Last weekend, B.D. White and JPO invited everyone to an intimate event to their studio. Fans and artist alike were able to view and purchase works of all shapes and sizes without the “middle man.” During this event the attendees had a chance to also personally speak with both artists and “pick their brains” while also learning the back stories of these two great artists along with their works. Although many people would have been satisfied with that, B.D. White and JPO also gave a live demo to see the grueling process of their work. Also, the first 50 people received a one of a kind, small print to remember this special intimate event.
Although the event has ended, you can still purchase artwork on JPO’s Online Store. To view the process that goes into some of these pieces, visit B.D. White’s website.
A police precinct is hardly a venue most people would consider apt for the display of modern art and graffiti, but thankfully the folks at Outlaw Arts are not “most people”.
Founded in 2011, Outlaw Arts is based in New York and focuses on giving a stronger voice and presence to the underground-indie art scene by featuring the works of local artists in both the habitual and unorthodox gallery settings. They’ve made no exception for this event they secured last year at the former home of the neighborhood’s police precinct on East 22nd Street, which was in operation in the late 1800s before the area was renumbered the 13th and moved to East 21st Street.
Last year’s exhibit featured over 50 artists and was deemed a massive success. You can see some photos from this event from extensive coverage via Animal New York and Gothamist.
The only bittersweet note of the affair was that the precinct building itself was slated to be demolished shortly afterwards, making way for yet another condominium, which the city can’t seem to get enough of these days. But a pesky thing like venue demolition hardly presents a challenge for this guerilla-inspired brand of art installation, and the collective stands poised once again for another invasion of unbridled creativity, albeit in a more traditional space.
This year it’s all going down at the Judith Charles Gallery on Bowery. Joining the collective effort is N Carlos J, who has been steadily building a name for himself in the underground art world, and enjoyed quite the reception at his recent Bushwick Open Studios exhibit, “The Beautiful Decay of Fear . His visual versatility, strong curation skills and modus operandi are perfectly inline with what Outlaw Arts is trying to accomplish in terms of urban expression and renewal; we are excited to see how this collaboration plays out.
Much like N Carlos Jay’s previous show, the creative effort revolves around the reclamation of the obsolete, giving a second life to salvaged materials. It’s a theme that New York knows too well, tying together elements of municipal evolution, gentrification, and the perpetually shifting demographics of a city that never stays the same.
Prosecutors say that the officer in question committed no wrong doing in the 18 year old’s death and the court agrees
Officer Jorge Mercado was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in a Florida courthouse yesterday in the Taser death of 18 year old graffiti artist REEFA aka Israel Hernandez-Llach back in 2013.
According to the State Attorney’s office, Florida law gives officers the right to use “any” force, since officer Mercado says that Hernandez-Llach was running towards him. Mercado was on administrative leave following the incident, but is now said to be back on active duty.
According to reports, REEFA was painting on an abandoned McDonald’s in Miami Beach when he was approached by officers on August 6, 2013. Hernandez-Llach was ordered to stop, but ran through alleyways, a building and over a fence before he was apprehended.
Witnesses say that after he was Tasered by the officers, they laughed and gave each other high fives as he lay motionless on the ground where he was pronounced dead.
Jorge Estomba, a spokesman for the artist’s family, said in a statement, “The family will continue the fight to have justice on behalf of their slain son.”
On Thursday July 2, Maurice and Lulu, owners of Vola Vida Gallery, hosted an art exhibition show in Manhattan, New York (East Village). It is in a low key area, made up of glass exterior doors, so one can’t help but to see all of the cool art that’s inside.
The gallery is just about a month old; June 4th was the first opening, and the True King Experience is only its sophomore show. Vola Vida Gallery lies between an East Village Deli, followed by an apartment and a pizza shop called, “Johnny Favorites.” There were about 29 canvases displayed on the white walls, which was brilliant because the vibrant colors on the canvases automatically stood out even from afar.
One of the best part about this gallery is that, the art pieces change every two weeks, the unpredictability of the art pieces after two weeks, is what makes this gallery so unique.
“This is the only gallery in N.Y.C. dedicated to only street art,” says Lulu. “East Village and N.Y.C. has tons of artists. We are so lucky here,” she continued.
The atmosphere of Vola Vida was very cool and calm; Rapper Fabolous “Lituation” played in the background, and some old school Hip Hop songs, which I was told were coming from Maurice’s playlist.
The mastermind of the majority of these art pieces were created by stencil artist, King Amsterdam, who is pretty much aware of how talented he is but still chooses to remain humble. He indicated within the last three months, he was able to finish all of those canvases that were showcased on the walls. Impressive. Also, his friends were given the opportunity to have their own canvas posted on the walls as well. Amsterdam said, depending on one’s talent he decides if he would give him or her a blank canvas, a black and white canvas, or a canvas with a creative background. Even his friend’s 6-year-old son has a canvas posted on the wall, but his piece is not for sale.
Artist Nicholai Khan, also has a canvas on the wall, a mickey mouse drawing for $600. Khan has painted for many celebrities like comedian/actor Tracy Morgan and New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne. But in most cases, these canvases would include a picture of a guy whose back is turned wearing a hoody with “K I N G” imprinted on it and a pair of baggy jeans, pointing to something in front of him.
