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King Saladeen levels up, unveils collection at New York Stock Exchange

Protect young, contemporary artist King Saladeen at all costs. The West Philly creative has climbed the ladder to artistic success and now with his new installation Art and Money on display at the New York Stock Exchange, there will be no looking back.

Dressed to the nines, Saladeen pulled up to Wall St. in a matte white Rolls Royce for the official opening of the exhibition. Through his fashionable attire, a noble aura couldn’t help but shine as he walked into the largest equities-based exchange in the world.

How could he help but feel a powerful combination of confidence and humility?

This was the dawn of a new era and along with artists JohnBorn and Mister E, Saladeen would be a pioneer in support of bringing young, influential artists to the historic stock exchange.

As King Saladeen expressed in an IG post #NotBad4BoysFromTheHood

Art and Money’s curator, Peter Tuchman was one of three brains behind the installation. They carefully chose to showcase the exhibition, while simultaneously celebrating the NYSE’s appointment of its first female president, Stacy Cunningham.

It was a great evening for the stock exchange as they dove right into the culture. Cunningham who grew up on the trading floor expressed how taking leadership over the organization is something she’s “really proud of.”

Her colleague and spokeswoman for the NYSE, Kristen Kaus, couldn’t help but chime in. She said,

“You know what! She’s not the right woman for the job, she’s the right person for the job.”

This time around Saladeen took his art to a completely new level as his three pieces Bull of the Market, Buy Low, Sell High, and CEO were an immaculate mix of acrylics, spray paints, and oil pastels.

His works meshed perfectly with what the NYSE symbolizes and Mister E and JohnBorn’s aesthetic. Thus proving that art and money are, in fact, a beautiful unification.

King Saladeen

Saladeen, whose artistic values are deeply rooted in the streets, expressed to us what it feels like to have his art displayed at the NYSE. He said,

“I’m from the streets. I’m from the hood but just like a lot of people from the streets and the hood, we are recreating these big conglomerate companies. We are there at the top of the mold.

So, that’s what I’m trying to do in the art game – bringing what we grow up from and expressing that on canvas… I’m just trying to bring what this side of the world needs and the other side needs to see to make some type of a balance.

You have a bunch of great people at the bottom that never even get to see that this exists. That’s pretty much what I’m trying to bring to this actual project.”

King Saladeen

This is definitely some motivational content for the young creatives out there looking to share their works at a higher level. Saladeen is proof that if you believe in yourself and what you create, anything is possible.

He closed our quick conversation with some advice for the youth. He said,

“Create from your heart, not your eyes. Your heart ain’t going to lie. Your heart is going to say what it feels. It’s going to really push out the definition of you on canvas or whatever you’re creating on… Hone into your craft, network, and never think anything is outside your expectations…”

Seeing the creative visionary reveal his artworks at the NYSE was truly inspirational. If you want to hear more about Saladeen’s experience check out his podcast for Inside the ICE House with fellow Art and Money artist, Mister E below.

Starving artists get done dirty again as Californian judges dubs the CRAA

This is horse shit.

Yet again, big-name auction houses and corporations have gotten the upper hand over starving artists. Earlier this month, renowned artist Chuck Close and his homies were dubbed losers in a seven-year-long legal battle to collect royalty payments from Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and eBay.

In other words, the Ninth Circuit of the US Appeals Court basically threw the California Resale Royalties Act (CRRA) in la basura. AKA it’s slow for any artists who were looking to collect any kind of royalties on their artworks resold after 1977.

What else could we have expected? If Close and the other artists involved in the case had won, it probably would’ve opened the floor for other states to consider adopting the legislation. But, of course, big brother found a way, as they always do, to snub progression.

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Laddie John Dill, one of the artists involved in the class action lawsuits expressed to the San Francisco Chronicle that he was not surprised about losing the case and that it wasn’t about the mula, for him. He said,

“I’m not surprised, but I’m disappointed… It varied over the years. It can be as much as $2,500 to $3,000, but some years just in the hundreds. It was the principle of the thing.”

Highkey, Sotheby’s and Christie’s were hype about the court’s decision to restrict the CRAA based on the grounds that the statute was bumped by the federal copyright law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 1978.

According to the NYT, Sotheby’s said in an email statement, “This quixotic action, which was based on an obviously unconstitutional statute, is finally nearing its end.” Christie’s also threw in their two cents stating that it “is pleased with the court’s decision.”

