Across four countries: A travelogue with NDA

November 28th, 2014 | By | No Comments »

Last month, New Jersey-based artist NDA arrived back in his city from an extensive trip across four countries: Norway, England, Spain, and Portugal. This was is first time painting in Europe. With as many memorable encounters as walls, he shared these recent adventures through a series of anecdotes and photographs.

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Initially he was invited by artist Nipper to paint at a local high school in Halsnoy, Norway. During the trip, a few requisite big cities were painted, including London and Barcelona, however it was painting in the smaller cities where he found the biggest rewards. Here his work was able to breathe, unencumbered by looming buildings. In Norway, a lush landscapes surrounded the loosely painted characters.


“When painting in smaller towns you begin to realize that the work can be a huge contrast to its surroundings. I felt like some of the murals and street art that I saw in these areas had a greater impact than perhaps some of the work in NY because it wasn’t over saturated. In parts of Brooklyn you can’t turn around with out seeing a mural, wheatpaste or what-have-you. Some times the work can get a little lost in the shuffle. But when you turn the corner of a small town and see a large mural standing alone against beautiful scenery, it can really smack you upside the head! The context is so dramatically different that your impression of it has to change as well.” said NDA of his time in Halsnoy. I was curious to ask NDA how the police reaction in these suburban areas stacked up against our ever-paranoid NYPD and Vandal Squad. The artist said, “Everywhere I went to, the cops were just waaaayyyy more relaxed! I think it’s no secret that NY cops are often turned up to 10. Even when you’re painting legal walls here, you’re likely to get some hassle. It was nice to not feel that stress.”


After staying with Nipper and a stop to check out famed festival Nuart, the artist hopped a plane to London, where the NDA’s one negative experience on his excursion took place. He recollects, “The one wall I had a problem with on the trip was a legal spot in London. I was given permission to paint a wall of a canal. 10 minutes into sketching it out a woman in the houseboat facing the wall came out and said that it would be too much for her to see this everyday. Instead of going on I agreed to stop and she power washed it of the wall. This was a first for me. I was pretty frustrated at first but it was a good lesson to have: Not everyone wants your shit!” However, not all of NDA’s experiences in London were so fraught with difficulties. Nearly all the passersby NDA heard from enjoyed the 30-foot long wall on Hanbury Street that he painted thanks to Ben Slow.

Collaboration with Vulpes Vulpes

Collaboration with Vulpes Vulpes

Collaboration with Vulpes Vulpes

Collaboration with Vulpes Vulpes

The finale of his trek came while visiting Vulpes Vulpes in Leiria, Portugal, where they collaborated on several pieces. The artist recounts, “Vulpes Vulpes and I were doing an unauthorized piece on an abandoned building in Leiria. We turned around to see all the students from the beauty school next door laughing and waving at us from the window. A few of them came out to chat and it was all so nice and casual. At the end they gave us a round of applause. The whole thing was incredibly positive and I don’t think the topic of legality came up once.” Now back in the metro-area after his extensive travels, viewers should watch to see how the natural landscape affects the artist’s imagery going forward. I, for one, look forward to some Halsnoy-inspired flora to liven up the cold winter ahead.

Photos courtesy of NDA

Category: Interview, Photos | Tags: ,

Below government radar, street artists discover the people’s permission

October 28th, 2014 | By | 3 Comments »

Nether. Photo by Nether.

In Baltimore, where every water is uncharted, street art has navigated its own course. What began as a covert creative expression of artistic imagination by individual street artists has matured to become an important force that binds artists and neighborhoods. Baltimore’s growing legion of street artists has piloted a course of creating art on parched streets and using it to quench neighborhoods’ thirst for something beautiful and sometimes provocative in their midst.


Ways. Photo by Ways.

When I began wheatpasting, there were only three other street artists in town who regularly got their pieces up: Ways, Gaia, and Nanook. Mata Ruda began wheatpasting about the same time I did and we worked together often. Everyone used a fly-by-night installation approach, using the cover of darkness to get our work up. Unsanctioned street art was something relatively new to Baltimore and the public viewed it as a sort of furtive “where’s waldo” game. We used the element of surprise to start the conversations that our work desired.

Gaia. Photo by David Muse.

Gaia. Photo by David Muse.

Everything changed in 2012. Under the direction of Gaia, Open Walls Baltimore began and with it the Station North neighborhood—Baltimore’s arts district—was transformed by the presence of spectacular, large murals funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and PNC Bank. With the arrival of the street art mural circuit to a city new to street art, Baltimore discovered street art’s ability to change an urban landscape. Most works didn’t deal with Baltimore politics and social issues directly but their presence acted to educate the public about the value of this new-to-it art form in giving voice to and beautifying our town. With Open Walls, Baltimore found a place on the map in the street art world. This place was solidified after the launch of Articulate by Stefan Ways in October 2012.

