Friday, October 30, 2009

The Rebirth of

Co-founder of Abztract Shai Dahan has relaunched his "Deckyourself" website where he creates custom hand painted skate decks. Shai has done skateboards for Perez Hilton, Sweet Action Ice Cream and even worked with some charities such as Life Rolls On and Stoked Mentoring.

We are excited to see him relaunch this site because while limited edition skate designs are a dime-a-dozen, custom made ones which feature your dog or even your favorite video game, is something hard to find.

Kudos for the relaunch. We look forward to the ever growing collection on that site. Also,
some of his current works featured on that site are available on our ABZTRACT SHOP, so make sure to grab one before they are gone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pirates & CIA Timelapse

This is just beyond awesomeness. Also, shout-out to the dude wearing the black DTA shirt!

OBEY X LEVI'S @ Times Square : Live Install with Shep

Shepard Fairey will be in NYC today for the live installation at the Levi's Times Square shop.
Shepard has partnered up with Levi's for an OBEY X LEVI's collection. He will be at the shop doing the install and signing posters for those who want to go check this out details are below:

Obey x Levi’s Live Installation by Shepard Fairey Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:00 pm – 12:00 am The Levi’s® Store, Times Square 1501 Broadway (between W. 44th and 43rd Street) New York, NY 10036

The Blue Elephant

Love this

Via Testa Flickr

Tel Aviv Graffiti Trailer

We came across this video trailer to a documentary about the graffiti and street art scene in Israel. The art scene in Israel has been getting a lot of exposure as of lately and even the likes of KNOW HOPE who we are big fans of, has had a lot of work throughout Tel Aviv and Israel in general.
One of us here at Abztract speaks Hebrew and took a shot at translating some of it.
One of the artists in the video is heard saying "To people who may ask, why it is we do this? It's because we don't know what we would do without it"
Another tells the camera "Everyday I am not out doing graffiti, I feel like I am missing something."
Another speaks about his current standings with the law as an artists telling the camera "Basically, if I get caught for writing the smallest letter on something, I go to jail".

The video may not be much (moves very fast and most of it is in Hebrew) but its a nice glimpse into the graffiti scene in Israel.

Rogue Status Gun Show Footwear

Our friends at Rogue Status just keep making moves and we are stoked to see them reach new markets and doing new things.
Here are images straight from their catalog which feature the version 1.0 of their Gun Show ALPHA kicks.
Two versions will drop (high and low) and each will have the option of having the gun print on either outside or inside of your kicks.

Release date is set for 11.13.2009 and by our guess, they will be sold out before you can tie your shoes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gruesome Demise Art Show : October 30th @ Pandemic

Our friends at Pandemic Gallery are putting together the most horrific art show to hit the streets since the Joan Rivers portraits show in the late 90's.

The event will have gruesome, zombified art on display by some of our pals including Royce Bannon and Keely.

Go check it out. Should be an amazing show.


Opening reception
Friday, Oct. 30th 2009 (come in costume if you dare)
7 - 11pm
Complimentary Colt 45s to all

@ Pandemic Gallery
37 Broadway (btwn Kent & Wythe)
Brooklyn, NY 111211

info at:

Million Snowmen March

It's winter. Saddest part about winter is that street-art pretty much hibernates. Artists don't hit the streets to put up new work as much (atleast not many) and even if some do, it is very unenjoyable to go roam the streets to find the new pieces and catch them on camera.

But, art comes in many shapes and forms. Sometimes, that form is frozen H2O.
We ran across this image via Urban Pranksters who found it originally on Flickr.
We just couldn't resist posting it here too. I mean seriously, this is pretty damn cool.

Some may say "Well, this isn't art". But we see art partly defined as:
1) something that takes time, creativity and thought
2) Uses elements beyond just the normal (pencil and paper)
3) provide some sort of thought or emotion.
We think this accomplishes all three so yes, to us atleast, this is art.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NYSAT2 Timelapse X Philip & Shai Interview

Curious how easy it is to roam the New York City streets and whitewash illegal advertisements? Get an orange vest and nobody will ever question your doings.
To see a timelapse video of artist MOMO use this vacant billboard to place his amazing work, make sure to go to The Street Spot to see it: The Street Spot Site

Video timelapse via Luna Park

also, Shai Dahan and Philip Lumbang were approached by the folks at and gave a video interview about why they took part of the NYSAT 2. Check it out below.

Uncovering Hug Life

As the NPA found out about what was going down on the afternoon of Oct. 25th, the illegal advertising company was quick as lightning to repost all the artwork with ugly new ads.

But, in every strike there is a counter strike. Here is a great examples of people not letting the possibility of defeat ruin the hope to continue to fight.

These two guys managed to make it in time to the HUG LIFE billboard art made by Philip Lumbang during the NYSAT2 and managed to peel off the newly posted posters plastered by NPA only hours after the art was completed.

Major kudos to these guys.

Monday, October 26, 2009

VENG Interview

We first met Veng from Robots Will Kill on a hot summer rooftop while painting away on the James & Karla Murray Store Fronts for the MOM&POPism show.
We have to be honest, we were very intimidated by the Robots Will Kill crew. Those guys have paid their dues for a very long time, and to us here at Abztract, it was much like meeting the band you were listening to in hopes to get inspiration while you attempted to start your own band.

As artists, you always look for inspiration and the crew at RWK have been on our radar for a very long time. Now that we had the chance to collaborate with Chris and Veng from RWK, we had the pleasure to chat with Veng and ask him a bit about what inspires him, who the characters in his paintings are and if all of it is connected to one another.


