10 Nov 2016

These gates are a true reason as to why NY is known for its artists! (garage door repair westchester ny)

A small crowd amassed recently at the corner of East Houston and Ludlow Streets, with people squinting in the evening sun, snapping photographs and maneuvering for the best angle. The center of attention was the street artist L’Amour Supreme, who was complementing the brick-and-red-neon exterior of Katz’s Delicatessen with shades of aqua, gleaming pink and gravel gray.

As he worked, a multicolored cat with bulging eyeballs took shape. The cat spans two of the restaurant’s six metal security gates, and the objects of the cat’s desire — a pickle and a stick of salami — were to be added to the other panels, with the final one to be completed on Wednesday during a private event at Katz. (garage door repair long island ny)

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Kim Sillen’s artistry at Black Cat LES on Rivington Street. CreditSantiago Mejia/The New York Times

L’Amour Supreme also created a work for Katz’s 125th anniversary pop-up art show in 2013, and his latest piece is associated with another milestone: the 100 Gates Project, which over the last year has slowly been transforming the Lower East Side by enlisting artists to paint the metal roll-down security gates of area businesses. Katz’s is the 100th storefront to benefit from the program.

“We’ve always been an anchor on the Lower East Side,” Jake Dell, the fifth-generation owner of Katz’s, said over lunch one recent afternoon, “so to be the 100th gate makes sense and is a great way to highlight people’s talent.” (garage door repair long island ny)

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L’Amour Supreme with his spray can at Katz’s Delicatessen. CreditSantiago Mejia/The New York Times (garage door repair long island ny)

In describing his work, L’Amour Supreme said he wanted to create “an old-style cartoon character that was reminiscent of maybe the ’40s and ’50s, because Katz’s is this traditional old New York landmark and I wanted to use that vibe.” (garage door repair long island ny)

“The condiments are staples of Katz’s restaurant,” he said, but also like the characters you see in old movies when there would be a break in between and the food would walk and sing. It’s a little updated with the colors and my style.” (garage door repair long island ny)

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Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street.CreditSantiago Mejia/The New York Times (garage door repair long island ny)

The idea for the 100 Gates Project originated with Billy Rohan, an artist who says he had noticed that the Lower East Side looked like a “ghost town” when the businesses were closed and metal gates were down. He offered to paint gates for business owners willing to cover the supply costs. (garage door repair long island ny)

Soon Mr. Rohan was conferring with Natalie Raben, senior vice president for partnerships and public affairs at the Lower East Side Partnership, about how “25 gates on each street would transform the neighborhood,” he said. The project grew organically to focus on an area running north to south from Delancey Street to Canal Street and west to east from Allen Street to Essex Street. (garage door repair long island ny)

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Billy the Artist’s handiwork on a gate at Michele Olivieri facing Delancey Street. CreditSantiago Mejia/The New York Times (garage door repair long island ny)

Eventually two city agencies, the department of Small Business Services and the Economic Development Corporation, provided a $30,000 grant for the project, with the project allotting $300 a gate to cover supplies and a stipend for each artist. Ms. Raben played matchmaker, matching business owners with artists based on their compatibility and aesthetic visions. (garage door repair long island ny)

“I really just wanted to do something for the community,” said Stanley George of Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. His storefront became the project’s first gate, decorated by Jessica Blowers with orange blossoms. “I wanted even when I was closed for people to look at my gates and become affected by it in a positive way,” he said. (garage door repair long island ny)

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N. Soala’s artwork at Farmhouse Restaurant on Ludlow Street. CreditSantiago Mejia/The New York Times

Illustrators, graffiti artists, graphic designers, muralists and others have worked with the owners, whose businesses include restaurants, shops and clothing boutiques.

The artist Megan E. Watters, who designed a gate for Farmhouse Restaurant on Ludlow Street, said, “I wanted to play around with something that was kind of mixed media, with a couple different color palettes.”

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T-Shirt Express on Orchard Street, with artwork by Hektad. CreditSantiago Mejia/The New York Times (garage door repair long island ny)

“In the background it’s supposed to look like a farm scene that has been sketched onto parchment paper, like a 2-D sketch,” she explained. “And then in the foreground, there’s an actual farm, but in kind of a really blocky, stylized way that looks 3-D.” (garage door repair long island ny)

The storefronts’ metal gates make for unconventional canvases, posing some artistic challenges. (garage door repair long island ny)

“Being an uneven surface means it can be harder to get clear detail with a spray can,” said Damien Mitchell, who created several gates for the project, including two on Orchard Street (for the Michele Olivieri shoe store and the Quinn boutique). “I tried to keep my design monotone and simple. Lines are not going to be crisp and even, every corrugation catches any drip, so it’s almost a bit more forgiving.” (garage door repair long island ny)

As the project continues with the help of additional financial support from Tiger Beer (that Singaporean brewery has ties to the neighborhood), Mr. Rohan said it is also helping to close a gap among artists. (garage door repair long island ny)

“People in the fine art world who may have never had a chance to do public art, have an opportunity with the 100 Gates project,” he said. “It bridges the street and gallery work together. You have a billboard of your work in New York City, which is a great opportunity for any artist.” (garage door repair long island ny)

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