Sunday, September 28, 2014

SEPTEMBER SCENERY: PHOTOVILLE AT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

Summer is lingering. While the skies become more overcast and leaves turn to orange, I'm enjoying every last bit of sunshine there is. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a great place to spend a humid day: with the water separating you from downtown views, the wind cools down an otherwise hot pier. Smorgasburg and other events keep the park pretty packed, and this weekend was no exception. The highlight of September, Photoville is a venue set on the pier that re-purposed shipping containers into caves of art and large scale murals. Enjoy! 
You'll have to appreciate all the random intruders in my pictures, as this is how the murals looked for the majority of the day. 
Each shipping container had a different installation to walk through, ranging from intact bedrooms of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to urban photography of New York City, and then the digital revolution of Silicon Valley. So yeah--basically, art for everyone and anyone. The crowds inside the containers made it impossible to photograph, but here are some highlights from the outside.





Admittedly, my mural favorite of the day is the sole reason I wanted to come to Photoville: this two story shipping container mural by Dalek. Its bright colors pop against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline in an absolutely amazing way. Titled "Chromatic Aberration", this mural hosted by Instagram was the focal point of the Photoville exhibition. A classic hashtag #Photoville on the backside of the container, and a perfect mural was born. 
There are waaayyy better pictures with a view of the skyline on Dalek's instagram here. From up above and even on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, this mural stands so far out of its element. Check out his page for more views! 
I spy the World Trade Center off in the distance, which reminds me that my favorite part about Brooklyn is the Manhattan views. ;) 
A trip to Smorgasburg afterwards made for the perfect Sunday: think carnitas tortas, dulce de leche donuts, and Ramen burgers. Mmmmm, I'm craving it again already.

Until next time, Brooklyn! You never disappoint...
A wrong turn on our walk back to the subway turned into the best little surprise. Curiosity killed the cat....and cheese killed the mouse? I guess we'll never know. 

My last days of September will be filled with more street art, so stay tuned for all coming soon! 



Xx
Naomi 


Sunday, September 21, 2014

FROM THE STREETS TO GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL: ART BY BUFF MONSTER


Being able to see an artist in both their street art and gallery form is awesome. This weekend, Buff Monster pretty much surpassed all of that. His newest exhibition, Melty Misfits Series 2, is more than a gallery. It's also a set of trading card stickers, figurines, and posters, being sold inside Grand Central Terminal. His art is just as vibrant and melty on paper as it is on walls. 

Welcome to P!Q--the self described "quirky outpost for artist designed gifts and much more"--is just that. The Melty Misfits are in a perfect home here, and seeing Buff Monster down a long corridor in Grand Central Station is pretty surreal (not to mention badass). Although I usually avoid tourist and commuter filled places like Grand Central, this store is too cool right now to not check out. If you're in the city, go see it for yourself! 




Meeting Buff Monster was awesome, and luckily there wasn't a huge line when I was there. You can see the art for sale in person, or online at http://www.piqproducts.com

To commemorate this exciting event, I went through my pictures to see him back in the streets. From below his studio on Broome and Bowery, to Bushwick and Little Italy, Buff Monster's art never gets old to look it. Congratulations on the newest exhibition, and thanks for all the walls in the meantime! 
The Bushwick Collective
Chinatown/Little Italy
Lower East Side: Bowery & Broome
Little Italy 
I don't think I could ever dislike art that involves ice cream & the color pink, but this is just the best. Extra melty, and I love it all. Buff Monster truly makes NYC a brighter place.

Next up: Photoville at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Stay tuned, until the next mural! 

xx
Naomi 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SUMMER'S LAST HOORAH: ART BELOW HOUSTON STREET

As this art-filled summer comes to an end, I find myself yet again in the Lower East Side and Little Italy neighborhoods of lower Manhattan. From Houston St. and below, art is plentiful, and I wanted to take advantage of walking around for miles while I still could. 

