On Tuesday, we spied this beautiful work-in-progress graffiti art on the side of the Davy Jones Liquor Locker, a famously no-frills liquor store in Venice, Los Angeles. We’ll go back to see the completed work in a few days and post pix here, but judging from what we see, there’s a local beach theme with palm trees and summery, sunny colors on the “wild style” lettering. Even in its half-finished state, the artwork is beautiful. This spot has been a canvas for a lot of other commisioned graffit art and street art over the years.
While we’ve always had a strong distaste for the most basic, utilitarian type of territorial graffiti tag — raw vandalism without taste — there’s an element of that aesthetic employed in this graffiti-inspired street art on a pair of doors on About Kinney Boulevard in Venice, in Los Angeles. The tight spacing of the letter forms and its overlapping composition are rendered in plain white on black. The paint drips to form root-like tendrils below the rectangular block of indecipherable text. The door forms a canvas, and the doorway with its white-painted brick forms a kind of frame. The over all composition is one of cohesion, boldness and abstraction made more mysterious and evocative by the otherwise restrained plainness of the color white. Love this.
New York City Chinatown has a high volume of small truck traffic ferrying goods to and from the many small warehouses, wholesalers and workshops that call the neighborhood home. Many of these trucks have elaborate graffiti art pieces, like this one we caught turning the corner at Ludlow and Grand streets in the Lower East Side.
Pix here at the scene of artists putting the final spray-paint touches on a mural honoring punky New York hip-hop greats the Beastie Boys and one of its late members, MCA (Adam Yauch). The graffiti artwork is at the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow streets in the heart of New York’s Lower East Side, and at the site of what was once — long before the neighborhood was gentrified — a low-rent clothing shop called Paul’s Boutique. A photograph of the store appears on the album cover of the Beastie’s classic 1989 album titled “Paul’s Boutique.” The shop has long since closed, and a series of cafes and restaurants have occupied the premises over the years with the subsequent waves of gentrification.
This stenciled “Smoke Trees” wheat-pasted street art poster in the Lower East Side of New York City has a graphical, lo-fi propaganda feel. The bear iconography and message harkens to Smoky the Bear and public service ad campaigns to create awareness about forest fire prevention. The message here is subversive and explicit, though unclear. The colors are beautiful and and make for a striking visual on the side of the general clutter of the graffiti- and street art-bombed Jay Maisel Building at the corner of Spring Street and the Bowery.
These cats stencils can be found all over New York City, but we see a lot of them in the Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea neighborhoods for some reason. Of greater significance is the “Army of One” graffiti, which is work and moniker of New York-based artist Jef Campion, a.k.a., JC2, who we heard sadly passed away last week. Campion was the artist responsible for some very powerful street art, especially an artwork that remixed that famous Diane Arbus photo of a boy holding a hand grenade. The artist Fumero, who was an occasional collaborator, has written a brief, moving piece about Campion.
The ubiquitous Adam Cost put up these Space Invader wheatpaste posters recently in the Lower East Side of New York. The iconic, classic videogame graphic images is a subtle nod to the presence of French street artist Invader who was visiting New York that week for a film launch and putting up a lot of his famous Space Invader mosaic street-art installations around downtown.
Here’s some fresh wheat-paste street art by the artist “Pastey Whyte.” The “wheatie” covers an advertisement for the band Bastille on a building hoarding facing the West Side Highway in Chelsea art galleries district.
We caught artist Atom Rodriguez working on another of his many massive graffiti-art murals that dominate the buildings around the Kent Street industrial area near the waterfront between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, in Brooklyn. This one aptly enough is called “Brooklyn” and was still a work in progress when we ran into Atom early Thursday morning.