Collaborative street art project comes to the lobby of 5 Bryant Park that is still under construction.An unused space in Midtown has been converted into a fishbowl of street art. The building’s owners Equity Office Properties collaborated with street art collective Art Battles to paint a mural inside the empty space on the corner of 40th Street and Avenue of the Americas, as part of the lot’s rebranding as 5 Bryant Park. Art Battles enlisted four international artists: Max Bode and Don Rimx from Brooklyn, Chor Boogie from San Francisco, and Polish artist Natalia Rak to paint the 100′ by 25′ rear wall of the building’s lobby, which is encased in floor to ceiling windows allowing passerby’s to peek in to watch the artists touch up their pieces. The four artists work independently in the space that ultimately comes together as more of a collaborative piece. For example, Rak’s painting of the child holding an unlit Molotov cocktail was painted so to collaborate with the Don Rimx piece of the fire-starter. She told DNAinfo, she had “initially planned the character to be more like a thief, wearing a bandana over the lower half of his face. I saw the one guy who was painting a fire, so I thought I would make the Molotov cocktail to create with that.” It isn’t all friendly, however, as Art Battles wouldn’t live up to their name unless there was some type of competition. On Sunday, November 10 they held a 90-minute paint session where each artist painted a 6 foot by 6 foot section of the wall to be judged by the cheers of the audience. The next showdown on the Art Battles U tour is scheduled for November 14th at Webster Hall where four college students will compete in a similar setup.
Image by Bryce Longton