“Wild Thing” Artwork by Sharon Lee de la Cruz aka MISS163 Opens Tonight!

If you’re in NYC tonight, swing through the opening at bOb!!

bOb Bar is pleased to present Wild Thing, an exhibition of work by graffiti artist MS163. Please join us for an opening reception on Wednesday, July 3rd to meet the artist and celebrate her work.

In MS163’s series Wild Thing, the fictional yet familiar character “Max” from Where the Wild Things Are (1963) performs the role of the iconic Ruby Bridges—a crucial player in the civil rights movement and desegregation in 1960s New Orleans. On the one hand, MS163 celebrates the centrality of women of color in national sociopolitical movements; on the other, she begs the spectator to consider how women of color are used by these same movements. Wild Thing asks: how was Ruby, at 6 years old, deployed as a symbol of femininity, fragility, and respectability for the betterment of the African American community?

Sharon Lee De La Cruz is a prolific artist and activist in New York City. She earned a BFA from The Cooper Union, is a Fulbright scholar, and is now an MA candidate in NYU’s ITP program. She has shown in numerous venues throughout the New York metropolitan area, notably during Armory Week 2012 at the Bronx River Arts Center. She has been awarded residencies at Wonder Women and 365 Days of Print. Additionally, De La Cruz has designed a limited edition perfume bottle for Calvin Klein’s CK One Shock Street Edition For Her.

http://www.unoseistres.com  | #miss163atbOb  | RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/528173020553056/

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Interview with Chock GOT

I have some EXCITING NEWS!!

The Girls on Top (the UK’s first all-female graffiti crew) are coming to NYC for group exhibition at bob bar this MAY (see bob bar page)!!! So, to hype you all up for the show, I thought I’d share an interview I did with Chock—one of the crew’s founders—in April. So, enjoy your reading and get to know the girls (or, ya know, one of them!) before they get here!! Hope to see you for the opening reception on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 at 7PM!!

Jess: How’d you choose “Chock” for a tagname? And what crews do you rep?

Chock: I chose it as I wanted a feminine name, but I really liked chocolate! I always used to paint the O as a heart. GOT THC BRS and United Artists thanks to Duster.

Jess: Care to share your 9-5?

Chock: I’m a full time artist. I teach workshops and paint commission mainly. I am also into public sculpture and hope to get that underway with regards to commissions this year. My workshops are in schools and other community centres.  My company is called Paint My Panda.

Jess: Writing for how long and how did you get started?

Chock: 15 years. I was a skater as a kid and always saw graff a lot didn’t think to do it until I went interailing with my boyfriend of the time and the whole continent was smashed! Thought I have to do some of that and got on with it at the age of 17 . ~I was a rubbish skater anyway.

Jess: When did you get down with GOT and how did it happen?

Chock: I started the crew with another girl (NED) in around 2000 cos we were both bored of being the only girls, it was just for fun and she stopped writing, I kept it on because it is boring being the only girl and most of the male writers I have met are not gentlemen!

Jess: What particular aesthetic do you bring to the table and how does that differ from the rest of the crew (if it does)?

Chock: My style is usually very bold and colourful. I lack on the finer details like Cry can bring with her portraits cos my eyesight is shit! I used to have to get people to tell me if anyone was coming in yards, I swear I see fuck all without my glasses! I like to paint cartoons and silly animals too and take pride in my letters. Sabe paints tattoo styles, luna is illustration, cry is photorealistic portraits and 80s style letters, pixie paints cartoony stuff, punish paints calligraphy styles and neo nita paints crazy neon monsters J

Jess: Do you think there is a relationship between hip hop and graffiti?

Chock: There is deffo a relationship. I love hip-hop music I also love loads of other music. We try to post dope females in art music and dance on our blog along with our own work.

Jess: What is hip hop?

Chock: A way of life, a subculture, a style of music, dance and art

Jess: What new trends or types of graffiti are you seeing?

Chock: Photorealism has been around for ages now over here, I see the fine art styles coming through more deffo in my work also as I did study it graduating in fine art sculpture in 2001.

