demand is particularly high for new luxury developments, Adami says. Not far from Tacheles, a Swiss developer is building a glass-and-steel pyramid with interior designs by Philippe Starck. “You have a serious danger of a housing bubble developing in Berlin,” billionaire investor George Soros said in a Berlin speech on Sept. 10. “It has a lot to do with the flight of capital and negative real interest rates.” Berlin apartments are overvalued, says Steffen Sebastian, head of the Real Estate Institute at the University of Regensburg, because unlike Paris and London the city has no concentration of banks or other industries. Those companies are scattered fairly evenly across Germany’s seven biggest cities. “All we have here is the government and the lobbyists,” Sebastian says.

Berlin’s government has traditionally been the biggest apartment owner and helped keep housing affordable. The spate of privatizations, often executed to fill budget gaps, has sparked protests. During a June property conference attended by mostly domestic investors and executives, several hundred demonstrators held up traffic in central Berlin for more than an hour, chanting in German, “Don’t make your percent off our rent.” In the past decade the city has sold €2 billion worth of public property to plug budget gaps, and local legislators are attempting to limit further sales.

Photograph by Frank Schirrmeister/Ostkreuz

To the artists at Tacheles, the property boom is one more step in what Reiter calls the “global capitalist coup.” As the artists’ supporters take turns playing mournful songs on a grand piano parked on the sidewalk, he says, “This part of the city doesn’t interest us anymore. You can’t make good art amidst all these boutiques and restaurants.”

The bottom line: With Berlin real estate prices spiking 17 percent in the past year, George Soros and others are concerned about a bubble.



Untapped Cities

Untapped Cities highlights Street Art with a purpose - that is to fill in the cracks in buildings. Okay, I'll bite. Here is the gist of it:


With hundreds of thousands of buildings in New York City, it’s safe to say that the upkeep of these structures can take a little while (okay, a long while) to maintain. The many cracks and holes in the sides of buildings can be eyesores to passersby and even when the city does fix them up, it doesn’t exactly produce the most exciting difference.

However, over a span of two weeks back in March of 2010, German artist, Jan Vormann, along with a band of volunteers, swept through New York and filled in some of these crevices with a classic childhood toy – Legos. The whimsical one above in Chelsea captured by Untapped Cities photographer Kerry Payne is one of our favorites, with the fallen pieces a reminder that even Lego interventions are only temporary.

Beautiful Losers

Beautiful losers Beautiful Losers is the name of one of Leonard Cohen's novels but it is also the title of a great street art based film and accompanying book. The film Beautiful Losers and the street art book Beautiful Losers


Beautiful Losers celebrates the spirit behind one of the most influential cultural moments of a generation. In the early 1990's a loose-knit group of likeminded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery. Rooted in the DIY (do-it-yourself) subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip-hop & graffiti, they made art that reflected the lifestyles they led. Developing their craft with almost no influence from the "establishment" art world, this group, and the subcultures they sprang from, has now become a movement that has been transforming pop culture. Starring Ed Templeton who skated pro for New Skateboards winning awards all over the world, Harmony Korine who wrote the cult favorite Kids and then went on to direct Gummo and most recently Mister Lonely and Mike Mills who designed album covers for The Beastie Boys, Beck, Sonic Youth and directed the movie Thumbsucker. Also starring Barry McGee, Chris Johanson, Geoff McFetridge, Jo Jackson, Margaret Kilgallen, Stephen Powers, Thomas Campbell and Shepard Fairey who has experienced recent success with the now famous 'Hope' poster featuring Barack Obama.

If you are a lover of street art as I am, you will enjoy this film. Here is the trailer: