Last fall, gawkers on 41st Street and Avenue of the Americas marveled as the lobby of 5 Bryant Park was converted into a street art exhibit. While the building continues to undergo construction, the street level floor features tall glass windows that display the work of four international artists: Max Bode and Don Rimx from Brooklyn, Chor Boogie from San Francisco, and Polish artist Natalia Rak.
Enlisted by building owners Equity Office Properties, Art Battles hosted competitions between the artists as they painted the 100′ by 25′ rear wall of the building’s lobby. In this newly released video by Cultation, we learn more about the inner workings of creating a street art hotspot in the middle of Midtown Manhattan, while at the same time learning about each artist’s background and their newly forged relationship with New York City.
As we reported previously, what started out as a competition between the four artists ultimately became a collaborative piece. Cultation’s video shows how each artist worked together not only in the same room but also bouncing around ideas while choosing between works from their oeuvre. 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.”
Here are some photos of the murals on display at 5 Bryant Park, where you can still see them today:
For more information about Cultation and what they are involved with as an art collective, head on over to their site. You can also check out Art Battles’ website to be updated about similar competitive street art events, as they continue their tour around the country. If you have a great street art find for us to take a look at, get in touch with the author at @uptownvoice.