Jose James Billie Holiday

Jose James’ new album is a tribute to the legendary singer  Billie Holiday We shot the cover photo in Amsterdam.

“My first clear musical memory is of Billie Holiday,” writes James in the album’s liner notes. “Billie’s voice floated through our house – grand, warm, intimate, and wholly unique…..Her work was mastery – of pain, of trauma, of faith in music and the power of transformation. I had found my teacher. Billie Holiday made me want to be a jazz singer and set me on the path that I’m walking today. “

Le Salon Paris Le MashUp

In Paris for an exhibition of ‘Le Mashup’ at Le Salon d’Atelier, a lovely gallery owned by Louise Gabet-Winter. Great crowd, most arrived on motor bikes, people stand outside the packed gallery smoking and drinking beer, we sold a bunch of art. Thanks to DJ Richie Reach for the hip hop tunes. Great review from the Paris daily newspaper Liberation .


This year I was invited to be an artist in residence at Bemis in Omaha Nebraska. I spent almost seven weeks there over August and September. I was given a huge studio with a table, two chairs, a bed, kitchen and bathroom. My mission was to fill the white walls with photographs. I did workshops with the North Omaha teens, and photographed the Omaha residents at the Labor Day Parade, a black biker club picnic, a powwow, a three day rodeo, people on the streets, abandoned buildings, and much more. I became obsessed with documenting the other artists in residence there – we had bonded over pot luck dinners, drinks at La Buvette (the local hangout), Cubbies supermarket in the gas station, thrift store expeditions and art talk. Here are the portraits we made in the Bemis studios.


AUDRA WOLOWIEC artist, sculptor

DAVID HARPER artist, sculptor


CEY ADAMS artist, creative director, graffiti artist, book designer


KENNETH ADKINS artist, sculptor


LEON JOHNSON artist, book binder, printer, chef extra ordinaire
SAMANTHA FIELDS artist, weaver

DEVEL CRISP spoken word artist

DI MAINSTONE sound artist

LAURA CARLSON painter , performance artist, punk, feminist

Swoon in New Haven

Site Projects brought me to NewHaven to photograph Swoon (above with Olivia and Josh)  installing a beautiful piece of art close to Yale. And hung the JB_MASHUP show at Manjares Cafe  838 West Rock Ave.


In July, on a hot summer night ,over 400 people converged on my studio to see the JB_HIP HOP MASHUP. From an idea curated by artist Cey Adams,  a list of his artist friends were sent a selection of my hip hop photos, they each chose an image to re-interpret in their own distinct styles. In true hip hop spirit the idea of re mixing and making something new from something old  – the MashUp came together.

We collaborated with the wonderful Juliet Silva Yee from Pop Up Art Event (PUAE) to make the event happen

Original artworks were created on archival prints by  Chino (Stetsasonic), Claw Money (Salt ‘n Pepa), Eric Adams (Flavor Flav), Faust (Afrika Bambaataa), Jester (EPMD), Morning Breath (Slick Rick), Revolt (Ultramagnetic MC’s), Trike (Dr Dre), Alice Mizrachi(Beastie Boys), T Kid (Fab 5 Freddy), Greg Lamarche (Big Daddy Kane),and Sharp (Donald D & Grandmixer DST)

I shot portraits of all the artists and each one gave a short description of why they chose the image and how they got their start in the world of graffiti.  Each one has a story, T Kid tells me ” I started writing graffiti at 12 years old when I was drafted into the neighborhood gang my first tag was king13 at 16 years of age (1977) after getting shot due to gang violence I changed my name to Tkid170 and became a king of subway graffiti I tagged the park I played in it was on Morrison Ave and Watson Ave South Bronx then it was nothing but subway cars”

Hip Hop from the Cornell collection

KEO (above) painted the mural of Bambaata outside the Gavin Brown Gallery. The show, curated by Johan Kugelberg features Buddy Esquire’s fliers, Joe Conzo’s photos, Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style – and you can buy some of Bambaataa’s priceless records to play at home.

Imanuel aka BB7nyc  stylin’ and profilin’ outside the gallery

The Cold Crush crew.

Graffiti – Queens reigns supreme in June

One  weekend a year the area called Welling Court in Queens becomes a street art gallery. The project organized by Ad Hoc has grown each year with crews of legendary, groundbreaking, and up-and-coming artists transforming the neighborhood into a public art experience. This year saw legends like John Ahearn who cast street legend Smith (below), Cey (above), Lady Pink (below), and many more painting from dawn till dusk.

Cern One

Lady Pink

Alice and Trap

John Ahearn casting artist Smith


MCA Beastie Boys

One afternoon Dave Sussman rolled up to my place in his beautiful 1976 Cadillac. The ‘BKLYNWAY/BEASTIECADDY‘ is covered in photos of the Beastie Boys, as a fan described it  “ain’t enough o’s in smooooooth!” Dave created this art piece to honor the passing of MCA who sadly died in May 2012.

Coincidentally Ricky Powell, the man some call ‘the fourth Beastie’, just happened to be passing by – I think MCA would be be looking down smiling.

HVW8 Rebel Cultures: Punks Rap Gangs

My show at HVW8 Gallery for Art & Design in LA opened last Thursday, big thanks to Tyler, Nikolai, and Addison for throwing a great party, as well as my girl Jen from Art Duet for kicking it up and getting press from the likes of Jay ZComplexLA Weekly (Jake you rule) and Brent Rollins for the photo above. The show is called ‘Rebel Cultures.Punks, Rap, Gangs’ : images from British punk era, LA punk scene, Old School Hip Hop, and the East LA Hoyo Maravilla gang series.

HVW8 Gallery  is at 661 N Spaulding below Melrose Open Tues-Sun 1-6pm until May 18 2014

Keith Haring

In 1985 I was working for the New York Daily News magazine when they asked me to shoot Keith Haring for a cover  story – I was already a big fan, I knew Keith’s work from the subway and my friend Kim (Paper mag) who’s home phone was decorated by Keith. So one afternoon I went to his studio on LaGuardia place. It was  was packed with paintings, and things Keith had covered in his signature style. There were tags from friends all over the walls, art from the likes of Warhol, paint pots, a Mickey Mouse phone, his bike, a decorated boom box, stuff everywhere.  He was a lovely man, he posed for me and we chatted all afternoon. He gave me a massive ‘Free South Africa’ signed poster which I treasure, it hangs over my desk today. Recently a new friend Ken Caruso came by to interview me for his antisociety blog he is a big KH fan and owns several of his pieces – he now owns the first of a new editioned print of mine (above) .

Today Keith’s work sells for huge amounts – a group of nine collectors of artwork by Keith Haring are suing the foundation that bears his name and its directors on Friday, accusing the defendants of “wrongfully destroying” the value of their paintings by publicly labeling them as fakes and refusing to consider information that would establish their provenance. I don’t think Keith would approve.