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January 2015

The John Lennon Wall Has Been Erased!

The so-called John Lennon Wall in Prague, which, since its namesake’s assassination in 1980, has been a popular destination for tourists, taggers, and street artists, was completely erased with white paint on Monday by an artist collective calling itself Prague Service.

The John Lennon Wall shortly after it was buffed by Prague Service (photo by @matushy/Instagram)

The John Lennon Wall shortly after it was buffed by Prague Service (photo by @matushy/Instagram) (click to enlarge)

Buffing years of accumulated graffiti, the group left the wall entirely white save for the sentence “Wall Is Over!,” the AFP reported, an allusion to the subtitle of Lennon’s song “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” The artists timed their white-washing to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution — the nonviolent uprising that led to the end of Communism in Czechoslovakia — and said they hoped that their gesture would “offer a free space for the messages of a rising generation,” according to the AFP.

It didn’t take long for others to take advantage of the free space and begin filling the Lennon Wall with tags again. However, the wall’s owner, the Order of Malta, was not so quick to dismiss the incident, and is pursuing legal action against the artists.

Though intended as an homage to Czechoslovakia’s overthrow of Communism, the collective’s wholesale buffing of the popular attraction unwittingly replicated the behavior of the former Communist authorities, who regularly painted over the subversive messages inscribed on the wall during the 1980s. Prague’s Lennon Wall recently inspired a similar mural in Hong Kong as part of the city’s ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations.

The John Lennon Wall in October 2014 (photo by  Steven Feather/Flickr)

Melbourne Street Art

Here is a collection of the latest Australia Street Art, submitted by Pat Langer. She says that it is all from Melbourne -- some photos are from an area called Chapel Street, which is on the fringes of St. Kilda, a very urban seaside area 15 minutes from the city. The other photos are from the city center of Melbourne, where there are many small lanes and alleyways.


It looks amazing! Thank you Pat!


IMG_4064 IMG_4064 IMG_4064 IMG_4064 IMG_4064

Street Art and Graffiti Museum to Open in New Jersey

From HypoAllergic Newsletter - a bit of good news regarding the value of street art. Bravo New Jersey!


This week, Jersey City’s Mana Contemporary made the surprise announcement that they will be creating a street art and graffiti museum in a 100,000-square-foot former ice factory near the Holland Tunnel entrance. Founded by Eugene Lemay, founder and director of Mana Contemporary, the museum — touted as the first permanent museum of its kind — has enlisted street artists Logan Hicks and Joe Iurato to curate the programming. Construction is slated to begin next month and they hope to open the doors of the renovated factory space by September. I had a few questions for Lemay about this big mysterious news and what we should expect.

*    *    *

Eugene Lemay

Eugene Lemay with a detail of one of his own art works.

Hrag Vartanian: Why a graffiti and street art museum?

Eugene Lemay: The museum will deal with more than graffiti and street art. We will include all kinds of artwork that respond to the urban environment. Mana Contemporary’s main mission is to be a creative community for all forms of art – we have 110 artists studios (and growing), a contemporary dance studio, a theater, more than eight nonprofit exhibition spaces dedicated to visual art, a foundry, a silkscreen print studio, the Richard Meier Model Museum, artist residency programs, a 50,000-square-foot Glass Gallery, and in the near future we are adding music and performing art programming, education programs, and a sculpture park. So a street art museum is a natural direction for us.

HV: How would you respond to people to think institutionalizing graffiti and street art like this destroys the power of the work?

EL: This sounds to me like a question coming from a place of fear. The idea is not to institutionalize the artwork, but to create a platform for learning about its rich history, increase accessibility, and build a gathering place.

HV: Will the museum allow graffiti and street art on the facade of the museum?

EL: Yes, we will have both curated work on the exterior and interior of the building and additional walls for anyone in the community of all ages to create work on.

HV: Who or what is funding the initiative?

EL: Mana Contemporary is providing the funding.

HV: What is currently in the permanent collection? And will it have a geographic, medium, or other focus?

EL: We have work by major artists and historical documents, and we will announce the details closer to the fall opening.

HV: What is your own background in the field?

EL: I am not a street artist. I am a visual artist working in digital printing and sculpture. However, my work does deal with the written language as an ongoing narrative. I also have 20-plus years experience running businesses. That is why I have brought on artists to help lead the programming — Mana is all about giving artists strong curatorial and leadership roles.

HV: What do you think the museum will contribute to the wider conversation about graffiti and street art?

EL: We hope the programming will encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation for this ephemeral medium. We hope to become a destination for the community. We look forward to lively conversations surrounding this art form’s role in history, and how it can affect and inform the environment.

