Photos by Nicole Mondrus for 6sqft
From June 21 to sometime in August, LA’s premier street art and graffiti exhibit will call Brooklyn home. “BEYOND THE STREETS” is a multimedia art exhibition that takes up two floors of 25 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg and is the biggest showcase of street art to date. With art by the likes of Fab 5 Freddy, The Beastie Boys, and the late Keith Haring, the exhibition celebrates the history of graffiti and street art and also examines public art as a means of protest and self-expression.
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Photo © Martha Cooper for Goldman Properties
French street artist JR and TIME magazine have paired up for a collaborative project, “The Gun Chronicles: A Story of America,” consisting of a special issue due out on November 5, as well as a video mural to be featured in exhibits throughout the country and an interactive web feature at Time.com. The topic–the larger-than-life relationship America has with guns–needs little explanation; last Friday the “The Gun Chronicles” was installed on the Houston Bowery Wall in Soho. The building-sized cover story image is comprised of portraits photographed by the artist.
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Owen Dippie is starting a modern renaissance in Brooklyn. Within the past couple of months, the New Zealand-born street artist has put up two pieces in Bushwick that skillfully remix the work of the Renaissance masters and contemporary art and culture. Dippie’s clever pieces appeal to art lovers of all styles.
For Dippie, creating these mashups is like paying homage to his idols. Growing up, Dippie’s biggest influences were Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol, Basquiat and Keith Haring. As he grew older and became more exposed to other artists, the Renaissance masters began to grow on him as well. With such varying influences, it makes sense for Dippie to have created these pieces.
See the stunning mashups here
Artist Al Diaz is often asked to speak at panel discussions about Jean-Michel Basquiat or to lend his expertise for new exhibits about the world-famous artist. But Diaz was just as much a part of the downtown street art movement as his buddy Basquiat; in fact, the two got involved with the art form together. They met in high school and created the tag SAMO©, which appeared throughout lower Manhattan between 1977 and 1979 and put them on the map. They were first-generation NYC subway graffiti artists, and Diaz later became a text-oriented street artist. Today, you’ll see his hand in the subway again with his WET PAINT series, which uses individually-cut-out letters to create “clever, surreal and sometimes poignant anagrams.”
We recently chatted with Al Diaz to get the inside scoop on street art history in New York City, what it was like to work with Basquiat, and how he and his art work are much more than a shadow of his famous friend.
Read the full interview here