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July 2014

UnTapped's Top 10 NYC Street Art Murals in 2014 So Far

We are more than halfway done with 2014, sounds insane doesn’t it?  Seems like only yesterday we were dealing with polar vortexes, cat cafes and disappointing Knicks basketball. We still mourn the demise of 5 Pointz, which is set for complete demolition by October. While we may have lost our graffiti and street art monument, other parts of the city have stepped their game up and have given the NYC street art community walls to make their mark. After countless hours looking through photos, and praying that street artists will not go after us for making last minute cuts to the list, we present the 10 best NYC street art murals of the year so far.


10. Giz & Jersey JoeTribute to DG

Street Art-NYC-Untapped Cities-DG-Jersey Joe-Low Brow Antique-Top 10 ListsTribute to DG (LowBrow_BK via Instagram)

One of the most heartbreaking stories to happen in the world of graffiti was the loss of DG. The 47 year old artist was true to his roots, never putting his work in galleries, only placing his iconic tag on the subway tunnels. This mural made by two graffiti writers in Bushwick, filling it with the tag made countless times by the now deceased artist, is in tribute to the work and life of a true old-school graffiti pioneer.

9. Col Wallnuts, Ski, 2ease & Boxer JuntaroLive From Bedford Stuyvesant

Street Art-Brooklyn-NYC-Untapped Cities-Col Wallnuts-Boxer Juntaro-Ski-2ease-URNY-Notorious BIG-Biggie Smalls-Mural-Top TenLive from Bedford Stuyvesant (TheCityWanderer via Instagram)

Nothing symbolizes the borough of Brooklyn more than the image of Christopher Lee Wallace a.k.a The Notorious B.I.G. Boxer Juntaro, an illustrator from Japan, continued that sentiment by showing “The Black Frank White” in his colorful and cute animated style. The borough “where one of the greatest MC’s was a local cat” is a collaboration between Juntaro, Col Wallnuts and the duo known as URNY.


Maya Hayuk-Art-Street Art-Untapped Cities-Christopher Inoa-Bowery

In the early months of the year, the weather was so bad, we thought that a global warming prevention experiment had gone wrong; causing the entire planet to freeze over and forcing the surviving human race to board an unstoppable, highly powered train (forgive us, we just watched Snowpiercer the other night). OK, so it was not that bad, but it was pretty brutal. However, no matter how low the temperature was, or how blistering the wind, or how pissed off we were that we left our gloves in the overly expensive beer spot filled with bros; whenever we saw Maya Hayuk’s beautiful, colorful wall on the Bowery Mural, we could not help but think about spring.

7. Danielle Mastrion & Lexi Bella: #BringBackOurGirls

Welling Court-Art-Street Art-Danielle Mastrion-Lexi Bella-Mural

Brooklyn street art/mural artists Danielle Mastrion and Lexi Bella are known for painting the faces of some of the most iconic people in NYC culture. From Maya Angelou to Babe Ruth, to  Debbie Harry and Derek Jeter, these two talented women have reminded us here in NYC, of the people who made history  in the Big Apple. For Welling Court this year, the two ladies joined forces to make a work of art with a powerful political statement. #BringBackOurGirls showed compassion and unity with their fellow women, and was a reminder that this message has, in fact, reached across the world.

 6. Smart Crew, Snoeman & Elmo: The Lower “Far East” Side

Untapped Cities-Chinatown-Smart Crew-Art-Street Art- Graffiti-NYC-DCEVE

Queens’ own Smart Crew made two of these postcard like neighborhood murals in Red Hook and Chinatown. No disrespect to Red Hook, but just the size and detail of the Chinatown piece have made it one of the best we have seen in the city this year. Just the amount of headaches it has caused for the legion of NY instagrammers is something to write about. We have seen many try (including us) to get a perfect shot of the mural. Besides people walking in the shot, you have to worry about traffic, parked cars and boxes blocking your chance for Instagram glory. But for those who luckily got the whole mural un-blocked, they earned the respect and jealously of the IG community.

