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January 2014

Simple Videos Show the Grace of Subway Passengers

Some call this mezmerizing, I call it a grand gesture to subway travel. This is truly Urban Montage.

Adam Magyar’s Stainless project is actually a collection of “slow-motion videos” that create a living tableau. Stainless was originally shot as a series of stills depicting the always moving, urban circulation occurring in underground subway tunnels. Shot with a high-speed camera, the images were all high resolution, with enough detail to make out even the most subtle facial expressions of train passengers.

Magyar describes the project in his own words:

“An endless row of living sculptures brought together by the same subway line, the same direction, the same intention of taking the train to get caught and carried away by the urban flow. All their motions slowed down, they are graceful and stainless holding their breath waiting for their train to pull into the station.”

 

 Here is the NYC subway:

 

Here is the Tokyo subway:

 

 Here is the Berlin subway:

 

 

 

The amazing thing is that Magyar himself developed both the software and hardware that he used in shooting the videos. You can see all of Magyar’s work — both still and video — on his official website.


Brooklyn Street Art Newsletter for the Week

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Images Of The Week: 01.05.14Editorz2014-01-05 04:14

It’s been weeks since we had an “Images of the Week” posting with you, due to the end of the year spectacular we presented  for 13 days; a solid cross section of the talented photographers who are documenting this important moment before it passes. As a collection 13 From 2013 exemplified the unique and eclectic […]

Entes Y Pesimo del Barrio, New from PeruEditorz2014-01-04 04:57

Peru’s Entes & Pésimo are back in Lima after a nice few days painting in Miami last month and have brought their eye popping color palette to the side of a handful of homes that line the hills of this city. Local favorites who consider their work to be as close to the community as […]

BSA Film Friday: 01.03.14Editorz2014-01-03 04:37

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities. Now screening : 1. “SOMOS LUZ” – Boa Mistura in Panamá City 2. Giulio Vesprini by Alessandro Moglie 3. Ox Alien x Spider Tag in Rotterdam 4. Borondo in Rome with some Piety from The Blind Eye Factory BSA Special […]

Canemorto (Dead Dog) at the Side of RoadEditorz2014-01-02 16:03

There is something about the billboard takeover that still feels like a world of possibilities untapped. Billboard Liberation Front showed how to subvert with style, and urban pranksters like Ron English showed how to integrate soft social critique in the détournement dance, but in many cases the visual language has remained within the advertising rubric. […]

Happy New Year 2014 from BSAEditorz2014-01-01 04:01

Thanks for all of your support and all the best wishes from us at BSA to you and your loved ones for a happy healthy new year.                  

13 from 2013 : Spencer Elzey “A Once in a Lifetime Moment”Editorz2013-12-31 04:26

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 for 2013 : James Prigoff “Complexity of Apex in San Francisco”Editorz2013-12-30 04:04

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013: Daniel Albanese “A Yawning Morning Cat from Dee Dee”Editorz2013-12-29 04:03

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Ryan Oakes “Shooting a Banksy in Brooklyn”Editorz2013-12-28 04:13

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Bob Anderson “Watching the Process Unfold with Phlegm”Editorz2013-12-27 04:20

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Jim Kiernan “Snowden – Eyes Are Watching”Editorz2013-12-26 04:19

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Jessica Stewart “The Roman Nun and the Spray Can”Editorz2013-12-25 04:18

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Geoff Hargadon “Girl on a Skateboard”Editorz2013-12-24 04:16

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Luna Park “A Closet Rail Nerd in New Orleans”Editorz2013-12-23 04:14

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]


Surplus Candy - Street Artists Transform East Villlage Building For One Night

This just in from PSFK. While I was staying in from the severe cold, street art marched on!

While much of New York City was hunkering down in the midst of the Polar Vortex, street artist Hanksy took to an abandoned building in the East Village last week to prep for a special one-night show.

Dubbed “Surplus Candy,” this unauthorized event was a continuation of another Hanksy-held art show in the same building in late December. This time, however, Hanksy invited about three dozen other artists to grace the space with even more amazing art work.

The walls, staircases, toilets, sinks, and pretty much every other surface inside the building were beautified by popular names in the street-art scene like Glif, Foxx Face, Juicy, Icy and Sot, Wizardskull, and more.

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Read whole article here.


Bushwick Collective and Bushwick 5 Points

IMG_1220Now that 5 Pointz has been destroyed we need to focus on new Street Art centers. maybe like Bushwick 5 Points?