In fact, you should know that the US was late to the game and California was the only state where this type of legislation made it through. Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas all discouraged the idea of fine art royalty laws.

The French, as always, started the fire trend of giving artist what they deserved. Since it was enacted in 1920, the droit de suite law has inspired around 60 countries to recognize “that artists have certain moral rights in their works and the economic concern that artists often are unable to benefit from the full value of their works.”

It’s really hard to understand why the US is constantly playing catch up when it comes to morality. Californian artists were required to receive, in the event of a resale of a work over $1000, only five percent as the law states and if they are deceased the artist’s estate gets it. Think about it. That’s a little bit of guap compared to how much a popular piece of work can be resold for.

For instance, take a look at Andy Warhol’s Triple Elvis and Four Marlons artworks. They were bought by a German casino for around $185,000 and today are worth over $100 million. What’s crazy? No one from Warhol’s estate will ever see even one percent of that come up.

It’s like how greedy can conniving art collectors, auction houses, and e-commerce sites get? If you made $100 million off of a painting you couldn’t deal with giving back $5 million to the artist or the artist’s family? Sheesh, that’s a little bit savage considering you would still have $95 million left over.

I’m not the only who was enraged by the court’s terrible decision. The Dean Collection’s Swizz Beats took to Instagram to express how he felt about artists not receiving royalties on their life’s work. He said,

“This is the #1 most important thing I’m going to be apart of changing in the art world. I swear on everything I love. Artists should get royalties on the life of the work that’s produced & resold! What would the ART market be without artists? Nothing!! I’m sending love to all the artists around the world you will win remember I told you!!!! Blessings #chuckclose for standing up and fighting…”

The CRAA was created to protect Californian artists from con-collectors. Its implementation was pushed by the contemporary artist, Robert Rauschenberg, who was hustled by a douchebag, Robert Scull.

In this instance of treachery, Scull had resold Rauschenberg’s “Thaw” collage for $85,000 when he had only paid the artist $800 for it. Yes, I know to hustlers out there this is the ultimate come up but, c’mon son, you should always bless those who’ve put you on.

Lowkey, Rauschenberg snuffed the living hell out of Scull. How many scumbag art collectors are going to have to get rocked for the US government to take notice that starving artists are getting g’d?

Until then, fine artists watch your back and know your value. There is never any fun in getting Rauschenberged.

Justyna is the creative who’s ‘horny for art’ and she wants everyone to know

Have you ever had an ARTGASM?

It’s an experience like none other, heightening every single sensation in your body as you indulge in your favorite art form. In a way, you become “horny for art,” as you crave the ecstasy-like feeling for constructing or encountering something really dope and creative that blows your mind.

Countless times throughout her career Justyna has felt this same desire. Her passion for art is a soul-filling feeling of completion.

Kulture Hub was able to catch up with Justyna about how she plans to push the culture forward through her dope artistic aesthetic. In the electronic interview, she broke down what being “horny for art” means to her. Justyna said,

“Horny is the strong passionate animal like feeling that I have for art. That feeling is similar to the feeling we feel when we want to have sex with someone we absolutely love, adore, and can’t live without. That’s art for me. I love art, it’s my best friend, it’s always been there for me, and it makes me feel good and complete. It forces me to wake up and it gives me hope every day. I crave it every day and I’m horny for it. All forms of it. I’m horny to see it and I’m horny to create it…”

Art has taken Justyna’s heart and it’ll never give it back. She’s always been infatuated. Her days used to and still do consist of spending countless hours in museums and going to art shows by herself.

Justyna’s lustful relationship with art has taken her from Lithuania to the most lit cities in America. Thus far, she’s lived in Chicago, Miami, NYC, San Francisco, and LA. While living in the “City That Never Sleeps,” she paid her dues and worked for a private art gallery.

Before settling down in LA, Justyna also managed to study art at the San Francisco Art Institute and art business at Stanford. The artsy romance proved itself worthy after Justyna showed her works at Art Basel Miami.

This is where she met art collector Aaron Von Ossko of Esoteric Collection. The artist collective is focused on helping aspiring artists with whatever they might need to thrive. To Justyna, Von Ossko does everything that he does from the heart and he finds joy in just helping people who deserve to be helped. She wishes there were “more Aaron’s in the world.”

