Back at 5 Pointz in Queens
Going back to 5 Pointz to paint the courtyard again was a great way to end my 2013 Summer Fun Collection. This time, instead of painting a portrait as I did last year, I chose to paint a traditional, reclining anatomical figure. My thoughts were to bring a classical pose from the past as seen painted by the masters throughout art history to my repertoire of subject matter. The horizontal plane the figure rests on was intended to utilize the space more efficiently since the wall is more horizontal than vertical. The lounging figure is covered up below the waist by a can filled with paint brushes, a Sharpie marker and a spray can, some of the tools I commonly use to create my art. I illustrated a Krylon spray can to pay homage to the past, for the old school materials and masters of the graffiti era that began in the Bronx, NY over 40 years ago. I like to incorporate the old and the new into my themes, it is a reoccurring motif for me. The pose is old but the approach is new. In the remaining era surrounding the figure I added a cosmic space type of background design. In the left portion of my composition I added the Table Series logo camouflaged with the cosmic dust. The “all seeing eye” focusing on ‘the family’ was painted with brush by a Brooklyn based fine artist and a long time friend, Pisarro.
While working in the courtyard I noticed a young boy painting on the little retainer wall near me. I found out that he was 14 years old and he and his dad were from the tiny country of Luxembourg in Europe. The family vacation to NYC included a trip to 5 Pointz to ‘get on’. How thrilling it was for this teenager to paint at the globally recognized mecca of graffiti and street art. His father was taking a plethora of photos, capturing this once in a lifetime moment of his son painting. This is the prime reason why 5 Pointz is a special place…it is in New York but it belongs to the world.
I also had the opportunity to speak with tourists that flood 5 Ptz everyday and I met two very nice people, a mother and son. The son resides in Brooklyn and his mom is a fine art painter from Mexico. She really liked the art education 5 Pointz provided by the unique visual experience. She also shared with me that my figure reminded her of a Modigliani painting of a reclining nude. I did appreciate that because that was the objective of my subject matter, for those knowledgeable of art history, to reconnect the past to the present and the traditional with the untraditional.
After the courtyard was done, Meres, the founder, organizer and curator of 5 Pointz, brought me up to the roof top where the murals are visible to the 7 train passengers. This was a very cool experience to be on the roof, alone in solitude with an audience riding by every few minutes and I was inspired by the skill level and colossal sizes of the murals already there. At the opposite end of the wall was an artist from Chile named Dasic, who was painting a huge mural of a female in a surrealist style. The highly photographed and classic 5 Pointz masterpiece, beautifully rendered Biggie Smalls painted in a grey scale by Od, also the internationally recognized flower by a NYC street art pioneer, Michael DeFeo (the Flower Guy) and Dustin Spagnola’s massive tiger. Spud from Canada painted his name in huge block letters and under him another NY local artist is Alice Mizrachi who came to paint her collage inspired female portrait the same day I began the roof top. It took me 3 days to complete and I enjoyed the peaceful time painting up there among the talented group of artists who’s work I am beside.
Special thanks to Meres and Marie for their tireless efforts and dedication to run this outdoor, urban art museum. It truly is an art educational experience where there is always something new to see and learn. If you have not gone to 5 Pointz, put it on your destination list, it is worth the trip.