Ben Eine and Ludo join up with The L.I.S.A. Project NYC

February 19th, 2014 | By | No Comments »
Ben Eine on the Bowery. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ben Eine on the Bowery. Photo by Rey Rosa.

I’ve got two small but exciting pieces from The L.I.S.A. Project NYC to talk about today.

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.

Ben Eine. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ben Eine. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ben Eine. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ben Eine. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ludo on Mulberry Street. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ludo on Mulberry Street. Photo by Rey Rosa.

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.

Ludo at work in Little Italy. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ludo at work in Little Italy. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ludo at work in Little Italy. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ludo at work in Little Italy. Photo by Rey Rosa.

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.

Ludo. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Ludo. Photo by Rey Rosa.

Photos by Rey Rosa for The L.I.S.A Project NYC

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos | Tags: , ,

Banksy + 5: October 13th

October 14th, 2013 | By | 5 Comments »

Once again, people such as myself are the butt of Banksy‘s joke for a Better Out Than In piece (and once again I’m late posting about a piece). This may be my favorite work in the show so far. Banksy arranged for a man to sell original Banksy artworks on the street next to Central Park. The paintings weren’t labeled as Banksy pieces in any way, and were available for $60 a piece (although one woman haggled a bit and snagged 2 for $60). The obvious comparison is to Joshua Bell playing in the DC Metro, though the parallels are not exact.

This piece by Banksy is great because, like so much of Better Out Than In, it’s about the crowd that follows Banksy’s work and the system in which Banksy exists. Jeffrey Deitch recently called Banksy a conceptual artist, and I think he is spot-on. This piece, and so many others in Better Out Than In, are not the physical art objects themselves but about the relationships that people have with the objects.

Most Vandalog readers will have heard people complain, or have complained themselves, about how mediocre Banksy pieces can get covered in plexiglass and preserved while masterpieces just around the corner by any other artist can get ignored or painted over. Even work by Banksy has been accidentally painted over when not identified as his work. For 99% of street art and graffiti, the vast majority of people see it without the context of “This is a work by Artist X, whose history is Y. It is important because Z,” but fewer and fewer people see Banksy’s work in that random way, as just another artist among thousands, as just another piece of visual information on a crowded streetscape. For a brief moment this past Saturday, Banksy was just another artist, not a media sensation. Any hey, for just another artist, $420 isn’t bad for a day’s work.

Of course, now I’ve got friends and relatives emailing me asking why the hell I didn’t give them a heads up about this and asking how they can get a Banksy for $60 in order to quickly flip it and possibly make quite a few thousand dollars. But while the works at the stall were authentic, I wonder whether or not Pest Control will authenticate them. Without that authentication, even the people in the video can’t really be trusted if they attempt to sell their “authentic” artworks. Those stencils would be easily enough to fake. But who really cares if the works are real or fake, so long as you’re not paying more than $60 for them?

Speaking of street artists being unappreciated when their name isn’t Banksy, here’s our + 5. These five works that range from very big to quite tiny and are by Ludo, 616, UFO, Cane Morto edit: with Insurrectionize, Royce Bannon and Russell King:

Ludo in Paris. Photo by Carlos Ribeiro.

Ludo in Paris. Photo by Carlos Ribeiro.

UFO. Photo by Hrag Vartanian.

UFO in NYC. Photo by Hrag Vartanian.

616. Photo by Alex Ellison.

616 in London. Photo by Alex Ellison.

Cane Morto and Insurrectionize in Bergen. Photo by svennevenn. Click to view large.

Cane Morto and Insurrectionize in Bergen. Photo by svennevenn. Click to view large.

Russell King and Royce Bannon. Photo by Ellen King.

Russell King and Royce Bannon in Philadelphia. Photo by Ellen King.

Photos by Carlos Ribeiro, Hrag Vartanian, Alex Ellison, svennevenn and Ellen King

Category: Photos, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Banksy + 5: October 4th

October 4th, 2013 | By | No Comments »

Banksy. Photo from

Today’s new Banksy pieces are my favorite so far of Better Out Than In, his month-long series of works in NYC. Today three new pieces appeared on the project site in a series described on the website as “Random graffiti given a Broadway makeover (an ongoing series).” Banksy has shown time and time again that he is great at placing his works in interesting locations and playing with the existing environment. These are the first pieces of Better Out Than In that have shown that off. These Broadway pieces were located on the Lower East Side and in Williamsburg, but one has already been buffed.

