First and foremost S/O to my brother Mike Kemetic. If your not reading These RVA Streets…you’re are missing out. With that I ran into Ed Trask at the Richmond Folk Fest a few weeks back and he told me about some of the new murals he was planning to work on….fast forward a few weeks and his new baby is done. Check out the dopeness that is now on 18th and Broad St. Ed did this mural with Brazilian muralist Nadya Niehues Becker, RVA’s Marshall Higgins, and some others. WE SEE IT!
When I heard that famed street artist JR created a new mural in DC dedicated to the civil rights movement, I knew I had to go and take it all in. But I couldn’t just take photos of the mural, I had to so something special for The Cheats Movement. I called up my brothers Nick Mastro (MastroTime Photography) and Barz Blackmon AKA Bar Codez (Photosynthesizers) and we took a trip to create something special. More about our video project coming next week. But I must say JR’s mural is well worth the trip up I-95. If you are in or near DC go check it out at the corner of 14th and T. Keep it locked on the blog for our new project. I have a good feeling about what we are creating. In the meantime, check out the behind the scenes photos from our adventure.
WE SEE IT! The most diverse blog in RVA – High Standards and No Limits!
The most diverse blog in RVA. The Cheats Movement has high standards and no limits. RVA -WE SEE IT!
I had the most amazing time in NYC on Saturday. I went up to interview one of my heroes, NYC legend Bobbito Garcia (more on that later this week). Troubling weather in Queens, and later in mid-town and Brooklyn, hurt some of the activities that I had planned for the evening but overall the bad weather led to an even better trip. I was able to visit some really great places and take some amazing photos. I often joke about how much I love Brooklyn, but my recent trips to NYC have led me to believe that I’m more of a Lower East Side guy. I love the LES from Reed Space to now End of Century. Yes the End of Century gallery that is currently featured on Bravo’s Gallery Girls. I stopped by and actually met one of the owners Lara. She was mad cool and treated us really nice for visiting. My favorite photos of the trip are the ones I took of cut throat handball action. It was so intense. I also took some great streetball photos but again that will be for later this week.
NYC is truly a photographer’s dream. I love the energy and hope to visit and shoot more in NYC and beyond. Hopefully, with the growth of this blog, I will have more reasons to take special trips out of town in the future. For now, let me know what you think of these new photos.
Handball action in the LES.
Kids will be kids in Washington Square Park.
End of Century is the one of the galleries featured on Bravo’s Gallery Girls (It’s the cool one).
The very nice gallery owner Lara. She was so cool to us Southerners.
A Long Subway Goodbye
We miss you.
Reed Space Reflection
Doin’ It In The Park
NYC Subway Mixtape!
There is no doubt that this summer has been amazing for The Cheats Movement Blog. The readership growth, the events, the projects, the interviews, the new opportunities, and all the new friends have motivated me beyond belief to keep building, keep reaching, and maintaining a level of blog post that are worthy of this great city and the creative friends that I spend time highlighting. I’ve made a few sacrifices, mistakes, and had to take a few step backs in 2012 just to put everything in perspective and make sure that I’m doing the right things to achieve my goal of highlighting RVA’s creative community in a diversity and positive light. I can’t say for sure that it’s working 100% because I still meet people that honestly ask me, “Is there anything to do in this city?” But with that, I’m really humbled and appreciative of the progress and positive response to what the blog is doing and just overwhelmed with warm feelings when I get a nice note from a friend or and email from someone asking for The Cheats Movement to cover an event. It’s a bit crazy to me…I still call my sister or mom or someone just to be like, “Yo…guess what just happened.” So you could imagine how I felt this week, with summer coming to an end, and me feeling a bit overwhelmed with projects and a demanding day job that the Richmond Magazine article hit the stands. I can’t thank Richmond Magazine’s Editor Kate Andrews enough for taking time to highlight The Cheats Movement in Richmond Magazine. She was so great to come out to the Epic Group Photo to see exactly what “The Family ” is all about. Her write up is so spot on. It’s great feeling to see that and I’m not too cool for school to say publicly — articles in places like Richmond Magazine is a big deal to me and motivates me beyond belief. I don’t get many of them and I don’t take any of them for granted. As the summer comes to end…there is no stop in me – can’t stop/won’t stop/don’t know how to stop – Bad Bay 1995. Stay tuned…new stuff – BIG STUFF is coming. Make sure you pick up Richmond Magazine this month. WE SEE IT!
