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Posts Tagged ‘street art’

'Mic Check" by RAE in Coney Island

‘Mic Check” by RAE in Coney Island, March 25, 2014

It wouldn’t be spring in Coney Island without street art by RAE popping up across from the Cyclone roller coaster. One of his Instagram followers calls it “Rae’s block.” This imposing and folksy character was created from scrap metal, handlebars, a BMW hubcap, Mardi Gras beads and of course a microphone. “All parts are found. I believe the hands are from a Bart Simpson doll,” RAE tells ATZ.

The last time we saw the Brooklyn-based artist’s work in Coney was around this time last year on the same block. “Rae practices good placement, which is one of the most important considerations for exciting street art,” says RJ Rushmore of street art blog Vandalog, who named RAE one of the “10 Street Artists to Watch in 2013.″

And watch him we did. Last year, RAE’s drawings, paintings and sculpture transformed an East Village bodega into a pop-up show titled “Word of Mouth” and his first solo show in London opened at the Signal Gallery.

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Related posts on ATZ…

March 18, 2013: Art of the Day: Street Art by RAE in Coney Island

June 21, 2012: Photo Album: Mermaid Avenue Murals and Public Art

May 3, 2011: Photo of the Day: Street Art by RAE in Coney Island

April 15, 2011: Photo Album: Whimsical Murals Blossom in Coney Island

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Today's Banksy is in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photos via banksyny.com

Banksy in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photos via banksyny.com

WOW! Ask and you shall receive. On Friday, ATZ posted “Banksy Does Bumper Car, Has Yet to Do Coney Island” entreating the famed artist to visit Coney during his month-long “Better Out Than In” tour of New York City streets. Today he made it and our wish came true! Thank you so much, #banksyny. Banksy left this endearing robot spray-painting a barcode on a wall at Stillwell and Neptune. If you’re wondering about the significance of the number, it’s a nucleotide sequence for homo sapiens, according to Street Art News.

Banksy Coney Island

New Banksy on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photo © Edward Muniz

The artwork is located at 1402 Neptune Avenue on the Stillwell side of a building that once housed a sign shop called Sign-O-Rama–how appropriate! Since Sandy devastated the neighborhood a year ago, it’s a former convenience store. This morning, ATZ messaged building owner Anthony Ruocco, a cousin to the Russo brothers of Gargiulo’s Restaurant, to give him a heads up about his good fortune and ask him to protect it. Since one of Banksy’s murals has sold for over $1 million, New York building owners who become the “accidental owner of a Banksy” have been hiring security guards and installing rolldown gates.

Banksy in Coney Island

Photographing the photographers taking photos of Banksy in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photo © Edward Muniz

Ruocco had been asked by the NYPD if he wanted to file a complaint against Banksy. Photographer Edward Muniz interviewed the building’s co-owner who said “I’m happy he chose us” and ordered a rolldown gate after his brother almost painted over the mural by mistake. Muniz had bicycled over to Neptune Avenue to take photos of people who had gathered to admire the Banksy. He noted that no one had tagged or defaced the artwork. “I’m so proud of Coney Island today! Everyone is respecting the piece and each other, everyone is getting their shots and having a good time,” he said in a post on a Facebook group. “I talked to people from all five boros, New Jersey, France and London! And after they got their shots they all walked down to the Boardwalk and Nathan’s to enjoy the sun.”

Banksy Coney Island

Rolldown Gate Installed to Protect Banksy in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy

By 5PM, when photographer Bruce Handy arrived, the gate had been installed and the Banksy show was about to close for the day. A pregnant woman persuaded a worker to open the gate so she could pose for picture. Who knows, maybe she’ll name her baby Banksy? Jay Dow of WPIX also showed up, so you can see Coney Island’s Banksy on the 10 o’clock news.

We’ll update this post on Tuesday with info about viewing hours. The work, which is two blocks north of Surf Avenue, has the potential to draw tourists north of Stillwell Terminal.

Banksy Coney Island

Selfie with Banksy in Coney Island. October 28, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy

As noted in our previous post, Coney Island has a rich tradition of street art. Os Gemeos, the Brazilian twins whom Banksy collaborated with on 24th Street in Chelsea have a 130-foot mural on Coney’s Stillwell Avenue across from the terminal that dates back to 2005. Work by Steve Powers, whose Dreamland Artists Club in collaboration with Creative Time brought new signage to Coney Island, can be seen on the staircase at Coney Island USA, the facade of West 12th Street’s Miss Coney Island and Skin the Wire, and the Eldorado Bumper Cars on Surf Ave. Sideshow banners by Marie Roberts have emblazoned the facade of Coney Island USA’s headquarters since 1997.

