A vertical love letter to the Lower East Side and the Bowery at the Museum of Street Art (MoSA).
Last week I attended the opening of a new street art museum inside the citizenM Bowery. I had first heard about this design hotel through a friend that stayed in their Times Square location. She showed me a photo of their lobby, or as they call it, the Living Room—a space to gather, work and feel at home. The floor to ceiling wall is a signature space in all their properties and is filled with various artwork, objects by local artists, photography and endless eye candy. We hadn’t even gotten to the main event—the museum—and I was already inspired just being in the “lobby”!
Filling up a 21-floor staircase inside the hotel is the Museum of Street Art (MoSA). Twenty graffiti artists from the art collective 5Pointz were each invited to paint one floor with a specific theme related to the Bowery and Lower East Side. The museum curator, Marie Cecile Flageul, a long time advocate for 5Pointz, worked closely with the artists and came up with topics for each artist like notable LES residents and inspired scenes from the area.
I was most impressed with the variety of styles and compositions seen throughout. Utilizing only aerosol paint, you could really see the talent and technique in each piece. As we descended down each floor, there was an element of surprise, not knowing what was coming next. That along with the various styles showcased—classic lettering to a perfectly shaded portrait to collage-work—made it a really unique experience.
One of my favorite pieces was a striking portrait of RuPaul (a long-time LES resident) by California-born, Melbourne-residing artist Elle, as seen above on the left.
Back in 2013 I visited the 5Pointz site in Long Island City before it was white washed and demolished a year later. If you’ve been following along Nomadic Fare, you know I’m always looking for the best in local art and design, especially when it’s so easily accessible to the public. It’s wonderful to see companies like citizenM showcase the arts and bring all types of creators together.
I did not stay in the new citizenM Bowery hotel this time, but will definitely be back to check out their rooms and rooftop bar with 360-degree views of the city. Especially notable for their rooms is the commissioned artwork from the New Museum and lights with changeable colours all controlled via iPad.
To tour the museum, visitors need to first check in at the front desk, then take an elevator to the 20th floor and head toward a stairwell that’s the entrance to the museum. MoSA is open daily from 10am—4:30pm for free, self-guided tours, with an audio tour available via the hotel’s Wi-Fi.
The official opening is in October and the first 500 visitors can sign up for a guided tour with the museum’s curator Marie Cecile Flageul. Learn more at MoSA Bowery.
MoSA at citizenM Bowery
New York City
Thank you citizenM for hosting me for this special event. All opinions and photos are my own.