A pair of internationally recognized street artists have turned walls on two separate blocks off of Avenue U into stellar artwork, thanks to organization by a Williamsburg-based gallery established by a Sheepshead Bay native.
Italian street artist Zed1 took over two walls next to the entrance of a parking lot on East 27th Street, just south of Avenue U. There, he put some haunting illustrations of two characters emerging from a bisected rat, reaching across the wall’s gap to reunite an apple. Zed1 is also a pioneer in a new street art technique called second skin, where, as the artwork ages, it takes on new forms. You can see an example in the video below:
We haven’t heard if this mural is one of his second skin experiments, so we’ll just have to wait and find out to see if it peels.
A block away, on East 28th Street, also just south of Avenue U, street artist Phlegm drew some “bookish” characters on the wall of Pizza Bagel:
Phlegm is a Sheffield, UK,-based street artist and illustrator, with work in print and on walls. The creepy characters depicted on the East 28th Street wall are repeated in much of his work.
The murals were organized by Bottleneck Gallery (60 Broadway, Brooklyn), a Williamsburg-gallery that presents art inspired by pop, geek and street culture. The gallery was co-founded by Joe Bouganim, a Sheepshead Bay native and graduate from Leon M. Goldstein High School.
It’s part of a project called “Under the Bridge,” bringing globally-recognized street artists to walls across Brooklyn. Although many murals were done in Northern Brooklyn, Bouganim said it was a goal of his to find cooperating landlords in our neck of the woods so that Southern Brooklyn doesn’t go forgotten.
And the local works have been so well received by neighbors that he’s not stopping with just two pieces.
“I’m trying to bring more European street art to the area,” said Bouganim. “It was pretty awesome watching people stop their cars and taking pictures. We actually went to take more pics but there was a pretty big crowd around it.”
Bouganim is looking for more walls to work on in the area. If you’re a landlord with a bare wall on a high trafficked street, get in touch with him through Bottleneck Gallery. All materials are paid for by Bottleneck.
Here are some more photos of the two local works: