subtitle: FEAR IN THE FACE OF ART, and make that, ‘comic book-inspired art’ . . no less.

or, more simply put: FEAR LURKS IN TISSELTON.


a 10 year anniversary group show – that run thru JULY 2014
the show is now down, but CINDERS IS ALWAYS OPEN . . ALIVE and well, with embers burning . . !!
keepers of the flame, the home fires.
‘Americana’ . . in a nutshell.
CINDERS – a BROOKLYN-based, free-roaming, 24-7 online indie art venue / project !!

BRIAN CHIPPENDALE, ‘Tisselton 2’, silkscreen. edition of 40. ($120 ea.)

every time I see Brian Chippendale’s work, my mind gets blown. literally, and my ability to write – short circuits. thus artlovers, quite seriously – artlovers has been offline for a few weeks, now.
so, no. it was not just summer break. it was Chippendale . . break-down.
fear . . to write about Chippendale is no laughing matter.
proper words can just NOT be . . as over-the-top, disconnected, distorted, truthful, and well . . distressed. child’s play ?
how to be . . a verbal witness ?
when it’s . . ‘for your eyes only’.

smoke signals. cartoon thought bubbles. communication, basic communication esp over . . distance.

heat. it’s like the zenith of summer. the bright white sear of a so-called ‘super’ moon.
it’s like the skull and cross bones vs. the man in the moon.
the intelligence ‘factor’ . . is that high.
the desire to communicate is that strong.
cloaked at first glance in a primitive scribble.

shake and bake smoke signals . . rocking your world.
the addition of ‘words’ just goes to show the ‘pictorial’ extent – to which he IS trying to communicate.

rough translation:

TISSELTON / TINSEL TOWN. you know . . Hollywood, the world, the media. the works.
the illusion of shiny things, the hiss of snakes.

what the F mess is going down / on .. in Tinseltown (the US ?, the world ? the planet ?)
(and) what will YOU do with it / about it ?
I don’t know.
commit more violence ?

you can’t make a ‘cake’ / a good thing. with (just) a plant and a dream.
so, let’s go meet ‘the’ maker.
so, face your maker / face your devils. and undo the hard-wire violence & planet entropy (???)

so, am I wrong, to think outside the . . box ?
love those primal screaming . . crayon colors.
red is for . . EBOLA.
green is for . . green slime in the great lakes.
yellow . . is for globalization. Isis ? the desert hordes, a warning.
yellow is for caution. Chippendale yellow. it’s not sure not for sun, surf and tanning.
more like, what made America great . . is coming back to bite us in the butt.
blue is for the . . devil.
blue is for .. choking, can’t breathe.

they are finding out we are hard-wired for violence against the ‘other’.
surprise, surprise.



UN for “one” . . it always comes down to the ‘one’. the single actions of the ‘one’ ?
singularity ?
or is that: UN for un-do !! un-do the violence. stop the violence.

omg – singularity. the collective consciousness of the web.
I just looked up ‘UN’ and I got this !!
omg – it’s an open-sourced, infinitely rebounding TINSEL TOWN universe . . after all !!
GEORGE CLOONEY & AMAL interjected into the the strife in Gaza, as if . .
apparently spot the dot / right on. shine on, TISSELTON !!

what I can’t express properly, this is where I short circuit . .
is how the work is a blown-apart / deconstructed composition / universe . . just from a purely, very academic artistic point of view, that also has . . big thoughts cloaked in primitive scribblings, and a real desire. a big literal desire, as in a literal ‘stab’ by using actual language & word play to enter your mind, and blow it up, too.
everything here aims for a state of mind – greater than the one where you were, before you entered the (Chippendale) picture.
or only possibly more simply:
if you can follow the breadcrumb trail, on the tippy toes of an elf – you are halfway there !!

yep, another hardcore prankster !!

it’s like literally . . the mind-thought cartoon ‘caption’ bubbles of a hardcore indie thinker coming at ya like smoke signals. blowing you away, and then blowing away, themselves.
dots that connect, add up, and disperse.

it’s a very kinetic, participatory art form.
your mind just feels like a cloud in your head escaping the cage.
is the best I can put it.

or, Tinsel town . . shine on !!
the bad pops up everywhere. in your home, on your streets, across the globe.
all we are missing . . is for the evil green alien monsters to (finally) land.

why, and what to do ?

oops, I thought it might have a happy ending, I thought I saw a little ‘heart’ around the edges ?
but no, more like the 21st century version of . . . ‘The Scream’.
more like a deer . . caught in the headlights. as in, fear-full.
my brain on . . Chippendale.

my very radar . . invaded, undone.
by the cartoon scribbles that strip us down to the bony skeleton of existence.
where all fear lurks.

