Portrait of famed Nuyorican writer, Nicholasa Mohr who grew up in El Barrio & the Bronx
Last week, a project descended on El Barrio befitting its name. MonumentArt 2015 is the second installment of the International Mural Festival in East Harlem and the South Bronx, sponsored by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and La Marqueta Retoña. Eleven internationally known artists were invited to participate this year, and create work from 99th Street to 138th Street that is specific to El Barrio and its history.
The Festival kicked-off at the historic marketplace, La Marqueta on Park Avenue and 115th Street in East Harlem on October 4th, and the project was meant to celebrate and document the history of El Barrio, highlighting the cultural identity of the neighborhood by creating nine murals. Three of the mural locations are at schools, where the students had an opportunity to meet the artists and learn how large-format works are created. In addition, el Museo del Barrio held related workshops for the students.
All of the murals are bigger-than-life, eye-catching pieces that draw a crowd. Although the public was kept at a safe distance, kids clung to chain-linked fences, older women rested on their walkers, and even those appearing to be in a hurry, were stopping to watch the transformation of a wall that takes up an entire city block in their particular neighborhood. The photos below show the murals as of this weekend, beginning on 99th Street, running north:
‘EVER’ (real name Nicolas Romero) is a street artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has painted worldwide including at 5 Pointz and the Berlin Wall. You will find his wall behind the basketball courts on Third Avenue, between 99th Street and 100th Street. the photo above was taken earlier in the week. The photo below was taken on Sunday morning and is almost complete. If you look closely, you can see the artist on the bucket-truck in the lower left portion of the photo.
‘EVER’ working in the lower left corner. Photo as of the morning of October 10th
Madison Avenue between 103rd and 104th Streets. PS 171. Photo taken morning of October 10.
The two large murals above are on the Madison Avenue side of PS 171, between 103rd Street and 104th Street, across the street from the Carver Houses and Reese School.
Madison Avenue & 103rd St. Artist ‘FAITH 47’ at PS 171. Photo taken morning of October 10
‘FAITH47’, the only female muralist in this project, hails from Cape Town, South Africa. Her exhibitions and projects have taken her around the world during her fifteen year career as an artist, including a solo exhibit at the Jonathan Levine Gallery here in New York and Art Basel, Miami.
Madison Avenue & 104th St. Artist ‘SEGO’ at PS 171. You can see him working on Oct 10
Artist Sega Y Ovbal , hails from Mexico City. Known for having two distinctly different styles, he uses two different ‘names’ for each – Sego is the name used for the extremely detailed work, and Ovbal is the name used for the more abstract style. His work has been seen around the world, including here in New York.
Elizam Escobar is a Puerto Rican art theorist, poet, visual artist and writer. Here he is working on a mural honoring the legacy of Julia de Burgos at the Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center Theater space, located on Lexington Avenue and 105th Street.
108th St & Lexington Avenue. Artist ROA. Photo taken morning of October 10
The street artist known as ROA hails from Ghent, Belgium. Best known for painting wild animals and birds, he works in black and white. His work can be found on walls and in galleries worldwide. This mural can be found on Lexington Avenue at 108th Street.
111th St & Lexington Avenue. Artists Cero + El Mac. Photo taken morning of October 10
El Mac lives and works in Los Angeles. He is known for lifelike renderings of human faces and figures – these commissions have taken him all over the world, including Havana, Cuba in 2012 for the 11th Havana Biennial. He is no stranger to New York – with a solo exhibit at the Joshua Liner Gallery in 2009. He has chosen to do a portrait mural of famed Puerto Rican artist and writer, Nicholasa Mohr, who grew up in the Bronx and El Barrio.
Living in Brooklyn, by way of Spain and Puerto Rico, Luis R. Vidal was trained as a photojournalist. He started his career working for Primera Hora and El Nuevo Dia – local newspapers in Puerto Rico, before moving to Madrid and London, where he studied film. You can find his mural on 111th Street and First Avenue.
Adrian Viajero Roman is the artist known as VIAJERO. He calls both Puerto Rico and New York home, and aspires to put forth the issues of race, migration and identity in his art. His work has been seen worldwide, including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., galleries in New York City, Art Basel Miami and CIRCA International Art Fair in San Juan, Puerto Rico, just to name a few.
2ALAS is an arts collective made up of Andrew Antonaccio and Filo Galvez. They are particularly well-known for the work they did on the Wynwood Walls in Miami, Art Basil, Miami and Scope. They have also shown smaller format work in galleries around the world including Italy, Montreal and Puerto Rico.