Brooklyn Street Art

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Crest Has a Posse in an Empty Lot on L.E.S.

Posted on August 22, 2011

Joe Franquinha and his executive personal manager Liza brought their pet pig Franklin to check out the abandoned lot on Ludlow Street on Manhattan’s Lower East side. Franklin surveyed the new sod while Yok put up a new piece.


Yok and Franklin (photo © Mike Pearce)

Invited by a couple of entrepreneurs who have rented the open space for two months to make the outdoor location a little more welcoming, Joe looked at the ground, then up at the walls. Decaying, unfinished, rough, full of New York character, the walls immediately brought his mind to the many Street Artists busy in the city right now.

brooklyn-street-art-ludlow-walls-crest-art-gaia-nanook-general-howe-creepy-yok-laura-mayers-quel-beast-travos-w-simon-jaime-rojo-08-11-1-webNanook working on his collaboration with Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With help from Keith Schweitzer, Joe has mobilized a handful of Street Art talent to convert the lot into an impromptu outdoor gallery installation – calling it Timeshare Backyard. With an NYC theme honoring his favorite city, the artists have been getting up here for a week. In Gotham, no story surprises you, so it’s unclear what the fate of this lot will be; New York is always knocking down and building up, the cycle of destruction and renewal never stops. By next spring this could be a new glass and steel condo, who knows. In this brief interlude in this grassy lot, why not mount a momentary show, a commentary on life here right now?


Gaia working on his collaboration with Nanook (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the owner of Crest Hardware in Brooklyn with his dad, stylishly moustachioed Joe celebrates the local community of artists that has boomed in BK and he’s known for opening the doors to any number of creative types – providing materials, suggestions, conversation, and great opportunities like these to show their stuff. As summer’s long days melt into the firey New York autumn these (mainly) street artists relished the opportunity to paste or paint just one more wall, at their leisure, while Joe and Liza put down giant garden plants and a wood-chip perimeter. If you get invited to some barbecue or bar or fashion show or something on the LES in the next 60 days, keep your eyes up above the gate to see these pieces peeking at you.


Upper East Side represents in the Lower East Side. Gaia working on his collaboration with Nanook (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia, Nanook (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia, Nanook (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia in the background (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia sortin’ out (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia, Nanook (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nanook (photo © Jaime Rojo)


“Too much art. Not enough grass,” thinks Franklin as he surveys his lunch options on the Lower East Side. (photo © Mike Pearce)


Gaia (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nanook (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Creepy was invited by Gaia and Nanook to add some of his organic patterns to their collab (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Gaia, Nanook with Creepy’s subtle additions to the finish wall (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bishop 203 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“You have many ways to look at New York back here – love, anger, faith in the city,” remarks Joe while looking at the wheatpastes in the back of the lot.


General Howe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This is a very unusual wheatpaste by Street Artist General Howe, who is making some important decisions in life.  “General Howe is physically coming up on a crossroads, and looking at this kid who may be a younger him,” says Joe.


General Howe (photo © Jaime Rojo)


General Howe (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Creepy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Creepy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Looking skyward at Creepy’s integrated installation (photo © Mike Pearce)


Creepy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Creepy checking the sketch (photo © Mike Pearce)


Creepy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Laura Mayers (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Joe explains, “Laura Myers said she started sketching it and she started seeing the sacred heart, like the picture her grandmother used to have in her house. I love it! I love the way the heart is the apple, with the city coming out. “


Yok (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Yok, Travis W. Simon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Yok (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Yok (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Yok, Travis W. Simon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Creepy, Yok (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Quel Beast (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Special thanks to photographer Mike Pearce for his contributions to this piece. See Mikes photos on Flickr at Pearce_Pics

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