10. A Handful of Keys Mural
A Handful of Keys
Great Neck is one of Long Island’s most artistic communities, present in the urban landscape from colorful benches by the town’s plaza to a mural on the side of a parking garage to a headless giraffe sculpture in the Kensington Green. However, perhaps the most well-known public artwork in Great Neck is “A Handful of Keys,” a realistic mural painted by William Cochran. The 17-by-8-foot mural depicts six children with musical instruments about to have their music lessons.
The New York Times considers it a “devilishly well-planned illusion” in the French style of trompe l’oeil, which tricks the mind into believing a flat painting is a real three-dimensional scene. Mayor Jean Celender commissioned Cochran to create the dynamic and realistic mural, which cost over $75,000. Cochran had collected dozens of antique keys from around the world, and he included images of some of them in his mural to symbolize discovery.
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