by Ariadna Zierold
Presented by Thor Equities and curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Joseph J. Sitt, Coney Art Walls is an outdoor museum of street art featuring the work of 34 celebrated artists including legends such as Lady Pink, Crash, Daze, Futura and Kenny Scharf, leading artists of the next generation including Shepard Fairey, Maya Hayuk and How and Nosm, and exciting emerging artists like Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and Lauren Halsey. You can have a look at all 34 new pieces by a respectable range of artists spanning four decades and a lot of New York street culture history.
These are murals completed by artists who are street artists, graffiti writers, fine artists and contemporary artists. In the middle of an amusement park, these are commissioned works that respond in some way to their environment by 34 local and international heavy hitters, and a few new kids on the block, comprising a 40+ year span of expertise.
It should come as no surprise that it is the dealer, curator, perennially risk-taking showman Jeffrey Deitch who is the ringmaster of this circus, or that the genesis of this cultural adventure is perplexing to some who have greeted his newest vision with perplexity and derision.
These multicolored and monochromatic murals illustrate a wide and balanced smorgasborg of their own; examples of myriad styles are at play with some engaging in activism and local politics and Coney Island history. From original train writer Lady Pink to aerosol drone sprayer Katsu, from eL Seed’s lyrical Arabic calligraffiti to Retna‘s secret text language to graffitist-now-collagist Greg Lamarche, from Shepard Fairey‘s elegant Brooklyn salute to polluters and consumerism to Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s spotlight on current Coney Island neighbors, from urban naturalist ROA’s monochrome marginalized city animals to How & Nosm’s eye-punching and precise graphic metaphors, you are getting a dizzying example of the deep command Deitch has of this multi-headed contemporary category that is yet to settle on a moniker to call itself.