Sonni fashions huge boom box on Bowery construction container

Sonni’s distinct aesthetic, marked by bold colors and geometric shapes, has found a second home in the East Village. With his Music Machine on view at Artist Alley @ Extra Place, a huge boom box can now be seen a few blocks north at the Bowery and East 4th Street. Curated once again by Keith Schweitzer, the director of  FABnyc‘s public art program, Sonni’s recent work celebrates the 16th anniversary of New York City’s International Fringe Festival. Here are a few more images of the completed piece:

Photos by Tara Murray

The Centre-Fuge Public Art Project – Cycle 4 : BEAU, Deps1, The Muffin Man, Never, Sheryo, the Yok & more

BEAU adds finishing touches to his mural; the image on the right is by Jim Joe

Conceived by First Street residents Pebbles Russell and Jonathan Neville in memory of their friend, Mike Hamm, The Centre-Fuge Art Project has transformed an abandoned trailer into a vibrant canvas. This weekend marked its fourth cycle engaging an eclectic range of artists to share their visions with passersby on First Street off First Avenue in Manhattan’s East Village. Here are some photos captured over the weekend:

Deps1 with a message
Never with the Muffin Man at work on the right
The Yok & Sheryo together again

Photos by Tara Murray & Lois Stavsky

Dorian Grey Gallery takes us back to the 80’s with “CLUB 57 & Friends”

Opening tonight at the East Village’s Dorian Grey Gallery is CLUB 57 & Friends featuring some of the early pioneers of the 1980’s East Village art scene and the CLUB 57 performance space.  Both original works and legendary photographs are on display. Here is a small sampling:

Robert Carrither’s photo of Basquiat, 1980, image courtesy of gallery
Robert Carrither’s photo of Keith Haring, 1980, image courtesy of gallery
Hank O'Neal's photo of Richard Hambleton & Basquiat, photo by Lois Stavsky
Martha Cooper's photo of Basquiat on door, image courtesy of gallery
Dress designed by LA II aka LA Roc, photo by Lois Stavsky
 The opening reception is from 6 – 9pm this evening at 437 East 9th Street between 1st Ave and Ave A. The exhibit continues through October 9th. Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12 – 7pm.

Lorenzo Masnah brings DISASTERS to FUSE

Disasters is the theme of a collaged mural currently underway in the hallway of the FUSE Gallery in the East Village. 26-year-old Lorenzo Masnah has been collecting, enlarging and painting over and on newspaper and magazine images of global disasters, tragedies and human rights violations for years. His politically-infused work has been published in zines and books and exhibited in a variety of gallery and alternative setting in New York City, LA and in his native Bogota, where, along with Stinkfish, he is a founding member of the APC (Animal Planet Collective). Lorenzo’s newest work will be the subject of an exhibit at FUSE Gallery next year. In the meantime, this mural is definitely worth checking out – if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of 93 2nd Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets in NYC’s East Village.

Close-up of mural underway in hallway @ FUSE Gallery, photo by Lorenzo
Lorenzo's iconic Third World Pirate alongside Stinkfish in Bogota, Colombia, photo by Lois Stavsky
Lorenzo as Third World Pirate in the East Village, photo by Lenny Collado

Ugly-Kid GUMO @ Dorian Grey in NYC’s East Village

Opening tonight from 6-9 at the Dorian Grey Gallery at 437 East 9th Street in NYC is the first solo exhibit of Ugly-Kid GUMO, a remarkable French graffiti artist. When I stopped by last night, I was awed by the range of work on exhibit – from collages crafted from found objects to text-infused murals — and the passion that it all exudes. Although the installation was still in progress, I had the chance to speak briefly to Ugly-Kid GUMO.

I love what you are doing. There is an elegant rawness to your work that I find both seductive and provocative. It seems that you want your viewers to think!  Definitely. That is my main goal. I want people to look at my work, reflect on their actions and carefully consider their judgments. People need to think about the power they have to impact our children, the next generation. They must assess their role and some need to question their indifference.

Your work abounds with elements of graffiti. Yes, graffiti is my life. 

When did you first get into graffiti?  Back in ’97-’98, when I was in high school. I lived just outside of Paris and there was lots of graffiti in my neighborhood. I loved its energy and doing graffiti offered me a way to express myself – to affirm my individuality. The entire hip-hop culture inspired me.

Any favorite graffiti artists?  Many…the Parisian graffiti crew Grim Team, Sharp, Crash and Seen are among my favorites.

Where are you based these days? I travel between Paris and NYC. When I’m in Paris, I tend to work in the streets. In NYC, I work from my studio. For the past two years, I’ve spent most of my time creating art in my NYC studio – many with plaster chips from Parisian walls! And so I’ve brought my streets here into my studio!

Have you any formal art education? Yes.  I studied and graduated from ESAA (Ecole Superieure des Arts Appliques) in Duperré, Paris. After a brief careet in fashion design, I decided to devote my energies to creating artwork. I’ve also worked with children in various settings, using art as a tool to inspire their creativity and growth.

What do you see yourself doing in ten years? Painting and pursuing a career in fine arts.

Curated by Marianne Nems, “This is OZ, Nothing Makes Sense” continues through July 24.  At tonight’s opening there will be a live performance “Mask” by guest artist, Bizard. 

ADRENALINE 20’ x 6’ graffiti on canvas
Dead Skin Roll in -Collage graffiti wall chip over metallic sheet 8 x 8
One of many images in a range of sizes on paper
From left: Ugly-Kid GUMO, curator Marianne Nems, performance artist Bizard and gallerist Christopher Pusey

 Photos by Lois Stavsky