Yoav Litvin is a psychologist, scientist, writer and photographer living in New York City. Yoav has recently come out with a beautiful book on the contemporary street art and graffiti movement in NYC titled Outdoor Gallery – New York City, published by Gingko Press. His book features several of the artists showcased by Station 16 Gallery, such as Dain, Elle Deadsex, Enzo & Nio, Gilf! and LNY.
work by DAIN
Yoav, why did you write the book Outdoor Gallery – New York City?
It started as a simple realization… Although I lived in one of the most glorious cities in the world, I felt trapped in my own private cocoon, sadly unfamiliar with so much of the wonder that goes on around me. As a curious person, I simply needed more. Then… I got injured. During a squash game, my friend swung his racket and planted it in my face, full force! The results were 15 stitches over my eye, a herniated disc in my neck and a medicine cabinet chock-full of painkillers. So…. I arrived at the natural conclusion that instead of staying at home and feeling sorry for myself, I’d adopt a new weekend activity: I’d simply pick a direction, North, South, East or West (or any combo), exit my building and walk. And so it began! Every weekend I ventured on my solitary walks. Sometimes I chose to head North to the graffiti-rich Bronx, others I’d zigzag across the varied neighborhoods within Manhattan while others I’d stroll across the bridges to Queens and Brooklyn. Nowadays these strolls easily span three boroughs and reach 15-20 miles, all on foot. During my walks I began to notice lots of beautiful artwork on the streets. With the kind help of others in the street art community I learned the identities of the artists I particularly liked. From there the book idea just lifted off!
work by ELSOL25, ROYCE, and BISHOP203
What are you trying to convey with Outdoor Gallery?
During my walks I felt a deep appreciation both for the artwork itself, and toward the artists who put in the effort to display it publicly and for free. “Street art” has become so popular and the community so “trendy” and I didn’t want to just be a fan. I wanted to contribute in some way. I felt the best way I could do so was to use my skills to document this incredible time point in the history of New York City. The more I strolled around, the more I literally felt I was walking in a gallery! Hence the name I chose for the book: Outdoor Gallery – New York City.
Tell us about the book launch you curated.
I wanted to create an event for the NYC street art and graf communities to celebrate the book and all those involved. My goal was to bring together as many people who share my passion and appreciation of the art. For this, with the help of Royce Bannon and Bishop203 I curated a show that showcased original artwork from artists featured in Outdoor Gallery. In addition, Dega Films debuted several films, including one with Stikki Peaches. The launch was voted number 1 event in NYC for that weekend with a line out the door that stretched for over a block! I felt very humbled and fortunate for the turnout. Artists were signing books for fans all night long.
MoMa Shop in NYC
Where can we find the book?
So far the book’s been picked up by a number of major retailers including museum shops in NYC (at the MoMA and Guggenheim museum shops) and others (Strand Books, Zakka in BK). It is also available for preorder on Amazon.com.
What’re your plans?
I have lots of plans and ideas! These include working with friends that share my passion- including Station 16! I’m also launching my own website. Good things are ahead!
For more info on Outdoor Gallery – New York City, please see:
The book’s FaceBook account: https://www.facebook.com/OutdoorGalleryNYC
The book’s Instagram account: http://instagram.com/outdoorgallerynyc
Yoav’s personal account: http://instagram.com/nookyelur