Chip (away) at that dale.
it’s going, going, gone.

Brian Chippendale .. the new century James Joyce ?




JULY 10-30, 2014

under which sub-title, pranksters . . we are also going to include . . ‘portraits’.
yep, these bio-organism-based renderings, were either far-out, or . . completely off-the-wall.

NICK KUSZYK, ‘Floater’, acrylic on wood panel. ($200)
a small offering (something like 6 x 6 in.) from ‘everyman arch-nemesis’ NICK KUSZYK, who has left his famous tiny, hard working bio-robots behind – in the dust, and which literally kick-started the exhibit, it being the first piece as you entered.
full speed ahead. don’t look back, and wtf ?

BRIAN BLOMERTH, ‘Siiv Rounder, European Artist’, digital print. ($100)

also at the beginning of the exhibit, and setting the stage !!
celebrating the dance of creativity – for adressing life’s biggest questions.
aka . . the Deca-dunce !!
creativity rules . . in the land of chaos.
yeah dude . . in the face of it all: BLOW MIRTH !!

how you can not . . love art ?!!
esp when it has ALL the moves, if not all the answers !!

KYLE RANSON, ‘Portrait 1’. ($400)

tongue-in-cheek, super smart ‘conservative’ rendering. very far-out. very beautiful. one of my faves for being so wicked yet serene, flat-out contrarian . . in the crazy wonderland that is . . Cinders.
I bet this guy has a wicked sense of humor.

KYLE RANSON, ‘Portrait 2’, pencil on weed. ($300)
haha, I meant: wood !!
damn, that’s one typo – I’m leaving IN !!

an absolutely great piece of art making. period.
profound on the formal levels, imbedded with a sly take, a great slice of life.
far out.

ANDERS NILSEN, ‘Untitled (black shape), ink on paper. ($640)

and, just as ‘far out’ in the other direction !!
yep I see a face, and that’s your brains . . on birdseed.
your thought bubble, always on the top of your head, for all to see, if only everybody lived in a comic / cosmic book universe.
like Anders does. google him.

ISAAC LIN, ‘DFW CAT’, spray, Edition of 34. ($40)
ISAAC LIN, ‘Night Light’, airbrush, ink on paper. ($850)

hardcore prankster, like ghost . . needs no words !!
invading your consciousness . . like a black light.

DFW is a ‘graff’ crew out of San Francisco, and other part which includes Isaac Lin, BARRY McGEE and ANDREW JEFFREY WRIGHT, so . . blow mirth or what ?!!
DFW ? damn f-cked world ?

CHARLES SHEDDEN, ‘Untitled’. ($200 ea.)
$200 each ?
damn, that’s a steal. DTS !!

yeah, that’s a reflective surface / background.
yeah, that’s . . the hand that feeds ya.

STO, ‘Facial Recognition’, letterpress. ($40)
bad photo, great piece. it’s really a super shade of almost cerulean blue.
and, yeah. that’s your face, well I guess your mind, your brain . . stripped of the outer layer of eyes, skin, nose and mouth !!
aka bio inter .. FACE.

HISHAM BHAROOCHA, ‘Step Sequence’, acrylic on hand dyed fabric. ($750)
or as Hisham puts it so nicely . . your INTERFACE !!
(. . is a mystery to me).




BENJAMIN BUTTON, you ain’t got nothing on us. but, close !!

I guess by now you can see where that title, ‘DECA-DUNCE’ kicks in. as in, the smart-ass fools !!
the CINDERS family is. for sure, they are NOT the slow & dumb folks, ‘dunce’ is supposed to reference, but the fast and furious . . ‘ironic’ & ‘comic’ bio-folks / ‘creatives’ as we like to call them in NYC . . trying to clue us in, into just how surely . . our cosmic orb of a world, that little spinning bio-globe we call home – is heading for the big dive.
whether it be war, slow toxins in our food & environment, and/or gradual mutation ?
or, just a slow but steady mental degradation into our cartoon collective media consciousness.


MEL KADEL, ‘Double Reach’, ink, collage on paper. ($650)
watch out, that dance is scarier than it first appears, dot dot dash.

KEVIN HOOYMAN, ‘Untitled’,. ($100 ea.)
watch out, that forest is way scarier than Little Red Riding Hood . . .

detail: KEVIN HOOYMAN. old school !!!

KEVIN HOOYMAN . . the new Brother Grimm ? ya think ?

JORDIN ISIP, ‘Heresy’, mixed media on wood. ($400)

looky up, this is your world, people. and it’s . . curious.

HIDEYUKI KATSUMATA,’The Barbarous Invaders’, sumi ink on paper. ($220)

what do we know ?
why do we dance ?
for sure we are hard wired to . . fight.

