… this happened!
ALL HAIL ANNY CHIH!!
Love this SO MUCH!
If anyone in Brooklyn stumbles upon this bit of graff, be sure to let me know!
Gotta be by the same guy who did Ceci n’est pas un NDN.
I really like Hot Tea’s guerrilla knitting street art. Not only is it really difficult to do (that is one long unbroken piece of string!), but it’s also completely removable and doesn’t damage any property. So really, how can this really be considered vandalism? In case you haven’t picked up on it, the string SAYS hot tea, duh! This is the new graffiti calligraphy!
I found this at Ludlow and Stanton in the LES back in October.
Speaking of hot tea, right after I found this piece, I walked up Orchard and drank exactly that whilst writing in my journal. This was the day before I flew to Bangkok. Oh if only that woman knew what was in store for her…..
I found this Nick Walker stencil in lower Manhattan back in October, right before I flew out to begin my “SituAsian,” and never got the chance to blog it. See how backed up I am with content! So many great finds yet to blog!
I love Nick Walker’s work. It’s vibrant and in your face, but also has a touch of forlorn regret embedded in each theme.
I’ve already blogged about this piece that I found at Bushwick 5Pointz, but it was only a small photo so I thought I’d share all the pics I took.
You see what I mean about the levels of sadness in his work? Tis one is uplifting but also with a tinge of pain.
Check out my Nick Walker category for more of his work that I’ve photographed.
Whilst I was in New York shitty seven weeks ago, I took these photographs at the Bushwick 5points location of Swoons work. It looks like a collab between Swoon and another amazing nyc artist Elle, but I’m not 100% sure. If you look closely, you’ll see what appears to be Elle’s signature.
Anyway, as with doing an RTW trip (Round The World), sometimes you get behind on your blogging and don’t get to post everything, which is why those photographs have been sitting in my storage for 7 weeks!
But now that I’m in London and I found more Swoon on Brick Lane, I figured it was time to break out the awesomesauce.
Swoon never signs her work, I’ve just come to recognize her style and form from photographing it a lot.
About seven weeks ago when I was in New York shitty, I found everyone’s favourite Andre the giant proponent, Shepard Fairey . Now I’m in London and also finding his work errr-where!
This final one below is actually from New York, I found it off of Meserole street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and never got to post it. You should see the amount of work I found in New York that I have yet to post! Trust me, I will.
Check out my Shepard Fairey category for more of his awesomesauce that I’ve photographed around the world.
Today is a travel day for me (heading to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party during Halloween) so enjoy more New York Street art! Once again we revisit our loveable boyfriend Hanksy. He’s my boyfriend …in my brain. Shaddup!
This was on Ludlow and Hester in the LES. This was Hanksy’s “bi-curious george” before some idiot with no sense of humour ripped off the best part. People like that should be dragged into the street and shot….. Too far?
That’s our boyfriend alright.
This was what it looked like before the damage. It’s george clooney with a penis shaped banana framed in a curious george motif. Love this so much! It’s so clever and still provocative. And the puns, good gawd, the awesome puns! (Photo via Hanksy’s tumblr)
When I told my boyfriend, he was none too impressed. Neither of us were. This is disgraceful. Hang your head in shame, unfunny bastard with a scraper.
and around the corner, just underneath his Ice Ice Babies piece, was one of his infamous Tom hanks/banksy blended stickers. His original style, he has of course grown since then, but it’s fun to revisit the old stuff.
actually if you look really closely at my Ice Ice Babies post, you can see this sticker, I guess I missed it last time. That’s the thing about street art, there’s always something new to discover!
Check out my Hanksy category for more of his fine work that I’ve photographed.
once again, another aside in between travelogues. Right now I’m off for a kayaking and snorkelling extravaganza off the coast of Koh Samui so I thought I would appease you with one of my favourite female street artists, GILF! Check out my GILF category for more of her brilliant work that I’ve photographed.
I found this at the Bushwick 5points, which is a new addition to the 5points family based in Long Island. This piece shows Dorothy from the wizard of oz as a bag lady, pushing two shopping carts fulla junk. Some stencil work here. Simple design done with brilliant, effective execution.
this next GILF, I found on Orchard just north of division in the LES.
why are your eyes closed?
