UPDATED: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 10:16 PM
Art is seemingly the purest way to express one’s self; The distinct rivers of color reflecting the artist’s wishes upon each viewer leads up to a connection like no other.
Approximately three months ago, the country was told that nonessential businesses had to temporarily shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, high-expense stores decided to encase their walls with “plywood barriers.” The barriers, though not an ideal sight for the wandering eye, served a very important purpose towards protecting the valuable merchandise within. It’s not likely that these retailers were aware of the future. Their motives mainly stemmed from the natural “impulse” to guard and uphold property.
Luckly, due to the stay home order, these bland, plywood protectors stayed untouched by the city’s looming graffiti artists; Who would refer to this as a “golden opportunity” to make use of these “fresh walls.”
However, with the past fews weeks bringing massive protests over police brutality, stores began to face a new threat. Some of Manhattan’s most popular stores decided to lay low and keep their all-to-familiar plywood arua, while others went ahead and added a splash of artwork onto their storefronts in honor of the protests.
One particular store, Kith (a hip-hop and streetwear specialist), was against placing any form of artwork on their beloved building until the windows were found shattered. Afterwards, the store took up the liberty of covering its entirety in a black cover to clearly display a 3-story quote from Nelson Mendela.
Other properties, such as the Museum of Ice Cream located in SoHo, did not need to be struck before taking up the paint and brush. The museum decided to paint an enormous “bubble-gum tribute” to the movement giving out the message “I SCREAM FOR..” , the rest being up for interpretation. Sady, this momentum did not make it very far, as critics soon trampled it with hate, forcing the museum's founder to apologize and “pop” the bubble, replacing it with a voidable black overcoat.
Nonetheless, with many stores decorating their walls in support of the moment, the artwork becomes both a safecoat for the precious businesses, as well as a calming and encouraging backdrop toward protesters. In addition, on behalf of Mayor de Blasio’s request, Friday New York City will see its second “Black Lives Matter” mural painted on the streets of Staten Island.
However, this most certainly won't be the last, as de Blasio wishes to soon have street murals on each major street (an idea “inspired” by the streets leading up to the White House in Washington DC).