Brooklyn Street Art

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Erik Berglin: Unusual New Birds of Brooklyn

Posted on October 6, 2011

Swedish artist Erik Berglin has been installing photos of birds on the streets of Europe since 2006. This summer he was in Brooklyn to brighten the hood with an avian air not seen since the great escape of wild parrots from JFK in the 60s. In a typical New York immigration story, first the parrots began working as dishwashers and now they own most of the delis in some parts of Brooklyn. Just checking to see if you are paying attention. Seriously, those AWOL parrots first created a colony in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn and since then have expanded to other sections of Brooklyn and Queens, becoming the new natives.

brooklyn-street-art-erik-berglin-jaime-rojo-09-11-web-10Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

More of a hobby than a statement, Erik uses existing photos of birds scanned from books and downloaded from the web, wheat-pasting them in unusual yet appropriate locations that catch your attention. They remind some of Dan Witz’s oil painted hummingbirds and the saturated natural habitats of ShinShin and Wing, but Berglin thinks more about the adaptive qualities of birds and that parallel to city dwellers.


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“From all the wild animals, birds have adapted best to living in urban conditions. Except maybe for rats – but it is birds we see and encounter in our daily life in the city,” observes Berglin. He talks about rats and birds as heroic overcomers in the urban environment, apparently not aware of our fabulous cockroaches.


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With more plumage, attitude and strutting than the Spring 2012 fashion shows at Lincoln Center, this new collection speaks also of the regal self-assured quality of aviators, and the laser like focus needed for survival in the natural and manmade environment. “We view them as a natural part of urban life,” he explains, but he doesn’t limit himself to the varieties that are common here. “With birds there are an endless amount of different species to chose from. I never have to repeat myself,” says Berglin.


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Erik Berglin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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