Stephen Powers Brings Coney Island to the Brooklyn Museum


Summer may be fading fast — and with it, the halcyon promise of beachside days and boardwalk nights — but starting on November 20, the Coney Island spirit will live on at the Brooklyn Museum through a site-specific installation by artist Stephen Powers (a.k.a., ESPO in his graffiti work). “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To a Seagull)” will track “the emergence of a uniquely American and wholly ‘Coney Island’ style of painting,” according to a release — in particular, the fast-fading tradition of brightly colored, hand-painted signs — with signs and sign-inspired pieces by Justin Green, Matt Wright, Mike Levy, Dan Murphy, Mike Lee, Mimi Gross, Alexis Ross, Sean Barton, Eric Davis and Tim Curtis. The Brooklyn Museum show marks the ninth iteration Powers’s “ICY SIGNS” project, a traveling sign shop-cum-studio with permanent locations in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, which has previously posted up everywhere from the streets of Johannesburg to the LACMA parking lot since its inception in 2003. The first edition was — you guessed it — on Coney Island.

—Anneliese Cooper (@DawnDavenport)

(Photo: Courtesy Brooklyn Museum)