Coney Art Walls: Street Art Meets Surf and Boardwalk Fun

Curators’ Corner

Coney Art Walls: Street Art Meets Surf and Boardwalk Fun

You’ve seen Michael Ernest Sweet’s gritty, black-and-white Coney Island. Now it’s time to bring some color into the picture.

From developer Thor Equities and co-curator Jeffrey Deitch comes Coney Art Walls, an eye-popping outdoor street exhibition in the heart of New York’s wistful summer resort town. Just a block from the boardwalk and adjacent to the original Nathan’s Famous, 30 colorful murals brighten up the already hip Smorgasburg food market.

Visitors to the 50,000-square-foot exhibition space located at 1320 Bowery Street can explore works from internationally recognized artists while enjoying local craft brews and artisan eats – all with a backdrop of sun, sand and Coney’s classic amusement park skyline.

“I wanted to give something back to New York City. I grew up in Brooklyn, near Coney Island,” Thor CEO and co-curator Joseph Sitt told WWD at the exhibition’s launch party, which drew about 1,000 people.

It’s hard to envision a better place for this type of show, and the artists agree.

“Coney Island is for the masses. Street art is for the masses. It’s a perfect mix,” said artist Jane Dickson, whose piece depicts the view from atop the Wonder Wheel.

The neighborhood’s cultural appeal lends itself exceedingly well to art, and many of the murals pay homage to the Coney we love – from mermaids and quirky theme park characters mascots to ice cream cones, boomboxes and street scenes. There’s also a stage for live entertainment during peak hours.

Deitch, an art dealer and former Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles director, was instrumental to New York’s blossoming street art culture in the 1980s and is a longtime promoter of the genre. As the mastermind behind Coney Art Walls, he was able to enlist an esteemed and balanced selection of artists for the commissioned works, including Lady Pink, Crash, Daze, Futura, Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, Maya Hayuk and How & Nosm.

Coney Art Walls is expected to remain open throughout the year, but we recommend heading over there this summer to get the full food/beer/art/beach experience.

Check out a few images below from street art photographer Jaime Rojo for the Huffington Post:








All photos © Jaime Rojo