New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, September 25, 2009


Even with peer influences, I was never able to bring myself to get a tattoo. I entertained the idea briefly - some tattoo work was and is quite impressive.

However, there is the issue of an ever present statement being made to others, and then there is the near permanent commitment. That's the real horror for me - what if I change my mind?
In a 2008 Harris Poll, 84% of those with a tattoo say they did not regret having a tattoo. That leaves 16% who do regret it, and I'm sure I would be one of those. Laser removal is an option, but with no guarantee of 100% success. Plus the whole thing is such an ordeal. Better to admire the body art of others and marvel at their bravery (or reckless abandon).

I recently happened upon this building in the East Village at 324 East 4th Street between Avenues C and D while visiting the community garden, El Jardin del Paraiso. I found it stunning. There is much public art in New York City, large and small, both graffiti and sanctioned work.

What's unusual here is that we have the face of an occupied residential building in Manhattan fully painted with a mural. One of my first reactions when I saw the facade of this building was, "Wow, that's a serious commitment." Of course, unlike a body tattoo, a change can be more easily made - the building's surface can always be repainted or stripped, but I would guess that this is unlikely in the short term. Nonetheless, a statement and a commitment has been made...

About the mural and its artists: This mural was done in 2005 by two artists from Chile: Cern and Cekis. Their work can actually be seen all over New York City. See these links: YMICrew and at ArtCrimes: Cern and Cekis
If you examine the painting closely (click photo to enlarge it), you will notice at its base a cluster of tall buildings with birds, both perched and in flight. At the top, the main figure (with blue toenail polish matching her blouse) appears to be carrying a suitcase, while being watched by a cat. A tree frames the right side of the building, extending onto the cornice. Any interpretations?


Sharanya said...

Don't know about interpretations, but I love how you've linked the idea of body tattoos and permanence to the picture, and the story behind it. It fits like a glove.

Vivien said...

I love that interesting idea , too!

this too will pass said...


Brian Dubé said...

Sharanya, Vivien, This too - Thanks all. The analogy was a bit of a stretch. I would much more easily allow my building to be painted with a mural than have my body tattooed.

mirae said...

Hi Brian, I also liked your metaphor about the tattoo for the facade.
I love it, it is gorgeous art but if I lived there I would tire of it but then I am a bit of a variety addict.

I said to this young woman once who had just gotten tattoos up and down her legs- I said what are you going to do when you are eighty years old?haha.

Thanks for another great shot of New York.

Babzy said...

Awsome mural !