The Brazilian street artist Kobra has been hyperactive in New York City since last fall, painting a series entitled “Colors For Freedom.” His colorful, stunning works are all large-scale, and the adventurous can visit all eighteen pieces just like what Silvie Bonne, author of A NYC Guide for Instagrammers did. She’s shared with us all her beautiful photographs of his his works, including one that particularly caught our eye above Empire Diner in Chelsea, featuring Mount Rushmore with the faces of Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Other figures featured in other pieces include an amalgamation of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, appropriately near the Brooklyn Museum where the exhibit on the female artist is currently on display, the Christ the Redeemer statue from Rio de Janeiro, the Statue of Liberty with a sombrero hat, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Albert Einstein, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Kobain, an FDNY Firefighter, and Elvis Presley.
Of his work above Empire Diner, Kobra writes on his Instagram (translated), “To allude to Mount Rushmore is to remember the values of these four American presidents, so deeply attached to the ideals of freedom, democracy, equality, and peace. By placing in their place four artists for whom I have great admiration, I lend their memories, reminding them of the works of art that they have done.” At such a scale, the artist clearly had permission from the building owners for these works – which have remained in good condition over the last months.
Kobra writes of the below piece located at West Houston and Clarkson streets, “This mural, on the facade of the City-As-School, a public school in Manhattan’s West Village, portraits five real immigrants who arrived in New York about 100 years ago and had been to Ellis Island, an entry point of foreigners who came to the United States between the late 19th century and the early 20th century. With 8,600 square feet (800 square meters), this piece is the largest of the entire ‘Colors For Freedom’ series. Fun fact: this is the school where the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat went.”
The ode to the FDNY firefighter entitled “The Braves of 9/11” is located on 48th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue facing the mural below. Photo by Silvie Bonne, author of A NYC Guide for Instagrammers.
Next, check out 17 art installations not to miss in NYC this month!