TOBY GOODSHANK, ‘Far Beyond Driven’. ($200)

well for sure we are hard wired to . . love.
but, are we hard wired to . . morph ?

JEREMY TAYLOR, ‘Territorial Pissings’, walnut ink on paper. ($400)

answer me.
the bitter sweet ‘dunces’ at Cinders want to know.

though some of them seem to be already, crying.

RON REGE Jr, ‘What Parsifal Saw’, letterpress, Cinders Ediitons. ($50)

while others can still reach for the divine celestial dance.
just goes to show you, how versatile . . a line drawing can be !!

detail: RON REGE Jr.
has an interesting morph of his own going on, his line drawings have a cartoon aspect, that is all his own.

detail: RON REGE Jr.
they stand on both sides of the line, that line being . . ancient history and future vision.

they are like future child meets ancient Greek map of the constellations up in the sky.

BRENDAN MONROE, ‘Ripple’, gouache on paper. ($850)

and then, poof !!
the ultimate mother of all . . line drawings !!
all celestial dreaming, all toxic warnings, suck it up – it’s over.

but is it really . . the end ?
or are there tiny microbes in those crevices, ready to start the impetus to life, and maybe great civilizations, all over again.

just spin that big TV dial.
the answer probably lies somewhere between ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, ‘Teen Mom’, ‘Lincoln’, and ‘Pre-History Evolution in Australian Fossils’ with a good dose of ‘Inca Mummies’ thrown in for the ‘X’ – as in cosmic factor . . as hosted by Nev of MTV’s ‘Catfish’ !!

catfish !!
talk about ancient and future-talk !! morph !!

yeah. come to think of it, I am so sick of Morgan Freeman, and not just on TV, he has ruined so many pretty good sci-fi movies too, him and Donald Sutherland. cameos, ugh.
I hear his voice I flip channels.
enough already. move over.
I vote Nev to narrate all science and astronomy shows – from now on.

and who’s taking notes ?
$10 to the first person who puts Nev in a sci-fi flick !!





make that more trouble in paradise.
looks like the organic, sunny-side of the street – is no more !!
or as MARK CROSS . . put it: sad humanity – lying curled-up, and wasted on . . the city streets.
it’s NOT a happy life out there.
the yellow orb of the sun, the yellow yolk of the egg, has gone . . rancid.

MIKE TAYLOR, ‘She had to leave’, ink on paper. ($400)

ALLYSON MELLBERG, ‘Return from Florida’, walnut ink, iron Gall ink, and egg tempera on paper. ($500)

in the center:
SWOON, ‘Myrtle Ave’, block print on paper on found wood. ($10,000)

detail: SWOON, ‘Myrtle Ave’.

detail: SWOON, ‘Myrtle Ave’.

SUZANNE SATLER, ‘Passive Poker’, pencil on paper. ($1,800)

LAURENT IMPEDUGLIA, ‘Hahaha’, acrylic on canvas. ($275)

if CINDERS isn’t living up to its name .. thru the fire, or wtf else . . is left ?

LAURENT IMPEDUGLIA, ‘Church’, acrylic on canvas. ($275)

XANDER MARRO, ‘The Hunt’, silkscreen. ($150)

left: ‘Pavor Nocturnus’, ink, watercolor, pencil on Bristol. ($300)
right: ‘Save It’, ink, watercolor, pencil on Bristol. ($300)

MATT FURIE, ‘Save It’.
her t-shirt reads: SAVE THE RAIN FORESTS.

left: ‘Day 347’. ($450)
right: ‘Day 214’. ($450)


oh oh future world, not looking so good. a bit toxic, mutated, feverish, and, well: doomed.
just ask the use-ed to be . . all tulips and windmills and wooden shoes – Dutch !!
depending where you were seated,
go up in a plane and turn to .. cinders, DNA mulch on the burnt ground.
or free-fall to earth, and come home in rubber body bags.
wtf are you thinking in the long seconds – as you spin to earth.
do you kick your feet and try to brace for impact, or do you embrace the ultimate dive of dives.

what do you think . . is going to happen when you build surface-to-air missiles.
I don’t know anybody, who doesn’t like to play with their toys.
ok, a mistake ? or just not playing by the rules. no diff.
and anyways . . that’s how our American founding fathers won their War of Revolution. they had frontier sharpshooters pick off the British generals on their horses, a big no no.
talk about American ingenuity, and stolen from the Native Americans, no less – !!

what ever happened to psychedelic mushrooms, talking furry friends, and love-based .. bonding ?
apparently, as far as we got was: re-cycle your trash or be fined.




runs thru JULY 2014 – 7 DAYS A WEEK – HRS: 12-7PM


one of the most intense and striking pieces in the show, and not just because it was the largest, and the only one spread on the floor – was this custom photo woven blanket by MARK CROSS, a tattoo artist whose stature as an ‘artist’ – might just eclipse his tattoo fame.

the piece was intense for several reasons, but mostly for how the homeless man curled up into his sleep, how the photo curled up into its own orientation on the blanket, and then how the piece itself . . curled up into its installation niche.

