Improvise Combustion with Chris Mendoza and the Con Artist collective

While walking down Suffolk Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side yesterday, I chanced upon two spaces brimming with vibrant, playful, infectious images.  Exuding a raw, yet almost mystical charm, these collaborative improvisations – I soon discovered — are the work of a group of artists whose works I’ve seen and loved in a variety of other settings. Opening this evening, Saturday May 26, from 6-10pm at 154 Suffolk Street, Improvise Combustion, organized by Chris Mendoza, features collaborations and new work by Michael Miyahira aka Mike Ming, Kenji Hirata, Pablo Power and Naomi Kazama, members of the collective Con Artist.  Pablo tells me that the group will be working on an outdoor mural this week. I’m certainly looking forward to that!

Pablo Power of the Con Artist Collective

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Cake’s Women at Home off the Bowery

About four years ago, I began noticing Cake’s women wheatpasted onto the walls of  Williamsburg and Chelsea.  Their poignant elegance transfixed me.  Even in various stages of decay, they never lost their heart-rending beauty.  Thanks to Keith Schweitzer and MaNY, in collaboration with FabNYC, three of Cake’s women have now found a home off the Bowery in Lower Manhattan.  Here are some scenes from today’s installation:

And a wonderful full view of the installation can be seen on Cake’s page.

Photos by Lenny Collado and Lois Stavsky

GHOST on Manhattan’s Lower East Side with Matt Siren, Kenji Nakayama and much more

Kenji Nakayama

Last weekend, as I was walking down Eldridge Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, I was lured into GHOST, a café/bar that recently surfaced on the block. It wasn’t the food and drink — though certainly enticing — that lured me in, but the art that I glimpsed from outside. Among the works on display are a series of signs designed by Matt Siren — all featuring his signature ghost — in collaboration with some of NYC’s most prolific street artists including Dark Clouds, Celso and Royce Bannon. Particular standouts include huge pieces by Richard Hambleton and by Japanese-born Boston-based Kenji Nakayama. It soon became apparent that GHOST is an extension of one of my favorite galleries, Woodward Gallery, that will be presenting Kenji’s first NYC exhibition. (More on that in a later post!) Meanwhile, if you are anywhere in the vicinity of of 132A Eldridge Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, GHOST is certainly worth a visit.

Matt Siren

Images courtesy Woodward Gallery

Sti(c)kman in all his glory at Brooklyn’s Pandemic Gallery

A huge fan of Sti(c)kman, I made it over to Williamsburg’s Pandemic Gallery yesterday to check out “20: CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF PLAYING WITH STICKS IN THE STREETS.” The exhibit — comprised of endless variations of my beloved character in different media — is the perfect celebration.  Here are a few images:

The exhibit continues through April 6 at 37 Broadway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is definitely worth checking out if you’re anywhere in the vicinity.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

New Works by CRASH Pay Homage to Time on the Subways @ NYC’s TT Underground

Over 30 years ago, Crash’s visual rhythms were riding the subways of New York City.  These early images have remained a consistent source of inspiration to the artist, as well as to the next generation of writers.  Through Friday March 11th Crash’s new art paying homage to his time on the trains can be seen at TT Underground in Manhattan’s East Village.  My favorites are the ones the legendary Crash – born John Matos — has fashioned on aluminum pieces constructed by his friend, Metal Man Ed.  Here’s a sampling:

And here he is back in 1980:

And, more recently, on the streets of the South Bronx:

Gallery images by John Matos & Lois Stavsky; outdoor images, courtesy John Matos

Sti(c)kman Resurfaces in NYC

For some time it seemed as though Sti(c)kman had retired — or at least had taken a leave of absence — as almost no new pieces surfaced in NYC. Within the past few weeks, though, our beloved Sti(c)kman is back in full force.  Here are a few recent sightings:


Photos by Lois Stavsky & Tara Murray