Remembering Stay High 149 - Voice of the Ghetto

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 6 months, 1 week, 1 Day, 23 hours, 45 minutes ago.

Among graffiti writers, Wayne Roberts aka Stay High 149 was a pioneer of pioneers. His distinctive, enduring tag is recognized worldwide and will live on but sadly he is no longer with us. His family could use some help with funeral arrangements .

Here’s the info from Alan Ket:
The funeral and the wake will cost Stay High/Wayne’s family $10,000. They have put up $6000 so far and are looking for help on collecting the last $4000 needed to get everything done. The deadline for this is Friday. For all of you who are able to contribute any funds please do so by getting a check to: Unity Funeral Chapel at the address below.  They will also take credit cards.
Unity Funeral Chapel
2352 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10027
the contact is Ms. Jackson

The wake is on Monday from 3pm - 8pm at the above funeral home.
The funeral is on Tuesday at 10:00AM.

Excellent piece in the   New York Times by David Gonzalez here..

I’ve been an admirer of Stay High’s iconic smoking stick figure since the early ‘80’s however I didn’t actually meet him until he resurfaced after a long retirement around 2002. It was always a special treat to spot one of his tags. here are some vintage and more recent examples.









© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Thursday June 14, 2012

A Great Day for Graff in Bushwick

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 9 hours, 15 minutes ago.

The French crew, 123Klan, celebrated their 20th anniversary with an international graffiti jam in Bushwick.  Organized secretly by Scien as a surprise for Klor, writers flew in from Paris, Germany, Amsterdam, Austria, Montreal and LA. The event coincided with Bushwick’s Open Studio weekend so the neighborhood thronged with artists and sightseers. While 123Klan members mostly painted on a gray wall which stretched around the block adjacent to the Morgan L station, the 4 Burners Crew used a brick wall across the street. Their bright orange, wild style pieces were punctuated with classic, old skool characters expertly rendered by Tech.

Scien wearing 123 Klan T


Klor gets help from next generation

Cope 2

Cope's finished piece

Mickey from Amsterdam

Dabs & Myla from Australia via LA

Spotted wild style kitty is a Savannah

Maya and Myla



Rainbow over Sye!





Most, Flying Fortress & Redo from Germany

Most, Flying Fortress & Redo finished


Nychos from Austria

Nychos finished


4 Burners Crew


Tech painted the characters



© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Tuesday June 05, 2012

John Ahearn Casting at Open Walls Baltimore

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 6 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, 17 hours, 7 minutes ago.

Baltimore got a dose of vintage street art over Memorial Day as John Ahearn cast two people as part of OWB’s finale. John and I have been friends since the 80’s when he lived, worked and installed pieces on walls in the South Bronx so it was a special treat for me to see him in action in my home town. He and his wife Juanita and little son Carlos drove down from NYC in a van filled with supplies to make sculpture on the street. He also brought five finished casts to hang on the wall so that people could get an idea of what the finished works would look like.

As you can see from the photos below, making a plaster cast of a living person is no easy feat—for the artist or the subject.  John chose to cast Bill Maughlin and Kevin Brown who own and operate SNAC, the   Station North Arts Cafe, on Charles Street. The cafe is at the epicenter of the designated Station North Arts and Entertainment District and the casts will be hung on its walls when finished so be sure to stop by for a look and a bite when you’re in the area.

Kevin Brown and Bill Maughlin, owners and operators of Station North Cafe on Charles Street.

John hanging finished casts he brought from NYC.

Bill and Kevin adjust their breathing straws.

Mixing liquid rubber on the spot

The first pour

Robert Little stepped up at the last minute as John's efficient assistant.

Photo op

Head to head casting

Thumbs up from Kevin. He's still alive!

Thumbs up from Bill!

Reinforcing cast with cloth strips

Moment of truth

The reveal!

It worked!

Whew--what an ordeal!

John will now fill the molds with plaster

Inside of the mold

Casts removed from mold. John will carve and paint them.

Kevin, Bill, Gaia and John in Station North Cafe.

Flashback--my 1981 photo of one of John's public art pieces on the day he installed it in the South Bronx .



© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Wednesday May 30, 2012

Stikman Story

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 6 months, 4 weeks, 1 Day, 23 hours, 26 minutes ago.

I love happening upon art in out of the way places and Stikman is not only a master of the unexpected. but has been at it longer than just about anybody. His recent show at Pandemic Gallery in Brooklyn celebrated “20 years of playing with sticks” but I have it on good authority that he began his illustrious, stealthy, street career a couple of decades earlier.

