Photos and interview: Graffiti artist BNE's first gallery show

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  • "Over Mickey" $3,300

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"Over Mickey" $3,300

Photographs: Will Sherman

If you've looked at a wall in NYC, chances are you've seen BNE's plain, black lettered stickers. Tonight he moves indoors with his first gallery show in conjunction with ad agency Mother New York and culture blog Animal. Tonight's opening reception is by R.S.V.P. only (now closed), but the free exhibit continues at Mother's offices (595 Eleventh Ave between 44th and 45th Sts; 11am--6pm; through Dec 30).

We spoke to BNE over e-mail and asked him what BNE was: "A voice of resistance! It's an inspiration for me and hopefully others to agitate." More from BNE, including his beef with the mayor of San Francisco, after the jump.

"Everywhere I go, there are people that love what I do and people that hate what I do," says BNE. "Either way, my work is getting people's attention and evokes raw emotion, whether it be positive or negative."

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom took badly to BNE's bombing San Francisco, and put a $2,500 price tag on his head. "I don't trust people very easily. It's very isolating," says BNE. "The San Francisco mayor has bigger problems to worry about than some art. He should stay focused. It hasn't changed anything except give me more attention."

Transitioning from graffiti artist into the gallery machine is always tricky, but BNE is unbothered. "I'd never call this a 'graffiti show,'" he says. "It's way more conceptual and has more depth and layering. The purpose of the work I created for this show is to raise money to blow up bigger in the streets. I'm using legal avenues to fund my illegal work."

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