Doesn't this wall just scream summertime?! Another melty mural by Buff Monster, I'd been waiting for the perfect opportunity to go see this piece on Bowery and Broome. It's rolled up during the day when the storefront is open, and I'd only seen the corners of it until now. And WOW was it worth the wait! 




This has to be the largest mural up in the Lower East Side, and with a powerful message to go along with it. Titled "We Own The Future", Shepard Fairey's latest piece is a beautiful one that you can admire from blocks away. Up close, you can see the words of wisdom from the Obey Giant himself--"Transform our world through creative response." An appropriate message for the soulful neighborhood of the Lower East Side, I could only wish that was the view outside my bedroom window. From the ground, and through a camera lens, this picture just doesn't do the real thing justice. Check out the view from Buff Monster's studio space across the street on his Instagram here



Walking through the Lower East Side another day, I passed by to check out a new mural from one of my favorite artists, Jerkface. His new piece is titled "Homer's Inferno", and luckily doesn't have the time constraints that the Buff Monster piece did. 



Just around the corner, I ran into a colorful surprise. A promo for Mister Spoils, an online men's newsletter and website, this mural is the classic style of Jason Woodside's work. It pops against the concrete in a way that makes you want to party. Awesome!! 


As promised in my last post, I still have some Little Italy updates to make. By the time I've written this post, there's another new mural for me to go see, so this isn't the last you'll hear of Mulberry Street. But for now, enjoy what I've found (or found again, with less people crowding in front!)...





This garage door trio on Mulberry by L'amour Supreme is part of the LISA Project, and it's in one of the busiest sections of Little Italy. Whether there's a man in a cannoli suit in front (not a joke), or tables filled with pizza and wine, or ladders and 2x4's, I've been trying to get a shot of each door before I posted them all together. You can see more pictures on L'amour Supreme's Instagram here

Last but most certainly not least, this creepy character is in a hidden parking lot on Mulberry. I've probably walked past it 10 times before noticing it, but now it catches my eye every time. Warning: the closer you look at it, the crazier it is! Ron English can really make painting pop--this baby hulk is so 3-D in person! 

And below, a collaboration by artists including Sheryo and the Yok, Meres One and Buff Monster. Too bad they wouldn't let me in the private lot to get closer shots. You'll have to enjoy it from afar like I did! 

Of course, as a Californian born, I'm sad to see the summer and good weather go. But the art changes with the seasons, and I'm always excited to see what is next. 

xx
Naomi 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

LOVE IN LITTLE ITALY: A SUMMERTIME AFFAIR

It seems like every weekend, there's a new mural in downtown Manhattan that I'm dying to go see. Before winter comes along and the streets are covered in snow again, new murals are being added left & right. Although the street art and graffiti in Little Italy is a draw to the neighborhood itself, the San Gennaro festival begins this weekend, which means the crowds will thicken and the art will be slightly harder to enjoy from the busy sidewalk and countless booths selling sausage and peppers. Between cannolis and gelato, I stopped by this weekend to get a sneak peek before all the excitement begins. 

If you haven't read my Little Italy Street Art Project posts before, do so now!! You'll get to see the evolution of the wall above, and many more. The space outside of L'asso pizza has become a popular landing spot for new murals and artists. And yes, all my LI posts start out with "Love in Little Italy." If you've ever been to the neighborhood, you know that Mulberry Street and it's surrounding area has a welcoming and loving vibe to it. Add in a splash of colorful murals every few businesses, and a beautifully friendly neighborhood is revived!

Summer Love In Little Italy: May 2014
Street Art Saturdays: Tie Dye, Rainbows, & Sharing the Love: April 2014
Love in Little Italy: March 2014

My favorite part about this update is the new Bradley Theodore work in the neighborhood. One of my all time favorite street artists, BTH always comes up with new little skull quirks to keep the city fresh and fun. 