While checking out the big, official OWB walls in Baltimore, be sure to keep a sharp eye out for the small, incredibly varied unofficial pieces that Stikman carefully placed around town to blend with their surroundings.  Who says size matters?



© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Thursday May 24, 2012

More Open Walls Baltimore

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 7 months, 1 Day, 1 hour, 21 minutes ago.

  OWB is winding down and I’m way behind in editing and posting photos. So here are flix of finished walls. The project will officially finish this weekend. For the Grand Finale, my good friend John Ahearn will be doing a public body casting on Friday of Kevin and Bill who own and operate the cozy Station North Arts Cafe. Stop by Station North if you’re in town. Even if you can’t make it this weekend, Baltimore could be your next street art destination. They got walls!

Doodles, Seattle, Washington, USA



Freddy Sam, Capetown, South Africa

Freddy Sam

Freddy Sam

Interesni Kazki, Kiev, Soviet Union

Interesni Kazki

Interesni Kazki

Jaz, Buenos Aires, Argentina



Josh Van Horne, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Josh Van Horne

Overunder, Reno, Nevada




Specter, Montreal, Canada


Chris Stain with Billy Mode, Baltimore & New York

Chris Stain with Billy Mode

Chris Stain

Swoon, NY, NY

Vhils & Crew, Lisbon, Portugal




© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Tuesday May 22, 2012

Open Walls Baltimore - Jetsonorama, Arizona

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 7 months, 2 days, 6 hours, 23 minutes ago.

Chip Thomas, aka Jetsonorama is a physician/photographer who has lived and worked on the Navajo Nation in Arizona for 25 years. Since 2009,he’s wheatpasted his portraits, vintage and recent, of his Native American neighbors.  I’d known of Chip’s work for a while and we’d emailed back and forth so I was especially excited to finally meet him in my home town of Baltimore for Open Walls.

In Baltimore Chip had several projects big and small going at once. First he had to go out and shoot the photos he wanted to paste, get them printed and meticulously cut them out.  Most challenging was a huge portrait of pigeon flyer, Tony Divers to be installed on a wall near his home. The paste failed to stick to wall #1 so Chip had to reprint the photo and extend his stay a week. Meanwhile he and Baltimore artist Nanook pasted up versions of a photo I had taken as part of my ongoing SoWeBo documentation . For more about Jetsonorama and his Navajo Nation check out his blog, Speaking Loud and Saying Nothing.

Paste gets heavy fast

Nanook lending a hand

Pigeon flyer Tony Divers with his portrait

Nanook and Jetsonarama pasting images from one of my photos n either side of an alley

My original image taken in 2007 in Southwest Baltimore

Myrtis Gallery on Charles Street

© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Monday May 21, 2012

Open Walls Baltimore - Ever, Argentina

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 7 months, 2 days, 7 hours, 27 minutes ago.

Argentinean artist Ever’s specialty is large scale portraits. In Baltimore he singlehandedly painted an enormous wall using a combination of spray and house paint. His image of a sleeping, or perhaps just reclining, man with a mask led to many questions from passersby about the intended meaning.  However Ever refused to explain, preferring that everyone interpret the painting for themselves.

Advice on perspective from a passing artist

Ever with fellow Argentinean, Jaz


© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Monday May 21, 2012

Open Walls Baltimore - Sten & Lex, Italy

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 7 months, 2 days, 8 hours, 40 minutes ago.

Sten & Lex are a pair of Italian street artists who have worked together for over 10 years. Together they developed a complicated, labor intensive black and white stencil technique to render images in a way similar to halftone printing in newspapers.

In Baltimore the pair tackled a huge wall that presented a lot of challenges. First they prepared the wall by grinding the surface and painting it white. Then they papered the entire wall. Unfortunately they made a mistake in their centimeters to inches conversion so had to reprint the image in the correct size losing precious time in the process.

After pasting, they carefully sliced and peeled away the paper from the black lines leaving white space which they sprayed black. Finally they partially stripped away the leftover paper to reveal a spectacled face, positioned horizontally on the wall. They purposely left dangling strips of paper blowing in the wind to gradually wear away. The final image must be seen from a distance to get the full effect.

Preparing the wall

Wheatpasting the image

Slicing away the black lines to make a stencil

Peeling away the sliced lines

Spraying the sliced spaces black



© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Monday May 21, 2012

JR Hits High Line

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 7 months, 2 days, 11 hours ago.