The Bushwick Collective is located at Troutman and St Nicholas in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The epicenter is where five streets meet, thus the accurate name of 5 points. They represent many artists many of whom share their work on the streets and walls of Bushwick. Only two years old,  this sprawling site, on and around the property of a family-owned steel fabrication business, has exploded with activity, becoming one of the most exciting places to see new work. 

Here are more recent photos of Bushwick 5 Points. I am hopeful!

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 (photo by Charlene Weisler)


The Poetry In the Ruins of New York

IMG_0473This New York Times article talks about the beauty and "poetry" of ruined buildings. I have posted on this many times before - we call it Ruin Porn. Ruin Porn is the allure and romance, if you will, of the decaying, decomposing and eroding of structures. My photography, Urban Montage, takes decaying street art - mostly wheatpaste but often including paint and sticker and stencil - and photographing it as collage. Art as it transforms

Here is the New York Times article on the subject of Ruin Porn:

 

Because New York City is so efficient at consuming its own past in the name of progress and profit, its ruins tend to hold the allure of rarities. Rome it will never be: a handful of abandoned subway stations; the crumbling old hospital buildings on Ellis and Roosevelt Islands; the Parachute Jump in Coney Island; Admiral’s Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which will join the roster of ruins extinct when most of it is leveled this year to make way for a supermarket.

I understand the attraction to these things, but I’ve always found myself drawn to a slightly different and even more endangered category of urban wreck, the kind that somehow manages to stagger around bravely and haphazardly in the netherworld between failure and functionality. It’s the type of place the artist Robert Smithson, one of the 20th century’s great connoisseurs of decay, seemed to be thinking of when he spoke about “entropic architecture” or “de-architecturization.”

“Ruins melt and merge into new structures,” Smithson said in an interview in 1973, the year he died in a plane crash, “and you get this marvelous and energetic juxtaposition occurring — with accident a large part of the whole process.”

De-architecturization comes to mind every time, in my job as an art reporter, I head to the New Museum, walking east along Prince Street toward the Bowery. Suddenly, between Mulberry and Mott Streets, there it always is again, dominating the entire north side of the block: the Wall. My body feels it almost before my eyes see it. The grid of Manhattan is thrown into stark relief because here the grid takes a strange, brief break, torquing and twisting, looming and leaning, like a Richard Serra ellipse.

The wall, of weathered red brick reaching 10 feet high, divides the street from the cemetery of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, and over the many decades since it was erected by the church in the 1830s, gravity and the elements have done more to try to pull it down than any of the 19th-century Nativist mobs it was designed to withstand ever did. I’ve watched people, as they stroll along its length, teeter unconsciously toward it or away from it, depending on where they are in what the cathedral’s pastor, Msgr. Donald Sakano, calls the wall’s “weaving nature.”

The great comic twist here is that this wall was declared a landmark along with the church in 1966, and so, at great expense and care, the church has worked to buttress and preserve the old bricks in all their majestic un-straightness, frozen in the act of falling.

Most of the other places on the list of functional ruins I keep in my head have no such guarantee. Just down the street from where I live in Park Slope, there’s the Brooklyn Lyceum, a bona fide heap of a place, an old public bathhouse reborn in 2001 as the kind of cultural center a Fluxus artist would have loved, with serious concerts, baseball batting cages, experimental-film festivals, children’s birthday parties, Shakespeare, dog shows, roller skating.

Walking by it for years on my way to the subway, I’ve seen plywood flapping in the wind where windows should be, and shrubbery sprouting from cracked cornices near beautiful old terra-cotta medallions in the form of Neptune’s trident. A while ago a colleague of mine played Mozart wind octets there with his classical music collective before a good crowd. When I passed the other day, the chalkboard near the front door shouted: “Warriors of Wrestling! Tonight!”

There is really no place like it. It reminds me of a line from a Denis Johnson short story, in which the narrator works in a nursing home and says of one of the worst-off residents: “He was completely and openly a mess. Meanwhile the rest of us go on trying to fool each other.”

Though the building itself has been declared a landmark, the Lyceum now faces foreclosure because of millions of dollars in liens. The space’s proprietor, Eric Richmond, trying to rally support, has cannily wielded two words as a specter of the building’s possible tidier future: Duane Reade. In other words, another same-old chain store. And the disappearance of another place probably too crazy for its own good, but good for a city that, like all truly great cities, must have a measure of craziness to continue to feel alive.