Jess: What do you think about graffiti culture being online, does it change anything?

Chock: It helps people all over the world communicate, it’s a good thing but don’t put your train stuff up cos its hot! You can get famous quickly from all that but also get busted. Over here so many people go to prison for it and that type of stuff is used as evidence against them- don’t boast on the net! I spend a lot of time on here as I work as an artist as use it as a promotion tool, Facebook and other sites have helped me get work and be known for the projects I run over here.

Jess: Tell me what you know about women in graffiti history.

Chock: err…Barbara and eva 62, lady pink, mickey…Martha coopers pics… we are under represented in the main but maybe because we are unique. Not many girls can do what we do due to family pressures or no desire to get so dirty and poor!

Jess: Do you think graffiti reflects, represents or retools your identity in any way?

Chock: It rebuilt my identity, it allowed me to change things in my life, relationships, jobs, situations I didn’t like and create what I wanted to do and be and allowed me to surround myself with people who inspire me not drag me down.

Jess: Do you think of yourself (and your work with GOT) as feminist? What is feminism?

Chock: For me feminism is just belief in ones self. Not allowing shit you don’t like to happen to you and being proud of who you are as an individual.

Jess: What does the word “community” mean to you?

Chock: The people around me. I do lots of community work and charity painting projects. Everyone’s actions affect each other and it is important to engage with people around you to create a better future for everyone not just yourself. There are many people worse off than you.

Jess: Can you tell me the history of GOT (how has GOT changed over the years?, who are the members?, etc.).

Chock: GOT was started in 2000 by myself and NED in Manchester, we drifted apart as she stopped painting and I carried on in other crews in London. I got on the graff girls site [RIP GraffGirlz.com] and started meeting girl writers (akme, numi) to paint with again which was cool cos I really had been the only girl painting for time, there is no one in my area at all who does it! I met up with a mates girlfriend called mira we did some pieces and some bombing together and I put on a jam at stockwell, London in 2007 and put akit, luna, Claudia de sabe and lyns in the crew too; did more jams in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and have now got a nice 7 person line up of Chock, Luna, Sabe, Pixie, Punish, Cry and Neo Nita. The jams are a cool chance for us to get together and jam basically, its not a sexist thing cos we want some boys come down too but its mainly for us girls cos we need support we don’t get from lads. Not all of us have great boyfriends!

Jess: GOT is a “Female graffiti crew started in 2000 to help unite the females in graff world” according to Facebook…can you elaborate on what prompted this? What it means to you? Why it is important?

Chock: As I said its just about friendship really and a love of graff, life is dull on your own

Jess: Do you work collaboratively with other crews/collectives, magazines, or websites?

Chock: Not so much yet the crew is looking to do more of that this year and onwards really we have done a few bits with COP and put the jams on so we can all meet up with other girl writers but the scene is not massively strong over here still its very much in the minority, there are many female artists and illustrators but they don’t love the can so much.

 

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From the Archives…EGR

Who? EGR

Where? NYC to Toronto via email

When? Forever ago…well, early 2009.

Toronto-based graffiti artist EGR caught my attention a long time ago. When I started my PhD program, and picked right back up interviewing writers, she was one of the first women I contacted. Even though we only had a brief email exchange, I’ve kept up with her work. Her characters captivate me, and let’s be real—I have a soft spot for fairies and other winged beings…so I can’t get enough of her aesthetic. EGR has a solo show at the Mark Christopher Gallery right now (!) called “We are Nature” so I thought I’d dig up her old interview. I meant to get this up sooner, but we had a Hurricane here in NYC and life got crazy for a bit…so here it is. If you are in the Toronto area in the next 7 days, you have exactly ONE WEEK left to see her show live and direct. [Click here to go to a recent interview about the show].

So here is a quickie, a flashback interview with the lovely and ambitious EGR…

What’s your tag and how did you come up with it? EGR- describes my ambition. Used to write Eager then abbreviated it.