How do you describe your art? Is there a story attached to the characters you paint?
I would describe my art as semi realistic on the surface, while abstract in thought and design. For the characters there is not so much a story with them but a look. I wanted to have characters that were different and stood on their own. They end up being a mesh of all the things I have been inspired from, 15th century paintings to contemporary styles.

Does that lead to one specific thing you enjoy painting most?
I can’t say there is one thing I love to paint more then another, nature is a favorite topic though (birds, insects, leaves,).

Does that help you evolve as an artist?
For me it's a day to day thing, all I can say is that I hope to be able to paint till the end, learn new things and meet new people along the way.

You have been painting as part of the Robots Will Kill family for a while. When you paint, is there a difference between paintings as part of RWK as compared to painting just as Veng?
To me there is no difference; the only difference is it’s with old friends or new ones.

What drew you to working with them and how did you all meet?
I'm from Staten Island where rwk was started and over the years we eventually met, we knew the same people and just started to paint and we got along and had similar interest, so it just fit to be part of the same group. I met ecb through the event meeting of styles and just became good friends beyond just painting walls. Loomit who is not rwk but just a good friend I had met on my first trip to Germany and ever since have painted with him over there.

It seems like you travel a lot to Europe. How is it painting abroad in comparison to painting back home?
For me Europe is the ultimate, the writers over there have tons of techniques, have spaces to paint I only wish were back in NY.
The biggest thing from over there to here is the overall corporation the cities have to spray paint art rather than here, but I feel its better here now than ever. NY is where home is for me though and for that its special.

Is there a place locally here in NY or abroad that you enjoy painting most? And if so, why that place?
Tough question. Spain was amazing the writers there are painting machines, Germany for its techniques and its work ethic. NY for its vibe. There is not one place I enjoy more and can only hope to explore tons of new places in the future.

It seems that due to the economic struggle, galleries all across the world and even here at home in NYC are closing up shop. The economy is really affecting the art scene and it almost seems like there are more and more people coming out trying to save, or better yet, keep the art scene afloat. Do you sense that the art scene is coming back better and stronger?
These are tough times for sure; time will tell if it’s better and stronger. It depends on the artists!!

So as an artist, what method or ideas are you currently exploring?
I have been working on trompe l'œil pieces again and I am having a lot of fun looking deeper into what I'm painting. With painting I'm looking to explore more texture effects from animal fur to metals etc.

Well it seems like your art is very detailed and time consuming. When you paint on canvas or on a wall, do you get attached to it? Or do you paint so that you can let them be part of someone's home or community?
For me art is about making people feel connected to it in some way, so I only can hope people feel this when they buy or see work of mine in the street. I’m connected to everything I paint and look at it to try to achieve better results for the next piece, but I’m more excited to get the pieces out of my mind to let new ones in.

Ok, last question: If you could ask any artist dead or alive one question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Very easy question! Jan van Eyck and what his process was for painting and the medium he used. His work to me is the best in that his surfaces are one of a kind. Much debate has been over how and what he did so to know this would be amazing.

You can see VENG's full work at his Flickr page by clicking here.

The Streets : For The People By The People

As we mentioned, On Sunday Oct. 25th, a large group of activists, artists, and folks who came from far and wide (we met artists and whitewashers from Los Angeles, Seattle and even Toronto) all came together to reclaim the New York City streets back from illegal advertising from NPA Advertising. NPA is a company who operates as an advertising billboard company that wheatpastes movie posters in over 500 locations across the city and spreads wider yearly.

On Sunday, artists across the scene came together to whitewash these illegal billboards and give something back to the city. Each artist used the newly whitewashed space to give some free art back to the public. Not only did the white canvas draw attention from the public who grew so immune to seeing ads on their block day in and day out, but to give them some art gave them the beauty to enjoy a gorgeous Sunday outside their home and feel like their own block is special. That is something NPA can never achieve.

Jordan Seiler, an Abztract featured artist but most importantly, started Public Ad Campaign which brings a great deal of attention as to how the illegal advertising is taking over the public spaces across the world and how sometimes (much like on Oct. 25th), the public has to take action to its own hands.

Below is a collection of some of the work that only a small percentage of artists put up. The NPA company (along with some NYPD officers) hit the streets hard. 5 arrests were made that day but the project was a huge success getting a ton of attention across the internet including New York Times. NPA already covered all of the artwork with new advertisements and the whitewashed canvases are now only a memory from yesterdays past. But the battle will go on. This is only the second time NYSAT was put on and it hit NPA and their operations harder then the first time. Fret not as we are sure many more takeovers are to come in the future.

For now, enjoy the images below for they will be on websites for years to come and THAT is something NPA can never repost new posters over.

Make sure to click on the links below to the photographers Flickr pages to see these in full size along with other images not shown here.

Images courtesy of Luna Park, Sabeth718, Unurth, Gaia


Beth Whitney @ Meatpacking District

Monty Burns takes on Bloomberg



Royce Bannon

Sir. Dickchicken

Moses Says

Mexican Wrestlers

Royce Bannon and Friends

SERF & MINT do a BUFF BUM (a photo of an actual NPA employee)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NYSAT2 : Shai Dahan and Philip Lumbang help take illegal advertisement down

On Sunday, October 25th, 2009, along with our good friends of Public Ad Campaign, Philip Lumbang from LA and Shai Dahan hit the NYC streets to help whitewash illegal advertising that are placed throughout the city by NPA Advertising.

From 10 a.m., Shai and Phil, along with a more than 50 other whitewashers in groups of twos took to the streets to take back public space from illegal advertising.

Below are a few images of Phil's and Shai's work. Unfortunately, NPA and the NYPD found out about the plan rather early and many locations were either re-pasted by NPA with new ads or artists were ticketed and/or arrested.

But, we here still see it as a success. New photos of other artists coming soon to new posts.