This kiss was once the most photographed section of High Line, NYC’s elevated park in Chelsea.
The mural burst with color. It captured the passion and exuberance of that sailor, of a kiss. It made you smile. It brightened your day as much as it brightened the New York City streets! Looking at it was sunshine, rainbows, New York City, and LOVE! It was wonderful!
Has my use of past tense made you tense? Have I prepared you for the horrible sight I’m about to reveal? Unless you’ve walked the High Line this past month, this will come as a shock. I haven’t seen it reported in any media and I only believe it because I saw it with my own eyes. You might want to sit down.
Are you sitting?
The Kiss Mural on the High Line is GONE
Gone. Painted over in the most depressing gray this city has ever seen. Tiny pieces of color still poke through certain bricks, crying out “yes, something beautiful was here.”
As if winter wasn’t gray and colorless enough?
I don’t have answers. I don’t understand why this mural was painted over. The High Line website doesn’t offer an explanation. They proudly feature Korba’s mural on their blog. I’ve asked them on Twitter what happened and I’m waiting for an answer.
The mural accompanying below the Kiss is gone too. It featured scenes from New York in 1945, most prominently a trolley with the destination “Times Square” along with automobiles and dapper pedestrians. I only ever got a proper picture with part of it:
My tall, dark and handsome two dimensional boyfriend. (Yes, I’ve also lost a boyfriend in this street art travesty.)
Here’s a full photo from nyclovesnyc.blogspot.com
I know this is one of the hallmarks of street art, I said that in last week’s post. It’s out of the streets, it’s under the elements- anything could happen.
I never expected this iconic NYC mural to disappear with no warning.
Will something replace it? Will tourists wander the High Line for hours searching in vain for the work of art that is no more? Attempting to communicate in hundreds of different languages, “Where is the High Line Kiss Mural? What happened to the V-J Day Kiss colors? The painting? Why can’t I find it?” sure it must be somewhere else, not believing their own eyes. Unable to understand the friendly High Line staff who try to explain that it used to be here.
That this is it now.
How can this be all that’s left?
I’m photographing the shit out of all street art I see from now on.
This brilliant, “Love Is The Answer” further south on the High Line has gone to gray as well.
Such a loss! Two of the most uplifting pieces of art I’ve ever seen we can now only see in photographs! SO SAD.
Gray covering love, kisses, rainbows, and Albert Einstein. Could it be worst timing for the winter doldrums and Valentine’s Day? The High Line is looking mighty bleak these days.
UPDATE: Word on the street- I don’t really have a source for this- is that the owner of the building just painted over it. Insane and so sad, right? The High Line tweeted at me to say they had nothing to do with it: while the art was visible from and very much felt like a part of the High Line, in actuality this mural was always on a separate, privately owned building. I doubt the building owner will ever release any kind of statement. No one wants to be publicly known as an Art Destroyer in this town.