Still, there were moments where she felt like giving up on her one true love, but Justyna knows that there is nothing else she wants to do besides create art. She expressed how art is the source of her happiness. She said,

“‘Giving up moments’ come like once a month. Especially when I feel like I’m not good enough, but then I realize that there is nothing I wanna do besides art… It’s truly my life and my main happiness. The moment someone loves my art that becomes my greatest high in life. There isn’t a greater pleasure than when people fall in love with your artwork and buy it.”

Justyna is looking to spread the love using her art as the source. Her goal is to push the culture forward by educating others about the positive things she learns throughout her daily life.

Her fuel to create can come from anywhere including a piece of literature she recently read, the smile on a person’s face, or a reward for a good deed.

For instance, her “Broken Paintings” series drew inspiration from a quote she read, that said, “I broke something and I realized I wanna break something all the time to remind myself how fragile life is…”

Justyna decided to break her paintings in half after relating to the beautiful quote. She set the lovely trend by allowing buyers to gift one side of her paintings to a loved one while keeping the other. Thus, keeping all parties connected forever.

Ultimately, everyone gives the LA artists inspiration to create. She expressed over email,

“Everyone who comes into my life in one way or another inspires me. People who believe in me inspire me and everyone who lived before me inspires me. We have and had so many amazing people throughout time inspire and I wanna be one of them. That’s my inspiration!”

Trust that Justyna will be an inspiration to those that come after her. Her position on being a female force within an industry that glorifies male artists was motivating. She expressed how she plans on leaving a lasting imprint on the industry and will not be discouraged by the fact that she’s a female artist. Justyna said,

“To be honest I don’t think of myself as a female artist. I’m just an artist. Yes, it’s true male artists dominate but I truly don’t think about it. I feel like I have so many things to think about that I don’t have time to think about that. I’m just happy that I live in this century because before it was really hard and you couldn’t show or study art if you were female… “

She continued,

“That time has passed and I believe if you’re a female artist you shouldn’t waste your energy thinking about that. Instead, put all of your energy into your work and don’t worry because hard work always pays off. We just can’t give up and think negative thoughts. Positive thoughts attract positive things so we should all concentrate on that positivity.”

Justyna’s positive vibes and art might be the gift the universe needs during these trying times. “I would be embarrassed to die before I do something really good for the universe and humanity…,” she said.

Have confidence that Justyna is dedicated to her craft and will inspire. To prove it, she recently experimented with a new medium, her own blood.

Justyna trusts her soul to guide her artistic vision and when working with the 13 vials of her own blood she was able to create a “new experience, a new possibility, and a new lesson.”

She spoke about trusting her soul throughout her creative process by saying,

“It’s all about being in tune with yourself and your body. If we would learn how to listen to our intuition and our soul we would make fewer mistakes, I believe. Deep down we know all the answers to all the questions. We just need to learn how to listen to ourselves. Our body is a big ball of energy connected to everything and everyone and everything goes in a circle. If we listen to our soul we can be better humans. Even when I create, I don’t plan my paintings like some do… I go with the flow as I paint and I make decisions based on my intuition, my soul.”

Justyna’s faith in art goes unmatched. She has an undying passion and love for what she does. Understand this, that if you are a young creative do not take for granted these words of wisdom from the LA artist.

“Passion and love for art is a must. Without them, you won’t survive. Also, I believe a great support system, like great friends, is important because there are many times people are gonna judge you and when you are judged based on your creations it can be very painful and discouraging. Words of wisdom …hmm… you should ask yourself would you do this if money didn’t exist and only if your answer is very clear without a doubt, “YES,” that’s when you should keep doing it and give it your 100%.”

Stay in tune with Justyna’s positive vibes as she is always working on something special. She will continue to work on her broken paintings and happiness cans but her love for ancient Egyptian art will take precedence in her works within the near future.

Soon enough she’ll be ready to show off her “Friend of Pharoah” series at the end of the year and from what I’ve seen so far, it looks like it’s going to be very, very dope!

How blockchain could level the playing field for people investing in art

The cryptocurrency craze could be the solution to opening the gates of the art world to those who otherwise would’ve never been exposed.

Last week, Eleesa Dadiani made history holding the first blockchain art auction. She auctioned off 49 percent of Andy Warhol’s 1980 silkscreen called 14 Small Electric Chairs.

With 51 percent of the artwork still under her possession successful bidders received digital certificates of ownership for 49 percent of the $5.6 million painting.

