On Rogers Avenue, between Sterling Place and Park Place in Crown Heights, is one of the most unique pieces of street art we’ve seen recently. It’s a sculpture, often tucked behind refuse and recycle – a cast of a homeless boy, “J” who was 8 years old when the piece was installed last June by J himself, his mother and artist KW. The accompanying plaque reads:
It was not a good day in New York City signage news yesterday. First, DNAInfo reported that the History Channel billboard that has become iconic on the Bronx skyline is on its way down. Then Curbed NY discovered via artist Steve ESPO Powers’ Instagram that the long-running art installation, Love Letter to Brooklyn, painted on the Macy’s skybridges in downtown Brooklyn was also on its way out.
All images courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery. The Last Day of the Babylon (AEC)
Last fall, nine street artists from all over the globe came together in New York as part of the International Mural Festival, MonumentArt2015, which was held in East Harlem and the Bronx. The artists hailed from Buenos Aires, Belgium, Mexico City, and a host of other countries, including Faith47 from Cape Town, South Africa, who also lent her talent to The L.I.S.A. Project on the Lower East Side. The following month, Faith47 had a solo exhibit at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Chelsea.
This month, the Jonathan LeVine Gallery will once again bring the creativity of street art into the gallery with the exhibit “Sacred Gravitation” by Ukrainian artists Interesni Kazki. Translated, the name Interesni Kazki means ‘interesting fairytale,’ which is what sprung out of a relationship between two graffiti artists in 1999 who were part of the crew in Kiev, Ukraine named Ingenious Kids (IK).
JR via Instagram
French street artist JR, whose work we have covered extensively, most recently in our top 10 2015 NYC street art murals list, is already starting the new year with another initiative. This time, the artist who made us journey to all five boroughs and stepped into the director’s chair for the first time last year, has taken over a truck, putting his signature wheat-pasting artwork on both sides of the vehicle. The truck, manned by JR’s friend Daniel Salin will cross the country. (more…)
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.