BORN AND BRED: The Rise of Street Art in Bushwick

Consider this your pregame to the Bushwick Collective's bloc party happening this Saturday and featuring the best local and international street artists

For Joseph Ficalora, art is his “medicine,” and he’s here to make everyone else in New York City feel better through it.

Bred in Brooklyn, Ficalora is the founder of the Bushwick Collective, a community of artists who’ve turned the borough’s Bushwick section in a haven for visually stunning and inherent gritty street art. Walk down a Bushwick block and you’re likely to be stepping alongside one of the Collective’s pieces, and you’ll likely gain inspiration as a result. That’s Ficalora’s hope, at least. Like many of the city’s native sons, Ficalora has endured through heavy trauma—his father was murdered outside the local train station when Joe was in the 8th grade, and watched his mother battle through sickness. Through street art, though, he’s been able to cope. And now he wants others to feel the same way.

Today, is proud to host the premiere of BORN &BRED, a short documentary made by the all-female Maracuya Productions team and centered on Ficalora and the Bushwick Collective’s efforts to better his neighborhood, one mural at a time. In the film, Ficalora opens up about both his dark past and the brighter present he's achieved through art, while legendary NYC street artists Sexer and Zimad discuss the Bushwick Collective’s importance within the city’s DIY artistic landscape.

Consider it your pregame before the full-scale celebration begins. This Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. and stretching through the midnight hour, Ficalora and the Bushwick Collective are throwing a block party on Troutman Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue. If art is Ficalora’s medicine, he’s letting grown-up attendees pick their imbibable poisons inside a beer tent, and for the kids, there will be face painting and other kinds of entertainment. Though he's a purebred Bronx guy, Fat Joe will "make it rain" with a live performance, and Brooklyn’s hip-hop spirit will be fully present in the form of resident turntablist DJ Evil Dee, whose work as one half of the production team Da Beatminerz and a member of Black Moon rank among BK’s all-time best rap records. Evil Dee will be spinning classic hip-hop tracks—fingers crossed that he drops “Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka” and Black Moon’s “How Many MCs,” two of his greatest beats—as members of the Collective tag up the walls and create new pieces live and in person.

Learn more about the 2015 Bushwick Collective Block Party via their official Instagram. Prescriptions for their "medicine" are standing by.

Event Details: Date: Saturday JUNE 6 2015 LOCATION : Troutman Street & Saint Nicholas Avenue Time: Daytime outdoor events 11am - 6pm *Live Performances *DJs *Beer Tent *Merchant Vendors *Food Trucks *Family/Kids Friendly Zone *Kids Entertainment *Face Painting *Street Performers *30+ Live Graffiti and Street Artists Painting Live *Raffle Prizes *Giveaways List of Events 6pm-12am Live Indoor concert Food Trucks
A photo posted by Bushwick Collective (@thebushwickcollective) on
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