Introduction by the authors
How can you walk through Brooklyn and not feel lucky? The creative; spirit in the largest borough of New York insists that you do! Seeking to escape from the increasingly unaffordable and cramped island of Manhattan, drawn to the vibrant magnet of a thriving scene, thousands of artists continue to jump feet-first into their new jungle gym, Brooklyn. Previously industrial or run-down neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, DUMBO, and Red Hook are swelling with artists and creative people who come from all over the world, transforming everything in their path.
Street art here is the very public face of a robust art scene in these neighborhoods, not a "movement" but the cumulative effort of artists who often are in the margins of the art world; un-bossed and un-bought, kings ' and queens of their own destinies. It spills through the doors of home studios, non- and for-profit galleries, artist collectives, nightclubs, performance spaces, group shows, and art parties. Every outside' surface is fair game for art that is ready to engage; rebuff, surprise; reflect, expand, expound, confuse, remix; and reuse.
Not limited to graffiti tags or elaborate spray-painted murals, the street` artists use every material and medium, regardless of durability: paper, plastic, plaster, markers; pens, foamcore, furniture parts; stickers, steel, plywood; photocopies, latex, acrylic, watercolors. The scale of the work is from the minuscule to the monumental, the shelf-life unpredictable and ephemeral. A work may be a cutout, wheat-pasted on particleboard; steel shapes soldered to a railing or dangling from a telephone line; a butterfly bolted to a sign post; a face tucked under a beam, or stuck on a fire hydrant. It's a stencil staring at you from a doorway or a grand-scale mural in an abandoned lot.
Brooklyn Street Art pays homage to the artists as well as their work. As artists ourselves, we celebrate the creative energy here that is so fully charged and palpable. Touched, challenged, changed, and motivated by this silent explosion of visual images; we had no recourse but to record the voluminous display and share it. We want to preserve the pieces and the moments, before they pass. By no means an exhaustive survey or scholarly discourse, this small volume aims to showcase the images and allow this ' creative spirit to travel beyond the walls, signposts, light standards, doors, windows, garbage cans, and scaffolding of our Brooklyn streets.
For these street artists, art is not a luxury but a necessity. The work is installed discreetly and by any possible means. No contracts are made, no agreements signed, no discussions take place. Catch it while you can, appreciate its message in the moment of discovery; a fleeting moment. The artwork, like the neighborhood, may be overtaken. But for the lucky one who discovers it, it is a reminder that in this town, anything is still possible. Jaime and Steve
1st edition 2008, Hb, 108pp, full color throughout, 18 x 12.5 cm