DISCLAIMER: if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will most likely have seen most of the following pictures.
So Free Art Friday NYC has come and gone for October, and once again I come out of the experience excited for the next one. It felt like a day-long game of cat and mouse and the sense of community I spoke of last time seems to be growing.
The day started early (seeing as how I needed to get to my Freelance Job on time) so I quickly made my way over to Little Skips to drop off business cards and find a good hiding place for my first hidden piece of the day. I ultimately decided to place a framed Pikachu Nüdtendo Trading Card where it's original was hanging: just outside Little Skips:
One goal I give myself for FAFNYC is to find interesting, distinct places to hide my work that also makes for good compositions and images. The graffiti currently painted on the side of Little Skips was perfect for that, and I was extremely pleased with the image that I got out of it. When it comes to how quickly this particular Free Art was found I honestly have no idea. At the end of the day the piece had been taken- but it was the only one where the person who found it didn't post to Instagram, so the recipient remains a mystery.
The next piece I decided to put up was a Canvas Print of "Shackled," and since I was working in Soho most of my subsequent pieces were hidden in that general vicinity. I found this really beautiful, dilapidated door leading to a storefront that had been converted to an apartment. I thought the white spray paint and black grate would make for a fantastic backdrop. The resulting image was fantastic:
Ultimately "Shackled" was found within twenty minutes and the person who found it was awesome enough to post a picture of his winnings:
I got to have a bit of back and forth with the scavenger and honestly that is the best part of this event: getting to congratulate those who get there first and to encourage others to keep their eyes peeled throughout the day for more.
Once lunch rolled around I went out with a destination already in mind. This time I wanted an easily recognizable, heavily populated area to hide my framed Link Nüdtendo Trading Card. What better place than the Apple Store on Prince Street?
I was excited to see how long this would take to be found, and it turned out not very long at all. After about five minutes someone replied to my posting on Instagram that they had snatched it up, while another participant had been just across the street about to grab it themselves.
On the walk back home I found a really fun set of graffiti on Broadway and decided to place another one up, this time Samus:
This one was also found and taken almost immediately.
The next piece was an hour or two later, and I was especially excited about its location:
It was a small street, on a numberless door; this phenomenal poster of Princess Kitty (Bojack Horseman reference) placed on top of vivid black and gold graffiti. The color palette was gorgeous and the screaming cat face perfect on that lady body. It was distinct enough to recognize easily, yet placed somewhere obscure enough to be a little tough to find. So Bowser got a place of honor betwixt her cleavage. This one took 30 minutes or so to be found.
Kirby found a home on the window of one of my favorite Art Supply stores in the city (Soho Art Supply). I thought their hand-painted sign would look good in an image, and also that they deserved a shout-out as a contributing factor in the making of my art. Tetris T found himself on the side of the Angelika Movie Theater, and both him and Kirby were found by the same person:
This left only one piece left to be hidden, and I wanted this one to count. All day I was posting mostly smaller pieces (with the exception of the Canvas Print of "Shackled") with the knowledge that I wanted to end on a high note. Enter my art book Flow 2.0:
I've been meaning to make a gallery of my art books for some time now. I may be motivated to do it now. For a few years I've been creating long, continuous compositions that incorporate sketches and paintings I had completed over the course of the previous year. In the beginning I would print them, archivally, onto Moleskine Japanese Album Sketchbooks. Due to the process being imperfect (and the length restrictions on my printer requiring me to print them from front to middle and then end to middle) I was forced to "correct" the mistakes by drawing into every single book I made. As such each book was unique, each one had original work in it, and each one came in VERY limited supply. So when I decided to make this a piece to hide on FAFNYC- it really meant something to me. I wanted it's hiding place to be special. So I devised a plan that required me to wait until I got out of my freelance job: I'd hide it amongst the trees of the Highline:
Using the twine I had purchased earlier to hang "Shackled" from the grate on the door I suspended the book from two trunks of a delicate, lovely tree at the very, very beginning of the Highline in the Meatpacking District. I loved the almost magical quality of the location, and it really did look lovely floating there with the spotlight glowing through the leaves. I was so excited about this particular piece I sat myself down on a bench a short distance away and waited, trying to hold out to catch whoever managed to find it. I wanted to thank them for participating and maybe take a picture with them- yet it was ultimately not to be.
You see, throughout the day I had become accustomed to my pieces getting snatched up within minutes of me putting them in their hiding places. However it was getting late. It was getting cold. And I sat there for nearly an hour before my stomach forced me to leave, worried that I had waited too long to put it up and fearful of it not being found before the park closed at 10pm (especially since it was supposed to rain that night). I began posting less cryptic hints and just flat-out telling people where to go to find it.
Finally, halfway through my dinner, someone responded saying they got the book! I was both elated I wouldn't have to walk all the way back and take it down myself and a bit depressed I wasn't able to wait it out to greet the person who found it. But that will be my goal next month. If the weather allows I want to stake out the spot of my most important piece and try to get a picture with the recipient.
Anyways it was a fantastic day of giving. #FAFNYC is one of my new favorite activities so keep posted next month for hints on what I'll be putting up!