TOOFLY NYC

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GRAFITERAS August 18th, 2017 Oakland, CA

Grafiteras Oakland Ca

Grafiteras EastSide Arts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GRAFITERAS

July 18th, 2017 OAKLAND, CA — On Friday August 18th, 6-10pm famed graffiti and street artists Toofly (NYC), and Dime (OAKLAND) team up for GRAFITERAS, a collaborative exhibition, installation, pop-up, and art workshop all in one. GRAFITERAS will be held at EastSide Arts Alliance & Cultural Center, a grassroots organization of third world artists, cultural workers, and community organizers of color.

 

GRAFITERAS is a multi dimensional exhibition that seeks to connect and build bridges between Raza artists from the east coast and west coast. Both artists exemplify sisterhood, latinidad, graffiti and have served as vital agents of influence for legions of women driven to rise in today’s art world.

 

Both women were raised in the tumultuous 90s era. Toofly hails from Corona, Queens NY, Dime from Oakland, California. As young graffiti artists they made their mark in a male dominated graffiti scene. The challenges of being immigrant and brown women did not deter their journey of self-discovery. In fact, it influenced the trailblazing art they create today. They were determined with mucho corazon which comes from instinctual feelings of love and community. Through their art, they not only represent themselves but the dreams, ideals and instincts of women, particularly Raza women.

 

Over the years they have carved out an important artistic space at the intersection of street graffiti, murals, and exhibitions—on their own terms, staying true to their roots and love for community. Eventually, the forces of the universe brought them together as grafiteras.

 

To be “Latina” or to be “Raza” in America means you celebrate two or more cultures through language, art, cultural traditions, music, and food. As daughters of families who at one point migrated to the states in search of greater opportunity and economic security, both women understand the power of their art in telling the story of immigrant families. In the face of struggle in a country of institutionalized racism, racial profiling, and an anti-immigrant legal systems, Toofly and Dime respond with art that uplifts, engages and promotes the inclusion of their communities. They have faced racism, and discrimination and so have their family members and peers. It is part of their lives and what gives them a thick skin in the face of adversity. This is what makes women strong, what makes them warriors. They are part of a growing generation of people of color who stand up for what they believe in and will weaponize their art to share their truths. Resistance is part of their culture, it’s in their blood.

 

Today, “Latina Americanas” like Toofly and Dime, are also spreading their craft into the broader society as educators, designers, educators, and community organizers. It has become the path of self determination for women artists who hold the roles of mothers, daughters, sisters, and aspiring professional storytellers. As grafiteras they have a complex story that speaks volumes of the strength and love that is needed to inspire and move society. GRAFITERAS is a powerful initiation to the complexity of what it’s like to grow up in America, and how Raza and many other cultures find a way to stand up, rise, and shine through it all.

 

Join us! Let’s celebrate women artists today who are the rainbow warriors of the new world.

 

As part of a 10 day artist residency, Toofly who visits from Ecuador, will host a #TooflyWorkshop on August 19th, 2017 at EastSide Arts Alliance from 12pm-3pm. Limited space. Registration required. Sign-Up: tallertercermundo@gmail.com

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TOOFLY

Maria Castillo known as “TOOFLY” is an international Ecuadorian/NYC artist, curator, and social entrepreneur. Recognized in the early 90’s for her hard and fluid character style, she gained popularity as one of the few females excelling beyond her peers in the male-dominated graffiti scene. Founder of female arts collectives, like; YOUNITY, LADIES LOVE PROJECT, and PROJECT GIRLZ. TOOFLY is a full time artist and runs her own independent art & design company; STAY TRU, where she consults, designs, and develops a variety of arts & culture events, as well as workshops. Her work has exhibited at many venues such as the Bronx Museum of Art, CAC; Contemporary Museum of Ecuador, and can be found on public walls internationally. TOOFLY is featured across media outlets like Graffiti Women, Outdoor Gallery, Juxtapoz, and Latina Magazine.

www.tooflynyc.com

 

DIME

Leslie Lopez, known as “DIME” is a Xicana Graffiti Writer, Educator, and first generation Mexican-American born and raised in East Oakland. DIME, A lifelong artist carrying on intergenerational traditions of cultural and spiritual resistance in her family began painting graffiti as a young teenager. Through her politicalization within the Xicana Movement and Oakland’s Eastside Arts Alliance she developed into a educator, organizer and public artist for community empowerment, healing, and self determination. Being one of the few women writers of her generation in Oakland, Dime developed a strong bond with the new rising generation of young women and used it as an opportunity to build a sisterhood and mentorship through a course she developed and taught to Middle School and High School young women called SHE’Rose. DIME is part of the EASTSide Arts Alliance Cultural Center. A member of BSK, Bomb Squad Kingz, one of the first graffiti crews in Oakland, Ca. put together by Style, Phresh, and West who were part of the first dozen of original graffers of Oakland to ever put paint on the walls of the city in the early 80′s. She is also part of Few and Far Women since it Originated in Oakland in 2011 it’s a collective of women artist, skaters, and photographers from around the world. DIME has worked collaboratively as part of Xochitlceive Collective and as an apprentice with Jesus Barraza from Dignidad Rebelde. Her collaborations are painted with youth and are seen in walls all around the city and beyond, including in marches and rallies reaching an intergenerational audience. Her work bridges graffiti and fine arts, as a muralist, printmaker, and mentor passing down teachings of her ancestors to all generations. Her passion and goal is to use art not only as a tool for social justice but as a tool for violence prevention, to reach young people, and entire communities and use art and Muralismo to cope, create change and empower.

