Your Art New York / B.D. White
Billboard Location: 38 Harrison Pl. @ Morgan Ave. Bushwick, Brooklyn.
B.D. White entered the art scene by painting hundreds of streetlight bases throughout New York City. Despite his spinal injury, he earned a reputation as a prolific street artist using spray paint and stencils as his main medium.
From the beginning B.D. knew he was always going to be an artist. What he didn’t count on was a sporting accident at the age of 18 that left him with a broken back, paralyzed and in a wheelchair. The art world is highly competitive and getting the initial show or big break is sometimes slow in coming. Undeterred, B.D. decided to take his works directly to the public via the gallery known as the streets of New York. What some call “street art,” B.D. dubs “mindful vandalism” and despite his inability to easily flee if discovered, B.D. began to create compelling art on the streets in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Taking advantage of his seated position, his works were uniquely placed very low on walls and street lamps, areas where others may not have thought of using.
The artwork's aesthetic appeal and poignant messaging stood out, like “The Hashtagger”, a bronze sculpture that is far from your usual hastily sprayed tags and simple wheat paste works. It is Rodin’s Thinker sculpture with a modern update; an iPhone.
Inspired by Shepard Fairey's style, B.D. has taken the stencil technique to unprecedented levels of complexity; utilizing 60 to 95 stencil layers per painting. The works are visually stunning, however the concept and message are most interesting. B.D.’s recent works depicts an astronaut in multiple states of movement, sometimes alone, sometimes entwined in a tragic embrace with a female form. The astronaut represents man at his most lonely and distant self, though present in many of the paintings with the female love interest, the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of love lost, and longing is obvious.
B.D. White is not the first artist to overcome physical limitations. When his hands became to arthritic to paint, Renoir strapped brushes to his wrists and continued on and Chuck Close overcame near total paralysis to continue as one of the most significant living American artists. B.D. expertly demonstrate that nothing can dampen or contain an artist’s almost instinctual, obsessive need to create and share with the world.
To date, B.D. has shown in group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, and Berlin. An installation at the World Trade Center, exposure at Scope Art Fair during Art Basel in Miami, a month long solo show at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery in Manhattan, as well as his continued work on the streets of New York; have garnered him a strong and growing collector base.
Connect with B.D. on Instagram at @BDWhite.
Curator: Abe Lincoln Jr
How Abe decided on B.D.:
There were 3 main criteria I had for choosing BD White;
1) The piece of art I wanted to select would have to be horizontally formatted to take full advantage of the billboard space. Vertical pictures only get about half the bill board space due to formatting. I wanted the piece to take up as much space as possible with art.
2) The piece had to "Look like art" and by that I mean there were a lot of fantastic photographs and illustrative works submitted but in a visually cluttered city like nyc I wanted the piece to be unmistakably an art piece. A gorgeous photo or illustration could be easily tuned out as a clever advertisement. We NYC Residents know when someone's coming with a hustle and I didnt want the piece to get tuned out.
3) Scale I wanted to pick something that would be visually impressive on the scale of a billboard and B.D.s figures will certainly command attention!
What Abe thinks about SAS: "I think SaveArtSpace is a clever way to declutter the visual landscape, I like the aspect that its legal in that not everyone wants to risk their necks to have their work seen in public. Thats fine it takes a certain type of artist who's willing to do street work its not for everyone. I find the art world small and elitist, public art when done properly really connects with real people on the streets who wouldn't bother going to a Museum because of all the "two grants, one cup" nonsense that passes for modern art. I think this is why graffiti and street art are so popular, "regular people" can relate to it."
Connect with Abe on Instagram at @AbeLincolnJr