Month: June 2014

full of pride…

Saturday was the 45th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots,  the catalyst for the modern Gay Rights Movement in the US.  So much has changed since then, it is hard to imagine ever going back to that world.  

Sunday was the annual Pride March down 5th Avenue and into the Village.  A happy, joyous day, perfect weather and color, bright wonderful color in every direction!  

I took a lot of shots, but these are some of my favorites.

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So,  next time then…

the random files – on the move again

Random Files back again because we are NYC bound once again…

Perfect canvasses that reach thousands a day.  Art on the move across the city.  

I have been known to break into a full sprint hoping that a light turns red.  More than once I have missed a beauty going by.  I think that is what makes them so much fun, a real hunt  for a prey that can be just about anywhere at any time. Just one more way that street artists make every day living in a city that can sometimes be challenging, a little bit more enjoyable.. an occasional treat drives by and reminds you of why it is worth putting up with all the other stuff.

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So,  next time then…

the random files – peace process

Street art can be about nothing in particular or it can pay homage to a cultural icon or idea.  For many the very reason to put it out on the street is the message,  reaching the masses, creating change.  It is not by accident that street art and politics intersected in a huge way with Shepherd Fairey’s iconic rendering of Barack Obama.  

One of the common themes: Peace

That elusive belief that humans will someday overcome their biological need to be on top and learn to live harmoniously.   Personally I think as long as the method of creating peace involves using death on any level it is just a pipe dream.  But I have to give credit to the people out there with a voice, or a brush.. or a spray can who will continue to fight for peace. (see,  there it is in a nutshell, we say “fight” for peace…)

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One of those artists is Case of the Ma’Claim Crew from Germany.  His hands raised in the universal gesture have been found on walls all over the world, including outside of the Ministry of the Interior in Cairo.

http://maclaim.blogspot.com/

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Commercial fashion statement?  Or true dream,  who knows.  

We lost one of the biggest voices in the dream this year.  Known on the street as JC2 or Army of One,  Jeff Campion saw the worst and still dreamed of peace.  I hope he has found his now.

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So, next time then…

that whole other world…

For the last couple of weeks I have been in Santa Fe,  not scheduled to go back to NYC until next week.  It is always such a contrast to be here compared to the crazy energy of the big city.

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What other capital city do you know of where you can fish within steps of the Capitol building?  Santa Fe is grounded in her past and her traditions and that feeling of small town so lost elsewhere these days.  I always tell people Santa Fe is the perfect combination of small town and big city.  Everyone knows someone who knows someone here, it isn’t six degrees of separation,  it is usually two at most.  But unlike so many other small towns the big difference,  here in Santa Fe no one cares what you are doing behind closed doors.

Summer is also a time of color in the desert.  When the rains come in the right order and amount the ground bursts into bloom as part of its constant struggle to survive our arid surroundings. It has been a decent year so far, of course we could use a lot more rain **always**, but the spring tease was just enough to start the dance of life.

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As summer comes upon us here in the desert southwest another thought begins to enter everyone’s minds and most conversations, “monsoon season,”  that glorious interaction between the western winds and gulf moisture, the bringer of life.

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Into rainbow season we go,  full of hope for the storms ahead and always looking back at what binds the people to this land.  That thing I have such a hard time putting into words that brought me here.  That thing that kept me coming back year after year.  That thing that drove me to call this the only true home I have ever known.

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So, next time then…

the amusements…

Time to introduce the blog to another one of my series,  The Astoria Amusements.  

Queens is the largest borough in NYC and has the second highest population.  Many communities in Queens have their own distinct flavor, history and culture.  Astoria is no exception.  Always known for a large Greek population in recent years the area has grown to include groups from all over the world.  Steinway Street truly is Main Street U.S.A.  or at least the one envisioned in the Great American Experiment, a mixture of peoples from every corner of the globe.  

Along Steinway and a few other area streets are a remnant from the past still hanging on.  What American kid doesn’t remember the kiddie rides that used to line the area around the front of grocery stores and other retail establishments?  While they can still be found, their numbers have dwindled drastically over the years.  

A picture of Astoria through these “amusements” shows us the past, the present and a real window into the future.  