The digital certificates of the work were purchased using Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETC), and ART a cryptocurrency created by Maecanas Fine Art, according to Quartz.

The later blockchain platform states that it is, “The first open blockchain platform that democratizes access to Fine Art.”

This is huge as art lovers who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford the multi-million dollar price tag on an artwork are now able to buy shares in the work using cryptocurrency.

Thus, opening the pool to more diverse investors. In the words of Warhol, “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

Although the crypto art auction was historic it isn’t the first time an artwork has been purchased using a digital currency. The Warhol was just one of many sold for the highest price at the highest profile.

This past January, Art Stage Singapore sold four paintings swapping each piece for cryptocurrencies. Plus the “Cryptoqueen,” Dadiani, has also accepted cryptocurrency for art purchases before.

Dadiani explained the ultimate goal of the recent crypto art auction to Forbes. She said,

“We aim to render the future of fine art investments to global reach. The cryptocurrency will broaden the market, bringing a new type of buyer to art and luxury.”

So, how do you make guap on an investment like this?

Platforms like Maecenas Fine Art allows owners and galleries to use the blockchain platform to raise guap for new purchases. This is done instead of taking out a high-interest art loan.

Purchasing the shares would ultimately allow the investor access to the lustrous art world without taking out a second mortgage on the crib. The artwork would also appreciate in value over time consequently raising the value of the shares too.

In addition to coming up off of throwing some of your cryptos into an art auction, the blockchain technology these currencies run on will make it easier for collectors to verify the provenance of each piece they invest in.

Another platform doing it up for people with mad amounts of cryptocurrency in the bank is Masterworks. Just like Maecenas, the platform allows “investors to purchase and trade fractional interests using the blockchain.”

We suggest you take a look at this new trend. Who knows? You could own a fraction of a historical painting one day. Imagine being able to say – “I own 4% of a Basquiat!” Insane.

Flex on em’! Swizz Beatz now holds the most Gordon Parks photos in private hands

Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys have secured another bag through their private art stockpile The Dean Collection. Tuesday at the annual New York gala for the Gordon Parks Foundation the power couple announced that they own 80 works by the late photographer.

The Gordon Parks Foundation is aimed at permanently preserving the works of the quintessential photographer. It also supports the youth and blesses scholarships and fellowships to those who are in “the common search for a better life and a better world.”

The late renaissance man would be proud to know that his photographic eye still plays a role in our culture. His work is a staple in Black history and now that Swizz owns the largest group of original works by Parks in private hands, his photographs are guaranteed eternal life.

For those who don’t know who Gordon Parks is, watch Kendrick Lamar’s video for his hit song “ELEMENT.” Most of the dope visuals were inspired by the 20th century’s most important photographer.

The man behind the most iconic pictures of Blacks in America had so much swag. He beat the stats becoming the first Black American to direct a motion film we’ve all watched – Shaft.

If you think about it, lowkey, if there was no Parks there probably wouldn’t be any Spike Lee. In fact, Spike pulled up to the gala as well.

Damn, we owe it to Parks. Within Swizz and Keys’ collection are various works including pictures of Blacks’ first cultural leaders. Shout out to Parks for capturing dope pics of Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and Langston Hughes.

Not to mention his dope aesthetic for fashion shoots and the life of Blacks during the Civil Rights movement.

Parks still hits the windows to our souls in a very effective way. As Swizz said, “Gordon is more important now than he ever was. The times have caught up with his photos… He let his lens shoot where his heart led him.”

Shout out to a legend. Bless up Gordon Parks.

Let’s get it like Diddy and start investing in living Black artists

One can only hope that Kerry James Marshall cracked a modest Basquiat-like smile after Diddy dropped big racks ($21.1 million to be exact) on his painting “Past Times,” last Wednesday at the Sotheby’s auction.

The Chicago artist who has been painting for 40 years finally got the come up he deserves. To prove it, the acrylic and collage on canvas displayed Black Americans posted in a park enjoying leisure sports like golf, croquet, water skiing, and other activities associated with affluent white suburbanites.

Lest we mention the picnickers bumping to the tune of the Temptations and Snoop Dogg serving as the vanguard of the beautiful painting. Thank God for Swizz Beatz. The art god put Diddy on to Marshall’s exquisite artworks.

