Here’s another of the new New York City-themed “Big Apple” Space Invader street art mosaics by pioneering French street artist Invader. This one is at the New Museum on the Bowery and is one of several that have popped up in downtown New York City, mostly in the Lower East Side, the past few days while the artist is in town for the screening of his new film “Art4Space.
One of the most recent punny wheat-paste street art pieces by Hanksy (not Banksy) is this mash-up of illustrated depictions of late actor James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) and the Lord of the Rings character Gandlaf in New York’s Lower East Side. Hence the title of this street artwork: “Gandalfini.” (Get it? Of course, you did, as we knew you would.) The artwork can be found on Orchard Street, just south of Grand Street, if the art-fashion “South of Delancey” area of the Lower East Side.
Here are more of those “Where is My Passport?” sidewalk street art pieces that have been appearing all over New York City this year. Each of these painted questions is accompanied by a stencil image of controversial Chinese artist and social activist Ai Wei Wei. This one is in the Chelsea art gallery district, in front of the entrance to the famous Commes des Garcons concept store.
We just got back from a viewing of the most recent street art by British street artist Banksy as part of his “Better Out Than In” October residency in New York City. Banksy’s latest work was put up earlier today on a roller shutter covering the entrance to Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club & Lounge, a strip club in the NYC neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, on Manhattan’s west side. The street artwork is titled “Waiting in Vain at the Door of the Club.”
Today marks Banksy’s 24th Day in NYC, where he has released a new artwork every day of the month except for Wednesday October 23rd, when it was reported on his website Banksyny.com that that day’s street art event had been cancelled “due to police activity.”
There was a bit of a circus and mini-mob scene at the site of the strip club street art piece as dozens upon dozens of people angled themselves in a scrum of bodies and iPhones to get a view of the stencil street art piece and snap photos. A trio of bouncers stood by protecting the artwork (and/or the club property), and it wasn’t clear if they were affiliated with the club, the artist or both. At one point, one of the bouncers got really surly with a viewer who was clearly trying to overstep the bounds to get a close-up photo. Meanwhile a reporter and his crew shot a video report nearby. And down the block, a guy was selling what seemed like unofficial Banksy merchandise (Banksy magnets) out of a garage.
The location of this Banksy street art is the northeast corner of W. 51st Street and West Side Highway (a.k.a., 12th Avenue).
We revisited the site of the Banksy 9/11 street art stencil in TriBeCa, in New York City, this past weekend. There was again a crowd of between a half-dozen and a dozen people viewing the artwork and — yet again — another argument was unfolding between a visitor and a local resident.
Since our first visit the day Banksy put up the stencil artwork, a lot of other graffiti has gone up nearby and there have been attempts to deface the work. The artwork itself is a silhouette of the lower Manhattan skyline including a depiction of the iconic Twin Towers and one of the explosion fireballs on the building, represented by strategic placement of a fiery orange flower on one of the towers.
Somebody had installed a plexiglass cover over Banksy’s work to protect it from vandalism (ironic, right?), and residents in the apartment building across the narrow street were keeping a watchful, protective eye on the work. One of the residents admonished a viewer who was trying to remove the plexiglass and a heated argument between them ensued. The viewer argued that the plexiglass should be removed so that people can appreciate an unobstructed view of the work and see it as it was intended. The resident argued it should be protected and noted that already several people had tried to smash the cover by throwing bricks at it, hence the cracked plexiglass. Eventually the visitor walked off muttering that Banksy’s artwork “is just graffiti.”
Both people had a point. Their arguments underscore just how much of all of this is subject to debate given the circumstances and that the artwork is at once vandalism, illegal, ephemeral and of artistic, cultural significance.
The artists and brothers duo that are Skewville are known for their use of striking colors, bold and large block lettering, and faux facades like cartoony trompe l’oeil. In the heart of Brooklyn’s scenic waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO and its post-industrial urban landscape of former factories, massive lofts, rail lines and cobblestone streets (and occasional abandoned furniture), the Skewville brothers have painted a block of old-school storefronts on a building under the Manhattan Bridge. Check out this Adhoc video interview with the artists.
Brooklyn-based artist Maya Hayuk recently completed several of her colorful, epic murals and large paintings for an exhibition of her work currently at the Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles. The show is one of several massive wall works that the busy and prolific Hayuk has been painting at museums in North America and Europe in recent months. (Full disclosure: We’re an acquaintance of Hayuk’s and a friend and former colleague with her husband.)
Our contributing editor Ryan Baum came across this super awesome mural by the ever-prolific Shepard Fairey at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. Fairey’s artwork here is site specific, drawing from local architectural imagery and referencing the city’s important industrial history. Great stuff.
Ryan Baum images. All rights reserved.
This ping pong table installed in the second-floor terrace of the first-rate Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (and, by design, the museum-visiting couple playing) is a conceptual piece of installation sound art titled “Sound Piece for the Hammer Museum,” one of a series of projects at the museum by Machine Project. Love it.
Street art superstars Faile have just completed a massive new mural on the side of tall brick building in Midtown Manhattan, in New York City. The scale of this piece is epic. Find it on E. 44th Street, on the north side of the street just west of Eighth Avenue, across from the Intercontinental Hotel.