www.lesliedimelopez.com

 

EASTSIDE ARTS ALLIANCE ( Gallery )

The EastSide Arts Alliance & Cultural Center presents free youth art classes, cultural programming, public art projects, ongoing gallery exhibitions, community town halls, and the annual Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival. We work with numerous organizations and community groups to present hundreds of events every year.

www.eastsideartsalliance.org

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“Residencia” Gama Gallery, Mexico City

March 05th, 2017 | Category: Events,Exhibitions,Travel

Residencia Gama Gallery Mexico

The Mexico City Trip is a wrap! —- I want to give a special shout out to hommie Daniel, curator of Gama Gallery, and street art projects in El DF. I met Daniel at Latido Americano in Peru last year and we talked about the possibility of working together next time I was in Mexico. I had been to the beautiful beaches and towns of Tulum, as well as Playa del Carmen/Cancun etc, but I had never visited any other part of Mexico. Gama gallery was now eight months old and it felt like the perfect time to pack and go! The gallery has been running successful workshops with various illustrators and designers since late last fall and the arts community has caught on to the amazing talent coming out of Gama. During our trip it got a chance to team up with Alianza Francesa of Mexico and schedule us in to do presentations alongside Pablito Zago who was invited form France.  ”Residencia” was born – a group exhibition with local and international traveling artists. It’s where it’s at, and I’m am loving the idea.

Residencia Mexico City Gama Galleria

Toofly Mexico City Prints

 

Sending lot’s of love to my friend DJ Ski-Hi from NYC who I learned is living in Mexico City with his wife who hosted me for two weeks in their beautiful home. THANK YOU!

Toofly Fine Art In Too Deep

Gama Galleria Mexico City Condesa

Toofly Prints Mexico City Gama

Toofly Mexico City Gama Galeria 3

Toofly Prints Gama Galeria Mex City

Tysa toofly Mexico City

Pablito Zago Mexico City

Pablito Zago Gama Galeria

Toofly NYC Pablito Zago Gama Galeria Mex

 

Great meeting you Pablito! Hope to see you in France one day:)

Gama Galeria Mexico Condesa Shop

Gleo Gama Galeria

Gama Galeria Mexico City

 

Toofly Gama Galeria Mexico 5

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HidroArte Mexico City 2017

March 05th, 2017 | Category: Graffiti / Street Art,Travel

Toofly Mexico City HidroArte 2

I’m happy I got a chance to paint a collaboration wall with Pablito Zago during our trip to when Mexico City. So glad it worked out! Thanks to Gamma Gallery curators, and their friends at Muro and Hidroarte we made it happen. The wall took three days to produce and it’s one of my favorite mural collaborations I have done lately. Once I had the dimensions of the wall and a free day to soak in inspiration from the Anthropology Museum I was good. I spent a few hours at the park sketching and came up with an image that I felt motivated to paint. Many of my pieces are from my imagination, and feelings I want to express. I was inspired by a painting I saw at the museum that had women of different cultures by Jorge Camarena. Wow! Amazing artist, I am super behind in learning about his work.  I was blown away by the rock sculptures, and details in the artifacts. The museum was mega dope! #1 spot to visit in el DF. Because I like to paint strong empowering female images I try and take the opportunity to explore something new with each one. Mexican art, history, and culture is hands down my top 5 and I wanted to bring a little of it of everything I fell in love with from the museum into the piece. Art inspires art, and the more I learn and travel the closer I am to creating my new works. If you want to visit the wall it is located in: MetroBus parada EL COYOL

Toofly Mexico City HidroArte 1

Toofly Mexico City HidroArte 3

Toofly NYC Hidroarte

Toofly Mexico City 2017 - 2

Toofly Pablito Zago Collaboration Mexico

Toofly NYC Mexico City HidroArte 2017

toofly pablito

Shout out to Pablito Zago for being mega cool and chill on the collaboration. Our work is different but both love to interact with the people that come up to as when we paint. It makes us happy to talk to them, especially the kids who said things like eso esta chido!

Toofly Mexico City 2017

HidroArte Mexico 2017

Toofly NYC Hidroarte 2017

 

THANK YOU MEXICO CITY!

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Aerosoles Cruzados / Alianza Francesa de Mexico

March 05th, 2017 | Category: Events,Travel

Aerosoles Cruzados / Alianza Francesa de Mexico

Alianza Francesa Mexico

Toofly Mexico City

Aerosoles Cruzados Mexico

HidroArte Mexico Toofly

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DESIGNER CON 2016, PASADENA CA. RE-CAP

December 20th, 2016 | Category: Events,Travel

DESIGNER CON 2016. This is my second time attending and I love it! mostly because I get to see some of my cali friends + there is so much to see in one huge convention center it’s awesome. This year Crewest Studios took on a lot of the production and set up a big booth for the artists invited. I got a chance to set up my goods, and hang with the the entire team. Crewest took care of all of us, curated panels, and set it off with the Secret Walls live art VIP after party event with guest DJ Z-Trip. The place was packed! and I finally got a chance to dance. One of my favorite ways to celebrate during my trips. With the Toofly pop-up in the mix, print signings, live art, and panels like “Latinos in Contemporary Art” I was a happy TF. Saturday Kano and I rocked the Secret Walls art battle alongside other artists, as well as hommie DJ Synapse, and host Mishka. When it was all over we all danced like crazy to the ill Z-trip set. WOW! I’m a fan. It was dope! Best part of it all was that we were all in good company, and happy people once the open bar took over. Shout to Marka, Liza, Upendo, Ritzy, Kano, and the rest of the LA crew peeps. Good times! A memorable and fun night indeed.

