As an effort to embrace, and sometimes endure, the city’s scorching hot weather all at once, New York is known for its countless, and mostly free, outdoor events and festivities running from mid-May all the way into September. I’ve taken it upon myself to take advantage of some of these events, and so the other week I found myself venturing into the neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn to check out some free art and music.
A notoriously ‘trendy’ neighborhood located in Brooklyn, Bushwick is home to one of the city’s hottest summer music and art festivals. At this year’s Bushwick Block Party, held on June 1 on Troutman Street between Wyckoff and St. Nicholas, street artists were invited to showcase their work, which was installed throughout the event.When I got there, the streets were lined with pop-up vendors, crammed with creative junkies, and victim to the sounds of punk-rock performers. It was the living definition of ‘hipster’. Personally, the music wasn’t of my usual preference, so I focused on the larger than life sized murals being painted on literally every single facade of the buildings that lined the street.
While the street art was no doubt ridiculously cool and impressive, the real treasures were tucked away through a small (and slightly sketchy) back-building entrance simply labeled ‘ART’, aka the Bushwick Collective Art Gallery. Once inside and up the stairs, a large gallery housed at least ten different artists and their individual pieces. It was street art on canvas. Going for an average of $7,000 a pop, these works possessed very Banksy-esque qualities, from the use of negative space to messages concerning the flaws of modern society.
Little Miss Dynamite by Blek Le Rat
I looked at this piece by Blek Le Rat a substantial amount of time longer than the rest. Aside from the simplistic beauty of the work, there was something else that was drawing my attention. Like many of the works in the room, it was peaceful and violent all in the same stroke. Achieving that kind of emotion, as I’ve learned the hard way, is no simple task.
Hoody Gas Mask by DanWitz
Over all, the entire exhibition was definitely something to be admired, as all of the artists clearly had their own minds to speak and did so in a very accomplished manor. The entire collection housed a total of nineteen pieces by thirteen different artists including the previously mentioned and the following. Click on their names to find out more about them and see some of their other work: