I was in NYC last night, catching a few art gallery shows in Chelsea before heading out to Brooklyn for the opening reception of an exhibition by street artist AINAC. It was raining pretty hard at times, so as I was walking down 16th Street near 9th Avenue, I ducked into a parking garage next to the Maritime Hotel, which you can see from the street (below left) and from inside (below right). I’m including these pictures to help you identify it, in case you want to check it out yourself.
And why would you want to check out this parking garage? Because it’s filled with some crazy street art and graffiti, that’s why! Scroll down to see what I saw last night.
Here’s the first thing I saw, a big face by the street artist “Haculla” (real name: Harif Guzman), along with this photographic collage with the woman and the two leopards (which was covered with plexiglas in order to keep it intact, so it would seem that the owner of this parking garage appreciates the art!). Scroll down for more pictures of what I saw inside. I love the idea of the entry into a parking garage holding a large-scale “gallery” of art, with as much visual interest as some of the art galleries in the same neighborhood.
I was recently in NYC visiting art galleries and taking pictures of street art, and noticed the remains of a street art piece, below right … I liked this photograph because the eye was the main element remaining, and it had a look of desperation.
I was a bit surprised tonight, when looking through some of my previous NYC street art pictures, I happened upon a photograph I took almost a year earlier which shows the exact same piece on the same wall, when it was still intact, below left. I guess the title of “Nine Lives” is appropriate, as we’re seeing two of the nine lives of this particular piece here.
I’m always taking pictures of street art as I’m walking around NYC (or any place else, for that matter, including Asheville, NC, San Francisco, or Montreal, among many other places), and I love how there’s always an ever-evolving group of artists dominating the scene at any given time.
I started noticing work in January 2014 by an artist who goes by the name AINAC, which stands for “Art Is Not A Crime.” I often saw his work across the street from Pace Gallery, on 25th Street just off of 10th Avenue, as seen below left and in this previous blog post here.
There’s not a lot known about AINAC, as even his own website doesn’t provide anything in the way of biographical details. So it’s with some curiosity that we’re heading out to Brooklyn on Thursday night to attend AINAC’s opening reception at the 210 Gallery on 24th Street in the South Park Slope neighborhood. From what I understand, there’s been a gallery space in this location for some time, but a new owner – Mikhail Novikov – took over the space this past July and is revamping the space with a new focus on street art. Novikov stated his mission as follows:
“I’m extremely passionate about street art; by taking over 210 Gallery, I wanted to provide street artists the opportunity to show their work in the same forms as fine artists. We have to remember, art is an expression of one’s reality and many street artists hail from urban environments.”
It should promise to be an interesting night: Novikov has managed to get “car2go,” a point-to-point car sharing service, to provide a car which will be customized by AINAC and which will eventually be integrated into their fleet of cars. How cool is that? The opening reception takes place Thursday night from 7-10pm, and the show continues Friday through Sunday.
Check back later this week, as we plan to have some coverage from the opening and the exhibition.
I saw this plaque below on a wall outside of the Cheim and Read Gallery in Chelsea the other day. It reads:
When there’s no safe place to sleep, you’re tired from walking all day and exhausted from the night because it’s twice as dangerous then.
When I first saw it, I figured whichever street artist posted this meant for it to look professional and official in a way, with the solid metal plaque with silver lettering on a black background. I thought it was pretty gutsy to screw something substantial like this into the exterior concrete wall of Cheim and Read’s gallery. But as I Google-searched the phrase to try to find out who did it, I learned it’s by Jenny Holzer, who is represented by Cheim and Read Gallery, so it’s certainly there on purpose.
So while this means it’s not a daring or gutsy piece of street art, I still like the unexpected discovery of it on their wall and the way that it’s relatively discreet without much attention drawn to it.
My wife was in Paris these past 8 days on a business trip attending Paris Photo, and while I’ve been posting her dispatches while she was there, things got quiet on Friday night, as word arrived (via a concerned sister-in-law) that there had been terrorist attacks in Paris that afternoon. I had been blissfully unaware, going about my business, when I received the call inquiring about my wife’s safety. Thankfully, she is safe and on her way home today, but our thoughts and prayers have been going out to all of those affected by the attacks these past few days. It’s been a crazy couple of days, watching the news, calling and texting with my wife to check in on her safety, hearing that Paris Photo (as well as most of Paris) had been shut down both Saturday and Sunday, and hoping that peace and order would be restored as soon as possible. Here’s one of the last photos that she sent to me before the attacks, before she and her co-workers were encouraged to stay in their hotel until the time came to leave for the airport today.