Designer Con Toofly

Toofly Dcon Crewest

Toofly Man One Crewest

Toofly Live Dcon Hip Hop Trooper

Latinos in Contemporary Art DCON

PODCAST LINK —–> Adventures in Design with Mike Brickey

Secret Walls Toofly kano

Kano Toofly Secret Walls Dcn 2

Toofly Secret Walls Dcon

Toofly Secret Walls Dcon1

Kano Toofly Secret Walls 4

NY LA 2016

LA / NY Connect!

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OPEN SPACE LA, 2016 RE-CAP

December 19th, 2016 | Category: Events,Exhibitions,Travel

I’m a little backed up again on posts guys! Had a hectic schedule this fall, but no complaints. I enjoyed myself. This year I made a quick stop in Los Angeles, for my “Love Warrior Print & Pop-Up” held at Open Space LA. Now that the series is 90% complete, I’m packing them up and taking them to every city I visit. Man One from Crewest Studios and I got a chance to co-curate and also make time for some Designer Con action. Alex and I worked great together. I was happy we had the time to build and relate to a ton of things going on in the art world. Spaces are hard to come by sometimes, but Open Space LA had the perfect size brick wall to hang my latest series. I had a hard time keeping them up on the wall, but that’s ok. Who would of known puddy would be such hell!!! –  Oh well, at least they held up as long as they could enough for folks to check them out, and connect. That’s what’s important, and why DJ Synapse and I went on for long hours on deep conversations about the world. Ha ha! I’m all about that kind of atmosphere, and cozy vibe. Open Space was a nice space to invite my NY/LA friends to kick-it and for Synapse to spin. The fairfax strip is chill, a little too much mens street wear for one street but cool for a weekend pop-up. Shout out to our friends Tried & True, and FCNY for holding it down for all the fellas. I guess the ladies can rock the gear in smalls and mediums till a ladies street brand pop-up! Till then supporting your homegirls when we are in town rocks. Thank you for the print love Ricky! — mad love to our new and true school LA friends; ManOne, Scott, Open Space LA, Dj Synapse, Ritzy, Kano, Ricky, Drew, Tried & True hommies, One 9, Cynthia Kelley, and everyone who came thru to show love and support. I’ll be back for round 3 next November!

Open Space LA Toofly Love Warrior

Open Space LA Toofly NYC

Love Warrior Toofly Los ANgeles 4

@alfienumeric Thanks for the interview and canvas love!

Los Angeles_Type not by me

Open Space LA Toofly1

Moon Flower Love Warrior Toofly

NEW PRINT RELEASE —-> “Moon Flower” 16″X16″ Giclee Ed. of 25

DJ Synapse Toofly LA

Open Space La Toofly

Ritzy, Kano, Toofly LA

Love Warrior LA 3

Tried adn True LA

 

Toofly One9 Tried and True Los Angeles

 

THANK YOU NY/LA!

 

 

 

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QUITO ARTS WALK

August 28th, 2016 | Category: Community,Ecuador,POP UP SHOPS,Travel,Uncategorized

That’s right, a #QuitoArtsWalk! There is none, so Erin Yoshi and the Trust Your Struggle crew got together and hooked it up in 1 DAY. It’s arts month in Quito, Ecuador ( AUGUST ) and the city spreads the word on Talleres Abiertos De Quito. I think it’s a great idea to have open studios by artists for public view, but once a year tho? If we’re gonna build a strong”all inclusive” arts community you gotta do it yourself. That means organize local crews, shops, and artists of all angles to come together for the cause. Professionals, youth, kids, families, even the older folk who love to water color down the block. We’re here to spread that creative love, and good vibes with others who are down. A foundation for local economies starts with each of us, and that means “manos a la obra” mentality. It’s how we do, and how it’s done here when it’s time to clean up a street, build a house, or rock a food garden. The historic center of Quito is an amazing place with streets like calle Junin and others like La Ronda providing spaces for the artists to take over public space. Is it safe? Yes, but sometimes the cops fuck with us/them. Harassing an artist using a spray can to create, or an artesano setting up shop on the floor to make a living is not cool. So we’re out here trying to create a safe space for them too, because art it not only for an elite class with fancy galleries and glossy pamphlets. We’re independent, and rep the streets where the heart and soul of people lives.

Quito Art Walk-1

Collaboration with Trust Your Struggle Collective, Toofly, Alm Crew, and Sirka.

Quito Arts Walk 5

Trust Your STruggle Quito

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Erin Yoshi Quito

Quito Art Walk 2

Quito Arts Walk 6

Ozi Quito

Toofly Quito Arts Walk  Quito Arts Walk 9

Alm Crew Quito

Quito Arts Walk 10

Erin Yoshi Quito 2

Mincho Vega Quito

Quito Arts Walk 7

Toofly Quito Arts Walk 2

Toofly Quito Ecuador

Quito Arts Walk 13

Quito Arts Walk 15

Quito Arts Walk Junin

Quito Art Walk

 

Gracias a todos!

