And so Bloomberg’s Buff marches on. The mayor who made such a big show out of some too-expensive Ikea curtains puts a machine into place that steals two of the best, longest-standing, joyous public artworks in the entire city. Maybe now the snobs who like to look at pretty pictures online but get the vapors at the thought of a tag on their door will finally fucking get it: the cops will destroy all the fucking art they can find. All of it. From the simplest tag to the greatest shit you’ve ever seen. All gone. Anything unsanctioned, anything sponsorless, — anything that’s proof of the free creativity of regular people — well, the city’s for sale, everything must go!
I always get mixed feelings riding around Dumbo on my bike looking for street art. There’s a ton of work up, mostly east of the Manhattan Bridge but also in a few spots between the two bridges. There’s a fair amount of intricate, time-intensive work, and some “classic” stuff that’s escaped the buff, such as some early Swoon pieces, and these REVS installations. And the way the work fits in with the gritty, industrial & cobblestones vibe of the area is just awesome.
But further southwest, over by Main St or Washington, where the big developments and condos are, it`s absolutely clean, as devoid of art as Park Slope or the Upper East Side. When they opened the Brooklyn Bridge park, a lot of “cleanup” happened, most notably the painting-over of a great brick wall that had a half-dozen Swoon pasteups. So I wonder when I’m wandering around down there how long this all will last — when does the neighborhood get so developed that they start to destroy great pieces like this one?
Anyway. I don’t suppose graffiti qualifies for historical preservation status, but maybe it should….
Maybe it’s time to revisit that last idea. Or does anyone out there have a better one?