Detail of Portal 2, which will be unveiled on July 13th.

Detail of Portal 2, which will be unveiled on July 13th.

The East Village sure is feeling mystical these days.
Artists Nicolina Johnson and Pérola M. Bonfanti will soon unveil their “13 Portals” — murals based on various forms of astrology and ancient spirituality — on abandoned doorways around the neighborhood, with a kooky communal game to tie them all together.

On July 13, Portal 2 hits the corner of Sixth Street and Avenue A, and another portal will pop up each week for the rest of the summer.
Each artwork has a QR code image that when scanned by a smart phone goes to the project’s website, which will have either a riddle or some other type of hoop to jump through in order to unlock the next portal and continue the game.
Portal 1, which was vandalized.

Portal 1, which was vandalized.

It’s kind of like a real-life Legends of the Hidden Temple.
Dan Bratman of the Free Art Society, which is funding the project, explained that some of the portals will require interaction with either local businesses or other players of the game in order to move toward unlocking the final portal. “It’s meant to be an experience that brings people in the neighborhood together,” he said.
And it already has! Portals 0 and 1 — on Third Street and Second Avenue, and Seventh Street and Avenue C, respectively — have already been on display for several months, and in February portal 1 was damaged by a vandal. The artists had to appeal to the East Village community to help them repair it, as they were in Rio working on the other portals at the time.
Portal 0.

Portal 0.

Along with the unveiling of Portal 2 later this month, there’ll be a Kickstarter launch party at ABC Sanctuary down the street (the Kickstarter video will feature footage from last week’s portal parade). There, one lucky partier will win the first of 64 keys that open the door of the 13th portal. The whole project will culminate in a “final ceremony” after the last portal is unveiled. All we know that is you’ll need one of those “coveted keys,” and we’re expecting something pagan and mystical.