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LATIDO AMERICANO 2016, Callao Peru

February 29th, 2016 | Category: Events,Graffiti / Street Art,Travel

Heading to Peru tomorrow! – Happy for the invitation to participate in #LatidoAmericano’s festival for the next 15 days. It’s going to be HOT. Literally…summer weather is at hand and it’s not as fun under the hot sun to paint but we’ll see how it goes. This year it is being held in Callao, Peru near a beach which will help with the sea breeze. Last time I was in Peru in 2013 the painting/festival experience was not at all fun and I was not very happy with what I painted. I’m confident this event will be hella on point with Entes & Pesimo leading the festival. The equipment, paint, and treatment for the artists is a lot more professional. Whew! Here we go. Bags are all packed…now if I can only find my sketchbook!?! I have no idea what I’m going to paint yet…I’ll let the wall speak back to me when I get there…
Toofly LatidoAmericano Peru

Follow the process on instagram: @TOOFLY_NYC

Back from Peru! Getting these blog posts up is getting harder and harder guys…Many of the flicks are now up on Facebook, and Instagram if you want to check them out just hashtag #latidoamericano. I would love to sit here for hours like I used to and write and post all my favorite moments but lately this blogging thing is not as fun anymore. Living in the moment, and no longer really caring to post much once it has all passed. This may change or it may not. I’m open to your thoughts.

Toofly Oz Montana Latidoamericano

Toofly X Oz Montana Collaboration, Callao, Peru 2016 #LatidoAmericano

 

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TALLEST MURAL IN ECUADOR! by TOOFLY

January 18th, 2016 | Category: Ecuador,Events,Graffiti / Street Art,Travel

Flicks coming soon…

Toofly-Ecuador-Mural-Warmi-Paint

Toofly Warmi Paint 2

Toofly Mural

Toofly Mural 8

Toofly Mural 2

Toofly Warmi Paint Ecuador 4

Toofly Warmi Paint Mural

Toofly Ecuador 2015

Toofly Warmi Paint Ecuador 3  Toofly Warmi Paint Ecudor 1

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FRANJA GRAFITERA Asuncion, Paraguay 2015

October 03rd, 2015 | Category: Events,Travel,Uncategorized

Where do I begin?

FranjaGrafitera-8

The Asuncion, Paraguay trip was an experience unlike any other I’ve had. Eight women artists from Latin America where invited to participate in the 1st ever Bienal the country has ever had. Toofly ( Ecuador ) Abusa Crew ( Chile) Ledania ( Colombia ) Zumi ( Argentina) Norka ( Bolivia ) Shalak ( Canada)  Sofia Maldonado ( Puerto Rico ) and Min 8 (Uruguay ) who were specifically chosen to represent their country and graffiti/street/mural works. In our eyes a Bienal is a well produced, large scale internacional contemporary art event with high standards. Many of us took the invitation serious. When we arrived the Bienal was anything but that. We have never experienced so much disorder, and miscommunication…

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Bienal Asuncion Paraguay 2015

FranjaGrafitera-4
Luckily the locals in the graffiti culture had our back to get the basics in place the first few days so that we can at least start our walls. We made do with what was available and stayed positive…Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5…

Power One
Shout out to POWER ONE the 1st and only graffiti shop in Asuncion.

FranjaGrafitera-3

FranjaGrafitera-2

DAY 6 We can finally start!!!???

FranjaGrafitera-7

FranjaGrafitera-6

FranjaGrafitera-9

meals

Staying positive while we pay for our own meals…

toofly asuncion 1

toofly paraguay

toofly asuncion 2

I paint fast so I finished quickly. I also chose a wall I can use a ladder because the scaffold situation was troublesome. I was able to finish my piece in 3 days…luckily the drunk man who harrased me in the end didn’t get as aggressive when I offered him a soda. He would not leave me alone, and it got scary at one point. I asked for help from the local police in the area but they did nothing. I asked them to stick around until I finished but they left and I painted as quickly as possible before the drunk man came back. Many of the women painting experienced their own situation with aggressive behavior from men in the area, verbal abuse etc; A very frustrating and dangerous situation to work under especially when there is no one looking out for you and taking safety measures from the organization…

costanera sunset

FranjaGrafitera-14

tfskate

graffgirlzskate

We had our bonding moments despite the issues in between…

FranjaGrafitera-11

FranjaGrafitera-12

costanera 6

FranjaGrafitera-13

All day all night in order to stay on schedule…
oz

Shout out to Oz Montania a local graffiti artist who looked out for us:) He WAS NOT part of the organizing team for the Bienal, but I think if he would of been and was consulted for his experience it would of helped us a ton! Darn…next time. We love you OZ!!!

FranjaGrafitera-15

DAY 7: Tuesday September 29, 2015

On the day we were ready to continue and possibly finish…we were faced with aggressive verbal abuse, and were unable to continue. We lost days in production to get to this point but when they don’t cover your meals, there is no transportation, no water, no security, no safety, and proper equipment you simply just can’t go on…

asuncion police

I would like to share what happened to all of us after a week of issues in hopes that anyone working to produce a public street/graffiti project in their country are aware that they need to have their shit together before they invite artists to create top notch level work. This is not a local graffiti jam taking place in your neighborhood for a day of fun, this is a Bienal. If you are inviting international artists from all over the world then your production plan has to be on point with an adequate budget.

