The first time I saw the name “Ian Knife” it was gouged into the top of a tree stump on Avenue A that had been carefully carved and painted to resemble the head of an Alligator. Impressive.
I’m not sure how long the Alligator Stump has been there, but I swear I only noticed it for the first time this past summer, when I was doing more than my fair share of walking in the neighborhood because everything was closed due to the Covid (#CovidLife). I didn’t realize at the time that Ian Knife was the name of the artist; I just assumed it was a dick move by some inconsiderate ass taking delight in tagging the Alligator’s face by carving his name into it. Because that is what people do.
Some time later, I started seeing the tag Knife spray-painted literally fucking everywhere from the East River Park throughout the East Village. Curious, I looked-up Ian Knife on the Google and I found this pretty cool article about his work as a Tree Stump Artist. I’m glad he is getting his name out there because his work is unique and fun.
Knife’s tree stump carvings, a few of which are described in the above article, are scattered all over the East Village, where he lives. This one of a ‘Man Behind Bars‘ is on First Avenue between St. Mark’s Place and Ninth Street.
If I spot more of Ian’s tree stump carvings I’ll add them to this post! In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled!