As we move into 2013, many of us will be looking to the future for the changes it will bring. But it’s impossible to move into that future—2013—without doing at least a little looking back.
In New York City, there is always a full array of art to be seen. It comes in many forms and sometimes lives in unexpected places; street art can be found on walls, sidewalks, and doorways all over the city. We don’t mean graffiti tags, either; if you’ve walked around New York City, you’ve likely seen some of this astounding art.
One of our favorite street art installments of 2012 is JR’s on the High Line in West Chelsea. The silently screaming face of Brandon Many Ribs of the Dakotas is a part of the Inside Out Project, which is a collaboration between JR and global citizens. JR won the 2011 TED Prize and believes that by combining art and causes, we can inspire change. All he says it takes is people, energy and glue.
Another of our favorites is by Nick Walker. He stenciled out a classy mural of a man in a pinstriped suit spray painting “I ❤ NY” on an unsuspecting wall in the Lower East Side. The Bristol-based artist often mistaken for Banksy has turned some heads with his eye-catching work, and we hope we’ll see much more of it.
Hailing from Brazil, artist Eduardo Kobra has a wonderfully vintage look that is simply spectacular. The mural, found in Chelsea, is a new rendition of an old photo: VJ Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt. The mural is just a short distance from where the original photo was taken years ago and is reminiscent of looking at images through a kaleidoscope. It’s his blending of old and new that makes his work so remarkable.
Our final favorite of the year was British artist Phlegm’s debut in a playground in Chelsea. Rising about three stories high, the black and white murals have a fantastical quality, several hunched over figures operating steampunk contraptions. The imaginative mural is perfect for its setting of a children’s play place.