12ozProphet Exclusive: UUGGHH by HOTTEA on Bowery
Photos C/O Nick Martin & HOTTEA Words by HOTTEA:
There are two reasons I did this project. My love for Graffiti and to address the growing issue of gentrification.
New York City is rapidly changing. The culture and lifestyles are changing with the surroundings and soon what used to be NYC will no longer be. The building on Bowery and Spring Where Jay Maisel and his family reside has been an iconic building representing what New York City used to be. He refused to move, sell or even clean the graffiti on the exterior of his building. It served almost as a time capsule into the old New York.
One night on my way into SoHo I walked by this building and noticed the shadows that resided inside the indents of the walls. Typically my eyes go straight to the graffiti, wheat pastes and stickers that cover the side of the building. I believe for the majority of us that is what we see. It was quite amazing to see past that and see something totally different, the architecture of the building.
After that moment, I stepped across the street to view the building in its entirety. I immediately saw a grid in which to work on and my brain quickly started designing typography. I left the area inspired and knew that I had to act quickly before the building became off limits. I booked my flight back to NYC the next week, and began a week long process of constructing the letters and organizing the installation.
The end result was a non-destructive installation that interacted with the building. Nothing was damaged and was completely removable with simply a “tug”. With simply using the existing architecture and a bit of planning U U G G H H was created.