Street Art Days - Jared Levy

Mr. Urbano gave me numerous links of possible photographers to invite to contribute to the Street Art Days Exhibition. One photographer who responded was Jared Levy. He is a native New Yorker currently living in São Paulo, Brazil documenting both the street and graffiti culture as well as working on various projects based in the Amazon. Below are a sampling of some of his excellent photographs along with text. He has added important insights into the world of street art. You can see more of Jared's work here.

Belin on Ben Yehuda Street, Tel Aviv, Israel:

This photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and 45mm Tilt/Shift lens. The artist, Belin from Spain, was one of many artists traveling Israel painting with children and local community leaders. The program was sponsored by the non-profit ‘Artists 4 Israel.’ Belin has become an international phenomenon through his use of realism. He generally uses faces of friends to create jaw-dropping murals. His ability to recreate natural light as it falls over facial features takes his work to a new level. In this photo, it is easy to forget that it was an overcast day.  I particularly enjoy using tilt/shift lenses as a way to direct the viewer towards what I find to be the most interesting aspect within the frame.

Binho paints a mural in Clube Jardim São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil:

This photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 45mm Tilt/Shift. In Brazil sport and leisure clubs are areas where communities come together to swim, play soccer and take part in a variety of outdoor activities. Clube Jardim is famous for being covered in graffiti. The artists that rep these walls are usually from this area and frequent the club with their families as well. In a sense, it works as the areas unofficial ‘wall of fame.’ The artist, Binho, has become internationally recognized for his unique concept of ‘tagging’ animals. The bird seen in the picture went on to have Binho’s letters covering its colorful blue feathers. Binho is most famous for his fish murals but has also performed the same technique with birds, lizards and rabbits to name a few.

Highraff takes a photo of his work in the Bienal Graffiti Fine Art exhibit at the MuBE Museum, São Paulo, Brazil:

This photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and 70-210L F2.8. This photo highlights where this art form is currently headed. The artist, Highraff, takes a picture of his finished work inside the ‘Graffiti Fine Art’ exhibition. (Highraff’s work is on the far left. The middle rainbow is the work of Zezão and the image on the far bottom right is the beginning of the piece by Boleta.) I believe it is important to note the current revolution happening within the graffiti subculture. Mainstream art venues such as art museums have begun to notice the importance and general public interest in graffiti. While this picture is not a standard street art photo i.e., a photo taken in the street, I believe it brings to the forefront of the street art discussion the notion that this type of art is in a period of transition. These artists are gaining legitimacy in the eyes of the art world’s ‘elite.’ How much graffiti artists actually care about the opinions of the ‘elite’ is another story altogether.

Presto paints fine details on a wall in Tucuruvi, São Paulo, Brazil:

This photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105L F4. I chose this picture to highlight the various techniques artists are using to create unique styles and aesthetics. The artist, Presto, is known for extremely fine detail. His characters are all variations on aliens of some kind. With this photo, you can see the small stick used to jam the spray cap. This technique creates thin lines allowing for a type of detail not usually scene in the spray can medium. These cans in general have evolved greatly since companies started making spray paint exclusively for graffiti. Artists have taken the evolution one step further with these personalized enhancements. Large murals filled with very fine details results in an awe inspiring final product that leaves the general public thinking, “how did he do that?”

Bras Metro Station at sunset. Bras, São Paulo, Brazil:

This photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 45mm Tilt/Shift. While this photo does not have art within the frame, I wanted to share this to highlight the corporate interest in graffiti. Off the frame to the right is a large mural that was painted in coordination with the ‘Graffiti Fine Art’ exhibition. The mural was sponsored by the train company, which helps connect the various parts of the greater São Paulo metropolis. Transportation hubs have become increasingly interested in displaying graffiti and street art. It is a great symbiotic relationship as the artists expose their work to a much larger audience. In addition to train stations, airports have also shown interest in graffiti. The Denver international airport is currently considering a large street inspired mural within its complex. These types of venues attract over 10 million visitors per year and help spread an artist’s notoriety worldwide.

Moises Patricio paints inside an abandoned factory in Santo André, Brazil:

This photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 15mm Fisheye. The artist, Moises Patricio, took to the abandoned factories located in the São Paulo suburbs. Unlike American suburbs these areas still feel and look extremely urban. There are a lot of abandoned factories in the area that are suffering from wretched decay. Moises has started an urban renewal movement with the mission of bringing public awareness to these forgotten temples of industrialization. By the fourth ‘occupation’ there were over 200 artists, musicians and photographers covering abandoned factories with art and life. For this photo, I really enjoyed the fisheye’s ability to capture the size and structure of these silos. The darkness within this silo maze forced me to slow the shutter speed considerably. I particularly enjoyed this effect as it created a whiteout in areas containing sunlight. The result creates a feeling of isolation where the viewer has no spatial awareness. For all the audience knows, I took this picture inside a spaceship. 
All photo and text © Jared Levy Media


br said…
great photos and text! very informative and provides insight in to the Brazilian world of street art. thank you!