Banksy Coney Island

The Banksy artwork in Coney Island is two blocks north of Stillwell Terminal. October 28, 2013. Photo © Edward Muniz

UPDATE October 30, 2013:

The rolldown gate has been closed since it was installed on Monday evening. Pix of the gate and graffiti added to the wall are being posted on social media by people who came out to Coney to see the Banksy and were disappointed. The building owner needs to have a viewing schedule like the one in Williamsburg!

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Related posts on ATZ…

October 26, 2013: Banksy Does Bumper Car, Has Yet to Do Coney Island

February 16, 2013: Photo Album: Post-Sandy MERCY Graffiti in Coney Island

October 10, 2011: Photo of the Day: Coney Island’s Famed “Hey Joey!” Doomed

April 15, 2011: Photo Album: Whimsical Murals Blossom in Coney Island

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Yesterday, Banksy unveiled a Bumper Car-riding Reaper in Manhattan and posted this video set to the tune of “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” The installation is at Houston and Elizabeth Streets, where it’s on view from dusk till midnight through Sunday. “Welcome to the fair — which life isn’t,” says the audio guide to the piece.

With 5 days left in his “Better Out Than In” tour of New York City, we’re still waiting for Banksy to create a piece of street art in Coney Island. He has chosen locations in the South Bronx, Staten Island and Queens but the majority of his pieces are in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including Brooklyn Heights, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Red Hook, East New York and Sunset Park. How can you visit the City for a month and not do Coney Island?! There’s still time, Banksy– Coney Island’s amusement rides are open through Sunday, but the rest of Coney is open year round!

Os Gemeos Coney Island

Os Gemeos Mural on Stillwell Ave, Coney Island. October 30, 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Island has a rich tradition of street art. Guerrilla art by RAE and post-Sandy MERCY graffiti by an unknown artist have appeared this year. OverUnder, ND’A, Veng, Radical and Ephameron painted murals for a project curated by Keith Schweitzer for No Longer Empty in 2011.

Os Gemeos, the Brazilian twins whom Banksy collaborated with on 24th Street in Chelsea have a 130-foot mural on Coney’s Stillwell Avenue that dates back to 2005. Work by Steve Powers, whose Dreamland Artists Club in collaboration with Creative Time brought new signage to Coney Island, can still be seen on the staircase at Coney Island USA, West 12th Street’s Miss Coney Island and Skin the Wire, and the Eldorado Bumper Cars on Surf Ave. Sideshow banners by Marie Roberts have emblazoned the facade of Coney Island USA’s headquarters since 1997.

Tonight at the Eldorado Bumper Cars and Arcade, there’s a “Things That Go Bump in the Night” Halloween party. Free unlimited “Bump Your Ass Off” bumper car rides are included with the price of admission. The DJ lineup includes Groove Therapy artists Bass Age, Chris See, Dali, Hardbass Addicts, Nicky Twist, Steve Nice and TJFX. Time: 9pm – 3am, Age: 18+, Tickets: $20.

UPDATE October 28, 2013:

Banksy’s newest work is in Coney Island! A robot spray-painting a mysterious barcode on Stillwell Avenue at Neptune

Eldorado Auto Skooters

Eldorado Auto Skooters sign by Steve Powers, Surf Avenue in Coney Island. September 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

March 18, 2013: Art of the Day: Street Art by RAE in Coney Island

February 16, 2013: Photo Album: Post-Sandy MERCY Graffiti in Coney Island

February 5, 2012: Botched Job: Coney Island Art Exiled by Thor Equities

April 15, 2011: Photo Album: Whimsical Murals Blossom in Coney Island

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RAE

Street Art by RAE in Coney Island, March 16, 2013

Brooklyn street artist RAE created this wonderfully quirky sculpture the other day in Coney Island. The figure made from a chair and pieces of a police barrier strikes a debonair pose in his shiny metal top hat and painted cane. We hope he sticks around. In January, RJ Rushmore of street art blog Vandalog named RAE one of the “10 Street Artists to Watch in 2013″ in an article for Complex:

Rae practices good placement, which is one of the most important considerations for exciting street art. He installed a sculpture at a New York City Subway station entrance that looked like a piece of public art and a mural in Chicago that took into account the surrounding trees. I can’t wait to see what he tries next.

