Monthly Archives: May 2005

Downtown Mars Rover Stencil

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Here’s a cool stencil we’ve seen all around downtown New York City for a long time. From Tribeca and SoHo to Chinatown and the East Village, this stencil of a Mars Rover-type vehicle is a regular reminder of NASA’s mission to the mysterious red planet in the 1990’s. But wait, maybe it’s not supposed to be a Mars rover at all. Maybe the stencil is one of those remote control robots that are used for checking bombs. And notice the vehicle’s probing, grappling arms are lifting a bag of money. Hmmm …

Ivan Corsa Photo

All Kinds of Alterations – Chinatown

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Hey, “All kinds of alterations done,” folks! Gotta the love the Chinese boy and girl characters flanking the message on the left and right, which you see on the doors of various Chinese dry-cleaners/tailors/laundromat shops. The imagery is rooted in a tradition, we imagine. The touch that really makes this signage classic DIY are the adhesive letters. Mom-and-pop all the way! But this signage goes the distance — look closely and you’ll see that that wide cellophane packing tape has been placed over the lettering in strips to keep it from falling off (or being ripped off). This signage rules!

Ivan Corsa Photo

SSUR Plus Storefront at Night

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We love the store front to the SSURPlus select clothing shop in New York City. Regular visitors to this site may recall an earlier photo of the SSURPlus boutique many months ago. That shot was taken in the day. But this one-of-a-kind store window with it’s etched-glass Bruce Lee motif takes on a whole other look at night when it’s illuminated. The backlit glass makes the SSURPlus shop in NoLIta an unmissable presence on the stretch of Spring Street between Elizabeth Street and The Bowery. The shop sells hoodies, graphic tees, jeans and downtown-inspired gear with that certain dollop of hip-hop flava that brings kids here from as far as Tokyo and Stockholm looking for fresh, original style.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Super Graf Van Paste-Up

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Visual irony at street level: a wheat-paste paper cut-out of a van covered in graf tags. We love it. This piece of street art was found in the East Village. Wouldn’t this image be cool as a graphic tee shirt? We could see someone like Nigo / A Bathing Ape or maybe Zoo York using this kind of imagery in clothing design.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Bally Produce Logo on Truck, Little Italy/Chinatown, NYC

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We spotted this truck on a block in downtown New York City where Chinatown and Little Italy converge, overlapping each over to create a an weird, intermingling sino-italian cultural landscape of dim-sum palaces and trattorias. In any event, we just thought the logo on this truck for “Bally Produce Corp.” was a really cool piece of graphic design and brand/identity, especially in the way it incorporates Chinese pictograms.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Art Cow Project, East Village

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Cow Parade was a major public art event to visit several foreign and U.S. cities, including New York City, in the early 2000’s. The project entailed the placement of hundreds or thousands of often brightly painted life-size models of cows, each decorated by an artist. This cow was placed in the front garden area of a converted East Village townhouse apartment building.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Smart Graf – SoHo, NYC

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This piece of graf is in the heart of SoHo shopping district, where all the landmarked cast-iron buildings and mega lofts that real estate agents drool over can be found. The “up” is by “Smart.” Note the backwards “R” in Smart. Highly stylized tags can sometimes be read like typographic Rorshach tests — suggestive of letters that are what want to think they are. This one is tough to read, especially given its circular compactness. The edges on the left sides suggest crab claws. At any rate, the writer was good enough to underscore authorship with a sub-tag.

Ivan Corsa Photo