New Paintings from Old School Legend Fab 5 Freddy @ Gallery 151 on the Bowery

June 29th, 2011 | By | 22 Comments »
One of NYC’s most active train bombers in the late 70’s and early 80’s, Fred Brathwaite aka Fab 5 Freddy is probably best-known for his work as a film producer, director and co-host of Yo MTV Raps.  He was also, as Jeffrey Deitch reminds us, one of the leading forces behind the movement that brought graffiti into galleries and helped link the distinct uptown and downtown cultures. With a painting on exhibit at MoCA’s Art in the Streets and a solo exhibit of recent work at Gallery 151 at 350 Bowery, this hip-hop pioneer is once again gaining recognition for his visual art. Last night I stopped by the gallery to check out “New York: New Work” that opened earlier in the month (and closes this Friday). There’s a range of mixed-media paintings on exhibit including images of boxers and exotic dancers. My favorite pieces, though, are those that celebrate the bold flavor and brash spirit of old school graffiti. Here are a few:

Photo by Lois Stavsky

Photo by Lois Stavsky

Metro Movement, an allusion to the New York City subway car Fab 5 Freddy covered with Campbell’s soup cans in 1980, Image courtesy Gallery 151


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , , , ,
  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    Two things:
    1. Was he really one of the most active? I never thought that was the case. But he definitely painted one of the best trains I’ve ever seen photographed (the soup cans/pop art train).
    2. I also had a chance to see a few of these pieces recently, and let me say that they look way way better in person. This isn’t a comment about Lois’ photos, because on all photos I’ve seen of these have been unable to really capture them.
    Anyway, yes, Fab5Freddy is the man.

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    Two things:
    1. Was he really one of the most active? I never thought that was the case. But he definitely painted one of the best trains I’ve ever seen photographed (the soup cans/pop art train).
    2. I also had a chance to see a few of these pieces recently, and let me say that they look way way better in person. This isn’t a comment about Lois’ photos, because on all photos I’ve seen of these have been unable to really capture them.
    Anyway, yes, Fab5Freddy is the man.

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    Two things:
    1. Was he really one of the most active? I never thought that was the case. But he definitely painted one of the best trains I’ve ever seen photographed (the soup cans/pop art train).
    2. I also had a chance to see a few of these pieces recently, and let me say that they look way way better in person. This isn’t a comment about Lois’ photos, because on all photos I’ve seen of these have been unable to really capture them.
    Anyway, yes, Fab5Freddy is the man.

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    Two things:
    1. Was he really one of the most active? I never thought that was the case. But he definitely painted one of the best trains I’ve ever seen photographed (the soup cans/pop art train).
    2. I also had a chance to see a few of these pieces recently, and let me say that they look way way better in person. This isn’t a comment about Lois’ photos, because on all photos I’ve seen of these have been unable to really capture them.
    Anyway, yes, Fab5Freddy is the man.

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    Two things:
    1. Was he really one of the most active? I never thought that was the case. But he definitely painted one of the best trains I’ve ever seen photographed (the soup cans/pop art train).
    2. I also had a chance to see a few of these pieces recently, and let me say that they look way way better in person. This isn’t a comment about Lois’ photos, because on all photos I’ve seen of these have been unable to really capture them.
    Anyway, yes, Fab5Freddy is the man.

  • Loisstavsky

    You’re probably right, RJ! — a bit of hyperbole on my part!

  • DUKIENESS

    NO LOVE…FAKE…TAKING OTHER PEOPLES WORK AND PASSING IT AS HIS

  • DUKIENESS

    NO LOVE…FAKE…TAKING OTHER PEOPLES WORK AND PASSING IT AS HIS

  • DUKIENESS

    NO LOVE…FAKE…TAKING OTHER PEOPLES WORK AND PASSING IT AS HIS

  • DUKIENESS

    NO LOVE…FAKE…TAKING OTHER PEOPLES WORK AND PASSING IT AS HIS

  • DUKIENESS

    NO LOVE…FAKE…TAKING OTHER PEOPLES WORK AND PASSING IT AS HIS

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    Got any examples to back up your claim?

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    Got any examples to back up your claim?

  • DUKIENESS

    he took OH wallnuts crew/kd   inversed the piece, cropped it and calls it his “art”
    good enough for you?

    It’s a shame….

    27
    Jun

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    Well, that’s a matter of what you think of appropriation. And that’s always complicated. These days I tend to be on the side of allowing lots of appropriation in the context of art, but I also have quite a liberal view of copyright laws and my opinions are more radical than the norm. Point is, one man’s stealing is another’s loving appropriation/homage. Also, I’m not sure what he is doing here is passing off the piece as his own. If someone asked Fred, would he acknowledge his source material? I expect so.

  • Deliranta

    Fred was never an active graffiti writer, as he himself says when interviewed. That is more than hyperbole, it’s plain lack of research.

  • Jon M

    Fred tried to pass himself off as an early 70′s graffiti writer from Brooklyn that wrote SPIN. During this lengthy window of perpetration Fred had no qualms taking credit for all of the original SPIN’s work.  
    It took years but Fred finally admitted to a (small) group of friends that it was all a lie. 

    Loving appropriation/homage? I think that’s called a memorial. 
    How is any of this up for debate? It is NOT ok to use someone else’s work without permission and expect to sell it. 

    Maybe you’ll feel different after you read more. 
     
    Revok’s blog: http://revok1.com/blog/2011/09/dear-fab-5-freddie-youre-a-corny-wannabe-wheres-severs-check/
    Cope 2′s blog: http://www.12ozprophet.com/index.php/cope2/entry/fab_fake_freddy/

    Whatyouwrite.com: http://whatyouwrite.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/its-a-shame/

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    I hadn’t heard about the SPIN accusations, but yeah, I’m keeping an eye on Revok’s post and I’ll be writing something about it in the next few days when I have a free moment.

  • http://blog.vandalog.com/ RJ Rushmore

    I hadn’t heard about the SPIN accusations, but yeah, I’m keeping an eye on Revok’s post and I’ll be writing something about it in the next few days when I have a free moment.

  • Daniel Coleman

    just google REVOK and look at his blog. He has it all on there. Fab5 is a FAKE!

  • Daniel Coleman

    just google REVOK and look at his blog. He has it all on there. Fab5 is a FAKE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/loisinwonderland Lois Stavsky

    Yes, I take full responsibility for the misinformation. I must have relied on the press release or something similar.