While the art world’s biggest galleries have been prepping their booths at the Park Avenue and 69th Regiment armories, the West Side piers, and other Armory Week art fair venues, another sector of the art world has been working diligently to have their works on view for the thousands of collectors and art enthusiasts descending on the city this week. Street artists have been working hard, putting the finishing (or first) touches on new murals around the city. Three international street art stars have been toiling within a few blocks of each other on the Lower East Side, and ARTINFO paid them a visit last night to see how things are coming along.
At Houston Street and Bowery, the Los Angeles-based artist Retna has finished his mural, which was only just begun on Saturday. Last night an assistant was applying a final coat of what looked like some kind of sealant to keep the mural’s bright red and blue calligraphy-like markings from running any more than the artist had intended.
A couple of blocks away the Tel Aviv-based artist Know Hope has been working on a mural on East 2nd Street through the Fourth Arts Block and MaNY programs with curator Keith Schweitzer. Last night as he was leaving following a full day’s work, the artist said the piece was almost finished. “I just need to do some line work on the flag,” Know Hope said. That mural should be finished this afternoon. He’s also participating in the Fountain Art Fair’s street art mural project at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue.
Down on Lafayette Street, London-based artist D*Face was still hard at work (with an assistant) on his new mural for the SCOPE New York fair. The image, one of three murals the artist will be painting this week (the other two are in Williamsburg), features a living dead-looking man sporting a suit and purple hair holding a buxom blonde. The piece’s zombie-Roy Lichtenstein mashup is characteristic of D*Face’s playful evocations of vintage advertising imagery and comic books. He’s expecting to be finished today, before finishing the last of his three new murals later this week in Brooklyn.
— Benjamin Sutton