Archives for category: street

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In 1983, the era of Save the Robots began as not much more than a storefront and basement at 25 Avenue B. Operating after hours, the venue wasn’t completely of legal standards in the beginning, although why that is remains unclear. The club shut down for a spell due to a fire violation and reopened legit. They only sold vodka, soda and juice. Street level was “the sandbox” and the basement was a frighteningly dark and loud dance floor… Wall to wall people danced to various DJs and a small strobe light.

Craig Ferguson, the talk show host was once a bouncer here, and Dean Johnson was a regular fixture. Dean was an East Village icon. He was a transvestite, musician, artist and FOW (Friend of Warhol). He was an integral part of the Queercore movement, which was somewhat of a homosexual punk subculture. Save the Robots also birthed Lady Bunny.

In 1993 the club closed because it was too out of control for that neighborhood, which is really saying something. I don’t have to tell you that anyone who ventured to Second Street and Avenue B in the eighties at 4AM was most definitely a deviant:

Avenue A was for the Adventurous

Avenue B was for the Brave

Avenue C, for the Crazy

Avenue D for Dead

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The Stingy LuLu crew took over and tried to capitalize on the Save the Robots name without consent, by calling it Robots.

Just as you might imagine, none of the original clientele patronized.

Gregoire Alessandrini was a student in Greenwich Village in the ’90’s. I was too, but this guy actually did something with his time. He has posted these and so many more on his blog. I spent all day staring at these gems. He was everywhere. We must have passed each other because I have a picture of the same person from Wigstock ’93. There are so many memories here.

Someone handed Richard Sandler a Leica in ’77 and blessed us with this flawlessness. He believes everything can be seen on the streets. He believes filming is easier than still photography.

Sandler believes cellular phones have robbed the photographer of their subjects, “There is nothing more boring, nothing more nondescript and vacant than a person on a cell phone walking down the street. They seem to be out of the game. People are walking around in bubbles.”

Technology suffocates the mess. The mistakes are in the mess and the beauty is in the mistakes.

When Antonio Garcia, aka “Chico” was a little boy he drew all over his mom’s apartment with crayons. In school he doodled in his notebooks and sprayed his name on buses. Then he began tagging subway cars and before the age of twenty he began painting handball courts for the Parks Department. His first job was on the corner of 4th and C of an army tank.

In 1983, Chico was pictured in Artforum Magazine and, within the Losaida community, became referred to as “Chico the Legend.”

Chico was shot painting a store in 1998 and had an outer body experience. He said, “I tried to be a hero, and I got shot. I saw myself leave my body and flew to New Jersey like Superman. Something picked me up and put me in a tunnel. People were screaming. When I woke up and I saw a girl trying to zip the body bag. They put me in the freezer. I was gone… I died for 25 minutes.”

Chico retired in 2009 and has since moved to Tampa to be with his kids.

Like Revs and Cost, his works are very memorable to me. Whenever a public figure died, I would see a painted tribute to them. When I had seen his paintings of Selena and Tupac, I noticed his very recognizable air brush style, and began aggressively looking for his tag everywhere.

exterminator next to my apartment

In 1993, I was beyond thrilled to take an apartment on the corner of 12th St and Avenue A, exclusively to be near Chico’s mural of roaches and a rat.

Shelley Miller is a super skilled artist based in Montreal, but has done some very cool street art in Toronto and parts of Brazil. At first glance, the works appear to be whole or bit parts of tiles or in some cases, part of various graffiti tags. I love these temporary works. They are mysterious and inspire wonderment. How, when, why, how much media ended up in her mouth, etc.

In 2011, a collective of unknowns unloaded a tankload of water-based, environmentally-friendly paint on an intersection of Berlin’s Rosenthaler Platz just before rush hour. Beautimous!

Two street artists known as Delafuente and SÃO are collectively painting storm drains all over São Paulo, in addition to very large murals and other urban ambitions. As a team they go by the name 6emeia.

Denimu_Art_sbeforeitwent Denimu_Art_LondonES    Denimu_Art_newsagent_NY3

British born Ian Barry goes by the moniker “Denimu” and collages gorgeous studies of light purely in the medium of denim. He collects discarded jeans and cuts them up into little pieces to create sublime collages. Here is a photo of his studio that appears to be very organized and inspired:

denimu_blog_studio_shots

…and more photos of his works that boast very delicate detail:

Denimu_MsJean_Denim_art

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