SO, I guess we have to revise . . sunny-side up !!
it’s apparently, not so sunny – out there. mean streets invade the utopian dream.
maybe the better why to quick code ‘label’ the Cinders vision and community – it just that: community. people-minded, bio-sphere minded, concerned with the present, future and sometimes even magical, or in this case downtrodden . . state of our planet’s bio beings, humans and animals, alike – and the landscape they inhabit.

and so in that sense, I have to stop and say that this 10 year wave of artists – does in fact, have a ‘political’ bent that they share with the newbie 170 SUFFOLK wave, though the CINDERS fellowship comes down . . a little more to the ‘organic’ side of 170 SUFFOLK, which is more hardcore and in a sense urban ‘radical’.

in a word: both art groups – are very pictorial, and both are very ‘statement’ – oriented.

anyways, looks like there is trouble on the downside of the ‘sunny-side’ of the street. some call it: urban living, this man looks so beat-up, broken, so weathered and it’s so sad to see him curled up in a fetal position on a grate, seeking heat. it’s not like he’s a drunk, he’s just an unfortunate homeless man, and many urban dwellers, esp the free thinkers and the ‘un-promoted’ artists among us – know . . there for the grace of God, go I.

I’m thinking, it’s really the intense graphic & straightforward documentary photo – that carries the work, and speaks the truth. this is/was . . a real moment.
the way the gallery goers walk over the image – becomes an on-going moment, speaks volumes and metaphors could cascade, so you can supply your own faves.

I first saw ‘artwork’ by MARK CROSS, originally from San Francisco and now NYC-based – at the recent ‘It’s An Invasion’ group show at the National Arts Club. the piece was similar in format, except it was termed, a ‘carpet’ – as opposed to ‘blanket’, and it was also strikingly placed. in the ‘INVASION’ case – just beneath an upper crust piano / and hi-gloss fancy wood coffee table type scenario. in that piece the photo was also of a homeless man lying asleep on a grate, but the guy looked more like he was on a bender, and was kind of well, looking like his predicament was his own fault. in this Cinders scenario – the man looks more vulnerable, like he just slipped though the sunny-side of the street – the cracks are a-many. the works being placed on the floor in both shows, and with no security barriers/gates around them, means you can walk on them, or watch other people walk on them, as in: ‘walk all over me, man – I’m already so far down and out, what’s the dif’ – makes a big statement, and renders the piece kinetic’. as opposed to being large standard print on paper photographs hung on the wall, or even ‘blankets’ hung on the wall.
the foot traffic – most definitely added to the power of the ‘content’ within.

so, in any case – I also just came to realize, seeing the work a second time – how important the photo image itself was, both in subject matter and in graphic design, how it sits in it’s composition, the cropping – the takeaway was, I felt this ‘tattoo ‘ artist was also a bonafide photographer. these had to be his own images, they were too loaded – and powerful, not to be – but you never know, ‘appropriation’ being what it is today, okay it wasn’t in Gagosian Gallery and the name on the label wasn’t RICHARD PRINCE (!!), still I felt I better do double check before mouthing off. so late at night a day or so ago, yeah, I cyber-stalked MARK CROSS – and found a contact and wrote and asked him.
yes, was the reply – “these are my photos”.

again that’s also an integral characteristic of the CINDERS crew – they are very hands-on, DIY owning their own images, and all the power to them. and of course – these raw photos, including their custom woven format – define grit, and, really – one needs say . . no more.
it’s also a very ‘contemporary’ stance, as opposed to say, ‘art for arts’ sake 70s focused purely ‘abstract’ work.

if you follow this site, and . . admit it !! you have been making dough or what ?!!
you know the art hustle is a very lively ‘art’ to me – on it’s own terms.
it’s how I keep a step ahead of sleeping on the grates myself !!
skills, skills, skills, !!
I would say putting down $2 grand on this piece would be a very savvy way to spend 2 grand, and enjoy it too.
just don’t throw it in the washing machine.
plus, large scale works do better at auction, as does very unique and provocative imagery.
so it’s win win.


cyber-stalking MARK CROSS is actually quite a fun journey. lots of instagram and tattoo stuff comes up – though none of the rugs or blankets, as of yet. and none of the urban photos, as far as I could find.
just make sure you add ‘NYC’ to the search mix.

