From the watchful eye of reader Steven Benga comes the bad news we knew was coming. The folks behind the New High Line are removing the Revs/Cost graffiti from the next extension of the luxury park.
We saw the hardhats contemplating this controversial removal back in December. On Saturday the vanishing began. Here is a photographic time-line of the erasure. Benga sent in this before and after:
On the left, the graffiti as it was. On the right, the R and the C have been covered with a yellow chemical.
By Sunday afternoon, the wall looked like this:
In this photo you can see the DEAL tag, along with the ghost-word AND, to the left of REVS/COST have been almost completely faded. Beneath REVS/COST, the same yellow chemical has been applied.
In this close-up, it is clear that the R and C have faded to the point where the gaps between the bricks are showing through. The S and T have also been treated with vanishing solution. A worker takes his roller to the V.
Work continued through Sunday night, under cover of darkness, and by this morning, this is what's left:
all photos: Steven Benga
In 1994, Revs and Cost talked to ArtForum about their work. It was a very different time in New York City:
REVS: We think art should be dangerous. Everybody's into safe art, doing safe things in their studio. We're bringing danger back into it. It's got to be on the edge, where it's not allowed.
COST: We live on the edge and that's what makes it good.
REVS: It's got to be real crude. Crude.
COST: Rude and shit. Noisier.
Today, the noise we have is the din of pub-crawlers and tourists, of revelers whooping off the rooftops of luxury hotels. The edge has been erased. The crudeness has been sanded smooth. And danger is a forgotten desire.
To those who prefer to walk the safe path, the next length of the High Line is being prepared just for you.
New High Line