Straight from the outer boroughs
by Elizabeth Furey
|One of the DUMBO Walls –credit|
You may zoom over the BQE and not think twice about it. You’re just getting from point A to point B safely, not really considering what is just under the road. However, cars are whizzing over some spectacular art, known as DUMBO Walls. Unveiled in August 2013, the DUMBO Walls project adds to New York’s vibrant street-art scene. A four-block stretch of brick wall under the BQE is now home to artist’s work from around the world.
Some of the best-known contemporary artists contributed to DUMBO Walls, including Shepard Fairey, who is perhaps best known for his iconic ‘Hope’ poster of Barack Obama. When talking to Gothamist about the project, Fairey praised the accessibility of its location, because “street art was always about finding a democratically accessible form for art.” DUMBO Walls may not have the thrill of anarchy as a motivator, but you can still appreciate it for its purer intentions.
|Shepard Fairey’s mural –credit|
The international project in the heart of up-and-coming Brooklyn also features work from the artist DALeast, who was born in China and currently lives in South Africa. DALeast is particularly interested in how architecture plays a role in street art. Another South African artist on the exhibit is Faith47, who’s motivated by the unique beauty of abandoned spaces. MOMO, the artist who famously followed the grid system of Manhattan on a paint-dispensing bike to write his name across the width of the city, also contributed to DUMBO Walls.
|MOMO’s colorful mural –credit|
Even an instructor at New York’s School of Visual Arts participated in the project. Yuko Shizimu is an illustrator whose work has been used on Penguin book covers, The New Yorker, Pepsi cans and many other places.
Though the DUMBO Walls exhibit is made possible in part by the New York City Department of Transportation Urban Art Program, in other words—the government, it still takes on the important duty of providing art directly to the people. The real estate development firm Two Trees Management is supportive of the project. The firm is passionate about street art’s impact on a neighborhood, and is particularly invested in the DUMBO. Two Trees is also one of the founding sponsors of the DUMBO Arts Festival.
The eight murals that make up this public art display can be seen by taking the F train to York Street. The outdoor gallery stretches from the Brooklyn Bridge to Jay Street.
|Yuku Shizimu’s work in progress –credit|