The UK’s SHOK-1 is the latest artist to work with us at The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, and besides doing a great version of one of his trademark x-ray/rainbow pieces, this marks another minor milestone for the project: X-Rainbow (Arc) can be found at the corner of Mulberry and Kenmare streets in Manhattan, which makes it the northernmost mural for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC so far. Okay, it’s only about half a block further than our previous northernmost mural, but I’m celebrating the little victories as the project continues to expand.
Check out more in progress and detail photos after the jump…
This week The L.I.S.A. Project NYC invited Jerkface to Little Italy to paint a door on Mulberry Street at the corner of Mulberry and Hester. Since last July, this door is where one of my favorite pieces by ND’A had been, but it was time to change things up. I love how, even though this spot is a bit recessed into the wall, Jerkface’s piece, titled The Jerk of Steel, really pops and still manages to catch people’s attention as they walk by.
Jerkface has this to say about the piece:
My work, when broken down, is a simple game of color. The proper distribution of color can generate various emotions from the viewer. When using iconic characters in my work, I try to minimize their facial expressions so that the more obvious mood generated from the face does not override the subtle mood created by the color play.
Yesterday morning, Pose MSK finished up this mural for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC at 188 Lafayette (Lafayette and Broome). This is phase one though. Later this year, Pose will be back to paint the entire five story wall.
Pose’s mural was organized by The L.I.S.A. Project NYC with support from Robin Mui, CEO of Sing Tao Newspapers NY, and Kate’s Paperie, which is right next to the mural.
Pose in in New York City because he’s showing with Jonathan Levine Gallery at VOLTA this weekend for Armory Week. VOLTA tends to be one of my favorite fairs, along with Fountain and Scope. Fountain is great because it’s unpretentious and fun, Scope tends to have the most artists whose work I’m familiar so it’s a nice way to see what people have been up to, and VOLTA is where I go to find great new artists. VOLTA’s format is a bit abnormal, but it works great. Each gallery only shows one artist in their booth, so (at least compared to other fairs) it feels a lot less like a flea market or a mall. For a more detailed list of the art fairs happening in NYC this week, check Hyperallergic.
When I first started working on organizing murals in Little Italy, we called it The L.I.S.A. Project NYC for Little Italy Street Art. We never expected to get beyond Mulberry Street, but about 18 months later, have our first mural in Chinatown. Earlier month, The L.I.S.A. Project NYC invited Ben Eine to paint a mural at 161 Bowery, and he knocked it out just before the opening of his show at Judith Charles Gallery. Eine and his work will always hold a special place in my heart. His work helped me get interested in street art when I saw shutters much like his piece for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC peppering Shoreditch six years ago when I knew absolutely nothing about street art or graffiti. Ben was also one of the first artists that I spent any proper time with or chatted with about street art, and he really inspired me to explore things further. For all those reasons, plus I just plain enjoy his shutter alphabets, it was a joy to help arrange a spot for him to paint, and for him to be our first artist painting outside of Little Italy. He helped me expand my horizons six years ago, and now he’s doing the same for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC.
Eine’s show at Judith Charles Gallery in NYC, Heartfelt, runs through March 16th, but here’s one photo from the show. You can see more over at Arrested Motion.
This month we’ve also worked with Ludo. Earlier this week, he pasted a piece on a door on Mulberry Street in the heart of Little Italy. I’ve been a fan of Ludo’s work for years, so I’m bummed that Wayne and Rey, my partners at The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, got to handle this one themselves while I sit in Philadelphia. On the plus side, in addition to the door with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, Ludo has been getting up around NYC and he has a solo show opening at Jonathan Levine Gallery this Thursday evening (6-8pm). So I’ll have a lot to check out next time I’m in town.