My feeling about the disappearance of such places is not based on nostalgia or a moral aversion to the dominance of money in New York. It’s about interest: the fear that my mind and eye will stop being interested, stop expecting the unexpected, the weird, the things that make the city jump, if too much of it blends into a uniform retail blur.

The importance of the unintentional was brought home recently when I went to see “After Affects,” an exhibition organized by the New York Foundation for the Arts, featuring pieces by artists whose studios and homes were hit heavily by Hurricane Sandy. Instead of throwing out all their water-and-mud-damaged work, these artists kept some of it and declared the ruins completed works or made new pieces from them — not as mementos of their perseverance but as things made more interesting by entropy, chance and life.

“I don’t want to say this for others, because I know people lost houses and loved ones,” said Ryan Foerster, whose house in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, was flooded with three feet of water, soaking years’ worth of his photographic work, “but after a while I started looking around the house and thinking, ‘Oh, my God, this is a gold mine now.’ ”

 

“I’m interested in things that are out of my control but maybe not completely out of my control,” Mr. Foerster said. “At first I thought about them as ruined, but now I’m not sure that’s what really happened. It’s just one way of looking at it.”

 

(photo by Charlene Weisler)

 

Brooklyn Street Art Newsletter for the Week

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13 from 2013 : Martha Cooper “A Train Runs Through Mandela’s Kliptown”Editorz2013-12-22 04:21

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Brock Brake “Being In the Middle of Creativity”Editorz2013-12-21 04:11

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Ray Mock “Kuma by the Water”Editorz2013-12-20 04:10

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

13 from 2013 : Yoav Litvin “Jury Duty”Editorz2013-12-19 04:02

Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image […]

The 2013 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)Editorz2013-12-18 04:02

Here it is! Our 2013 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo. Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year, snapped one second before he was singled out of a New York crowd, handcuffed, and stuffed into a police car – […]

Alice Pasquini on the Streets of MadridEditorz2013-12-17 14:57

As December rolls into a slow coast toward the New Year, street artist Alice Pasquini met some new fans in the small and quiet neighborhoods and in one commercial district of this Spanish city last week. No festivals, no curated installations, no gallery openings – just the opportunity to bring to life a wall that […]

Marilyn as Missy “Works It” in Miami: New Shots from Art Basel 2013Editorz2013-12-16 04:37

Put My Thang Down Flip It and Reverse It Pete Kirill process shot of his work on Marilyn Monroe / Missy Elliot tribute. (photo © Matt Fox-Tucker) Miami and the just-ended Art Basel 2013 is a holy magnet, a veritable showcase for big murals and pieces (and a few taggers here and there naturally) and we […]

Images Of The Week: 12.15.13Editorz2013-12-15 04:04

    Here is our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Ainac, Andreco, Axel Void, bunny M, Col Walnuts, FX Collective, Finbarr DAC, Killy Kilford, Kremen, LNY, Meer Sau, Mr. Toll, Rubin, Square, Starfightera, and Swoon. Top image >>> OK this piece is signed and we should be able to decipher the tag. […]

Download This Monday: RJ Rushmore’s “Viral Art”Editorz2013-12-14 04:05

“Steve Harrington and Jaime Rojo run the Brooklyn Street Art blog, cover street art for the Huffington Post, and have had two of their books about street art published by Prestel. The duo are two of the street art community’s best-loved advocates. Some of their ideas about the internet and street art as expressed in […]

BSA Film Friday: 12.13.13Editorz2013-12-13 04:36

  Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities. Now screening : 1. “Mujeres Creando” – Women Creating; Political Graffiti in Bolivia 2. Making LED Street Art – Hard Science 3. BMD x Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand BSA Special Feature: Mujeres Creando – Women Creating From Bolivia […]

Holiday Window Shows : A Floating City of The Future at BarneysEditorz2013-12-12 14:17

New York is one of the few pedestrian cities that has an active street culture almost everywhere you walk and the tradition of the revered holiday window display is one that endures even though many people shop digitally. Even if times are tough with the personal home budget, you can still have a blast walking […]

Protest Posters from OWS: The Message and the MediumEditorz2013-12-11 14:06

There has been some talk recently (meaning, oh, the last 30 years) about the role of street art and graffiti as a form of protest or political speech and its relevance, irrelevance, plenty or paucity. It’s always amusing to see those who otherwise steer clear of self-examination critiquing the political speech of others, and with […]

