The first exhibition ever dedicated to the legendary Basquiat‘s Xerox’s works, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Xerox, continues through this coming Friday, May 31, at Nahmad Contemporary on the Upper East Side. Curated by Basquiat scholar Dieter Buchhart, who had also curated Basquiat’s recent exhibition at the Brant Foundation, Xerox presents over 20 of Basquiat’s key Xerox works from 1981 to 1987, many shown publicly here for the first time. Featured above is King of the Zulus, fashioned with acrylic, oilstick and Xerox collage on paper mounted on canvas. Several more images from this significant exhibition follow:
Untitled, Acrylic and Xerox collage on wood, 1981
Peter and the Wolf, Acrylic, oilstick and Xerox collage on canvas, 1985
Brother’s Sausage, Acrylic, oilstick and Xerox collage on canvas, 1983
Natchez, Acrylic, oil, wood and Xerox collage, 1985
Red Joy, Acrylic, oilstick and Xerox, 1984
Wide view, segment of installation
Nahmad Contemporary is located at 980 Madison Avenue, off 76th Street, on the Upper East Side and is open Monday – Saturday, 10AM – 6PM.
When I first started exploring NYC’s streets in pursuit of street art — well over a decade ago — I saw your now-iconic character, dint wooer krsna, everywhere! He was one of the most prolific images around town. He has since been featured in over two dozen books and has made his way onto a range of media including the opening scene of Exit Through the Gift Shop. You’d once told me that dint wooer krsna was conceived as your online identity at about the same time that MySpace was born.
Yes! It was online before it was on the streets. I did not want to reveal who I was. It was critical that my identity remain hidden at that time. Someone had threatened to shoot me over a woman, and I had reason to believe he was quite serious.
What about the name krsna? I’ve always wondered about it.
It’s a reference to Hare Krishna. I used to hang out in Hare Krishna temples. The Hindu God Krishna was a vegetarian — as I am. He was a friend of the cow.
I was newly divorced, and I needed to get out of the house. I’d been tagging for years — since I was a teen — but I wanted my character to stand out. krsna was my first wheatpaste.
Have you ever been arrested?
I’ve been arrested three times for vandalism. The first was in 1993 at an after-party at Ferry Point Park. Together with Aones WTO, Kech & James “V.E.” Conte, R.I.P, I was caught tagging the Bronx Whitestone Bridge. The penalty was community service and five years ACD. Then in 2008, I was caught and identified online for getting stencils up in Hoboken. After nine summonses, a judge yelled at me for 20 minutes. Nothing more. But I had to pay $3,000 to have a lawyer stand next to me in court. And in 2010, an undercover grabbed me on 2nd Avenue in the East Village for two stickers I’d put up. The cop told me that I was responsible for bringing kids into this “degenerate lifestyle,” and he called the Vandal Squad.
Had you any particular influences?
James “V.E.” Conte, R.I.P. He got up everywhere. He was obsessive compulsive. I modeled myself on him — trying to get up as much and as often as I possibly could.
For several years you were largely absent from the streets.
Yes, in 2013, I began focusing, almost exclusively, on my studio work.
So what brought you back?
I guess it was always in me. It was just dormant for awhile.
How has the street art scene changed since you first hit the streets with dint wooer krsna?
Just about everything after 2010 is irrelevant; it’s all about legal permission spots. Much of it is devoid of any originality or intellectual merit.
What — do you suppose — is responsible for this change?
Projects like The Bowery Wall and the film Exit Through the Gift Shop have pushed street art so much into the mainstream that it has become trendy. People just want to hop onto the bandwagon.
Yes. It’s certainly lost its subversive appeal to those of us who were initially drawn to that aspect of it. How has your art evolved over time?
I’m leaning more towards abstraction.
You have a new hand-embellished print, Jibb Wibbles, about to be released. I know that your first three prints sold out quickly. How can folks get hold of this new one?
