Vacations and book releauches do tend to gum up schedules including keeping this bi-weekly sampling of street art from around the world flowing regularly. If only this were my job, rather than something I do around the way I bring in filthy lucre. But today, I’m back with UncuttArt, and another Sampling of NYC’s StreetArt
No problem with things to share. In fact the amount of street art I have is part of the problem. Probably 10 K shots from across North America, Europe and the Middle East. (More as many are duplicates/alternate takes.) Some going back 15 years. So, I’m trying to mix up recent finds (such as these from earlier this year), with a few choice selections from the past.
Street art is ephemeral. The building can be torn down, other people can tag it, weather, fires, and a host of other things can damage, destroy or efface this work. The older pieces might be gone now, but after having seen Beyond The Streets, the moving street art exhibition going back to the 60s, I know even the pieces that have vanished are worth a look. Perhaps even to feel a pang of loss, anger or regret. But mostly to admire and wonder at the people to took the time to put this art up for all to see.
UnCutt Art: Artist from the Street of NYC
Uncutt Art, aka UnCasso @UncuttArt
This artist, who has never written graffiti even if people think his pieces are, can be found in at least two boroughs (Brooklyn and Manhattan), and I’d have to think the other three as well, though I have not personally found them there.
His style is easily identifiable: using white space abutted to dark, which is shot through with curling white lines, strategic dark lines, usually daubed with color, and often with a written message, one that is at once positive and chiding at the same time. The message this time is “”All these strange pieces came together to create this beautiful image… as humans, so can we…” yet both figures bleed from their left eyes. We can get together, but are not doing it.
Once I have sifted through enough photos to uncover the other pieces of have by UncuttArt, I will hold a mini-retrospective. This includes his “Protect Yo Heart” stencils found on the sidewalk and wall of this city.
To learn more, he explains his emotion driven work to The Source here. ABC News also covered his work and place in the National Visual Art Movement here.
You can find and follow him on instagram (@UncuttArt) and twitter, both as @UncuttArt and with #ProtectYoHeart.
Find Art on the Run
An example of things you see when you’re in a rush to someplace else. Great piece. Too little time. Not sure who the artist is. Wish I’d had the time to catch more. Around the Lowline Lab (140 Essex St, New York, NY 10002)
Another example of things you see when you’re in a rush to someplace else. Great piece. Too little time. Not sure who the artist is. Wish I’d had the time to catch more. Or make the care vanish. Around the Lowline Lab (140 Essex St, New York, NY 10002)
Height and NYC: Looking up for Art
A lot of street art in NYC is up high. Much can only exist where the artics can climb, like on fire escapes. Which invites other graffiti writers, really vandals. Maring this, making it into a knocked out face. It’s being watched by the skull-faced being behind the window, with the pulled up collar. I have to imagine, it’s in disapproval.
Another half hidden piece of art, hidden up high, partial obscured by buildings. This is part of the fun, and frustration, of having so much art in this city. One never knows when a piece will appear, high, low, around the corner. And so often, it’s obscured or mostly hidden by buildings, the place one sees it from, bikes, trucks, cars, people… All the price of admission to the street show. Curious this one, as it’s full of the the usual bold colors, nor is it photorealism, but in an antiquated style of jewelry, like a carved Victorian Silhouette found on a necklace. The moon looking down is a nice detail. The light-dark contrasts drive this one.
As much as height can hide or obscure street art, it also provides for vast canvases. This one stretches up the side of a building for 11 stories. It reads like a checklist of of what’s nearby: starting atop with a lamp and trumpeter, to the Oriental Dragon, a sign with SOHO, a man with an umbrella hailing someone on cobblestones, a laborer working his heavy machinery, official buildings, gears, a four storie fork twisting noodles, raised fists making up the number 1600, all in blue on white on a black background. Peeking in front is yet another building sized mural.
This is at 11 Howard street. Art by Groundswell, in collaboration with artist Jeff Koons, this community arts organization working with Overall hand painted this 11 story mural. The art work’s lead designer, Misha Tyutyunik, describe this work in a press statement, “It evokes the commercial refinement of present-day SoHo, but also alludes to its spirit of surprise and discovery, encouraging pedestrians to stroll and wander through the winding side streets to window shop, to find new wonders or uncover relics of bygone days.” The top part is a tad worse for wear, but three years of NYC winters and diesel exhaust will do a number on paint.
When Graffiti Goes Meta
This is a casualty of graffiti vandalism—88LA (BBLA?) incapable of creating beauty, destroys it and feels proud. But this Meta work of art, a graffiti figure writing graffiti, shows off the cleverness of it’s creator. Especially as the heart the figure is writing actually reveals the artwork below, rather than covering it up. The opposite of our inept vandal.
Coney Island’s Face
The SteepleChase guy, a face born in Coney Island back when carnies worked their trades. The late 19th century haircut and collar give away it’s origins. This sticker, one of many variations, is particularly clean and well drawn. I have been collecting them from around the boroughs, and once enough have been tags, I will feature a whole collection of them here. Originally, there was Steeple Chase park on Coney Island and George C. Tilyou’s “Funny Face” logo from 1897 became the iconic symbol of Coney Island after the image moved to its gates.
This one shows off an X with letters written in marker across the forehead.
For a deeper dive into the history, check out Brooklyn Paper, Coney Island History and Wikipedia here.
This piece illustrates the ephemeral nature at the foundation of all graffiti. This quickly written piece of a woman’s profile with uncertain initials below adorns a temporary construction scaffold. Only the people who stroll by while the work on the building was happening ever got to see this piece. In its natural setting, which has since been removed.
Another piece illustrating the ephemeral nature at the foundation of all graffiti. This quickly written piece of two goofy faces adorns a side of a temporary construction scaffold. Only the people who strolled by while the work on the building was happening ever got to see this piece. In its natural setting, which has since been removed.