The Colors of Williamsburg

February 28, 2010 § 10 Comments

Folks, we now continue with our Street Art series. For those who missed how it all began, see here and here. For those who have been waiting for this post anxiously, and might be a tab bit miffed by the delay in posting, let me explain how this project of mine has been swathed with knee-deep snow, blizzards and storms, every other weekend since I embarked on it! Lest you thought I had abandoned my quest, I hereby bellow with my dreary lungs:

“I haven’t, dammit!”

Yes, I will continue to hunt down these streets for works of art, until we have combed through all the boroughs and documented the current New York City Street Art scene down to its bones.

<At this point, you say, “Amen”>

And now, let me not indulge in further ado. The colors of Williamsburg are many and enticing, and they are a-beckoning!

This little neighborhood in Brooklyn is not only a mecca for artists, hipsters and rockers but also a nurturing cradle for a mixed community of immigrant families and X and Y-Gen yuppies who work just a stone’s throw away in Manhattan (looming in view right across the east river). Brooklyn as a whole, is one of the most culturally dynamic and thriving boroughs of this city.

While walking around Williamsburg, pausing to take in the art and chatting with the locals here and there, I soon realized that street art is an integral part of the booming community here – as inherent as it can be. It does not seem to stand out like a sore thumb, uncomfortable in its surroundings. Instead, it seems to be a way of life here, peacefully co-existing with the local landscape at every other street corner. This observation led me to think about how Street Art could be, and probably is, a reflection of the cultural and political dynamics of a particular neighborhood. Instead of dismissing it as a deviant underground movement which is independent of the masses, one must look at Street Art with renewed insight. Like the people on the streets, Street Art too is your local inhabitant, another voice from the neighborhood it inhabits and a relevant thread of communication within the intricate fabric of a community.

What follows here is a selection of artworks I was particularly drawn to, which by no means is exhaustive. I noticed a number of mediums – paint, wheat paste and metal installations. The local flavor is hard to miss; not just in the breadth of messages and the mediums chosen, but also in the scale and prolific nature of artworks present.

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