Monday, November 30, 2009

Escalators Vs. Stairs = Making Stairs Fun Again

This is just brilliant.  Seriously. We need this in Union Square.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Shai Dahan was invited back to YRB Magazine to be featured in their art section.
This time, they asked for his interpretation of the word RAW and the relation of it to Rock & Roll.

Shai took Sid & Nancy and gave them a nice and controversial twist. We dig it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Get Yo' Shoe Shined

On November 21st Brooklynite Gallery will open "Go Get Your Shinebox". This group show will feature over 100 works from artists all looking to answer the question of how to survive in these economic times by creating their own interpretation of a "Survival Box." Brooklynite Gallery has commissioned some of their favorite established and emerging artist to take on this challenge and the responses are breathtaking.

Artists such as Dain, Miss Bugs, PaperMonster, Anthony Lister, Ben Eine, Jace, Thundercut, Skewville, Ben Frost, Jon Burgerman, Specter, Skewville, Know Hope, Kosbe, Gaia, Ben Frost, Hush, Billi Kid, Cake and many more have all created a one of a kind box, each taking the concept of the show one step further. You can view the entire lists of artists participating and more information by visiting Brooklynite Gallery's Site:


Featuring Over 100 Artists
Trying to Survive in This Economy

November 21 - December 19

A or C Subway to UTICA AVE.




Billi Kid


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Abztract supports STOKED AWARDS 2009

On Thursday, STOKED MENTORING held their annual Stoked Awards to celebrate the success, inspiration and achievement for Stoked.
Stoked is a youth development program that utilizes the power of non-traditional sports and mentoring to create successful teens.

This year, Abztract had the pleasure to donate the skills and talents of our in-house artist Shai Dahan. Along with his father, Jacob (who is an excellent wood craftsman), shaped and hand painted custom awards for the Stoked Award evening gala (seen above).

The awards were given to Bob McKnight, CEO of Quiksilver. Jonathan Drubner and Erick Tobar (Mentor and Mentee pair) and Dan Bealey. An additional surprise award was given to Sal Masekela.

We are proud of the awards we have been able to provide for the event as well as being able to support and take part of this amazing charity.

You may visit STOKED on their site at: and read more about the awards and the recipients at

images below via Flickr: by Indegrow

Jonathan Drubner and Erick Tobar

Sal Masekela

Artist Abe Lincoln Jr. freehanding a design on the amazing Nooka toys

Bob McKnight of Quiksilver

Thursday, November 12, 2009

City Bird

This is awesome

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Make Art Not War : Chor Boogie stabbed over spray paint

According to ABC news San Francisco, Chor Boogie, a San Fran muralist and street-artist was stabbed while painting a mural as part of a project for the city. Four people approached him and then stabbed him when they tried to steal his paint. Watch the video below.

The Dark Side of Art

UPDATE: Due to recent scams and apparently a whole plethora of blog posts, forum discussions and articles (including posts by David Flores, Shepard Fairy and Kaws) in regards to the very shady business practices that Art Asylum Boston have been conducting (both robbing customers for money or refusing to pay artists or even offering art from famous artist for a charity event that never existed) we want to let our readers and fans know that we are in no way affiliated to them. To know more about what AAB did, you may visit: The Life Vicarious as well as read our official statement HERE.
We will leave the post below in its original form (somewhat) so that viewers can still enjoy the photos and info from the night.

We here at Abztract are fans of three things. 1) Street Art. first and foremost. 2) The occasional skate or surf session when time permits it. and 3) Star Wars.

This past weekend, we drove up to Boston to be part of the Art Strikes Back art show curated by Art Asylum Boston.
Not only did the event have booze and amazing art by the likes of KAWS, Mr. Brainwash, RYCA, Scribe, Evoker, David Flores, Shai Dahan, Rourke Van Dal, our pal Arkiv and many others, but it also had the blessing of Lucas Films (UPDATE: Some of the artists including KAWS have come forward that they never offered their art to this event and are unsure how AAB got their work for this event. It also has come out that Lucas Films never gave their blessings regardless of AAB confirming this to us). To put icing on the cake, the event had three storm troopers in full decked out outfits at the event who spent the time dancing, drinking and most importantly, posing inappropriately with guests (which we will keep in our personal collection as to not embarrass the Empire).

Below are a few images from the event and you can see ALL the photos from the event by visiting our ABZTRACT Flickr page by clicking here:

Abztract co-founder Shai Dahan, Rebels, and Art Asylum Boston founder Jason Zenga
Update: Abztract/Shai Dahan is no longer in contact with Jason Zenga and has no affiliation with Jason or AAB.