ATZ has been following RAE’s work via twitter ever since one of his works popped up on a Coney street corner opposite the Cyclone. Good placement!

RAE

Street Art by RAE in Coney Island, March 16, 2013

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Related posts on ATZ…

September 2, 2012: Art of the Day: World’s Smallest Woman Arrives in Coney Island

February 5, 2012: Botched Job: Coney Island Art Exiled by Thor Equities

October 10, 2011: Photo of the Day: Coney Island’s Famed “Hey Joey!” Doomed

April 15, 2011: Photo Album: Whimsical Murals Blossom in Coney Island

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MERCY

MERCY. February 9, 2012, Photo © Bruce Handy via Coney Island Photo Diary

After Sandy, we began noticing the word “MERCY” stenciled on lamp posts and empty signboards in Coney Island. It felt like a call for compassion from a neighborhood devastated by the storm. During last week’s snowstorm, Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy came across three of these graffiti messages. The one above was on a white wall at Paul’s Daughter on the Boardwalk.

No Mercy

POƧT –ИO–MERCY February 7, 2012, Photo © Bruce Handy via Coney Island Photo Diary

On Stillwell Avenue, the “Post No Bills” message on the plywood covering Thor Equities vacant new building was replaced by graffiti saying “POƧT — ИO — MERCY.” Person(s) unknown also pasted MERCY bumper stickers on poles in the amusement area. Have you seen any others? Scroll down for readers’ comments and theories about the graffiti and additional photos. Bruce Handy’s flickr set can be viewed here.

MERCY

MERCY. February 10, 2012, Photo © Bruce Handy via Coney Island Photo Diary

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Related posts on ATZ…

February 5, 2012: Botched Job: Coney Island Art Exiled by Thor Equities

June 1, 2011: Photo Album: Street Art Down by the Coney Island Bowery

May 3, 2011: Photo of the Day: Street Art by RAE in Coney Island

April 15, 2011: Photo Album: Whimsical Murals Blossom in Coney Island

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Funny Face

Mermaid Avenue Funny Face. June 18, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

In Coney Island’s revamped amusement area, hand-painted vernacular signage and public art are rapidly being displaced by custom lighted signs or painted over. Just a few blocks away on Mermaid Avenue, mural painting by local artists is still thriving. Walking from Stillwell Avenue to West 28th Street, ATZ came across work on almost every block, including a Funny Face touting “Parking for Puertoricans Only,” murals memorializing lost friends and a community art project celebrating growth and diversity.

Église  Evangelique Haitienne

Église Evangelique Haitienne, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

One block north of Surf Avenue, Mermaid Avenue is the neighborhood’s shopping district, populated with stores, restaurants, churches and community organizations such as Astella Development and South Brooklyn Youth Consortium. As Woody Guthrie famously says in his song “Mermaid’s Avenue” written in 1950: “Mermaid Avenue that’s the street where all colors of goodfolks meet.”

Mural Memorializing Jose Chin, Five Deli Grocery, West 28th Street, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The mural pictured above dedicated to the memory of Jose Chin is painted on a wall outside of Five Deli Grocery on West 28th Street and Mermaid Avenue. Coney Island artist Kwamin Serguson finished it on April 21, 2012, two years after Jose’s passing at age 22, according to an article in Astella Action News. The mural is one of several poignant memorials to lost youth that can be found on the sides of buildings.

Memorial Mural

Memorial Mural at Five Deli Grocery, West 28th Street, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Vision of Growth, created by Groundswell in collaboration with South Brooklyn Youth Consortium, is on West 27th Street at Mermaid Avenue. The 15 by 80 foot acrylic on cinderblock mural features images of Coney Island landmarks and highlights the diversity of the community. The project was part of Groundswell’s 2008 Summer Leadership Institute. “Artists Alex Pimienta and Jessica Poplawski worked with a team of youth to create a colorful mural celebrating the people, changing communities, and future of Coney Island,” says the project description.

Groundswell

Detail of A Vision of Growth: Groundswell in collaboration with South Brooklyn Youth Consortium. Mermaid Ave at W 27th St, Coney Island. Photo by Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The young mural artists from the South Brooklyn Youth Consortium are Mohamed Abdelrahman, Michael Coleman, Shani Coleman, Nicholas Collazo, Ahmathya Edwards, Mashayach Edwards, Michael Ferrera, Angel Garcia, Andrea Gil, Doris Huey, Emily Lew, Carla Pierre Paul and Ken Zheng.

