Walking down 22nd Street in Chelsea, I noticed two guys surrounded by a cluster of paint cans, standing at the end of the block. I quickened my pace, giddy with anticipation. Nothing about the pair suggested they were house painters, no, no, these were artists through and through.
“Wow, what did you paint!” I asked, my curiosity trumping my Jaded New Yorker self. Hey, what artist doesn’t love talking about their work, right?
They smiled, pointed up, “We just finished.”
The paint would still be wet had the sun not been so bright.
There’s a new mural in Chelsea, and I was one of the first to see it! “It’s so good to see a new mural here!” I exclaimed, “I’ve been waiting for something to make up for the loss of the Sailor Kiss down the street!” I chatted with street artist Pixel Pancho about the piece. The image of the woman just came to him, and he enjoyed how this fancy lady would fit in with the neighborhood of Chelsea. “See that building with the water tower?” his assistant asked, pointing out NYC’s first luxury apartment building. That’s where such robot ladies of leisure reside.
She looks like she’d be right at home at the Manus X Machina at the Met Museum.
I’ve admired many a piece of street art before, but never actually talked to one of the artists before. No surprise, Pixel Pancho was the epitome of an awesome dude, graciously talking to me about his work and not even getting pissed when I broke major Street Art Code by snapping a picture of him.
He threw up his arm to cover his face. Oh right! You’re anonymous? You don’t want people to see your face! Sorry! I wasn’t trying to ‘dox’ you! I’m just not well versed in this word!
The diner below the piece has been abandoned for months. He had no idea what was going to happen to it, how long his piece would be up on the wall. That’s the thing about street art I sometimes forget. It’s temporary nature. No one, not even the artist, knows how long it will be on display. But it’s there now! 22nd Street and 10th Avenue, maybe even viewable from the High Line if you’re looking for it.