Skyscrapers loom over older buildings, planes fly overhead, and people crowd the sidewalks in this dramatic bird’s-eye view of Manhattan’s Wall Street. Bertram Hartman’s meaning may not be quite so straightforward, however. He painted Trinity Church And Wall Street in 1929, the year of a great stock market crash that devastated the nation’s economy. By showing the gothic series of Trinity Church overshadowed by skyscrapers, Hartman may have intended his viewers to contemplate the relationship between spiritual and material needs in modern life.
This week I went on an adventure! I had to make a trip down to Wall Street for the first time since our work-from-home directive went down in mid-March, because I had dermatologist appointment. Wee! After braving my masked-up, socially distanced subway ride, I had about 30 minutes to kill before my appointment time, and I enjoyed walking about in the financial district in relative solitude. It was awesome. And what a fun surprise to see artist Arturo Di Modica’s now-iconic bronze statue, Fearless Girl, rocking a face mask to reflect the Covid Life we live in. Inspiring! If you happen to be in that area, you can find her on Broad Street standing across from the NYSE.
OK, I have spent several days scouring the Internet for any indication that this very Banksy-sque stencil mural — which depicts a Wall Street Banker-type panhandling for “Any Job” while a female Robot hands him what looks like a Burrito (but is probably a handful of cash)– is, in fact, a Banksy, but I can’t find any evidence to confrm that suspicion. My guess is that the piece is called Looking For Any Job, as the man’s sign suggests.
The mural is painted just inside a cinderblock wall corridor adjacent to a service door at 7 Pine Street, in the Financial District, where I’m guessing employees of the building lurk while taking their smoking breaks, judging by the cigarette butt evidence that can clearly be seen. I have no idea how long it’s been there, but I’ve worked in the neighborhood for well over ten years and I just noticed it for the first time a few months ago, which means nothing. Is it a Banksy? Sound off in the comments!
NOTE: As of January 10th, 2020, this artwork has been painted over!
Any weekday that I walk south on Wall Street towards Water Street to catch a bus home, I pass by this otherwise unremarkable Dollar Sign-Shaped Bike Rack, which not everyone knows was designed by Talking Heads frontman, Fine Artist and Avid Bicyclist David Byrne. Until some time last year (I didn’t pay attention to exactly when this changed) there was an inverted paper coffee up — which no one would stop long enough to remove –covering the upward end of the ‘S’ shape. The cup was there for about two years: I swear I am not even exaggerating that point.
The Wall Street Dollar Sign is one of nine custom Bike Racks created by Byrne in 2008, whose shapes pay homage to specific NYC neighborhoods. You can read more about them at This Link.
This Subway Sandwich Shop, located at Broadway and Pine Street in the Financial District, is nestled at the foot of a staircase leading up from an exit for the 4 and 5 trains at the Wall Street station.