Monthly Archives: June 2004

Black Eye Girl

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This example of paste-up street art on Ludlow St. in the Lower East Side of New York forces the viewer to consider the issue with the image of a child victim of violence. The piece is a drawing of a little girl’s disembodied head, her right eye blackened and her nose drips blood as if she had been struck. The illustration style of the picture is like that of a children’s book, which makes the image all the more disturbing and effective. What’s more, the drawing is pasted on the wall of a tenement building across from a large public school. Has the girl been atacked by school bullies?

Ivan Corsa Photo

We Can Rock a Party

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Ah, the good old summer block party. A New York City nabe wouldn’t be the same without one, especially when it’s the real old-school neighborhood kind, where the residents and business owners of a particular block get a permit, close off the street and pitch in for free food, drink and good times. But no block party is complete without a sound system and a couple of DJs. At this recent party in Nolita, on the stretch of Spring St. between Elizabeth St. and the Bowery, these DJs were spinning all kinds of tunes–dirty rock, classic hip hop, as well as cheesy 80’s dance pop.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Graffiti to Go

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Graffiti taggers and artists have been putting Krylon to all sorts of vehicles all over New York City for years. But for some reason these ubiquitous delivery trucks in Chinatown seem to get “bombed” the most. This vehicle, parked on the Bowery near East Broadway, sports a large, colorful “throw-up” by “Wasier” (or is it “Wasieir,” with a second, small “i”), as well as several other small tags. After a while, you start to recognize some variations of the same tags on other trucks and see the same trucks again as they travel to and from the hundreds of small factories and warehouses in Chinatown.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Marketing Spiderman

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With the Spiderman sequel hyped to be among the blockbusters of the summer movie season, marketing for the film has resulted in this larger-than-life balloon of a crawling Spidey attached to an apartment building in Union Square. There’s no denying that it’s a cool form of promotion. We just want to know what the residents were paid for allowing a giant superhero to cling to their building.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Calvin

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The sides of tenements and lofts along Houston St. in downtown NYC are perfect for hanging building-size ads. Not only is the street one of only a few major crosstown traffic arteries, but it cuts through the city’s hippest shopping and entertainment districts. Location in part explains this gargantuan sexed-up ad screen for designer and fashion brand Calvin Klein. A sexy couple are virtually dry-humping each other while another shirtless young man sits nearby. (What could is he thinking?) The product might be jeans or cologne or whatever, but this ad is like a giant well-photographed teaser for group sex.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Police Friend

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To many New Yorkers, an NYPD patrol car is a sign of security, holding the line against crime and keeping the streets safe. To others, the arrival of a police cruiser in their community is a sign of racism, corruption and oppression. Whatever the point of view, the police are crucial to maintaining order in a civil society. This pasted-up street art in the East Village proposes the idea of the police as “friend.” Like a good friend, people expect the police to be reliable, honest and ready to help out in a tough situation. And, usually, the police are just that and sometimes more. But the very things that enable the police to bring safety to a community are the things that make them appear martial and dangerous– guns, batons, helmets–and, unlike a friend, unapproachable.

Ivan Corsa Photo