DEGA Films’ final Wild In the Street episodes: featuring ELLE and Royce

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DEGA Films consistently does an outstanding job in their documentation of New York street artists. Their series Wild In the Streets covered NDA, Enzo & Nio, Jilly Balistic and Mr. Toll. The series comes to a close with two new episodes featuring ELLE and Royce. In conjunction with The LISA Project, these two episodes will be screening at 8:30pm Sunday, September 28 in Little Italy under Ron English’s Temper Tot mural (on Mulberry St between Canal and Hester).

What impresses me about DEGA’s work is the production quality and the creativity that goes into their shots and cuts. When it comes to capturing illegal work, the videos I’m used to seeing tend to look like this, with quick cuts and a shaky camera. Or the standard time lapse video with a dub-step song in the background. Legally speaking, perhaps it is more comfortable to shoot someone putting up illegal street art versus graffiti and that’s definitely a discussion worth having. But for now we’re just going to focus on the quality of DEGA’s product.

Elle’s episode really highlights the diversity of her street art methods, showing ad busts, rollers, extinguishers, marker tags, wheat pastes, stickers, and so on. The creative direction was interesting, by showing Elle transform through various “looks”, and thus breaking the stereotypical hip hop characterization of graffiti writers.

I’m really into the fact that Royce’s episode begins with a butt crack about 15 seconds in. I’d like to think of it as a statement: street artists are assholes and DEGA isn’t here to dress up that reality for you. It is a testament to DEGA’s commitment to the honest portrayal of street artists. Revealing the butt is an attempt to reveal the humanity behind these anonymous artists, how they are just regular people, carrying out their days with no time for petty concerns like the height of their pants.

Royce’s video is a cool look at his approach to interacting with his visual environment. He takes it in stride, without having to creep around at dusk. Whether this is how he always works is not clear, but the episode inspires a feeling of ‘second nature’ to Royce’s tactics.

Though the Wild in the Streets series has come to a close, Vandalog is excited to see and share with you what DEGA has in store for the future.

Woodward Gallery
 Project Space


For several years now, the Woodward Gallery Project Space on Eldridge Street has been one of the Lower East Side’s visual highlights, showcasing works by an impressive range of artists from veteran graffiti writers to street art-stencil masters. Through July 26 a handsome retrospective of these works can be seen indoors at Woodward Gallery, directly across from the Project Space’s outdoor wall. Here are a few images:

 L'Amour Supreme, Moody Mutz, NohJColey w/ Darkcloud and David Pappaceno on floor. Photo by Dani Reyes Mozeson
L’Amour Supreme, Moody, NohJColey and Darkcloud & David Pappaceno on floor. Photo by Dani Reyes Mozeson.
Moody Mutz, Chris RWK, Faro and JMR. Photo by Dani Reyes Mozeson
Moody, Chris RWK, Faro and JMR. Photo by Dani Reyes Mozeson.
NoseGo. Photo by Lois Stavsky
NoseGo. Photo by Lois Stavsky.
Cycle. Photo by Dani Reyes Mozeson
Cycle. Photo by Dani Reyes Mozeson.
Chris RWK and Royce Bannon in center. Photo courtesy of Woodward Gallery
Chris RWK and Royce Bannon in center. Photo courtesy of Woodward Gallery.
Clockwise: Celso, Kenji Nakayama, Cassius Fouler, Visions Scmisions, Moody, UR New York and Buildmore. Photo by Dani Reyes Mozeson
Clockwise: Celso, Kenji Nakayama, Cassius Fouler, Visions Scmisions, Moody, UR New York and Buildmore. Photo by Dani Reyes Mozeson.

Located at 133 Eldridge Street, Woodward Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11-6pm, Sunday 12-5pm and by private appointment.

Photos by Dani Reyes Mozeon and Lois Stavsky and courtesy of Woodward Gallery

Banksy + 5: October 13th

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

From street art to sculpture


From the Street Up is a show coming up soon at NYC’s Woodward Gallery. The gallery invited artists Royce Bannon and Cassius Fouler to co-curate the show, which focuses on sculptural work by street artists and public artists. The line up includes John Ahearn, 
Richard Hambleton, 
NohJColey, Leon Reid IV, 
Skewville, Gabriel Specter, 
Stikman, UFO and more. That’s one of the most interesting and impressive lists for a group show that I’ve seen in a while. Some of my favorite artists will be in this show, including a few like Hambleton, UFO and Stikman who don’t show their work indoors very often.

