Art on the streets is a vital component of New York City culture, and it was never more prominent than in the late 1970s and early 80s – a period which is now regarded as the “Golden Age of Graffiti.” During that time, photographers Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper famously documented the subculture of the graffiti movement and its vibrant art works, which were spray painted on the trains and on the streets. These photographs are currently on view at City Lore‘s exhibition: Moving Murals: Henry Chalfant & Martha Cooper’s All-City Graffiti Archive.
Once you have seen the Colosseum, visited the Vatican Museums and wandered around the historic center, you should venture off the beaten track to get a true taste of the Eternal city. From industrial archeology to contemporary and street art, here are 10 lesser-known spots that you won’t find in your pocket guide.
Rome is not exactly full of street art, but there are still a few areas worth a graffiti hunt, such as the open air urban museum at the old Quadraro neighborhood. Since 2010 the organizers of this street art project have invited several international artists (such as Jim Avignon and Ron English) as well as Italian artists to re-paint this hood, which is worth a visit anyway, if only for the charm of its decadent villas and the quaint atmosphere. (more…)
Detail of a painting by Meres One, who was curator and resident artist at 5 Pointz.
The iconic 5 Pointz building in Long Island City may have been painted over, but the artists can’t be silenced. In the Whitewash show at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, members of the graffiti collective have voiced their thoughts and feelings after discovering that the beloved art center had been suddenly whitewashed overnight.
Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland; home to 286,000 inhabitants (650,000 in the greater Metropolitan area). It is the region’s economic powerhouse but remains a deeply divided city. An industrial city, Belfast was once given the title ‘Linenopolis’ as it was the largest producer of linen in the world during much of the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, the most famous ship of them all was built in Belfast, the Titanic.
There is no doubt that Belfast has come a long way from the height of The Troubles, the ethno-political conflict that lasted from 1969 to the mid-1990s and which plagued Northern Ireland costing over 3,500 lives. Today Belfast City is a bustling centre of trade and commerce with a thriving music, arts and café scene. Still, there are 99 barriers that prevent movement between adjoining districts in the city.
A good first impression goes a long way, especially in the competitive New York City art scene. With so many art galleries surrounding the five boroughs, curators have to do more for the cultured and art obsessed people of NYC besides offer them free beer. The goal of Succulent Studio‘s Owner and Founder Sek3 and Creative Director Daniel Weintraub have in mind for their 3000 square foot space in Greenpoint is to have people “expect more than your usual art opening.” (more…)
Meres One – one of the curators of 5 Pointz – admiring a photo by Jay Hirschfeld
Street art usually has a short shelf life. From the NYC Graffiti Free vans roaming the city, to the closing and whitewashing of 5 Pointz graffiti mecca late last year, and the destruction of Banksy’s work during his residency, NYC graffiti has been given a very “here one day, gone the next” time table. Nonetheless, the photographers of street art provide a historical documentation of the roots and evolution of graffiti and Hip Hop culture that began here in NYC.
The Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck, Long Island, with the support of the organizers of 5 Pointz curators Marie Cecil Flageul and Meres One, is currently hosting a photography exhibit curated by Jude Amsel, featuring the work of those keeping graffiti and urban culture alive in NYC. In addition to photos of 5 Pointz, included in the show are also photos with the theme of graffiti and Hip Hop culture from Berlin and other parts of the world