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MSK Crew And The 2013 Summer Family Reunion In Brooklyn

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Before we lose the warmth of the sun we wanted to reflect on one of the largest graffiti shows curated under one theme that was mounted this summer right on the streets of Brooklyn by members of the long-running graffiti crew known as Mad Society Kings, or MSK. It's a summer tradition for many families to convene at a selected location to enjoy a familial get-together and as the writers and painters of MSK consider themselves a very tight family spanning a few generations, they, like many American families, decided to have their own Family Reunion.

Naturally there were lawn chairs, aerosol cans, and razor wire.

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartfasrmsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg FASR MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Gathering across three sprawling blocks in Bushwick just ahead of the July 4th holiday and while the Houston Wall in Manhattan was poised for takeover by members Pose and Revok, all the MSK uncles and aunts and cousins gathered before corrugated metal and cinder block walls in the still-industrial neighborhood to create a pre-fireworks display of their own. Adding to the reunion feeling, many of the folks seemed to be from out of town and had traveled a distance so you really got the idea that pretty soon there would be a kickball game, a pig rotating on a spit, and grandma MSK wheeling by handing out colorful pinwheels on sticks to the kiddies.

What made this reunion so remarkable was not just the variety of styles on display but the unanimity of the theme; each piece was dedicated to their recently departed brother, the writer NEKST, who passed away in the winter months. Graffiti culture and community murals have been intertwined for as long as anyone held a spray can, with lists of the departed sometimes on display in a neighborhood for years as memorial, so the outpouring of love and creativity on these walls really was at its best.

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartelkaminomsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg El Kamino MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We decided to wait until the dog days and the picnics were officially over to turn the spotlight on these walls and say goodbye to all the great memories of Summer 2013 on the streets of Brooklyn, and to give witness to the power of memories that we all have of people we've lost. These tributes are rendered in an explosion of color and styles - but all with the same idea, with the same name, with the same person in mind. Themed shows like this also allow the viewer to compare and contrast and better appreciate the more subtle and obvious differences in style, technique, and approach.

The results are a stellar sampler of some of the best graffiti writers working today on the streets. Full of force, character, attitude, color, shape, dimension and craftsmanship, here is a selection by photographer Jaime Rojo for you to see. All of them are still up in Bushwick if you are out on a bright Saturday - they are just a short walk from the L train on the Morgan stop.

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartceazemsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Cease MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetarttravmsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg TRAV MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartomensmsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Omens MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartrimemsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Rime MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartrevokmsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg REVOK MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartmsknekstposejaimerojo092213web.jpg POSE MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartviziemsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Vizie MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartskrewmsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Skrew MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartdmotemsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg DMOTE MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartdmotemsknekstjaimerojo092213web11.jpg DMOTE MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartsteelmsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Steel MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartownsmsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Owns MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartkconemsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg KC ONE MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartmsknekstjaimerojo092213web1.jpg Artist Unknown . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartnavy8msknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Navy8 MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartwanecodmsknekstjaimerojo092213web.jpg Wane COD MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartevernekstmskjaimerojo092213web.jpg Artist Unknown . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartdabsmylamsknesktjaimerojo092213web.jpg Dabs & Myla MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2013-09-24-brooklynstreetartmskcrewnekstjaimerojo092213web1.jpg MSK . NEKST (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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This article is also posted on Brooklyn Street Art.

Read all posts by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo on The Huffington Post HERE.

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