Anyone who’s been in the city, even for an hour, knows that it’s full of those ugly gates: wire, iron, or sheet metal. And they’re not fun to look at. Happily, now that New York City has sanctioned the spray-painting of those roll-down metal security gates, they’re getting a lot more interesting to look at. The 100 Gates Project has been a big part of the city’s renovation: their mission to connect artists and businesses is working out just fine.
“We want to create the world’s largest public outdoor gallery,” said Natalie Raben, director of marketing for the Lower East Side Business Improvement District. The project is intended to cover 100 storefronts in about a year. The organization responsible for painting the gates applied for a city grant to cover the cost of materials and to pay the artists themselves.
That’s been good news for the artists, who have also begun to get contracts with and do work for other businesses around the city. More and more tourists are now coming into New York just to see the painted gates, and it’s been added to many people’s lists of art to see while in the city.
“Using graffiti to prevent graffiti is not a new idea—it’s increasingly common for business owners to work with artists to make complicated murals that, they hope, won’t be covered in tags,” writes FastCoExist. For the time being, the plan seems to be working, and the murals are by and large being left just as they are.
The project invites people to come see the paintings through a Google map where users can see locations for current and future gates. The website provides images of some of the murals and it gives users a chance to read about some of the artists working on the project.