By Maria Rocha-Buschel
A former police precinct is probably the last place one would expect to find rooms plastered in graffiti and street art, but one local organization took to the walls of the former 21st Precinct at 327 East 22nd Street and covered the space in art.
Art collective Outlaw Arts collaborated with a group of about 50 graffiti writers and street artists who have been tagging, spraying and wheatpasting inside the four floors of the building for the previous three weeks.
Curated by Rob Aloia of Outlaw Arts and street art publication VNA Mag, the show features work from Elle, Pixote, RAE, Smells, Ghost, RAMBO, Sheryo and The Yok, Lexi Bella, Esteban del Valle, Li Hill, Vexta, Never, Mr. Toll, Faust and others. The work debuted in a private opening last Thursday and was open to the public on both days last weekend.
According to New York-based blog Daytonian in Manhattan, the East 22nd Street building was the former home of the neighborhood’s police precinct in the late 1800s before the area was renumbered the 13th and moved to East 21st Street. It has, until recently, functioned as a foster care group residence for LGBTQ young people.
The building’s current developer, Suzuki Capital, is planning to demolish the building at the end of the month but in the meantime, allowed the artists to freely decorate the walls, like an indoor version of Five Points. Unfortunately, as is also the case with Five Points, the art will soon be gone when the building is torn down to make way for more luxury condos.
The exhibit will be open one final weekend, August 30 to 31, from 1 to 6 p.m. both days.
Click through for more photos from the exhibit. (All photos by Jowy Romano.)