you can find a new enterprise he is connected with, too – apart from the tattoo shop he works out of – it’s a new gallery in Brooklyn, Greenpoint: called MUDDGUTS, which he runs in partnership with LELE SAVERI. located at 41 Montrose Ave, there is in fact an opening tomorrow night . . FRI JULY 18, 2014 / 6-9PM, showcasing the dark and ‘gritty’ urban photos of DAVE SCHUBERT.
the show has a rather poetic title: ‘SCATTERED SCRAPS of MEMORY’.

the MUDGUTTS LOGO, (by CHRIS LUX). it’s animated, so . .

check out: MUDDGUTTS



the other thing interestingly, that also pops up – under a very late night ‘MARK CROSS CARPET’ cyber-search, is this wonderful, historic illustrated ‘cult’ gospel archive, which actually fits . . right into the CINDERS artisan, humanity-centered creed, or what ?!!

decorating the beginning page of each intricately worked ‘LINDISFARNE’ gospel, the date we are talking lies somewhere in the 634-687 range (!!), was a . . ‘carpet’ page, which was actually called a ‘MARK CROSS’ CARPET page, because the illustrations were inspired by woven designs that – delineated the ‘cross’ orientation – on holy prayer rugs.

check it out for yourself: Carpet pages – LINDISFARNE Gospels Tour – British Library.
lyrical, and . . illuminating !!
don’t miss the ‘cult’ . . references !!

and here we are still talking ‘holy grail’ carpets, 1400 years later.



the show opened JULY 10, 2014
and runs 7 days a week throughout the month / 12-7PM

a large group show of about 100 artists, with small works arrayed ‘salon’ style.

individual pieces were numbered in pencil on the white wall, with the numbers corresponding to the artist list, in long-honored Cinders tradition.

real art interlopes – on tourist territory !!
and, wait a minute . .

talking about things nautical, damn, if that isn’t a DUKE RILEY tattoo snaking up her back !!



~where it’s at, CINDERS & 170 SUFFOLK . .

give me INDIE, or give me – nothing.

the show opened last THURS, JULY 10, 2014

so I am now facing the blogger’s worst nightmare, I just started writing up 170 SUFFOLK, which ran MAY 31-JUNE 5, 2014, and then along comes CINDERS . . with a summer show that is currently up and running, and so do I continue with 170 SUFFOLK, which is down – or do I jump to the present ?
and then go back to 170 SUFFOLK, cause that’s not falling thru the cracks, no matter what ?
I guess so.

serves me right for comparing the 2 shows in the first place, and my BAD !!
as I remember the post – I believe CINDERS got the short end of the stick – something about local NYC kids being more grit !!!
well guess there’s 2 sides to GRIT – after all.

both are Indie group shows put on by artist curators / both are pop-ups, both are collective consciousnesses with no tangible brick & mortar homes – hey, the whole world IS your oyster . . when you have talent.
170 SUFFOLK is relatively new to the scene, or, rather in manifesting it’s presence – their first real collective roaming exhibit – was 15 WARREN of this New Year’s 2014.
so they are celebrating their FIRST YEAR.
CINDERS is celebrating their 10th year.
yes, it’s true CINDERS represents a broader spectrum of artists, from all over, incl zines out of BERLIN (re-surgo), but esp of the states, while 170 SUFFOLK remains very much a New York City born & bred tight knit group.
and, yes while 170 SUFFOLK hits the metal with a harsh and gritty slash, in its own way CINDERS hits the – edge too, as in the ‘ashes’ !!
you know, through the flames – burn the ashes.
grit = ashes.

yeah, after I saw the Cinders show, yes I did make the opening – I had to re-work the math !!

and what I came up with . . was really old knowledge: the yin and the yang.

CINDERS’ heat . . is about the earth, feelings and thoughts about the earth, and the way we live and where we are going . .

170 SUFFOLK’s heat . . was more hard-pressed, combustible, politics driven.

CINDERS’s heat . . was like skating, the skate’s blade racing along the far-most rim – or edge of the sun’s orb, while 170 SUFFOLK, was like the harder edge, let’s say of a knife – or a metal rim. colder. more precise.
CINDERS is more dreamy, and 170 SUFFOLK is more hardcore.
2 sides of the coin. yin / yang
with the rim of coin itself . . being the cutting-edge.

though seriously, it’s NOT just about content – it’s about style, it’s about: SENSORY SENSATION.
both shows lean heavily to the pictorial, narrative, and far-out.
as opposed to the personal, or even sexual. there was not one naked, sexxxually charged image in either show.

both shows were cutting edge – that is, coming down on . . right now. both shows had the talent, and the excitement – that is sorely missing in the art world’s mainstream and more established streets.

so, let’s get on with the PIX – and I’m betting 170 SUFFOLK will still be relevant, even after the CINDERS pix finish, it’s just like one big circle, the fox chasing his tail.
the mind chasing it’s dreams.

opened SAT MAY 31, 2014 and ran thru JUNE 5, 2014.

