Monday, May 05, 2014

Preview - 106 Bayard Graffiti Project feat. Futura 2000, Dr. Revolt, Lady Pink, and more... - Brooklyn, NY

For the past couple weeks I have been welcomed in with open arms by an array of street art pioneers and the good people at Cirkers fine art storage.  Their mission is to create a wall covering almost an entire city block in Brooklyn annually with graffiti murals for a good cause.

106 Bayard is a newly created Not-for-profit with a two pronged mission:

106 Bayard is a graffiti project made up of two main components. Annually, a 3,000-square foot outdoor “canvas” at 106 Bayard St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will be visually transformed by select groups of artists. The street art will reflect annual themes representing graffiti’s past, present and future. The second element consists of yearly financial support for Williamsburg Charter High School’s scholarship fund as well as an artistic outlet for its students. Cirkers Fine Art Storage & Logistics, tenant of 106 Bayard St., is the creator and sponsor of the project. (Cirkers press release)

This years selected group of artists includes Cycle, Dr. Revolt, Futura 2000, Jackson, Lady Pink, Part One, Team and Wolf 1 AOK.  A serious crew of old school graffiti juggernauts.

I accidentally stumbled across this project simply because the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy I train at is located on the corner and I usually find parking on the 106 Bayard wall.  Imagine my surprise to pull my car behind Futura 2000 unloading spray paint cans from his ride.  It was surreal to say the least ; )  After a quick introduction Futura and one of the curators Gee Dajani (who is co-curating with radio partner Keene Carse of the East Village Radio show “Forty Deuce”) invited me to tag along for a bit so I could get the scoop while Futura and the entire crew painted.

Futura got to work on his wall while we all listened to a random playlist of tunes pumping from his car while explaining to me that he was very excited to be part of the project, and it's an honor for him to be able to contribute to an organization that has the potential to help so many local kids.  We had a nice discussion on how amazing and lucky he is (and anyone who has the opportunity to make a living creating art) to get to do what he does every day for a living, and hopes that this experience will inspire other local kids to pursue their dreams.

Additionally, I was also informed that the experience was also kind of surreal for Lady Pink because she actually went to day school right across the street from the wall, and it was dreamlike to be painting there all these years later.

I am never surprised when artists are so inclined to chat with me and let me do my shutterbug thing, but it was surprising and wonderful that many of the Cirkers staff shared in my enthusiasm for the project snapping their own photos, and discussing their passion for graffiti art:

“Cirkers celebrates all art forms and 106 Bayard gives us an opportunity to support and encourage art for the people,” said Cirkers CEO Bryan Gordon. “Graffiti is typically not carefully preserved and is not often bought and sold in the art world. Fine artists select the medium to enhance urban landscapes and to boldly communicate particular points of view. We hope that 106 Bayard becomes an iconic landmark in Brooklyn and a permanent home for the sometimes transitory art form.”

To celebrate there will be an inaugural unveiling of the walls at 106 Bayard.  I have purposefully tried to only include shots of unfinished walls because the photo's do not do the work justice.  If you are in the NYC area you should stop by the unveiling this Saturday May 10th for some food and great tunes.  All the artists I spoke with will be in attendance as well.

Block Party & Graffiti Mural Unveiling:

Saturday, May 10th, 2014
106 Bayard St.
Brooklyn, NY

For those that can not make it I will be taking tons of photos and I will post shortly after!  See you there!!

Author: Matthew A. Eller
All Photos & Text Copyright Matthew A. Eller 2014
Twitter: @ellerlawfirm

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