Graffiti Coast-To-Coast on a Fleet of TrailersEditorz2013-12-10 13:25

It’s a rolling Street Art / graffiti museum as you fly down the highway and your car is suddenly surrounded by a fleet of 20 18-wheeler trucks all completely covered with pieces and tags. Greg Lamarche painting his side of the trailer. Wynwood Art District, Miami Art Basel 2013. (photo © Geoff Hargadon) - Or […]

Snapping Street Spirit at Miami Art Basel 2013Editorz2013-12-09 14:11

Miami was sunny and warm all weekend! New York had two snow-related car pileups overnight and a two-hour snow/sleet delay for schools this morning. Thus we explain the attraction of an annual art circus that swims through the balmy Miami streets and fairs and beaches in early December called Art Basel. Each year it is […]


How A Colombian Street Artist Started A Revolution in Bogota

BogotaThis article titled “Artist’s shooting sparks graffiti revolution in Colombia” was written by Sibylla Brodzinsky in Bogotá, for theguardian.com on Monday 30th December 2013 19.36 UTC

When graffiti artist DJ Lu began leaving his mark on the walls of Bogotá, he did it under the cover of night, dodging police who he knew could harass him, shake him down, arrest him, or worse.

“When I started out eight years ago it was risky,” says DJ Lu, a prolific stencil artist whose images of a pineapple bomb, an amputee with an AK-47 as a crutch, and a soldier holding grenade balloons occupy walls citywide. “There were no real rules and anything could happen.”

But today, instead of hunting down graffiti artists, authorities in the Colombian capital are hiring them.

It was the death of a young artist, shot by a policeman in 2011, which sparked a new tolerance of street art that has exploded into a colourful free-for-all of artistic expression.

Diego Felipe Becerra was spray-painting his signature wide-eyed Felix the Cat image on the walls of an underpass when he was killed. The outcry over the incident – and over a police attempt to portray Becerra as a suspected armed robber – led to graffiti protests across the city as well as the arrest of two police officers. “His killing was a turning point for street art in the city,” DJ Lu says.

Partly in response to the outrage over Becerra’s death, the city government took an “if you can’t beat them, join them” stance. In February the mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, issued a decree to promote the practice of graffiti in Bogotá as a form of artistic and cultural expression while at the same time defining surfaces that are off limits, including monuments and public buildings.

With that blessing and sizeable city grants, selected street artists were given two-, three- and seven-storey walls along a main Bogotá thoroughfare as their canvases. There they have created colourful murals with political and social messages.

One is a portrait of an indigenous woman in earthy colours with the phrase “Tejiendo Esperanzas”, which translates as “weaving hope”. Another alludes to victims of the country’s half century of internal conflict that has left hundreds of thousands dead, displaced and disappeared. A third shows two homeless people locked in a kiss.

Recognition of street art as a legitimate artistic expression has led to an unforeseen spread in common everyday graffiti scrawlings precisely where the decree prohibits them. Near the government-sponsored murals, walls and underpasses are covered with tags and bubble letters that many Bogotanos have a hard time seeing as art.

Pablo Abril, an industrial designer, says he likes the murals but is appalled by the spread of what he sees as vandalism. “There are streets now where there isn’t a single storefront that isn’t defaced,” he said.

DJ Lu says authorities have a mistaken notion that if street art is officially sanctioned, people will “paint pretty” and play by the rules. “It’s the eternal paradox of street art,” he says. “Being told where you can paint goes against the spirit of graffiti.”

Still, Bogotá’s liberal attitudes have attracted some of the world’s top street artistswho leave their mark on the city. UK artists INSA and Mysterious Al were recently invited by a corporate sponsor to teach workshops to graffiti artists. An Australian artist who goes by the name Crisp has been living in Bogotá for four years and has seen dozens of international artists leave their mark on the city. “Visiting artists can’t believe how liberal the scene is here. It’s a unique situation,” says Crisp who offers a guided tour of street art in the Candelaria neighbourhood for tourists. “It’s becoming something of an international mecca for street artists.”

Even Justin Bieber could not resist. After a concert in Bogotá in October the pop star set out with his police escort to scrawl on city walls that in theory are off limits for graffiti, but police did not act.

Some local artists took this as a sign of the times and called a 24-hour graffiti-thon. Overnight, hundreds of new pieces adorned the walls of the underpass where Bieber had left his mark. When approached by police, artists challenged: “Why don’t you protect us like you did with Justin Bieber?”

Some police have gone one step further. This month two street artists were caught spray-painting Christmas-themed art on the breeze-block walls of a police post in a wealthy neighbourhood of Bogotá. There were no arrests, however. The artists had been hired by police officers to do their festive decorating.