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To catch up on past additions to this series : 

mickey and the man

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I would encourage anyone coming to NYC to take the time to get out of Manhattan.  Take the R train to Broadway/Steinway or take the N/Q train to 30th or Astoria Blvd.  Astoria deserves to be explored.  Come with an empty stomach as the diversity of exciting food choices can’t be beat anywhere else in the city.  It will also show you how “real” nyers live.  A neighborhood with a heart and an identity of its own. 

So, next time then…

a trip down the lane – in stripes

It has been a while since an edition was added to the “trip down the lane” series.  I am always collecting shots as I go along and I actually have quite a backlog.  It might not be as long next time. 

The theme is an obvious one… stripes,  but maybe there is a surprise here and there.  Anyway, here we go:

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And finally,  why not PLAID!

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So,  next time then…

 

a bushwick baby is born…

Here it is, the final post from the Bushwick Block Party.  This one is all about the Fumeroism.  

I followed this work for a couple of weeks as it came to life.  Rain kept getting in the way and then he went too high and had to pretty much redo the whole thing.  But in the end a baby was born.  I will let him tell you a little bit about the piece in his own words:

http://fumeroism.com/the-bushwick-collective-2014/

First up, the wall.  These shots were taken just a few days before he buffed and started on this year’s creation.

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Same wall less than 3 days later, progress halted by the rain.

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Note, he went too high.  Next up the high pressure hoses and a redo.

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Another one of those serendipitous moments, the irony of the words “non existence” being written in the sky as the baby is being washed from existence.

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Baby is much closer to reality at this point, just in time for the Block Party!

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And now Block Party Day

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The finished baby in all her glory.

So, next time then…

 

once more we go…

And yet another posting from the Block Party.  

Hoping everyone is still hanging on… cause after this posting comes the big one.  So without further ado, may I present to you the penultimate posting on the Bushwick Collective Block Party 2014.

 *** I am totally geeking out that I just used the word penultimate in a sentence.  It is one of my 10 yr. old words,  it sounded cool to say when I was 10 (I had a weird obsession with words, their sounds and how those contrasted with their meanings, etc.) but I digress..***

To Bushwick we go:

First up the collaborative work of Adam Fujita (Adam Fu) and Vers. This type of collaboration is a common occurrence among street artists.  Artists of diverse cultures, ages, styles,  etc.  come together to work on a single creation.  

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Next before and afters from Col. Wallnuts (a legend) and Rubin 415

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SeeOne is next,  I love his bright animated style.

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I am ending this post with work by another collaborative team, Pixel Pancho from Italy and Case Ma’Claim who came from Germany.  

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So, next time then… 

 

 

art from the start…

More from the Bushwick Collective Block Party, as promised shots of the work in progress and the final results.

We will start with Meresone.

Some information about Meresone:

He is pretty well known in the NYC area.  His signature lightbulb can be seen all over the place. He was also the curator and chief driving force behind 5Pointz, the unelected face of street art.

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Remember Lexi Bella?  

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In my last posting I talked about the international nature of Street Art.  A prime example of that is our next artist Franck Duval, FKDL who traveled all the way from France to participate in this year’s painting event. 

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I will end this posting with the next artist, Jerkface.  I have been following him for a while and had the pleasure of photographing him at work earlier in the year. 

https://bytegirlphotography.com/2014/03/04/bushwick-bound-the-jerkface-one/

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Much more to come! 

So, next time then…

 

birds flying high.. sun in the sky, oh and some Damien Mitchell

Ok, first thing, before we go any farther this posting comes with a soundtrack… so if you want the complete experience:

Ahhh, thats better… And now we can proceed in the right mood.  

Another great aspect of Street Art is how it can and does bring the world together.  Artists from all over the world came to paint on Sunday, including Damien Mitchell, now a Brooklynite but originally an Aussie.  His contribution to the Collective is brought to you below in a series showing the progress and eventual completion of his tribute to Nina Simone.

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And the other wonderful thing, the artists didn’t just paint on Sunday.  Over the last few weeks they have left their mark in many other places.  So as a treat I leave you with another work by Damien Mitchell.

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For more on Damien Mitchell and his amazing work:

So,  next time then…