Thanks to the good folks at RVA Mag, I was able to spend time with a true art legend last night. Futura 2000 was in RVA on his limited edition Hennessy bottle tour. He did a few events during the day and last night RVA Mag put on a dope party for the artist. I was briefly introduced by my dude Reinhold (good lookin out) and Futura could not have been nicer. He took a look at all the tags in my book and went in for about 5 minutes on his tag. I was pretty much in shock the whole time. At the end, he took out his lighter and burned off three corners of my book. Afterwards, he gave the book back to me and say, “Hey, you have some great artist in this book. I wasn’t trying to burn them but looking at your book, I had to put my stamp on it.” It was really cool. Check out Futura’s tag.
Some very cool news coming from the street art world. I was able to spend a good amount of time with Gaia during his time in RVA. If you remember, Gaia was the very first artist to put work for RVA’s G40 Art Summit. He was great and produced an amazing wall on West Grace. A few weeks ago Complex Mag named Gaia the greatest street artist out right now. Check out the entire list of 50 which includes a ton of artist that were in RVA during the G40 Art Summit and RVA Street Art Fest (Aryz, Roa, Pixel, Mark Jenkins Jaz and more). Congrats Gaia!
It’s been a long time coming but I finally decided to direct, shoot and edit my first full length music video. I could not work with better more dedicated artists than The Honorable Sleaze and Ohbliv. I hope that you find the video quality and unique for the RVA hip hop music scene. HUGE S/O to The Shop – I’m so happy to be a part of the creative community down there – luv that place. HUGE S/O to Just Plain Sounds – JPS is the click. This is video number 1 – trust me – it’s only going to get better from here. #WESEEIT If you like this video – hit me up with a like on The Cheats Movement Facebook Page.
Track: The Passion of The Sleaze Artist: The Honorable Sleaze Producer: Ohbliv Video: The Cheats Movement
RVA Mini Mag Street Heat is here! You can get it at West Coast Kix and all over Richmond. Go out and get that free mini mag asap. It will go fast and it is a collectors item. Yes, I said collectors item. It documents the transformational Style Wars Summer happening in this city. It’s a dope mag – more on that tomorrow. Today, I have a special treat for RVA Street Art fans. Inspired by the kids I saw at the G40 Art Summit and RVA Street Arts Festival with their own tag books. I decided to buy my own book and get it tagged up. Here are some of the photos in my personal Street Art Festival – The Cheats Movement Book of Tags.
All artist living and working in Richmond understand the challenge of being fully accepted in this town. I have often heard that RVA is even more critical to home grown talent than most other places. I’m not sure if that is 100% the case, but I know gaining a dedicated fan base in RVA is not easy. That is why I’m so excited to see the excitement currently surrounding my friend and very talented artist Hamilton Glass, aka HAM?. HAM? has taken 2012 by storm. He has been killing work all over RVA: the RVA Street Art Festival, the G40 Art Summit, murals, gallery shows, and even skateboards. HAM? has been on point. And it’s cool to see RVA starting to take notice and support his work. At his most recent art opening, a solo show for West Coast Kix, there were people from all over that came to check out his display. His work is powerful and pleasing at the same time.
Spending time with HAM?, and his family, has allowed me to see the effort it takes for a major artist to be successful. It’s a merger between talent and opportunity. HAM? defiantly has the talent, it is nice to see that he is starting to get more opportunities. Be sure to check out his display this month at West Coast Kix and visit his web site: whosham.com.
The crowd far exceeded what was anticipated last Saturday at Dominion River Rocks. There is no doubt the attendance was helped by another glorious RVA day. I must say, as much as RVA is a trending hippster town, there has always been strong support for hiking, climbing, running, and all the outdoor events that River Rocks brought to Browns Island last weekend. I was extremely impressed with the slack line competition. Slack line is definitely a reminder that I’m getting older and there is a generation of kids that are growing up with cool things that I never had. In addition to slack line, competitive wall climbing, and bike jumping, River Rocks brought a ton of cool things to RVA: air dog competition, mud runs, food vendors, and of course, live music. One of the best live bands in the world closed out Saturday night, the one and only Galactic from New Orleans. I was unable to make it back down to the island on Sunday so my photos are from all day Saturday. Check them out and let me know what you think.
