Last year, French street artist JR installed a massive public installation on the side of 100 Franklin Street, in Tribeca. The 75-foot tall piece, of a ballerina in midair, taken from his 2014 documentary Les Bosquet, has mostly disappeared. Less than a year after the ballerina went up, JR and his team went back to Tribeca to install a new piece over the old one. The piece “Unframed, Ellis Island” is 95-feet tall and is a blown-up photograph of a group of immigrants on Ellis Island in 1908. In this one-minute time-lapse video, you get to see how JR and his staff install the wheat-pasted work of art, one piece at a time. In 2014, JR placed pieces in abandoned hospitals on Ellis Island. He would later film a documentary titled Ellis, featuring Robert DeNiro, actor and head of the Tribeca Film Festival.
Queen Andrea Mural at Ascenzi Square. Image via Summer Streets
This month was the unveiling of a new QUEEN ANDREA (a.k.a. Andrea von Bujdoss) mural at Ascenzi Square, located in the triangle formed by North Fourth Street, Roebling Street and Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. In vividly colored lettering, it greets passerby “GOOD DAY” and “HEY YOU” as they approach the intersection, which is adorned in lights.
“Lil Crazy Legs” on 110 E 7th Street, Manhattan.
On a sunny day last fall, a man strolled down Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. As he approached Harman Street, he noticed some children scaling a black, chain-link fence. “Someone should stop those kids climbing those fences before one gets hurt,” he told a fellow passerby. The passerby nodded in agreement, but inside he smiled. The kids climbing the fence weren’t real – they were wood and paint, and the passerby was Ernest Zacharevic, the artist who made them.
If you walk down Eighth Avenue near the intersection of 14th Street, you will see two unassuming signs hammered to wooden posts on the sidewalk. The signs read, “Please Be Advised THIS IS A POST. Use Caution. Thank You.” Placed in front of a vacant, graffiti-ridden lot, it’s easy to pass by and assume the warning signs are legitimate. But we know that in New York City, things may not be what they seem.
The culprit behind the work is Paul Richard, his name typed in bold on the signs. Despite the signature, Richard has remained under-the-radar, at least as a street artist. His witty and sarcastic pieces feature museum labels or warning signs on common objects like telephone poles, walls and light posts. Unlike other street artists, who choose to retain their anonymity, there is a face and identity attached to his works.
Yesterday, we came across artist Kenny Scharf working on a new mural in the Bronx just south of the Cross Bronx Expressway on Third Avenue. Scharf was in the zone but allowed us to take photographs of him working. The mural, is a commission from Krinos Foods, a New York City-based importer of Greek foods. On an opposite wall, artist Victor Matthews is working on another mural, the largest he has ever made at 400 feet long and 10 feet high. Both works are coordinated by the Los Angeles gallery, KM Fine Arts.
French photographer and filmmaker Gregoire Alessandrini, whose photographs of gritty New York City in the 1990s we have showcased on numerous occasions, has recently uploaded a 30 minute documentary on the ’80s artist and stylist Stephen Sprouse, a film he produced and co-wrote in 2009. Children of the ’90s may be most familiar with Sprouse’s work as the inspiration behind the neon collection that Marc Jacobs did for Louis Vuitton in 2001 which took, among others, the iconic monogram bag and plastered it with graffiti-style lettering.