Street Art and Social Change: Olek Crotchets a Women’s Shelter in India


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


Polish born, and now Brooklyn based street artist, Olek, has been hard at work in the city of Delhi, India. Her signature work of crochet wrapping objects and buildings on the street has brought her around the world, and she has focused her work on many important issues regarding social and environmental justice. Olek’s project in Delhi is directed toward social inclusion and women’s empowerment. With a team of helpers (many local women who already crochet and follow Olek’s work), a local women’s shelter in New Delhi was fitted with a large crocheted cover. The shelter is one of  almost 2oo in a city of 11 million, and provides a safe space for homeless women and families. The focus of her work was to raise awareness toward the social disparities of gender, class and caste. In an interview with Brooklyn Street Art about St+Art Delhi, organizer, Giulia Ambrogi, shared that:

“[…] Artworks in the streets is already a sort of revolution. Public spaces, especially if peripheral, are most of the time neglected and are crowded mostly by lower social classes. The process of creating huge artworks for everybody’s eyes and the attitude of the artists and the team of involving everyone and gathering people under the signs of art-making and artworks – which is absolutely new in India, is an empowering breakthrough or a certain kind. By calling women artists we enhanced this prolific dynamic. It meant that we introduced a change, showing both to men and women that no matter the gender and the class, everyone has the same strength and rights of living, appropriating and positively acting in public spaces. Olek’s work brings back tot he streets a tradition that is usually practice by women in the private and closed envirnment of their homes. Also, this work highlighted the power of people, especially women, when they cooperate together.”


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)



Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)



Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


Olek’s recent work in Delhi has been a part of the St+Art Delhi festival. The festival brings together Indian and international street artists for a month of murals, installations, performances, workshops, walks and talks on the streets. The objective is to promote street art and graffiti on Indian landscapes, as well as provide a collaborative platform for artists from all over the world.


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


Olek (photo © Pranav Mehta/St+ARTIndia)


(story awareness via Brooklyn Street Art)

CAMER1: “Taking Flight” Mural

Fresh off the runway, CAMER1’sTake Flight” mural hit the 1AM gallery walls this week for the exhibit’s opening reception. The mural emphasizes the aesthetic of flying forms and it highlights the idea that the weightlessness of flight is similar to the connection an artist has with his or her art. With an awesome mashup of talents in this show, it’s no question that CAMER1 and the other artists brought their work to new heights. We’re excited to see CAMER1’s art taking off and we encourage you to check out the mural for yourself.

"Take Flight" Mural by CAMER1

“Take Flight” Mural by CAMER1

For inquiries or to request art catalog, please email

Street Art & Social Change: Banksy Visits Gaza

Banksy - Gaza 1

The enigmatic and highly political British stencil artist, Banksy, recently visited Gaza to paint some walls. But there is much more to this trip than just another street artist traveling to a far away destination or on a global tour spraycation. Gaza is not the destination point of many people wishing to travel the world. In fact its very difficult. Those wishing to visit are not allowed, just as those who live there are not allowed to leave. Banksy snuck into the Palestinian territory through a network of illegal underground tunnels, packing only spray paint and a camera. His intention? To paint on the bomb and bullet pummeled walls of Gaza and use his fame and following to share what living conditions are like there. He is not new to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He first visited the West Bank in 2005 and again in 2007 when he brought his annual London art show, Santa’s Ghetto, to Bethlehem, Palestine. The has openly stood in solidarity with Palestine in all of his projects there, each time using his art to bring attention a place that he sees so much oppression, violence, and human rights violations.

Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons — they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day.” – Banksy

Banksy - Gaza 3 Banksy - Gaza 2

This visit he has painted a picture of Niobe, from Greek mythology. Niobe is the symbol for eternal mourning. She was punished for arrogance with the killing of her 14 children and husband who took his own life. In her sorrow she turned to stone, to be forever grieving. Banksy also stenciled children swinging around a surveillance tower like it was a carnival ride. A bit of his philosophy was shared with his signature red paint and childlike handstyle, reading: “If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful — we don’t remain neutral.”

