White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland/Dali-Themed Art By Eye Sticker (All Photos By Gail)
The pandemic has changed a lot about the way I live my life, and it has definitely changed my relationship to art. During the months when galleries and museums were closed, I turned to the galleries of the streets for inspiration, and spent hours each week walking and documenting what I saw. I discovered that many street artists were inspired by the experience of isolation due to Covid, and the increasingly dystopian nature of society imposed by the previous administration, to step-up the surreal nature of their creations. One new artist I kept seeing all over the city, whose work moved me immediately, was called Eye Sticker. Of course, the Eye is Pink.
Eye Sticker (also known as EYE) is an anonymous, gender-unspecified persona whose work often centers on a familiar, pop-culture image distinguished by the inclusion of a bright Pink Eye with an x-shaped iris at its center. The first work I saw by Eye Sticker was a paste up on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village, where I live. The piece depicted Dump as a Troll Doll, with a shock of pink hair and beady pink eyes that looked like those drawn by cartoonists to indicate that a person or animal is deceased. Appropriate, I thought.
Oh, what pure joy it was to stumble upon this fantastic mural by the great Buff Monster while I was walking home from an already wildly successful Street Art Safari in Freeman Alley. Featuring the artist’s beloved and iconic Mister Melty character, the mural is located just inside a gated parking lot (visible and fully accessible from the street, as seen in the photo below) on Allen Street just below Houston.
According to Buff Monster’s Instagram, this piece went up in late October and is just his second outside project painted all year! Because 2020 has sucked that hard!
I love the artist’s pristine attention to detail, which includes painting the mural over the metal guardrail, instead of restricting his canvas to just the wall behind it.
In this age of downloading all music purchases from the Internet, it’s easy to forget how much fun it can be to browse the weird, music-related shit that can be found in a good, old fashioned record store. I was wandering aimlessly in Rough Trade Records of Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn when I spotted this neato- thing that exists: a Residents Classic Eyeball Limited Edition Bobblehead! Yes, I just typed that.
The backstory, for those not in-the-know, is condensed as follows: The Residents are an American art collective best known for their avant-garde music and multimedia works. Since their first official release, Meet the Residents (1974), the group has released over sixty albums, numerous music videos and short films, three CD-ROM projects, and ten DVDs. Throughout its existence, the individual members have ostensibly attempted to operate under anonymity, preferring instead to have attention focused on their art output. In public, the group appears silent and costumed, often wearing eyeball helmets, top hats and tails — a long-lasting costume now recognized as its signature iconography. This figure, fabricated of high quality polyresin, and standing 7.5-inches tall, is available in an edition of just 1,000 hand-numbered units. You can get yours for just $26.99.
One thing leads to another, as they say. I was actually in the middle of an urban Art Safari for this project when I looked west across Chrystie Street and saw something that looked very familiar to me.
The interwebs tell me that back in August of 2015, the Brazilian twin aritsts Os Gemeos joined up with French wheat-paster JR to decorate the brick facade of 199 Chrystie Street. You can see the three trademark Os Gemeos characters: two interacting with / tagging the architecture, with one holding up a sign bearing JR’s signature eyeball graphic. Fun!
A reminder to look up more often!
This Mural is Located at 199 Chrystie Street, LES, NYC.
In these photos, what looks like a wearable Eyeball Dress is actually a sculpture, make up of tiny ceramic tiles, called Million Eyes Woman, by artist Marek Zyga. Photographed at the Evan Lurie Gallery Booth at the Summer 2015 Affordable Art Fair in NYC.