BRIC Arts Media
Brooklyn - New York City
Painting done at BRIC Arts Media Brooklyn - New York - For my Project "Sounding Walls / Soando Paredes " as part of a grant that i received from CEC ArtsLink for their project One Big City. One Big City its a pioneering project of Cec Arts Link, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund and the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the first city wide effort of its kind, engages New York City's diaspora communities throught the collaborative projects of local artists and their colleagues from countries whose émigré populations contribute to New York's unique makeup. One Big City provide a plataform for artists to explore cultural and artistic identities and heightens awareness of diverse cultural communities throughout New York.
For this project I was selected to be with Jeremy Thal, Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Found Sound Nation, composer, French horn player, and educator, to discovery Brooklyn - Bronx communities. Thogether with Jeremy during 1 month we collected stories, performances and impressions of thoses spots, schools and communitys centers of Brooklyn and South Bronx, I painted thoses places and Jeremy recorded their voices and opinions, also their reflections about the murals that I was painting, what is the first impression about what they were seeing and what they think about live in that place. With all this audio collected by Jeremy, he made music and songs with them. Many paintings were done and many music was made based on the opinions of passersby about what they were thinking about the paintings that they were seeing and what they feel about live in that place.The Mural on the image was made at BRic Arts Media as part of my show with Jeremy Thal on 13 March 2014, where i presented this mural, photos and videos of the others paintings in Brooklyn and South Bronx and jeremy Thal presented the musics made with thoses records. On the final moment Jeremy did a live performance with french horn and along with Simon Jermyn on bass, they played their instruments accompanying the music that Jeremy did with audios collected from people passing by the mural at Bric while was paintining it.
The Girl on the Image is a Stencil based on a photo took by the PhotoJournalist Ricky Flores during 80’s at South Bronx. Ricky Flores was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents in 1961. His father, a merchant seaman, and his mother, a garment worker, lived in the Tremont section of the Bronx during the early 60’s. Flores father died in 1965 from bronchial asthma and his mother moved the family to the Longwood section of the Bronx, where he was raised. Flores started documenting life in the South Bronx after he purchased a camera with a small inheritance he received from his father in 1980. He embarked on a journey of self-discovery born out of photographing his friends and family during one of the most turbulent times in the history of Bronx and New York City. Over the years Flores free-lanced for The Daily News, The New York Times, The City Sun and The Village Voice. Flores recognized for his work on the attacks on World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and is a two-time winner of the New York Press Publishers Association for Spot News. He has a permanent installation at I.S. 206 in the Tremont section of the Bronx commissioned by the School Construction Authority, New York City Board of Education and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. He is currently a photojournalist for The Journal News in Westchester County, New York.
The Girl on the Stencil is Adelaine, took in 1983, South Bronx. Adeleine AKA Cateyes was a child a ward of the state along with her older sister. During the time Ricky Flores knew her she was a wild free spirit, who always had a smile on her face. She never spoke about what had happened to her to be removed from her parents. She disappeared after a late night phone call, clearly in emotional pain and trying to reach out for some help. Ricky tried to get her to come to me but she hung up and he never heard from her again. This haunts Ricky everyday and he continue to wonder what has happened to her.
I have 8 years of partnership with Ricky Flores, using his photos from 80’s South Bronx as reference for my paintings. In 2007, my husband and also Painter Izolag and I , began using his photographys taken in the South Bronx in the '80s as a reference for our paintings. Below Ricky Flores testimony about our partnership:
" Most of those photos of the 80’s were taken when I was first introduced to photography. They are as much personal photos as well as social documentary photos of what it was like to live in the South Bronx at that time. Except for those of us who lived through a similar experience, most people have no conception of what it was like to survive the systematic destruction of an entire community.
I was one of those who lived through it. By simply living there, with no conscious thought at first of what I was doing, I began to photograph life in my community. Then, as time passed, I came to a growing realization and horror of what was being visited on us by a city, state and federal government that had turned their backs on us and did nothing as whole blocks disappeared. I hope that through my photos people can catch a glimpse of the vibrant community that had to live through that and also the terrible waste of lives that were lost as a result of living in those conditions. In many of the photos are friends and family members of mine, some who have lost their lives to drug abuse, senseless murders and the growing epidemic of AIDS directly related to drug use.
Since those years, there has been a connection that we have forge with the world, those of us born in the Fires of the South Bronx, that has had a lasting impact, not only in our own personal lives, but on the world over time and distance. It has been reinforced by how those of us, from the artistic community, have been received worldwide. It far surpasses what we dream of when we walk those streets, in what we perceived to be, the solitary days of our youth. I never understood that there were people from around the world walking that path with us and with our entire community. Such was the case with Ananda Nahu and her husband Izolaq, a pair of Brazilian artists who found my work on the web in 2008, during a period of time that I felt I was floundering in my personal work and turned to those images from the days of my youth and began to post them on Flickr, a social media photo website. They used my images on public piers and canvasses giving life to people who were long gone or that I haven’t seen in years, now alive again in a distant place I have never been to. I have a strong belief in serendipity, it has informed my work over time and seems to work on me on some deep spiritual level.
With Ananda and Izolaq, it was more primal. My first powerful image of Brazil was one that I saw a child at around 5-years-old of a postcard that belonging to my father of Christ the Redeemer, the statue that over looks Rio de Janeiro, that he brought back with him when he visited as a merchant marine. He died shortly afterwards and it was one of the few memories I had of him. In Ananda’s visit and work further solidifies that connection to Brazil that started all those years ago."
PAINTING MURAL AT BRIC ARTS MEDIA
Painting Mural at Bric Arts Media - Brooklyn, February and March 2014 for Sounding Walls / Soando Paredes project".
Images and edition by Ricky Flores
BK-LIVE : Bric House Studio
Ananda Nahu (Painter & Muralist) and Jeremy Thal (Musician & Music Practitioner) discuss their new works of art in BRIC House.Original air date: Mar 5, 2014
SOUNDING WALLS / SOANDO PAREDES
Photographic record of the process of painting Mural at BRIC Arts Media Brooklyn, New York City, and the presentation of the project with Jeremy Thal "Sounding Walls / Soando Paredes " on March 13, 2014.
All Photos by Ricky Flores