New York is a city full of art in all its forms. Outside of the context of traditional art venues, there is a whole realm of street art that we’re lucky to see almost every day in and around the East Village without ever having to step inside a museum. Since our store opened up at 2 Extra Place, we’ve witnessed all sorts of work go up in the neighborhood – everything from giant murals by Os Gemeos to stencil graffiti by Bansky. Our favourite project and one we’ve been looking forward to for awhile, is a series of rotating ground murals that sprawl along the concrete of Extra Place alley.
The installations are part of a public art program by FABnyc (Fourth Arts Block). Past participating artists include Jon Burgerman, Abe Lincoln Jr., Ellis Gallagher, Sonni and Raul Ayala, to name a few. The newest mural actually went up this week! Since we literally had front row seats during the installation process and had a chance to get to know the artists, we wanted to share some photos of Extra Place’s new look.
Extra Place is most notably recognized as the back alley where bands would loiter in between sets at CBGB – some would even call it the birthplace of the punk movement. Befitting of the legacy, artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn hand painted a series of “magic carpets” that pays homage to album covers of bands that performed at the infamous music venue during its heyday.
The extended mural includes a square patch of orange and lilac shapes inspired by the Flamin Groovies’ album Supersnazz. It also incorporates a polka dotted carpet influenced by the colours and shapes of the Talking Heads’ cover art for their album, Remain in Light.
There’s an element behind street art that we fully connect with. Murals and graffiti of this nature come and go, are removed, covered or layered over time. They are fleeting in nature yet can be immensely thought provoking while they last. In this circumstance the results of the alley’s latest art installation is nothing short of uplifting! It functions not only to add color and brighten up the street, but also to remind us of the incredible sounds that once echoed down Extra Place in the 70s. It stands to reason that the story of something so influential should continue to be told even after all these decades.