Alife opened in 1999. One of its main goals then was to showcase people around it whose work enriched our lives with original ideas and the honest commitment to the qualitative execution of those ideas, independently of the medium. From fashion to graffiti, this was the criteria we lived by. Also, we had to like the end product.
New York Art Department, 201—The artists and contributors that are part of this project meet these same requirements and were asked to participate because of their contribution to the downtown graffiti scene:
Earsnot and Semen Sperms of the infamous IRAK crew. Over the years, both—each in their own way--have destroyed vast amounts of private property with undisputed flair and attitude, represented here with two of the most destructive marking techniques.
Craig KR Costello, a downtown ambassador of good taste and purveyor of fine inks and markers to street vandals and studio artists alike, brings controlled chaos with his well-known and often imitated KRINK drips.
A witty newcomer with art school charm, JIM JOE showcases the melding of art education, graffiti culture and his personal obligation to illegally write his name and phrases everywhere, as evidenced by the threatening note attached to The Hole gallery door by a neighbor.
Legendary Lower East Side watering hole and artist safe haven, Max Fish and its patrons provide us with the colorful impromptu composition of layered drunken vandalism characteristic of its bathrooms on Ludlow street.
Finally, Alife comes in as the curator and long-time supporter of the scene with its stamp of approval: NY CRACK
Alife is a branded concept based on and in downtown New York City. It is focused on art and creativity with a strong penchant for originality, even if that means stealing it. Alife’s mission is to showcase, elevate and perpetuate the downtown culture from which it is born. Alife is a curator of all that downtown represents and speaks to an international downtown audience that is as close as down the block and as far as across the globe.
Since its ﬁrst shop opened in 1999, Alife has supported artists and artists have supported Alife. Whether grafﬁti writers, fashion designers, musicians, photographers or other, young artists found a safe haven within Alife. Alife’s genuine respect toward artists’ work, its notable commitment to quality of execution and authentic interest in original projects earned it a reputation as an important company to work with within the international downtown creative community.
About EARSNOT IRAK:
Born in a 1980 hysterical New York to a Pratt student from Nigeria and a farm girl from Virginia, visual composer Kunle Martins made a quick name for himself by illegally advertising the word EARSNOT in any place the public could view it. Martins finds comfort in a very tight-knit group of (street) artists called THE IRAK CREW (including Nico Dios, Ryan Mcginley and Dash Snow, just to name a few) who flourish in New York City's downtown arena.
About MAX FISH:
Owned and operated by Ulli Rimkus, Max Fish is a bar, an art gallery and a classic Lower East Side fixture. It has been a preferred hang out for local artists, skaters and residents for over 25 years.
Craig Costello a.k.a. "Krink" or "KR", is one of the most visionary and inspirational street artists working today, and is also the creator of KRINK, a line of the finest quality handmade inks and markers, beloved by artists and vandals alike. For more information about Krink, please visit krink.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
About JIM JOE:
HELLO AND THANK YOU I WAS BORN IN CITY UNITED STATES BUT GREW IN COUNTRY THERE WAS LITTLE SURFACE NOT BIG ENOUGH FOR MY ARMS LENGTH SO I CAME BACK AND MET GOOD WO MEN WHO LET ME SLEEP ON THEIR BED I TOOK ORGANIC SOUP FROM THE STORE NOT FROM THEM I DRINK STRAIGHT FROM THE CAN NOT TO WASTE TIME WO MEN TELL ME THEY WANT TO BEFRIENDS I TOLD THEM NO BECAUSE MAY BE DANGEROUS AND END UP SPENDING TIME ALONE THE NIGHT IS THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO LISTENS BUT SOME TIMES THE DAY DOES TOO THEN I GET USED TO IT AND PEOPLE TOO NOW EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE AND I KEEP DOING THE THING PLEASE THANK YOUJIM JOE
About SEMEN IRAK:
Hello-My NaMe iS SeMeN SpErMs AnD i'M A GrAfFiTi-HoLiC ThE SpErM ChArAcReR WaS EvOLcEd FrOm SiMpLe BoRdEr SpErMs I WoULd DrAw In My OLd FaNziNe. I GaVe iT ThE JaPaNeSe AniMe Hi-LiTeS oN ThE EyEs AnD SoMeTiMeS, iF I'm NoT ToO LaZy oR ShOoK, I HoOk Up ThE FoUr SpiRtS ArOuNd iT'S HeAd LiKe—'BLaU!'—
Uhuru is a design + build furniture company dedicated to sustainability and creating timeless designs. Uhuru builds each piece by hand, in their Red Hook Brooklyn studio. Many of the items Uhuru creates, utilize materials that have been reclaimed, recycled, repurposed, reused or otherwise rejected from their original function. Founded in 2004 by Rhode Island School of Design graduates Jason Horvath and Bill Hilgendorf, Uhuru is focused on continuing to push the boundaries of contemporary sustainable design.