“Past Times” After completing the Garden Project series, Marshall painted “Past Times,” which moves into the shared public space of the city. High-rise towers appear in the distance, but the focal point is an urban pastoral scene, filled with green grass and blue water. The African American figures—all dressed in white—are engaged in various forms of recreation. The painting depicts leisurely pastimes, but the title points to the past. In this respect, the perfect scene might suggest a history that hasn’t happened yet or desire come to life. The family in the foreground stares back at the viewer as if just interrupted. The songs on their radios suggest two divergent outlooks: a runaway imagination and a reality check—“got my money on my mind.” Learn more: All images and details: Kerry James Marshall “Past Times,” 1997 Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, McCormick Place Art Collection Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

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The piece was originally acquired for $25,000 by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in 1997. In fact, “Past Times” was a late entry in the Sotheby’s auction and was estimated to sell for at least $8 million, proving that the eye for Black art is changing.

The piece attracted four bidders but it was Diddy’s winning bid that ultimately shifted culture, setting a new record for the top price at auction for any work by a living Black artist, according to the NYT. Before Marshall, it was Mark Bradford and his 2007 “Helter Skelter” piece which sold for $12 million in March at Phillips in London.

Can you imagine if  Jean-Michel Basquiat was still alive? Homie would run the game as his “Flesh and Spirit” piece sold for $30.7 million at the auction.

Death shouldn’t add value to an artist’s works and like Diddy we should champion for Black artists who are still alive and are flexing for Black culture.

Don’t be the one playing catch up with Black art. Candace Worth, an art adviser based in NY, spoke wisely on this very Black movement. She told the NYT,

“The rise of African-American artists is part of a broader tendency to re-evaluate neglected artists that’s been going on for a few years. Art history isn’t just about the big Ab-Ex guys anymore… We’re opening a conversation, and the market is playing catch-up.”

This is definitely a great trend the cultural community should support as there are many dope Black artist out there grinding to get to Basquiat level.  To get you started, here are seven Black living artists on the rise that you should most definitely peep.

Toyin Ojih Odutola

Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Skyler Grey


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Hebru Brantley

Neo Addict Itch.

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Jennifer Packer

Jennifer Packer #jenniferpacker . . . post by @anthonycudahy

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Phresh Laundry


This the remix to ignition hot and fresh out the kitchen ⚡

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See anything you like? This is just a light overview of what’s out there OG.

So, get your art game up lil’ guy, get sucked into the artsy IG vortex, and find something that might be worth saving up for an investment.

Know that there’s nothing better than investing in living Black artists, ya dig.

Why Swizz Beatz is the most influential art collector in hip-hop

We seem to create some of the world’s most beautiful art yet forget to invest in it.

This is why we need more idols like producer/rapper, Swizz Beatz, to set an example for the youth and people of color everywhere. Thru Swizz we can learn how to invest our dollars into the booming art industry.

Peep Swizz roller skating through his giant wooden Kaws sculpture and promise to remember these Jay- Z lyrics throughout this post:

“I bought some artwork for one million
Two years later, that shit worth two million
Few years later, that shit worth eight million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children”

Swizz has been an art provocateur for some time now.

It was at the age of 19 when he bought his first pricy piece which was a black and white photograph of the Swiss Alps taken by Ansel Adams.

That was 20 years ago. Now Swizz’s art collection holds works by the likes of Michael VasquezLyle OwerkoJonathan MannionDustin YellinZio Ziegler, Hebru BrantleyJean-Michel Basquiat, and many more. That’s a lot of cheddar, especially with the Basquiat piece, but fuck the bread — that’s not why the “Money in the Bank” artist collects art.

Swizz collects to set an example for other collectors. In an interview with Billboard, he expressed the need to purchase works from artists that are still alive. He explained,

“I collect all living artists right now. That’s my thing. I’d like artists to be able to smell their roses while they are here, use their money to invest back into themselves and then give the world more greatness. I’ve been encouraging people to support living artists so they can enjoy this now. It shouldn’t be like oh when that person is not here we want to be into the person. That’s backwards as hell!”

This is probably the same passion that inspired Swizz to create No Commission.

No Commission was conceptualized three years ago while Swizz was attending Harvard. He wanted to create a platform that celebrated artists by cutting out the middleman. “To date, the venture has put a cool three million dollars directly in artists’ pockets,” said Swizz in an interview with GQ.

