Reading the Streets: Gnomes give way to neon creatures

Gnome mural on Clinton Street, New York City. Photo by Elie via BoweryBoogie.com.

Gnome mural on Clinton Street, New York City. Photo by Elie via BoweryBoogie.com.

NEW YORK – For years, a wall of cheerful gnomes watched over the block of Clinton Street , like benevolent bouncers with Santa Beards. Years of tags and fading later, however, the gnomes lost their comforting glow and this June, were replaced by an entirely new set of creatures created by street artist Bortusk Leer, coinciding with the opening of “Monsters in New York exhibit” at the next-door Culturefix Gallery.

The wall’s new residents are alien-like creatures in shades of neon orange, blue and pink. They have large heads, prominent square teeth that stick out of narrow mouths, circular eyes that looked a bit crossed, and between two and three ears. Two are in a taxi, with one driving, and the other looking out the window, smiling, presumably at the Lower East Side passerby, while one drives.

Two others flank each side of the car, moving like they are taxi backup dancers. Or perhaps the creatures in the car are monster rock stars and the ones outside are park of the entourage? There’s also a blue family member floating above one of the car-less figures, which might be either an insect or a bird, and I hope my confusion is not an insult to either.

It remains to be seen whether the new mural will have the staying power of its predecessor, but I hope these neon creatures stick around for a while.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Gnome mural on Clinton Street, New York City. Photo by Elie via BoweryBoogie.com.

Gnome mural on Clinton Street, New York City. Photo by Elie via BoweryBoogie.com.

‘Monsters in New York’ by Bortusk Lee, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.

‘Monsters in New York’ by Bortusk Lee, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.

‘Monsters in New York’ by Bortusk Lee, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.

‘Monsters in New York’ by Bortusk Lee, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.

‘Monsters in New York’ by Bortusk Lee, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.

‘Monsters in New York’ by Bortusk Lee, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.