‘And Then Art Walked Into The Fray’ or the less dramatic title ‘They Called it Moonshine Kingdom’

091715_Bushwick

“Moonshine Kingdom” on the side of 56 Wyckoff Avenue. Photo by London Kaye

BUSHWICK, NY – Might as well view it now, because it’s gone.  This piece featuring Sam Shakusky from Wes Anderson’s 2012 Moonrise Kingdom holding hands with Delbert Grady’s daughters from The Shining got tangled up in a bigger social conversation – and it ain’t about street art aesthetics.

Yarnbomber, London Kaye (@madebylondon) installed this 15-foot crochet mural on the side of a family’s building adjacent to the Brooklyn Flea in Bushwick.  It was put up without the family’s permission.  In all fairness, Kaye thought she had the owner’s blessing.  Rob Abner, the flea’s founder, gave Kaye permission to erect the crochet piece, Abner did not, however, ask the family if he could decorate the facade of the home.  Rightfully, the family was a bit pissed.  Matters only got worse when their interactions with Abner requesting its removal went poorly (read all about that here, on The Gothamist – where the story was first reported).

Tenant advocate and Bushwick native Will Giron’s aunt owns the property.  In frustration over the artwork being erected without consent, Giron took to Facebook to air his family’s grievances… and that’s all she wrote.  We all know that the internet loves to reblog and comment on issues like this one.

The rage isn’t about the art, the debate is really about gentrification in urban neighbourhoods – it’s not easy to shake.  The lack of permission coupled with the poor communication Giron experienced with Abner just perpetuated the larger problem at hand – a lack of awareness and burgeoning sense of entitlement the residents were feeling from the new communities moving into their neighborhoods.  The beginning of the shift is usually an influx of artists who find the low rents affordable.  They bring a certain flair to the neighborhood which then attracts developers who attract wealthier individuals. While the affect is higher property values, unfortunately, the effect is the displacement of lower-income families and small businesses.

Kaye told The Gothamist

 “The last thing I was thinking about was making somebody upset with my art. The whole thing I wanted to do was make people happy.”

Can’t help but think of the comments I’ve heard in the past questioning the validity of street art’s ability to provoke conversations on social issues…

You really should read the rest of the story at The Gothamist