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03.03.15 Aymann Ismail

ANIMAL showcases a different street artist regularly in our feature, Scratching the Surface. This week, we profile Jay Shells. Name/Alias: Jason Shelowitz / Jay Shells Decade you were born in: Tail end of the ’70s City you currently live: New York, New York Drugs or natural highs? Natural. How did you get your name? My […]

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11.26.14 Aymann Ismail

After getting New Yorkers to clean up their act with his etiquette campaign, artist Jay Shells has been memorializing iconic hip-hop lyrics with the Rap Quotes project. For the project, Shells identifies specific locations mentioned in rap songs, paints them on street signs, and posts them at the intersections they identify. It’s a way to […]

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08.19.14 Aymann Ismail and Marina Galperina

“Let’s face it. What I’m doing isn’t really vandalism,” Jay Shells tells ANIMAL after a weekend of putting his site-specific Rap Quotes around Philadelphia. “But the questionably legal act of installing signs became trickiest around City Hall and the Liberty Bell where an abundance of bored security guards are waiting to flex on a smart ass like me.” But he got it done. […]

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04.28.14 Andy Cush

On Saturday night in Los Angeles, a crowd filled 1988 Gallery for an exhibition of “Rap Quotes,” a series of works by Jay Shells. The right side of the gallery housed the artist’s New York City street signs, which he’s been hanging at specific locations mentioned in hip hop songs since last year; the left […]

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03.31.14 Aymann Ismail

So far, artist Jay Shells has installed a total of 68 site-specific “Rap Quotes” in New York, with more coming. Yesterday, just like old times when we first covered the project, ANIMAL followed Shells as he put up 21 new uncanny signs with hip hop lyrics that shout-out street corners and locations in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the […]

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03.03.14 Marina Galperina

ANIMAL’s feature Artist’s Notebook asks artists to show us their original “idea sketch” next to a finished piece. This week, Jay Shells — of Rap Quotes fame on both coasts — talks about his New York-centric, labor-of-love-intensive wood burning series, on view March 7th-9th at the Fountain Art Fair. A little over two years ago, while walking my dogs […]

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12.31.13 Marina Galperina

Undoubtedly, 2013 has been a really crazy year for ANIMAL. We made even more stuff than last year. Here’s a roundup of the best short films, feature articles, city interventions, and more from our staff and freelances — in headlines. BMX CITI BIKE FEAR OF A BLACK SANTA WATCH ARTIST IMPLANT A NET ART RFID […]

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12.30.13 Aymann Ismail

Since his “Rap Quotes” project in New York went viral, artist Jay Shells continued to expand the series. He put up a bunch more in Harlem and now, ANIMAL rejoins him in Los Angeles. Jay Shells installed official-looking street signs featuring hip hop lyrics of Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Warren G, Notorious B.I.G., Kendrick Lamar and more — at the exact locations called out […]

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08.20.13 ANIMAL

The federal ruling that deemed the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics unconstitutional was a landmark decision, but the battle is far from over. Mayor Bloomberg, who recently said “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” already said he’s going to appeal the decision. In the meantime, to keep the pressure on, ANIMAL teamed […]

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03.25.13 Aymann Ismail

After schooling New Yorkers on etiquette via numerous unsanctioned interventions, artist Jay Shells channeled his love of hip hop music and his uncanny sign-making skills towards a brand new project: “Rap Quotes.” For this ongoing project, Shells created official-looking street signs quoting famous rap lyrics that shout out specific street corners and locations. He then […]

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