Street Art Spring Up On Bowery For 'After Hours'

by Christina Makoyawo · May 3, 2011

Street art is beginning to take on a life of its own on Bowery's lower Manhattan streets. Recently Bowery store owners have allowed artists to make use of their storefronts to feature their artworks for After Hours: Murals on the Bowery. After Hours: Murals on the Bowery is exactly what the name claims. Taking place on the occasion of the Festival of Ideas for a New City, viewers and street-art aficionados will be able to check out the work of seventeen international artists: Judith Bernstein, Matthew Brannon, Ingrid Calame, Chris Dorland, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ellen Gallagher, Amy Granat, Mary Heilmann, Jacqueline Humphries, Deborah Kass, pulp, ink, Glenn Ligon, Adam McEwen, Barry McGee, Sterling Ruby, Gary Simmons, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Lawrence Weiner.

Also for the Festival, which will run from May 4th-8th, instead of the rented tall off-white tents so synonymous with NYC street fairs, "Worms" were created.  Reminiscent of an enormous slinky, they vary in colors from magenta to teal, containing 20-foot long sections. Karen Wong, associate director of the New Museum, forsees these new-wave tents "creating a new energy for the street, contrasting with the gritty look of the Bowery."

Aside from the "Worms" that will fill the streets for the Festival, the art against roll-down gates will give the Bowery a more vibrant life. “The street has a different life when the stores are closed,” Art Production Fund's Yvonne Force Villareal said, “but how do you bring artists into the public realm?” It looks like they solved that creative conundrum with this innovative street art exhibition. Maybe the nightly festival will give an electric jolt of inspiration to Bowery nightlife.

Already inspired Gin Lane Media tweeted this last night:

Other tweets buzzing about the Bowery store-front art:

@NYGalleryTours: New very cool murals on building gates on the Lower East Side - http://nyti.ms/jDqDMx #art #nyc

@ArtBlockPty: There is no line between street art and gallery art in NYC's #Festival of Ideas - Imagining what city could be http://tinyurl.com/3dsb78k

@isardasorensen: Shops shuttered in metal gating become creative canvasses this week on the Bowery. http://t.co/dzVSqdh #NYC #art

@IdeasNYC: #IdeasNYC in @NYT_Arts today! "A Metal-Gate Makeover" http://goo.gl/RB6Kf