Opening tonight: a three-nights-only popup art installation in an abandoned, soon-to-be-demolished Lower East Side market hall, organized by the cult New York street artist Hanksy. We got a preview tour of the space, where the ten artists have been working overtime to finish their murals.
This is truly ephemeral art. The management of Essex Crossing — the massive, long-time-coming multi-use development project planned for the Lower East Side — approached Hanksy two weeks ago with the idea of convening an art installation in the soon-to-be-demolished former Lowline lab space. Hanksy assembled a team of artists — BKFOXX, BUFF MONSTER, ELLE, FAUST, LAMOUR SUPREME, NDA, OWVBICS, PIXEL PANCHO, and SONNI, as well as himself — and they started painting this Monday.
Hanksy publicly announced the event, “Market Surplus,” only 48 hours before tonight’s opening; since then the news has been spreading rapidly by word-of-mouth and social media. To cap it all off, the installation, which opens at 7 tonight, will be permanently shut down at the end of this weekend. Soon after that the property will be torn down to make way for a senior-housing complex.
“[The developers] realized this neighborhood is rich with culture and wanted to pay tribute to it and the building with one last rush of fresh air,” Hanksy — Adam Lucas to his friends — told Bedford + Bowery.
Hanksy deliberately waited until the last second to announce the show to his 100,000+ Instagram followers; he prefers the buzz built by “the secret reveal” — and he’s excited about the deliberately fleeting and impermanent nature of the event. “Everything is so permanent these days,” he said. But with this show, “Either you saw it, or you didn’t. You were there, or you weren’t.”
The opening tonight will be from 7-11 at 140 Essex St., with more opportunities to see the show tomorrow and Sunday from 12-6. The organizers are expecting up to 2,000 people to show up tonight, so get there early if you don’t want to wait in line. There’s a suggested door donation of $10 for the LES Girls Club. Vendors from the nearby Essex Market will sell food and drink.