We asked Lori Zimmer from Art Nerd New York to share her Top 10 street art New York hotspots with Untapped Cities.
1. Barry McGee Mural, 3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Barry McGee Mural, 3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
In a collaboration with Vanity Fair, Cadillac, the Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Academy of Music, the ginormous 96 x 67 foot Barry McGee painting (called Untitled 2012) was installed in Downtown Brooklyn earlier this fall. The mural, which is on the side of the Mark Morris Dance Company, has turned Downtown Brooklyn into a faux-gallery, looking just like a giant version of his signature cluster paintings.
2. Bowery Mural on Houston
In 1982, the large slab of concrete wall on Houston was put into the history books by Keith Haring, when he painted a 30 foot mural on it, choosing the spot as it links Soho to the Lower East Side. From 1984 until 2008, the wall, which was owned by the late Tony Goldman, was used for advertising, until gallerist Jeffrey Deitch approached Goldman to use the wall for large scale temporary murals. The wall has since become a permanent, rotating art installation, featuring works such as Os Gemeos, Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey and other contemporary “street” artists.
3. Wk Interact, Above 182 Allen Street
Sandwiched between the Thompson Hotel and the new Konditori Swedish coffee shop, French born wise ass WK Interact has put up three figures that are doing just what I do when I look at that corner- run the hell away! Even if it is up.
4. Graffiti Sticker Wall Paper at ACE Hotel, 20 W. 29th Street
Since the early 90s, Michael Anderson has collected graffiti stickers off of New York’s streets. And now, Ace Hotel, which made our Top 10 list of Bars Where a Drink is Served with a Piece of Art, has used Anderson’s collection to create an incredible wallpaper of 40,000 stickers, which include artists such as Steve “Espo” Powers, Barry “Twist” McGee and Shepard Fairey. The wallpaper, which is printed on silk paper, can be found in the grand stairways in the library- like lobby bar.
5. JR on the High Line
French artist JR has given the city of New York the gift of one of his oversized photographic murals. As part of the Inside Out Project, the giant Silent Scream is one of several murals portraying faces from the Lakota tribe of Native Americans- including this building-sized one on the High Line.
6. Nick Walker – 95 Delancey Street
The British-based Nick Walker left his mark on New York, stenciling his famous vandal on one of the busiest new blocks of Ludlow.
7. Comme des Garçons Building 520 West 22nd Street
The Comme des Garçons building on West 22nd Street is set amidst a heavily art-ed area, with Beuy’s 7,000 Oaks, a slew of galleries and the Chelsea Art Museum on the same street. The building itself has a Futurist entrance way, a metal spaceship-looking portal which extends from the street into the middle of the store, sucking visitors in. Street artists started covering the façade of the building with wheat pastes, and it quickly became a street art hot-spot. The owner of the building became a fan of wheat pastes, and allowed French artist Invader to install one of his Space Invaders on the building- a Green Pacman Ghost. Other artists that have been pasting there: Judith Supine, Gaia, Shepard Fairey, Sharktoof and more.
8. Keith Haring- Crack is Wack, 128th and 2nd Avenue
Restored by the late artist’s estate in 2007, Keith Haring painted this orange and black mural on the opposite side of a handball court wall in 1986 as a reaction to the raging crack-cocaine epidemic in New York. This “Crack is Wack” mural was one of the best surviving murals that Haring produced illegally, which is ironic considering the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation was behind its restoration and protection.
9. ESPO, Love Letter to Brooklyn, Macy’s Garage, 422 Fulton St, Brooklyn
Stephen Powers aka ESPO’s Love Letter to Brooklyn is confusing at first sight. His expertly meticulous style of sign painting seems like a vintage advertisement on the side of Macy’s downtown Brooklyn at a glance, until you actually read the words and realize it is not. Called Love Letter to Brooklyn, the parking garage is emblazoned with text and phrases from conversations Powers and his crew had with local residents.
10. Jose Parla “Diary of Brooklyn” at Barclays Center
Barclays Center stadium in Downtown Brooklyn may have been the cause of controversy for locals, but the center is also home to its very own site-specific Jose Parla mural. Sprawling across the entire Dean Street entrance, the piece incorporates a loose calligraphy that pays homage to Brooklyn’s history, and can be seen in its full splendor from the outside. It will soon be joined by pieces by Mickalene Thomas and others to be announced.
Get in touch with the author @LoriZimmer and check out her website Art Nerd New York.