artists

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…

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.

http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/2011/09/1863-21st-precinct-station-house-no-327.html

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…

 

modern spin

So.. a couple of days ago I became intrigued with a performance art piece going on in Williamsburg.  Seems two artists designed a human sized hamster wheel *or should I say humster wheel * that they are living on for ten days.     

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Artists Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley call their piece “in orbit” and speak  of collaboration and cooperation, both of which are essential components of the installation.  I didn’t know what to expect before going.  I had read a few pieces questioning the whys and a few descriptions but I really wasn’t prepared to actually enjoy it.

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Every single activity requires they work together.  If one goes to bed,  they both go to bed.  If one wants to sit and read at a chair, they both must sit at the chair.  After 10 days I think I would be heading to the woods in order to try to get my own life back or at the very least locking myself in my own bathroom for a day and a half.

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In the end the final message for me: we are living in an Ikea world.

I am still questioning within myself why I enjoyed this when usually I have to nod and pretend to get things in order to not appear a troglodyte in someone else’s world.  Maybe it is because of the extreme commitment a piece like this takes,  maybe it is the synchrony and  cooperation, the perfect balance of the spinning wheel.  Or maybe it is simply because in the end it made me giggle.  Oh and the Boiler Room, worth seeing with or without an exhibit, what a great space!

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For more information about “in orbit” check out these links

http://www.pierogi2000.com/2014/02/ward-shelley-and-alex-schweder-at-the-boiler/

http://gothamist.com/2014/03/02/videos_photos_of_those_guys_living.php#photo-6

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nyc-artists-live-human-hamster-wheel

bushwick bound part III

A Musing on People

When I started taking photos, people were the bane of my existence.  I would wait and struggle to try to capture every scene with the minimal amount of human involvement possible.  I am not exactly sure when the change happened, perhaps it was in a cab one early morning driving through Harlem.  Or maybe it was on a hot summer’s night in Times Square, but at some point someone wandered into my frame and into my consciousness and what was once an annoyance became a gift,  a gift that NYC gives often and sometimes with great humor.

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So it is the gift of the people in the next few captures.  The perfect timing of those that entire the frame for that fleeting moment,  just a brief second in time that will never be recreated.  Perhaps that is the real attraction, capturing something that can never happen again and making it mine in some small way.  

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So many discoveries around every corner and so many great artists showing work in one place.  

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Even more to come.. check into tomorrow for another installment.