5. Werc: Shamanic Visions

Street Art-Werc-Untapped Cities-Park Slope-Mural-Brooklyn-NYCWerc (W3rc via Instagram)

One of the newest murals to pop up in recent weeks, it is hard not to just lose yourself in the incredible detail that Werc put into this. The symmetry of the mural is incredibly difficult to perform with a spray can, but Werc does it almost effortlessly. The artist has been making the rounds around Brooklyn lately, but this is so far, his crowning achievement.

4. Dasic: Brooklyn Got A  Lady Depressed

Mural by Dasic Fernandez.

Made for the Juicy Art Fest in Bushwick, Dasic Fernandez absolutely kills it with this beautiful mural showing a woman of many colors melting into what looks like ice. Among a collection of almost 30 murals around the area, it is Dasic that stands out among them all as one of the best in all of NYC this year.

3. See One: Blue Eagle

Welling Court-SeeOne-Street Art-Art-Queens-Mural-Untapped Cities-Christopher Inoa

Jemal “See One” McClary is an artist/illustrator/cartoonist and designer who constantly brings his A game to Welling Court. It is not that See One does not deliver throughout the year, it is just something about Welling Court, knowing that so many other artists are there putting up work, all trying to stand out; he just goes all in creatively. This year, when we saw his piece, it felt like it was the only piece there. While some artists just lazily made something for Welling Court just to head back to Brooklyn, See One really went in and created one of  his best murals to date.

2. Icy & Sot & Sonni: Gulliver 2.0

Street Art-Untapped Cities-Sonni-Icy-Sot-Bushwick-Brooklyn-NYC-Top 10 ListsGulliver 2.0 (Halopigg via Instagram)

There is an interesting story behind this incredible collaboration between the Iranian duo Icy & Sot and Spanish artist Sonni. The original Gulliver was a soldier being tied up by Sonni’s little characters in a strong political statement against war. For some reason, the mural was buffed over not even a day after completion. In response, the trio decided to use the situation to remake the piece; instead of using a soldier in the role of Gulliver, they decided to have a city worker being tied down by the characters. A delightful, funny and strong response to censorship in the NYC street art world.

1. Case Maclaim & Pixel Pancho: Paper Covers Rock

Street Art-Pixel Pancho-Case Maclaim-Untapped Cities-NYC-Bushwick-Bushwick CollectiveCase Maclaim & Pixel Pancho (Halopigg via Instagram)

 The Bushwick Collective has become of of the biggest hotspots for unique graffiti and street art since 5 Pointz shut down. This is not just the best mural we have seen in NYC this year so far, but it is also one of the best pieces of overall art we have seen, period. Collaborating for the first time, these two extremely talented artists, who seem like complete opposites of one another (Case Maclaim, whose work deals with realistic anatomy, and Pixel Pancho whose work features machinery and robots) compliment each other perfectly.

During the Bushwick block party, we saw people stand there, just waiting for the piece to be completed so they can get a shot of it. Usually we look down at people who would go to such lengths for an Instagram photo, but, just look at this piece. We found ourselves frozen seeing this masterpiece come together.

To read more stuff like this, check out our articles on Street Art and Graffiti.

To know how long it took him to come up with the names for some of these pieces, contact the author @TatteredFedora

Google Gets Into Street Art Showcasing

IMG_9277In a move that is at once exciting and somewhat unnerving, Google announced that it is creating a Street Art Project where, with the permission of the artist and rights holders, would collect and curate street art from around the world. The project seeks to link visitors with online collections and exhibitions about the history, locations and artists of street art.

I say unnerving because while I applaud Google's initiative, I am concerned that the more street art is mainstreamed, the less edgy it will become. But maybe I am over reacting. I am thrilled that street art is finally being recognized as a bonafide art movement - one to be treasured and preserved. And ther is arguably no company better than Google to set the pace in showcasing it.

So bravo Google! And thank you.