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Category: Featured Posts, Guest Posts, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

ÑEWMERICA: Birth of a Nation at Exit Room NY with LNY, Icy & Sot, ND’A, Mata Ruda and Sonni

April 14th, 2014 | By | No Comments »
LNY, El Prieto

LNY, El Prieto

Somewhat reminiscent of RAE’s remarkable recreation of an East Village bodega, Exit Room NY’s current exhibit, ÑEWMERICA: Birth of a Nation, focuses on the endangered bodega. In addition to a impressive installation recreating a bodega that is about to give way to a Bank of America, the exhibit features dozens of artworks by the members of the newly launched collective, ÑEWMERICA. Here’s a sampling:

Icy and Sot refashion bottles and cigarette boxes

Icy and Sot refashion bottles and cigarette boxes

Bodega exterior, collaborative installation

Bodega exterior, collaborative installation



Mata Ruda, The Passage to Cosmos

Mata Ruda, The Passage to Cosmos

Sonni, El Tio Colorido

Sonni, El Tio Colorido

LNY, When he dies, Judith will bury him in the Gucci store

LNY, When he dies, Judith will bury him in the Gucci store

The exhibit continues through this week at 270 Meserole Street in Bushwick; check the Exit Room NY Facebook page for hours.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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

ND’A paints a door in Little Italy

July 19th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »


ND’A painted the latest piece at The L.I.S.A. Project NYC (co-curated by Wayne Rada and I) this week in NYC’s Little Italy. He painted on a door that was last painted by Bishop203 earlier this year. I probably shouldn’t write this, but this is honestly my second favorite piece I’ve helped to organize in Little Italy so far. The first is of course Ron English’s massive Temper Tot, but I think ND’A really outdid himself here. I hope everyone walking down Mulberry Street this summer is as big a fan of ND’A’s work as I am.

Also, we just started a Facebook page for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC.

More photos after the jump… Read the rest of this article »

Category: Photos | Tags: ,

Up on the Roof: Ever, Sonni and ND’A

June 27th, 2013 | By | No Comments »


For the last week, Argentinian artists Ever and Sonni, along with Brooklyn-based ND’A, have been at work on a Williamsburg, Brooklyn rooftop. I’m loving the results. Here are a few more images I captured yesterday evening:



ND'A at work

ND’A at work

ND'A, Sonni and Ever

ND’A, Sonni and Ever

ND'A completed

ND’A completed piece — later in the evening

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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

Welling Court Mural Project launches fourth year

June 17th, 2013 | By | No Comments »
Caleb Neelon & Katie Yamasaki, photo by Lois Stavsky

Caleb Neelon & Katie Yamasaki. Photo by Lois Stavsky.

For the fourth consecutive year Ad Hoc Art has brought dozens of artists to the Welling Court community in Astoria, Queens, transforming it into a first-rate open air museum. Here’s a small sampling of what could be seen this weekend:

Queen Andrea, photo Lois Stavsky

Queen Andrea. Photo Lois Stavsky.

Veng at work on collaborative mural with Chris, RWK. Photo by Tara Murray

Veng at work on collaborative mural with Chris, RWK. Photo by Tara Murray.

Kimyon Huggins. Photo by Lois Stavsky

Kimyon Huggins. Photo by Lois Stavsky.

Kosbe. Photo by Tara Murray

Kosbe. Photo by Tara Murray.

JC. Photo by Lois Stavsky

JC. Photo by Lois Stavsky.

Mata Ruda & N'DA. Photo by Lois Stavsky

Mata Ruda & ND’A. Photo by Lois Stavsky.

Icy & Sot. Photo by Lois Stavsky

Icy & Sot. Photo by Lois Stavsky.

El Kamino. Photo by Lois Stavsky

El Kamino. Photo by Lois Stavsky.

If you are anywhere near NYC, a visit to Welling Court is a must!  The diversity of the works and the responses of the local residents to them are astounding. And if you’d like to help fund this project, check this out.

Photos by Lois Stavsky and Tara Murray

Category: Events, Festivals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OverUnder and ND’A in Little Haiti in Miami

January 16th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »


During the Art Basel Miami madness, OverUnder and ND’A painted this large wall in the neighborhood of Little Haiti, so this post is a bit late but we couldn’t let this collaboration slip by us. Everything about this mural is representative of something unique about OU and ND’A’s experience. The mural features padlocks since this wall was actually a chance find on the side of a hardware store while the two were looking for another wall. The mural is filled with Haitian imagery that the local people of Haitian descent might appreciate, like hibiscus flowers, arrows found on Haitian flag, and the Liberty Cap on the main figure.

The main figure is a man that the two met on their first day, who had been living under a bridge and who spoke highly of the effect street art has had on the area.





Photos by OverUnder

Category: Photos | Tags: ,

Labrona and friends in Miami

January 2nd, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »
Omen, Five and Labrona

Omen, Five and Labrona. Click to view large.

Labrona sent over some photos from his time in Miami last month, including some collaborations (with Omen and Five), work by his friends (Miss Me and Kin), and the latest En Masse wall. En Masse is a collaborative project based in Montreal where artists draw together in black and white, similar to the American project Paint It Now.

Labrona and others with En Masse

Labrona and others for En Masse

Labrona and

Labrona and others for En Masse

Miss Me

Miss Me

Miss Me and Kin

Miss Me and Kin

Photos courtesy of Labrona

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

Sunday link-o-rama

December 23rd, 2012 | By | No Comments »
NEKST. Photo by C-Monster

NEKST. Photo by

So much news this week, but first and foremost is the untimely death of NEKST, a globally respected writer.

Photo by

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ND’A, OverUnder & LNY at Bushwick 5 Points

September 30th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

OverUnder and LNY at work

Bushwick 5 Points has quickly become one of NYC’s most exciting and enticing open-air galleries. ND’A, OverUnder and LNY, three of my favorite street artists, have recently been gracing its walls. Here are some captured these past two days:

ND’A at work

OverUnder at work, close-up

OverUnder — complete — and LNY

Photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky

Category: Photos | Tags: , , , , ,