Red Ballon Links




Autor: KaM©

~ 17/04/14

Parallel Universe NYC & Trenton.

Autographed "Fun Gallery the real story." signed Patti Astor

Ok, so lately I have added to my reading material two very much anticipated books that were released in the past year. The first one is titled “No Slam Dancing No Stage Diving No Spikes” which is an oral history of the now legendary City Gardens nightclub located in Trenton, New Jersey where I spent most of my young adult life trying to get my footing in this journey called life when I wasn’t doing the same thing in New York City, when I could afford it. I’m quoted in this book as saying “I didn’t go to college, I went to DISCO!” The second book “Fun Gallery the true story” is about the creation of the east village gallery scene plus the graffiti/Hip Hop cultural migration from the South Bronx to downtown Manhattan told by a very courageous woman named Patti Astor (her public name) who was brave enough to follow her instincts and promote art that was deemed a public image problem and worthless along with its creators [I wish we would have met back then] in New York City at the time. We hung out at the same clubs and probably attended the same art openings when Soho was the art capital of the world. Both books combined basically tell my life story through the images and stories of other people who lived the same creative-driven life which is now considered the most money-fueled art boom of the eighties in New York. And; as far as Trenton is concerned, this also was the most energetic time that reconnected the city with the rest of the world musically as opposed to the industrial background it once had well over fifty years ago. Also both books have films produced. The former “No Slam Dancing No Stage Diving No Spikes” will soon be released under the new title “Riot On The Dance Floor” and will be screened at this season’s Sundance Film Festival and the later has been the subject of many films most notably “Wild Style” which Patti herself stars in with costar Fab 5 Freddy and a whole cast of scene makers that were real artists and not Hollywood actors pretending to be part of the real Hip Hop Nation!

Autor: KaM©

~ 06/09/11

Shepard Fairey in front of his now iconic Barack Obama poster.

Last month the Atlantic Wire reported that Shepard Fairey had been attacked in Denmark after the opening of  his exhibition there and the angry mob shouted “Obama illuninati” (whatever that means) as they clocked the graphic artist with right hooks.

When I first heard about the incident I almost jumped for joy for reasons associated with the white washing of real urban street culture  which Fairey along with a slew of other graphic artist have benefitted tremendously over the past two decades creating a subsidiary of the original graffiti genre that included “Hip Hop” music and circle break dancing, is now called “Street Art” where it is marketed exclusively in the media and supported by new contemporary art galleries around the world.

In an Interview I did together with photographer Jon Naar (Faith Of Graffiti) at this years Jersey Fresh Graffiti Jam @ TerraCycle®  in Trenton,NJ last month he pointed out that the movement has lost its sense of messaging (the pretext to text messaging if you will) or communicating to other fellow artist or friends in other parts of the city via subway trains & stations. Now its just painting images and filling up wall space with almost pure graphic images with the occasional social political statement.To me that is no different than the large billboard advertisements you see all over the place selling you a bag of potato chips or a hooker wearing your favorite colors as she walks down the street.

What I don’t get about these people who place stickers & posters all over the place is the fact that they are not selling anything so it seems, and then their messages and images are wack and so personalized, or worse, borrowed; that its just once again,advertisement. The difference is that these images are now transformed into products instantly and marketed to people who don’t live on the very streets they deface making it more visually obvious that there is some neglect or disrespect for the area there’re putting their garbage up and its usually called the ghetto or hood by the masses and the whole issue of exploitation for profit comes to mind.

Autor: KaM©

~ 29/08/10

Its true, African Americans have long admired Asian culture and its traditions along with its post war contemporary restructuring. The introduction of martial arts in the 1970’s to western society sparked the interest of African Americans across the nation and Karate was practiced (although secretly) in the basements of homes and public housing developments everywhere. This form of self-defense was felt needed due to the discrimination that African American males experienced while being outside at night and questioned by police at random.
The second influence came from television broadcasts of films such as “Godzilla vs King Kong” and with episodic television series portraying families that transformed into super robotic heroes like “Jonny Socko” and “Giant Robot” along with “Ultraman” and the Science Patrol exploration team ultimatly expressed transcendence and adventure.
The third influence was Saturday morning cartoons which had the most impact on the youth (myself being one of them) which used martial arts fighting in a lot of popular shows namely “Hong Kong Phooey” utilizing Scatman Crothers an African American actors voice as the main character.
These programs were all transformative and inspirational to the African American community in many ways and now Asian youth culture is finding relativity in the Hip Hop culture of African Americans because of similar experiences with living in a traditional oppressive society. I personally feel a deep spiritual connection with Asian culture because of its form of discipline it has and its respect of form and function in its traditional sense but that is rapidly transforming into a new hybrid of modern society expressed through music and the visual arts.