Rich with intrigue, the streets of Madrid showcase a tantalizing array of public artworks. The image featured above was fashioned from discarded matter by the wildly imaginative Portuguese artist Bordalo, Several more images I came upon on my recent visit to Madrid follow:
For the fourth consecutive year, The Crystal Ship Arts Festival invited over a dozen renowned artists from across the globe to Ostend, Belgium’s largest coastal city. This year’s theme, The Dictatorship of Art, featured a range of tantalizing murals — from the subtly toned to the richly colorful — several overtly political. In the remarkable anamorphic mural featured above, Dutch artist Leon Keer visualizes the impact of climate change. Several more images — all captured by travel and street photographer Karin du Maire aka Street Art Nomad — follow:
The Spanish city of Móstoles — just several miles from Central Madrid — is home to a wild array of stylishly striking graffiti walls. Featured above are the works of the hugely talented Spanish photorealist and tattooist Theo Magma and the masterful Italian graffiti artist Made514. Several more images painted by members of the DMC Rock Crew, along with their guests, in honor of their 33rd Anniversary follow:
Venezuelan artist KOZ DOS first made his mark on the walls of his native city, Caracas, where he became identified with his hugely impressive photorealistic portraits. He has since conceived and mastered an infectious aesthetic fusing animal and human elements. Noted for their dreamy colors and geometric patterns, the wonderfully talented artist’s murals — blurring the line between street art and fine art — continue to make their way into a wide array of international festivals and events. Pictured above is El Dia de la Noche painted last month in Ayia Napa on the Southeast coast of Cyprus.
While driving from Madrid to Valencia earlier this week, we decided to take a bit of a detour and visit Cuenca, an enchanting walled city in Central Spain that has largely maintained the appearance of a medieval fortress. Among our stops was Barrio San Antón, whose mountainous streets and winding alleyways are home to several hugely impressive murals. The image featured above is the work of the masterful Porto, Portugal-based stencil artist Daniel Eime. Several more images of art we found — with the help of some local teenagers — on the walls of Barrio San Antón follow:
Inaugurating its New York space with a sprawling, hugely impressive exhibition of a broad range of works by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Brant Foundation has brought the spirit of the legendary artist back to the East Village. Curated by Brant Foundation founder Peter M. Brant with Basquiat scholar Dieter Buchhart and organized in collaboration with the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the exhibition, itself, is a cause for celebration. The image featured above, “Untitled,” was fashioned by the artist in 1981 with acrylic, oilstick, and spray paint on wood, A few more images featuring Basquiat’s raw and largely irreverent aesthetic, captured at this splendid exhibition, follow:
Museum Security (Broadway Meltdown), Acrylic, oilstick and paper collage on canvas, 1983
Big Shoes, Acrylic, oilstick and collage on canvas, 1983
Hollywood Africans, Acrylic and oilstick on canvas, 1983
Irony of a Negro Policeman, Acrylic and lipstick on wood, 1981
Arroz con Pollo, Acrylic and oilstick on canvas, 1981
Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump, Acrylic on canvas, 1982
In what is certain to be the Living Installation show of the year, Jadda Cat becomes our country’s first female President replacing our current toxic one. With scored music created by the inimitable Michael Alan Alien, the talented Jadda will morph into various living sculptures — using every material she can find — as she shares her wisdom with us. All will be on view both in Michael’s Bushwick studio and online tomorrow — Saturday evening — from 8pm to midnight. Ticket information is available here.
Scenes from recent Living Installations
And a sample of Michael’s ingeniously conceived and executed visionary artwork
In the first of a series of “happenings,” native New Yorker actor/creator Maia Lorian and Brooklyn-based guerilla street artist Abe Lincoln, Jr. recently hosted an Open House outside Trump Tower. To help “the president” pay his huge legal fees, the duo offered passersby an opportunity to savor, purchase and bask in “Luxury Living For The Morally Bankrupt.” Perks include: secret service at one’s fingertips; one’s very own personalized FBI file and frequent dumpster fires. What follows are a few more scenes I captured during “A Presidential Parody’s” thoroughly convincing live ad campaign:
First stop, outside Chanel
Engaging one of many opinionated passersby
With Trump Tower security guard quietly observing it all