You know all those spray-painted squiggles, full-scale artworks or cartoonish stickers you see around the city?
Well, sometimes they’re advertising for an artist’s other work. The artists frantically spray those squiggles or post stickers over the city all day, every day, so that they spread awareness for their brand.
And it’s worked on me. This is how I became aware of two of my New York City favorites – Joseph Meloy (above right) and Michael De Feo (also known as the Flower Guy):
Last week (to coincide with the start of New York Fashion Week), both of these artists – as well as many others – opened indoor exhibitions of their work. So I pegged my way past sour-faced fashionistas and headed to the Meatpacking District.
First up was Joseph Meloy, whom you might know as Vandal Expressionism or The Guy Who Posts Loads Of Ape Pictures Around The City.
He was sharing an exhibition at Protege Gallery on Ninth Avenue. His work is vivid and fun – it’s somehow manic but organized. I particularly loved the small pieces, which are just one inch by one inch – and Joe said these were his favorites to make.
It was really complimented by the work of Maria Lynch, I thought.
Then I headed up the road, around the corner, beneath the High Line and up some stairs to reach Michael De Feo’s Pocket Full of Posies exhibition.
On the street, De Feo paints large, simple flowers – almost like 2D balloon animals – and the theme continued inside, although in a far more refined way. He shared large canvases showing splotchy, dribbling flowers painted on maps – conveying his dream of spreading his work across every street in a city. A bit on the nose maybe, but a neat idea. And beautifully presented. I must have circled the room 10 times.
The exhibitions are still happening for another week, so head up and have a wander – to Meloy’s at Gallery Protege and DeFeo’s (and lots of others) at the Rush Gallery. It really is fantastic seeing what else these talented artists get up to when they’re not posting stickers or spray painting.
So go have a look – and if you can’t get there just yet, fear not, you can enjoy the tasters they give you on the street.
Thanks to ColorsinLA for the Flower Guy picture.