I think these are great pieces, but let’s face it: Ben and Ludo both painted work with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC in the run-up to gallery shows. And some of the work we have planned for the next few months also coincides with gallery shows. I know some people find that controversial, suggesting that the murals become mere ads for the gallery work. As someone who really doesn’t like outdoor advertisements, this is something I think about. I look at things from a different angle: In many cases, the artists we work with who time their pieces with a gallery show are out of town artists. They aren’t going to come back in a month when their show is down to put up work, so we grab them while they are around. And yes, the work may function as an ad to some viewers, but the work has no real branding on it beyond the artist’s own signature style. For 99% of the people who see these works in person, they see pure public art, not ads. And if you look at a work of street art or public art and do see an ad, it’s only because you’re already aware of the show that you may think the work is there to promote. Do murals help promote shows in a roundabout way? Sure. But it’s a subtle promotion that results in the creation of public art, and personally I have no problem with artists working in galleries. I want to support my talented friends so that they can live off of their art, if they choose to do so. So yes, we at The L.I.S.A. Project NYC are proud to say that sometimes we work with artists who are putting up art that coincides with gallery shows, because it allows for a more diverse set of murals and furthers supports the artists we love.
Earlier this week, Olek and her team descended upon Little Italy for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC‘s first public artwork of 2014. Olek crocheted a message, a quote from Nelson Mandela, along a fence on Mulberry Street. The crochet mural said, “There is no such thing as part freedom.”
Unfortunately, it seems the 376 square feet of crocheting has been stolen as of Saturday afternoon. If you have any idea where Olek’s piece may be now, please contact The L.I.S.A. Project NYC.
At least we got a few photos before the work was stolen, so enjoy:
Max “Ripo” Rippon is the latest artist to visit Little Italy for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, a mural project curated by Wayne Rada and I. When I heard that Ripo was going to be in town from Barcelona, I knew we had to take advantage of the opportunity. As I’ve said before, one thing that really excites me about The L.I.S.A. Project is when we can mix the old and the new, Little Italy’s history with contemporary art. With his love of handpainted signs and typography, I suspected that Ripo would fit perfectly with that combination. I suggested something site-specific about Little Italy and he immediately got the idea and improved upon it. For his piece on Mulberry between Hester and Grand streets, Ripo drew on neighborhood archives to create a collage-like portrait of the neighborhood.
Ripo says, “The fragmented texts come from research of New York Times news headlines relating to the history of Little Italy. Included are also a few treasures found in the archives at the Italian American Museum with headlines in Italian such as: “Gli Italiani Non Piu Considerati ‘Enemy Aliens'” (Italians no longer considered ‘Enemy Aliens’), and an extortion letter sent from the mafia, finishing with the line: ‘Our vendetta is about to begin.'”
HOTTEA stopped by Little Italy last week for a last-minute piece with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. His piece is right at the heart of our little street art murals, on Mulberry between Canal and Hester streets, near work by Ron English, Tristan Eaton, Bishop203 & Pebbles and a large collaborative mural done through Secret Walls. Since he works with yarn, HOTTEA was able to hit up a fence where I guess we otherwise couldn’t really install any art. Here are some shots of the piece coming together:
Ever since he helped out Ron English on Ron’s Little Italy mural, I’ve been hoping to see Beau Stanton‘s own work on Mulberry Street. This month, everything finally came together and Beau painted the above piece at Mulberry and Grand as part of The L.I.S.A. Project NYC. When we’re arranging murals for The L.I.S.A. Project, I particularly like when we can bring in something fresh that doesn’t totally leave the context of the area behind. With the neighborhood’s rich history of immigration, I think Beau’s mural is a perfect fit. I have to be honest though, this wall was entirely organized by Wayne Rada and Rey Rosa, with me watching jealously from the sidelines here in Philadelphia.
Earlier this week, Tristan Eaton completed this mural, titled Liberty, in Little Italy in New York City. Liberty is just across the street from Ron English’s Temper Tot mural from last October. I helped a little bit with organizing Tristan’s mural as part of my work with Wayne Rada at The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, but this mural had been in the works since before I got involved or The L.I.S.A. Project even existed, and it was the planning of this mural that resulted in the creation of The L.I.S.A. Project. I am so happy to finally see Liberty up on the wall, visible from Mulberry Street and Canal Street, adding something really special to the area. From the moment I saw Tristan’s first mock-up, I thought, “This is going to be iconic,” but Tristan has really outdone himself. Liberty is beautiful and iconic, but it really is Tristan’s interpretation of the Statue of Liberty and American ideals, rather than just a straightforward depiction of an already-iconic image.