Oh the power of Facebook –I’m so glad this portrait was finally found…according to Art 180′s Facebook status. Art 180: It was in the alley behind Grace St. in the fan. A friend of ART 180 left a message on Facebook letting us know where it was! Thank you!
“MCA was definitely the most identifiable member of the Beastie Boys to most people. His signature, gruff voice always but a bit of toughness to balance out the high-pitched, sometimes whiney voices of Adrock and Mike D. I’ve been a fan of the Beasties since the early Def Jam, pre-Licensed To Ill days and they have always garnered a high level of respect from any and all in the hip hop community much the same way that their mentor Rick Rubin has. As a bass player, I always followed MCA’s work the closest on the live compositions because he was always doing some interesting things on the bass and I have always loved multi-talented artists that find multiple mediums through which to express themselves completely.
Most of the time “white rappers” are passed over as fads or condemned for trying to emulate cultural scenarios they know little to nothing about. The Beastie Boys wrapped hip hop around themselves and redefined it in their own way in a way that the gangsters, skaters, suburbanites, and inner city kids could all relate to bc all of them had their struggles and the Beasties personified what it was all about to be young and rebellious.” Mike Kemetic of Photosynthesizers and Audio Mass Transit
–Photo of mural tribute painted by AROE posted on ArrestedMotion.com
The very talented Hamilton Glass (AKA HAM?) is the featured artist at the next, “Last Friday Art Show” at West Coast Kix. The show is May 25th starting at 6:30 PM. HAM? has been making major moves in RVA with his work in both the G40 Art Summit and the RVA Street Art Festival. He recently finished up his latest mural at S@mple Restaurant (1 North Morris Street). It has been a pleasure getting to know HAM? over the last few months. Many more things to coming in 2012. Please share this youtube link and come out to the show on the 25th.
It is only May 3rd and 2012 has already been one of the best years ever for music, art, and culture in RVA. In my opinion, the main reason has been the: G40 Art Summit and the RVA Street Art Festival. Though both events were organized independently – combined they have already transformed Richmond into a major destination for street art in 2012.
I covered both events intensively on The Cheats Movement Blog and was granted amazing access by the organizers of the festivals: Tony Harris and Shane Pomajambo (G40) and Ed Trask and Jon Baliles (RVA Street Art Festival). I am so proud of these men for what they have done for this city. EVERYONE WINS because of these two great events.
With that said, I believe I’m in a unique position to write some of my thoughts about both festivals. I would love to hear your opinions as well. The first two areas that I will write about in these review post are: Star Power and Location. I plan to write more on different categories as well – in due time.
STAR POWER: No doubt, G40 brought the international star power. ROA is basically the Lil Wayne of Street Art. He is at the top of the game and considered one of the best street artist in the world. You can’t talk murals right now without talking ROA. Aryz is also right there as well – he is a international power house. Both ROA and Aryz completed two walls for G40 before heading out of the country. In addition, the legendary photographer Martha Cooper was in town to check out the G40 murals. Cooper is a legend and gave G40 event more credibility. Angry Woebots, Jaz, Lelo, 2501, Pixel Pancho…and more were all in RVA for G40. There is no way around it, Art Whino and RVA Mag brought major international star power to RVA – it was a great look for the city!
The RVA Street Art Festival brought some MAJOR – MAJOR players as well: POSE is the man – and has earned an amazing reputation in the art world. HENSE, VIZIE, Mark Jenkins and of course, Ed Trask himself are stars in the art community as well. I was very excited to meet Dalek - he was mad cool – but I was slightly disappointed that he wasn’t in town long enough to really get down on the festival wall. The absolute best part of the RVA Street Art Festival was seeing the merging of RVA artist with the national group: Art 180, Hamilton Glass, Chris Milk Hulburt, El Kamino, Mike Broth, Heide Trepanier, and all of the local volunteers gave the Fest a real community feel.
