[Specter vs Swoon, Bäst, Skewville, and Obey – all photos (c) Luna Park]
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).
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]
Brian Rose examines the wall’s humble origins as a handball court. [Journal/Brian Rose]
Earlier this evening Shepard Fairey drew a crowd of fans and locals when he climbed the ladder to paste up his classic Andre The Giant image on the outside of Indian Larry Motorcycles in Williamsburg. Afterwards he stuck around to hand out stickers and pose for pictures, proving the saying “nice guys finish last” wrong!
Shepard Fairey is the latest artist to take over the corner of Houston & Bowery, with his wheat paste & aerosol mural called “May Day”. The mural is a promotional piece for Fairey’s upcoming show, of the same name, at Deitch Projects. Sadly this with be the gallery’s last show before closing when Jeffrey Deitch heads to Los Angeles to take over L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
Opening Reception on May 1st, 6-9pm
May 01, 2010 — May 29, 2010
18 Wooster Street, New York City
Deitch Projects is pleased to present May Day, an exhibition of new work by Shepard Fairey, as its final project. Titled not only in reference to the day of the exhibition’s opening, the multiple meanings of May Day resonate throughout the artist’s new body of work. Originally a celebration of spring and the rebirth it represents, May Day is also observed in many countries as International Worker’s Day or Labor Day, a day of political demonstrations and celebrations coordinated by unions and socialist groups. “Mayday” is also the distress signal used by pilots, police and firefighters in times of emergency.
I do not envy anyone that has to follow up the mural painted last summer by the Brazilian twins Os Gemeos, as the criticisms (and some tags) will be inevitable, but if anyone has the skin thick enough to handle it, it’s probably Shepard Fairey. Despite that fact that I absolutely loved their mural, I also think that it is good to see some new, large scale work in this city. That’s sadly something that we don’t have enough of here.
Shepard will also be speaking and having a book signing at the Brooklyn Museum this Sunday.
Program is free with Museum admission. Only books purchased at the Museum will be eligible for signing.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Normally I wouldn’t take to my blog to panhandle for money, but since I can tie this into street art, it is too tempting not to! Shepard Fairey has once again thrown his support behind a worthy cause by raising money and designing shirts for the team that I will be walking for this year in the AIDS Walk New York, the Keith Haring Foundation. For those of you who don’t know much about me or my background, I first moved to NYC to work as a HIV Nutrition Specialist, with my first job being at the Bellevue virology clinic. I have participated in the AIDS Walk New York over the last decade, and I would sincerely appreciate any support that people would be willing and able to give me in my efforts to raise money this year. If you are unable to donate money, consider joining the walk and becoming a fundraiser yourself.
Proceeds from the walk benefit GMHC (where I was once an intern) and other tri-state area AIDS service organizations, many of which have been progressively loosing much needed funding over the years.