My first encounter with the Brewster Projects was in June of 2012. In the middle of a sunny afternoon, the heat was relentless. The sun bleached, weed filled center circle drive stood out in harsh contrast to the dark empty windowed towers looming around in a group. On my first trip to Detroit at the time, I was too intimidated to venture any further than the ground level perimeter of the site. I had been told it was a sketchy neighborhood and that there was security. I never saw any and there were no fences, so I took pics of Flying Fortress and Nychos hitting up the bottoms of the towers.
In the summer of 2012 the European graffiti crew JBCB (Juke Box Cow Boys) were in town along with other international artists involved with the Detroit Beautification Project.
By the time I got to Detroit there were only 4 remaining of the big, 15-story towers. There used to be 6, but 2 were torn down in 2003. The towers were called the Frederick Douglas Apartments and were built in the 40s and 50s. This was the housing project where singer Diana Ross grew up and where, in the rec center, boxer Joe Lewis trained. The projects are right across the freeway from Ford Field and downtown Detroit. There were other low rise apartment houses there too, but they have been removed in pieces over the years.
I moved to the Detroit area in the fall of 2013 and made it back to the Brewster towers in October of 2013 determined to check out the inside. On that trip I made it to the top of one tower. In the 15 months since I’d last been there, tons of graffiti had been added to the towers. The bottoms were now grilled with tags, throws and pieces. More noticeably, 3 epic 15-story top to bottom rollers had been executed. In addition, Gats, Feral Child, and Ghost Owl had done rollers at the top of another tower, prominently placed and visible to highway traffic heading south into downtown Detroit. As I climbed I noticed preparations for demolition, but didn’t pay a lot of attention to it. There had been ongoing delays and interruptions in the effort to complete the removal of the projects.
Caroline and I are headed to Chicago today. We’ll have a few days to explore, so any suggestions are appreciated. Here’s your links:
El Toro, Dave The Chimp, Invader, Flying Fortress, Mr. Penfold and others sent in stickers and other small artworks to This must be for you, who put all the work together into little folders and lift them as free gifts around London. Giving out free gifts unexpectedly to random people with no expectation of anything in return, sounds like fun to me (although of course very similar to Papergirl). Check out the video here.
Dozens of artists and scores of folks — all of diverse backgrounds — came together Saturday to celebrate year three of The Welling Court Mural Project, organized by Ad Hoc Art. Here are some scenes from the day:
This post on Hyperallergic pretty much exactly echos my thoughts about a Kickstarter project that hopes to raise $1 million to temporarily cover New York’s water tanks in art by celebrities and celebrity artists (and a couple of cool artists too, admittedly).
As you probably know, copyright laws (particularly in the USA) are pretty screwed up. Maybe this is one solution.
Everyone is going crazy over David Choe right now because we all suddenly learned that he might be worth a lot of money. But did you know that he is also a talented artist and he was just as talented a month ago? Thankfully, his interview with Howard Stern seems to acknowledge this, plus it’s great and honest insight into a generally interesting guy.
The Robots Will Kill crew has a show in Philadelphia opening on April 1st. Never Say Die, a 10th anniversary show for the crew, will be at Vincent Michael Gallery. ChrisRWK, KevRWK, veng, ecb, peeta, JesseRobot and Flying Fortress will all be in the show.
I will definitely be at the opening of Never Say Die. Here’s a flyer:
In case you hadn’t already heard, one of this years most spectacular urban art events is already under way this month in Berlin. The event entitled Art Monument will see four famous street artists repaint a 46 meters high tower called Bierpinsel which stands tall in the center of Berlin. It promises to be one of the most spectacular open-air galleries in all of Europe. The aim is to create the ultimate piece of contemporary art and judging from what has already gone down over there these guys are not far off . The artists involved are Honet, Flying Förtress, Craig KR Costello and Sozyone – who can all be heard in the video below talking about their concepts and plans to combine their different styles. Other street art names such as Nils Kasiske, Form 76, Keramik, Mr. Nonski, Dave Decat, Dave the Chimp, Poch and Stak will also be presenting their artworks inside the prominent buildings.
What to do with an abandoned old tower built in the middle of Berlin… I know! Paint it! Flying Fortress, Craig “KR” Costello, Honet and Sozyone are doing just that in a few months. From April 1st to May 15th, those four artists will be painting The Bierpinsel tower in Berlin, which stands 46 meters (151 feet) high. I don’t know much about the project, but I’ve got a feeling that it could be something really special. This could become an iconic part of Berlin, or at least, something really cool for the locals. And Just will be there to take photos, so you know that the entire process will be well documented. Check out more on the event’s website.