Yesterday I was in transit for 11 hours, from Phuket to Koh Samui, I took two buses, one ferry, vomited my guts out (stupid Delhi belly), then hopped on the back of some guys motorbike in the pouring rain to get to my hostel at beautiful Lamai Beach. It was a long day and this morning I’m still recovering, my body feels a bit weak. I’m testing the waters right now, I may or may not go out today ( at present, quarter to 11am, I’m still in bed) but since I don’t have much in way of travel stories to share, I thought I’d share more of the graffiti and street art photos I took in NYC earlier this month. I have so many to share! After this “Situ-Asian” is over, it will take me a long time to blog them all, so I might as well start now whilst I’m under the weather.
First up, I thought I would continue with that Hope post I initially briefly blogged earlier this month. Amber and I found this post, where people are invited to write what they hope for on a tag and leave it for others to find, and we decided to contribute our own hopes.
there’s Amber writing down her hope tag.
you see that “I handprint ny” poster? That’s a Jef Campion
so many tags and hopes to discover. I love ephemeral, community projects like this. It’s free, democratic, liveable, and it connects you to other people in a fun and creative and meaning-potent way.
this one is probably my favourite. It meant something to me seeing as how I was about to embark on my travels, and my heart is constantly bursting with love. (Shaddup)
I have found these wheat pastes by Fairy Tales for the Fatherless before and I was glad to find a couple more in Williamsburg before I flew to Thailand.
You’re reading this while I’m in transit to Asia by the way. Oh the joys of pre-scheduling posts!
I once photographed these stencils all over Williamsburg but this one I found on 14th street and Irving in the LES.
Many thanks to Miss Heather over at my fav blog New York Shitty for giving me directions to this piece. It’s another Nick Walker original and I cannot express the beauty it espouses, nor how it makes my heart ache. It says everything wonderful yet melancholy about the cosmic act of love.
This was on Troutman near St Nicholas in Bushwick, Brooklyn (in the heart of Bushwick 5pointz)
Check out my Nick Walker category for more of his work I’ve found.
(I’m blogging from my iPad from here on out so forgive the wonky formatting. Some things cannot be helped.)
Found this just outside the Highline at 20th and 10th in Manhattan.
It invites the public to write down what they hope for, anything at all, on one of the tags provided and attach it to the hope pole. I loved how it was just underneath a Jeff Campion piece. I wrote down my bit, which basically said I hope my trip to Asia will help me remember the woman I was, and give me the strength to become the woman I will be.
Like they say in Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is a good thing. And no good thing ever dies.”
Among many of my things to-do whilst in New York, one of them was The Madonna Tour of New York. This isn’t something that is organized and run by official tour guides. This is something I fashioned myself using Google. I’ve always been really inspired by Madonna’s life. Her music, I can take it or leave it, but I find her struggle for success really inspiring. Unlike most celebrities today who are famous through nepotism or for nefarious acts, Madonna made her own life. She arrived in New York with no money, knowing next to no one, and was even sexually assaulted. She squatted in buildings and barely scraped by for 5 years in New York, until she finally got that record deal in the early 1980s. So I’m not particularly interested in the Madonna of now, more of the Madonna from the late 70s. Every year or so, I reread Andrew Morton’s biography about her (which I bought 10 years ago in a second-hand bookstore for $3) and it really gives me a kick in the pants to do more with my life. To be more ambitious and driven.
Anyway, Morton’s book is so detailed about the places and people in her life in the late 70s that I realized I could actually (probably) find these places and meet these people whilst there. So after scouring the book once more for precise details, I set about fashioning my own Madonna tour of New York… one that visited most of the places that were a part of her tapestry. I also contacted one very important person from her life at that time (more on that later…)
First stop, the synagogue in Queens.
In the late 70s, Madonna met the Gilroy brothers, Dan and Ed. They were musicians in a band and she was still a dancer at this point. She began a relationship with Dan and promptly moved in with him and Ed. Dan and Ed at the time were living in this above synagogue deep in the heart of Corona, Queens.
You can tell just by looking at it’s size and architecture that it was built sometime in the early 1900s and was converted into a house probably in the 1960s after falling into disrepair and disuse by the Jewish community.
Ed Gilroy and his wife still live in this synagogue actually, but weren’t there when I visited, so I left a lil’ hello note in their mailbox. When Andrew Morton visited this synagogue, Ed took him down to the basement where 30 years prior, Dan had taught Madonna how to play the drums. She had been a drummer in their band The Breakfast Club before becoming the guitarist…. and finally wanting to take the front position. Also, in the basement, are reel-to-reel recordings they made back then of Madonna singing and playing, of her chatting with Dan and Ed playfully …. it’s like a time machine back to the 70s and of her unfamous life, Morton wrote.