Snapshot: Owls and Bucks

New ink sketches by artist Shai Dahan.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Reminder: Art Strikes Back in Boston - Nov. 6th

This Friday, Nov. 6th, artists Shai Dahan and Arkiv of our Abztract Collective will be taking part of the Art Strikes Back event curated by our good friends at Art Asylum Boston.

If you are in Boston, make sure to stop by. Shai Dahan will be in attendence along with some of the other artists who make up the fantastic roster (30+ artists).

Below are images of the pieces that will be on display by Shai Dahan and Arkiv along with the flyer and additional details:

IMPERIAL NATIVE TOTEM (by Shai Dahan): Available for purchase through

THE TRAP (by Shai Dahan): Available for purchase through

by Arkiv: Available for purchase through

by Arkiv: Available for purchase through

Art Asylum Boston

Inspirations From Above:

Unique, Imaginative, Intricate, and Emotive "Art Strikes Back" is an extraordinary collection of art featuring the works of over 30 artists from around the world, inspired by one of the most influential films of all time...

Featured Artists Include:
Adriean Koleric, Arkiv, Biserama, Cassandra, David Flores, Dolk, Dustin Mounce, Eli Rutten, Eelus, Eyeski, Evoker, Fake, Fas, Joshua Budich, Justin Volpe, Jon-Paul Kaiser, Kaws, Lil'Tuffy, Landon Richmond, MCA, Michael Mitchell, Matt Mcguire, Mr. Brainwash, Mariangela Tan, Nathan Caberara, Nick-Z, Pure Evil, RYCA, Ryan Madden, Raffa Jenn, Rourke Van Dale, Ric Stultz, Sab_One, Scribe, Shai Dahan, Sucklord, Spencer Davis, Stolen...

Opening Reception:
Friday, November 6th
7:00 - 9:00pm
(Exhibition Runs through December 6th)

1301 Boylston St.
Boston, Ma 02215

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Last Call: Why we adore Venice Beach

We are done posting today.  But not without a bit of nostalgia.  Granted, this nostalgic moment is more for us than anything else.  See, some of the Abztract fam is residing in Venice while the rest used to and are now in gorgeous NYC (for reasons we love too).  But watching this video reminds all of us that sometimes, life needs a bit of sand in between the toes.

Venice's People: Canon 7D 24p from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

The Banksy Debate

Almost everyone has heard of Banksy at some point. My mom even knows who he is.
Problem is, you either love him or hate him. Perhaps, "Hate" is harsh. Maybe I should use the word, hate his celebrity status.
For those who have been living behind a wall (possibly painted by Banksy at one point), Banksy is a notorious street-artist from Bristol, London who's claim to fame has been creating controversial and thought provoking stencil art (among many other projects).

Well, this post is not about giving a crash course on Banksy and how his work fills the halls of celebrity mansions. Despite the tone of this post, I (along with the entire Abztract fam) remain big fans of his work and really believe he paved a major road to street-art getting the attention (both good and bad) that it deserves.

This post is not about Banksy. It is about double standard.
Yesterday, the BBC news website (among a few other outlets) announced how a recent stencil painted by Banksy in South London was actually put to a vote by Sutton Council on wether to preserve it.
This is not the first time London has attempted to preserve his work. For the most part, he is their posterchild of street-art. He is the "new age Michael Angelo". But at the end of the day, he is by all things, a street artist.
As the voting was going on behind Council doors, vandals (much like Banksy himself) chose to deface his mural that was (according to BBC) going to be saved and preserved after 93% of the 250 council voters chose to save it instead of buffer it.

The reason I chose to write about this is because I have recently been part of the NYSAT 2 (New York Street Ad Takeover) where a group of street artists took to the streets and whitewashed and painted over illegal advertisements placed by an outdoor ad company named NPA. The issue that boiled my blood was that seven street artists and white washers were arrested that day for vandalism. NPA on the other hand, operates over 500 illegal banners in NYC alone, were out posting new ads without a single arrest (and this goes on by them year after year). Not to mention that the Vandal Squad, who is the NYC group responsible for capturing street-artists and graffiti writers in NYC have a staff of 75 while the team that is responsible for giving fines and problems to illegal advertising operators such as NPA, are staffed by only 4 people.
In a nutshell, an artist can go and paint flowers on a wall and likely be arrested within 30 minutes while someone else who is posting ads of half naked Abercrombie & Fitch ads across the street from an elementary school can go freely and without hassle.