Cameras, phones and iPads got a work out over the past few days as JR & Crew pasted a humongous portrait of Brandon Many Ribs on a wall adjacent to the High Line at 29th Street. The photo, taken on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, is part of JR’s on going global Inside Out project. You can hear him speak about it   here.

An iPhone moment on the High Line.


© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Monday May 21, 2012

Rollers Rock at Richmond’s G40

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 8 months, 3 weeks, 4 days, 18 hours, 33 minutes ago.

An international roster of street artists has descended on Richmond, Virginia. The G40 event, organized by Shane Pomajambo, is giving a face lift to an emerging arts district. For me spray paint is synonymous with street art so I was surprised to see that the medium of choice was ordinary house paint applied with rollers attached to poles, some as long as 26 feet. Although this appeared cumbersome and tiring, requiring strength and patience, the artists were able to cover huge spaces, paint delicate lines and fill in with subtle color blends.  Montana watch out!

Pole control!

Is house paint the new spray paint?

Aryz painted fruit on a wall near a local green market.

Ayrz at work.

Huge wall required many trips up and down the ladder to get paint.

Finished mural by Gaia on wall of a homeless shelter.


Six lions

Wall in progress.

Lelo at work.

All roller, brush, and house paint.

In progress

Pixel Pancho starting his second big wall.

Pixel Pancho's first wall has kissing space robots with camera.


Another roller piece with spray can details.

Unfinished wall with dying eagle.

Who's who???

There are some cool and cheap old skool record shops in Richmond.

© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Wednesday March 28, 2012

JR & Liu Bolin: Trading Places

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 9 months, 5 days, 3 hours, 56 minutes ago.

JR and Liu Bolin pulled off a complex collaboration today at 11 Spring Street. This same building, just before a total renovation, was the site of a massive street art extravaganza organized by Marc and Sara Schiller of Wooster Collective in 2006.

Liu Bolin aka The Invisible Man usually has himself painted head to toe to blend in with his surroundings. Today, however, Bolin directed his assistants to paint JR into a background of a wheat pasted photo. The photo was one JR had taken earlier of Bolin. The disappearing act took place in full view of hundreds of fans, photographers and passersby amidst the sunny, springlike streets of Soho.

For more of Liu Bolin’s work, check out   Eli Klein Fine Art at 462 West Broadway.

Liu Bolin and JR

Pasting the photo

Liu Bolin with JR's close up photo of his fingers and eye

JR's wheat pasted photo of Liu Bolin

Camouflage begins

Liu Bolin directs the painting with a laser beam while looking through camera to line up subject and background

Laser beam shows where color needs to be

I was not the only photographer.

Where's JR?

Os Gemeos was here

Traveling JR

11 Spring Street in 2006 just before renovation

JR and Faile on 11 Spring in 2006

© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Sunday March 18, 2012

Homage to Haring at Brooklyn Museum

This article was posted by Martha Cooper 2 years, 9 months, 6 days, 15 hours, 23 minutes ago.

The Brooklyn Museum celebrated their big, new Keith Haring show with a gala opening on Wednesday. Many fellow artists, friends, celebrities and art world peeps were in attendance. The exhibit focuses on Keith’s early career 1978-1982 and includes all kinds of large and small works seldom seen before. There’s an entire room of chalk drawings peeled from subway signboards and charming, early videos of Keith at work. Personally I felt that LA2 deserved more recognition than just a mention on one panel and, I admit, I was disappointed not to see Subway Art among all the graffiti and street art books in the museum shop. But the show, which will be up until July 8, is a must-see.

Futura in the house!

Brooklyn Street Art's Jaime Rojo and Steve Harrington with curator Sharon Matt Atkins.

Haze, Rosie Perez, Courtney Love and photographer David LaChappelle. Oops--I'm outta my league.

Courtney Love

Lee & Tamara with Deborah Harry aka Blondie.

Here are a few of my own photos—not in the show.

Lee with his Blondie painting at P.S.1 in 1982.

Keith drawing on and signing anything kids handed to him at his Fun Gallery show.

Houston Street wall.

Houston Street walll.

I treasure this catalog from a 1982 Tony Shifrazi show that Keith signed for me.

An old framed portrait of Keith embellished by LA2. I would have liked to see a little more of him in this show.

© Martha Cooper & 12ozProphet - Saturday March 17, 2012