street art

Haikus everywhere, 5-7-5 all around, you just read one here

Haikus everywhere, 5-7-5 all around, you just read one here

Over the past year or so I’ve observed haikus, that “less is more” form of Japanese poetry, making a quiet stealthy encroachment and presence upon online pop culture through a variety of means. Some of these I’ve mentioned around these SUNfiltered parts, which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing an emergence of haikus and a comeback for the genre of poems in general back into something possibly more mainstream or at the least “meme-stream.” I had written earlier about a reader of the New York Times online edition who has gained some small measure of fame for his comments left in limerick form. The best recent example of the merging of pop culture with poetry occurred when Salman Rushdie tweeted his thoughts on the Kim Kardashian divorce in limerick form. In fact, the latest issue of New York Magazine’s Intelligencer focused on the poets or at least on the tough economic realities of that noble profession (Walt Whitman had a second job as a government clerk). If you’re not convinced of my thesis on the pop emergence of poems, but specifically haikus, I turn your attention to the following exhibits.

Dam graffiti in Ventura County

Dam graffiti in Ventura County

I was blown away when I first saw this photo. I thought the clever imagery was absolutely brilliant, but I suspected it was probably too good to be true and Photoshop had to be involved. It turns out some things that are too good to be true can actually be true. An anonymous group of guerrilla artists rappelled down the wall back in September to paint this environmentally conscious, large-scale mark on the 200 foot Matilija Dam in Ventura County.

Remember the (crocheted) Alamo

Remember the (crocheted) Alamo

Previously spotted covering the Wall Street Bull, Olek created buzz once again by wrapping another iconic New York City sculpture, Tony Rosenthal’s Astor Place Cube with her trademark pink and purple camouflage yarn, as seen in the picture above. Here’s a video of her in action installing this piece over the cube, or the “Alamo” as it’s officially named. If you walk around New York City long enough you’ll eventually stumble upon her smaller, guerrilla pieces like…

Mobile graffiti van

Mobile graffiti van

Art collective Everfresh Studio built this tongue-in-cheek service van outfitted with all the gear and material, such as spray paint, masks, ropes, wire cutters necessary for a team to infiltrate and graffiti bomb a neighborhood. The van is also outfitted with a boombox to provide the accompanying soundtrack. [Via]

Old Keith Haring profile

Old Keith Haring profile

From the annals of street and graffiti art history is this old 8-minute video profile of artist Keith Haring during his pop culture ascendancy, including interviews with the artist and his dealer Tony Shafrazi (along with representing countless other artists, he also incidentally gained infamy for once spray painting in an act of protest “Kill…

Needles out: grandma graffiti on the rise

Needles out: grandma graffiti on the rise

Crochet artist Olek, from New York Magazine’s story on Home Design
Street art has taken a dramatically more domestic turn of late with the recent influx of yarn bombing: knitters who take their hobby outside of the home and to the sidewalks and lampposts in cities all over the world. Also called grandma graffiti, yarn bombers take their needles to the streets under the cover of nightfall to wrap public property in their colorful crocheted creations. Technically, it’s still considered vandalism, but most yarn bombers say police “are more likely to laugh at them than issue a summons.”

Death Cab video by Shepard Fairey

Death Cab video by Shepard Fairey

Death Cab for Cutie bassist Nick Harmer reached out to the now-notable street artist and designer Shepard Fairey about creating a music video for their song “Home is a Fire.” The video piece above is the result, which unsurprisingly utilizes the artistic medium for which Shep is most well known for, and he explains the…

New Hanksy spotted

New Hanksy spotted

Wooster Collective spotted this second send-up spoof in NYC’s Soho of Tom Hanks and Banksy’s (previously) iconic “Girl with Red Balloon” street stencil art.

Notes from Chris

Notes from Chris

While reading this New York Times piece about a note posted on a pole at the intersection of 43rd and 6th Avenue by a guy named Chris who with apparent sincerity reviews two different coffee carts, I learned via the article’s comments that this note was just one in a series called “Notes from Chris.”…

Filling potholes with yarn

Filling potholes with yarn

I’ve previously shared (here, here, here, and here) yarn and knit based forms of street art by different artists. Here’s one more for the roster: Juliana Santacruz Herrera does a civic duty by filling in potholes and gaps in the streets of Paris with colorful strands of yarn. [Via]

Banksy x Tom Hanks

Banksy x Tom Hanks

Madeleine spotted Hanksy, the bastard child of Banksy and the always affable Tom Hanks on Kenmare & Mott Street in Soho. This reminds me of this hilarious pun around Mr. Hanks’ name that made the rounds on the Internet couple years ago. [Via]

Yarn-bombed Rocky Balboa supports the arts

Yarn-bombed Rocky Balboa supports the arts

The same artist who yarn-bombed seats on the Philadelphia SETPA trains is back (previously) and this time Ishknits stitched a sweater for the Rocky Balboa statue standing triumphantly in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Mysterious tiny doors in San Francisco

Mysterious tiny doors in San Francisco

Unexplained, tiny, innocuous, heavily locked, yet non-working doors or “unexplained portals” have begun popping up around San Francisco as part of an ongoing public art installation spearheaded by artist Jeff Waldman. The artist explained this group project in an email to his friend, a professor of sculpture at Yale: The idea is to install small…

