Stop Wars

June 1, 2024

Mural showing the Star Wars character CP30 holding a stop sign with the words, "Stop Wars" on it. The text is stylized in the Star Wars movie logo font and the sign has bullet holes in it.

A classic mural and instantly recognizable to any New Yorker who’s been stuck in northbound traffic on the West Side highway. It’s tricky to get a good photo of it as it sits behind some trees and billboards, but it’s been on my list for years. Finally, I found myself walking by and managed to get right under it for this shot. The multi color shading on CP30’s surface is a really interesting choice. It defies the movie canon and aligns it with the artist’s own aesthetic. Perhaps it also frees it from copyright claims? Sadly it seems, the “stop wars” message still goes unheard. Painted by the muralist Eduardo Kobra.

West Side, Manhattan.

Up and Down

May 18, 2024

The backs of two yellow traffic lights, the left painted with a smile, the right with a frown.

Such a nice little bit of street art. Simple lines which take advantage of the shapes in our environment to make an immediately relatable statement. I see the left and it makes me smile.

Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan

Twist

January 13, 2024

A large wheat pasted illustration of a ghost weaving through the ear and eyes of a man wearing a blue beanie

A really nice illustration. It may take a few extra seconds to figure out what’s going on though. The color is simple and bold. The killer part for me is the halftone shading. It’s amazing and gives all the depth the piece needs.

West Side, Manhattan.

Forbidden Fruit

November 5, 2023

An outdoor advertising billboard covered in panels of black fabric with a graffiti painting of a book, hand, snake and an apple in the bottom left corner.

Outdoor advertising has always had an issue with staying current. In this case, the billboard is covered in large panels of black fabric. An interesting choice as it seems to impart a “world in grieving” kind of moment as if we’ve lost one of America’s great ads. Of course, I’m glad to see some enterprising artist has taken advantage of all that great empty space. As to what the image is or represents, as it often the case, I have no idea. Quite possibly, it’s a representation of knowledge as the enemy of religion, but using religious symbolism. Maybe? Instead of the tree of knowledge, we’re given a book with an odd symbol on the front. The text on the spine isn’t quite legible. The book is sprouting the snake who is menacing the apple which in turn has some illegible text in the white circle. On a technical level, it doesn’t look to be sprayed on, but hand painted. Given the location, climbing up scaffolding or out a window with paint buckets is very impressive. Sometimes with art, you may not know what’s going on, but you can still appreciate (and interpret for yourself), the impression, the detail and the meaning it impacts on you personally.

West Side, Manhattan.

Bat

October 14, 2023

A winged skeleton looms over the words bat-ola in black and white all surrounded with a red border.

A somewhat obligatory Halloween post this time around which is really just a coincidence. I shoot what I find and sometimes it’s topical. But I digress. I have no idea what this piece is about, but it is quite large. It might be a tag, but it might not given the “MT” in the top left corner. It’s a bit rough, but that can be forgiven as it was probably rushed due to the location. The typography is great and the details in the skele-bat (?) are also well done. Happy Halloween!

West Side, Manhattan.

Distort

September 24, 2023

Large white painted brick wall with the words, "Deal Reap Distort" graffiti in gold and purple letters.

A giant wall piece of lettering notably for the type style and the coloring. You rarely see a blackletter inspired piece these days and gold and purple isn’t common either. Don’t get me wrong — I love blackletter and the coloring works — they’re just not in fashion right now. As for the content, I have no idea. The “a” in “deal” is the real winner here though. It’s both a reverse “s” and a two-story “a” even though there’s a a standard two-story “a” in the next word. A deliberate artistic choice or perhaps just an initial experiment that was rejected by the time they reached the second word. It’s all a bit haphazard, yet still somewhat technical.

West Side, Manhattan.