Groundswell

Detail of A Vision of Growth: Groundswell in collaboration with South Brooklyn Youth Consortium. Mermaid Ave at W 27th St, Coney Island. Photo by Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

March 2, 2012: Coney Island Murals by Street Artists Await Their Fate

February 5, 2012: Botched Job: Coney Island Art Exiled by Thor Equities

June 1, 2011: Photo Album: Street Art Down by the Coney Island Bowery

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Dona Zita Murals by OverUnder and ND'A Awaiting Their Fate. Photo © Eric Kowalsky. All Rights Reserved

Last summer, street artists OverUnder and ND’A painted murals for the restaurant Plaza Mexico Doña Zita on the Bowery and Henderson Walk in Coney Island. Giant tropical flowers blossomed on a fence on the Henderson side of Thor Equities’ construction site and brought a garden of street art to Doña Zita’s. Unlike some of its neighbors, this popular little eatery has managed to survive the upheaval brought about by Coney Island’s rezoning and redevelopment. Yet Doña Zita’s proximity to Thor’s empty lots made the seating area less than scenic. Then the murals appeared, almost miraculously, and transformed the view.

Since construction on Thor’s building is completed and the fencing was taken down, the Doña Zita murals have been piled up in the lot across the street, awaiting their fate. Murals from the Bowery, Surf and Stillwell sides of the building, which were painted by OverUnder, ND’A, Veng, Radical and Ephameron for a project curated by Keith Schweitzer for No Longer Empty, have already disappeared. Last month, some panels were spotted in a botched reassembly at another Thor construction site in Bensonhurst.

Coney Island mural

Coney Island mural with ND'A by O V E R U N D E R, on Flickr. June 30, 2011. Photo © O V E R U N D E R. All Rights Reserved

Do street artists have a tough skin when it comes to the fate of their work? ATZ contacted the No Longer Empty muralists to find out.

The artist known as OverUnder told ATZ: “Although it is saddening to see the handling of one’s public work by people, critics, and the weather, it is also inherent to the work. I would take seeing the sun and rains effect on a mural over a construction workers lack of reassembly any day but beggars, errr, street artists can’t be choosers.”

At the same time, OverUnder and the other artists are sad to see colorful, handmade, authentic signage of Coney Island replaced by pre-fab or generic signs.

“I was very pleased and honored to be able to paint something out at Coney Island,” wrote ND’A in an email. “Ever since I moved to New York the old signs and murals have always stopped me in my tracks. I think in our line of work it is a hope, not an expectation, that things will be a fixture and not ephemeral.”

“That being said,” ND’A added, “If the construction site remains unable or unwilling to put everything back to its original state I know we are all generally chomping at the bit to paint big outdoor projects. If you know of any spots where we could do more murals I’d love to put more work out there.”

Coney Island mural O V E R U N D E R with ND'A

Coney Island mural with ND'A by O V E R U N D E R, on Flickr. June 30, 2011. Photo © O V E R U N D E R. All Rights Reserved

Thor Equities new building remains vacant and is now encased in plywood except for the side on Henderson Walk, which is the back of the building and has no windows. “I see a blank canvas for No Longer Empty,” wrote one of the commenters on our recent post about the building. We’d like to see more murals too, but Thor is already throwing up advertisements. This week, signs touting “CONEY ISLAND – The RETAIL RIDE of a LIFETIME – for leasing contact..” went up on the Stillwell side. Thor debuted the odious slogan last May.

Doña Zita’s is located on Coney Island’s Bowery at Henderson Walk, one of the few historic “walks” remaining in Coney. We love her food and so did the artists. The restaurant also gets high marks on Yelp, Serious Eats (“Tacos plus sandy feet and the smell of the ocean equals the perfect summer combination”) and Time Out (“the finest quesadilla this side of Sunset Park”).

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Related posts on ATZ…

February 5, 2012: Botched Job: Coney Island Art Exiled by Thor Equities

June 1, 2011: Photo Album: Street Art Down by the Coney Island Bowery

May 3, 2011: Photo of the Day: Street Art by RAE in Coney Island

April 15, 2011: Photo Album: Whimsical Murals Blossom in Coney Island

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