13. Who paints the Strand’s wall art?

The Strand is a place of character, and its smattering of wall paintings certainly contribute to it in their own spontaneous ways. They adorn certain walls and columns in the store, with the outdoor murals in the backdrop of the dollar carts being the easiest to find. Those hidden in the basement, usually obscured by piles of books or someone reading against the wall, are a little harder to scope out.

The wall paintings are the creations of none other than renowned New York City artist Steve Powers, more famously known as “ESPO.” He even keeps a painting cart locked away in the store for when he’s ready to create. ESPO is also the man behind some controversial graffiti art, over 50 murals along Philadelphia’s elevated train along Market Street, and New York City’s famous “A Love Letter to Brooklyn,” which was taken down from Macy’s last year. Some of his studio art was also featured at the renowned Venice and Liverpool biennials.