What’s your 9-5? Artist/Illustrator/Muralist

Crews? Solo

How would you describe your style? EGRism

How long have you been writing and how did you get started? Since ’96. I got into it after a high school friend showed me his ‘work’ in my hometown along the train tracks. At the time I was experimenting with so many new artistic mediums, it seemed only natural. I was instantly hooked.

Graffiti is often spoken about through and alongside hip hop. Do you feel like a member of the hip hop nation through your involvement with graffiti? I feel like a member of the hip hop community through my live painting experiences at hip hop events, and also because Graffiti art is one of the elements of hip hop. That’s one of the things I love about hip hop.

How would you characterize a “hip hop aesthetic”? Fluid and bright, fresh or old school, with a reference to music, and the elements of hip hop. Do you think your graffiti reflects, represents or retools your identity in any way? How so? My art is a reflection of my thoughts and experience, and my graffiti is an extension of my art. They are inevitably linked.

Do you think of yourself as a feminist? No, I’m not a feminist, although I believe in equality.

^^EGR progress shot by John Lee at ReSurface event, Toronto^^

Is graffiti about resistance? If so, what are you resisting and how do you know when you are successful? Graffiti resists conformity, to me. I don’t necessarily think success can be achieved through non-conformity, depending on how you would define success. I think it’s about the process, the message, and feeling like you’ve accomplished getting your message across. It’s about communicating.

Does your graffiti take on a message, or is it primarily about style and recognition-or both? My work is often concept based; I hope to incorporate positive imagery in my work.

Does location affect your choice of theme/character or topic? If so, how? Graf is often about freestyling and vibing off your environment and/or situation. Its making something out of nothing, and using what you’ve got.

Are the effects of globalization being felt, translated and/or responded to through your work at all? Yes. [I bet if she were to answer this question today, she would have a lot to say…see her blurb about the “we are nature” show and you’ll see what I mean.]

BIO: Erica Gosich Rose aka EGR, grew up in Burlington; a quiet suburban city just a train ride away from Toronto, Canada. Her fascination with street art intensified while traveling to and from Sheridan College for Interpretive Illustration; the aesthetics and concepts of which are still featured prominently in her work today. EGR’s works can be found on crumbling city walls and in pristine art galleries, from fine art to murals, illustration and even live art. Part of EGR’s appeal is her ability to bridge art, design and functional purpose. She is just as comfortable with traditional oil paints and brushes as she is wielding aerosol spraycans—in locales as far as Australia and even Florence, Italy. Pop culture and social references abound in the work of EGR, though the female perspective is a recurring staple. As women are still a minority in the boys’ club of urban art, many consider her a pioneer in the street art world.

http://www.egrart.com

Twitter @EGRart

“We are Nature” Press Release:

Eternally Mimi, works by Japanese Graffiti Artist Shiro, Opens August 29th!! NYC

(When it seems like I am slacking on the blog front, it is most likely because I am putting together something like this…please come through)

 Eternally Mimi

works by Shiro 

Curated by Jessica N. Pabón

Opening Reception: August 29th, 2012 at 7pm

Exhibition Dates: August 29th–September 29th, 2012

bOb Bar is pleased to present Eternally Mimi, a solo exhibition of work by Japanese graffiti artist Shiro. Please join us on Wednesday August 29th, from 7:00 p.m. to close, to meet the artist and celebrate the work.

 In Eternally Mimi, the latest series in a career-long study of the self, Japanese graffiti artist Shiro explores the paradox of identity through her iconic character Mimi. Asking what the self between the constant and the evolving might look like, Shiro imagines her sometimes mortal, sometimes immortal alter ego in different times and places—but she remains Mimi, a robust female character inspired by hip hop culture and Buddhism, eternally.

 Shiro began painting graffiti in 1998 in Shizuoka, Japan. A truly international graffiti artist, Shiro is down with GCS, TDS, Universal Zulu Nation Japan, and SUG. She has exhibited works in Australia, China, Germany, India, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and the US. Shiro is also the designer and owner of the clothing brand “BJ46.”

http://www.bj46.com

shirojapan [at] gmail [dot] com

bOb Bar
235 Eldridge Street
New York, NY 10002
212-529-1807   www.bobbarnyc.com