His idea was brought to life with the help of BACARDI Rum and No Commission held their first show a Miami’s Art Basel which would set the precedence for a global tour. Since then No Commission has hosted events in Berlin, Shanghai, London, and the Bronx.

Ned Duggan, VP of BACARDÍ Rum, told GQ how much No Commission has accomplished since its creation three years ago. Duggan said,

“As we started taking No Commission around the world, we could see that it was more than an event. It started becoming a movement… Our ambition was to make a genuine impact on culture. We don’t just bring the music and the cocktails, we have helped to create a platform that is genuinely changing lives, attitudes, and opinions.”

Not only does No Commision aim to ensure that artists are getting what they deserve for their work but also looks to involve women and people of color into the art community.  According to Swizz,

“Diversity brings people together and there is no better way to do that than thru music and art. If you free the artists you free the world.”

Awesome tings de ghwan pon Swizz’s side and the best part is that his art collecting bug is spreading to a few of his cronies. Swizz and his lovely wife, Alicia Keys, just copped Tanda Francis’ 12-foot African goddess sculpture by way of The Dean Collection.

Besides his wife, others that have also caught Swizz’s art bug are Nas, Beyonce and Jay, Erykah Badu, and Carmelo Anthony. Swizz reminisced to Billboard about the days before art collecting was thought to be “hip.” He said,

“People used to laugh at me for collecting art and now it’s the thing to do. It’s like “Man I got this piece” or “What’s the next piece?” It’s a conversation topic. It’s right where it needs to be. And I love that more of the culture is looking at this now…”

Check out Francis Tanda de-installing her “Take Me With You,” sculpture and getting it ready for the move to its new home – Swizz and Alicia’s garden of their New Jersey crib.

Swizz looks to inspire the next generation of artists and art-buyers.

The first rule in Swizz’s quick guide to buying art – “Buy from your heart. Only buy what you love, what you feel, what you want to live with.”

If you buy from the heart you will never lose. Now get out there, go to a gallery or something, and quit playing games.

Your first art investment could only be a couple footsteps out your door. Who knows? Art might take you around the globe.

Sidenote: Never forget that Swizz Beatz is always working on some damn fire. 

It’s that damn time again!!!! Mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Art gentrification? How one gallery in Brooklyn is fighting against ‘artwashing’

During Chris Kraus’s After Kathy Acker reading at CUNY earlier this October, two protestors asked the author about her 365 mission reading in Boyle Heights. The author, best known for her book I Love Dick, stirred some controversy when she agreed to read in a newly opened gallery within the neighborhood. “I LOVE DIckSPLACEMENT,” was held up in the crowd during CUNY’s discussion with the author.

Boyle heights is a “predominantly working class Hispanic neighborhood situated east of L.A.’s Arts District.” Residents of the neighborhood believe that the amount of galleries opening up in their neighborhood will completely take over the originality of their hometown as well as cause a spike in rent and living costs.

Members of the community created a “Defend Boyle Heights” group, Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement, which addresses and fights the gentrification of their city. Angel Luna, a member and Boyle Heights native, told LA Weekly in October,

“We are asking all of the art galleries of the warehouse district of Boyle Heights to relocate somewhere else and not contribute to the gentrification of Boyle Heights. We understand that art galleries are a useful tool to increase financial speculation and drive up profit in gentrifying areas. This is our reality and our reason for the boycott.”

Artspace brought up an excellent point in their recent article, “Art & Gentrification: What is ‘Artwashing’ and What Are Galleries Doing to Resist It?

Though Kraus’s reading in Boyle Heights could be interpreted as insensitive or intrusive to the community around her, Artspace questioned the impact that the reading could have had in the audience.

“Has ‘arts district’ become a fancy way of saying ‘displacement’?” asks the publication, “What if artists and art spaces acknowledged their role in the displacement of communities, and worked proactively to counter the ‘artwashing’ of communities? Could they reverse the efforts of developers, and rather help a pre-existing community to thrive?”

Artspace spoke to Eileen Isagon Skyers, the creative director of Bed-Stuy gallery HOUSING, she opens up another outlook for the art galleries that have taken over gentrified neighborhoods. Though they exist and are persistent in their effects on lower income neighborhoods, “Artwashing” can be reversed and affect these neighborhoods positively, rather than the negative changes that these districts are currently experiencing.

“Artwashing is a part of this whole Anxiety that demographic changes in a neighborhood cue an imminent hike in rent and displacement—a process that disproportionately affects women of color… Remaining conscious of this, and participating in its undoing in a small way, is the least that art spaces can do.”