170 SUFFOLK was presented in a formal setting, well – as formal as Indie gets !!
the ‘borrowed’ venue was a real estate deal that left open 2 weeks to put on a show, before the space changed hands.

it was in the heart of the enemy, the Lower East Side, and it was gorgeous – with high ceilings, exposed beams, even a skylight. rust, decay, entropy, and even history were taken for granted, de-constructed elegance was the name of the game, there were only 13 artists – and everybody had plenty of space to to make their statements. from ‘found’, bold and graphic, to hyper-realism, SPENCER TULLIS had an ‘Egyptian’ in a kind of time travel capsule . . to the supremely sublime: the out-of-town ‘trash’, does that fall under – ‘realism’ ? of TOMMY MALEKOFF to the poetic ramblings of CODY RANALDO and his ‘construction next door – from the large, the balance beam of KEEFE BUTLER, to the mini-mini flags of JACK SHANNON, to the empty, yet threatening, designated fenced-in space of SEAN VEGEZZI.
it was a very hard-core take-away.

“just kids” – ha, those famous last words reigned supreme, and came back like a glass-sharp frisbee to haunt the neighborhood naysayers !!

CINDERS . . also popped up in the heart of enemy turf, the enemy in this case being the ‘tourist’. but you know what – art wins when the tourist comes in and buys a piece of work by BRIAN CHIPPENDALE, or anybody else in the CINDERS SHOW, I would even put it in the same sentence as that Central Park caper that Banksy pulled off, selling his work (for $60 each) to unsuspecting strollers.

CINDERS, DECADE OF DECADUNCE, oh oh, look out !!
. . . had more – well, humor !!
it was more about works on paper, drawing, and it was more like a taste, a ‘sampling’, than a full plate of serious statement – !! as per 170 SUFFOLK, but you know – all good.
both venues made the most of what – they had to work with.

CINDERS has close to 100 artists on display, and the work was selling like hotcakes the night of the opening.

I heard that sales were prevalent at 170 SUFFOLK, too.

in a nutshell, it’s not about commercialism, it’s about talent.
rebel, rebel. against the status quo & the big $$ galleries/Artforum ho’s.
when the cutting edge talent can get the gigs/venues, and make dough/$$ outside the mainstream – it’s a win , win.
a bonafide: ‘scene’.
an underground scene – going nautical – as in topside. New York City style – as in, free style.
now that’s what I call: grit. so, whether you like your eggs . .
sunny-side up as in CINDERS, or hardcore-boiled as in 170 SUFFOLK – they’re coming with a big side . . . of g-r-i-t-s.


~DG . . R.I.P.

archival photo – a young DG.
FACEBOOK via New York Post

yeah, for sure – the week leading into JULY 4th, 2014 – was hot. heavy. humid – intense, loaded. or is fraught with tension, the best way to say it. at least I was just ‘spinning’ out . . in my head.

DG aka JASON WULF, 42 – not so lucky.

I didn’t cross paths with him, but I’m sure I have many photos of his ‘DG’ street tag in my street art photography archives, going way back to 1985. they were writ large, in large letters all over the place. I always wondered what DG stood for. and I still don’t know. DG = DOG / WULF = WOLF ?
most taggers had more letters that they worked with than just 2. according to the news report – he was the founder of NWC – New Wave Crew.
so at least that clears up: NWC.
code is code is code.

at any rate, sadly, he was electrocuted by the third rail in the 25th St. subway station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn – this past WED, JULY 2, 2014.Brooklyn, in the midst of that week of intense heat that commemorates the War of Independence, and now apparently – that other big attack on NYC.

as DG is being hailed as an ‘underground legend’ – and, therefore a ‘warrior’ / a revolutionary of sorts – I think it would fitting to take a moment to reflect that there is underground, as in underground art scene, and there is underground, as in art done way down below the city’s constant hustle, in the underground tunnels and subways.