AnimalNY reports that at least one of the pieces may have been painted 3 days ago and has locations for all of the pieces. If we trust the metadata in Banksy’s photos (which can be tweaked), the photos were taken yesterday (can’t say exactly when because it’s unclear what time zone the camera’s internal clock is set for), so Banksy would have painted the pieces and then waited more than a day to photograph them (or at least one of them). But we are relying on two assumptions here: 1. AnimalNY’s source is accurate, and 2. The metadata in the photos is accurate. Sidenote: Other random metadata includes that Banksy or his photographer generally use a Nikon D60 and edit photos on a Mac using Photoshop CS4.

Check out the other two Broadway stencils at the end of this post. First, today’s + 5. This afternoon we have work by DOT DOT DOT (another great example of placement), Peter Fuss, Ludo, SP-38 and Francisco de Pajaro aka Art Is Trash (whose piece is actually somewhat similar to today’s Banksy pieces):

DOT DOT DOT in Bodø, Norway. Photo by All Rights Destroyed.

DOT DOT DOT in Bodø, Norway. Photo by All Rights Destroyed.

Peter Fuss in Gdynia, Poland. Photo by Peter Fuss.

Peter Fuss in Gdynia, Poland. Photo by Peter Fuss.

"Biohazard" in Paris, France by Ludo. Phoot by Ludo.

“Biohazard” in Paris, France by Ludo. Phoot by Ludo.

SP-38 in Berlin, Germany. Photo by aesthetics of crisis.

SP-38 in Berlin, Germany. Photo by aesthetics of crisis.

Art is Trash. Photo by Dave "NoLions" Stuart.

Francisco de Pajaro aka Art is Trash in London, UK. Photo by Dave “NoLions” Stuart.

And now those other two great Banksy pieces:

Banksy. Photo from

Banksy. Photo from

Banksy. Photo from

Banksy. Photo from

Photos by All Rights Destoryed, Peter Fuss, Ludo, aesthetics of crisis and Dave “NoLions” Stuart and taken from

Category: Photos | Tags: , , , , , ,

Fresh from Ludo in Paris

June 25th, 2013 | By | No Comments »


Ludo sent over this new piece from the streets of Paris, which he calls “Psorophora Encaustum”. Psorophora is a genus of mosquito and encaustum is latin for ink or writing fluid.

IMG_5195 IMG_5193

Photos by Ludo

Category: Photos | Tags: ,

Ludo’s War Bug

March 29th, 2013 | By | No Comments »


Wow. I’d love the meet the building owner who asked Ludo to put this massive piece (titled War Bug) on their picturesque building in Lille, France. Fantastic.


Photos by Ludo

Category: Photos | Tags:

Weekend link-o-rama

March 23rd, 2013 | By | No Comments »

“Abstract Ace” in Paris by Ludo

It’s a bit late, but it’s link-o-rama time…

Photos by Ludo

Category: Events, Gallery/Museum Shows, Interview, Photos, Random, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekend link-o-rama

March 16th, 2013 | By | 2 Comments »
"Modern Tulipa" by Ludo

“Modern Tulipa” by Ludo

Bit of a shorter link-o-rama this week. I’ve been with my parents in Colorado, trying to get some work done on my upcoming book. The hope is that Viral Art will be released for free online in mid-June. There’s still a fair bit of work left to do though. Anyway, the links…

Photo by Ludo

Category: Photos, Print Release, Random | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Moniker Art Fair 2012 is this week

October 9th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada

This year’s edition of the Moniker Art Fair opens in Shoreditch this Thursday. This year, Moniker will be more focused than ever before on installations rather than traditional art fair gallery booths. Actually, the show will be entirely installations. Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Ludo, Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada, C215, Remi/Rough, Ben Slow and others will be there.

Moniker opens on Thursday from 7-9pm, and will be open Friday and Saturday 11-7pm and Sunday 11-5pm.

More info on the Facebook event page.

Photo courtesy of Moniker Projects

Category: Festivals | Tags: , , , , ,

Ludo show opening this week at Galerie Itinerrance

September 10th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Ludo‘s latest solo show, Metal Militia, opens this Friday at Galerie Itinerrance in Paris. The show will include works on paper and canvas and sculptures. The show should be worth checking out, and there’s plenty of time, as it runs through October 10th.

Photos courtesy of Ludo

Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags:

All-star street art cast featured at small Belgian gallery

July 18th, 2012 | By | 2 Comments »

EVOL, Denis Meyers & MUGA seen in the La Louviere exhibition.

The small town of La Louvière, in Belgium is host to a brilliant Urban Art exhibition being held at “Centre de la Gravure et de’limage imprimée” (The Center for Engraving and the Printed Image). Showing through September 2, 2012, “Vues sur Murs” (Wallscapes: Prints in Street Art) features an impressive list of international artists, many making new work specifically for this exhibit and also hitting the town with huge pieces.

