New York Arts

Most people who go to New York try to visit at least one museum or gallery. There are so many amazing ones to choose from. From the Guggenheim to MoMa, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and myriad smaller galleries that can be found all over the city. Art lovers like me and my other half are spoiled for choice... except when they don't choose to go to any of them.

It's not to say we didn't immerse ourselves in art while we were in New York last month. It's just that instead of sticking to the tried and tested tourist-trail, we decided to let Instagram guide us to the kinds of things we're currently loving. We wanted to experience the work of artists we are actively following rather than the old masters and 'internationally revered' artists that can be found in hallowed institutions.

If timing is everything in life, then we couldn't have timed our trip better, because during our brief stay in the city Devo got to meet an art hero of his and I also got to meet an artist I'm a big fan of.

Devo has been following the provocative and awe-inspiring work of Ron English for several years now. His Instagram account let us know that he was working on a huge mural on the Lower East Side of NYC. It turned out to be just a few blocks from where we were staying so we obviously grabbed the opportunity to see the man in action.

It was amazing to be able to see, in the flesh, the finished piece we'd been following the progression of and to have an opportunity to meet Ron English himself.

Devo meets his hero. Me posing.
Details of the Ron English Mural @ East Houston & Bowery.
We even went back the following day to have another look as there's a lot to look at in his work. It was definitely a major highlight of our trip.

I'm a big fan of Tuesday Bassen who I discovered through another favourite artist/illustrator Gemma Correll and have followed on Instagram since I first set foot on that platform. (I actually got to meet Gemma Correll at my cousin's wedding last year -they're mates- which was a secret thrill!) I had seen a few posts on Instagram about a launch that was happening in Brooklyn on one of the nights we were to be in New York. I had it in mind to visit Brooklyn anyway, so I decided to let my fan-girl heart lead the way and register to attend the 'Together Alone' event which saw Tuesday Bassen, All Bad Days and several others throw a party that was hosted by Jessica Williams from The Daily Show. 

It was full of hipsters and Devo and I were probably the oldest people there but it was still cool to see all of these young, creative women under one roof and to get to see their wares in real life. It was also nice to try a few Brooklyn Brewery beers while we were actually in Brooklyn.
A4 print and fabric patch by Tuesday Bassen. Moleskin Notebook, Pencils, brooch and stickers by All Bad Days.
The sum total of my 'New York Shopping'.

Although we did manage go to Times Square  - the touristy-est of tourist spots... and... nerds that we are... still managed to find ourselves an artist at work!

The day we were there, photographer Justin Bettman had set up his 'Set in the Street' project as part of the TriBeCa film festival and we couldn't resist taking part. Bettman uses items found abandoned on the street to construct 'film sets' and places them in urban areas, inviting the public to use the props/space to create a movie 'still'. Search the hashtag #setinthestreet on Instagram to see more of his work.

I don't think I could write about New York in terms of art and creativity and not mention the architecture of the city. I'm pretty sure my 'quote of the trip' was "Oh my god, Devo, look at that building!" - which I exclaimed on practically every street corner. I could dedicate an entire seventeen posts to pictures of buildings you've all seen a million times (in far better photos than I took!) but instead I'll just share these two - which I think are my favourites from the trip.

All in all, I found New York to be incredibly inspirational and beautiful in ways I wasn't expecting. I usually get overwhelmed by large cities, but it's probably the sheer scale of the place that makes it possible for artists like the ones featured above to dream big and create such incredible work.


For more about our New York trip see:

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  1. I am not at all surprised that you were not "normal tourists" and love the artistic side of New York that you explored!

  2. I am not at all surprised that you were not "normal tourists" and love the artistic side of New York that you explored!


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