Autor: KaM©

~ 16/12/08

This past November 14th I got invited to the 25th Anniversary party by Charlie Ahearn and I had a blast hanging out out with my boy graffiti artist Leon Rainbow. We didn’t stay long but while we were there we had the pleasure to see grand wizard Theodore do his thing on the ones and twos. If you haven’t seen this guy work you don’t know what your missing because he is the cut creator.-RedSaid

Autor: admin

~ 26/08/07

Hip-Hop Won’t Stop: The Beat, The Rhymes, The Life

A major initiative to gather a broad collection about hip-hop culture and develop a comprehensive exhibition is now underway at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

The museum’s multi-year project will trace hip-hop from its origins in the 1970s to its status today. By collecting from the hip-hop community, the museum will build an unprecedented permanent collection that will document the undeniable reach of hip-hop and commemorate it as one of the most influential cultural explosions in recent history.

Through “Hip-Hop Won’t Stop,” the museum will collect objects from all aspects of hip-hop arts and culture,music, technology, sports, graffiti, fashion, break dancing and language,including vinyl records, handwritten lyrics, boom boxes, clothing and costumes, videos and interviews, disc jockey equipment and microphones, personal and business correspondence, and posters and photos.

An advisory panel, made up of artists, producers, scholars and others will assist in defining and refining the project. The museum also will host a number of public programs and scholarly symposia to further explore the content.

The Museum is seeking financial support from individual donors, corporations and associations to fund the project and related activities.

In addition to the permanent collection at the Smithsonian, the long-range vision for “Hip-Hop Won’t Stop” includes a comprehensive exhibition open to millions of museum visitors on the National Mall, a companion traveling display, and a Web site geared towards a global audience.

For More Information:

telephone 202-633-3613
“Now I don’t have to tell you how excited I am about this new development in american society,Its only right to have a museum to document and record the most steady cultural movement in the history of urban life in most of the cities across the country. We all know that it started in the South Bronx but some would despute that, and say Queens Bridge is where it began as Mc Shan once told us on his hit record way back in the day.
If anyone has kept up with my ‘Where were You’ page then you know that I was there right at the very begining of this world wide call for cultural exchange in art as well as music,and, I mussen’t forget fashion which has the most visual impact on how people express what they identify with.
You would have to be blind not to notice the stlye that has manifested and influenced the whole casual clothing market.
If you go back in time on this blog page then you can see the memorabillia that I have save over the years along with some comments about how I acquired these special invitations and sometimes I go into a little detail about that particular evening or event.
I have often wondered what I would do with this ephemera after I have documented it and have created this blog in the name of it, and one day it became clear to me that this stuff should be available for everyone to see because it predated the founding of Def Jam Records.I will soon donate some of my collection to this worthy cause and hope that people who view it will enjoy it as much as I.
This ain’t no mystery, Its part of our History!! RedSaid

Autor: admin

~ 27/01/07

I just read a recent article about female graffiti artists that are sharing the spotlight with the male’s who dominate the practice of graffiti writing.

This new era of graffiti painters are creating quite a name for themselves in cities all over the world.I pulled out this classic flyer which I think was created by the one and only Lady Pink for an all female graffiti extravaganza at the ROXY in 1984.

The list of artist included in this production may be lesser known to the new school of writer’s and I will list them as they appeared on the back of this invitation,artists like: Lady Heart,Abbey-Roc,2-Cute,Lizzie,Snow White,Tiny-One,Smad-Roc,Jigs-City,Lady-D,Stacy-D and Lady Pink of course.

Its nice to see that women artists of this kind [Old School graffiti/Street art] are being recognized for their contribution to the Hip Hop scene which is now a global form of expression that I’m proud to say I was there at the beginning of and, although I myself wasn’t a graffiti artist I certainly was a true B-Boy who loved all the B-Girls who were a part of the movement.
I think this flyer is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum I can’t remember which ones I donated now?-RedSaid

Autor: admin

~ 27/04/06

This was it Ladies and Gentleman the invitation to the party that changed the game forever!At this time there were no giant super clubs yet that promoted urban dance music and the all new “Hip Hop” craze, only the Fun House,The Ritz, Roseland Ballroom and Empire Roller Rink in Brooklyn but, the ROXY did it first with this awesome lineup of entertainment.I don’t have anything in my collection more valueable than this flyer as far as the history of nightlife goes.It was a moment in New York City history, that for those who know, will never be the same. RedSaid

Autor: admin

~ 23/02/06

This was the commercial beginning of Hip Hop culture in New York City.What I remember about this event was all the B-Boy & B-Girl crews were there as well as the hottest grafitti artist in New York at the time.The break dance circle was in the back of the club just to the left of the stage.Anybody who was down with the scene gatherd around the circle and watched as the Rock Steady Crew,N.Y.C Breakers and more do their amazing moves all the way live. RedSaid