Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Street Art"

Chelsea Gallery District
Is it just me, or is there a proliferation of high quality street art popping up all over Manhattan? Now, I'm not talking about your garden-variety graffiti, (which has its own place and value - but more on that later), but actual Art with a capital "A". Lately, during my walks through the city I always try to have my camera handy and my eyes open for that guerrilla masterpiece, like the above layered piece I snapped in the Gallery District of Chelsea. Not in a gallery, mind you, but on a construction barrier in the street.

Or on a recent walk on the Highline, I looked up to see this portrait poised high above the streets, on a building top near Mid-Town. Is it an act of vandalism or property value enhancement? Whatever the case may be, the tenant with access to this balcony hasn't bothered to reclaim the purity of this beige wall, but has embraced the spirit of the artsy North Chelsea neighborhood by leaving the work intact.

Highline Park
Speaking of the Highline, which I often do, one clever artist decided to forgo the search for a suitable wall, and rented a billboard instead, with striking results. A stark reminder of what the train tracks were before they became a tourist attracting park.

Meat Packing District
Of course there are no shortage of walls in the still gentrifying Meatpacking District, where meat processing facilities mix with hip hotels, beautiful boutiques, chic clubs, and dynamic denizens.

Over a neighborhood or so is SOHO, which was once the art-capital of NYC, though most galleries have since migrated north. Still, the murals deliver urban fulfillment whether in full color or basic black (like many of the shoppers elbowing their way down narrow cobblestone streets).

The city is indeed a colorful cornucopia of inspiration and creativity, from the small stenciled image to a full facade of a building celebrating the vibrancy and vitality of expression.


  1. Love the coverage of each neighborhood Alton...My favorite is the highline installation. I should send you some of my stuff from the Burgh. Pretty sure that soho wall is OBEY ... def a popular guy (:

  2. Jill, the Chelsea "Street Art" image I took the day we were doing galleries together. I'm not sure about the artist in SOHO but I love that stenciled look. Thanks for the comments.
    xx, Alton.