However positive art has been in Brooklyn, Boyle Heights doesn’t seem to share the same sentiment.

Vandalism hasn’t been a stranger in Boyle Heights either. To express their anger, residents have used spray paint, vandalism, and even acts of violence to protest the galleries. From Artspace,

“Residents fear that the influx of gallery spaces in their neighborhood will lead to their displacement and ultimate cultural erasure. Members of the Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement (BHAAAD) are demanding that art galleries in Boyle Heights relocate to other, more affluent areas of the city.”

Skyers still seems confident that these issues can be addressed and corrected.

“We’re not here to engage in ‘urban renewal’, or promote narrow notions of ‘community.’ We live here, and we are in love with the neighborhood exactly as it is. While we don’t know how much we can truly counter some of these insurmountable issues, we still want to do our part: raising attention, exhibiting works that might resonate with people in the neighborhood, and urging others to support local businesses that have operated in the area well before it was ‘up and coming.'”

Could these new galleries work towards helping un-gentrify these neighborhoods?

Probably, if we can get to the root of the cause. If artists and gallery owners alike work hard to reverse artwashing within these communities, we can begin to move forward and seriously address gentrification and all the effects it holds onto the people living in lower-income neighborhoods.

Hopefully, more owners such as Skyers will step forward, bringing neighborhoods the change they need.

Gabrielle Union paid an emerging 17-year-old street artist $40k for his painting

What would you do if actress Gabrielle Union walked up to you and said, “Nice painting kid…” then bought your painting for $40,000?

Would you yak it or start running forever on some Forrest Gump type shit from the hype?

Well, 17-year-old street artist, Skylar Grey is letting everyone know that he is Union’s favorite artist and that his “King Jean Michel” is now hers.

Peep what Gabby had to say about Grey’s “King Jean Michel” piece

I love my life!!! And then this happen. @gabunion @avantgallery #gabunion #gabrielunion #avantgallery

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This wouldn’t be the first time Grey has flipped one of his art pieces to high profile client. Grey’s client list also includes  Diddy, Nick Cannon, The Game, and former L.A. Dodgers player Carl Crawford.

Nor is it the first time he’s sold a piece for $40,000. According to the most hot-boy news source on the entire planet, TMZ, $40k is his going rate.

Sheesh, that’s a lot of guap for someone who’s still in high school. Doesn’t say much for the rest of us who are making pennies at some part-time hustle flipping retail or delivering pizza.

Regardless of your hustles, let’s look at it this as motivation for those of us who want to take our passions to the bank. At 16, Grey was the youngest person ever to grace the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the Art & Style section.

Grey, we see you out here bossin’ up!

Gold and diamonds 💎 talk with @jasonofbeverlyhills during my editorial shoot with Forbes!!! #skylergrey #forbes

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Grey started his artistic journey from a very young age. According to an interview, he did with Paper Magazine Grey has been flexing in the art industry from 8-years-old,

“I’ve been drawing all my life, and at the age of 8 I was going to school 6 days a week — 5 days of regular school and art school on Saturdays. Weekends I would wake up early and my dad would play different art documentaries for me to watch all day so at 8 I was exploring different art forms, galleries, and museums. By 11, I was creating art professionally. My first painting was of the Queen — Amy Winehouse.”

This young homie has the heart of a lion.

Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of Grey’s work as the Miami Art Basel is gearing up to commence in the beginning of December. One thing we know for sure is that Grey’s got a very prominent life ahead of him.

Peep this recent mural Grey did at Wynwood  Walls & Art District in Miami

Current situation!!! #miami #wynwood #mural #victorious #cremedelacreme #songbyskylergrgey

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clockwork cros

Meet Clockwork Cros, the surrealist artist making the LES relevant again

Artist Clockwork Cros has a lot of time on his hands. Literally. Straight out of the LES, Crosby creates iconic timepieces with the faces of controversial actors, artists, and athletes.

His art is an expression of himself to the world and Crosby draws inspiration from what he considers classic New York street smarts and artists who have reached a level of public notoriety like Warhol, Haring, Basquiat, and Salvador Dali.

Crosby’s collection of clocks plays off of art history, mixing surrealism and pop culture to manufacture unique timepieces. So, what makes Clockwork Cros tick? Kulture Hub caught up with the post-post-modern clockmaker to find out.

