Astrotwitch: from Washington DC to Portland, Oregon

Astrotwitch on postal in Washington DC. Photo by Lois Stavsky.

A huge fan of sticker art, I love coming upon Astrotwitch‘s beguiling women whenever I’m down in DC.  Along with Astrotwitch, an array of these women recently traveled west to Portland, Oregon. Rendered in seductive colors with watercolor, acrylic and markers, they’ve made their way onto a range of surfaces in different sizes. Here’s a sampling:

Photos by Lois Stavsky and courtesy of Astrotwitch

Brass Knuckle Crew presents 2nd East Coast Sticker Show in Bushwick, Brooklyn

A number of months ago, Jice 1 and Rid 1 of the BKC put out a call for stickers for its second East Coast sticker show. The response was obviously tremendous as the exhibit held yesterday in Bushwick featured thousands of stickers – from simple tags to somewhat sophisticated  pieces — covering every available space of the Ivy House Studio. The event was an opportunity for sticker heads to not only trade stickers but also to share black books. Here are some more images:

Photos by Tara Murray

Speaking with Seth Mooney of Pawn Works

An avid fan of both stickers and urban art, I love what Pawn Works has been up to: the design and installation of vending machines that makes the best of urban art available in sticker format.  I recently had a chance to speak with one of its two founders, Seth Mooney, currently living in NYC. His partner, Nick Marzullo, is based in Chicago.

I love the concept of a vending machine that dispenses stickers featuring urban art. How did you guys come up with the idea?  We thought it would be a great way to showcase contemporary artists and designers and make their work easily affordable and accessible to collectors. 

You guys have an amazing roster of artists, and the stickers look fabulous.  Not only have you featured some of my favorites – folks like C215, Dain and Gaia – but you’ve introduced me to artists whose work is new to me. How do you engage artists in your project?  We’ve approached some artists and some are referred to us. Others contact us directly.  The artists have complete control over their image. 10% of the stickers we print go directly to the artist. A small portion of the stickers printed are pooled and distributed in sticker packs among the sticker club’s members, as one of our goals is to connect artists from around the globe.

Where can we find these vending machines? We plan to place them in a variety of venues, including, of course, galleries and cafes. The first NYC gallery to have our sticker machine is Brooklynite in Bed-Stuy.

Do you collect stickers yourself?   I’ve been collecting them for over 20 years, since I was 9 years old. I love stickers. They are the most portable genre of tangible art!

Do you design your own? I’ve done some but I’m far more focused on other people.

I see that your partner in Pawn Works, Nick Marzullo, is running a gallery in Chicago.  How did you guys get into that?  About 5-6 years ago, Nick started doing shows in friends’ apartments and representing their work at art fairs.  In time, it led to the establishment of a gallery that features work by emerging contemporary artists. The current exhibit REPEAT OFFENDER features work by Gabriel Specter.

Have you a formal art background? I studied photography at Columbia College in Chicago and I also work as a photographer.  But I consider myself primarily a “facilitator of the arts.” 

Sounds good! I love what you’re doing and I look forward to seeing and collecting more of Pawn Work’s stickers.

Photojournalists Lisa Kahane on the left and Martha Cooper on the right

Sticker with image by Jesse Reno, mixed-media painter living and working in Portland, OR.

Images courtesy Seth Mooney

Stuck Up in Philly: Pheetus and Underwater Pirate

Few cities can boast as many dedicated and talented sticker heads as Philly.  Their characters — often meticulously hand-crafted — seem to peer at you from every public space.  I’m loving this one by Pheetus, and I never tire of seeing Underwater Pirate’s iconic character:

Pheetus on Postal
Underwater Pirate aka UWP

   Photos by Lois Stavsky

NYC’s Baser: The “Incredible Style Animal”

While most of NYC’s first-rate stencils, wheatpastes and pieces have left Manhattan for Brooklyn and parts of Queens, my borough still boasts an incredible range of stickers.  Faust, Sure (RIP), Ader and Baser are among those whose handstyles delight me daily.  Yesterday while walking along Hudson Street in SoHo to 14th Street in the West Village, I came upon dozens of Baser stickers. He’s beginning to rule certain neighborhoods! Here is a recent sticker by NYC’s self-proclaimed “Incredible Style Animal.”

Photos by Lois Stavsky