Bridge & tunnel traps

Bridge & tunnel traps

From the same people (Jeff Greenspan and Hunter Fine) behind the hipster traps (previously) that created a buzz on the Internet is the latest urban snare aimed this time at the folks who come into the City from New Jersey and Long Island, aka the “bridge and tunnel” crowd. This trap was set up in…

Yarn subway art in Philadelphia

Yarn subway art in Philadelphia

Philadelphia blogger Conrad Benner got the call to join an artist as she “yarn bombed” SEPTA trains (three seats on three lines in all). And even while we started on a near empty train by the end it was the beginning of rush hour and the train was packed, all the people on each train…

NOLA street art: Before I die…

NOLA street art: Before I die…

Candy Chang created this cool, giant interactive piece of street art in New Orleans that transformed the side of an abandoned house into a chalk board. She explains: It’s also about turning a neglected space into a constructive one where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. It turns out…

Crochet Banksy

Crochet Banksy

Facts: I’m an unabashed fan of Banksy. And I love the crochet art of Agata Olek. One of my favorite chroniclers of street art Luna Park recently snapped this picture where Olek adapted her style and paid homage to this famous piece by Banksy on the West Bank barrier wall. Speaking of Banksy, this is…

Chuck Norris street art

Chuck Norris street art

Hilarious street art that continues the Chuck Norris meme. [Via]

Artist Marthalicia Matarrita, live at Sundance

Artist Marthalicia Matarrita, live at Sundance

Marthalicia Matarrita in the Sundance Channel HQ studio.
Harlem-based artist Marthalicia Matarrita specializes in a very specific medium, one that mixes street art, hip-hop and performance into what can best be described as live painting. She currently represents New York City at ART BATTLES, pioneers of the Live Art Movement. Often called the “Iron Chef” of the art world in that it’s a live, timed competition, ART BATTLES pits artists who favor bold, graphic, street-style visuals in theme-based showdowns. In Matarrita’s latest battle (which you can see still images from above), the artists were asked to interpret Picasso’s “Guernica.”
Miranda July. Painting by Marthalicia Matarrita.
But before the next round of battles begin, Matarrita is stopping by Sundance HQ in Park City, UT this week, where she’ll create live illustrations of festival-goers who drop in. Whether she’s painting on a large canvas backed by loud DJ music at a battle or working on smaller-scale illustrations, Mataritta maintains the same hip-hop-inspired fluidity in all her pieces. In fact, music has been such a major part of her life that she founded M-Squared Art Productions in 2006 with her brothers Tomas aka Atomic and Jorge based on what she calls “the four elements of hip-hop: music, graffiti, art and dance,” especially breakdance. “What hip hop does for breakdancers is the same for graffiti-writers and painters. My performances are influenced by it.” Performance, or process, is key for Matarrita. “The process in creating the artwork is both therapeutic and meditative. The end result is the satisfaction in my labor of love, my art.”

Pixel street art in Soho

Pixel street art in Soho

Benjamin Norman snapped these photos of this neat pixilated street installation on Mercer Street in Soho about a month ago.

Exemplary Works by Various Artists

Exemplary Works by Various Artists

Titled “Title: Exemplary Works by Various Artists,” this art group (self described as “various artists’ agents for design, speculation and public nuisance”) placed in public spaces mock explanatory labels seen in art galleries thereby “claiming them from the property of the public realm and rebranding them as our own artworks.” I like how this adds…

UK street artist comments on Banksy's Simpsons cameo

UK street artist comments on Banksy's Simpsons cameo

The Internet blew its collective mind at learning that Banksy created an opening-credit scene to a recent episode of The Simpsons. The clip has since been in a cat-and-mouse game on YouTube as it gets pulled for copyright violations, then re-uploaded by someone else. The New York Times posted an interesting interview with Al Jean,…

New Banksy

New Banksy

A slightly saccharine piece by Banksy. View two other brand spankin’ new works by him over at Wooster Collective. Relatedly, last week I came across an interview he gave the Sun and was struck by this quote: “But maybe all art is about just trying to live on for a bit. I mean, they say…

Epic Faile

Epic Faile

Since its creation in 1999, Faile, the Brooklyn street art collaboration between Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, has had an overwhelming influence on “low art” and “high art” alike. Beginning with wheatpaste and stencils, the classic tools of the trade, Faile gradually moved onto printmaking, painting, sculpture and multimedia installations, maintaining their signature collage-style throughout. Their ability to branch out in other mediums is what ultimately established them as legitimate artists. Their recent work, which includes “customized Buddhist prayer wheels and an American flag reworked with Pueblo-inspired linework, relies on re-imagining sacred objects on an increasingly grand scale.”

Public art: Subway spoiler alert signs

Public art: Subway spoiler alert signs

Newmindspace and Jason Eppink collaborated in installing these “Spoiler Alert” signs around the few New York City subway stations with LED displays as a commentary on their impact on certain commuter habits and behaviors. These LED signs also threaten historical social behaviors, rendering obsolete the time-honored New York tradition of leaning over the platform edge…