When it comes to art, Amsterdam feels that people should get it right away. “I don’t like to explain sh*t to people,” he said. However, he does want his artwork to cause a reaction from his viewers.
“Art pieces are supposed to make you feel something,” he said.
When asked which of his own art piece was his favorite, he pointed to a black and white 10×8 “Sega Genesis” canvas which was spray painted with acrylic, and is worth $250. His other favorite, (which was also mine) was a piece titled, “Crash Test Dummy” 24×30 and it was done using spray paint, and it is worth $400. There’s also an art piece of American singer and actor, Frank Sinatra, 12 x16 worth $300 by Amsterdam and he did it with just spray paint as well.
How Amsterdam got his ideas when it comes to creating these beautiful art pieces, he says, “I only paint stuff that I have a connection to.” Although, he paints everything, he claims he does not like painting people anymore.
“Every stencil artists paints people. I want to separate myself.”
According to Maurice, these canvases can range from as low as $200 and go as high to $1500.
“There’s a lot of talents in the city,” says Lulu. “People are paying attention.”
And they are, if American art dealer and curator, Jeffrey Deitch made his way up to Vola Vida last week Sunday.
Quite frankly, if you are someone who loves and appreciate street art or even graffiti, Vola Vida Gallery is the perfect place for you (240 East 4th Street). This is a place where street art is giving great recognition as opposed to the ugly and nasty stereotypes that they are often being tied too.
“Art is not cherished anymore.” says Amsterdam. “People have no culture. We live in a cultureless world.”
An exclusive insight into the latest piece from artist Rob “TMO” Plater entitled “I ain’t rich cuz ain’t no money in the truth”
This is what TMO had to say about his most recent mural as shown in the gallery below;
“The inspiration behind my newest wall mural titled “I ain’t rich cuz ain’t no money in the truth” has long been rooted in my upbringing in East New York, Brooklyn. Overall there was always an overwhelming pride associated with being from Brooklyn. Everything from the summer block parties, the old Puerto Rican cats playing dominos, Graff tags and the strong influence from Hip-Hop culture. Absorbing these experiences naturally fed into my desire to draw and paint. One thing I wanted to do with my mural was to create an image that pays homage to an irreplaceable “culture” that seems to be fading away due to the wave of gentrification hitting the city. I wanted to tap into the same feeling of nostalgia I had being a black and Puerto Rican kid seeing Graff tags and painted characters from the elevated train lines that always told a story. That story was one about Brooklyn.”
The ever-reclusive artist, exclusively known by the pseudonym, “Banksy“is not a man of many words as he tends to replace his words with art. Shroud in a veil of anonymity, Banksy interviews aren’t in abundance, and personal information about the artist amounts to not much more than he is probably from Bristol, England. So, any information that provides insight — regardless of how minimal — into the psyche of the elusive stencilist is met with intrigue from fans and art enthusiasts.
Recently Banksy’s Spy Booth mural, which depicts three trench coat wearing agents spying around a functional telephone both outside of a house in Cheltenham, England, received Grade II property status by the city’s council, making the piece a monument of sorts — prohibiting it from being removed or altered. Upon this classification, Banksy took to his official site to post a short, witty Q&A which you can read below:
What do you think about your graffiti being granted Grade II listed status?
It’s surprising because when I did art at school I got an ‘ungraded’.
What’s the worst thing about Street Art?
Having to make your mistakes in public.
What’s the best thing about Street Art?
Having to make your mistakes in public.
What do you think about people selling the art you put on the street?
As a kid I always dreamt of growing up to be a character in Robin Hood. I just never realised I’d end up playing one of the gold coins.
You can find Khari Clarke in your local pizza shop and on Twitter (@KINGCLARKEIII).
The provocative street artist Banksy, famous for his usage of available architecture and public space to create his vast artworks, has brought his pieces to the Gaza Strip
On his websiteposted several new photos of his pieces he made there recently, and a video describing Gaza in a vacation-promo satire. The video starts with a frame exclaiming, “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination.”
Several of the pieces are made right into the rubble of one of the villages, like this one below.
Banksy then captioned the painting on his site,
A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.
In the video Banksy provides, a man says of the kitten, “This cat tells the whole world that she is missing the joy in her life. The cat found something to play with, what about our children?”
The artist also stenciled children on a carousel-style swing around a prison watchtower.
In more dark satire, he captions the painting,
Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day.
Banksy is well known for inserting political statements into his art. He had previously visited the West Bankin 2005, and he has made art full of poignant political views around the world, including a brief stint in New York City. The artist’s publicist made a statement to the New York Times Wednesday morning, and would not reveal where the images were taken, or when. She then listed a quote from Banksy:
I don’t want to take sides. But when you see entire suburban neighborhoods reduced to rubble with no hope of a future — what you’re really looking at is a vast outdoor recruitment center for terrorists. And we should probably address this for all our sakes.
Banksy just recently won a Webby Award for Person Of The Year. Why? Well, last year October he graced us (NYC) with his presence for one month and dominated social media with his street art movement “Better Out Than In”. So without further ado he just released a trailer for a movie with the same name. Looks to be kind of interesting, check it out and let us know what you think.