From the Outside In: Avoid, Bloke and Faro at Factory Fresh
Bushwisk’s nebulous art scene has been gestating for roughly two years, and now graffitists and members of the ADHD Kids crew, Avoid, Bloke and Faro, have created their first joint installation at Factory Fresh. It closes in four days, so the time to hop the L is now, folks—at least if you want to preview the next decade of art-in-Brooklyn. (Although the show's very premise, 2012--based on the Mayan calendar's apocalypse--seems to question if we even have a decade...)
Sidenote: the work is affordably priced and only half-sold…remember how rich those early Basquiat collectors became? Or more recently, how pieces from artists like Barry McGee and Swoon have shot-up in monetary value? Not that this work is supposed to be about commercial profit, but by operating in a gallery space, these artists have entered the market. And the market is a game, and everyone likes to win at games.
On the artists...
Faro (pronounced “Pharoh”) is an Egyptian-American artist who displays his roots in his subject matter: bandage-wrapped mummies go punk in leather jackets, while the turrets and domes of north African village-scapes march proudly against cartoon-flat hillsides. You’ve seen Faro’s tags around lower Manhattan (the “A” in Faro is actually a mummy), but his gallery-mummies are more gothic and delicately rendered—and a bit reminiscent of Edward Gory characters.
Although he's also a tagger, my favorite Bloke signatures are the simple geometric whizzing paper airplanes painted directly on big blank walls, with plenty of space for their “exhaust.” In the Factory Fresh show, these airplanes appear as round cutesy wooden cut-outs, dangling from the ceiling. There are also plenty of Bloke’s familiar blimps in attendance.
Avoid does slithering creatures and those cuddly-cameras, which stand both as comment on his "trade," since every street artist is highly aware of mounted cameras (of the non-cuddly variety), and as a satirical remark on surveillance—made all the more poignant by this week’s New York Times headline about the invasion of our email. He also uses bright colors and gold-leaf lettering to create witty and provocative slogan on wooden plates.
Some images from the street and the show…