Mon, Oct 31, 2011
Downtown Brooklyn’s New Mural has Residents Scratching Their Heads.
You think someone would have noticed.
On Fulton Street above the bargain shops and next to the Macy’s, the department store’s parking garage has been painted with slogans and drawings inspired by the neighborhood. The mural is called a ‘Love Letter to Brooklyn,’ but many residents aren’t feeling the love.
“I’m not going to lie to you. I don’t look up,” said Jessica Love when asked about the mural on Fulton Street. “What mural?” was the most common response from residents when asked about the artwork.
Macy’s commissioned the artist Steve Powers to create the piece, and he finished earlier this month. The former graffiti artist’s style is full of large graphic text, and he incorporates the stores’ signage from the lower level of the parking garage within his designs. Above Bargain Hunters, a 99 cent store, he painted numerous ‘99’s. Powers also spoke to locals and used quotes from his conversations like, “Born Busy as a Brooklyn Bound B”, “Hundred hustleers husstle for hundreds” and “I am made to leave. I am made to return.”
Powers has created similar works in Philadelphia and Syracuse. The artist often works in urban areas in decline. The Brooklyn piece faces an employment center on one side and a new apartment building, the Macy’s department store and a partially boarded up building with broken windows on the others.
“Bravo to Macy’s for transforming the facade of its Brooklyn flagship store into something befitting the rejuvenated Fulton Mall streetscape,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, on his website when the plan was announced.
But, not all residents agreed with Markowitz. ”It needs some work,” said one woman before hopping on her bus.
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Gloria Dawson also photographed Steve Powers’ Philadelphia murals.