Love street art? Visit MoSA (Museum of Street Art) at citizenM Bowery.
Remember 5 Pointz? Any street art aficionado will. The outdoor museum in Long Island City – deemed a “graffiti mecca” – drew visitors from around the globe until it was whitewashed in 2013 and then demolished the following year. Street art fans thought they’d never witness any project as phenomenal as 5 Pointz again, but thanks to citizenM Bowery and curator Marie Cecile Flageul, New York City now has MoSa (Museum of Street Art) on Bowery in the heart of the Lower East Side.
In the collaboration, 20 artists from 5 Pointz display their aerosol art in this stairwell museum. Two and a half years of planning and more than 420 hours of painting have come to fruition in this reunion celebrating the 5 Pointz legacy. I saw MoSA in person on my private tour spiraling down 20 floors from the rooftop bar, and I can tell you that this museum is extraordinary and a must-visit.
A few things to know about MoSa before you visit
The MoSA logo.
MoSA’s logo is a tribute to the late (and world-renowned) artist, Robert Indiana. You’ll see similarities between the graphic style of his LOVE sculptures and the design of “MoSA.”
MoSA is a love letter.
Moments, places, faces, and words are the themes of the gallery, and the murals pay tribute to the Lower East Side and Bowery. MoSa has been labeled “a vertical love letter.”
MoSA features well-known New Yorkers.
Pieces involve some famed New Yorkers like Ru Paul, Lou Reed, Allen Ginsberg and Rosario Dawson, all with connections to the neighborhood.
Artist and 5 Pointz founder Jonathan ‘Meres One’ Cohen is one of the 20 artists featured in MoSA. His work is a rooftop view of citizenM Bowery, and he also created the 5,000-square-foot outdoor mural in Wildstyle (a unique graffiti lettering style), using letters gleaned from the original 5 Pointz. You can’t miss this mural as you enter the hotel (pictured below).
Each artist tells a story.
Pay special attention to each artist’s style and the nuances of each piece. Your guide should point out fun facts and even tell a few anecdotes. You’ll notice that murals are signed and show each artist’s Instagram handle so you can follow your favorites.
Five women participated in MoSA.
While we usually think of street artists as male, five females participated in this project including New York’s own Danielle Mastrion (Lower East Side mural below) and Lady Pink, who’s said, “It’s not just a boy’s club. We have a sisterhood thing going on.” (Let’s hear it for the girls!)
Interested in touring MoSA? Book a reservation on Resy. Your MoSA experience will begin on the 21st floor and you’ll work your way down to the ground, so be sure to dress comfortably. Tours last about 30 minutes and they’re free.
Here’s Rae Maxwell’s video of the making of MoSa.
189 Bowery (at citizenM)
New York, NY 10002
Also, an interview with one of New York’s most accomplished street artists.