New York Metropolis Is Underneath Fireplace for Whitewashing a Tunnel Famed for Its Show of Historic Graffiti Artwork - Upsmag - Magazine News

New York Metropolis Is Underneath Fireplace for Whitewashing a Tunnel Famed for Its Show of Historic Graffiti Artwork

An ever-evolving graffiti artwork show in Washington Heights is not any extra after the New York Metropolis Division of Transportation unceremoniously painted over it, sparking group outrage. In response, officers are actually promising to work with artists to interchange the show within the 1,000-foot-long tunnel famed for its graffiti artwork.

“We’re planning to search for potential artists that can design the 191st Avenue Tunnel. This can be a precedence for me as a result of I perceive the symbolic which means behind this cultural mural,” NYC DOT commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez advised the native ABC affiliate.

Residents had been shocked over the weekend to search out that the colorfully painted tunnel had been whitewashed.

“What occurred right here is only a slap within the face to the group,” native Luiggy Gomez advised Gothamist. “They erased historical past.”

Technically known as “Tunnel Avenue,” the three-block-long passage is the town’s solely underground road, in line with 6sqft. It serves as a Broadway entrance to the 191st Avenue subway station, which, at 175 toes underground, is the deepest within the system. It was constructed to offer a substitute for climbing up Fort George Hill to the opposite entrance on St. Nicholas Avenue, because the elevators are exterior the far zone.

A public artwork venture in 2015 had beautified the tunnel with a set of 5 murals chosen from 150 functions.

The 191st Avenue tunnel earlier than and after whitewashing. Picture courtesy of Metropolis Council Member Carmen De La Rosa.

The artists included longtime New York Metropolis graffiti artist Fernando “Cope 2” Carlo Jr., who started tagging the streets again in 1978, with further works by Nick Kuszyk, Nelson “Cekis” Rivas, Andrea “Queen Andrea” von Bujdoss, and Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn.

A lot of that work had since been lined by graffiti tags, however the show was nonetheless one thing of an area landmark. It additionally featured prominently within the 2021 Lin-Manuel Miranda movie, Within the Heights, in a fantasy sequence the place Abuela Claudia (Olga Merediz) remembers transferring to the U.S. from Cuba within the tune “Paciencia y Fe.”

YouTube video

A scene from <em>In the Heights</em> shot in the 191st Street tunnel. ©Likely Story, Endeavor Content, 5000 Broadway Productions, SGS Pictures, Barrio Grrrl!

A scene from Within the Heights shot within the 191st Avenue tunnel. Picture: © Possible Story, Endeavor Content material, 5000 Broadway Productions, SGS Photos, Barrio Grrrl!

The tunnel was lately the topic of a Every day Information article decrying the folks utilizing medication within the tunnel, and forsaking trash and “crude graffiti tags.”

Native Metropolis Council member Carmen De La Rosa and Nira E. Leyva-Gutiérrez, government director of the Northern Manhattan Arts Arts Alliance—which partnered with the DOT on the 2015 murals—issued a joint assertion claiming that the group’s requires enchancment to the passageway “by no means advocated for the soul of the tunnel to be eliminated within the erasure of the native artwork that was emblematic of the tunnel.” They’re “angered and upset,” they added, that the DOT acted with out warning or partaking the group.

At a DOT press convention by which Rodriguez promised to concern a brand new “Request for Proposals” for the positioning this week, new graffiti tags might already be seen on the tunnel’s freshly painted partitions.

“We look ahead to working carefully with the group and native elected officers on a venture that celebrates the tradition and variety that makes New York so particular,” Vincent Barone DOT’s interim press secretary, advised the native NBC affiliate.


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