Muralist Chico Gets Tribute, Plaque from NYCHA

chicoartist.jpgThe painting on which he and Tats Crew recently collaborated suggests a new direction for Chico, the ubiquitous Lower East Side graffitist. Or maybe we just feel so because Chico is leaving New York after 30-plus years of wall-painting, and his departure provokes our nostalgia. There was a time when any celebrity death vaguely associated with the neighborhood -- battered children, Selena, Joe Strummer, JFK Jr. -- automatically got a Chico mural. It got to be annoying, but now that it's clear there won't be any more of them, his remaining works tend us toward wistfulness. Before his removal to Tampa, Florida, Chico, aka Antonio Garcia, received a sendoff party covered by The Villager, at which he was presented with a plaque by his former nemeses at the New York City Housing Authority for his contributions to street culture. He says that before catching his plane, he will do one last mural outside the East Village Tavern at Avenue C and 10th Street.

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