Young New York: A Silent Art Auction & Fundraiser

My friends in Brooklyn are giving back to the community through more than worthy cause, and I would like each and every person that I know to get involved with it in any way they can, either directly or by spreading the word.  Young New York, an innovative new organization at the nexus of art, social advocacy and the criminal justice system will launch its first public awareness event at the end of this month. The program – run by young New Yorkers for young New Yorkers – will join young people in the criminal justice system with successful artists, architects, designers, teachers and social workers across the City. Through this multi-disciplinary structure, the youth will learn to use the power of art to share their experiences from arrest through sentencing with the rest of the cityʼs residents and to raise awareness about the treatment of youth in New York Stateʼs criminal justice system.

“In New York, 16 and 17 year olds are prosecuted as adults”, said Rachel Barnard, the Director of Young New York. “Even though these young New Yorkers are too young to vote, by giving them a chance to be seen, heard, and known via a responsible and creative outlet, we aim to include them – the most effected – in the debate about the criminal justice systemʼs treatment of youth.”

The innovative ʻsocial justice through artʼ model will work with 16- and 17-year-olds who, legally classified as adults, have been funneled through New York Stateʼs adult criminal justice system. The program consists of a series of cutting-edge creative workshops where fifteen young New Yorkers work with world-class artists and educators in the City to learn about various media, art forms and theories of public expression and to create individual artistic projects weekly that will be presented at a final presentation for public view.

The Young New York event launch with a silent auction and fundraiser will be held this coming Tuesday, May 29th. It will feature the works of Steven Holl, Steve “ESPO” Powers, Jesse Hazelip and many other established and emerging international artists whose work touches on the realm of the social in urban space, thereby creating a dialogue with the work being developed in the YNY workshops. This is an event that is not to be missed, a cause not to be overlooked, and a group to be on the lookout for.


Featuring Artists: Steven Holl, Steve Powers ESPO, NohjColey, Joe Iurato, Miguel Ovalle, Overunder, Gaia, Rudie Diaz, Marissa Paternoster, Ian Kualiʼi, LNY, Blackmath, Doodles, Feral Child, Cake,NDʼA, QRST, Sean 9 Lugo, Radical!, C215 from the Vandalog collection, Gilf, Rachel Hays, SUE works, Clown Soldier, Jill Cohen, Yulia Pinkusevich, NEVER, Shane Nash, Jesse Hazelip, Sheryo, the YOK, ASVP, Labrona,Then One,Tom Smith, Day Le, Danielle Riechers, Jon Burgerman, Darnell Scott, Nathan Pickett, Joseph Grazi, John Breiner, Anne Grauso, ONE 9, SMURFO, Beau Stanton, Chris Cycle, Jamie Bruno, Luna Park, Sam Dylan Gordon, Fay Ku, space Michael Bilsborough, Felipe Baeza, Sam Fleichner, Rena Leinberger, Cecile Chong, Romy Scheroder. (Curated by Natalie Trainor & YNY)

Auction & Reception: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 6-10 PM Auction called at 9 PM
At: White Box – 329 Broome St. –  New York, NY
Supporter Tickets: $50.00

Tickets: $25.00
Purchase Tickets here:

The space for the event has been provided by White Box, food provided by Maimonide of Brooklyn, and drinks provided by Bomb Lager. Additional support has also been provided by Loci Architecture and gopro.

Steven Holl “Riddled Cupboard”

Jesse Hazelip “Fatman”

Steve Powers “Waiting For You”

A Love Letter To Brooklyn

This Saturday marks the ending of Phase 1 of the mammoth art installation undertaking A Love Letter To Brooklyn, the latest project by Steve “Espo” Powers. The A Love Letter For You project is an incredible visualization of Steve’s philosophy between the ties that bind people together in love, as well as the love that connects people with their homes, and literally transforms the very cityscape, using it as a blank canvas to words that express undying love and passion.

Steve Powers, Dublin Ireland, 2010

Steve Powers, Syracuse NY, 2011

Steve Powers, Philadelphia PA, 2009

Steve Powers, Brooklyn NY, 2011

The Love Letter To Brooklyn project will be shown this Saturday, November 19th at 3 PM at 200 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Steve will be joined with Todd James and they will be showing pieces from the Street Market exhibition that recently was featured in the Art In The Streets show at Museum Of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. This is a must see. You need to be there to witness this for yourself. As someone who sees this on a regular basis, the majesty of it needs to be experienced in person.

Here is an interview that my friend DJ Synapse did with Steve for Frank 151 that goes a bit into his process and background. And below is a film of Steve giving a Ted Talk earlier this year where he starts off his speech by generously shouting out my mom and my sister as to 2 people who were instrumental in his development as a yute, and then embarrasingly confesses to refusing to be my mentor as a kid after being asked by my moms. Eeesh… Steve definitely knows how to blow up a spot or two. But yes, you must go. You must.

Detail from Street Market book from the original Street Market show at Deitch Projects, featuring me & Futura 2000, done in 2000 as well as the original “paint pan” from Street Market hanging in my old studio.

Days With Steve Powers

A very cool video of Steve wreaking havoc in the studio, accompanied by young Malcolm and a John Coltrane soundtrack. Days, days days, 100 days, 100th daily painting.

Speaking of St. John Coltrane, here’s the first half of “Olé” featuring the classic quartet of Tyner, Garrison and Jones. Doesn’t really get any better than this crew.

It’s summer now, and summer always reminds me of days spent in West Philly, walking under trees…

Kings Go Forth

So yeah, I used to be a graffiti writer. And when I say “used to” that actually means that I always will be, even if I don’t actually lend my talent to writing on walls anymore. But it’s just one of those things that, once you have been “there” it never really leaves you. You write your name in the steam on the wall while you shower, you break your neck checking out new work while you ride the train, you see a wall and there’s a little voice in you that might say “A can of Rusto with a Kitchen Magic cap would look SO GOOD on that…” It’s the little things really. Kind of like how an ex-skater can see a certain ledge and go “Damn that looks like it would be fun to ride” and then will continue walking by. I might start talking a little more about my graf history in the coming months. It’s always good for stories, and I’ve got plenty… But I digress!

Here’s a really sick photo gallery of old school California / Mexican / Cholo graffiti taken in what has to be the 70s. Now Cholo graff is it’s own entity – completely unique and in it’s own world. I grew up in Philly and it’s widely recognized that Philly is one of the birthplaces of graffiti – specifically called “the birthplace of style” by my man Espo. Philly writers been doing their thing for a while. I remember my mom telling me about “Bobby Beck In 59” being up all over the place. There were all the writers from the late 60s and early 70s that got into the action like Cornbread, Cool Earl, Top Cat, Tity, Dr. Kool among others. Of course there also were the guys from the late 70s and early 80s that were the ones that inspired me to get my name “out there” – names like Clyde, Estro, Pez, E-Z, Mr. Blint, Deadhead, Credit, Jay-Cee, Razz, Japan, Kozmo and my local neighborhood kings, Pap & Brez. But that Cali Cholo shit is on another level, and it goes back all the way to the 1920s. Real ill behavior. Peep the joints below…

This lady has got so much flavor… she kinda looks like and reminds me of my moms. Okay, you can peep all the rest at Kid Deuce’s “Golden Age Of Gang Graffiti” Flickr. So yeah, I’m gonna start going through my old flicks, sketches, all that hot shit, start posting it up. Until then I’m gonna leave you with couple jawns from some dudes that really fucked my head up (in a proper way) back in the day… Kadism and Zephyr – 2 dudes from different cities. Kings in their own right, and 2 of the biggest influences on me as a writer.

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  • Cosmo Baker’s Top Ten Records Of May

    DJ Stuart "Re-Work V2"
    Wet "All The Ways" (Branchez Remix)
    De La Soul "Beautiful Night"
    Phife "Nutshell"
    With You "Ghost" feat. Vince Staples (Major Lazer Remix)
    Tall Black Guy "The Heart Of The Town"
    KRNE "I'll Be Good"
    Hoodboi "Closer"
    Drake "With You" Feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR
    Christopher Cross "Ride Like The Wind" (Joey Negro Dub Disco Mix)


    Club Cheval "Discipline"
    Mura Masa "What If I Go"
    Kate Bush "Why Should I Love You?"

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