Calligraffiti 1984/2013 at Leila Heller Gallery with upcoming artist talk

September 23rd, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »
eL Seed as seen from outside the Leila Heller Gallery

eL Seed as seen from outside the Leila Heller Gallery

A huge fan of Middle Eastern calligraphy and modern graffiti, I found much to love at Calligraffiti: 1984-2013 at the Leila Heller Gallery. And, not surprisingly, among my favorite works were those by artists with strong roots in graffiti who are — or who have been — active on the streets.  Here’s a sampling:

eL Seed

eL Seed

eL Seed on opening night

eL Seed on opening night

Keith Haring and LA2 collaboration

Keith Haring and LA2 collaboration

LA2

LA2

Niels "Shoe" Meulman

Niels “Shoe” Meulman

And for those who live in or near NYC, a Calligraffiti Artist Talk will be held in the gallery, 568 W. 25th Street, this Thursday evening at 6:30.  Featuring Ayad Alkadhi, Julien “Kaalam” Breton, Fab Five Freddy, eL Seed, LA2 and Rostarr, it will be followed by a site-specfic Light-Calligraphy performance by Julien Breton at 8 pm.

All photos by Dani Mozeson, except for eL Seed as seen from the outside the gallery by Lois Stavsky


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Calligraffiti: Graffiti meets calligraphy meets Jeffrey Deitch (again)

September 5th, 2013 | By | No Comments »
El Seed

El Seed

Tonight is opening night for Calligraffiti: 1984-2013 at the Leila Heller Gallery. The show is interesting for two reasons:

  1. It examines connections between graffiti and calligraphy at a fancy gallery. Seriously though, this should be really fascinating. There will be work by El Seed, L’ATLAS, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, LA2, ROSTARR, Niels “Shoe” Meulman, Ramellzee and many more artists (including many with no history on the street or with graffiti, but rather with feet firmly rooted in more traditional modern and contemporary art).
  2. It marks the return of Jeffrey Deitch to New York City, basically. He didn’t curate the show, but he did curate a version of the show at the same gallery back in 1984, and the New York Times reports “Mr. Deitch served as Ms. Heller’s sounding board” for this version of the show. Deitch recently resigned as Director at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles after growing the museum’s endowment from under $10 million to almost $100 million, although it seems as though he is staying on at the museum just a little while longer, through the completion of that goal of reaching a $100 million endowment and the process of finding a new Director.

Photo by Public Art (QMA)


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Marianne Nems presents Ugly Kid Gumo, Benoit Debbane, LA2 & more @ Miami’s Fountain Art Fair

December 1st, 2011 | By | No Comments »

I met Marianne Nems back in June at the East Village’s Dorian Grey Gallery, where she introduced me to the impassioned work of French graffiti artist, Ugly Kid Gumo.  For the next three days, Marianne will be at the Fountain Art Fair, 2505 North Miami Ave. @ 25th St. exhibiting work by Ugly Kid Gumo and others. Among the images that she shared, I’m particularly intrigued by the artwork of Benoit Debbane, the Lebanese painter whose work first surfaced on the walls of Beirut in the 1990’s.  Another highlight are new works by Angel Ortiz aka LA2, who recently graced New York City’s East Village with a huge mural.

"Adrenaline" by Ugly Kid Gumo

"The Darkness Rising" by Benoit Debbane

LA2's recent mural in the East Village

Photos courtesy of Marianne Nems


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LA II: On the Streets of NYC’s Lower East Side and at the Dorian Grey Gallery

March 28th, 2011 | By | 2 Comments »

In late winter a number of Keith Haring-like images began to surface on the streets of the Lower East Side. I should have immediately recognized them as the work of Angel Ortiz (Little Angel aka LA ll), the main inspiration behind much of Keith Haring’s art. But I didn’t. Whereas Keith Haring is regarded as one of the key artists of the 20th century, LA ll is just now on his way to attaining the respect and recognition he deserves. Deemed as Keith Haring’s “silent partner,” LA ll collaborated with and traveled alongside him for about 10 years, profoundly impacting Haring’s style and sensibility. A solo exhibition of LA ll’s recent paintings is at the Dorian Grey Gallery at 437 E. 9th Street through April 17. It’s worth a visit.

photo by Tara Murray

photo by Lois Stavsky

Photos by Lois Stavsky and Tara Murray


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