Time magazine recently published the “100 Most Influential Images of All Time.” It’s a stunning mixed collection of iconic, powerful and beautiful images. Among these images is the first photograph ever taken, a picture from 1826 titled simply “View from the Window at Le Gras.” The image shown above is a 1968 photo titled “The Invasion of Prague.” It’s one of our favorites.
In light of the recent brouhaha about the merits of pop-star Taylor Swift and her song “Welcome to New York” (and the heated debates about the authenticity of her New York-living experience and her new role as “Ambassador” for the city) comes this freshly painted mural by the long-time New York graffiti artist Chico. The street artwork is painted on the roller-shutter of La Petite Mort, vintage boutique on an artsy-fashionable stretch of Orchard St. near Chinatown on New York’s Lower East Side. “R.I.P Taylor Swift” is scrawled above a skyline of NYC suggesting that the Taylor Swift we once knew is gone forever. Or that she should be? The first impression is this is a bit of Taylor-Swift-hating on the part of the artist,. But maybe the mural is capturing a more nuanced sentiment about Swift?
This #ELLEThugLife street art paste-up at the old Bowery Bank Building (a.k.a., the Jay Maisel Building) in downtown New York is filled with diverse religious symbolism and compelling imagery. It depicts a naked woman wearing only a head-scarf and partial face veil and sporting many tattoos as she stares directly at the viewer. The image is powerful, mysterious and evocative.
This king of spades street art on Great Jones Street in NoHo, in downtown New York, is by the incredibly prolific artist Cost, and it’s one of the few pieces by him that rely on graphic images rather than on text alone. The King if spades is much less cryptic, but visually way more compelling and arresting than his usual works.
Speaking of “arresting”… Cost, whose real name is Adam Cost, was recently arrested by NYPD on charges of vandalism. It seems like Cost’s wheat-paste posters are everywhere in New York City, and this had made him a high-profile vandal high up on the wanted list of NYPD’s graffiti-vandalism crime unit.
We recently started seeing a random few of these wheat-paste street art images of a young, Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson appearing on walls around downtown Manhattan. But then this past weekend, these seemed to multiply exponentially and appear everywhere, from the Lower East Side to Brooklyn’s Greenpoint. In the LES, we counted dozens of the “Young MJs” on Ludlow Street alone. These Young MJ wheat-pastes are the work of a mysterious New York-based “celebrity stylist” and artist who goes by the moniker “UnCasso” (a.k.a., “UnCuttArt”). The “Young MJs” come in a variety of colors . In some cases, as pictured below, a single, larger image is composited with several pieces in different colors. Needless to say, we love ’em. This isn’t the first time the “King of Pop” has inspired street art.
New York artist Bradley Theodore strikes again with a new piece of street art in New York’s Lower East Side. Continuing with his series of images depicting fashion-world celebrities as impressionistic, colorful skeletons, Bradley has painted this full-body portrait of style icon Nick Wooster on a door to the popular downtown bar-club-restaurant Hotel Chantelle on Ludlow Street.
One of the highlights of Frieze NY 2014, the juggernaut art fair launched by London-based art magazine Frieze, was a crushed Fiat car coated in pink nail polish. The artwork is titled “Skin Crime 3” by Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury, and it was installed next to a giant mirror-like old-school Gilette razor blade titled “Blade” (of course). We’re a fan of Fleury’s ouevre, which explores themes of consumerism, shopping, fashion, luxury, beauty and marketing, often in striking vivid, colorful installations.
Side note: Fiat cars seem to be useful media material for European artists, as seen here in British artist Simon Starling’s “Ostalgia.”