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Stories behind the street art of Bushwick collective, NYC

The world-famous initiative of Bushwick Collective street art was started by a local of Bushwick, Joseph Ficalora, a native of this Brooklyn town. In 2013 he decided that the best way he could heal after the tragic murder of his father back in 1991 was to start a transformative Graffiti and Street Art project. He contacted artists from many countries, asking them to contribute their talents to the canvases that are the industrial and residential buildings of Bushwick. There are a few rules: nothing offensive to children, women and local businesses. Street art is not permanent and mostly stays around for 12 months but there are works surviving for 5 years. 

The Bushwick Brooklyn street art collection keeps on growing, with new murals being added especially during the annual Bushwick Collective Block Party held in June. 

How to get to the Bushwick art collective?

Bushwick murals can be easily reached by the L line to Jefferson street station, and it takes up to half an hour to reach from Manhattan, depending on where you are on the island.Once you get there, you will be welcomed by gigantic murals created primarily by an aerosol spraying technique. They are all within walking distance. As you can imagine, it is open 24/7. You can arrange for a Brooklyn street art tour but also explore on your own. 2-3 hours on foot should be enough to see most of the murals in the area. If you happen to be in the New York city in early summer, check the dates of the Bushwick Collective Block Party when top street artists produce their pieces of art. These spray-can masters work on their murals while musicians provide backdrop tunes. Visitors have the opportunity of getting colorful designs spray painted on their arms, legs, and faces.

See the pictures of murals of Bushwick

Artwork of the Irish artist Solus from Dublin 2018. His work is about conquering inner demons and life’s challenges. The boxing gloves represent putting up a fight to conquer life’s obstacles. Solus works on large outdoor murals and has become a gallery artist to boot, producing works on canvas and limited edition prints. Solus has gained popularity not only for his work in Ireland but also North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. ↓

Artwork by TRAP passionate about the quality of his work and his roots as a writer and artist. 2018. Instagram @trap.if ↓Collaborative artwork of 2017 of Adnate from Melbourne, Australia and Li-Hill a Canadian visual artist based in Brooklyn, NYC. The theme for this wall is to celebrate Tibetan people and the survival of their culture. The portrait is of a Tibetan refugee artist photographed in India. The snow leopard painted by Li-Hill is an important symbol of Tibet and its history. The people of Tibet, 2nd to Syrians, are one of the most oppressed nations in the world today and the snow leopard is seriously endangered. We hope that through our murals, we raise awareness for these important issues… which is why the Tibetan writing translates to awareness, mindfulness. Instagram @ li_hill ↓The unofficial dog of the Bushwick Collective gets honored on a wall by this amazing artist and human being Ruben Gerardo Ubiera Gonzalez born in the Dominican Republic, currently living in NY. He is a neo-figurative artist, known for his strong use of the line, graffiti inspired technique/esthetic, urban murals, mixed-media pieces and installations, all created with reclaimed-objects and found artifacts. 2018. Instagram: @urbanruben ↓Left: artwork by Gemma Gené, a visual artist from Barcelona, Spain, based in New York. 2018. Instagram @157ofgemma ↓Artwork by a German urban artist native to Frankfurt, Andres Von Chrzanowski (a.k.a. CASE or CASE Maclaim). He is a graffiti painter who relies on his highly developed talent to create pieces that combine brilliant photorealism with a strong note of surrealism. This artist primarily uses spray paint technique. One of Andres Von Chrzanowski’s most common pictorial motifs are the overlaying hands that symbolize unity and power. ↓Artwork by Mr.JUNE, David Louf. From a Bboy-breakdancer in the 90s, he started to express himself in graffiti in 1985. ↓Left: artwork by Isabelle Ewing, a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is grateful for the amount of inspiration the city of New York gives her, motivating her to make and create every day. Instagram: @findizzcreate ↓Artwork by Sipros (Wellington Naberezny Sipros), a Brazilian street artist with caricatures popping up all over NYC. Instagram: @sipros_sipros ↓Left: portrait of a woman. Artist: Lexi Bella, a New York City painter, muralist, and street artist. Work from Bushwick Collective block party 2018. Instagram: @lexibellaart
Middle: The Notorious B.I.G. by Danielle Mastrion, located along Troutman Street at Bushwick Five Points. It has been there since 2013. The artist says: “The Biggie came about because I am from Brooklyn and a huge fan. It is an oil painting that’s on my business card. I handed my card to Joe [Ficalora], the curator at The Bushwick Collective and he literally asked me to reproduce the image on my card on the wall. It was my first full-color aerosol piece; all my walls before then were mostly black & grey with a pop color.” ↓

Artist: Michel Velt. Instagram: @michelvelt ↓Artwork by Hendrik ecb Beikirch. “Trades” Portrait of Oulad-Bouzid-III, a street barber. German Street Artist Hendrik Beikirch aka ECB has been known on the scene in recent years for his massive portraits of people. ↓Artwork by Mr. Prvrt or Justin Suarez. Born on a family farm in upstate New York, Justin Suarez is an artist who brings together the rural and the urban. Celebrating wildlife, he paints flora and fauna flawlessly over concrete and brick. With over 18 years experience, he has painted murals across the US, and his work has been exhibited around the world. 2014. ↓New wall at Jefferson Street by @khari_kill.↓Artwork by Mr. Hydde, a Toronto based Canadian artist. 2018. ↓Art covers not only walls in Bushwick but also vehicles. ↓

The last part is pictures of murals I haven’t found any information about but I liked them a lot anyway. If you have information about them, please let me know in the comments section.If you happen to be in Bushwick in the evening, take a look at the sunset colors shining on central New York.

You will very likely be hungry at the end of your tour, so have a meal at Sea Wolf restaurant at 19 Wyckoff Ave. Fancy pizza? Check this New York pizza guide!

What did you think? Have you been to Bushwick? Or perhaps you’re thinking of visiting there in the near future? Either way, I’d love to hear from you so please add your comments below.

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  • Published by Anita on October 20, 2018

    Author: Anita Sāne