The current mural at the “Bowery Wall” (a.k.a., the “Deitch Wall”) in downtown New York City is an epic, colorful composition of 3D block letters and abstract 2D graphical shapes.

The massive painting is by the artist Lakwena and its message “Lift you higher” could be describing the artwork itself. It’s a bright, aesthetically cheery artwork that has all the right pleasure-centering amounts of visual flavor crystals added to it.

On a cold, cloudy winter night, walking the busted sidewalks, trampling over the blackening half melted post-snow slush on the streets and pavement of downtown Manhattan — hell, of all of New York, especially in the canyons of skyscrapers or on the vast tenement stretches of the outer boroughs — one can still, on balance, feel the city is a ginormous mass of drab, gray, grimy, imposing, crumbly and utterly depressing urbanity.

This in spite of the presence of vibrant signage, billboards, lights and commercialism layered upon the city landscape. But it‘s a grim vibe. Made more so with the emotions-charged winter holidays approaching.

Lakwena’s mural tries to put a dent in the universe of this dense and aged urban ugliness. We love this mural the way a feline loves catnip, the way a famished black labrador lustily adores a slab of raw sirloin, or the way a Kardashian (Kim, Khloe, Kourtney or Kylie Jenner — take your pick!) loves taking a selfie. My god! This mural DOES lift us higher! Lakwena, you’re a genius! 

But nobody can’t compete with New York City. Not even Lakwena. We’d need a thousand of these “Lift you higher” murals scattered through the metropolis to even put up a fight.

And with that, we wish you, too, savvy reader, a merry Xmas! 😉

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