Giant beaters churn the yolk of Bushwick into cement, a useful material. A painted tiger guards the factory from his nearby ivory tower. The hieroglyphics of a King’s grave, burnt into the brick wall, wait for Howard Carter and the Rosetta Stone.
Inscribed in the sidewalk next to the Jefferson Street subway stop is the following decree: “Don’t litter. It makes finding drugs on the street so much harder.”
In the surrounding area, the decaying walls are newsprint where artists practice old, learned technique and new style. It’s an exploration of everything that could go wrong, making you understand the beauty of everything going right. Here, paint smacks the eyes, a sharp, hard, consistent punch.
In Bushwick, local authorities require shops and factories to maintain unmarked walls (cleaned on the businesses’s dime). However, the neighborhood appreciates the lettering and applies for “gimme graffiti” permits from the city. 20 years ago nobody hoped to still be in this area in 20 years.
The red stop sign sports a green, crotchet, Seussian thneed with 2 leaf-wings. You really do need to stop and smell the flowers.
Our 30 or so group of camera wearers and bottled water drinkers play tourist in what is not Times Square. The ice cream truck toots past in 5 minute intervals. The minstrel music mixed with jarring animations sends us in a confused Pavlovian frenzy for money for ice cream and for the nearest Miyazaki showing.
The sun reflects off shards of glass and drained spray cans. Latex gloves and fresh paint impregnate the dry air. A stencil of a girl lays abandoned. She patiently waits for the moon.
Here is some (useful/not useful) info:
If you are interested in a wonderful (and did I mention FREE?) public art walking tour in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, Tours By Foot offers this amazing journey (a tale recounted above).
The above pictures were taken by a friend and by myself on iPhones (hence the 8-megapixels quality) and then edited by me.