Mr. Brainwash Hopes His Massive 9/11 Mural Causes a 'Festival of 9/11'

"I hope next year there will be [art] everywhere, [and on] every corner, some people doing something. It becomes very ... it becomes like a festival ... like a festival of 9/11."

Those were the words of "street artist" Mr. Brainwash, who hit his peak in the culture about the same time as Sparks, and whose persona miiiiight be in part, at least, the creation of Banksy and/or Shepard Fairey, but who definitely says he is responsible for the massive, very earnest mural on the wall of Century 21 department store, located on Church between Dey Street and Cortlandt Street in Lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center site.

"I wanted to get as close as I could to the site," Brainwash told us today on the sidewalk in front of the mural, adding that he hopes his mural inspires other artists.

See also: Village Voice Exclusive: An Interview With Banksy, Street Art Cult Hero, International Man of Mystery

Brooklyn Yarn Bomber London Kaye Explains Her "Soft" Street Art

Categories: Street Art, Video

Bedford-Stuyvesant resident London Kaye has been attaching her crocheted art to New York subway cars, park statues, trees and chain-link fences for a little over a year, attracting attention from tourists, residents and police along the way. The 25-year-old Californian mainly stays in Brooklyn (there are more chain-link fences) but we followed her into Manhattan for what she called a social experiment.

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"Amaze": Rikers Juvenile Inmates Get New Art From British Street Artist Ben Eine

Keegan Hamilton

Rikers Island is a dismal and dangerous place. Spread across 415 acres of repurposed landfill in the the East River between the Bronx and Queens, the island is home to more than 12,000 inmates in 10 separate jail facilities. There were 73 stabbings and slashings committed by inmates in 2013, and the general reputation for brutality, rape, and abuse earned Rikers a ranking among America's 10 worst prisons last year. It's basically the last place on Earth that a street artist like Ben Eine wants to find himself.

Eine was arrested multiple times for vandalism during his days as a graffiti writer, and he has pulled off some impressive stunts (including painting the West Bank barrier in Palestine with Bansky), but his recent daylong stint in Rikers was completely legal and voluntary. In fact, a warden actually invited Eine to paint a wall inside the jail, part of a new program aimed at inspiring young inmates with art. I profiled Eine and his new gallery work last week for Village Voice, and he invited me along to document what promised to be a surreal experience inside New York's notorious lockup.

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Can New York's "Graffiti Mecca" 5 Pointz Be Saved?

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
Francisco Fernandez's "Dream of Oil"
The open-air graffiti gallery known as 5 Pointz today started life as five-story factory in Long Island City, Queens. In the early '90s, the building was designated as a space where aspiring taggers and muralists could practice their craft without persecution. They had the landlord's permission.

Over the last two decades, as a steady stream of aerosol artists have stopped by to leave their marks at 5 Pointz, it has transformed into something bigger--it's become one of the most prominent monuments to street art anywhere in the world.

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5 Pointz

The Anti-Facebook: Photos Unveiled One Year Later in Washington Heights Art Project

Mike Fitelson
Part of "Message Delayed"
Washington Heights photographer Mike Fitelson is taking Facebook status updates and instant photo sharing and turning them upside down.

That is, he is taking the process of sharing thoughts and photos online and slowing it down and simplifying it dramatically -- and bringing the whole thing off line. It's part of a year-long project he is unveiling tomorrow at a street festival in his neighborhood.

The effort began last June at the Carnaval del Boulevard festival uptown. Fitelson, previously an associate publisher at northern Manhattan's community newspaper, the Manhattan Times, stopped neighborhood residents passing by, took portrait shots of them, and asked them each a simple question: "What's on your mind?"

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City Unveils New Pothole Filling Machine; Mayor Watches as it Slowly Does the Job

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Sam Levin
Mayor Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan watch the "Python" fill a pothole in Queens.
Outdoor press conference!

Taking a break from his typical indoor news conferences, Mayor Mike Bloomberg today took advantage of the absurdly beautiful March weather outside to unveil a new pothole filling machine and to launch "road paving season," when the city resurfaces streets across the five boroughs. (Fixing roads, i.e. totally the best part about spring).

Reporters gathered around the "Python" on a blocked-off street in Flushing, Queens this morning to watch as a Department of Transportation worker demonstrated how this new piece of technology fills in potholes. The Python, a truck that basically unloads fresh material over a hole in the street and flattens it out, is designed to fill holes with fewer crew members and only block one lane of traffic during repairs.

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D*Face Talks About The Love, Loss And Public Interaction In His NYC Murals

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Jason Lewis
Last weekend we brought your attention to RETNA's mural on Bowery and Houston, but in the week that has past most of the city's artistic focus has been off the streets and into the various fairs participating in Armory Arts Week. But that's not the case for British street artist D*Face who took to SoHo and Brooklyn this week to construct three large-scale murals. Though not totally isolated from the week's festivities -- D*Face's work is being shown by the Corey Helford Gallery at the SCOPE New York Art Show -- the artist explained why he relishes the opportunity to paint in the open and engage with a broad audience, beyond just those that might choose to go to an art fair.

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RETNA Mural Goes Up At Bowery and Houston

Photo © 2012 Mark Rifkin/

A new muralist is taking work to Bowery and Houston, following FAILE's creation installed in October. On Thursday Bowery Boogie blogged that the FAILE was in the midst of being painted over in white. Now, artist RETNA -- Marquis Lewis -- comes to the location, working in his signature style.

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Controversy Over Biggie Mural in Fort Greene

biggie smalls .jpg
Who should get credit for a mural of Biggie Smalls designed by a 21-year-old Parsons student and painted by artists CERN and Lee Quinones? The mural was commissioned by the owner of Habana Outpost in Fort Greene, and features the famous Che Guevara photo that adorns a million t-shirts with the Notorious B.I.G. in place of the Cuban revolutionary.

CERN painted the mural onto the wall, and Lee Quinones painted the pigeons that surround it. But now Parsons student John Garcia is saying that he should receive credit for submitting the original design (if "original" is the right word in this case).

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Olek Remarkably Forgiving of Polish Youths Who Burned Her Art

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Olek's Polish installation.
Olek, an artist who is dear to our hearts, has crocheted pretty much everything: grocery carts, bikes, the Astor Place cube, the Wall Street bull. She has done it in London, and she recently did an outdoor installation for an art festival in Poznan, Poland. At the Polish festival, two teenage boys vandalized Olek's installation, as teenage boys are wont to do, first by attempting to rip off the yarn and then burning it.

Olek was unfazed!

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