The urban arts movement is the biggest in the world and we have the most impact on a social and community level. Our work changes lives especially young people in a positive manner. It is something we take seriously on many levels and are respected worldwide by other institutions and people. We spend hours, and days preparing to create a mural that will have an impact on the new generation of artists and the countries arts/culture movement. Our work would stay long after the Bienal is over…

Many of the artists arrived ready to work on large walls near the costañera part of Asuncion a week 1/2 before the launch of the Bienal. The walls were in terrible condition but we were determined to paint them and make them beautiful. The equipment arrived very late because the check promised to cover all production costs for the “Franja Grafitera” arrived late. A huge problem for production organizer ( 1 person ) to move forward strategically, especially for an event that has be in the works 1 year in advance. Paint had to be ordered when we arrived because a feriado landed that weekend where everything closes early and for 2 full days. The scaffolds were extremely heavy, and not altogether with staff who was on vacation. This delayed the process of staring the mural work on time. Missing platforms, no wheels, etc; The workers that would help us move and set up the heavy equipment could not work until they were were payed and returned form a feriado weekend. We lost a full week. There were no ladders until the very end, and when they did arrive they were of heavy wood and metal that needed additional staff to help move for all 8 murals. Some of the scaffold set up at the wall were extremely dangerous because the floors were on a hill, broken glass, rocks. There was no expert safety on scene. There were days we had to cover our own food, and water. One of the most basic necessities for artists to work during very hot weather and with 10+ hours of work in a day. There was no transport to and from walls from a hostel, even after late nights to meet deadline. Our team of artists tried to solve problems as best we could but after a week+ of issues we broke. This was not a Bienal production at full potencial that we were expecting, they’re excuse “this is Paraguay” The blame was passed on from one person to another. In the end no-one owned up to their responsibility. We had 2 days left of the Bienal and we decided that the Bienal, the people, and the country is not ready for what we are capable of. Our departures were scheduled on the day of the Bienal launch, one more reason to wonder “Do they really appreciate graffiti/street/ mural artists here?

Bienal2015 asuncion-4

Asi no se puede mas! Here is an example of the overall treatment we received. This was very dangerous for Abusa Crew to paint on…if I car would of passed by on the corner a serious accident could of went down. The brutal truth is there was no love for us here…

asuncion meeting

We got together to make one last attempt to speak to the organizers with a professional and respectful letter to make them aware of what we have been faced with during production. We hoped that the last few days we something could be done, but not much changed.
Microsoft Word - Declaración Artistas de la Franja Graffitera.d

Microsoft Word - Declaración Artistas de la Franja Graffitera.d

We gathered, talked, and decided as a group that we would leave behind one final message. One that will help them realize that they still need a lot of work to do to live up to the titles they want to represent.  “El Grito de la Libertad” the Bienals theme this year became a public protest by the Franja Grafitera to the Asuncion Bienal.

NO TENEMOS MIEDO A PINTAR CON DIGNIDAD! ASI NO! , RESITENCIA, ABORTO BIENAL 2015, DESPIERTEN! , HAY QUE EDUCAR!

FranjaGrafitera-16

Bienal2015 asuncion-2

FranjaGrafitera protesta 2

Bienal2015 asuncion-5

FranjaGrafitera protesta

Bienal2015 asuncion-1

toofly media press

toofly paint

toofly asuncion

toofly asuncion protest

toofly paraguay protest

DESPIERTEN!

FranjaGrafitera protesta 3

ledania asuncion

Press made an attempt to write about what happened. Article by ABC COLOR more in the week ahead I’m sure…

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TORONTO, CANADA 2015

July 22nd, 2015 | Category: Community,Travel

Before heading back to the mothaland I had an opportunity to work closely with Chilean graffiti woman BOMBA on Toronto, Canada. I had a really nice time in the city while we worked on a community city project Bomba organized alongside Kamplex. The best part of the trip was the yummy food we had every single day, and the street strolls through her neighborhood. One of the loveliest homes and gardens I have seen in a while. Its a beautiful city. Looking fwd to the project flicks!

Canada 2

Canada 1

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Baños Ecuador, 2015

February 25th, 2015 | Category: Community,Ecuador,Graffiti / Street Art,Travel

I’ve been in Ecuador for a good three years now and it has given me the opportunity to meet, and build with some awesome souls who organize, curate, and are in tune with a much healthier lifestyle. It has made me a much happier, and creative human being. Working with the energy of these folks helps me take my work and ideas to the next level. This year is off to a great start, and the second wall project that came up this past weekend was in Baños Ecuador. A team of 6+ artists took a lovely country side road trip 4 hours away from Quito to the land of waterfalls, adventures, and “Agua Santa” (Spanish for Baths of Holy Water) is named after the hot springs located around the city which have a reputation of having healing properties due to their content of various minerals. It is also near  the Tungurahua a highly active volcano. Fortunately it’s been safe for many years to visit Baños and we hope it continues to be for many years to come. We arrived during some great weather and ready to paint! The project was lead by street artist Vera and her team Joins Back, Tanya, Jose, and Tatta Productions who looked out for all of us with transport, a comfortable stay at La Petite Auberge, and yummy healthy meals at Casa Hood. I’m missing the Phad Thai already! Baños has gotten way cooler since the last time I was there. A lot more variety in restaurants, shops, and cute hostels have popped up which makes this a great place to return. Once settled we were ready to get to work!