Crosby matured alongside his NYC neighborhood in the LES. His childhood witnessed the end of a drug kingdom and the beginning of a gentrified society. His parents are artists and were very active in their neighborhood, fighting for the homeless in Tompkins Square Park (aka Tent City).

Clockwork’s activist parents and transitional LES habitat is what inspired the clock king to sell art.

Artist Clockwork Cros told us about that inspiration,

“The LES is a big part of my identity and I’ve been told I have the bohemian torch to bear. So, I take it as a responsibility to represent that to the best of my ability. I mean, I still love how it influenced me, even if my hood doesn’t mean the same thing anymore.”

It wasn’t an easy come up for Crosby and as for any young starving artist, sometimes proved difficult. Can you imagine not knowing when the next payday will come or where you’re going to crash for the night? Clockwork Crosby can.

Through the strenuous periods, Crosby always stayed optimistic and focused on his work. He compared his work ethic to baseball where, “you never know when that home run will come, but it won’t happen if you’re not swinging. I’m just out here swinging away and it’s hitting so it’s just a matter of time until I get that home run.”

You can see the survivalist passion in his work as creating art is not some “regular job.”

For Cros, it’s what he does to survive.

Cros’ wall clock collections are unmatched. He puts a little touch of his personality into the pieces he creates. He places double cut images of celeb faces and digital working clock movements on the eye of each unforgettable face in history.

The icons he selects for his clocks are to serve as an inspiration for the people who purchase them.

“My clocks aren’t supposed to mean the same thing to me as they do for the person who owns it. Everyone has a different inspiration and I always tell people, ‘You are not gonna buy a clock that inspires me. You want one who inspires you on your wall in your home.'”

Crosby added,

“So, people aren’t buying a clock because I’m poppin’, they are buying a clock because who ever they buy represents something they want to look at and inspire to be. I’m in over 3000 homes at this point and I wouldn’t be if I made people buy who I wanted them to. The clocks are for my people to grow and become better, in whatever sense they want. I think that’s the beauty of it.”

Beautiful indeed.

Crosby had a message for the youth dem – don’t be afraid to create something positive.

Crosby’s gorgeous collections of clocks also include collaborations with LES staple Mikey Likes It Ice Cream and Lola Jiblazee.

Mikey is the homie. The two have been down for more than a decade. Crosby and his crony used to plot and scheme into the late of the night thinking of ways to create art that would make waves in the industry. The artistic pair has done a clock of the month for three years straight.

The Mikey Likes It Ice Cream clock collaboration looks like something out of Salvador Dali’s famous painting The Persistence of Memory with a touch of melting ice cream.

Clocks bear melting facial images of important people from pop culture like Mr.T, Jimi Hendrix, and Frida Kahlo.

Cros’ Paragon collaboration with Jiblazee is colorfully different. Each icon used for a clock face is splashed with a matchless color wave. A purple Stevie Wonder and a yellow Basquiat with polka-dotted hair give off that abstract vibe.

Jiblazee is like a sister to Crosby. Their collaboration was one of the first experiences he had working with another artist who had their own interpretation of the faces for the clocks.

Cros told us about working with Jiblazee on their collection saying,

“The Paragon collection is a collaboration between me and Lola Jiblazee from the Republic of Georgia. It’s one of my first series working with another artist. We did an interoperation of faces for the clocks.”

They took their work beyond the LES down to Art Basel in Miami,

“We have shown together in a couple of group shows and she is like my sister. So, we did this series for Art Basel last year. We sold the whole collection to a gallery in Miami which was dope!”

Besides clocks, Crosby’s artistic talents have made it to the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park for The Connective Project, which celebrates Prospect Park’s 150th Anniversary.

The Yellow Warblers piece Cros submitted displays four Yellow Warbler birds on a black and yellow pinwheel design.

The Yellow Warbler is one of many species known to chill in the park.

Any Prospect Park goer will know the Warbler for its fire chirping bars. Crosby looked to late poet Maya Angelou for his artist statement for the piece, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

What’s next for artist Clockwork Cros? The Clock King told us “More shows, more art, more everything. And some music, but that time will come.”

But what is his inspiration to keep going? The LES is artist Clockwork Cros’ secret ingredient to his motivation. As a leader in a new renaissance of the classic NYC neighborhood, he’s gonna keep pushing the envelope and putting it on for the lower.