HV: Will the museum fund art historical research in the field?

EL: Yes we are working with experts who have documented the urban art movement. Again, details will be released closer to the fall opening.

*     *     *

The Mana Museum of Urban Arts will be located at 581 Monmouth Street, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Wolkoff Vampires Beaten Back .. For Now

IMG_3482This in from Curbed:

As if abruptly whitewashing Long Island City graffiti mecca 5Pointz overnight ahead of its demolition to make way for a gigantic, soulless dual rental tower development that will have a few feeble dedicated graffiti walls in an attempt to appease the dismayed street art community at large isn't enough, DNAinfo reports that the father and son development duo Jerry and David Wolkoff are now attempting to trademark the 5Pointz name for use at said new development.

Apparently the Wolkoffs, who have owned the building "for decades" and graciously allowed the rampant street art activity in past time, are arguing that, because the name 5Pointz belonged to the building and the area and not the art and artists, their re-appropriation of it is okay; nevermind the slighted street art community who views the proposition as an attempt to "bank off our name." The New York Times previously reported that the moniker 5Pointz originated from artist and building curator Meres One.

The United States Patent and Trademark office has rejected the Wolkoffs' proposal, filed in March, because it sounded too similar to the already-trademarked Five Point. The Wolkoffs now have 90 days to respond to the rejection, to which they'll probably pound their fists and stomp. Jerry Wolkoff doesn't seem to be taking the widespread rejection of his new development by artists too well, saying, "Most of the people will be back, they'll be back and they'll be happy and it'll be better." Yeah, right.
· 5Pointz Developer Wants to Trademark Name and Use It For New High Rises [DNAinfo]
· All 5Pointz coverage [Curbed]

Please Sign the 5Pointz Petition to Save the Name

IMG_3467In an act so brazen and arrogant, the people who whitewashed and demolished 5Pointz in order to build two glass towers of luxury housing that abuts the elevated subway and the railyards, now want to call their monstrosity "5Pointz".

5Pointz was named by Johnathan MereOne Cohen who faithfully and loveingly curated the graffiti mecca for over a decade. To have his life's work defaced and demolished is bad enough. Now to have his name stolen is beyond the Pale.

Please sign this petition to let the developers know that the name 5Pointz is not public domain. It belongs to Meres.


Jonathan Meres Cohen
Jonathan Meres Cohen 10:14am Jan 12
everyone who was a fan of 5 pointz..who painted there...who enjoyed our many free events..to all the mcs..djs..bboys..grandparents..mothers..fathers..and kids..please help me to protest the former landlord of the building better known as 5 pointz. To add insult to injury he is trying to trademark the name 5 pointz under the real estate bracket so that he can name his 2 towers to be built on our grave site that very same name..if 5 pointz ever meant anything to u than please set aside 2 minutes of your day to make sure this doesnt happen..thank u
Sign the petition: Stop G&M Realty from trademarking the name of 5 Pointz
I just signed a petition to Midge Fae Butler, attorney at law and Jimmy Van Bramer, chair to the cou...




Brooklyn Street Art Newsletter - This Week

Enjoy the latest from Brooklyn Street Art Newsletter:



BSA Images Of The Week: 01.04.15
Editorz, 2015-01-04 04:02

It’s our first Images of the Week of the new year and we’ve missed you! The city is recovering from disasters and triumphs and heartbreaks and infatuations as normal. The police union is attacking the Mayor in the sky and elsewhere, the NY Times is questioning their tactics, the city is grieving violence against two […]


Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10
Editorz, 2015-01-01 05:02

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever. Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued […]


Street Cats in Tel Aviv With Natalie Kates: 14 From 2014
Editorz, 2014-12-31 04:02

Happy Holidays to all of you charming and sparkling BSA readers! It’s been a raucous sleigh ride with you and we thank everyone most sincerely for your support and participation this year. A sort of tradition for us at the end of this December we are marking the year with “14 from 2014″. We asked […]

Maximiliano Ruiz Peels Back Layers : 14 From 2014
Editorz, 2014-12-26 04:02

Happy Holidays to all of you charming and sparkling BSA readers! It’s been a raucous sleigh ride with you and we thank everyone most sincerely for your support and participation this year. A sort of tradition for us at the end of this December we are marking the year with “14 from 2014″. We asked […]

Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays from BSA
Editorz, 2014-12-25 05:02

Dear BSA readers of the Christian tradition and any others or none at all …Whatever street you travel, we wish you peace, love, health, hope with goodwill toward all. Here is an interpretive new version of the traditional pagan/Christmas tree just for you exclusively from Italy’s Fra. Biancoshock and BSA. A brand new installation from […]