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"Every good artist paints what he is." - Jackson Pollock

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An example of Paris Musette

November 21st, 2013

If you saw our earlier post about our unexpected discovery of owning a Robert Crumb poster, the image featured was for something called “Paris Musette.” So, what exactly is Paris Musette? It’s the traditional Parisian sound of accordian music that one probably hears quite often in old French movies … or in this case, a modern day musette player in a public square in Montmartre, which we saw in Paris last November as part of our Arts Adventurer trip.


Graffiti that suggests “Don’t go fishing around here”

November 21st, 2013

The unsuspecting fisherman in this graffiti mural is reeling in a fish who is ready to whack him across the head with a baseball bat … perhaps the message behind this mural seen in Bridgeport, CT, is “don’t go fishing around here.”

Bridgeport graffiti mural showing a fisherman reeling in a fish with a baseball bat


A graffiti boast that probably no one cares about

November 21st, 2013

I saw this graffiti in Brooklyn back in September, and it reads: “Tyra Banks went to my high school.” Yeah, so? Peter Graves, star of the original “Mission Impossible” television show went to my high school – so there. (I like that someone added a “y” to “Banks,” as in the name of the famous graffiti artist “Banksy”)

Tyra Banks went to my high school, this graffiti artist boasts


Gilbert and George contribute to the NYC skyline

November 21st, 2013

This billboard-sized mural titled “Waking” by the artistic duo Gilbert and George adds a nice burst of color to the NYC skyline … seen near the High Line in late September 2013 along 10th Avenue near 18th Street.

billboard-sized art by Gilbert & George, titled Waking


A plumber’s request leads to the discovery of a Robert Crumb

November 21st, 2013

A couple days ago I had a plumber here to fix a leaky faucet, and he asked if I had the model number of the faucet so that he could get the proper replacement part. I went to look through my file cabinet, and while I never did find the brochure for the faucet, I happened upon this folded up poster that I discreetly “removed” from a bar in Paris 21 years ago. I had been attracted to it at the time due to the style of the image, as it reminded me of World War II propaganda posters. But for whatever reason, I had folded it up and left it in a file cabinet for all these years.

I showed this newly re-discovered “find” to my wife last night, and she pointed out: “look, it’s signed by R. Crumb.” For some ridiculous reason, I had never even noticed the signature before, and never would have guessed that the famous cartoonist Robert Crumb would have created an image with this artistic style, since his well-known work is quite different. But a Google search found that Crumb was indeed quite fond of French “musette” music, and a friend who collects Crumb’s work also confirmed that this is indeed a Robert Crumb image. Many thanks to the plumber!

Paris Musette Au Faubourg poster by R. Crumb


A mobile art gallery named Barbara

November 21st, 2013

A few weeks ago, I was making the art gallery rounds on the Lower East Side of NYC, when I happened upon this structure parked on a corner. I saw the name “Barbara” on the front top center, but couldn’t really tell what this thing was.

a mobile art gallery within a metal structure

After I took my first picture, I stood there a little longer, just looking, when suddenly I noticed two pairs of feet drop down from the bottom, wiggle around, and then disappear again.

feet sticking out from the bottom of mobile art gallery Barbara

Now that grabbed my attention! There were people inside, but I didn’t hear any noise and couldn’t even imagine how people could fit inside of this thing – or why. So I walked around to the other side, took another picture, waiting for the feet to drop again, when I noticed this guy watching me very closely … and when I came back around to the front of “Barbara,” he introduced himself and gave me the explanation that I was looking for.

art gallery on wheels on the Lower East Side

The gentleman introduced himself as Marvin Gates, and explained that “Barbara” is his creation: it’s an art gallery on wheels. Inside this rolling, steel museum are Gates’ own paintings. Gates pushes Barbara daily to different locations on the sidewalks of the Lower East Side. Once Gates decides upon a destination for the day, anyone walking by may stop and go inside – although it’s interesting to note that plenty of people walk right by it with little notice, perhaps thinking it’s a dumpster parked curbside. But those who do stop and notice – or wonder – can be rewarded with this refreshing, unusual, and fun experience. “Barbara” will be on the streets of New York City throughout the rest of November and December – to get a schedule and map of the upcoming locations where Barbara will be parked, check out Marvin Gates’ site here.

At this point, let’s turn it over to Gates himself, and he’ll lead you on a tour inside of his creation:


Other perceptions of 5 Pointz

November 21st, 2013

I thought it was interesting to see some of the comments in the Wall Street Journal’s online coverage of the white washing of 5 Pointz … one reader wrote in: “No little children, you are not ‘artists,’ you are vandals seeking attention.” And someone else wrote this: “Why does anyone give a poop about the removal of vandalism?”

Here’s two examples of some of the art that was at 5 Pointz, and I ask you: do these two portraits look like the work of juvenile vandals?

art at 5 Pointz which was described by some people as simply vandalism


Jerry Wolkoff explains his white-washing of 5 Pointz

November 21st, 2013

Jerry Wolkoff, the owner of the buildings that make up 5 Pointz, explained his reason for white-washing the buildings in the middle of the night: he “paints” himself (so to speak) as being sympathetic to the artists, because when “… I knock it down they’re not watching their piece of art going down.” (quoted from the Wall Street Journal). But we ask Jerry, do you really think that waking up to find art erased is that much better?

graffiti at 5 Pointz was white washed by Jerry Wolkoff

Here’s another quote from Jerry Wolkoff as to why he thought it was a good idea to white-wash all of the graffiti in advance of tearing down the buildings: “It’s like giving yourself medicine. It’s over now. It’s not like watching the art come down piece by piece over a three month period.” Hmm, that’s an interesting idea – the destruction of art as “medicine.”

Jerry Wolkoff explains that white washing the art at 5 Pointz is like medicine


Animated GIF to protest what happened at 5 Pointz

November 19th, 2013

We hope you’ll share this to bring awareness to the unfortunate destruction of the mecca of graffiti and street art, which took place at 5 Pointz last night at the direction of building owners Jerry and David Wolkoff. For more information, check our previous posts here and here.

5 Pointz graffiti mecca wiped clean


Overnight destruction of art

November 19th, 2013

If you missed our previous post, we just learned that 5 Pointz – 200,000 square feet of graffiti – was whitewashed last night, with police protection but no city permits to paint. The owners, Jerry and David Wolkoff, had won their court battle to proceed with demolition in order to build luxury condos, but upon hearing that the pro-graffiti crowd was going to file for building landmark status in an attempt to save the building, simply decided to wash away anything and everything that could have justified making it a landmark.

It’s somewhat fitting that I found this picture of the Wolkoffs walking past a painting of a baby wearing a crown … it seems the whitewash was their infantile response to any threat to their plans to cash in … it’s like a little kid deciding to break his toy instead of sharing it.

5 pointz graffiti landmark gets whitewashed by anti-art owners


Vincent Van Gogh at Artsology Artsology offers free online games about the arts, and delivers investigations into topics in the visual arts, music, and literature. Artsology is a good resource for fun learning about the arts for people of all ages and is enjoyed by students, homeschoolers, and adults. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page. Pablo Picasso paintings at Artsology

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