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battle on… secret walls…

We have contests for anything and everything so drawing shouldn’t be any different, right?  Last night a battle of epic proportions went down in Astoria/Long Island City, Queens.  Hosted by the Paper Factory Hotel (a nice boutique oasis in the middle of a very industrial neighborhood) Secret Walls gathered fifteen New York City artists in a showdown for the ages (and this was just a qualifying round).

What is Secret Walls?  It is an organization that promotes drawing “battles” all over the world.  Simple rules – always and only black on white (it really shows off the competitors true skills) and a 90 minute time limit.  A panel of judges and the audience pick the winners.

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The anticipation builds before the beginning of the war.

And…  WE ARE OFF!

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Amazing works of art begin to appear as the challengers battle in the cold autumn air.  Some of the best street artists in NYC and a couple of newcomers gave it everything including (and in no particular order):  Lamour Supreme, Chris RWK, Miss Zukie, Martha Alicia, Abe Lincoln, Jr., Sasha Fay, Wizard Skull, Scott Liam Walker, Cosbe, Mastro, AdrianKart.

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All and all a fantastic evening and real gathering of talent, right here in Queens🙂

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so, next time then…

Conor said boom… I said wow!!

It seems like forever since I have written anything here.  I write all the time, but it seems like it happens most often when I am dreaming on the subway or driving down the highway, not a pen in sight.  I always say I will remember my thoughts to put them down later, but age, adhd and just being me makes that a joke, at least one on me.

Recently I had the pleasure of watching a true genius at work.  One of the finest street artists I have yet to watch in action, Conor Harrington.  A native of Ireland now working in London it was a treat to have him share his skills with NY.

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Conor uses a variety of different methods to create his striking works.  Squeegies, brushes, rollers, spray paint, acetone and even water all come into play.  His genius lies in his ability to create movement, life and striking emotion all while standing on the edge of abstraction.  So, here is Conor at work.. and stick around to the end of the post to view his mind-blowing exhibition.  I drove 900 miles in one day to make sure not to miss this one, totally worth it!!

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Great to see him take the time to talk to a young fan!

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And now for the exhibition

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So, next time then…

a change is gonna come…

A week late but finally the world has calmed down for a second of two and I have time to reflect on last week’s major event.  What major event is that?  The largest mass demonstration for change to come along in a long time.  When the dust settled the final attendance is estimated to be about 400K.  If you ever want to feel like an ant, this is the way to do it. But it was also an exhilarating celebration of the power of people, just everyday people, not the rich, not the poor, not any one color, shape, age or voice, just people, the most diverse crowd I have ever seen at any NY parade or event.  They came from all corners and many countries. People wanting something better for the world, better for us all.  No debates here for me,  I am a firm believer in science and it was nice to see so many others looking for a change.

Sticky humid at first the weather remained just that edge of perfect never too hot but never bright and sunny either.

No more words….  the journey begins…

 

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Check back for part 2 which includes a magical moment.

So, next time then…

the random files….a complete brainwashing

So, there was this “happening” last week, but first a little background. Many of you have probably seen the movie “Exit Through the Gift Shop”. If you haven’t and you have any interest at all in street art it is an intriguing piece and well worth your time.

Whether you believe it is a factual documentary or a fictional creation out of the mind of street artist, Banksy, it makes a “character” out of it’s leading man, Thierry Guetta, now forever known as Mr. Brainwash. Is he a figment of the imagination? Is he a creation? Is he a well thought out hoax on the art world and world at large? Who really knows, (well he and Banksy, Shepard Fairey and a few others have a clue) but in the end, does it matter? In one way or another he has put in his time, paid a few dues and still gets out there on the street. If his message is juvenile or derivative again, does it really matter. Art is subjective we all see what we want to see. Who becomes huge, who makes it and sees the big bucks, again, extremely fickle and based on so many factors there is no clear cut path to success. Does a piece make you feel something? Sometimes even the feeling of disgust is worthy of a moment of thought.

So with that, on to the present, Mr. Brainwash was in town last week and Century 21 became his palette, a tribute to 9-11 his goal. A goal he achieved albeit with the usual critics and naysayers in full force. I found out he was working after his first night. Went downtown during the day and saw that the image was incomplete and he had more work to do.

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So back downtown at midnight to see if we could catch the man in action.  The subway ride was interesting and I could write a whole post about Mr. Asscrackman and the other fellow citizens who obviously only come out at night, but that is for another day.   When we arrived we caught the installation team in full force.

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And the man himself, Mr. Brainwash, MBW on site.

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The paper panels waiting to be attached to the wall.

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A plan of the entire project was on view as a guide.

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And about Thierry himself; what a burst of pure positive energy, impossible to not feel his exuberance.  He believes in what he is doing, believes in his message and every fiber of his being projects that when you meet him in person.  We hung around for a couple of hours and watched him at work.  Always a cigarette in his hand and always in action, never still.

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Firefighters from out of state here for the 9-11 ceremonies stopped by at one point.

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At about 2 in the morning my need for bed took us home but we came back the next morning to see the finished piece.

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And luck would have it.. as we turned to leave I spotted the man himself.. no sleep, running on fumes and still willing to give a hug, a smile and mug for a shot or two.  So, real or fictional, schlock or DaVinci, I am on Brainwash’s team just for the sheer fun of it all.

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Read the other day that Thierry so loves New York he has decided to make it his home 6 months out of the year.  His goal? To buy a building in SoHo to use as a residence, studio and open art space.

