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Bowery wall’s newest street art mural celebrates global culture in NYC

Howard Halle

There are many great places to see street art in New York City, but none are as iconic as the Bowery wall, which began life in 1982 when legendary artist Keith Haring painted a mural on the remnant of what was probably a torn down building on the corner of Bowery and Houston.

Photograph: Chop Em Down Films

Since 2008, owner Goldman Properties has hosted murals for the site (some of them controversial) by street art's biggest names, including Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Os Gemeos, Swoon, Aiko, Ron English and Lakwena, among others. Now, Japanese contemporary artist Tomokazu Matsuyma joins the list with a vivid piece covering the wall’s 1,300 square feet.

Photograph: Chop Em Down Films

Currently living and working in Brooklyn, Matsuyma, who also goes by Matzu, is known for intricately detailed, layered compositions that combine imagery appropriated from pop-cultural sources (fashion photography; advertising) with style points borrowed from Edo- and Meiji-period Japanese art as well as from modern art.

Photograph: Chop Em Down Films

According to Matzu, his East-meets-West approach represents the hybridized nature of global culture with New York as its Ground Zero. Created with a team of 12 assistants, Matzu’s Bowery wall mural, which is on long-term view, follows the same playbook.


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