Dumbo’s waterfront arts district– world-class performance venues, premier art galleries, artist residency programs, public art & festivals.
The good news for art lovers in Dumbo is that the whole neighborhood is pretty much an open-air gallery. As you stroll around or bop around the traditional galleries, keep your eyes off your smartphone and on the stunning murals created by talented artists who know how to make a statement.
The public art consists of eight murals and one amazing stained-glass water tower that has become a sort of symbol of the artsy neighborhood. It was done by Tom Fruin and made with about 1000 pieces of discarded plexiglass the artist collected from all over the city.
Start your art trek with the mural located in the Pearl Street Underpass. This visually stunning 3-D illusion of reindeer is constructed of sticks and branches. Created by Chinese-born artist DALeast, the work creates an incredible feeling of dynamic movement that is felt in most of his work.
The artist, Craig Anthony Miller, is better known as CAM and is heavily influenced by stained glass art. This inspiration is evident in his colorful mural depicting birds, which are a common theme in his work. For CAM, the birds exemplify the motto for all of his art: “Always be mindful of your ability to fly.” The mural is at York Street between Pearl and Adams Streets, along the BQE.
At Prospect and Jay Streets along the BQE, you’ll find the vibrant, geometric artistic stylings of French street artist, Eltono. His work is inspired by urban architecture and explores the theme of the boundaries between public and private space within cities. He seeks to integrate his artwork with the physical space and the culture of the area where each piece is created.
Acclaimed South African artist, Faith47, is one of the most famous female street artists in the world. Her work often explores issues that pertain to women and third world countries. She’s inspired by seeing the beauty in places that are broken or abandoned. With her mural at the Pearl Street underpass, she sought to bring back an element of natural beauty and grace within an urban environment that has strayed from nature.
Post-graffiti artist MOMO is known for large-scale, colorful, and playful street art. His giant, abstract pieces use Practical Geometry, a method employed by masons and carpenters to create exact geometric shapes. To get an idea of the scale this guy thinks on, look up his, “Tag the Width of Manhattan” project, for which he strapped paint to his back while he biked the city, leaking paint along the way to create a city-wide “tag” of his name in orange paint.
Shepard Fairey’s “Lotus Woman” is located at York and Jay Streets, along the BQE. This street artist is also the founder of the OBEY clothing line, whose logo is a cartoonish image of Andre the Giant. But what he’s probably most famous for is the iconic Obama Hope poster that features the president’s face in shades of red, white and blue. His Dumbo mural depicts a woman and prominently features the words “Peace” and “Justice.” OBEY fans will undoubtedly notice the incorporation of his brand inside the mural as well.
For this set of sister murals at the Jay Street Underpass, two artists teamed up to create works that mirror one another. Stefan Sagmeister’s contribution is a bold, black and white typographic illustration of the word, “Yes.”
Yuko Shimizu’s side also contains the curly, graphic “Yes, ” but the letters are formed by the long tentacles of a fierce octopus against the backdrop of beautiful waves that are reminiscent of Kanagawa’s famous wave art. Fun facts: Shimizu is the genius behind the worldwide phenomenon of Hello Kitty. And Sagmeister has designed album covers for artists like Jay-Z, Aerosmith, and The Rolling Stones.
If you have kids with you or anyone else who might not be into quiet galleries, strolling along the BQE to take in this stunning, large-scale art works would be a great way to appreciate the art of Dumbo.
Cover Photo Credit: www.artindumbo.com