I recently caught up with an old friend, David Meade, to do what we generally do best; wander the streets of New York City looking for weird things to look at and strange people to talk to. Dave and I were frequent collaborators when I lived in NYC, and when we went on our late night walkabouts, our thirsty curiosity was usually rewarded with a smorgasbord of sights and strange characters who seemed almost to emerge out of the woodwork, strictly for our own pleasure. But this was just for fun, of course. Our collaborations often consisted of one part street documentation and two parts freestyle rhyming and beatmaking; I provided the fat beats and Dave, under the moniker PathRhino, laid some poetry down into the microphone.
That’s the background. In this case, Dave was taking me on a prototype Street Art Walk, a new project from Meade Media, the company that Dave co-owns with his wife Cyndy. Here’s the drill: every Saturday at 2:30, Dave leads a crowd of art lovers through the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn to look at street art. For two hours the crew explores this dynamic, ever-changing montage which includes not only traditional spray painted “tags” but also sculptures, small-scale sticker art, stencils, wheat-pasted prints, and full-sized entire-side-of-a-building murals. On my tour with Dave, I saw a few artists I was already familiar with (Swoon, Bast, Enzo and Nio), and a ton more (Willow, Roa, Sweettoof, Dain, Swampy, Shepard Fairey, Invader, Buffmonster, Paul Richard, Os Gemeos, C215, OverUnder, Faile, How and Nosm, Erik Berglin, Stikman, ASVP, Hellbent).
The tour is unique, combining graffiti history with a little science, a little politics, and many of Dave’s own relevant anecdotes. Dave has, after all, assembled this tour map in his head simply by being out there day after day, observing the changing landscape and talking to artists and other street art aficionados. A number of the artists are accessible by the very nature of their art being public and on the street level. Apparently the tour group has been known here and there to catch an artist in action.
Watch the fruits of our efforts below, and be sure to take the Street Art Walk next time you are in the city!