Typically, when the police and graffiti are mentioned in the same breath, it's bad news for the artists. This time, a precinct in New York City has opened its doors to a group of graffiti and street artists for a special group art show on the eve of the building's destruction.
Jamie Rojo and Steve Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art were invited to the 21st Precinct in Manhattan to preview the art show that spans the majority of the interior walls of the building, which will later be demolished after standing at 327 East 22nd Street since 1863. The building housed the NYPD for only 50 years before it closed down, but this weekend's event sounds like the perfect send-off for a space that has seen its share of wild and raw activity.
"It's just amazing that these artists can put their time, their money, and their talent into something that is just coming down," said curator Robert Aloia to Brooklyn Street Art. Aloia has assembled a squad of over 50 artists from around the world for the show, including Shery-o & The Yok, ELLE, Faust, Hellbent, ASVP, Al Diaz, Bishop203, Curtis Kulig, Hue, Icy & Sot, Dasic, Ghost, Pixote, Rambo, and NEPO. The artists were given free reign of the structure as long as they kept the art indoors and didn't tag the exterior of the building. Brooklyn Street Art pointed out the irony that most of the artists involved would be trying to avoid seeing the inside of a precinct and now they are creating art on the walls of what used to be a holding cell.
"OUTLAW ARTS Presents: The 21st Precinct" will open on Aug. 16. For more information on the show, including a full artist roster and more preview photos from Jamie Rojo, check out Brooklyn Street Art.