Ever since the events of 9/11, New York City has faced the challenges of rebuilding the area around the Twin Towers as well as finding an appropriate aesthetic for the site—tasks that have been especially difficult given the emotions involved.
In early 2017, Silverstein Properties, the World Trade Center's main developer, invited 50 street artists to do what they do best all over the 69th-floor interior of 4 World Trade Center, one of five office towers on the affected campus in Lower Manhattan. (This area is where you'll also find the moving 9/11 Memorial and Museum.)
This summer, a new project makes street art an even more integral part of remembering—and at street level rather than hidden in the clouds.
Silverstein Properties worked with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to commission a group of local artists to brighten up an otherwise unappealing collection of metal equipment sheds near the recently opened 3 World Trade Center and the still-under-construction 2 World Trade Center.
The list of talent includes, among many others, Brooklyn-based illustrator Brolga, muralist Riiisa Boogie, husband-and-wife duo Chinon Maria and Sebastian Mitre, and Hektad, a graffiti artist from the Bronx.
The murals are bold, colorful, and uplifting, in part to counterbalance the otherwise somber atmosphere. One example is Hektad’s piece, which consists of the word "love" written in multiple hues over a black background.
Another approach is Stickymonger’s Cosmic Traveler, depicting an alien girl peering through a portal into our world.
(Photo courtesy of Silverstein Properties)
The murals, which are free to view, are now a permanent part of the visitor experience in Lower Manhattan.