Invader, C215, Jef Aérosol, EVOL, Ludo, Denis Meyers, Obêtre, Muga, Doctor-H, Sten & Lex, Swoon and OBEY (Shepard Fairey) are all featured in this show which spans three floors of the gallery. The show’s curator, Marie Van Bosterhaut, had the seed of the idea in 2009 after seeing an OBEY print at the home of a collector. She contacted Fairey’s people for what was initially planned to be an OBEY retrospective…

“But then it appeared it might be more interesting to invite more artists using printing techniques in street art,” said Bosterhaut of the project’s evolution. “It was really great to have all these artists working inside the museum, and also outside. There was like a great energy.”

While some of the artists knew each other, others met for the first time. “This created some small surprises,” said Bosterhaut. Evidence of this is seen in one of the exhibition’s highlights located on the top floor. There, Berlin-based EVOL has transformed several structural columns, which protrude at various levels into the exhibition space. They now appear as EVOL’s signature-style buildings and “artists like Denis (Meyers) & Ludo made some tiny stencils or billboards, creating a kind of interaction between the artists,” Bosterhaut said.

Ludo’s mini-billboard seen on an EVOL “building.” The billboard ad disruption on a Kinder Bueno candy box measures about 3 inches high. Full size pieces from both artists appear in the background.

EVOL’s other works include some exquisite urban-themed paintings on cardboard.

Another highlight of the show is Brussels-based artist Denis Meyers. Mostly known for the large faces he paints, he also prints unique stickers and uses hand-made woodcuts and rubber stamps to produce a wide variety of work which all screams out with his signature style. Many of his sketchbooks are also on display as well as other elements which offer a peek into the artist’s process.

Just a bit of the Denis Meyers section from the show.
(see more in the photo gallery)

Long-time French favorite Jef Aérosol‘s  large iconic work greets you at the entrance of the exhibit but some of his smaller, printed images are framed on the sides and offer a more intimate experience with the artist. Jef also hit the town, painting a three-story-tall face of rocker Jimi Hendrix.

Jef Aérosol’s work greets you at the entrance.

Aerosol’s Hendrix

In addition to his brilliant mini-billboard, the Paris-based paste-up master Ludo and his unmistakable green paint occupy a notable section of the top floor, including a full-scale bus shelter (crappy tags included.)  For the real experience though, pick up the map supplied at the front desk and follow it to the various “treasures” left by artists around the city. Ludo has posted three large pieces out on the town.

LUDO work on Rue René Magritte in La Louvière.

A favorite of mine is “C215” (Christian Guémy.) The Parisian stencil artist painted a large mural for the show. There are also many photographs of his stencil works, and several other painted “objects,” including three mailboxes, a shoeshine box, and a metal sign among other things.

Mailbox by C215

The pioneering Italian artistic duo of Sten & Lex display some of their strong, black & white portrait posters, but the real treat from them requires a 10 minute walk to a parking lot down the road a bit. There, a dramatic and elaborate composition of black & white zig-zagging lines reveal a face that fills the wall and towers over the cars and shopping carts.

Sten & Lex Wall

Sten & Lex Wall Detail

Of course the anchor of the exhibition is an extensive collection of OBEY works by American artist Shepard Fairey. In addition to a short documentary video, the display spans his career from his quirky beginnings making “Andre the Giant has a posse” stickers, to the slick, celebrity and political-themed posters pumped out by the Obey Giant Worldwide Propaganda factory today. There are dozens of his limited-edition prints with their graphically-pleasing imagery, and even a trio of OBEY skateboard decks. A definite treat for any Fairey fan.

OBEY poster restrospective.

OBEY poster restrospective.

The show concentrates on the printing aspects of urban art but there’s a ton of other multi-media work to see there as well. Too much art to mention in this article, including great stuff by Invader, Obêtre, Muga, Doctor-H & Swoon.

This is a severely edited version of a much longer story from my newly started blog, LABEAURATOIRE where you can read the whole story & see a slideshow with more than 50 photos. 

IF YOU GO: Smack-dab in-between Paris & Cologne, La Louviere is about a two and-a-half hour drive from each, and just 45 minutes south of Brussels. Definitely worth the trip. But remember, it’s only showing through September 2, 2012 – so get going!

Photos by Lance Aram Rothstein (many of these photographs were shot with Film Cameras. Long Live Film!)

Category: Art News, Gallery/Museum Shows, Guest Posts, Interview, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,