Never let it be said that people in New York don’t express themselves in interesting ways. One of the more creative forms is graffiti and street art. Most people are familiar with art expression on the walls of buildings, train cars, and the like, but in large cities like New York, Miami, and London, for example, street or sidewalk art is becoming a common form of expression. The last few years have seen the proliferation of “Art Stamps,” or stenciling. This form of art is usually composed of short thought provoking or positive messages. It can be found on many New York City streets and while it normally is not a good idea to walk with your head down, here is our list of ten to get you started
French photographer and filmmaker Gregoire Alessandrini, whose photographs of gritty New York City in the 1990s we have showcased on numerous occasions, has recently uploaded a 30 minute documentary on the ’80s artist and stylist Stephen Sprouse, a film he produced and co-wrote in 2009. Children of the ’90s may be most familiar with Sprouse’s work as the inspiration behind the neon collection that Marc Jacobs did for Louis Vuitton in 2001 which took, among others, the iconic monogram bag and plastered it with graffiti-style lettering.
The Top 10 NYC Street Art Murals of 2015.
2015 was a great year for street art in New York City. Once again artists from around the world and our own backyard have provided us with many unique, diverse, and beautiful works of art. These pieces are worthy of being shown in any museum in the world, but these artists, some of them world renowned, gave it to us for free. Some of these pieces you have seen before in our monthly and half-year round ups, a testament to their staying power. Others, you will be seeing here for the first time. Yes, these are ranked, but all of these pieces have upped the level of New York City works just that much higher. Here are the top 10 NYC street art murals of 2015.
Zephyr, Janette Beckman – Run DMC, New York City, 1986.
As graffiti writers rose to prominence during the early 1970s, hip hop was a logical partner. With similar identities in the same culture, it was not uncommon for graffiti writers to design clothing or create graphics for album covers. Janette Beckman, who describes herself as a documentary photographer, began shooting for music magazines such as The Face and Melody Maker before moving to New York permanently in 1982. She was instantly drawn to hip hop, an emerging movement at that time, and was there to capture the iconic timeline during the beginning years.
Beckman’s work, which is widely published, appears on major record labels, and in magazines including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Italian Vogue and many more. This selection of work, entitled “Mash Up” was conceived and curated by artist/designer Cey Adams. Adams selected the artists, and Beckman let each artist choose a photo from her archives. The photographs were taken between the years 1977-1990, and walk the viewer through Hip Hop’s beginning years to mainstream popular culture. Below is a small selection of the exhibit currently on view at The National Arts Club.
All images via coneyartwalls.com
New York City’s Coney Island, the waterside land of color, roller coasters, and ice cream, got a brand new attraction this summer. That attraction is Coney Art Walls, an exhibition of street art featuring the work of 34 artists. Among the featured players are legends like Lady Pink, Crash, Daze, Futura, Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, Maya Hayuk and How and Nosm, and newcomers like Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and Lauren Halsey. Their work is displayed on the attraction’s namesake walls set up in an area of the park and is open seven days a week throughout the summer.
New Yorkers who date back to the mid 1970s will remember the birth of subway graffiti art and Lee Quinones as a prominent figure in this movement. Well known for painting entire subway cars, and credited with painting about 125 cars all together, the Puerto Rico-born New Yorker was part of the respected writing crew The Fabulous 5 (Fab 5). Now, forty years later, Quinones has long since moved out of the subway and into the mainstream–in galleries, museums and private collections all over the world. You may recognize our previous coverage of Quinones within the Museum of the City of New York exhibition, City as Canvas