Fake Keith Harings? Oh My!

Artnet.com posted a warning about fake Harings and Warhols flooding the internet. Here is a short intro. So buyer beware....


If you happen upon a mysterious trove of heretofore unknown Keith Haring works in an online sale, think twice. Maybe. According to several tips to artnet News, a rash of works by Haring and other ’80s stars are being peddled far and wide, and are plaguing the online art market.

Dubious eBay jackpot
Exhibit A: Charles Uzzell Edwards, owner of London’s Pure Evil Gallery, says about eight weeks ago he happened upon a substantial inventory of little-known ’80s Pop art ephemera on eBay, being sold by a Swedish seller. The online find included subway drawings attributed to Haring as well as Polaroids said to be by Warhol. He bought some pieces online, and then negotiated to buy a larger group of works from the Swede, who sells under the name bobinga33 and eventually identified himself to Edwards as Patrick Maske. Maske claims that the works belonged to his late father. (In an email to Edwards, read by artnet News, Maske described him as “a private and quiet collector” active in the 1980s and ’90s, adding, “I think he had contacts or someone helping him to take down pictures in the subway in New York in the 1980s.”)

Edwards says upon close examination that the Haring chalk drawings are likely artfully constructed fakes. Though many details are accurate, including references to specific ads that might have been in the subway at the time Haring was working, Edwards says that the paper appears to have been deliberately aged, of the wrong type, and its back shows no evidence of ever being stuck to a wall. “We have taken them off the market,” said Edwards yesterday. “I had a few conversations in the past 48 hours that convinced me they were all fake.”


IMG_2654I met New York City based illustrator Charles Brian Ugas (also known to his friends and followers as 'oOge') through my friend and art dealer Jeanne Frank.

oOge is an amazingly talented artist who is in the process of creating a graphic novel.I have seen his book-in-progress where each individual page is a piece of artwork unto itself. See more on his instagram page.

oOge is Brooklyn born and raised by a single mother on the border of Ridgewood and Bushwick and was heavily inspired by CINEMA.

He started drawing at a very young age thanks to his father, an amatuer photographer and Film Maker who introduced him to ART and Film during his weekend visits. It wasn't long until oOge realized his calling, Illustration.

Story telling, in a visual sequential format came naturally as he followed through on this passion through the years. Starting out with simple stick figures as early as first grade then rapidily transitioning into dynamic, movie influenced imagery by the time he was in High School. It was around that time that his multi~layered characters and detailed compositions were compared to Comic Artists Todd MacFarlane and Moebius.

Years before graduating with a Fine Arts degree from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, oOge had already steadily developed an original style that eventually caught the attention of Legendary Movie Director Ralph Bakshi (Lord of the Rings, Cool World, Fritz the Cat),  Illustration Veteran Mark Texiera (Conan), Bad Boy Entertainment, Double Barrel Studios, Vexed Comics, Universal Records, Levi's, Converse and most recently, Nike, to name a few. He is a regular contributor to NewYorkNatives.com

Balancing various commissioned projects for an ever expanding clientele, oOge has also been working on his very own Illustrated Sci-Fi Trilogy, called NEW KRYO which has gained a nice following on Instagram since joining the site just two years ago. (@ooge3600)

oOge hopes to see his work make the transition to the big screen some day. As he would say,  "To see, actual actors portray my characters on the silver screen would be my ultimate dream come true. I feel it in my heart that I'm ON MY WAY...."

Who says it can't happen?

Dangerdust - Anonymous Artists Doing Amazing Chalkboard Art

Columbus College of Art and Design has two anonymous, very talented artists who prowl the halls and see chalkboards in the classrooms to create beautiful masterpieces in chalk. The anonymous duo responsible for these works, simply known as “Dangerdust”, are seniors in Advertising & Graphics, which perhaps accounts for their remarkable talent and also for their choice in quotes that speak of artistic and personal growth.

Beautifuuly rendered, thought provoking and simply a wonderful idea. Enjoy the video: