Tag Archive | Hip Hop

Explore The History of Graffiti and Street Art At Beyond The Streets NYC!

Art By CES
Art By CES, AKA Robert Provenzano (All Photos By Gail)

Do you like Street Art? I Sure do. Whether you’re already an avid fan of street art, or are just curious about, and open to, getting schooled on the evolution of this rather phenomenal genre of pop culture, you have through the final weekend in September to immerse yourself in an ambitious, but temporary, street art museum called Beyond the Streets.

Spray Paint Cans in Elevator
Spray Paint Cans Wallpaper Inside The Elevator

Sculpture By TENGAone
Paintings and Sculpture By TENGAone

Beyond The Streets is a celebration of society’s most pervasive mark makers and rule breakers with unprecedented purpose and scale; inside these walls you will find a collection of stories and works by artists past and present who have helped to propel graffiti and street art to extraordinary heights. Works from more than 150 of the world’s leading graffiti and street artists from past and present are represented, alongside cutting-edge contemporary artists and pop culture icons. The exhibit spans two full floors on the footprint of an entire city block, in a newly-constructed high rise office building on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (the views alone are worth the price of admission).

Storefront Mural Photos By Jim Prigoff
Storefront Mural Photos By Jim Prigoff

Installation View
Installation View

View 3
Here’s One Of Those Views I Mentioned

Beyond The Streets explores the collective urgency of using the street as a canvas for expression, and while the subject matter varies and the mediums are many, it is in the public sphere where these messages find a home.

Graffiti Mural
Mural By Tats Cru / The Mural Kings

The story starts more than 50 years ago, in the mid to late 1960s, when the contemporary concept of graffiti took shape in the streets of New York and Philadelphia. Disenfranchised youth, inspired equally from boredom and ego, started scrawling their names and monikers everywhere, spawning copycats and competition.

Subway Car Graffiti Photos By Henry Chalfant
Subway Car Graffiti Photos By Henry Chalfant

These early acts of letter-based marks, created in both marker and spray paint, became monumental when repeated on a global scale.

Death of Graffiti 3 By Lady Pink
Death of Graffiti 3 By Lady Pink

People have long taken to the streets to share a name, phrase, image or cause with the world around them to force a public discourse. Streets act as the symbolically important public stage that is both local and universal, the bedrock for both public protest and anonymous action.

Mural By Lee Quinones
Soul Train Mural By Lee Quinones

The streets also act as a tool for civic engagement and activism, and Beyond The Streets includes figures who have used their art to unite the oppressed around a common cause. As it is so often said, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and simple gestures in public spaces can quickly galvanize a movement, raising awareness of an issue and resulting in change.

Basquiat and Herring
Keith Haring With His Artwork Plus Decorated Leather Jacket, and Drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat

For some, the streets were a starting point to evolve their message and style. Pushing their craft in figurative, illustrative, realist or abstract directions, they turned their energy and experience toward more traditional settings. For others, graffiti was never an origin, but an inspiration. Elements of graffiti and street art can be found across music, fashion and contemporary art, all helping this culture to proliferate further.

Beastie Boys Logo By Cey Adams
Beastie Boys Logo By Cey Adams

Beastie Boys Installation

The Beasties Boys have multiple galleries dedicated to their music, memorabilia and hip hop legacy. If you’re a fan, you won’t want to miss it!

Beastie Boys 1984 By Josh Cheuse
Pboto of The Beastie Boys Circa 1984 By Josh Cheuse

Beyond The Streets affirms a truth that cannot be overstated: Graffiti and Street Art would not have become what they have without New York City! Let’s take a look at a selection of the thousands of pieces of art — including sculptures, paintings, posters, flyers, installations, photography, and other ephemera that you’ll see in this fantastic exhibit!

Photos By Maripol
Photos By Maripol

Art By Crash
Art By John “CRASH” Matos

Art By Rammellzee
Art By Rammellzee

Lynzy and Art Fans

Friendly docent Lynzy gently reminds a pair of enthusiastic young ones that there is no touching of the art!

Installation View
Installation View

Art By Daze
Daily Commute (Left) and The Four Seasons (Right) by Chris “DAZE” Ellis

Maya Hayuk Fuck Mural
Fuck Mural By Maya Hayuk

Kenny Scharf Sculpture and Mural
Kenny Scharf’s Totemtiki Kinetic Sculpture and Mural

View 1
Let’s Take a Break to Check Out That View Again!

Hip Hop Flyers By Buddy Esquire
Hip Hop Flyers By Buddy Esquire

Magic Touch By Bert Krak and Alexis Ross

Check out this crazy thing: the Magic Touch Porch Tattoo Parlor installation by Bert Krak and Alexis Ross. So cool!

Tattoos

Magic Touch

Untitled Polaroid By Dash Snow
Untitled Polaroid By Dash Snow

Model Train Freight Car Graffiti
Model Train Examples of Freight Train Car Graffiti

Assorted Posters
Posters Collage Installation By Craig R. Stecyk III

Installation By DABSMYLA
Flower-Themed Art Installation By The Husband and Wife Team Known As DABSMYLA

Art By Andre Saraiva

Art Above and Below By André Saraiva.

Art By Andre Saraiva

Lynzys Manicure By Andre
Also By André: Lynzy’s Manicure!

Art By Cleon Peterson
Art By Cleon Peterson

Art By Craig Costello
Art By Craig Costello

Fan The Flames By Shepard Fairey
Fan The Flames By Shepard Fairey

The politically-themed art of Shepard Fairey gets a huge amount of space in the exhibit (see below). All his stuff is great.

Art By Shepard Fairey

Trash Records Pop Up Record Store
Trash Records Pop Up Record Store, Exterior

Trash Records Pop Up Record Store
Trash Records Pop Up Record Store, Interior

Installation View
Art By Mister Cartoon

Installation View
Installation View

Beyond the Streets is all kinds of crazy fun, and there is so much more on display than what I’ve had room for here. We spent close to three hours exploring the exhibit, just taking our time and looking at everything, but you could easily make a full afternoon of it if you really wanted to read all the stories and take a ton of selfies (there are many excellent selfie opportunities that I didn’t cover here, but trust me that the exhibit is infinitely Instagram-able). I’d suggest allowing a minimum of two and one-half hours inside the exhibit. Plan your visit now!

Beyond the Streets Runs Through September 29th, 2019 and is Located at 25 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY (Take the L Train to the Bedford Stop and Walk about 10 Minutes). Tickets are $25 for Adults and Kids Over 12, $11 for Kids Aged 6 to 11, and Free for Kids Aged 5 and Under. Visit This Link For More Information Such as Hours, Discounts, and to Purchase Tickets! 

Art By Faile

Art Above and Below By Faile (Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller)

Art By Faile

Advertisements

Yes, It Exists: Public Enemy Action Figure Set

Public Enemy Action Figures
Photo By Gail

Public EnemyKings of Hip Hop and inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — are now an Action Figure Play Set, that you can own! Featuring four of the central members from the 1980s; Terminator X, Chuck D, Flavor Flav and Professor Griff, imagine the fun urban adventures you could have with these guys! The highly-detailed figures were designed by comic book artist Ed Piskor, who wrote and illustrated Hip Hop Family Tree, a series of educational and historical comics which document the early history of hip hop culture. Available for just $60 (what a bargain) from Press-Pop Toys, Inc.

Photographed at Five Points Festival

Os Gemeos, Silence of the Music at Lehmann Maupin

Os Gemeos Installation View
Above Image Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin. All Other Photos and Video By Gail

Each year, at least one of the Chelsea galleries hosts an exhibit so impressive and over-the-top in size and scope that we like to refer to it as Art Disneyland for the duration of its run. One year, it was Yayoi Kusama’s I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, with its multiple, mirrored infinity room installations. Another, it was Takashi Murakami’s In the Land of The Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow: a sort of Greatest Hits of the Japanese Superflat artist. And last year, we would nominate Mike Kelley’s mind-blowing Superman Origin Story that filled the cavernous spaces of Hauser & Wirth with otherworldly delights. Those were all fantastic exhibits worthy of multiple visits, no doubt about it.

Phonograph

This year’s Art Disneyland is over at is Lehmann Maupin on 22nd Street, and you have just under 2 weeks to check it out before you miss out. Silence of the Music, starring the whimsical, elevated street art of Brazilian artist duo Os Gemeos  was virtually impossible to gain entry to during its opening reception on September 8th, and four weeks later it’s still drawing huge crowds and endless tour groups. It’s easy to see why as soon as you enter the gallery.

Os Gemeos

At their first New York solo show with Lehmann Maupin, twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo have transformed multiple rooms into an immersive installation that combines drawing, painting, collage, mixed media sculpture, and kinetic and audio elements. These newest works represent an evolution of the style Os Gemeos has honed over decades, while also returning to their early experimentation with diverse mediums, including new oil paintings. This exhibition offers a heightened multi-sensory experience that embraces the power of human imagination and the vast possibilities in visually interpreting the subconscious.

