In my travels across New York City documenting street art and graffiti, I’m always excited when I stumble across full-blown illicit installations. While stenciling and wheatpasting continue to explode in popularity, it takes another level of commitment, chutzpah if you will, to pull off something more involved. Using salvaged or re-appropriated materials, NYC street artists are both piggybacking their pieces onto existing street furniture and brazenly installing work of their own.
An Experiment in Street Art Criticism
Coming across a work by Gaia on the street is a special experience. His work is intelligent, emotional, well-executed, and informed by the wider world. He looks beyond pop culture, where most street art gets stuck. His linocut prints and drawings, often of animals, are beautifully rendered and react to the intensity of the urbanscape and its manmade fauna.
Natural Apparition: Gaia’s “St. John” (2010)
There is nothing more universal than nature, but the meaning of what constitutes the term may lead to disagreement. That perceptual ambiguity attracts Gaia, who navigates the boundary between nature and artifice carefully and with apparent ease. His latest artistic mash-up in Baltimore’s Reservoir Hill neighborhood, combines the myths of the Christian saint St. John the Baptist, the Babylonian general Holofernes, and a cock.
New Museum Ethics Quagmire Gets Its Own Unofficial Ad Campaign
The unfortunately titled Skin Fruit has already opened on the platinum coast of downtown Manhattan, formerly known as the Bowery. And guess what, not everyone is happy.
Last weekend while avoiding the art fairs, I spotted a fantastic poster in Chelsea that lampooned the New Museum and its new found taste for caviar. I did some sleuthing and tracked down the creative geniuses behind the campaign and found out what they had to say.
The Collaborative Mess: Keanu Reeves & Street Art
The concept of artistic collaboration is slippery. New York Magazine’s 31st reason to love New York City in 2009 is “Because Our Street Art is Collaborative.” Maybe they don’t really understand the notion of collaboration.