Standing here, I was imagining a young black-haired skinny Madonna, younger than I am now, bounding down these steps and heading for the subway to go into Manhattan, taking the exact same steps I had taken to get there by subway….. it was a pretty connecting and exciting thought.
Next stop …. The Russian Tea Room in Manhattan
When Madonna first arrived in New York in the late 70s and was still a dancer, her dancing instructor (Pearl Lang) worried about how thin she was and how she was getting by, so she got Madonna a job at The Russian Tea Room on 57th. Now from all the sources I have read, she was a “hat check” girl there in the late 70s before getting fired. But I walked inside the TRTR and asked the hostess, and she said Madonna was a “coat check” girl in the early 80s. So I’m not sure which is correct, but either way, the hostess confirmed that yes, Madonna worked there.
Next stop …. The Music Building on the shitty west side.
The Music Building is an infamous shitty building on 8th avenue in the shitty “Minnesota Strip” part of Manhattan that, in the early 80s, must have been 100x worse. Drugs, violence, crime, and then this towering inferno, floor after floor, of disgusting sweaty, smelly wannabe rock n’ roll superstars jamming all hours into the night, spilling out into the street.
This is also where Madonna recorded her first demos and met her first manager, Camille Barbone.
Madonna used to actually squat illegally in the music building and wash herself in the ladies loo. Fab Five Freddy once said that when he met Madonna, she smelled so bad and it seemed like she was the type to get around, hahaha. Anyway, I tried to go inside but the doors were locked (you need a fob key to get in) and I didn’t have an appointment (which you also need if you want to look around).
But I looked up and knew that inside one of those windows was the studio where Madonna and Steven Bray put the finishing touches on Everybody…
Next stop, 30 West 21st street, which now is a very gentrified and beautiful area, but 30 years ago it was …
…where Danceteria used to be. Danceteria was the club where Madonna passed her demo tape to Mark Kamins (the DJ there, and sometime A & R rep, who briefly became her boyfriend) who then passed it on to Seymour Stein, head of Sire Records, who was laid up in the hospital after heart surgery and told Kamins to bring Madonna to him in the ward. Danceteria is also where Madonna had her first live performance of Everybody, and where she recorded her very first music video (Everybody).
Next two stops were the former locations of Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s, where Madonna and her early band Emmy played some of their first gigs. Emmy was actually Madonna’s nickname when she was younger so the band adopted it as their name. I have found some of Emmy’s recordings online, and I think my favourite is “Little Boy Lost.” It’s very punk-influenced and Madonna’s voice is so pure in it. She strains to hit some notes, but that’s what I love about it, she’s putting so much heart into it. Now they’d auto-tune out all her strain, which really is a sad thing. On “Little Boy Lost” you get to hear her voice unfiltered by subsequent technique and lessons. She had a lovely voice then, now it kind of sucks. When the critics in the 80s called her voice like “Minnie Mouse on helium” I think that really struck a chord with her and she has since tried to lower her octave (listen how deep she goes on “Papa Don’t Preach.”). But I kind of miss her spritely, natural voice.
CBGBs only officially closed in 2006…. and I made my first ever NYC visit in 2007 so I missed it completely, but luckily the dude who took over the space and turned it into a shop kept most of the memorabillia around.
The walls were never painted over. This wall and space was almost right behind the former bar.
Now, as promised, here’s the story of the person I contacted …..
Through a lot of online digging and sleuthing, I found the mailing address of Dan Gilroy, Madonna’s former boyfriend (mentioned above in the synagogue section), and also the man who taught her how to play the drums and guitar…. and basically how to make music.
So I wrote him a hand-written letter a few weeks before I arrived in NYC, basically asking him if he would be okay meeting up with me for a cuppa and a chat.
I figured that by the time he got my snail-mail letter, I’d already be in NYC, so I gave him my email address as a reply method, and kept my fingers crossed.
Whilst in NYC, I received an email from him! He said he was now living in Texas (my letter had been forwarded to him there, so the mailing address I had found was technically wrong) so we couldn’t meet. I won’t include all of his letter here, for privacy reasons of course, but here are some select lines:
He’s so kind!!! His letter was so generous and giving, he didn’t even have to write me back at all, so I was so grateful for his response. If that man wasn’t like 60 years old, I’d be all up in his grill.
