The largest stenciled mural in the world was completed this week by (who else would you expect to do it?) artist, Logan Hicks, located within the East River Plaza complex on 117th Street in East Harlem. How cool is that!
“This started with a vision of going beyond making just a mural. I wanted to make an environment where people could forget they were in the middle of the city – even if only for a minute.” ~ Logan Hicks
Hicks was commissioned to reimagine the car-passageway entrance to East River Plaza, which extends from 116 to 117th Streets. Tunnel Vision is a 19,000 square-foot installation consisting of a continuous stenciled mural that wraps the entire space. The installation is paired with a custom designed sound installation.
This awesome installation is set to be certified by Guinness World Records on July 29, 2021.
Taking a closer look, viewers will see layers of stenciled aerosol transforming gray concrete into lush greenery, climbing up each of the thirty-foot walls and pillars, meeting at the ceiling painted in a vibrant, sky-blue gradient. Looking closely, tucked in the green thicket covering the walls are dozens of stenciled birds that live within New York State, while the four-hour looping soundtrack brings them to life – featuring the calls of every bird indigenous to New York.
This experiential piece was inspired by Christian Cooper, the Central Park birdwatcher who was thrust into the spotlight in May of 2020. Cooper shed light on a part of New York that Hicks was unaware of – the birdwatching community. Until that story unfolded across media outlets everywhere, the artist never knew of the Ramble – the birdwatching section of Central Park.
During the pandemic, Hicks visited the area many times and was taken by the symphony of bird chirps and songs that echoed through the treetops. The idyllic utopia of wildlife sits right in the middle of this bustling city.
Recognizing that there is a segment of the population that would not go to Central Park with a pair of binoculars to watch birds, Tunnel Vision is Hicks’ attempt to recreate the feeling of the Central Park Ramble in the language that he understands best – murals.
To grasp the scale of such an endeavor, it’s noteworthy that the artist’s estimate to complete the mural would be one, maybe two months on-site. Braving the unpredictable weather of every season, Hicks has now used over 100 gallons of paint, 500 cans of spray paint, hundreds of stencils, dozens of rolls of Gorilla Tape, and an uncounted number of hours painting – defying expectations – and tedious limitations of the stencil medium – to complete Tunnel Vision.
Logan Hicks: Tunnel Vision is presented by Taglialatella Galleries. The official unveiling will take place on July 29th at 11:00am at 509 East 117th Street in East Harlem.
An RSVP-only reception for Logan Hicks will follow that evening at Taglialatella Galleries from 6:00 ~ 9:00pm, at 229 10th Avenue in Chelsea. The gallery will display a thematic continuation of Hicks’ nature and bird paintings, as well as videos and imagery showcasing the creation of Tunnel Vision. RSVP to 212-367-0881 or email email@example.com.
We can’t close without including a few pictures from one of our favorite installations by Logan Hicks, entitled ‘The Story of My Life.’
In this installation, which was located on the Bowery Wall in the summer of 2016, Hick’s invited all his friends and fans to meet at the intersection of Greene and Spring Streets to pose for a photo. This photo session would be painted with five layers of 210 stencils per layer ~ and below we see the completed Logan Hicks: The Story of My Life.
While your at East River Plaza, turn the corner on the 117th side facing Costco to see “Too Many Faces and Personalities of New York” by Victor Garcia, and a few of the gates created in the 170s by Harlem’s Franco the Great.
Want to see more street art from local artists? Check out the#100GatesProject East Harlem + #100GatesProject Staten Island ~ #100GatesProject Lower East Side ~ The Graffiti Wall of Fame ~ White Park in East Harlem ~ Graffiti in the Sky at 4 World Trade Center, The Murals Project in and around The Oculus ~ Artolution in the East Village ~ Uptown GrandScale I and II, and one of the original artists painting gates, the Picasso of Harlem, Franco the Great! Check out the mosaic, Spirit of Harlem, dedicated to the Harlem Community.
The DOTArt Asphalt Art Activations Street Mural, Rice Terraces on Doyers Street, all the wonderful artistically personalized open-air outdoor dining spaces ~ and murals making a political or social statement like several created by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya on Anti-Asian Racism. We can’t close without mentioning one of our favorite ‘murals’, The Brooklyn Glyphs, which was an enormous temporary installation, with the building now demolished, and replaced with new construction. These are just a few of the wonderful murals around the five boroughs of NYC.