The expanding street art scene in Soho

Steve ESPO Powers was commissioned to do the work on the boarded up store on Prince and Broadway, but there is now an growing collection of street art on the plywood throughout Soho. Perhaps this is the only good thing to come out of a shuttered commercial district.

I’ve captured some here, along with C., and added others I caught on Instagram. Would love it if readers can identify some of the artists…


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Image 1: Artist, @beezlebaby_ ???? Photo: © #kimberlyMwang | @eardogfoto | repost w/ repost app and caption only. ❤️ ???? In NYC, Soho businesses, housed in the neighborhood’s grand, iconic, cast iron buildings, began boarding up their windows in the wake of #GeorgeFloyd ’s death—not long after looting started to flare across the city. Some had shuttered their establishments earlier, when the pandemic hit, but now, plywood can be seen covering nearly every shopfront in the district. And in a show of solidarity and love, local artists are slowly transforming that plywood-facing into works of art, and in the process, are staging a visual protest—an artistic ‘vigil’—intended to uplift and inspire, as protests demanding reforms to policing, economic policy, and criminal justice continue throughout the country. ❤️❤️❤️ . For New Yorkers who remember when Soho was primarily the domain of artists who re-colonized the area by occupying abandoned factory floors back in the 70’s, there’s something poetic and democratic about this collective effort to answer the pleas for justice with art honoring Black Lives. . #artcanchangetheworld #artforjustice . Gratitude to @ominousarcadia which is organizing / curating this beautiful effort. Check images for tags to follow the artists featured. . . #blacktranslivesmatter????️‍???? #blacklivesmatterart #fightthepower #standupforyourrights #antiracist✊????#sohoart #sohosocialimpact #blackartistsmatter #publicartnyc #streetartny #artforchange #tribecany #tribeca #sohonyc #nycdowntown #racialjustice

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  1. 69 GREENE ST
    APT 2

    The artist who made “birdwatching is not a crime” is Claire Strautmanis 917-655-3306

  2. Many of these artist’s names can be found on the FaceBook page “We Make America”, a group of anti Trump artists and activists.

  3. Were the others given permission by the property owner or did they deface private property? Asking for Karen.

    • Much of the more serious work, as opposed to the graffiti, was very carefully done so it is only on the plywood and doesn’t touch the permanent structure.

      Unless plywood recycling is suddenly your concern, I don’t see this as defacing private property,

      • So they didn’t get permission? And which is the serious work and which is the graffiti? Art is so subjective.
        And “very carefully done”? I think Claire got a little too much pink on the permanent structure, thus defacing private property. Again, Karen was asking.

    • I actually spoke to a few artists while they were still working and at least the two that I had spoken to had received permission from the store owners and were life long soho residents. I bet not everyone got permission–I think that is part of the point.

      What a delight to see art (even if fleeting) replace the predictably mundane windows of global luxury retailers that are patronized by Karen.