Graffiti Art Wall Murals: Boo Ya! – What’s Good Bushwick? New York City
Famous Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara should have stopped off to see the graffiti art wall murals in Bushwick Brooklyn before he was arrested in New York City for making graffiti and possession of graffiti instruments on a city subway platform. The artist, whose paintings and sculptures sell for over a million dollars, was caught drawing a smiley face with an indelible marker; Nara, in town for an exhibition of his work at Marianne Boesky Gallery, spent twenty-four hours in police custody.
‘Tagging” the practice of spray painting or scrawling one’s initials or nickname, or making graffiti is against the law in New York City; it is a “class A misdemeanor.” Specifically, it’s in violation of Penal Article 10-117, which states: “No person shall write, paint or draw any inscription, figure or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or any other real or personal property owned, operated or maintained by a public benefit corporation, the city of New York or any agency or instrumentality thereof or by any person, firm, or corporation, or any personal property maintained on a city street or other city-owned property pursuant to a franchise, concession or revocable consent granted by the city, unless the express permission of the owner or operator of the property has been obtained.”
This last bit is key to the serious graffiti artist.
Out in Bushwick Brooklyn, there has evolved a street graffiti-art mural outdoor showcase. The explosion of Krylon color spray painted murals centers around the Redi-Mix cement company on Morgan Avenue (see map below) in the heart of the industrial area. Wrapping around the perimeter of the exterior walls of the cement factory, it would appear that the murals were authorized by Redi-Mix (I had the opportunity to check out a local crew of aerosol artists at work in broad daylight on a Saturday afternoon) and the ten-foot high walls serve as the perfect canvas for spray paint. Across from the cement factory there are murals spreading down Harrison Place as well.
Bright graphics form elaborate tags and some R.I.P. tributes, alongside perhaps cryptic narrative depictions in the manner of traditional – all out Diego Rivera style – mural art. There are no signs of the ubiquitous stain of black marker chicken- scratch tags on these walls. This is serious work. Check out designs by local kids as well as established international spray paint bombers: DADOESTEFY, PEETA, I DRAWNRS, JOYS.IT, and YAMMA-11 (to name a few that I could decipher).
To get the full tour of the area, take the L Train to the Morgan Avenue stop, just six stops out into Brooklyn from First Avenue. Exit the station through the Bogart Street- exit. There, as you exit the station, you should see a sign behind the fence – crafted by some local “feel good” artist out of wood and orange plastic construction mesh – that reads “Bushwick,” just so you know where you’re at. Follow Harrison Place away from the subway exit to Morgan Avenue to check out the growing graffiti mural art showcase.[ad#Author test Google Adsense]