Reading the Streets: Hearts rain down from Gilf’s copters
NEW YORK – Neon pink hearts are the attention-grabbing part of Gilf’s Mott Street mural, To Tehran With Love, but look closely and you’ll see they’re falling from a helicopter, as if bombing the black backdrop and the sidewalk below. The helicopter is painted olive green, eerily like a real military aircraft under cover of the night.
Helicopters with anything raining down from them conjures thoughts of war and bombs in my mind, even if the copter is on a wall next to a cupcake shop. When my anxiety meter calmed down for a minute, I saw what was obvious to most viewers, that the neon pink items raining down from the helicopter are hearts, not bombs. Countless Little Cupcake Bake Shop customers pose in front of it, frosting covered pastries in hand. I wonder if they notice the helicopter too.
But that’s the best part of To Tehran With Love; the hearts and the helicopter are paired to make the viewer consider what else a helicopter could deliver, besides violence. Gilf reimagines a military helicopter as not an agent of destruction, but one of love.
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