BUSHWICK — For all the graffiti and street artists who haven't reached the fame of Banksy or the popularity of the Bushwick Collective, one local woman is looking to even the playing field — by stuffing her boutique with stickers.
Yazmin Colon invites street artists to channel their creativity into bite-sized pieces in her new monthly sticker shows at Jazzabelss Boutique — and she's been flooded with hundreds of submissions both locally and globally for her first two openings.
"I'm doing the sticker art shows so they can feel they're a part of something that’s not just considered vandalism," Colon said, noting that only renowned artists were glorified for their illegal work on walls. "Banksy can come do something in Bushwick and it's glorified, but across the street there's some beautiful art no one even pays attention to."
Colon, who grew up in East New York and has lived the past several years in Bushwick, said that though the neighborhood had been recognized for its boom of new artists, people have overlooked longtime local artists.
"Either you're a cool hipster or you're just a native," Colon said of the misconception of the community. "I want to give all artists somewhere free to celebrate their art."
For the artists participating in this month's exhibit — called "Invasion of the Stickers," for Halloween — the sticker series is a chance to show their work in an organized setting without the structure of a typical gallery.
"What's exhibited there is pure passion and talent, minus the...press release and BFA/MFA requirement," said a participant who goes by the name Jcorp. He added the show "validated this niche art-form that [falls] outside of the commercial gallery/exhibition structure."
The curator of the show, who goes by Rockitboy but declined to give his legal name, said he'd created the exhibit as a legal outlet for artists many considered "street vandals."
"I reached out to local galleries trying to display my boards with sticker art and felt shunned when I would be denied just for the fact that it was graffiti," he said. "That was all I needed to start Invasion Of the Stickers."
Invasion of the Stickers opens Friday at Jazzabelss Boutique on 1099 Broadway.