Amazing group photo from the last day of the RVA Street Art Festival. Ed’s arms up in victory – like Ali, he shook up the world!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Here is the thing – it all depends on what you prefer. G40 is throughout the entire city…let’s be real – Pixel’s amazing mural on 12th and Hull is not close to his first mural on 1 Grace BUT with G40 you can plan 2 or 3 hours, get a map, grab a camera, grab some friends, and have a great time visiting all the murals in the city. Trust me – I’ve done it and it’s a rad day. Being spread out doesn’t really solidify an “Art District” but traveling to visit the murals is a fun experience. G40 will take you from the Fan, to VCU, to Shockoe Bottom…etc.
On the other hand, the RVA Street Art Festival is pretty much all in one spot: The Power Plant – Flood Wall (right by BlackFinn). The visual is stunning, VIZIE’s piece right beside POSE – Jeff Soto’s piece is right beside HAM? – it’s awesome. You can walk the area in about 5 minutes if you want. It’s a fairly small piece of real estate all things considered. What made it work so well is that it allowed for spectators (like me) to post up and watch all of the work being done in one place. I’ve never seen anything like it before in RVA. Along with the food, beer, and music, it was a real festival vibe.
Having the Festival close together allowed for huge crowds and a real festival feel. (photo courtesy of Jeff Soto’s Blog)
Honestly, I really don’t have preference – location is key but there are positives in both festivals. What do you think?
I am very interested to learn how we can keep great events like G40 and the Street Arts Festival in RVA. Are there suggestion that would make these events even better? You tell me.
This concludes part 1 of Everyone Wins.
Yesterday, I dropped by the Earth Day celebration in Manchester to catch Noah-O performing on Style Weekly’s main stage. Noah-O, joined by the lovely Lela Bizz, brought some hip hop and R&B to a stacked musical line-up featuring some of RVA’s most popular indie rock band (The Trillions and Diamond Center – both friends of the blog also preformed).
Noah didn’t disappoint – bringing that Charged Up Ent. energy to the stage – working the crowd – and really representing for hip hop music. Both Noah and Lela Bizz are featured in this week’s Style Weekly music issue. I’m happy to see Style recognizing their talent.
This was an amazing weekend for RVA. The RVA Street Art Festival lived up to the bill. The weather was perfect and tons of Richmonders came out to see some of the best artist from RVA and around the country. Ed Trask, Jon Baliles, and the team that organized this amazing weekend should be very proud. The artist could not have been more accommodating – which is certainly tough when they have a job to do and working so closely with other artist – indeed felt slight pressure to do well. The gallery show was also dope – but overshadowed a bit by the live mural painting. Highlights of the final day: The groups photo below (awesome), Dalek’s appearance – unfortunately he did not paint a full mural but it was very cool that other artist represented his work on their murals, and Dalek and POSE hitting up an old ride in front of a live audience.
Victory: Ed Trask raises his arms as the RVA Street Festival concludes with a group photo. From Left to Right: POSE, El Kamino, Jon Baliles, Hense, Ed Trask, Jeff Soto, Dalek, HAM?, Chris Milk Hulburt, Richard Coleman (on end).
POSE and Dalek
Richard Coleman and Heide Trepanier
HAM? and Jeff Soto
Art 180 and Vizie
Ed Trask and El Kamino
The RVA Street Art Festival is underway. Ed Trask has brought to RVA some of the best artists from around the country and they are doing it at the Shockoe Bottom Flood Wall Power Plant (the part of the flood wall right by Black Finn). I went down twice yesterday to take the first round of Cheats Movement Photos. I will be down there again today — it’s a great day – check it out.
When I first started taking photos in RVA, one of my favorite spots was the alley by the 17th Street Farmer’s Market. There was this amazing alley with just wonderful art in it (like the photo above). It turns out that the art was indeed the result of the annual Arts in the Alley project. This weekend, Arts in the Alley is back. I spoke with Jeanine Guidry who coordinates Arts in the Alley and she gave me the run down on this weekend’s event and needs.
When: Saturday April 14 and Sunday April 15
Times: 1-6pm both days
Where: Fulton Hill – meeting place the Neighborhood Resource Center - 1519 Williamsburg Road, Richmond VA 23231
Volunteers are still needed for both Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon!
