The last five years have seen enormous changes to the face of New York City. It’s been especially noticeable on the once illegal wall on Houston at the Bowery – now home to commissioned public art works by international stars of the graffiti and street art scene (on an increasingly pricey piece of real estate).
Retna/March 2012 (photo by Luna Park)
Faile/October 2011 (photo by Luna Park)
JR/June 2011 (photo by Luna Park)
Kenny Scharf/December 2010 (photo by Luna Park)
Sace RIP/November 2010 (photo by Luna Park)
Barry McGee/August 2010 (photo by Luna Park)
Shepard Fairey/May 2010 (photo by Luna Park)
Os Gemeos/July 2009 (photo by Luna Park) - Last masterpiece to be painted on the actual wall before it was covered in wooden scaffolding!
Keith Haring recreation/April 2008 (photo by Luna Park)
Omni/September 2007 (photo by Luna Park)
Update: The links below offer further insight into the history of this wall.
On the occasion of Os Gemeos painting the wall, Martha Cooper shares photos of past artists at the wall from her archive (including Keith Haring). [12ozProphet]
Jeremiah Moss makes the argument that the Houston mural wall is part of the larger gentrification process of “turning the Bowery into a luxury lifestyle destination”. [Jeremiah's Vanishing New York]
Brooklyn’s own Faile are the latest to embellish the curated wall at the intersection of Houston and the Bowery. As noted by the L Magazine yesterday, this marks the duo’s first, large-scale, outdoor installation in Manhattan since pasting the facade of 11 Spring five years ago.
Faile continues their beautification of the Williamsburg area with the addition of a new prayer wheel in the McCarren Park area. This is their fourth prayer wheel to make it’s way out of the gallery and on to the street since April of 2009 and is one local trend that I can definitely get behind!
2010 has been yet another crazy year, filled with lots of change, adventure, and as always, fun. The highlight for me was the adoption of my dog Ava, who I consider to be New York’s #1 pit bull street art model. I was also very fortunate in getting to meet and spend time with some really fantastic people, such as ECB, Jef Aerosol, Sweet Toof, Ludo, and Roa, during their stays in the city. My trips to Oaxaca, Art Basel Miami, and getting to see Steve Powers bring his Love Letter project to my hometown of Syracuse were a great way to rounded out the year. After taking a look back on this year, I would like to share some of my favorite photos, people, art & events from 2010 (see Luna Park’s list here).
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Photos include work of: El Mac, Retna, How, Nosm, Aryz, Veng, Themo, Deem, ECB, “Sugar Junkie”, Specter, Sweet Toof, The Dude Company, Ludo, Skewville, C215, Dolk, MOMO, Faile, Swoon, Chris Stain, Joe Iurato, Lapiztola, Dan Witz, Gaia, Elbow Toe, Sofia Maldonado, Shepard Fairey, Steve Powers, Over Under, N D’A, Broken Crow, Cern, Cekis, Jef Aerosol, Cash4, Smells, Rambo, Trusto Corp, White Cocoa, Rime, Swampy, Celso, Nekst, Paul Richard, Goya, Faro, Darkcloud, Sadue, Gen2, UFO, Roa, Cahil Muraghu, Tati, and Kid Acne
Specter has put up a new series titled “Unwanted Collaborations/Sidebusts”, in which he’s added to pieces on the street by Swoon, Bast, Skewville and Faile. In the case of the Swoon (above), Specter’s addition has not only breathed new life into a piece that had been badly dissed (see his website for the before & after), but also cleverly paid homage to the original piece. The other alterations are so subtle as to be almost indistinguishable from the originals.
Thursday night was the New York launch party for Patrick Nguyen and Stuart Mackenzie’s fantastic new book Beyond The Street The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art. If you don’t have a bad back or weak arms, I highly suggest that you pick one up (this beast weighs about 5-1/2 pounds). Even if your book collection is a small one, this tome definitely has a place in it and is bound to be a new classic.
Artists, curators, and contributors such as Dzine, Elbow Toe, Gaia, Saber, Ron English, Logan Hicks, MOMO, Faile, Sweet Toof, WK Interact, Jose Parla, Jonathan LeVine, Patti Astor, Hargo, Butterfly, Mikeion, Marc & Sara Schiller, Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant were all on hand to sign books. I am also proud to say that a photo of mine was included in the Swoon section of the book – though I definitely let a few people down when I had the sad duty of informing them that I was not in fact Swoon.
Beyond The Street NY launch party at Deitch Projects
You’ve got only 10 more days to get yourself to Faile and Bast’s Deluxx Fluxx arcade installation at 158 Allen Street (btw Stanton and Rivington), open Tuesdays through Sundays from 3-11pm through May 27th. Filled with fully functional games that flash, buzz and beep, the arcade is sensory overload in the best possible way. Longtime fans of Faile and Bast will surely appreciate the classic imagery incorporated into the setup. Don’t sleep on this – I haven’t had this much fun in a gallery in a long time.