This same double standard applies to the Banksy debate. While Banksy is a world renowned artist who has done some real great work, he is still a vandal and asking to "preserve" his art is nearly a slap in the face to all other artists who have painted that same wall before.
Of course, if the owner of the building commissioned Banksy to paint something, it would be a different story, but it isn't the case. This is an exact same celebrity treatment that TV, Movie and Music celebs get. They drive drunk and do not go to jail or they beat their girlfriends and can walk freely for a week before being questioned and detained.

Again, I am a big fan of the guy and his work, but I know that he does his art on the street because it is not meant to be preserved. Art that is supposed to be preserved is resting in his collection at a local museum. The whole point of street-art and graffiti in general is that it is placed, gets buffed out, gets painted over again, buffed out, and so on. Nobody ever expects their work on the street to last any longer than the average tagger.

Of course, some would make the case that his mural in S. London that was defaced was painted over by ugly tagging. I would strike that as irrelevant. Vandalism is vandalism. If someone better than Banksy defaced his mural instead, would that be ok?

I apologize for the rant. The rant is directed mostly at the Sutton Council who even attempted to preserve it. While it is nice that they are trying to help preserve art on the streets, you should not pick one artist and still throw others in the slammer. Take a class in equal artist rights from places like Brazil who took measures to legalize graffiti (link).

If you are going to make an exception, either make it for all, or don't make it at all. Can't be friends with one artists and a cop to another. That is just not right.

What are your thoughts? Leave them in our comment section. We would love to know how you view the issue.

SpY : Madrid and beyond

Public Art should (not always necessarily) deliver a message of sort. Wether it makes you think. Makes you more aware of your surrounding or community. Or maybe just to make you smile.

We came across a Madrid artist by the name of SpY today. We spent some time checking out his website and found it absolutely fascinating. Nearly every project in his "Intervention" collections seem to have a purpose and a message. We strongly recommend checking them out.

Below is his bio along with some images grabbed from his site to hopefully convince you to check out the rest we couldn't post.

From the ABOUT section on his site (

SpY is an artist from Madrid. His first actions appeared in the middle eighties. Shortly after, already a national reference as a graffiti artist, he started to work with other forms of artistic communication in the street: large posters, modified billboards, interventions that were experimental in the first nineties.

His work consists in the playful reappropiation of urban elements, that he replicates or transforms and then installs in the street. All his production stems from the observation of the urban environmnet, a sense sharpened by years of experience as a graffiti artist. A careful attention for the context of each piece and a constructive and non-invasive attitude unmistakably characterize his actions.

SpY's pieces want to be a break in the automat-like inertia of the urban dweller. Bits of thought that hide in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. Full of both irony and a positive sense of humor, they appear to inspire a smile, a thought, to help a conscience a little bit more lucid.

"In the future, everyone has 15 MPGs of fame"

Some D*Face-ing in Meatpacking District, NYC

Lights. Camera. D*Face. (is that a Dickchicken Pizza piece on the left?)

Dface Meatpacking District Piece from Tom Blachford on Vimeo.

Cardboard Animation - Monsters Are Here

Love this stop motion animation using cardboard. This was made by a Dutch artist by the name of Sjors vervoort.

Logan Hicks X C215 in Show & Tell Gallery : Toronto

We are big big fans of both Logan Hicks and French artist C215.
Well, this image was captured by our good friend Luna Park who is always one photo ahead of everyone :)
The image is of work by artist C215 and was captured right here in NYC.

C215 along with amazingly talented Logan Hicks, are having an art opening at Show & Tell Gallery in Toronto starting Nov. 6th - Nov. 29th.

Info for event is below. If you are anywhere near, do NOT miss out on this event.

STOKED Awards : In the making

Abztract tries to give back to the community whenever we can and however we can.
For the past four years, we have donated original skateboard art to Life Rolls On Foundation and Stoked Mentoring including having some of our featured artists donate this year to LRO (including work by Veng, Billi Kid, ChrisRWK and Shai Dahan).

This year, Stoked is having their STOKED AWARDS, giving awards to those who have given above and beyond to their charity and who have made a notable contribution to their cause of helping teens stay off the streets through action sports like skateboarding and surfing.

Abztract is currently in the process of producing the custom hand painted awards that will be given out to the recipients at this years award show.
Below are some images of Jacob Dahan, an amazing craftsman who was kind enough to donate his time and talent to shaping miniature surfboards out of wood. The boards will then be shipped to the Abztract NYC art studio where his son, Shai Dahan will be hand painting each of the boards. We will bring photos of the process Shai is taking to paint them as well as final images when they are completed and post them here exclusively next week.

The awards are on Nov. 12th and you can get tix to the event here: TICKETS & INFO