“As I traveled around the city this week, I noticed crowds of Richmonders viewing, photographing, and discussing the new art on display. I heard those conversations pivot from artist and murals to conversations about music, hobbies, and neighborhoods. I believe that the vibe surrounding the sudden growth of public art in Richmond has some parallels to those early days of hip hop culture in New York City. Of course, these aforementioned art projects aren’t as rebellious, but the early days of hip hop weren’t about breaking the law, they were about expression and finding an identity. It was about creativity and pride in where one comes from.1
I have lived in Richmond all my life. I take great pride in the city and the progress that it has made, particularly in the last 15 years, with the reduction in violent crime and a growing city population. I am truly excited about the renaissance of art and culture that is starting to take place this summer. Richmond has a real opportunity to rebrand itself as a hotspot for art, music, and culture. But the fact remains that Richmond’s history still cast a huge shadow over progressive progress, and forging any type of new identity will be met with old-time opposition.
I believe the latest controversy on Monument Avenue is a strong example of the challenges that face RVA moving forward.”
Visit RVANews.com for the full article.
I’m very saddened by the recent story that I read on Fan of the Fan: Art 180 ordered to remove portraits from Monument Avenue. With all the excitement regarding the art projects happening right now in the city, I believe this is a disappointing step backward. This is my first year working with Art 180 and I can tell you first-hand that the program is amazing and the What Do You Stand For art project should be on full display on Monument Ave.
Here is the email from Marlene Paul, co-founder and executive director of Art 180
Despite the enormous outpouring of positive comments we’ve heard about our Monument Avenue exhibition–and the great photo on the front page of yesterday’s Times-Dispatch, we have been ordered to remove them by Friday.
This is a shock and disappointment, given that we have been working since last summer to follow protocol and seek the necessary approval, and we have a permit from the City’s Department of Public Works for them to remain on Monument until May 4.
Some of our fellow citizens feel that we should never have been granted permission to display the portraits on The Grand Avenue, and this is a case of people w/ money and influence vetoing City authority–where is the fairness in that? I spoke directly with one of these unhappy Monument residents, who had already contacted the Mayor’s office and won over Councilman Charles Samuels (who is, conveniently, up for reelection in a hotly-contested race). This one resident is apparently not alone, as there have been other complaints to City Hall. I don’t know how many, and I am struggling to understand why their voices can cause the revocation of a legally obtained permit. I am equal parts outraged, brokenhearted, exasperated, and proud that the portraits are on Monument right now, regardless of how long they stay.
Check out the final photos of Pixel Pancho’s first mural titled, “Kiss From The Space,” as a part of the G40 Art Summit. This mural is on 7th W. Grace Street. I’ve heard that Pixel is doing at least 1 maybe 2 more murals.
Art Whino’s third edition of G40 is kicking off right now in RVA. Renowned international artist, Gaia, is here on W. Grace killing one of his signature murals. My brothers at RVAMag is the driving force behind the G40 project coming to RVA. CLICK HERE to see the G40 website. This year’s focus is, “The Art of the Mural.” Some of the most known mural artist from around the world will be in town: El Mac, Roa, and Aryz to name a few. I’ve also been told that some local Richmonder’s will be doing their thing as well and I am very excited to see that. Check out everything about this amazing art project at RVAMag and Art Whino’s websites. Like Gaia on Facebook – he is mad cool.
I think most people will agree that RVA is a close knit town — and that there are many positives (and negatives) about that aspect of our city. A positive is the close connection of talented people. Often I will be doing a project for The Cheats Movement and someone will ask, “have you seen my friend’s art work or have you heard my friend’s cd?” That is pretty normal and I love it. It is the best way to connect to what’s hot on the street.
Since I started this blog, the name Hamilton Glass has come up over and over from my friends and other artist. Though I was familiar with his mural work, I had never met HAM until a about a week ago. HAM’s talent is truly world class. I was instantly drawn in by the visual ascetic of his art and also the powerful messages he displays. I agreed that HAM would be perfect for a profile on the site but then I thought — PROFILES ARE NOT ENOUGH IN 2012.
I really want this site to be a part of RVA’s creative community. Instead of just profiles, I want to build real relationships with the talented people I highlight doing work in the city. So this post is just a start of my new goal.
HAM has blessed the site with a brand new 2012 logo and I will continue to highlight HAM’s work on this site. CHECKOUT HAM’S WEBSITE: www.whosham.com and hit him up for work.
Let me know what you think of the new logo by comment, facebook, twitter, or email. I want to know — and the first ever Cheats Movement stickers are coming later this month.
HAM X THE CHEATS MOVEMENT 2012