Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brazilian Street Artist Strikes Again

As we discussed last week, the Brazilian artist Bel Borba has been given free rein in New York City to transform ordinary scenes into works of whimsy.

So far, Roosevelt Island appears to be one of his favorite targets. After building a totem pole out of traffic dividers and creating a giant outline of a man on the road, he showed up at my son's preschool playground and whipped the kids into a frenzy of chalk art. Someone was filming the whole thing, so perhaps Elliot will be in a documentary someday.

I only saw the artwork after the fact, but I like to imagine it happened like a Mentos commercial or 1980s music video. A bunch of kids are playing quietly when Bel Borba arrives and shows them how to have some real fun. Meanwhile, a disapproving schoolmarm clutches her pearls  until finally she decides to join in too.

We came across another of his works this weekend: a whale created out of tape, foam letters and some abandoned bollards.

Bel Borba has been commissioned to do artwork all over the city. But with all the Roosevelt Island love, you have to wonder if he's giving other neighborhoods enough of his time.