Check out this video by artist AINAC (“Art Is Not A Crime”) – I love the idea of attaching a GoPro camera to a can of spray paint, it’s a unique perspective. Also, watch through the video to check out the finished painting, with the kid on the ground checking his cell phone rather than playing hoops … as a former youth basketball coach, I know I’ve seen that situation before.
210 Gallery in Brooklyn will be featuring AINAC’s art work in an upcoming exhibition, running from 11/20-11/22 (opening on Thursday night, 11/19 at 7pm) … I’m going to head out to Brooklyn to check it out.
My wife is in Paris this week, attending (and working at) Paris Photo, an annual international photography art fair being held at the Grand Palais.
She’s been sending me pictures when she gets a chance to walk around Paris and explore, which I’ve been sharing here. The only problem is, sometimes her descriptions of what she’s seeing in the pictures is somewhat sparse, so I try to find some info online to help me fill in the blanks to make sense of it all. For example, this picture that she sent – she said it was in a park near the Eiffel Tower, but not much more than that.
I’d guess you’re curious, as I am, whether she walked inside of this grotto or not … and if so, what was inside? I may need to wait until she gets home to get more details on it, but I did find something online, as random as this may seem: if you look closely at the picture, you can see the faint base structure of the Eiffel Tower near the top right corner … according to the info I found online, behind this grotto is the remains of a chimney belonging to the steam engine which powered the first lift up the Eiffel Tower. Sure, that’s slightly interesting, but I still want to know what’s in the grotto.
“Greenwashed?” you may ask … we’ve all heard of things getting “whitewashed,” whether it’s a fence or wall getting painted white to give it a fresh look or to cover up something. But in this case, some sort of poster or street art that was pasted to a wooden wall surrounding a construction site in NYC was “greenwashed” instead … I like the way the figures appear almost like ghosts peeking out from this green murky surface.
If you’re a regular reader of the Artsology blog, then you’ve probably seen one of our posts that show all of the interesting visual effects that we see on the slate sidewalks in our hometown of Glen Ridge, NJ. Well, we had another “exhibition” of sorts today on our dog walk, where we saw some interesting imprints from leaves that had temporarily stained the slate sidewalks. The individual leaf images were nice, but we really like the more-complex abstract images made from multiple leaves, that almost look like Rorschach tests (we’ve seen some of those on the sidewalks here in town too!).
I read a news report recently that stated there are more displaced people and refugees in 2015 than there have been at any time in history, totaling around 60 million people! To give you a sense of perspective, that would be like asking every single person living in the states of New York and California to pack up their things and leave home for some other state. Can you imagine?
This photograph below, taken by Darko Bandic, shows a column of migrants making their way between farm fields in Slovenia last month. It made me curious to look for some other representations of mass migrations in art history. Scroll down to see a few examples of art that we found dealing with this theme of exodus.
One of the more-obvious artists who depicted migration was Jacob Lawrence, who painted a series of 60 small paintings about “The Great Migration,” the multi-decade mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North that started around 1915. Below is one of his paintings from this series.
Cy Thao is an American artist born in Laos who created a similar series of paintings. In Thao’s case, his migration series of 50 paintings chronicles the migration of Southeast Asia’s Hmong people, who were allies of the U.S. during the Vietnam War, but became the target of Communist persecution when the American soldiers withdrew. Below are two paintings from Thao’s series.
The “Trail of Tears” came as a result of Andrew Jackson’s “Indian removal policy” in 1838 and 1839. The Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the “Trail of Tears,” because of its devastating effects. Below is a painting depicting the Trail of Tears by Max D. Standley.
If you are an art teacher, you could use these examples of migration in art to teach your students a little about current events as well as some history lessons. Perhaps you can ask your students to create their own series of art works about current-day migrants, either based on images in news reports or as modern day versions of these art historical images.