The abandoned building on busy Flushing Ave. that Skewville painted to resemble a giant boombox is visually as loud as if its pull down gate speakers could actually blast beats. The act takes a piece of blight and uses a simple but raw, creative idea to inject a bit of humor into the lives of the large amount of people who pass by it everyday. Keep an eye out for a handle that may soon appear on the top of the stereo. There was an open petroleum spill at the site, so it will take months before the new owner will be able to transform it into a place of business.
In the meantime, the owner handed it over to Skewville who used it to expand Factory Fresh‘s street art park a bit farther from their Vandervoort Place location. The once-guerilla art park, set up for the third time during Bushwick Open Studios, was an attempt to draw attention to the need for more open space in an underserved area.
To visualize just how little Bushwick has, Skewville took their famed Hype boxes and added some substance to said hype. A stack of the boxes spread out on the block represented the proportions of citywide open space versus what’s here in the neighborhood. The city recommends 2.5 acres of open space per 1000 people, as represented by the red boxes, and indeed, there are 3.5 acres on average for the city as a whole as shown by the blue ones. But the tiny amount of grey boxes emphasize that Bushwick has just 0.6 acres for every 1000 residents. That statistic comes from Councilmember Diana Reyna’s office, according to Trust Art, who is helping to organize the art park.
Skewville’s physical infographic visualizes Bushwick’s open space ratio. Photo by Becky Fuller.