Here’s a nice piece of photo-based stencil street art by the artist TONA in Amsterdam’s Centrum neighborhood. The artwork is wheat-pasted and shows a small, blonde child holding an aluminum can (perhaps a can of beer?)
Over drinks with friends on a recent hot, humid evening in New York’s Lower East Side, the conversation turned to the subject of design, specifically Ikea and some of the Swedish company’s flatware products. Our friend S. drew this literal napkin sketch of what the Ikea fork and knife looks like. The original article, we think, looks something this set on the Ikea website.
Israeli artist Yossi Wallner’s viral street art project “Ctrl Alt Del” is one of the coolest projects and cleverer ideas we’ve seen in a while. Wallner has taken the common keys used in laptops and computer keyboards and installed these as buttons on walls, columns, and public infrastructure in his home city of Tel Aviv, in Israel. See photos below.
The re-contextualization of these familiar keyboard components, with their abbreviated function labels (Del, Esc, Wake, Power, etc.), imbue these objects with multiple meanings when in the public space, whether on a telephone pole, next to a security camera, in a leafy park or on a busy street.
What’s more, in these settings the buttons suggest some new kind of functionality whereby we can shape parts of the real world outside by pressing the same keys we use to change the words in an email or re-touch an image in Photoshop. Wallner poses the questions “What if the keyboards that we are buried in blindly all day could change your reality? If you could escape something by a push of an “Esc” button? Delete anything by a flick of a finger?”
The Tel Aviv installations are the first for this project, and Wallner is planning to create a website and a community of collaborators to put up keyboard buttons in cities around the world and submit photos of their installations to his site. We’d love nothing more that to walk down a street in Tokyo or New York a year from now and find one of his “Esc” keys on a wall.
Over the weekend we posted about some coffee we had from a third-wave espresso roaster and cafe in Tokyo called Bear Pond Espresso. As our regular readers already know, we here at Global Graphica are kind of obsessed with hunting down the best coffee wherever we go. Here are some pix of the Bear Pond cafe and surrounding area in Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa neighborhood as seen from the street. (The cafe has a policy against taking photos inside without permission, so we just have a few quick snapshots from outside.) Bear Pond is the fussiest, most meticulous and attentive espresso purveyors and coffee roasters we’ve ever met, which is why we like them and their coffee so much. They’re also really nice and have great style. As noted in that earlier post, they only prepare and serve espresso for two and a half hours each day, from 10:30am to 1:00pm. Furthermore, they’ll only sell some of their coffee beans to you if you first take a short course they offer on how to properly prepare the coffee in the Chemex style. We have to say, their coffee is probably the best we’ve had anywhere.
All manner of illustrated anatomical hearts on this wheat-paste street art piece “Love Hurts” outside the Sue Scott Gallery on Rivington Street in New York’s Lower East Side.
Now that we’re finally getting some real summer weather here in New York City, we’ve busted out a pair of denim espadrilles with an awesome skull-and-bones sewn into each shoe. The skulls are wearing hats, though — look closely — and you’ll notice that the hats are different for the left and right shoes: the left-foot shoe’s skull has a bowler hat, the right has a top hat. We bought these a few weeks ago at a super awesome select shop in Amsterdam’s Jordaan neighborhood called Tenue De Nimes.
A sparkly fresh new wheat-paste street art piece by the artist Raemann on Lafayette Street in NoHo, downtown New City. “Smart Air” is another in series of artworks that depict “bottled air” as a consumer product branded with the logos of popular bottled-water brands, such as Dasani, Perrier, Poland Spring, and, as pictured here, Smart Water.
Now that food trucks are everywhere and a normal part of our urban and culinary landscape, it only makes sense that there would eventually be a fashion truck, right? Nomad is that truck, a clothing and style shop on wheels that calls itself a “wandering fashion boutique” and can be found around New York City. We spotted it parked at the Hester Street Fair recently.
Here are photos of artist Erik den Breejen’s recently completed “Fashion Heroes Bowie” mural at Rag & Bone in New York City. The artwork was commissioned by the clothing company for the exterior of its Nolita “boutique” jeans store, at the southeast corner of Houston and Elizabeth streets. Earlier in the week we published photos of the the artwork when it was a work in progress. The completed work is a stunning portrait of rock legend David Bowie and composited of hundreds of words from the lyrics to the British musician’s songs “Heroes” and “Fashion.” Incidentally, Bowie himself had lived for years in an otherwise unassuming-looking luxury apartment literally down the block and around the corner on Spring Street, across the street from his pal Moby. (For all we know, he may still have the apartment and be staying there.) See more of den Breejen’s work on his Tumblr and at Freight & Volume.
Alright, we’re here in Times Square, New York City, and here they are … lots more fresh photos, including close-ups, of the massive, epic street art building-takeover and billboard by French artist JR. The the giant-eye billboard artwork is the crowning touch on a project that’s been in the works the past few weeks. The images of people faces on the building itself has been a work in progress in since early May, when the artist set up a photo-booth and studio truck in Times Square and then pasted images of volunteer models on the sidewalk and building nearby. The giant eye on the billboard can be seen from quite far away, as photos below and in our previous post show.