Ah, pandemic-themed street art: I love it. Slum Sex (spray-painted sometimes in Pink, and sometimes not) is a tag by renegade street artist Schizo 27 (@shizo27), who is a member of the 2wo 7even Bandits; a crew that actually rejects the name ‘crew’ and instead refer to themselves as a team of art ‘Bandits.’ This, I also love. All members of the 2wo 7even Bandits add the number 27 to their tags.
The 2wo 7even Bandits occasionally hold free Street Art Shows, where they paint discarded items (also known as trash) and buyers can pick up anything that strikes their fancy. Follow them on Instagram (@2wo_7even_bandits), for more information!
Here’s a new artwork by street artist SacSix that you’re probably already seeing all over the city. Break Through depicts the instantly recognizable hand of Mickey Mouse making the Peace Sign, where his two fingers literally ‘break through’ the fabric of the white glove he wears. Pretty heavy. According to the artist, “2020 is the time to break through the white glove of racism and oppression. Time for Equality. Justice. Peace. RIP George.” This piece is a ‘sign of the times’ if there ever was one.
Above Images Photographed in Freeman Alley, NYC.
Here it is Again, Sharing Space With an Outdoor Cafe on Mercer Street in Soho.
In the past few weeks, the city streets have become a canvas for protest art spawned in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by the police. On one of my regular evening walks this week, I spotted this small mural of George’s likeness, bearing the words ‘justice’ and ‘coexist,’ at the corner of First Avenue and East 13th Street. You can see that someone has placed a prayer candle on the sidewalk in front of the mural, but it’s easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention, because the mural sits below eye level.
This mural is entitled Justice, and it was painted by New York-based Japanese artist Dragon 76 (@dragon76art). Update: As of July 25th, 2020, this mural has been painted-over as a black background with the word “CoExist” in white. New photo below!
Everyone should be familiar with the basic facts of how George Floyd died, but it case you aren’t, you can read it in the above photo. This is one of a series of stickers posted along Avenue B with the names and stories of black people who have lost their lives to police brutality and racially motivated violence. It is extremely sobering but also inspiring to join this call for justice.
Photographed Outside Fishs Eddy on Broadway Between 19th and 20th Streets
Say Their Names.
In the windows of closed businesses, merchants and residents stand in solitary with our African American neighbors.
Let us not allow this moment in time to pass without enacting real change, starting within ourselves.
If you travel all the way to the back end of Freeman Alley (right by the city’s most secret restaurant) you may still be able to find this Astronaut floating amid a constellation of stickers, stencils and paste ups, accompanied by the phrase “Fly me to the moon!” spray painted in vibrant pink. How delightful. The artist, Poet (#poetwastaken on Instagram) offers that, “the astronaut is both an ode to Ol’ Blue Eyes‘ lyric of love, yet a modern nod to the Coachella Moon Man.” “After all,” he concludes, ” love is out of this world!” Amen to that!
Poet is the name of a street artist whose work I discovered through his Pink Mail Box series, which is called Love Letters. I started following him on Instagram under the hashtag #poetwastaken and, over the weekend, I went out looking for a few of the works he’s been posting on his feed. This piece, which includes an image of Kurt Cobain alongside a spray painted quote, is located in Freeman’s Alley on the LES.
Once I found the piece in person (and if you’ve seen Freeman’s Alley, you know that’s no easy feat) I was disappointed to discover that the quote had already been pasted over by another artist’s work, even though Poet’s piece had only been up since January 28th. This kind of thing happens so often that Poet said he has learned not to let it bother him. Everything is a work in progress.
Poet, who is based in Los Angeles, told me a bit more about the Cobain piece in a chat via Instagram. “The Kurt Cobain piece was actually initially derived from his quote “Thank you for the trajedy (sic), I need it for my art.” I had spray painted that next to that paste up, but the very next day it was covered by another paste up. This lead me to a add a short and sweet message of “I’m so happy” over Kurt’s image. I’ve been painting that quote for about a year now, and with paste ups only for a few months.”
Watch for more street art by Poet to be featured here in the coming weeks!