Conceived and curated by Bushwick native Joe Ficalora, the Bushwick Collectve has evolved into an extraordinary open-air gallery since its first mural surfaced in 2011.
Attracting a wondrous array of local, national and international artists, it showcases first-rate street art -- from legendary Blek Le Rat stencils to huge collaborative walls by such world-renowned artists as Case Ma'Claim and Pixel Pancho.
Within the past few years, the ever-expanding Bushwick Collective has transformed its environs from a largely grim industrial neighborhood into a vibrant tourist destination.
Born in 1978, Joe Ficalora came of age in Bushwick in the 1980's - at a time when the area was crime-ridden and grim. In 1991, Ficalora's father was murdered outside a local subway station. In 2011, his mother died of a brain tumor. In his effort to revive himself, Ficalora was determined to revive his neighborhood. The Bushwick Collective is the astonishing result of his personal fight to erase his painful memories, as he transformed his neighborhood into an incredible open-air gallery. The Bushwick Collective is a testament to not only Joe Ficalora's extraordinary resilience and vision, but to the power of art to transform a neighborhood.
Inspired by his country's burgeoning hip-hop culture of the 1990's, Chilean native Dasic Fernandez initially found his voice doing graffiti. He began by tagging his name with stylized letters onto the buildings of his native town. Within the past few years, Dasic has developed a distinctly surreal style, characterized by bright hues that can be seen on huge, impressive murals through South America and beyond - including the walls of the Bushwick Collective.
As the founding member of Last Chance Studio in Perth, a collective and leading force behind the vibrant Australian street art scene, Daek William aka Daek One has collaborated with a range of artists from Down Under including Kyles Hughes Odgers and the Yok. A remarkable fusion of graffiti styles and illustration techniques, Daek's work has been increasingly going global. While visiting NYC, he graced a shutter at the Bushwick Collective with his intriguing aesthetic.
Born and raised in Southern California, Beau Stanton is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. His intricately crafted artworks often reference ancient architectural elements, old books and everyday objects. He has exhibited throughout the United States, the UK, Germany, Italy, and Japan. He has also graced public spaces with his distinct aesthetic, including a huge wall at the Bushwick Collective.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Danielle Mastrion earned a B.F.A in Illustration at the Parsons School of Design. Her portraiture has surfaced on public spaces in a range of cities including Los Angeles, Miami, Tel Aviv, Havana, Berlin and Paris. Here in NYC, her work can be found throughout the boroughs and has been exhibited, as well, in many galleries including Exit Room, Succulent Studios, Pop Up x NYC and the Low Brow Boutique. She has also participated in several competitions throughout the globe and in 2012, she was the champion of Art Battles NYC.
A classically trained painter, Dan Witz studied art for two years at the Rhode Island School of Design, before moving to the East Village in 1978 to complete his studies at Cooper Union. Soon afterwards, he began crafting exquisite lifelike hummingbirds and placing them on New York City's walls and doors. Years later, his images of a hooded man surfaced throughout NYC. Although his oil paintings are now featured in galleries where they are sought after by collectors, Witz continues to work on the streets, where his images peer out at us from behind windows, door screens and cervices.
As an active member of the Robots Will Kill artists' collective, Staten Island native Veng began studying painting as a child back in the 80's at a local art league. These days his richly evocative artwork and signature character have found a place on countless walls, street art events and galleries throughout NYC's five boroughs. Fusing a classical sensibility with a street art one, he fashions somewhat surreal images with recognizable, representational features.
Growing up next to a major train line in Melbourne, Australia, Reka was introduced to the world of graffiti and its varied styles from an early age. He first hit the walls of his native city in the late 1990's as a tagger and then began crafting characters and abstract designs, as he made the shift to what came to be known as street art. One of the original members of the famed Australian Everfresh crew, Reka fashions artworks in a range of media and surfaces in his abstract surrealist signature style. Reka has travelled with his artistic vision to many key cities including San Francisco, Hong Kong, Montreal and New York City, where he has painted at the Bushwick Collective.
In 1998 an invasion began on the streets of Paris as waves of Invaders began surfacing. These invaders soon spread to the streets of over 40 other cities throughout the world - a homage to the classic Space Invaders arcade games of the 1980s. No two Invaders are the same, and many are infused with other cultural references. Invaders have surfaced in New York City from time to time in such places as SoHO, Chelsea, and Williamsburg. At the Bushwick Collective, one has surfaced in collaboration with New York City-based artists Cost and ENX.
Hailing from Perth, Australia, the Yok began getting up on the streets of Kenya, where he spent ten months in a youth commune a while back. Known for his motley crew of characters loosely based on gargoyles - grotesque figures that project from windows to ward off evil spirits - the Yok has produced artwork for magazines and record covers, as well as for public spaces. His uncanny characters have traveled with him to a range of places from Beijing to Brooklyn and have surfaced, too, in gallery exhibits. His artwork, often done in collaboration with Sheryo, has also graced the walls of the Bushwick Collective.
With influences ranging from heavy metal music to ice cream to Japanese culture, Hawaiian born Buff Monster creates everything from hand silk-screened posters that travel the globe to collectible items that are released by major toy companies. His artwork, which straddles the line between street art and comic art, has appeared in countless publications from Juxtapoz Magazine to The New York Times. His works at the Bushwick Collective perfectly reflect his distinctly comical aesthetic.
Born and raised in East Baltimore, Chris Stain is best known for his stencil images that reflect his concern with social inequality. Initially inspired by the graffiti that infused his neighborhood, Stain began painting in the mid-80's. Always intent on giving a voice to the marginalized, Chris Stain draws his inspiration from the struggles of everyday folks. Many of his works at the Bushwick Collective have been fashioned in collaboration with fellow Baltimore native, Billy Mode.
Based in New Jersey, Joe Iurato crafts painterly stencils and fashions woodcuts that make their way into both private and public spheres. Ranging from portraits of children to faceless characters that appear to be a crossroads of some kind, Iurato's artwork is rendered mostly in shades of grey. Iurato has participated in countless street art events and has exhibited his work in numerous galleries and unconventional spaces. His endearing artworks have made their way to Albany, Miami and Los Angeles and can be seen at the Bushwick Collective.
The Bushwick Collective Block Party has evolved into an annual event attracting thousands of street art aficionados and curious souls. In the days preceding the eagerly anticipated party, artists from across the globe arrive in Bushwick to paint and join the festivities. The annual party transforms the blocks in the vicinity of Troutman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue into into a jovial communal space where the public interacts with the artists-at-work, alongside food trucks, live bands and beer gardens.
Curator — Lois Stavsky, Editor of Street Art NYC and Content Provider for Street Art NYC iPhone Application
Co-curator — Houda Lazrak, New York University, M.A. Candidate in Museum Studies
Photographers — Dani Reyes Mozeson, Tara Murray, Lois Stavsky and Houda Lazrak