If you fall down the rabbit hole of the L train and get off somewhere between the Morgan Street and Halsey Street stops, you will emerge from the underground into a street art wonderland. Thanks to the Bushwick Collective, you can’t go a block in this part of Brooklyn without passing walls splashed with color. The Bushwick Collective calls itself an outdoor street art gallery. Open 24 hours a day, rain or shine, to gain admission is to walk down the street.
It feels more like wonderland than the Alice and Wonderland statue in Central Park. One where art, creativity, and color literally burst from the walls.
Does wonderland even have walls? Or are the buildings in Bushwick just canvases waiting to come to life?
I trekked out to Bushwick on the hottest day of the year so far. A photographer friend of a friend, Paul Juser, was looking for volunteers to build his portfolio and I jumped at the chance. Using the painted walls as a background for his photography, art begets art. The art food chain continues: new headshots hopefully beget art for me as well.
Paul is still working to build his portfolio– if you want crazy cheap headshots for acting/promo modeling/writing/online dating, check out the event he is hosting on Sunday where you can get a studio session for $20. Seriously, this is one of those sounds-too-good-to-be-true-but-isn’t deals that don’t come around too often. Check it out: here. He still has a couple of spots open!
If anyone is crazy enough to walk around NYC in blazing, 90 degree weather, it’s me. After being photographed by Paul, I spent an hour wandering the incredible Bushwick Collective art gallery. No air conditioning or glasses of wine here, just streets and heat. And art so encompassing you forget how hot it is.
I had no idea where I was going, where the best pieces of art were. I didn’t look anything up, I just wandered around. An art scavenger hunt with no clues, except peering down blocks for flashes of color. It was exciting not knowing what I’d find next. How often do we do that in this smart phone day and age?
I can’t tell you exactly where I went or where exactly you should go. I know started at the Jefferson Street stop and ended at Morgan Street. I tried to follow my sense of direction but got lost and had to double back to the Morgan Street subway.
Take a wander in Bushwick Collective wonderland, I highly recommend it.
(If you can’t handle vague, wandering direction, there are plenty of walking tours that can guide you.)
What if every cigarette break you could be part of a painting?
Would Mondays suck less if this was your walk to work?
Cue my dream of falling love with a street artist and marry him in front of this wall.
Have you seen the art of the Bushwick Collective? I know I missed some great pieces, but due to the ever-changing nature of street art, you never know what wall will be painted a-new over night. You’ll always miss something, you’ll always see something new. That’s what happens in art galleries of all kinds: the featured work must constantly change. Street art has a life span, it lives in the moment more than any #YOLO hashtag.