Love Letters

Spray paint graffiti collage of hearts and stylized lettering

Starting at the top of the gate with a somewhat pedestrian “love” stencil and polka dot banner, the eye travels down into a row of hearts through the chaotic layers of lettering and finally resting once again on the rough hewn hearts. It would seem the security lights in the top corners have not dispersed people from adding signatures on top of this piece, unfortunately muddling the original theme.

Lower East Side, Manhattan.

The Heart Remains

A black heart shape made of industrial glue remains on a stucco wall

In this obligatory, Valentine’s Day post, I found a black heart shape made from the remains of an industrial adhesive. My guess would be it was used to glue a sign to the stucco wall. Now it seems to carry so much unintended meaning. All the big existential human conditions are here, love, loss, memory, time, etc., as well as some more sinister cultural impacts, a black heart, dripping with animosity stains the rough surface defying the smooth, clean modernist world, forgotten but yet stubbornly remaining as a reminder of our search and our loss.

Midtown, Manhattan.

Jungle

"Summer in the Jungle" mural

Plaque describing the "Summer in the Jungle" mural

Here’s part of a larger mural and I’ll leave the description up to the artist (conveniently with a plaque!). I’m always in favor of more public art even if I find this piece a bit tame. And even if it comes with corporate sponsors. Bring on the color and chaos!

West Side, Manhattan.

Learn English

A faded building with the phrase "Learn English" falling off the front.

Somehow this really struck me as a summary of the current geopolitical situation. The faded 1950’s architecture, the broken sign with it’s web address as the brand, the haphazard construction permits on the doors, the fact that there are two sets of doors — one transparent, one opaque (one for you, one for them) the dirt and decay along the bottom panels (as if they building had been repeatedly kicked and scuffed) and finally, hiding in the lobby, a traffic cone warning us.

It’s the demise of respect for the U.S. around the globe, immigration and the promise of a better life — all coming together in this one shot captured before they put a shiny new facade on it. The architectural grid no longer able to impose a sense of ordered modernism in order to reassure visitors of it’s grandeur. A historical fragment that reveals so much more.

Midtown, Manhattan.

Die Happy

Mural of a woman's face with a speech bubble saying "Die happy tonight"

The lettering in the speech bubble is great, a little bit of calligraphy in the hand written style. Having the woman’s eyes closed also brings emotion to this large piece.

West Side, Manhattan.