Bleeding Like a Virgin Rambo

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Two buildings on two corners at opposite ends of the same block along Spring St.–one at Elizabeth St., the other at Bowery–are locally famous for constantly being covered with street art, graf and the ephemeral graphics of ambitious guerrilla marketing. Fresh material goes up on the walls of these buildings weekly, amounting to an ever-changing public tableau of underground art and over-savvy youth advertising. (Droll fact: In an intriguing fit of uptown stiff buying into downtown cool, one of the buildings was purchased in 2004 for several millions of dollars by one of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s sons.) The buildings provide a steady stream of new art, which seldom fails to amuse, provoke or hit the aesthetic mark (in other words, kids, the art is mostly good.) But living in the neighborhood, one can easily start to take all this great street art for granted. It becomes just another part of the urban landscape. Recently, however, this serendipitous juxtaposition of various kinds of sidewalk junk, fading art, graf and Basquiat-like messaging on the building at Elizabeth stopped us in our tracks cold. It was the words especially that made us pause to think: “‘Holy death before dishonor’ / Bleeding like a virgin Rambo.”

Ivan G. Corsa Photo