Polaroid Banos Ecuador

Polaroid by La Suerte

The project at hand was located a few minutes away in a little town called Ulba. It was in desperate need of color and smiles. The Agoyan electrical hydro power plant which is just a few kilometers away has residents moving out. The river no longer flows naturally causing foul smells to their barrio. The local park is closed, and the homes, and streets are deteriorating daily from lack of care. Our goal to roll up our sleeves and paint many of the homes that were falling apart. The color and activity brought the families out for a “minga” ( community clean up ) which happens throughout Ecuador because at times the city can not help these neighborhoods. They began to clean the streets, sweep out the dirt, and help us buff the walls. Little by little everyone was giving a helping hand. They made us “sanduches de mortadella” and fresh raspberry juices to get our energy up, and hooked us up with some electricity so we can blast our music. It was a very fun, and productive “painting street jam” that brought smiles to the families, and much needed attention from the city. They came to help, and are now in chats about permaculture solutions about the problems the electrical power plant has caused the area.  They also plan to open up the park, and fix up the streets/homes which will (hopefully) bring residents back to the barrio. Everyone did a beautiful job! We’re excited to build on many similar projects in towns that need help and attention. Thank you Vera! and (((team))) for the invitation to work with you guys on this beautiful “Paredes del Barrio” project<3

Banos Map Of Murals

Banos HydroElectric Power Plant

Smh…Green Energy?

Banos Ecuador Graffiti

Foto by Eleki Hobosigns

spraypaint

Banos Ecuador-1

Toofly Sketch Banos

Toofly Banos Ecuador 4

Photo by: Jose Luis Jacome Guerrero

Toofly Banos Progress

Foto by Eleki Hobosigns

Toofly Banos Ecuador Graffiti

Toofly Banos Ecuador 3

If your traveling to Baños Ecuador and want to check out the murals in this town, the main road is on the ( right )  you can’t miss it!

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TOOFLY Baños Ecuador 2015

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Photo by: Jose Luis Jacome Guerrero

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The electrical power plant is down this road…

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VERA 2015 Photo by Tatta Rodriguez

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ELEKI and TELEFUNKA in town from Guadalajara Mexico! – Photo by Tatta Rodriguez

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JOINS BACK, 2015

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LA SUERTE X PIN8 Collab

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“Sembrar Creatividad” y Amor <3

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We found “Fruna” in the middle of the road to Baños. We almost hit her! Vera picked her up and found her a home at end of trip. She will now live in paradise with La Suerte en her family. It’s a doggie world in Latina America! All doggies on trip are adopted. Shout out to Mishki, Rudy, and Fruna who barked and ran around freely.

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Cosmorama final flicks coming soon…- Photo by Tatta Rodriguez

Lunch

Desayuno…

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Almuerzo…Foto by Eleki Hobosigns

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y Dinner at Casa Hood! Like a creative arts family <3 Thank you team. Well deserved meals kept us going. GOOD TIMES!!! Now let’s get tattoos and seal the trip deal!

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Private Tattoo sessionz with Pin8 Studios!

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Pin8 is an Ecuadorian Graffiti, Street, and Tattoo Artist who’s shop is located in Baños. His work is super dope, unique and a style all his own. Love it! Thank you Pin8!

Pin8 Tattoo

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Pass the Wisky:) It’s mini hearts and starz time!

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Rudy!!!

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La Suerte en her signature Bone fish…

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Joins Back with an original Pin8 piece for his arm…

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Thank You Pin8! See ya next time Baños Crew <3

 

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TULUM ART PROJECT, MEXICO 2015

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Before I took off to Cancun I reached out to the folks at the Tulum Art Project. I had been following the event on Facebook from flicks posted by street artist Spaik. As our movement keeps growing, so do the destinations. More, and more “arte urbano” events are popping up in different countries that have vibrant cultures and communities. It’s no longer just a city thing. It’s an exciting time to paint and travel, and I am allllllllll about it. I had a gig in New York after New Years and figured heck, I don’t want to be in the cold! Mexico is just a few hours away and less than $300 to get there. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get confirmation to paint but I trusted the stars. If it was meant to be for me to paint it will work itself out.

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On my last week in Mexico I received confirmation that there was a wall available, and a lovely place for me to stay called Zamas Hotel. I was siked! I had missed the original December launch dates but Susan, lead organizer of the project worked it all out.

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First day in I sat by the beach and worked on my sketch. I gave thanks to the sun as it went down…It felt really good to be in tune with everything my heart had desired…Zamas Hotel - Palm Trees

Good morning! Ready to paint and chillax for the next 3-4 days…

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Because much of my life’s work is about women, and women empowerment, Susan was on the mission to find the perfect wall. She connected me to Sirena’s; an all women’s hostel, art, and gallery. Right across the street from the bus terminal on Tulum Ave. For the ladies that travel solo, or in a group and want to feel a little safer, this is the spot. Susan has been building with locals in the community for over 20 years and has seen Tulum grow daily. Now there’s bohemian shops, and quaint restaurants that make this community a must-go-to for vacation. Especially with the ruins and beautiful beaches near by. The hope is that the locals try their best to keep their homes, and businesses so that all are in harmony, and there is no fear of the being pushed out of their barrios.