Above, Thomas Jefferson on the nickel, titled "Sell or Die." Around the corner and pictured below, Karl Lagerfeld and his cat. 

Above: a special painting for New York Fashion Week, featuring Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne. Fabulous!!!

Another mural I've taken pictures of before that I'm including again today is this beautiful coffee shop mural by Alice Pasquini. Most days, the mural sits behind a table of four, which is usually filled with patrons enjoying their pizza and pasta. In any case, today just a broom sat nearby. I couldn't help but snap a new shot! 
And yet another throwback to earlier this summer. I hadn't gotten a picture with Superman yet due to crowds and invasive scaffolding, but I'm so happy to share another Jerkface mural! Too funny that the street, like most other NYC streets, is covered in trash. Not even Superman can save this city (or my feet)...
Last but certainly not least, this mural blends in perfectly with the Little Italy scene. Perfect colors matched with an edgy vibe, the grate over this gift shop has one of the best on the block. Art by 5ptz curator Meres One

I love love love Little Italy. This summertime affair started when I first moved to NYC, and would head to the neighborhood for what I thought was the ultimate New Yorker cultural experience. Although I didn't understand it in the same context at the time, I think my original perception holds true to today. A neighborhood filled with arts and culture, and a mutual love for the beautification of our streets. Honestly, Mulberry St. is never not going to be covered in trash. But the murals as a backdrop certainly help the appearance. Keep it fun, and as always, I'll keep coming back! 

I have more to share from Little Italy, so stay tuned! Until next time...

Xx
Naomi

Monday, September 1, 2014

THE END OF AN ERA: 21ST PRECINCT ART SHOW

I am finally back from my hard-drive crash induced hiatus, and have so much to catch up on and share with you all. Warning: This is going to be a long post, but bear with me because the art is worth it! 

A few weeks ago, I started to see a lot of my favorite street artists and muralists posting about their WIP (work-in-progress) at the 21st precinct police station. Instantly, I was intrigued.

Wait, what? An art show inside a police station? It's certainly not something you hear of every day, and it only gets cooler from here. The 21st precinct originally opened in 1863 in Gramercy, but has now seen its last days. The NYPD commissioned 50 international  artists to decorate before the demolition, and the result was a beautiful yet ironic art mashup. The artists painted every inch of this place! Walls, ceiling, floors, the bathrooms and the stairwells. Welcome! 
Each corner turned led to another dimension and another artists interpretation of the space. Between messages to the graffiti community and politically charged murals targeted at cops and corruption covering the walls, there was even more happiness and  light-heartedness to surround it. This 5 story building was converted into an amazing collective of art from many different styles and personalities. Enjoy my highlights from the exhibition! 

Sheryo and the Yok
@spacecandy & @_theyok


Iena Cruz
@ienacruz


RAE
@rae_bk

Lexi Bella
@lexibellaart


Nepo
@nepoart





And on to the next dimension! Now, art for New Yorkers and the NYPD. 






Shiryo

UR New York




This last mural above has some advice I think all New Yorkers could use! How could you stay mad in a city like this, where there is so much fun and adventure surrounding us all...? 

Upon leaving the 21st precinct, it finally dawned on me what was so cool about the whole thing. Really, it's that even the police have realized now that street art and graffiti don't have to be negative, gang-related, thuggish activities. Since 1863, graffiti has been illegal, but it has had an everlasting effect on the culture in New York City. Whether one particular painting is your personal style or not, the world we live in today is a much more tolerable one. Included within that level of tolerance is the booming love for the street artistry that is spreading across the world. It's the end of an era for the 21st precinct, but for the art community, it's just the beginning. Cheers to the next chapter! I love that I'm along for the ride. I'll leave you with a few favorites from the day, until next time...

Li-Hill


MRtoll
@mrtoll



Queen Andrea

And one last question, from the 21st precinct art show to you:


More coming soon! & thanks for reading, as always! 

xx
Naomi