Monthly Archives: December 2005

Best Soho Graf Truck Ever

soho_graf_truck_bestever.jpg

Well … okay, maybe not the best forever-ever, ever-ever, ever-ever … but close. This truck, which is often parked near a flea market in Soho in New York City, is one of our all-time favorite examples of graf-on-vehicle aeresol art. And it’s certainly one of the most colorful in all of lower Manhattan. We haven’t seen this truck in a while, so we suspect it may have been painted over already. If so, it’s a damn shame. Then again, the ephemeral quality of street art — that it gets covered over, dispappears, fades, and so on — that is part of its beauty.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Sony PlayStation Portable Street Art / Guerrilla Marketing 3

psp_streetart_3.jpg

And here is yet another photo of the Sony PSP “street art” ads in downtown New York City. Like how these are usually in pairs. The doe-eyed kids look partly inspired by Japanese manga comic books.

Background:
During the past few months, we’ve seen dozens of these street art pieces of kids engaged with various handheld toys and other objects that, upon closer inspection, are actually Sony PlayStation Portable devices, that is, the PSP. This image was taken in Soho. Most of the ads are confined to downtown Manhattan. This “graf” is really a clever attempt by Sony to appropriate the street art vernacular for advertising purposes as part of its guerilla marketing efforts for the PSP. We have to admit that the ads are cool; we like ’em. Unfortunately, when we spotted this one, the batteries on our Nikon digital camera were out of juice, so we had to shoot these images with the lower resolution of the camera embedded in our Palm Treo 650 Smartphone.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Sony PlayStation Portable Street Art / Guerrilla Marketing 2

psp_streetart_2.jpg

Here are some more shots of the Sony PSP “street art” ads in downtown New York City.

Background:
During the past few months, we’ve seen dozens of these street art pieces of kids engaged with various handheld toys and other objects that, upon closer inspection, are actually Sony PlayStation Portable devices, that is, the PSP. This image was taken in Soho. Most of the ads are confined to downtown Manhattan. This “graf” is really a clever attempt by Sony to appropriate the street art vernacular for advertising purposes as part of its guerilla marketing efforts for the PSP. We have to admit that the ads are cool; we like ’em. Unfortunately, when we spotted this one, the batteries on our Nikon digital camera were out of juice, so we had to shoot these images with the lower resolution of the camera embedded in our Palm Treo 650 Smartphone.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Sony PlayStation Portable Street Art / Guerrilla Marketing 1

psp_streetart_1.jpg

During the past few months, we’ve seen dozens of these street art pieces of kids engaged with various handheld toys and other objects that, upon closer inspection, are actually Sony PlayStation Portable devices, that is, the PSP. This image was taken in Soho. Most of the ads are confined to downtown Manhattan. This “graf” is really a clever attempt by Sony to appropriate the street art vernacular for advertising purposes as part of its guerilla marketing efforts for the PSP. We have to admit that the ads are cool; we like ’em. Unfortunately, when we spotted this one, the batteries on our Nikon digital camera were out of juice, so we had to shoot these images with the lower resolution of the camera embedded in our Palm Treo 650 Smartphone.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Thank You for Making Us #1

gaseteria_sign.jpg

While we’re on the subject of spaces and places in downtown Manhattan that are no more, here’s a shot of the recently torn down Gaseteria gas station at the corner of Houston and Lafayette streets in Soho, New York City. More precisely, it’s a picture of a billboard advertisement of the station at the station. We’ve always loved this sign because it’s so obviously from a different stylistic era of advertising and retail signage. Even the messaging is quaint: “Thank you for making us #1” and “New York’s ‘House Brand'” are presented in an almost laughable, but endearing, way. Most of all, we love the design aesthetic and the illustration of the station itself, with bright yellow NYC taxis sitting at all the pumps. It’s a big surprise that Gaseteria wasn’t demolished to make room for new luxury apartments and condos (given the location, the land and air-rights alone are worth potentially tens of millions of dollars.) No, what replaced this old petrol stop was a new, shiny, modern service station of a well-known brand franchise.

Ivan Corsa Photo

295 Bowery, McGurk’s Suicide Hall No. 2

mcgurks_2.jpg

Here’s a closer view of the facade of 295 Bowery and the iconic, ironic and grim skull and cell phone wheat-paste poster and skull-and-bones graf.

Background
The building pictured above no longer exists. The tenement at 295 Bowery was torn down earlier this year by Avalon Bay Partners, a real-estate investment trust, as part of their multi-building Avalon Chrystie condo development that straddles Houston St. and the Bowery on the border of the East Village and Soho. The building was a haven for lots of graf and street art, none more symbolic than that the wheat-paste poster of a skull talking into a cell phone on the facade. The 295 Bowery building had been a decrepit structure for decades, but was actually still home to a few artists who were paying extremely low rents on what had become extremely valuable real estate. The building is also known as “McGurk’s Suicide Hall” because about a hundred years ago it was home to McGurk’s Saloon, which was often frequented by hookers and their customers. The saloon was the scene of many suicides by desperate prostitutes looking to escape the misery of the Bowery.

Ivan Corsa Photo

295 Bowery, McGurk’s Suicide Hall No. 3 – Context

mcgurk_3_context.jpg

The building pictured above no longer exists. The tenement at 295 Bowery was torn down earlier this year by Avalon Bay Partners, a real-estate investment trust, as part of their multi-building Avalon Chrystie condo development that straddles Houston St. and the Bowery on the border of the East Village and Soho. The building was a haven for lots of graf and street art, none more symbolic than that the wheat-paste poster of a skull talking into a cell phone on the facade. The 295 Bowery building had been a decrepit structure for decades, but was actually still home to a few artists who were paying extremely low rents on what had become extremely valuable real estate. The building is also known as “McGurk’s Suicide Hall” because about a hundred years ago it was home to McGurk’s Saloon, which was often frequented by hookers and their customers. The saloon was the scene of many suicides by desperate prostitutes looking to escape the misery of the Bowery.

Ivan Corsa Photo