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Sirenas Hostel Tulum Mexico

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I had three days to enjoy this little town, and a big rooftop wall to rock. The young mexican ladies at the hostel were very sweet and accommodating on my short painting schedule. Especially Betsy and traveling buds who helped out, made spaghetti, and took process flicks.Wall Sirenas

Let the transformation begin…

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SIRENA DEL MAR Y SOL – Tulum Mexico, 2015

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Betsy Sirenas Hostel Tulum

“Sirenas” the singers of this lovely life. Half woman, half birds. Like warrior women they express their beauty and freedom with creativity. This is for all my linda amigas and the colorful mayan women of Mexico <3

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Check out all the beautiful photos of the Zamas Hotel —> www.zamas.com

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These had to be the most amazing shrimp tacos I have ever had! WOW delicious…big ups to the chef!

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I was pretty tired from wall so I didn’t get to walk around much down Tulum Ave or the boho little town near hotel. There and so many cute shops and restaurants. I am most definitely going to return…

Zamas Hotel Sunsets

I want to send my 100th thanks to Susan and her staff at Zamas. The stay was super duper pleasant. Waking up to the swinging palm tree breeze, chillax sessions on the hammock, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner overlooking the beach will be moments to treasure. Gracias to the stars that aligned, and all the good vibes, and love that came with it. Even the fat bruise I got on my leg when I crashed the bike into a tree on my way back from wall. It was a long day, and I was really tired:( Luckily it wasn’t too bad. I flew off the bike like a CHAMP! Yeah baby…it’s gonna be a SUPA DUPA FLY year, warrior bruises and all.

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Till next time Tulum Mexxxxxxico! You are a lovely place with beautiful people <3

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MEXICO TRIP, 2015

January 26th, 2015 | Category: Day in the Life,Green Living,Travel

Toofly Cancun

Stuck in Cancun, Mexico for a few more days and that is totally okay because I am not looking forward to the blizzard in New York one bit! It’s also good because I am back in chillax mode after #TulumArtProject wall and can rock this blog post in peace. To set off 2015 I decided to take a little vacation to my favorite beach destination, paint, draw, get a tan, visit ruins, eat lot’s of tamales, tortillas, tacos, elotes, sopes, and all the yummy mexican food I can squeeze into my travel budget. I recently discovered champurrado at the local mercado and I can’t get enough!!! What a delicious drink hot or cold. Discovering the local “spots” is such a treat!

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TF beach time

Delfines Beach Cancun

Eat Beach Sleep and Draw

Traveling to the Yucatan part of Mexico during January is perfect. The weather is sweet, and not terribly hot like other months. There’s a nice breeze throughout the day and it feels really good when your out all day visiting the ruins or catching a beach sunset. Last time I visited in 2011 I did not get a chance to visit Chichen Itza so I made sure to go this time. One of the 7 wonders of the world is not to be missed! – These ruins are the largest of Mayan sites in Mexico. Just 3-4hrs by bus from Cancun with a must stop in this lovely town of Valladolid. I did not get a chance to stay here long but I saw some really beautiful artisan shops, and restaurants with high ceilings with colonial style decor. Beautiful!

Toofly Chichen Itza

Once at the ruins you make your rounds trying your best to dodge the hundreds of tourists to get a good shot of the pyramids. It’s a bummer that you can no longer climb them, and that there are so many people there. Also didn’t dig that there are so many vendors who all sell and make the same stuff. Beautiful, but over saturated. It kind of kills the whole moment. Where are the handcrafted works uniquely created by true craftsmen? Why do they all make the same stuff? Anyway it must be a tourist thing, I guess to accommodate the gringo consumerism for cheap “regalitos” When I finally found a quiet place to sit, and the crowds went far from sight ( following the tour guides like sheep ) I took the time to appreciate the site a little more. Most of the stone monuments had well detailed illustrations carved out on the wall. Mostly the underworld of snakes, and skulls. Trying to imagine this kind of world existed years and years ago is a trip. I can’t get around the chopping off heads for sacrifice and all that? I gotta read up on it some more…

Chichen Itza Lunch

Shout out to Silvia from New Zealand for meeting up and hanging out <3 Hope we meet again in our travelz…

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Chichen Itza Strollz

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My first 2 weeks in Cancun was nice. Made sure to get my Delfines beach on and my ruins trip in. There is not much else to do in Cancun. The hotel life here is stagnant. There is just too many tourists and it’s a little pricey but I got a great deal at a hostel I couldn’t pass up especially since I was gonna be here for a whole month! Glad I was only 45 minutes away from Playa Del Carmen because when it was time to visit my amiga linda I packed up and took the $3 van there. My homegirl Fransiska and her daughter Mika hosted me for a quick minute before it was time to head to Tulum. We haven’t seen each other in many many years. Catching up was super nice, and learning new things we had each discovered in our life journey was fresh. We shared stories of our move away from New York City and how so much of the same things helped us make that decision. Beach life for the girls is a whole new life, and a healthier one. I am happy for my friend and her daughter <3 If that mangu crave, or uptown flava kicks in she’s only a few hours and dollars away from it all:)  But wow who can ever give up that local MAMEY!!! hahahhaha I so need to find this fruit in Ecuador. What a delicious fruit! It’s like flang in a fruit or something like it. DELICIOUS. Thank you for hosting me my sweet friend, and introducing to your neighborhood peeps. Get that solar power boombox and transmit that Iska.World.101 jump off!