Can Y'all Get Funky

Os Gemeos broke onto the art scene in the late 1980s as graffiti writers in their São Paulo neighborhood of Cambuci, and are now internationally recognized for a figurative style that typically features their signature yellow characters, thin dark red outlining, and intricately patterned designs. Initially influenced by the graffiti movement coming out of New York, they were ultimately inspired by the ingenuity and resourcefulness evident in their working class neighborhood. They made their art accessible to the community as a way to contribute a sense of optimism in the midst of the economic disparity, violence, and drug use that proliferated.

Os Gemeos

Os Gemeos

They believed that the popular Brazilian art movements of the time, which favored conceptual, minimalist, and concrete art, were limiting to a wider audience. Instead, they embraced work by self-taught artists like Arthur Bispo do Rosario, who created all of his work from a Rio de Janeiro mental institution during the 1930s. Following a 1993 visit with the prominent San Francisco-based artist Barry McGee, the twins developed a rigorous studio practice while continuing to make murals. This allowed them to extend their unique artistic vision beyond the streets to an international audience that includes galleries, museums, and private collections. Os Gemeos’ practice continues to be marked by a commitment to the accessibility of art and to exposing the realities of the working class while also celebrating its resilience.

2 Gs on the Moon
Photo Op: 2 Gs on the Moon

Silence of the Music extends Os Gemeos’ approach to an exhibition as a total work of art, a concept exemplified in their Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston solo exhibition in 2012. Conceived as a site-specific installation, each room contains a unique grouping of paintings and objects that cover the wall, floor to ceiling.

B Boy Room

The exhibition pays tribute to music in particular. Included in their B-Boy room are boom box paintings — canvases with embedded speakers that play tracks linked to the imagery on the canvas — and interactive sculptures that play LP records.

B Boy Room

O Dia Da Festa de Break (The Break Party's Day), 2016
O Dia Da Festa de Break (The Break Party’s Day), 2016

For Os Gemeos, the era during the 1970s and 1980s was an influential time of discovery and sharing; the improvisational structure, descriptions of everyday life on the streets, and bravado in sharing these stories that this golden age of hip hop fostered is intrinsically linked to their practice.

Os Gemeos

Os Gemeos Video, O Iluminado (The Illuminated), 2015

Here’s a little video I took of the  kinetic sculpture pictured above, which is called O Iluminado (The Illuminated)!

Installation View

Similar to the surrealist artists of the early 20th century, Os Gemeos seek to defy conventions and push boundaries in art and society through the unbridled exploration of the subconscious and imagination. In direct contrast to the surrealist notion of a solitary dream space, however, the twins have described a shared intuition and subconscious experience that is translated visually through their collaborative process. They often allude to this notion of duality with their incorporation of the sun and moon, which is representative of masculine and feminine forces.

O Beijo (The Kiss), 2015-2016
O Beijo (The Kiss), 2015-2016

The room Kiss is painted in bright hues that exude a sunny splendor and is anchored by a mechanical sculpture, representative of the masculine, which plays compositions arranged by Os Gemeos together with their brother.

O Beijo (The Kiss), 2015-2016

A sculpture affixed to the ceiling directly above it, depicting a female, moon-shaped face, seemingly kisses the floor sculpture to trigger the music played. This imagery and their installations are meant to conjure a lucid dream state and empower the audience to consider their own subconscious.

O Beijo (The Kiss), 2015-2016

Os Gemeos’ symbolism extends to their characters as well, whose indiscriminate yellow tone is meant to defy racial associations, an artistic decision meant to emphasize unity and the establishing role that diversity plays in their native Brazil and abroad. The twins often incorporate masks, instruments, and musicians in their work as a way to visualize the folk customs, festivals, and crafts that represent the myriad of cultural influences that make up the social and cultural landscape. Silence of the Music combines folk art, pop culture, and urban detritus in order to offer an expansive impression of the artists’ unique artistic perspective and creative process.

Back Benders

Os Gemeos Silence of the Music will be on Exhibit Through October 22nd, 2016 at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Located at 536 West 22nd Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Os Gemeos Signage

Installation View

Os Gemeos B-Boy Mural on 2nd Avenue

Os Gemeos Mural 2nd Ave
Photos By Gail

The Brazilian mural artists – twin brothers – known as Os Gemeos have painted another one of their epic murals in the East Village on the south-facing facade of 26 Second Avenue at 1st Street, on the vacant lot that formerly housed one of the of rare gas stations that you never see in the city. The mural went up around the third week of August.

The hip-hop influenced old school B-Boy appears to be emerging from inside the building through the concrete wall, while carrying an eighties-style boombox. The new mural will likely remain intact until the new ten-story residential development begins to rise next door. Sigh.

