Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Action Painting Street Battle

There was total mayhem on the streets of Tribeca today as an Action Painting Street Battle took place on Jay Street. What's an Action Painting Street Battle? I'm not sure either but it was freakin awesome. It was like the Wrestlemania meets Japanese crazy TV meets the art world.
Two massive canvases were set up opposite one another and the street was covered in plastic. A crowd gathered on the sidewalks on either side. The battle featured 74-year-old grand champion of boxing painting Ushio Shinohara vs upstart youngster Ryoga Katsuma.
The ref hands out posters and gets ready to ring the bell. Hard to see but note the judges Corona filled table on the right in the back.
Heavily favored and popular Ushio is introduced and goes first. He comes out in a mohawk, goggles, boxing gloves, and boxing shorts.
He dips his gloves in the paint and whacks the canvas hard. Really hard. Wham. Wham.
Check out this video- feel the excitement in your own living room:

Covered in paint, Ushio mugs for the plethora of cameras.
The finished painting after only about 1 minute was actually pretty decent.
Next up was Ryoga Katsuma. His style was completely different. He basically dipped most of his body in different colored paints and then flopped around on the canvas- all in time to the beat of a live drummer off to the side.
Unfortunately, the promoters invited the crowd right onto the street for this one so it was hard to see. In a total Wrestlemania move, one of the judges threw a glass bottle at the barefoot painter. The ref stepped in, and the match was stopped until the ground was cleared of broken glass.
Ryoga continued on strong after the break.
We did not stay to see who won but it doesn't really matter anyway because in Action Painting Street Battle, everyone's a winner (except the judge who threw the glass).
category: nyc_