Reading the Streets: Maya Hayuk on the Bowery

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by Ilana Novick.

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by Ilana Novick.

NEW YORK – There’s something colorfully inscrutable about Brooklyn-based muralist Maya Hayuk’s latest piece of the Bowery and Elizabeth Wall that drives more people to pose for pictures in front of than any of the murals in the last six months. It’s abstract without being intimidating; the pattern of a dress I wish I had the confidence to wear.

The colors are so bright and saturated, but balanced by bits of black and yellow that somehow manage to ground all of the fuchsia, orange and turquoise around it. Or perhaps we’re all just so starved for color in this long, gray winter, that it’s refreshing, like running through a sprinkler in the summer – but for your eyes. The bottom row of shapes look like paper, tangible like you could go up to the wall and rip it.

It reminded me a bit of the magic eye posters and books flooding grade school classrooms of the 1990s, which promised the viewer a 3-D image without the aid of special glasses. You just had to focus correctly in the right place and with the right concentration you would be rewarded with something special. Hayuk’s burst of geometric fresh air made me want to look with just as much concentration, but fortunately without the experience of a group of 9-year-olds demanding “did ya see it, did ya see?” and the embarrassment when you admitted that frankly, you did not.


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by Ilana Novick.

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by Ilana Novick.

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by John Ong via Hypebeast.com

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by John Ong via Hypebeast.com

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by Ilana Novick.

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by Ilana Novick.

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by Ilana Novick.

Maya Hayuk on the Bowery, New York City, Photo by Ilana Novick.