Want a dose of the local Holiday Spirit? 19 Wyckoff Avenue, a branch of Bushwick’s Five Points, was crawling with some of the world’s finest street artists on Saturday, all dedicated to depicting their Winter Solstice favorites. Danielle Mastrion, the local artist responsible for the two-story mural of Biggie Smalls on the Five Points, sprayed Chevy Chase’s face upon one wall, his dubious face bedecked with Santa’s sombrero.
Ean Murphy’s Bookkeeping for the Uninitiated class at 3rd Ward is probably one of the best deals for young artists. Really. If you’re an artist who never took that finance class during undergrad (all of you) and you want to start marketing and selling your art, check out 3rd Ward’s stock of Professional Development Classes. In the three-hour course Bookkeeping, I found myself repeating “so that’s what that means” in my head. (more…)
This is a follow-up to an earlier post by Hilary Lamb during which she toured Bushwick Five Points with the curator Joe Ficalora. In this installment they have a more personal conversation about why he maintains the site and his own history in Bushwick.
I’m in the Triangle, the outdoor home to the Bushwick Five Points Festival of Summer 2012. We’re smoking and chatting with the Five Points’ street art patron and curator Joe Ficalora. Joe has been good enough to show me his favorite street art pieces, sprayed expertly on the concrete walls of Joe’s family business. Frank, Joe’s business partner and childhood friend, now passes me a cigarette within the confines of the mysterious Triangle as this native Brooklynite talks about growing up in Bushwick, and bringing art to its streets.
Text by Hilary Lamb + Photos by Alexandra Uzik
The first annual Bushwig had everything a drag show should have: charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. I arrived in native dress, an outfit styled by my friend at Fashionindie.com. She is as daring as she is colorful, and I ended up riding my bike through Bushwick in galaxy tights, leopard boots, sequined cape, and blue wig. But don’t worry, I fit right in among the birds of paradise in the backyard of Secret Project Robot.
Cher Noble, in scarlet plumage, performed “Model for Me” by Jer Ber Jones on the Secret Project Robot outdoor stage.
It’s been my habit to “photowalk” around the Five Points of Bushwick, where Scott Avenue ends at the intersection of St. Nicolas Ave and Troutman St. On Friday morning (afternoon?), I felt hungover, when I heard the tell-tale sound of a spray can being shaken. Little did I know that the artist I spied spraying was painting the entrance to the Triangle, the outdoor performance venue of the Bushwick’s Five Points. The venue happens to have three sides, nestled in the triangle created by Jefferson St, Scott Ave, and St Nicolas. (more…)
I woke up on Saturday morning after a night of fun and fantasia at the House of Yes, and yes, I was hungover. My favorite remedy for such a diagnosis is a nice walk, coffee in hand, amongst our favorite hulking warehouses. Electric chords of music meander through open windows as I waltz, equipped with heavy-duty UV sunglasses and a camera. On Meadows there was the intoxicant whiff of spray paint on the air. I stumbled onto Bogart, and Lo! Here were some friendly street artists collaborating on a wall space.
Need a cure for that frayed party soul of yours? Check out the art that was going up on Bogart between Meadows and Stagg. Owns, an established neighborhood artists you may recognize, commented that the work was going on all day, and some LA artists were showing up periodically to contribute. Here are some images of the two gentlemen hard at work.
Get out there Bushwick! (more…)
The Brooklyn Music Society’s Bohemian Festival opens its third day of music to a crowd that basks appreciatively in this suburbia-esque setting, in these last days of summer. The Historic Onderdonk House sets a tone of green, cropped grasses, white picket fences, and drooping hydrangeas, specimens that could have recently enjoyed a grooming by one of the neighborhood soccer moms. We can end our comparison to the American ‘burb here, however, as artsy hippies, bedecked in fairy wings and draped silks swoop and pose around the hydrangeas. A belly dancer, whose attire chimes with every nubile step, entertains the locals in their lawn chairs, while stage hands scuttle over the main stage in preparation for Los Mas Valientes.
There are burgers and beer, blow-up kiddie pools and face-painted children, but Fall is in the air. The sun is decidedly gone by half-past seven and I’m finally not sweating my tits off in a summer swelter. As Brooklyn-native lead singer Jessica Valiente mounts the stage, I sway to her Latin gypsy flavor and reminisce. What were the highlights of my summer?
Niko and Olivia, true American gypsies, man the only vendor’s table at the fest. They have spent the summer in and around Brooklyn, selling their wares (osseous hand-made jewelry and chai lattes) at events around the neighborhood. I ask them what their favorite shows of the summer were.
“Oh, the Gowanus Ballroom.” Olivia names her favorite music venue of the summer. She also mentions the Acheron on Waterbury Street.
Niko speaks up from under her black blanket (also a harbinger of Autumn), mentioning that she liked a show at the Vice Gallery in Williamsburg. But her highlight of the summer was the Bushwick Block party.
Los Mas Valientes have switched out to welcome The Grand Masters of Gypsy, house band of the cosponsor of the event, the Mehanata, a nearby Bulgarian Bar. I’m captivated by Yuri Yunakov on the Alto Saxophone, my own weapon of choice when the mood strikes.
Raffael, a DJ at the Mehanata, smiles knowingly at my expression, “Yuri is a living legend in his own country.” He scrawls in my notebook. Raffael’s friend Lucho agrees. Lucho says his favorite show of the summer was the Gypsy Tabor Fest at the Mehanata. The two gypsies point me in the direction of their manager, who says fairly, “I’m drinking,” when I inquire about asking the living legend a few questions.
Instead, I’m happy to run into the beautiful, the exotic, Gamze Ordulu, lead singer of The Grand Masters of Gypsy. The student laughs when I tell her I didn’t understand anything she said on stage, but understood completely. Her first name means “dimple,” and I’m intrigued by her taste in music. Gamze’s favorite show of the summer was at the Millenium Theatre in May (Okay, so technically it’s not summer, but I was definitely sweating in May), where she saw Israeli vocalist Sarit Hadad.
The crowd is warm and smiling after the Grand Masters of Gypsy leave the stage, and the gypsies of the Mehanata have by now convinced me to take another shot of tequila. The women are dancing and the men are smiling, and I must jig in the grass before this Labor Day weekend is over.