Hot Tea’s UUGGHH (Screenshot via Vimeo)
NYC street artist Hot Tea—an artist whose work mostly consist of forming geometric words and shapes using yarn—is not happy with the rapid change that has come to New York City. He is tired of seeing historic buildings transformed into condos, and he is tired of the city’s identity being tossed away like yesterday’s Jets roster. One night walking through the city, the artist walked past the historic building on 190 Bowery owned by art collector and photographer Jay Maisel, and made his opinion known: “UUGHH” read on the exterior.
The building has been a place where graffiti and street artists have put their work as early as the 1990s, (as Maisel refused to ever clean off the art) and today, it is home to one of the many tribute pieces to fallen Houston graffiti artist “Nekst.” and was the location of Christian Naagel’s mushroom last year.
The artist feels that the building “served almost as a time capsule into the old New York” and while viewing the building from across the street, he became inspired. He envisioned a grid, where he can install art that would do no actual damage to the building. Using wood he recieved from lumber yards in the city, he installed his general feeling of the change that has (to some) infected NYC, a simple word, or expression if you will.
Check out the video of the installation below.
We are unaware if this is also a response to Maisel selling off the building he has owned for 50 years, for a reported sum of $50 million dollars. Regardless, Hot Tea’s installation drives home the message many of us feel when we see buildings or entire neighborhoods that have a rich history became pale condos: change in inevitable, but we don’t always have to agree with it.
To know how he feels about all the change that has come to NYC (warning: it is more than just one word), contact the author @ChrisLInoa