My dream actually… To buy a big building live on the top floor and rent the lower floors out as studio live/work spaces for artists for little to no money as long as they do work with the community and keep my building covered with art… pipe dream, but hey, might as well put it out into the Universe, never know what could happen.

So next time then…

a visit with the terracotta daughters…

Rainy day today in New York, the perfect opportunity to take in the new exhibit at the China Institute in Lower Manhattan.  Artist Prune Nourry’s 108 girls, in the style of the Terracotta Army unearthed in China back in 1974, are now on display.   An in depth description of her project is in the photo below.

All I know is I hope I am still around in 2030 when they are unearthed… I also hope that China realizes before it is too late that they are creating their own ending, and unfortunately an ending that if it follows the course of past history will bring down a large part of the world with them.

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So, next time then….

a trip down the lane.. fashion week, just another day…

Here we are again.  Back for another day of Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in NYC.  A lot more pics and even a celeb or two in the mix.  And yes, for those that are interested Nigel Barker is INSANELY GORGEOUS in person.

So without further word clutter.. here you go.  pppssstttt… also look out for the Anime (Harajuku) kids in the middle there.  They picked a perfect place to have a meetup.

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So, next time then…

a trip down the lane…fashion week strikes again

Lincoln Center is once again in the midst of that twice annual gathering of the fashion-makers.  The have’s, the have-nots, the wants and the scraps all come together in a splash and dazzle display of color, shape and sometimes style.  Yesterday, day two, proved to be a perfect example.  The big push seems to be accessories, ear cuffs and bags.  Even men were carrying clutches.

So, no more words, just lots and lots of pictures.

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So, next time then…

 

summer’s last gasp…

That fake period of time known as “summer”  (memorial day to labor day) has once again come to an end.  Why do I say fake, well the weather in NYC today says it all.  Real Summer has much more in store and wearing white wouldn’t be the worst sin the next few weeks.

Fake summer and all out of the way.  How to celebrate the end?  a NYC tradition, a street fair!

Yesterday (labor day) 30th Avenue in Astoria set the stage for that last gasp, last bit of fun.  One more memory to tuck into a corner before school, work, grey, rain, wind and eventually ice, snow and sludge creep in.  I conveniently left out that wonderful crisp autumn stuff because it seems to only stick around for a day or two… never quite enough.

What to expect from a NYC street fair?  Well, there are a few certains and many surprises.

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Who’s your daddy being one of the surprises…(for some I am sure this is a literal truth)

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There will be dogs… that is one of the certains, there are always dogs,  in this case both real and fluffy.

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There will be junk  * some one else’s treasures*

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And crafts..if lucky sometimes the crafts actually elevate to the level of art.

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Food,  food from everywhere for every taste.

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The big winner in this line up,  the spinning meat.  I wasn’t the only one that stood mesmerized by the rotating tower of grilling meat.

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And of course there are people, so many wonderful people out and about.

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So, next time then…

 

 

the random files – creation

Another in the Random Files series.  Spent the last three days following the progress of a new mural going up in Bushwick for The Bushwick Collective.  Chilean born artist, Dasic Fernandez has created a masterpiece.  Entitled “Hand of Protest”, it is the second mural with a political message to appear in the collective in recent months.  (the other being a work by the Iranian pair, Icy and Sot)

With a sharp, surrealistic style and a use of colors that makes the hairs on the back of your neck tingle, Dasic is a master of the art of the spray can.

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(a tease)

You can find Dasic’s work in various places throughout the city.  These are all located within a few blocks of each other in Bushwick.

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“The Venus of Bushwick”

Back to the work in progress.  First up covering a wall which most recently had a piece by acclaimed German Artist, Case MaClaim.  Another facet of street art, pieces exist for a limited time.   Sometimes saying goodbye is bitter sweet even though there is excitement and anticipation for a new work, many a masterpiece is layered in the colors below.

So, no more words, just the work.

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Day 2

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Day 3

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a piece from Dan Witz remains, tucked into the corner.

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So, next time then…

 

 

 

 

a saturday or so – the 21st precinct

Life has been flying by lately and has been a tad bit complicated.  Went back to Santa Fe for a week but it was filled with the kind of every day, must do, mundane part of living a human life that when put on paper comes off irritating at best.  But the car did get an oil job somewhere in the middle of it all.

Back in NYC now and coming to grip with the speed of things.  So many things to see and do it feels like it all slips by slightly out of reach, but luckily sometimes you catch the end of the rope and the whip around is just enough to keep it all going.

Last weekend a show of shows opened at the 21 Precinct House in the Gramercy Park neighborhood.  Now beautiful tree lined streets and brownstones dominate the area.  But back in 1863 the precinct earned it reputation in a down and dirty neighborhood where gangs of thugs and ruffians ruled.

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The police were long gone by about 1914 but the building remained,  many uses later it is finally meeting the inevitable.  Unfortunately its plum location makes it an easy sacrifice to the glass and steel beast that is devouring NYC, swallowing entire neighborhoods at breakneck pace.

So,  we know the location, now the show.  What happens when you get together a group of over 60 street artists  including legends and talented younger artisans and give them four floors of an empty shell for a canvas.  Everything and more… and from this point onwards words just aren’t going to do much.  So, I am out of them….here is my take on what may be one of most photographed shows in NYC..😉

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So, next time then…