Play del Carmen Peeps Time

As my trip came to a close I got wonderful news from the folks at the Tulum Art Project. I was confirmed to paint a wall! – After my happy dance I packed my bags up again and was off to Tulum another 45 minutes away—> read more about out in on the TULUM ART PROJECT 2015 POST.

 

 

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ART BASEL 2014 ::: RE-CAP!

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The year is coming to a close, and the best way to do it up is to hit up Miami’s Art Basel! If you can paint, party, and hit the beach you got the Art Basel fun covered. This year the Few & Far Women collective got our shit together a few months before to organize one of the largest all women collaborations we have ever done. It was a huge wall, and the production funds necessary to make it happen where steep. Luckily we made it happen independently thanks to our sponsors, friends, family, and supporters who helped us raise funds through our GoFundMe campaign. Shout out to everyone who helped us get to Basel this year and rock this amazing wall. A total of 17 graffiti and street art women Toofly, Agana, Dime, Meme, Hops, Merlot, Ksera, Kazilla, Jenn Ponci, Ursula X Young, 179 and our guests Mavel, Ms.Kee, Rachel, Silver, and Sour who helped us on the wall. Our theme this year was an underwater electric fantasy inspired seaworld. It was an opportunity where we can enhance the emotion of our characters, and push ourselves to design letters and background imagery to tie it altogether. A challenge but in the end we made it all work. We had everything we needed to take on this big task; scaffolds, latex paint materials, lifts, ladders, spot lights, an array of spray paint sponsored by IRONLAK, a personal photographer/videographer, and DJ Izzy who kept us going all night and turned our wall location into a full blast block party. What a year! It was a sight to see…the production was on point. Everyone put in a lot of effort, especially our team leader Meme.  She is one of the most hands on person I have ever met. She’s the type of gal who will make you a Mojito, climb to fix a scaffold into place, scooter her way around Basel promoting the crew and still make time to paint her piece. All of this on like 2 hours of sleep! I don’t know how she does it, but when you love something that’s what it takes. As a crew we depend on her to get us going, and we trust she finds a way to make it happen. As a crew we have gotten stronger and more confident when she helps us pull it together in the nick of time. I love that <3 THANK YOU MEME!!! –  I am proud of these ladies. Each one did their part. I was happy to see everyone having a good time and doing what they love even if they had to sleep deprive themselves to get their part done. The wall came together in the very end and each of us found a way to enjoy Art Basel Miami this year in our own unique way. We realize Downtown Miami and Wynwood is changing tons, and so are we. Unsure if we will return to go bigger, louder, and stronger…it’s just not about that anymore these days. We are growing as individuals and artists who want to give back something more than just a big wall and a party. The corporate folks are moving in, the graff locals are trying to take back their streets, tourists, greed, and nasty cops are at an all time high affecting and interrupting the creative flow. That’s when you know things might just take a turn in another direction folks. So enjoy it while you can! — Thank you for the continued support <3

DAY 1 – FEW AND FAR WOMEN BEGIN!

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This is one of the largest walls the Few and Far crew has ever taken part in…-PROUD OF US!

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Agana sketching out her “Warrior Fish” to see how we can tie our characters together…

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Thank you for the paint Ironlak!

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MOJITOS!!! by MEME

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Hommie T stopped by to check out the wall and take flicks with her lovely friend. I fell in love with her neon yellow nails! Especially next to my piece…ArtBasel2014-6

FABE and his girls also showed some love and came thru for pics <3

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DAY 2 – FINALIZE MY PIECE AND HANG WITH PEEPS!

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My #bestfriendforever Evelyn, and her lovely family stopped by to spend the rest of afternoon with me <3 Thanks guys! :::LOVE YOU:::

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E will always be one hot tamale! Looking good my friend you are beautiful:)

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let’s go eat!

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Dinner and strollz with my lovelies! LOVE HARDER, LOVE, LOVE IS A RISK, LOVE LOVE LOVE is what we are all about…#hopelessromantics we are <3

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DAY 3 – WYNWOOD STROLLZ and FINAL FLICKS

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It finally got to a point where we were able to chill and relax so Dime, Silver, and I connected with Cristina. I met her last year at the wall  she had such good vibes! We took some Wynwood strolls and she invited us to roll with her to the Miami Marina, and the South Beach. We were all for it! Definately needed it to UNBASEL ourselves. – Because this year I personally wasn’t crazy about any of the parties, drinking, or crowds – hanging with Cristina was perfect. She was on the same page, gotta love when that happens…

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LOVE IS A RISK DO IT ANYWAY. SO loved this…it was written a million times on a wall…whoa…

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More DOPE flicks by Cristina Isabel Rivera coming soon!

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Few and Far Group Shot by Cristina Isabel Rivera ©2014

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BANG! – Done. With all that was going on I felt I needed to dedicate this piece to communities around the world who were protesting against police brutality. These are not peaceful days we are living in, Art Basel is a bubble and we were caught up in it. Unaware of what was on TV, radio, or social media. My state of mind these days is peaceful and in tune with nature, and the flow of life, however everywhere around the world it’s chaos. Gotta keep trying to create more love in the world but until then if there’s no justice there will be no peace!

 

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