From the Street Up opens July 6th from 6-8pm.

Weekend link-o-rama

Troy Lovegates

Link-o-rama. ‘Nuff said.

Photo by Troy Lovegates

Royce Bannon Curates RATHER UNIQUE for Woodward Gallery

Not only is Royce Bannon one of New York City’s most passionate street artists, but he is also a first-rate curator. His current venture, Rather Unique, is a testament to both his curatorial skills and to the diverse range of artwork crafted by artists whose primary canvas is the streets.  And the Lower East Side’s Woodward Gallery, located at 133 Eldridge Street, is the perfect venue for the exhibit. Here are a few images:

Nose Go
Royce Bannon

Rather Unique continues through February 19th. You can view additional images by DarkCloud, Matt Siren, Kenji Nakayama, Celso, Cassius Fowler and more on Woodward Gallery’s website.

Photos by Sara Mozeson, Tara Murray & Lois Stavsky

Quel Beast x Reka x Skullphone (kinda) x Infinity x Royce Bannon x El Celso

Quel Beast and Reka. Photo by Quel Beast

Keith Schweitzer and Joyce Manalo organized getting these shipping containers painted for MaNY and Fourth Arts Block. Forth Arts Block got permission for the site, the like-up was solidified over a weekend and painting began almost immediately. It’s amazing how easily things come together sometimes. They brought in Infinity, Royce Bannon, El Celso and Quel Beast from New York, plus Reka from Australia while he was in New York for a bit. Since Skullphone already had a poster on the container, Infinity kept it and blended it into his own piece a bit (with Skullphone’s okay). Here’s a video of the process (Quel Beast’s piece was later changed after this video was filmed):

REKA x Quel Beast x Infinity – NYC from MaNY Project on Vimeo.

And here’s photos of all the finished work:

Skullphone and Infinity. Photo by Mike Pearce
Reka. Photo by Mike Pearce
Skullphone. Photo by Mike Pearce
Infinity. Photo by Mike Pearce
Quel Beast. Photo by Mike Pearce
Royce Bannon and Celso. Photo by Mike Pearce

Photos by Quel Beast and Mike Pearce

Installation Underway for PANTHEON: A history of art from the streets of NYC

As I passed by the former Donnell Library at 20 W. 53rd Street earlier today, the installation for tomorrow’s 5pm opening of PANTHEON: A history of art from the streets of NYC was underway. Huge pieces by Royce Bannon and Celso were beginning to capture the attention of the crowds across the street lined up for MoMA’s free Fridays. Joyce Manalo who curated the exhibit with Daniel Feral shared images of other featured artwork. Among these are the following pieces by Faro and Cake, photographed by Kat Amchentseva. This 24/7 windows exhibition of New York City street art — past and present — will continue through April 17.

Photo by Lois Stavsky
Faro, close up, photo by Kat Amchentseva
Cake, close-up, photo by Kat Amchentseva

Pantheon: A history of art from the streets of New York City

Matt Siren 

UPDATE: There are just a few days left for the Pantheon fundraiser on Kickstarter. There are some cool rewards for supporting this show, so check it out.

Abe Lincoln, Jr., John Ahearn, Adam VOID, Cahil Muraghu, Cake, Darkclouds, Droid, El Celso, Ellis Gallagher, Faro, John Fekner, Freedom, Gen2, Goya, Groser, Richard Hambleton, infinity, Ket, LSD Om, Matt Siren, Nohj Coley, OverUnder, Oze 108, Quel Beast, Royce Bannon, Sadue, Skewville, Stikman, Toofly, UFO, and even more artists are all part of a group show opening in New York on April 2nd. Pantheon: A history of art from the streets of New York City aims to bring together multiple generations of street art (and, to a lesser degree, graffiti) from New York City and tie them together into a cohesive history. There are some real under-appreciated gems in that line up like Richard Hambleton, Skewville, John Fekner, Don Leicht and Faro.

Pantheon will take place in New York City at chashama/Donnell Library Building, right across from MoMA and run through April 17th. I’m really disappointed that I won’t be able to see this show in person. It should make a nice counter-point to MOCA’s Art In The Streets show opening in LA around the same time. If you do make it to Pantheon, be sure to check out the catalog, which Vandalog’s Monica Campana has contributed to.

Here’s a little preview of some of the street work from artists in Pantheon:

UFO and Gen2
Royce Bannon
Abe Lincoln Jr. and infinity

Photos by Luna Park