A Drop in the Ocean: Acool55

I knew next to nothing about Acool55 when I went to meet him in the East Village. I had been drawn to the artist for his message – his works are imbued with socio-political and environmental meaning. So, I stood in Fresco Gelateria, unsure of who I was looking for. I noticed two Italian gentlemen in the corner of the coffee shop. One turned and I read his jacket: “Make Toys Not Guns.” We shared some brief introductions and espresso, before Acool55 led the three of us, including Frank his assistant, over to his studio with a call of “Andiamo!”
Sold Mag

Free Art Friday, Past and Present

It was a perfect fall Friday; sunny skies, a light breeze, and free art to be found. Much of street art’s charm comes from the romanticism of discovery, to stumble upon a piece unexpectedly, and admire the work. The ephemeral nature of the medium adds to the allure, knowing one day the piece may be buffed or replaced leads the viewer to develop a deeper connection. However, for the dedicated fans there is also the pain of loss when a favored street artist disappears from the wall. But the tradition of Free Art Friday, founded by My Dog Sighs, gives art lovers a chance to collect, to seek out the treasure hunt. And for a fortunate few that fall day, an art drop organized by Big Ronnie let them take home a canvas from some of New York’s finest.

Dirty Disco: 3rd Ethos Gallery, the Third Place

“The name of the gallery comes from a conversation between [a friend] and I. We were brainstorming ideas, and I had a few names picked out, a few concepts, but I wasn’t sure. So we drank wine, just brainstorming. I always liked the number 3 for its significance: the trinity, the magical manifesting number. So we were trying to work that in. She mentioned this idea of the third place. It is an idea that the first place is your home, the second your work, and the third an environment where you go to socialize with your community. And that sounded perfect.”

No Limit Funk: FunQest

R&B, hip-hop, soul, and funk — his style lets music be the muse. Before getting into street art, he pursued life as a singer, but gave it up when he came to Harlem. He joked that he could not compete with the local scene. “The quality is so high!” But to FunQest, East Harlem is home, and it is where he wants to create. As a street artist, he has worked with organizations like the 100 Gates Project and East Village Walls, painting low in the Lower East Side and up in the Bronx, but the heart of his work remains in Harlem. FunQest lamented that much of the uptown scene has moved to the Upper East Side, but his ambition is to be part of the movement to rejuvenate a new artistic renaissance. "I want to shine in Harlem."

Snatch the Crown: OG Millie

On the outskirts of the outer borough, I took the long ride to Jamaica, Queens. I was there to interview OG Millie, the ambitious and innovative artist looking to shake up the game. She welcomed me into the lab, a garage converted into an art studio, decked out in mirrors - floor to ceiling. Still healing from a recent operation, Millie wore her iconic eyepatch, etched with the OG logo. We spoke about overcoming obstacles and her creative vision.
Well Pleased We Dream

Ariel of Acebal: An Artist in Town

Under the dark sky of Argentina, the bus bounced along dirt backroads. We’d left Rosario an hour or so ago, and the distance had been filled mostly with visions of rural life. Civilization arrived in Acebal, and as we entered town I gazed lazily through the window. Pictures of quaint homes flashed by in quick session, when a four-eyed cat caught my eye. I blinked, unsure of what I’d seen. The bus carried on. Sabrina and I got off at her home, and I went to bed wondering about the mural.

The Stack: World Order - Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger is one of the most influential statesmen in American history. The former Secretary of State is known for expanding a policy of detente with the Soviet Union, opening China to trade, the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam war, his tangled relationship with President Nixon, public calls for him to be tried for war crimes, and adopting a strong element of realpolitik into foreign policy. His is a divided legacy.

The Stack: Masters of Mankind - Noam Chomsky

In his decades-long career, Noam Chomsky has transcended academia into pop culture; in effect he has become the epitome of the modern American intellectual. Through his scholarly work in the fields of linguistics and philosophy, and his willingness to challenge the political status quo, Chomsky has made a name for himself as one of the most articulate critics of contemporary society. Masters of Mankind reads like a greatest hits of Chomsky’s essays and lectures, with the seven collected in Masters of Mankind ranging from 1969 to 2013, covering a diversity of topics, all of which are explored with intelligent insight.
Sold Mag

Detour and the Denver Scene

Last week, the Crush Walls festival kicked off its seventh year. Set in Denver’s RiNo Art District, the week-long event brought together local, national and international artists together. Creative Rituals Under Social Harmony, Crush, originated with local graffiti artist Robin Munro [aka Dread] in 2010, and has since grown substantially, alongside Denver itself. As the Sold Mag Crew made its way around the festival, it was my mission to meet with Thomas Evans, better known as Detour.
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