So there you have it, that was my own personal Madonna tour of New York.
I would highly recommend it:)
Madonna once said that what you do in life, and how far you go, depends on how hungry you are.
The Dorian Grey Gallery on E 9th Street between 1st Ave and Avenue A has been running an exhibit called Street Artists Unite! which brings the best of NYC’s street to the inside walls, in collab with Hank O’Neal. The exhibit opened the day I arrived in NYC, and I visited it right away, but of course, I’m only getting around to blogging it now because of the ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY NINE other street art photos I had taken whilst in NYC. Omg, I’m still not done yet, and there’s still so much to blog! Anyway, the exhibit closes this Sunday, so if you’re in Manhattan, I highly suggest checking it out. Admission is free free free and the work is cool cool cool!
Recognize this? It’s a photo of 5pointz that has been altered on canvas by Art is my Weapon.
wocka wocka wocka!
Another piece by Art is my Weapon (he also goes by TMNK if you ever see that tag… it stands for The Me Nobody Knows)
this is by ChrisRWK (robots will kill) who takes a piece by Basquiat and adds to it.
it used to look like this.
Art is my Weapon blending his rifle stencil with his love/hate motif
It’s called Save the Children and as you can see, here he’s using the TMNK tag.
this is Billy the Artist who adds to an old Mr Brainwash piece. You might remember when Mr Brainwash came to Toronto and I photographed this exact piece here
this is by Screwtape whom i’ve blogged about many times before. he’s super nice & wicked talented.
yes he does.
i’m not sure who this by because it wasn’t hung on the walls, it was just sitting off to the side next to some books for sale, but it’s a really nice piece, and i wanted it but couldn’t afford it.
this is by Jef Campion aka Army of One
War and Peace with bullet holes in it. Did you know that War and Peace embraces more than 500 characters? I learned that from Trivial Pursuit. Board games from the 80s pay off!
here’s another War and Peace, killed by bullets.
I wonder if Campion actually shot a gun at the book… or if this was done by a drill…
that toy soldier is disco dancing.
At the gallery you can buy an OUT OF PRINT book that features all these artists, and it COMES with an Enx canvas on it! MUST BUY, PEOPLE! original art and out-of-print books!
me too, campion!
they also had a collection of old subway signs that have been graffiti’d aka improved. this one was for the 6 train. you can be like J.Lo and be “on the 6!” < / sarcasm >
i think i’ve only taken the 2 once or twice, and it wasn’t a great experience.
my fav subway trains are the N, Q, the 7, the G, sometimes the F, sometimes the J, Z, or M…. and most definitely the L. i’m not going to lie, i’m a hipster. SUE ME! i’ll see you in that new court house that i bet you’ve never heard of.
blonde lady in this pic is Lizzi, she was super helpful, chatty, and full of cool information about the work and the exhibit. her and Chris who owns the gallery (i spoke with him on the phone) were awesome and it made for a better experience.
look for this little unassuming doorfront if you’re going to visit the exhibit!
sorry for the grainy picture, i snapped this with my blackberry.
i found it inside the ladies loo of the Think Cafe on the corner of bleeker and bowery that sits across from the former location of CBGB’s.
yoko ono and john lennon, i betcha, fucking loved graffiti.
hey america, this is some cross to bear…
military industrial complex
corporate greed trillions
wake up america
stop the wars, 1 200 000 iraq civilians dead, only you can stop it now, 8000 dead soldiers
found on berry and north 10th in williamsburg.
looks like a ritualistic, ceremonial head-mask. it’s pretty cool. i like street art made with chalk or pastels. it’s SUPER temporary, and business owners can’t really get mad since it costs nothing to get rid of it… just wait for rainfall.
found on java street in greenpoint
i think i found this on metropolitan ave in williamsburg … but it might have been north 1st…. dammit, i was only in nyc for 2 weeks, and i’ve been blogging my graff photos for over a month now!! thusly my memory is failing me… if you’re graff hunting in that area of williamsburg, let me know if i’m right or wrong.
anyway, nicely done jarema! this wheatpaste is haunting and compelling.
high fives all around.
i love graff hunting at night, because the photographs take on this eerie quality.
both were scrawled onto walls on south 3rd in williamsburg, brooklyn
it looks like there’s dried blood coming out of his face.
found on franklin in greenpoint.