Chummy

Submitted by Ben Hilario-Caguiat

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Client: Brooklyn Brush

Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $500

Project Team

Other

Brooklyn Brush

Artist

Ben Hilario-Caguiat

Overview

The project theme was “Community” asking the question: “How do you know you’ve connected with someone or someplace?” with the goal of an “Outdoor Gallery” in the spirit of Thomas Hirschhorn's quote “I believe that every human being has an understanding of art. What is separating us is smaller than what is unifying us.” The mural dimensions of H. 8' x W. 16' across 4 ( 8' x 4' ) plywood boards screwed into 3 ( 2' x 4' ) equally placed wood pieces. All components were prepared to handle exterior environments.

Goals

The commissioned mural was to present a new way of thinking about murals. Alternatives to graffiti and other murals permanently fixed on their walls. Presented as fine art in an outdoor gallery setting and available for sale. All pedestrians are invited to enjoy, provide critiques and to learn more through laminated artist statements placed nearby. The building owners desired increase awareness of their artist creative spaces and to draw foot traffic from mural enthusiasts who frequent the neighborhood.

Process

The building owner and their in-house curator expressed a strong desire to reach out into the immediate community. The artist matched that desire with his own artistic style of anime-inspired art, which are marked by multiple concepts and unorthodox color combinations to heighten the visual effect on viewers. Mural placement was decided by all parties for best visual attraction from about 1 1/2 blocks away.

Additional Information

Bushwick, Brooklyn is a neighborhood undergoing gentrification. It's marked by a strong artist community, industrial elements and classic street art. The community is in transition and several camps are often at odds with each other. The mural "Chummy" is represented as a "Friendly Shark" that presents an observation: "A shark needs to constantly move forward to stay alive. Can a friendly shark stay friendly while moving forward within the challenges of an urban community." Who is the shark? What does friendly mean to each camp?