SEAN VEGEZZI of the 15 WARREN & 170 SUFFOLK enterprises – can attest to that, as in: been there, done that.

read: Graffiti legend dies in subway – NEW YORK POST / JULY 5, 2014


this clip is gorgeous, by all ways & meanings – and is probably the best way to commemorate DG & share his art and the huge contribution ‘underground’ NYC tagging has made to the ‘above-ground’ culture at large – esp re graphic design & font ‘play’. it’s to the Post’s credit that they included the clip link – in their article.

when we say, an artist speaks with an ‘authentic’ voice – this is what me mean.
when we say an artist works out of his own ‘time’ – this is what we mean.
when we say a graffiti tagger / writer – is an ARTIST . . this is what we mean. and so, yeah – please skip the quotation marks around ‘artist’, already. s’il vous plait.
it’s bad enough these guys get demonized instead of recognized, you don’t have to question their role as genuine artists, i.e. talent – constantly in the mainstream press.

anyway, besides the beautiful grace of the draftsmanship, the visual ‘rhythms’ of these free-form ‘running’ fonts – how they were colored in, and even how in turn the color fields, became just as broken up – and also ‘morphed’ – into say: ‘drips’ – it’s clear in this brief clip – how the ‘art’ form that sprung up from the streets – local kids, with no formal art training – only the city that inspired them – developed. you can watch this – as the clip progresses, and the ‘line’ gets increasingly more complex, and ‘colored-in’ – it’s laid-out simply – like a pure visual narrative, right before your eyes.

you can also ‘key’ into the actual visual influence of those subway trains themselves . . racing rapidly by – by the way in which the MOTIONGRAFF filmmakers have integrated actual footage of the subway cars racing by . . so we get, why these guys were so fascinated with the subways – the morph, the flow, the speed – and how, and why their tags – race by too, in a whooosh, but always maintaining that ‘subway’ silhouette, that slight jiggedy-jag, that twists and turns. that comes to a full stop, and then .. takes back off.

~170 SUFFOLK . . hell-o !!

MAY 31 – JUNE 5, 2014

a smallish, stylish & absolutely cutting edge awesome pop-up group show – brought to you by the same three indie curators & friends: SEAN VEGEZZI, ANDREW KASS, and ABELINE COHEN . . who brought you – the ground-breaking, and shaking . . 15 WARREN ST, the notorious indie group show that opened this new year, 2014.
with . . a huge bang. bang, bang, outlaw indie no-budget nailed it.

unlike 15 WARREN – I couldn’t make this opening, which I heard was a way wild party bye the way, which I do not doubt for a moment – but I definitely made it my priority to see the show.
just as stunning, 170 SUFFOLK – was completely different in many ways – and yet remained . . a soul sister. no, these guys are not going to repeat themselves, or go formula-istic on you.
yes, they are gonna shake things . . up.
and, yes. they are going to invade, stake a claim, and visually ‘break’ into their ‘found’ site – and, yes, they are going to break-down . . with some really happening, cutting edge art.

coming off our recent artlovers posts . . on alternative/artist efforts . . such as ELSEWHERE, CINDERS, and even, artistswhodothings – including some grassroots JULY 4 patriotism !! – will hopefully lend a little more understanding, a little more context & depth to just what makes these 3 young artist/curators of 15 WARREN ST & now 170 SUFFOLK ST – so uniquely NYC, and that is, in a word: . . . gritty.
hardcore, art gritty.
with a real voice, and not – just an ‘aesthetic’ voice . . of their own.

trying to put it simply, it’s 10 years on now, from when the raw pictorial energy, and ‘new age’ life-force of CINDERS hit the Brooklyn scene, and blew up.
it’s a whole new ‘visual’ voice . . that speaks forth from – 15 WARREN and 170 SUFFOLK.

try this road map . . .
it’s as if the very open and free-form creative energy, future speak narrative of CINDERS went through the mid-decade shock transformation ‘new psychology’ and, graphic elements of PHILIPPE MAYAUX, and came back – in-your-face, NYC free style. and, s-e-r-i-o-u-s.
playful, but serious. not so much in your head, in your dreams, in your personal trip; as in . . your world, the place you have to wake up to everyday. eat breakfast, and go forward.

I think one part of the story is that 15 WARREN ST, and it’s soul sister 170 SUFFOLK – are produced by, and showcase work by local New York City kids, who grew up in NYC schools and streets. and one big part of their specific story – is that their formative years were impacted by 9-ll, which happened right before their very, 10-year old eyes.

another part of the equation is that from day one, in the their strollers and then as they walk the streets, on their on – – they inhabit and breathe in, a very very art-centric city. perhaps the mean streets make you grow up savvy, but irregardless, for sure all New York City kids dwell in a fantastically rich visual world. a mecca of cutting edge media & design, the streets of NYC – are suffused, if not saturated with, in a word: talent. from street tags, to corporate logos. Andre the Giant to COCA-COLA.
street artists and graphic designers, the masters of the universe – for sure.
they get to see a lot of ‘art’ proper too, in this city of multi museums with all their fluttering art-infused banners, and hi-def ads everywhere. kids in New York City know more about art, just from the vantage point of their strollers, and school trips, than you might imagine. just ask any transplanted young artist who comes here, from let’s say Santa Fe, following his art dreams. it’s the first thing they will tell you. how jealous they are of how art savvy the local kids are. even the ones that don’t consider themselves artists, that hang at the few bodegas that haven’t been gentrified, have an amazing eye. you know – they call it street style, and it bubbles up, big.

