On York Avenue and 83rd Street, on the corner of Clayton Cleaner, is a curiously massive street art mural. What’s interesting is not its size, per se, but the architectural details and the subject matter, which seems to meld dry cleaning themes with architectural study.
Here we have a clock with zodiac signs on top, men on horseback and the inner workings of a clock:
Additional architectural details have been added around one vertical set of windows, making the windows seem three-dimensional:
On ground level, there are curious references to the dry cleaner at the corner, along with fun gargoyle-like columns:
Note the sewing machine:
And the mannequin:
We asked Slayton Cleaners if they knew who did it, assuming it was commissioned by them. They told us they had no idea and were asked all the time about it. Forgotten NY included the mural in a piece on clocks in 2009, wondering if anybody knew who did the work but so far, it’s come up empty. Tour guide Justin Ferate gave us the answer however!
Artist Richard Haas was hired by Jules Demchick, developer of the Cielo – the building across the street from the tenement. Demchick wanted to create an artistic vision for his new condominium owners, so he made a deal with the owner of the tenement building to have Richard tart up the building. Richard loves New York and loves a joke, so that’s why the clock figures (who would likely have been horse soldiers in Germany) were transformed to mounted police officers.
At any rate, don’t miss this fun piece as you walk on the Upper East Side!