6sqft has been closely following the progress of photographers James and Karla Murray‘s Seward Park art installation “Mom-and-Pops of the LES,” featuring four nearly life-size images of Lower East Side business that have mostly disappeared. The pair, who have spent the last decade chronicling the place of small neighborhood businesses in 21st century New York City, was chosen for the public art project by Art in the Parks UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant Program and ran a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the wood-frame structure’s build out. James and Karla will be having a free public exhibition of their photography for “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” at The Storefront Project (@thestorefrontproject) at 70 Orchard Street from July 25-August 12, 2018, with an opening reception on Wednesday, July 25th from 6-9 PM.
James and Karla first came into the spotlight a decade ago with their first account of small businesses in NYC with their seminal book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York,” which captured hundreds of mom-and-pops and their iconic facades, many of them since shuttered, along with interviews with the business owners.
They then published two follow-ups, “New York Nights” and “Store Front II-A History Preserved,” gaining local and even international fame for their documentation of vanishing culture and celebration of local businesses.
The Seward Park installation represents the first time they’ve brought their mom-and-pop photos to such a grand scale. The wood-frame sculpture is 8 feet high, 12 feet wide, and 8 feet deep. It’s framed with lumber and plywood and covered with photos printed on dibond, an aluminum composite material that is weather-, UV-, freeze- and heat-resistant and has a graffiti-resistant laminate applied to it.
You can read an interview with the artists about the project here.
- VIDEO: See ‘Mom-and-Pops of the Lower East Side’ sculpture being installed in Seward Park
- Local artists will bring 10 public art installations to NYC parks this summer
- My 630sqft: Inside ‘Store Front’ photographers Karla & James Murray’s East Village home of 22 years
- Documenting Gentrification’s Toll on the Mom-and-Pops of Greenwich Village
All photos courtesy of James and Karla Murray
Neighborhoods : Lower East Side