Banksy - Gaza 5

The artist also painted a giant kitten with a pink bow on a crumbled building wall, pawing at a ball of rebar on the ground next to it. Banksy commented on the piece with, “A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”

Banksy - Gaza 7

A culmination of his trip is in his 2 minute video of the experience which has the title of “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination.” In the artist’s signature cheeky, blunt, and savagely honest style, the short video has a tourism style to it – “Welcome to Gaza,” it starts. “Well away from the tourist track… Nestled in an exclusive setting… Watched over by friendly neighbors” The film gets to the reality of the situation with hard-hitting facts like after each of these seemingly innocent bits of information about Gaza – “Development opportunities are everywhere (no cement has been allowed into Gaza since the bombing).” Banksy can seem to catch some flack from people both in and out of the street art/graffiti world, but he does what many do not – risks it all to raise awareness toward concerns that he feels deeply about. The artist has hit a superstar status but does not sit back and revel in his glory. He is hard at work, going to dangerous places and painting walls for social justice and social change. He is a true artist and activist! It makes us wonder what the world would be like if more artists, celebrities, cultural iconic figures did more with their fame and took direct action on matters that mean something to them. Keep it up, Banksy!

Sneak Peak – “Take Flight”

Want to experience a weightlessness where time is a blur and all that exists is art and air? Then take a sneak peak at some of these pieces for our upcoming show “Take Flight“. We’re excited to present works by some very talented artists who took part in the new reality TV show Street Art Throwdown. Join us in celebrating one of our instructors, Cameron “CAMER1″ Moberg, and his fellow contestants and artists AganaAnnie PreeceGrimnastyIvan “Gath” PreciadoJenna Morello, and Leba. You’ll want to see this before it flies by. Come to the opening reception on Thursday, March 12th at 6:30-9:30pm. 

Take Flight - 1AM First Amendment Gallery - Ivan Preciado

By Ivan “Gath” Preciado

Take Flight - CAMER1 - 1AM First Amendment Gallery


Take Flight - 1AM First Amendment Gallery

by Leba

Take Flight - 1AM First Amendment Gallery


Please email to preview the art catalog.

Street Art and Social Change: Blu Paints in the Americas

Blu in Sucre, Bolivia.


Legendary Italian street artist, Blu, has been traveling and painting in South and North America this last February. The artist began his career by painting graffiti in the city of Bologna, Italy, in the late 90x. He later began to experiment with more image based large-scale work with the use of telescopic rollers and house paint. His work has often been political and connected to communities in struggle. Blu created two large murals in the countries of Bolivia and Mexico. Both walls question the motives of the governments, with corruption being tied to corporate greed, the illegal drug industry, and putting monetary value before the people. His piece in Bolivia shows how the current government places money before the people on the scales of justice. His piece in Mexico shows how lucrative monetary ties to the United States, the drug industry and violence are protected by the Mexican government. We love the work of Blu, and especially his intention of using his art for social change!


Blu starting the wall in Bolivia.

Blu in Mexico City.

Blu in progress painting in Mexico City.


Take Flight x TEASER x 1AM Gallery

Prepare to experience weightlessness thanks to the art soaring into our next show, “Take Flight“. This show marks an important milestone for the participating artists,  AganaAnnie PreeceCamer1GrimnastyIvan “Gath” PreciadoJenna Morello, and Leba, because it is the first show they will be involved in together since the airing of the new reality television show “Street Art Throwdown”. You can expect the unexpected from this show. You may catch a glimpse of wings, kites, astronauts, or more flying out of the art, but the only way to find out for sure is to come to the gallery yourself. Mark your calendar for the opening day on Thursday, March 12th at 6:30 to 9:30pm. We look forward to seeing you there!


Sneak peak at a painting by Ivan Preciado

Sneak peak at a painting by Ivan Preciado


Please email to request art catalog.

Artist Spotlight: Vans the Omega

This week we’re excited to introduce Vans the Omega as our featured artist spotlight. Loosely based out of Adelaide, Australia, Vans the Omega has spent time crafting his skills in a variety of letterforms and painting. He has traveled and showcased his art around the globe consistently since 2000. His work typically captures abstract shapes, traditional graffiti aesthetics, and an array of patterns.

