Trespass: Uncommissioned Public Art

Updates from and letters to the editor

Historical Teaser 2

More Trespass highlights, these photos from 1980s New York City.
Note all images featured in previews may not appear in the printed book.


Crash & John Fekner, New York City, Photo: Lisa Kahane


David Wojnarowicz, “Burning House”, New York City, Courtesy PPOW


Keith Haring, New York City, 1982, Photo: Tseng Kwong Chi


Jean-Michael Basquiat, New York City, 1982, Photo: Martha Cooper


David Hammons, “Blizzard Ball Sale”, New York City, 1983


Richard Hambleton, New York City, 1982, Photo: Franc Palaia


Stay tuned for another preview next Friday!


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One Response

  1. ~ethel says:

    Additional information from John Fekner about the Suffolk Street Shelter as shown in Lisa Kahane’s photo follows —
    We’re very much looking forward to seeing all of John’s projects in his retrospective book with amazing personal detail:

    John Fekner & Johnny “Crash” Matos
    THE SUFFOLK STREET SHELTER

    Johnny “CRASH” Matos, a graffiti artist, and I collaborated on a project entitled “THE SUFFOLK STREET SHELTER”, The mural, painted on an abandoned building on the Lower East Side, depicts a nuclear bomb exploding in the New York City. A stenciled warning in English and Spanish reads: “IN CASE OF NUCLEAR WAR STEP INSIDE”. The irony is that there is no shelter at all; the entrance has been sealed with cinder blocks by the owner preventing anyone from entering the building. The metal staircase is a cul-de-sac; leading into a brick wall at the moment a nuclear bomb is dropped.
    The mural draws attention to a typical nonfunctioning building, which the city of New York allows to remain standing as a useless object – a misfit in a city filled with greedy landlords and profiteers. The city should turn these buildings over to the poor, and not to outside speculators. The people who live in the neighborhood should be allowed the opportunity to make the buildings function again.

    John Fekner, December1981

    I returned to the mural a little over two weeks after it was completed. I was quite surprised to find it surrounded by a barrier of wooden doors; a usual step in the process of a building about to be demolished. Obviously a reaction to our project; but by whom?
    The landlord? The city? One little building among thousands in NYC that for sometime no one had paid attention to. Was this structure already scheduled to be knocked down?
    Or, did we turn the building to a page of information too truthful to see? Especially for those who only say they take responsibility and don’t live up to it in our communities?

    John Fekner January 1982

    Material support by ABC No Rio 1981

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