as for 9-11.
I don’t think anybody has done the definitive study yet, or even really really comprehended its impact, but New York City . . took a big hit with 9-11, and this generation, this group of artists, who were at the most, 10 or 11 at the time, that is . . just beginning to formulate / process the world around them – seem to have been impacted to a degree to which nobody has really addressed, or computed yet.

contrast this to CINDERS, whose 2 co-founders were transplanted New Yorkers, I know Kelie grew up in FLORIDA, I forget exactly where STO hails from – and who both no longer reside here, bye the way. They both came here more or less in their early twenties – and further, most of the Cinders artist roster come from beyond New York City as well. not that that’s a bad thing, the CINDERS culture and mind-set was a huge contribution to the city’s art scene – just saying by way of trying to bring the voices of the new decade – into sharper focus.

when you start to contrast the groups, it seems fairly obvious that while the creative rebels of CINDERS speak up against mass society & global degeneration as a whole, the pop-up shows of SEAN VEGEZZI, ANDREW KASS, and ABELINE COHEN . . are definitely more specifically NYC-centric, and still grappling with the 9-11 attack, and the consequent backlash.

in a word, their shows, 15 WARREN & 170 SUFFOLK are deeply reflective of the aggression and chaos of war – that tore up the very turf of their childhood – i.e. the ‘ashes’ of 9-11. encapsulated in a word, their art is more POLITICAL, often hyper-real, and leaning to the side of more ‘graphic’ – vs/as opposed to the alternative shamanistic & organic mind-set dream ‘visions’ that flowered around the ashes of the ‘old order’ – that CINDERS & crew stomped on . . so gloriously.

further, most of us were NOT 10 or 11 when the Twin Towers went down, we had other milestones that crafted our lives & cultural understandings, be it Woodstock or ANDY WARHOL. so we’re not quite on the same page. it’s a little jarring, and sad – to see where these kids are coming from, and how intense they are about things as basic as – urban security.

but, if like me – you are catching any of the JULY 4 history narratives on TV, specifically HISTORY CHANNEL – and it’s still not even noon – it’s amazing, it’s absolutely stunning . . to hear how the history books are being revised, with a harsh nod to 9-11.
hello, 15 WARREN & 170 SUFFOLK !!

summing up the American War of Independence . . this line is tossed about more frequently than you might imagine, and I don’t recall it being so overtly stressed – before.

to wit: “this 1770’s British naval invasion on New York City was the greatest attack to ever happen on American soil, and on the port of New York City . . . until 9-11.” !!

so put that into your red, white and blue . . crepe paper bunting, while you think back on when you went to school, and 9-11 was not in the picture, or the textbooks, let alone the national dialog . . on July 4th.

in the midst of the cookie cutter galleries that over-populate the Lower East Side and actually, deliberately ‘aspire’ to commercial white boxy-ness, a dirty little interloper, with true finesse – and very chic – in the real meaning of the word . . popped up like a 2 week blooming flower in a city yard full of year-long weeds.

170 SUFFOLK took a raw space and made art, like a master chef takes raw fish and makes .. sushi.

the decades-old letters on the street entrance said, ‘NO’ !!
all the better to say: YES !!

unlike 15 WARREN, this show was smaller, more formal, and more contained, in that things though still site-specific were more orderly, and almost grid-like in how the room was divided among the 13 artists.
repeat, almost.
though if anybody could make heads or tails of the artist accreditation ‘map’ print-out – all the power to them, because I sure couldn’t. but at least unlike 15 WARREN, 170 SUFFOLK did attempt to give names – to the artists behind the works.

it was a match-up made in heaven, the high ceilings and the exposed beams, the found ‘patina’, the deep rectangular viewing space. the works took on an awesome presence, that honed . . their inherent ‘presence of mind’.
translate as: content. in a magical space. win, win.
hardcore beauty.

and, yes that is . . natural light streaming from a skylight in the back.

and, yes that is a tiny American flag, embedded into a small rock, detail installation – by JACK SHANNON.
Happy July 4th !!



~Happy July 4th

on the other side, of MANHATTAN. the HUDSON RIVER.

where ole school grass roots ‘creatives’, still . . get the LAST word !!

they took some ‘bunting’, and matched it up to their evergreen tree, and, voila a JULY 4th clown !!
American ingenuity never fails.