We installed an 8 foot high x 12 foot wide x 8 foot deep rectangular wood-frame sculpture consisting of near life-size photographs of four mom-and-pop neighborhood stores of the Lower East Side, most of which are no longer in business and have sadly disappeared from the streetscape. Each of these four shops; a bodega, a coffee shop/luncheonette, a delicatessen, and a newsstand represent small businesses that were common in the Lower East Side and helped bring the community together through people’s daily interactions. When viewing the near life-size photographs one can get a visceral sense of the impact of these losses on the community and on those who once depended on the shops that are now gone. The installation is an artistic intervention and a plea for recognition of the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses. These neighborhood stores help set the pulse, life, and texture of their communities.
We constructed our wood-frame sculpture inside Seward Park, with lumber and plywood and covered it with our near life-size storefront photographs printed on dibond by Unique Copy Center and Unique Visuals NY, an aluminum composite material that is weather, UV, freeze and heat-resistant and will also have a graffiti-resistant laminate applied, as the installation is up for an entire year from July 2018 through July 2019. We are very grateful that we received a public art grant from New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and UNIQLO USA for this project.
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