Monday, November 15, 2010

Chico's 6th & C

This past spring, when the graffiti mural on the Lora Deli at 5th and D was painted over, we worried about the nearly block-long Chico mural on the wall owned by RCN Cable along Avenue C at 6th.

Last week, it was covered completely in blue paint.


today

At the time of the Lora Deli's white-washing, I took some photos of the Chico mural, figuring one day, probably soon, it would vanish. I didn't think it would last six months.

It was a large piece, starting with a pair of Puerto Rican and American flags, followed by an exuberant F-Train with a giddy graffiti artist cheering from the open window.


all mural photos from April 2010

Next came a GOODBYE to George W. Bush (or is that John McCain?), a giant white-haired beast with a comb-over, shown bursting from the globe, paired with a spewing oil well. A big red X cements the sentiment: Good riddance.



At the corner came a triumphant Obama, smiling before the backdrop of a bright American flag. That was another time, when the blush of victory was still new, before the Tea Party, before Palin's reality show, and the rest of it.



Around the corner, on 6th, was an ad for Manny's Auto Repair, a dog with a skateboard, the bountiful fruits of the 6th Street Community Center, and finally a quintessential New York collage of Liberty, Yankee Stadium, Brooklyn Bridge, the skyline, Staten Island Ferry, Flushing's Unisphere, and more.



It's all gone now. I don't know why it went or what will come next to this wall. Was it too political in the current climate? Too ragtag for the newcomers of Alphabet City? Maybe it's only temporary and Chico will do a new mural. He's been pretty active this year, and he has changed the wall over time--here's a shot of it taken before the Obama moment, back when the bus shelter was pre-Cemusa'd:


this photo: LuciaM, May 2008

15 comments:

Bowery Boogie said...

oh no! that was one of my favorite murals. hopefully chico returns to do another...

EV Grieve said...

On a related note, perhaps... Jairo Pastoressa, who is accused of murdering Christopher Lusko on 7th Street last month, helped Chico with this mural. His name was on the wall alongside Chico's...

Anonymous said...

It's so ugly now--I told the guys who painted over Chico's work that it was ugly--they said the art there before was illegal and Chico should be put in jail--asshats--the blue color sucks.

Goggla said...

Nooo! I watched them paint this and I think it was the first time I'd ever talked to him. I do hope he does another mural - my faves from the past were the Howl mural on the 6th St side and the memorial to Nixzmary Brown on the Ave C side. I wish that one had stayed up longer.

ivanova said...

What a shame! My favorites are Memorial to Selena, the one with the giant cat and dog, and Kove Bros. Hardware, the only one I've seen "uptown" (on 7th Ave around 20th street.)

Paul Slade said...

I've just posted my photographs of Chico's ever-changing work at Houston & B here: http://www.planetslade.com/chico-murals-new-york.html

Paul Klenk said...

Oh, dear -- the Obama worshipers and lovers of really bad art are upset! What shall we do? What is our country coming to?

Anonymous said...

If anyone misses the mural. Get in touch with me,...I'll paint one on your house.

Claribel said...

Paul, instead of posting a taunt that has the emotional maturity of a junior high school student, why don't you simply state that you don't like mural art and tell us what art or artists you actually do like? Do you feel confident enough to share that? Don't worry, unlike you, we won't put down the artists you admire who, like mural artists, actually put in the hard work and creativity to create something that inspires others whether you like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Chico paintings are some of the best. For the people who didn't want Obama as President I am personally glad its gone. Obama is taking our country down slowly and with each passing day more and more people will relize he is not for the american people!

pantherATTACK said...

A few years back, Chico was kind enough to give me a section of the wall to do a little mural of my own. (I did the narrow stack of books with the weird hands) He and I talked quite a bit and I always loved seeing his work on our block. Whether they were legal or not, when Chico painted everyone watched, and it was great for the neighborhood. It kept kids from doing crappy tags on blank walls and kept everyone taking photos when they walked by for the first time. And now we have a disgusting 'police blue' covering everything. It's only a matter of time before it gets covered in crap. So here's to you RCN, go f* yourself.

Z-I said...

Chico has ruled that wall for years. It was one of the great things about that part of the city, actually; a home-grown artist came into his own and gave the streets a lot of organic flavor. How is it possible that mural after mural he did on that wall was "illegal"?

At any rate-- This does it for me. I think its time to leave New York City.

Pipewrench said...

Well the bottom line is it's graffitti. RCN was right to paint over it and should have done so 2 years ago when the criminal did it.
He is not the messiah you make him out to be.

Oh and I would say that if it were ANY candidate. Bush McCain Powell Clinton....
When he was paid by RCN to paint for them it was ok but his cover up was not....

Anonymous said...

Its funny how as his popularity is fading the cable company dosen't want to have anything to do with the mural.

Claribel said...

The property owner’s rights re: the wall and authority to paint over the mural are a given, in my view. The fact that it took two years to do it triggers curiosity, as two years is an amazingly good run for illegal graffiti art so prominently displayed.

I agree with others who have posted to acknowledge Chico’s work as an artist. I think it’s hyperbolizing to construe that he’s being portrayed as a messiah here. My impression is that he’s a talented graffiti and mural artist and a longtime member of the Loisaida community whose work has evoked pride, appreciation, and admiration within the neighborhood; but of course, not by everyone and not presently by the owner of the property. However, if the property owner cares a cent about community relations, I hope the management will consider putting up another mural, preferably by a local artist, if not Chico. Passing by a mural is about as family-friendly and inviting as it gets, and it doesn’t have to be illegal if that’s the only issue.