Despite Washington DC’s zero tolerance policy, its public spaces continue to boast a range of “illegal” works from stickers and paste-ups to out-of-the-way graff pieces. On my recent visit, DC’s prolific sticker artist iwillnot gave me a tour of some works – all done, as he explained, “without permission.” Here is a sampling:
Astrotwitch – whose playful, colorful paste-ups and stickers have graced Washington DC’s visual landscape for a while now – has been busy at work curating an exhibit. “With Love and Care,” opening this Saturday evening, May 4 from 7-11pm at the Fridge, brings together seven international artists who have shared their one-of-a-kind hand painted posters in public spaces. On exhibit will be select posters and original paintings by these artists — mounted by Astrotwitch on painted and tagged frames fashioned from found wood. In addition to Astrotwitch and Decoy from DC, featured artists include: the Berlin-based Argentinian artist, Alanzacion; Portland, Oregon’s N.O. Bonzo and Circleface; MAR! from LA and Galo from Sao Paulo. As you can see from this sampling, their work is quite diverse; what binds them together is their commitment to sharing unsanctioned original artwork on the streets of their cities.
The exhibit continues through May 26 at 516 1/2 8th Street, SE in Washington DC.
A huge fan of sticker art, I love coming upon Astrotwitch‘s beguiling women whenever I’m down in DC. Along with Astrotwitch, an array of these women recently traveled west to Portland, Oregon. Rendered in seductive colors with watercolor, acrylic and markers, they’ve made their way onto a range of surfaces in different sizes. Here’s a sampling:
Photos by Lois Stavsky and courtesy of Astrotwitch
There are few sites as alluring to artists – or at least to the artists I tend to meet – as abandoned spaces. A few like the Underbelly Project and Mausolee, last summer’s takeover of an abandoned supermarket in Paris, have attracted considerable media attention. But many others — both sanctioned and unsanctioned — take place regularly on a smaller scale. Earlier this month, a soon-to-be-demolished warehouse in Washington DC’s U Street Corridor became the canvas to over 60 artists. Presented by AIGA DC and Albus Cavus, the space opened to the public for six hours on Friday, June 8th. Blended – as the event was called – successfully fused the worlds of graffiti, street art, graphic design and more as it raised money to support the implementation of public art projects. I was impressed by the range of sensibilities, backgrounds and ages of those who filled the space to capacity. Here are some more images that made their way onto the walls:
Earlier this spring in Jerusalem, a diverse group of artists covertly refashioned an abandoned home in West Jerusalem’s upscale Emek Refaim neighborhood. Meydad Eliyahu, a Jerusalem-based artist (whom I met years ago when his stencils surfaced regularly on his city’s public spaces) shared the following images with me:
After the home was refashioned — with library and all — it was opened to the public for a few days. The Empty House is once again empty, but its brief existence has helped revive Jerusalem’s underground art scene.
“Blended” photos by Lois Stavsky & i will not; photos from “The Empty House” by Meydad Eliyahu
Here are some more favorite pieces on the streets of DC — from artists whose works I’ve seen and loved for years to those I just discovered: Chor Boogie, Decoy, Ben Tolman, Aniekan, Astrotwitch, I Will Not and BK Adams. Continue reading “Washington DC Street Art — Part ll”