Joe Ficalora, the Bushwick Collective founder and curator, invited us to stop by the warehouse where tonight’s Warehouse Party will be held and offered us an exclusive peek at the Subway Art Installation that Artist Danny Cortes, and his team – headed by Mike See and Edward Rivera have been working on. This replica of a subway car has been tagged for this special project by GIZ, SAINT, GHOST, THEAM, IR, CES, SPOT, JAKEE, KED, PGISM, ACNE, BERT, AND LANDO, DANNY CORTES, NEP, NOE, CHEO MSG, AND MIKE SEE among other graffiti writers.
“So, the concept behind Danny’s miniatures fascinates me,” he explains amidst the swirling cloud of sawdust, the cacophony of drills, and the booming voices. “They are incredibly small, which presents a unique opportunity for an exclusive experience, allowing you to truly step ‘inside’ his miniature world.” BSA (Brooklyn Street Art) was fortunate enough to be invited for their own exclusive experience. Here we give you a chance to catch a preview glimpse of the train-in-the-making, set to be unveiled tonight at the grand opening of Ficalora’s annual celebration of street culture, urban art, graffiti, Hip Hop, and sidewalk selfies.
As always, this year’s Bushwick Collective block party sparks numerous collaborations. “The synergies within our circle are remarkable,” Joe affirms. “We rely solely on our resources to create exactly what we need; you know what I mean?”
The level of detail on this train is astonishing. It showcases layers of tags and pieces on the exterior, some acid washed and weathered, while others shimmer with a silver tint. Inside, vibrant tags of New York graffiti heroes from the movement hustle for space, accompanied by door panel pieces, vintage advertising, faded throwies, curved orange seating, and even meticulously crafted 3-D printed straphangers that match the originals in size and shape.
Miniatures of New York scenes are brought to life regularly by Bushwick’s very own Danny Cortes, who faithfully recreates architectural and street-inspired works brimming with nostalgia and imbued with character. In a stroke of curatorial wizardry, Joe Ficalora, the founder of the Bushwick Collective, has decided to commission two enlarged versions of these miniatures, playfully warping perception and conjuring your own memories of New York and its streets.
Over the course of a dozen years, the initiative of bringing hundreds of artists to paint in this Brooklyn neighborhood has undeniably transformed not only the physical landscape but also the scene and spirit of the area. It has become a more welcoming and inclusive environment than one might expect. You will witness fresh combinations, collaborations, and occasional superstar appearances here. However, the essence of the “collective” still remains at the core.
Another one of Joe’s curatorial endeavors for 2023 includes enlarging one of Cortes’ miniature sculptures—an iconic bodega scene—which the artist himself was working on yesterday from a lift. “Zach Curtis from Michigan is also here, and we decided to collaborate once again, this time transforming his miniature model of street life into a mural. The concepts behind the two pieces- the train and the bodega – beautifully align.”
More on this captivating project will be shared here later. Make sure not to miss the grand arrival of the train, scheduled for tonight and set to be showcased throughout the weekend here in Bushwick, Brooklyn.