It's no secret that Park Slope is a haven for artists, which sometimes makes it hard for some of them to stand out in the community. I want you guys to know about a man who is the real deal. His name is Brad Johansen, and I met him this past November at the Lyceum's comic convention, King Con. He was seated at a huge table covered in pretty eclectic wares that were for sale. Upon closer look, I noticed he had some seriously cool shit -- from prints, to photos, to photo books, illustrations and on and on -- all handmade by the Brooklyn Pirate, which is the name that Johansen brands himself under.
Entries in cool brooklyn artist alert (7)
If you’re gonna get inked up in the Slope, The End Is Near is the place to do it. Though my body is a blank canvass, I can tell this place is the real deal. I recently sat down with owner Craig Rodriguez to discuss his vision for the shop, the celebs he's worked on, and the bad-ass guest tattoo artist they've got in the shop through the end of the month.
At forty-six years old, Craig’s been tattooing people for twenty years. His body appears to be enrobed in tats, and he reveals that the very first one was a falcon’s head on his shoulder, and the first tattoo he ever inked on someone else was the Harley Davidson emblem.
Two years ago Pete Raho did what so many struggling Brooklyn artists and craftsmen have done: he told his job to go f*ck itself. After working at Christies Auction House for nearly 8 years and getting his MBA from Stern, he decided to chuck it all and pursue his passion for working with wood (please, everyone, stay mature). All by his lonesome, he started his own enterprise aptly named Gowanus Furniture (both his apartment and shared workshop are in Gowanus).
After a series of fits and starts and a crapload of innovative ideas, Raho is hitting his stride crafting unique and useful pieces. What started with a series of cleverly-designed bike racks and shelving units turned into Raho's passion to put functional, well-crafted art in small urban spaces. Then it dawned on him: what better place to start than in the kitchen? Hence his new cutting board empire. After a mention in Popular Mechanics and a feature in Tasting Table as well as our very own Amanda's blog Yeah, You're Welcome, Raho's cranking out cutting boards as fast as he can make them.
Eric Medsker is a photographer who lives in Prospect Heights. When he's not running around working on badass assignments, he's biking around Brooklyn on a sick bike whose name I do not know (but it's bright orange, and I dig it). I recently sat down emailed back and forth with Eric to chat about his shooting habits, a new book and his own Fucked in Park Slope moment (hint: it's eerily similar to one that FiPS writer and snack guru Parowpyro recently wrote about).
FiPS: Can you remember the specific moment when you discovered your passion for photography?
EM: I was young and frustrated with getting my hands to do what was in my head, probably around the age of fifteen or so. My father had an old nikkormat laying around so I persuaded him to drive us to Philly to pick up some black and white film. He let me run around the city shooting whatever I wanted that afternoon, and I think that was when the "world" kind of wedged it's foot into my mind. From then on all I wanted was to get out of my hometown, which happened three years later when I moved to NYC.
What began as an exercise to photograph people who walked by his apartment has since evolved into a project to capture a cross section of the Brooklyn population. Over the past few weekends, still life photographer Jonathan Nesteruk has set up his mobile photo studio along two Prospect Park West entrances to catch Slopers on their way in and out of the park. He's taken about 300 photos so far, but has a goal of 1000. When he's done, Jonathan thinks that it could be a photography book on the real Brooklyn.