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.
We loved Pauline’s bright colored dress and her braided hair. Pauline revealed that the dress was originally really long and she cut it this short. Well, what can we say? Good choice, Pauline! (more…)
By Terri Ciccone
Before you cringe about thinking about your naked nanna, let’s start off by saying this is not the kind of Gilf you are probably thinking of. “It’s kind of like my secret word for me,” the street artists began to explain as she meticulously cuts and measured a stencil. “I know what it means, but everyone else thinks it means something different. It’s light hearted, where my work can be really heavy.” Gilf of course isn’t her birth name, but the name she uses as she uses the street as her canvas to spread awareness about social, political and environmental issues.
If you entered Gilf’s studio and living space without prior knowledge of her line of work, you may mistake her for someone on the White House’s most wanted list, and she’d probably take that as a compliment. Aggressive red signs that read “Stop Corporate Douchebags” stand not too far from an almost ready stencil of Lady Liberty drinking the cool aid, literally, and multiple stencils that read “censorship” over and over. A ridiculous and vomit worthy speech given by Rush Limbaugh plays in the background, no doubt to motivate her to continue making visually stunning pieces that stop and make the viewer think, as they give a voice to the underdog. “I started doing street art to talk about stuff that people didn’t wanted to talk about. I feel that people feel hopeless about a lot of stuff and they don’t know how to deal with big issues that are facing us globally and culturally. If I can talk to them in a visual sense, maybe I can change their perspective over time.”
There is something so technically beautiful in Gilf’s rebellious work. As a self-proclaimed tomboy, Gilf expressed that her childhood dream was to design cars. She went on to study engineering in college to make this dream a reality. After learning this was far less than a creative field, and fearing a long career of designing tail lights for a living, Gilf decided she wanted to enter a new path in life involving a more artistic approach that would inspire and help others. As a result, her work has almost a mathematical approach to perfection. She meticulously cuts tiny dots, fills almost invisible cracks, and spray paints letters so perfectly that these pieces often get confused with screen prints. All of this hard work is made with the knowledge of the ephemerality of the street as canvas, and it doesn’t matter to her as long as her points get across. “It’s about engaging everyday people on the street and opening a dialogue about important issues. I put it out there and hope it reaches people, I hope they go home and Google it and talk about it with their friends.”
Her latest projects will be shown at the upcoming Fountain Art Fair. One series portrays a play on vision charts that spell out things like “stop looking the wrong way” and “vision is impossible when your eyes are closed.” Other powerful pieces such as a stencil of a birth control wheel with the words “why are men making these decisions for us?” put in place of the days of the week, prove that her pieces aren’t just beautiful, but a call to action.
Another one of Gilf’s undertakings involves a gardening initiative to promote hunger awareness. A wooden structure resembling a tree is mounted to her studio wall, brushing the ceiling. Spaces where “branches” should go will be filled with blue pouches made from 100% recycled plastic. The pouches will contain soil and the seeds of an edible plant. Gilf dreams of building these structures on the sides of buildings in underprivileged neighborhoods in New York, as well as in countries struggling with hunger across the globe. “The idea is to bring it to different places around the world that have been hit with war or natural disaster. I’d like to do this project with a community that’s been through the worst, to bring a collaborative spirit back to their world.”
Her name speaks volume’s to her work, even if we don’t know what it actually means. Our first reaction is to assume it is closely associated with the acronym, Milf. But like the messages in her work, things aren’t always what they seem, and we should never take what someone tells us, or doesn’t tell us for face value. Always challenge things you feel are unfair, and use whatever talents you have to make your voice heard and to open a dialogue. That’s what this Gilf taught me anyway.
We want to send some love and appreciation to all the Bushwick ladies in art. We chose 10 young female artists who either live, work in Bushwick or are an inseparable part of the Bushwick art scene. We find their art (and them as well) completely mind-blowing. Also we would love to see their solo show in one of the Bushwick galleries (yes, it’s a total hint). Big thank you for all the tips we received on Facebook and Twitter. If you think that we completely omitted someone extremely amazing, drop us a comment! We are always curious about new amazing atrists.
… and here are the ladies and their art in alphabetical order:
[box]Liz Atzberger works in all kinds of media, from painting to 3D objects and sculpture. She uses innovative materials and bright colors that won’t keep you neutral. Furthermore, she has a great personality and a ton of energy. She is one of the co-founders of Airplane gallery in Bushwick, and feels positive about collaboration.[/box]
[box]Andrea Bergart has a great eye for color and pattern, which makes her not only a brilliant artist but also a fashion icon. She finds her inspiration in the visual language of the 1990s and in African bead making. Andrea has spend a whole deal of time in Ghana, and we just love her art work and fashionable jewelry.[/box]
[box]Gilf! is a street artist whose aim is to challenge everything! She fights inequality and is not afraid to address political issues in her street art as well as fine art work. Gilf! is one of the few street art chicks, and we dig her big time![/box]
[box]Rebecca Goyette is a provocative, fresh artist with a great sense of humor. You will have so much fun enjoying her work! She works across the media, from painting to performance art and film. She has created her alter ego, Lobster Lady, and is basically about to blow up. Don’t loose the sight of her, and we promise an awesome art adventure![/box]
[box]Erin Haldrup is a sweet, fresh voice in painting! Energetic palette and imagery balancing somewhere between abstract and figurative. We love it![/box]
#6 Ellen Letcher
[box]Ellen Letcher is one of the most distinctive voices in the neighborhood. Ellen’s collages are cutting edge and throat, disturbing, charming, beautiful, ugly, energetic and calm – all of that at the same time. Ellen is also one of the co-creators of Famous Accountants, an influential gallery in Ridgewood. In other words, Ellen is absolutely brilliant!![/box]
[box]Rebecca Litt creates unsettling environments in her paintings. A recurring motive in her work is on orange plastic barricade fence. The characters in her paintings are surrounded with it to protect themselves from the world realizing that the protection is more of a feeling than an effective fencing. We believe that this orange fence is something we can all relate to. Rebecca rocks![/box]
[box]Have you been wondering who hang those sparkly shoes on wires in Bushwick as a response to typical Brooklyn hanging sneakers? It was Tescia Seufferlein! This girl works with costumes on Broadway, and creates great photo installations among other things. Watch out for her![/box]
[box]A hit by the energy of Julie Torres! That’s how it feels like when looking at a grid of abstract paintings of this remarkable artist. Julie has been not only creating, but also curating and organizing some of the most extraordinary art events in Bushwick. From a collaborative drawing shows to a 72-hour long art marathon using cult logic.[/box]
[box]Ashley Zelinskie is a new media and conceptual artist. She is pretty geeky when it comes down it. Ashley basically talks in HTML, and is fascinated by new technology and computer perception of art. Ashley is one of our favorite girls in Bushwick art also because she proves that everything is possible with the right attitude. Besides great conceptual art, in the age of 24, she runs an artist studio building and a gallery, The Active Space. Respect![/box]