Amoeblog

Graffiti Art Icon KEL1ST Launches New iPad App That Takes A Trip Back In Time In NYC Graffiti History

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2014 11:20am | Post a Comment

Self-described "anthropologist technologist" Randy Rodriguez, aka veteran New York City graffiti artist KEL1ST, has just launched his latest project; the unique iPad App titled 2Many2Name that presents what he calls, "a blend of graffiti history and technology, the first in depth view of graffiti wild style" that showcases pieces by some of NYC's graf legends. With the full length title of KEL1ST presents The history of 2 Many2Name this cool, colorful new App he designed takes iPad users on a narrated ride that incorporates new media with the urban landscape and showcases graffiti masterpieces of a bygone era via a whole new platform.  When he started out as a young graf writer KEL1ST, Rodriguez magnificently and colorfully spray-painted NYC subway trains back during the NYC graffiti heyday of the 1970's and 1980's. And as such he was immortalized in such landmark hip-hop history documents as the hip-hop/graffiti documentary Style Wars by the late great Tony Silver, and in the pages of the bible of graffiti art - Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant 1984 pioneering street art book Subway Art. Meanwhile as later day anthropologist technologist, Rodriguez was pioneering by creating (now defunct) VoiceOfTheGhetto.com which was the Internet's first urban outpost dedicated to graffiti and hip-hop way back in the early Internet days of the early 1990's. Also in the 90's Rodriguez became what he claimed to be "hip-hop's first graffiti jeweler" making graffiti rooted jewelry for such big hip-hop and pop star names as Madonna, Busta Rymes, Afrika Bambaataa, and Mariah Carey. His successful freelance design business has racked up an impressive client list that includes The Wall Street Journal, Polo Ralph Lauren, Boeing, T-Mobile, and Microsoft - not bad for someone once considered a delinquent and a vandal. Additionally his art is on permanent exhibit at the  big Brooklyn Museum. And with his new iPad App he brings things full circle back to his beginnings as NYC graffiti master. 2Many2Name is described by Apple as "an immersive experience, with just a swipe of a finger KEL1ST unveils the blueprint of the iconic master pieces that established the standard for Graffiti Wild Style and made New York City the Mecca of Graffiti." To use the new iPad application users will need iOS 6.0 and higher. More info here.

Interview with Florian Gaag, Director of Graffiti Feature Film Wholetrain

Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2010 06:15am | Post a Comment
WHOLETRAIN trailer

Today both the DVD and the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed, award-winning and Florian Gaag directed fictional graffiti-feature film WHOLETRAIN are being released via RykoDisc. The film was shot in Poland and is in German with subtitles in English and 13 other languages. The English language hip-hop soundtrack includes all original songs (over beats produced by the film's director) from all American artists including KRS-One, Freddie Foxxx, O.C., Planet Asia, Afu-Ra, Grand Agent, Akrobatik, Tame One, and El Da Sensei. Both the film and its soundtrack are highly recommended for anyone, not just graffiti fans.

The film's title, WHOLETRAIN, comes from the graffiti writers' goal of spraypainting every inch of an entire train. Although the film's young cast will be totally unknown to American audiences, it is dramatically gripping, with a solid story-line, plus a most impressive display of all new graffiti art. Colorfully shot on the trains and walls, throughout the film this graffiti was all tirelessly commissioned by the first time director himself, who is clearly a major graffiti fan. For these beautiful pieces he brought in such established graffiti artists as NEON, PURE, CIEL, WON, and CEMNOZ to do the art work.
Back in February, when the film screened in LA and San Francisco at the Goethe-Institut in each city, I reviewed it for the Amoeblog. I also interviewed the director at that time. He told me about the challenging process of making this film, including the overwhelming obstacles he faced due to making a film that includes an illegal art form, and how WHOLETRAIN turned into a six year project. That interview with director Florian Gaag follows below.
Florian Gaag

Amoeblog:
WHOLETRAIN is a great film and what's most impressive is that it is your first full-length film. So had you done short films or videos before this?

Florian Gaag: Yes, I´ve done a couple of short films, mostly short documentaries though, because that´s where I´m coming from.

SUBWAY ART PHOTOGRAPER HENRY CHALFANT INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, July 11, 2009 04:45pm | Post a Comment
Subway Art
Subway Art
-- the legendary graffiti art book by Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper -- has just recently been republished in a nice big coffee table hard cover version appropriately titled Subway Art: 25th Anniversary Edition. The book has never been out of print since its initial 1984 publication but this new anniversary edition is just jaw-droppingly amazing and a must-have for any graffiti fan.

Its much larger scale and new dimensions of 17" by 13" full-color spreads allow the crispy clear photos to fully come to life in their bright, beautiful colors and hence make them so much easier to fully appreciate.

The new edition of Subway Art also offers numerous never-before-seen photos from that late 70's / early 80's era of New York City when Cooper and Chalfant were documenting this vibrant and rampant illegal public transit art form; one that would be gone by the end of the decade in which the book was first published. But over the years Subway Art has taken on life of its own and the influential book has gone on to sell a staggering half a million copies.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Henry Chalfant about this influential art book. A Stanford graduate who was first a sculptor, Chalfant has lived in New York City for many years and is now nearing 70. He is equally known in graffiti circles for his documentation of the art form via the book Spraycan Art which he co-authored with James Prigoff, and for Style Wars, the historic PBS documentary on New York graffiti that he co-produced with Tony Silver. Chalfant's work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A few years ago he directed the excellent Latin and hip-hop themed documentary about the South Bronx, From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, that aired on PBS stations in 2006.

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AMOEBLOG'S SUMMER GRAFFITI SERIES: PART I, INTRO

Posted by Billyjam, July 4, 2009 11:58am | Post a Comment
DREAM R.I.P.

This is the kick-off post in a seven-week summer series of Graffiti Amoeblogs, focusing on the art of graffiti and running every Saturday from now, July 4th, until Saturday, August 15th, 2009 -- the date that will mark what would have been the 40th birthday of Mike DREAM Francisco, the legendary Bay Area graffiti artist who was tragically murdered nine years ago on the streets of Oakland. Rest in peace, DREAM. Your legacy will live forever.

Included in the numerous blogs in this series will be an interview with DEMER of the longtime NYC Wallnuts crew, who decades later is still making graffiti art, and who currently runs the store Graffiti Comix in Belleville, New Jersey, where he combines his two life-long passions/hobbies -- graffiti and comic books. There will also be an interview with OB, who runs the graffiti supply (and record) store All City in Dublin, Ireland. That same Graffiti Amoeblomiami graffitig will also take a look at the Irish graffiti scene.

James & Karla Murray, the hard working and prolific graffiti photo-journalists (Broken Windows, Burning New York, Store Front, Miami Graffiti), will also be interviewed here and high-quality images of their best New York City and Miami graffiti shots will also be included. Future Amoeblogs will also focus on Cali graffiti and its makers, and of course there will be a whole blog dedicated to DREAM, who was an amazing artist. 

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