The National Trust for Historic Preservation has been cataloging some of the oldest graffiti in American history. Sometimes eerie, these scrawlings and carvings in old buildings are the predecessors of today’s graffiti artists. Instead of tagging with aerosol cans, they used anything they could find–even their own blood–to spread their message.
The owners of the Bowery Mural Wall have commissioned contemporary artists to paint gorgeous murals at this location since a Keith Haring piece in 1982. Currently, Brooklyn street artist Swoon has a piece on display–a Hurricane Sandy tribute–at Houston Street and Bowery. Last week Animal New York covered a cool app called Re+Public which uses your smartphone camera to visualize historical murals and street art. ”
Photographer Eric Lau contacted us after seeing our coverage on the recent whitewashing of 5Pointz and shared his photographs of the final B-Boy Battle at 5Pointz on October 6, 2013. He told us that a few friends of his are street artists and paint frequently at 5Pointz, so he documented a lot of art and events at the aerosol art mecca.
Shot on black and white film, these images capture so much of what was magical about 5Pointz–how it transformed the visitors. There are faces of amazement, laughter, elation. Most importantly, you sense the collective nature that 5 Pointz actively supported. The crowd is diverse, in more ways than one, and there’s even a pregnant woman and a baby in a stroller right in the mix.
These images gave us the chills (and inspiration to ditch our DSLR cameras):
A veteran of the street art scene in London, Stik leaves androgynous “stik people” wherever he visits. His work strives to capture the importance of body language in human interaction, with large success. Not long ago, he left this mural called “Liberty” in the the East Village, on the corner of E 9th Street and Avenue A. ”This deceptively simple stick figure raises one arm in a plaintive gesture of solidarity to the artists, activists and outsiders who have occupied Tompkins Square over the years,” according to Dorian Gray Gallery, which commissioned the work. The gallery will hold a reception for Stik’s Liberty Project on December 12. (more…)
We were preparing this article about the 5 Pointz Rally for publishing yesterday when the news first broke that the building had been whitewashed in the middle of the night. This piece was originally meant to be a narrative of the rally on November 16, when hundreds of people gathered at 5 Pointz Art Center in Long Island City to show support for the beloved graffiti exhibition space. This article has been revised as a tribute to 5 Pointz and their fight for survival.
Invader ‘Fire Flower’ at 161 Hester Street in Chinatown
In the past few weeks we’ve been tracking the French street artist Invader as he made his move on the New York City streets. His 8-bit mosaic tiles are affixed to walls in plain sight, making installing them a hassle that got the artist in a bit of trouble with the NYPD. His visit surrounded the premiere of his movie ART4SPACE, where he sent one of his Space Invaders into orbit. We’ve put together a map and a bunch of photos detailing where you can find the 8-bit critters, so you can go on your own hunt to see them–before they’re all removed!