The famous Bowery & Houston Wall is a street corner exhibition space curated by The Hole art gallery in SoHo, NYC. Internationally renowned artists to have featured, dedications to or exhibited here include Keith Haring, Shepard Fairey and Dash Snow.
We visited the mural wall for the first time on 2 September 2010, our first day exploring downtown Manhattan. The Twist and Amaze tribute to the traditional ‘tagging’ of NYC was only a few days old, following the huge ‘bombing’ of the Shepard Fairey wall the month before (no doubt by street artists jealous of the success of one of their own following the Obama election and the Obey domination. Hey, artists have to live too, why so much hatred when a comrade becomes successful I wonder?) I had been following the destruction of the Shepard Fairey wall online for a month in the lead up to our trip and found the daily buildup of tags, block painting and actual public demolition of the wall itself to be an outrageous but not unprecedented stand on a piece of street art.
It is, for me, fabulous to look at international book releases of street art now and see this mural heavily featured as a dominant piece of (commissioned) graffiti of the time. To travel in Manhattan, particularly the subways, in 2010 is a clean and safe experience for everyone. For those of us who hadn’t experienced visiting the city in the ‘good old days’ we can only look at photos of when street art was adorning the trains and walls of the boroughs, and not just curated walls, and wonder.