Os Gemeos Mural 2nd Ave

Brooklyn Museum Presents: The Rise of Sneaker Culture

Sneaker Culture Poster
All Photos By Gail

If anticipating a visit to Nike Town is as exciting to you as a trip to Disneyland, then The Rise of Sneaker Culture, an exhibit exploring the history and evolution of the popular footwear, on now at the Brooklyn Museum, is your wet dream.

Case 1 Gold Sneakers

Not that the Brooklyn Museum doesn’t know how to do an exhibit of shoes, because did you see the Killer Heels exhibit? That shit was just out of control. So maybe my expectations were too high. Because the only things separating the Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit from a trip to buy new trainers were prices on the shoes and sales people walking around in referee shirts asking what size you wear. Yawn City.

Installation View

The again, maybe gazing at rows of sneakers that you can buy anywhere displayed inside of Plexiglas cases gives you a boner, in which case here’s a little bit of exhibit hype from  the museum’s website. “From their modest origins in the mid-nineteenth century to high-end sneakers created in the past decade, sneakers have become a global obsession. The Rise of Sneaker Culture is the first exhibition to explore the complex social history and cultural significance of the footwear now worn by billions of people throughout the world. The exhibition, which includes approximately 150 pairs of sneakers, looks at the evolution of the sneaker from its beginnings to its current role as status symbol and urban icon.” Woo.

Brown Canvas High Tops

I think these are antique high tops.

Case 2 Grey Sneakers

Included are works from the archives of manufacturers such as Adidas, Converse, Nike, Puma, and Reebok as well as private collectors such as hip-hop legend Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, sneaker guru Bobbito Garcia, and Dee Wells of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder.

Converse X Damien Hirst
Converse X Damien Hirst Butterfly Print Sneaker (2010)

Also featured are sneakers by Prada and other major fashion design houses and designers, as well as those made in collaboration with artists including Damien Hirst and Shantell Martin. This was my favorite part of the exhibit, and if all of the shoes were like this small sampling of sneakers, I would have been over the moon. Check these out.

Christian Louboutin Studded Sneakers

These Christian Louboutin Roller-Boats (2012) feature Louboutin’s signature red soles and gold pony-skin uppers, embellished with aggressive studs. I can’t even imagine how much they cost.

Christian Louboutin Studded Sneakers

Reebok X Alife Hot Pink
Reebok X Alife Court Victory Pump “Ball Out,” Hot Pink (2007)

Thank god I found a Pink Shoe to write about! Alife’s reimagining of Reebok’s famous tennis shoe, the Court Victory Pump, went on to become one of the most sought-after sneakers. True to its name, Ball Out, the upper is cleverly made using tennis-ball-like material. The original release of the Ball Out was yellow, followed by a number of other bold colorways, including this fuzzy, bright pink version. I would wear them.

Film footage, interactive media, photographic images, and design drawings contextualize the sneakers and explore the social history, technical innovations, fashion trends, and marketing campaigns that have shaped sneaker culture over the past two centuries.

While you’re at the museum, add significant value to your visit by checking out the Faile Exhibit, Savage/Sacred Young Minds, which is just insane.

The Rise of Sneaker Culture will be on Exhibit Through October 4th, 2015 at the Brooklyn Museum, Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 5th Floor.

Sneaker Culture Signage

Cey Adams’ Trusted Brands at Rush Arts Gallery

Hot Wheels
All Photos By Gail

Cey Adams, a New York City native, is an icon of Hip Hop and graphic design. Trusted Brands is an exhibition of his new collage works on canvas examining branding in contemporary culture. Adams‘ use of collage and design principles creates rich textures of easily recognizable logos structured along subtle grids, which are becoming comparable to his signature. Adams’ delicate technique and balanced compositions celebrate the history of graffiti, graphic design, Pop Art and Hip Hop.

Coca Cola

Trusted Brands explores icons of brands that have impacted his thinking and ideology from youth. Adams emerged from the downtown graffiti movement and exhibited alongside fellow artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. He appeared in the historic 1982 PBS documentary Style Wars that tracks subway graffiti in New York. He was the Creative Director of Russell SimmonsDef Jam Recordings and co-founded the Drawing Board an in-house visual design firm. He created visual identities, album covers, logos, and the differences here of advertising campaigns for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and many others.

Union 76

Shell

Cey draws inspiration from 60’s pop art, sign painting, comic books, and popular culture. His work focuses on themes including pop culture, race and gender relations, cultural and community issues. Trusted Brands transforms images and graphics that he grew up with. “These are all brands that my parents trusted and then I ended up trusting. I wanted to do something that really kind of revisits that.”

Pepsi Cap N Crunch

Trusted Brands by Cey Adams will be on Exhibit only through March 28th, 2015 at Rush Arts Gallery, Located at 526 W26th St Suite 311, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Kool Aid and KFC