Against the Falls by Vans the Omega

Against the Falls by Vans the Omega

Mural by Vans the Omega

Mural by Vans the Omega

Mural by Vans the Omega

Mural by Vans the Omega

Mural by Vans the Omega

Mural by Vans the Omega

As one of the artists in our current show, Inamorata, Vans the Omega diverged from his traditional style to create something more emotional and distorted. We asked him to give us some insight about his piece, “Against the Falls” and where he looked for inspiration.

“The inspiration is drawn from my idea of rising out of water, emotion and cleansing. Instead of painting someone I loved, I decided to let the process of painting this work and what I was personally going through dictate and guide me into a feeling of love through exploration. I just had my mural work destroyed in my home city and was trying to make sense of it by effectively trashing my finer art with a sense of vandalism and aggression, then worked on bringing it into balance by stripping it back unveiling a new raw sense of its beauty and maybe a more honest approach to this final piece.” – Vans the Omega

See “Against the Falls” in person at 1AM Gallery. Please email for inquiries.

Announcing: Take Flight

We’re excited to announce “Take Flight”, an exhibit curated by CAMER1, opening Thursday, March 12th, 6:30-9:30pm, and showcasing artists from the new television reality show “Street Art Throwdown”.

camer1-takingFlight-complete2-w (1)

Cameron “CAMER1″ Moberg, a contestant in the show, will be joining us as we celebrate the new steps in the careers of contestants and artists Agana, Annie Preece, Grimnasty, Ivan “Gath” Preciado, Jenna Morello, Leba and Camer1.

There is a lot of anticipation around how these artists will play with the theme. Some artists will be taking a literal approach – with depictions of astronauts and birds – while others are going for a more abstract understanding of the phrase. On a subtle level, the title relates to the feeling an artist gets when they completely align with the creative process – a weightlessness where time is a blur and all that exists is the artist and air. See what form emerges from these artists’ work at the opening of Take Flight!

For more information, visit If you have any questions or would like to request media related material, please email

Street Art and Social Change: Icy & Sot

February NYC

Iranian stencil street art duo (based out of Brooklyn), Icy & Sot, hit the cold February streets of New York City to create their latest political piece. The two artists are some of the most politically engaged street artists in the world, using their work to communicate concern and hope on social justice issues like immigration, censorship, homelessness, weapons and capitalism. With this particular piece they are addressing LGBT rights. This topic holds certain significance to the Iranian artists, as in their home country homosexuality is a punishable crime. Thank you, Icy & Sot, and keep up the artivism!

Artist Spotlight – Jet Martinez

Oakland-based artist, Jet Martinez is known for creating vibrant works of art that put a contemporary spin on folk art motifs. Originally from the small beach town of Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, Martinez takes inspiration from his native culture’s rich traditions of pottery, weaving and embroidery. We asked Jet to tell us about the pieces he created for our current show, Inamorata.

Pa Mi Chiquis by Jet Martinez

Pa Mi Chiquis by Jet Martinez

Jet explains, “Pieces in this body of work are part of a larger body of work I have been doing based/inspired by Mexican folk arts. These particular pieces are inspired by lacquered, painted plates from the state of Michoacan.

Breathe In, Breathe Out by Jet Martinez

Breathe In, Breathe Out by Jet Martinez

I paint with the simple manipulation of 2 colors on one brush. In the context of this show, flowers often represent feminine qualities and jubilant life. My idea for these pieces was to create bouquets of sorts- gifts of love for my own girls, my wife and my daughter. They are also meant as gifts for the viewer.

Lo Que Tu Prometi by Jet Martinez

Lo Que Tu Prometi by Jet Martinez

Nothing complicated here, just a sincere little warm thought from me.”

Siempre Tu by Jet Martinez

Siempre Tu by Jet Martinez

Don’t miss the chance to see Jet’s work. Come see his incredible paintings and more at the 1AM gallery. Please email for inquiries.