Green Villain: The Demolition Exhibition at Pep Boys in Downtown Jersey

By - Friday, July 3rd, 2015

On June 27, the soon-to-be demolished abandoned Pep Boys building in Downtown Jersey City was turned into an installation titled “The Demotion Exhibition.” For the past two months, more than 100 artists have been working to completely cover the entire building. From piecers to bombers, everyone got to enjoy what The Green Villain put together.

We caught up with the founder Greg Edgell, and asked him why he decided to take on this project.

We always want to go bigger with everything we do. When Pep Boys let us know their lease was bought out by Forest City we knew that the possibility of painting 360º around the building was possible. The developers reached out to us and expressed interest in what we had done to the exterior so we pitched the concept of letting us build out the interior. After 2 months of preparation we had brought over 100 artists in to fill over 30,000 sq. ft. of interior and exterior walls. The only thing different about this event compared to our other events was the scale of the production. We had a team of 10 on staff, multiple vendors, 8 hours of DJs, official liquor permits, a BBQ Pit master on the grill and prints for sale.

Pano 1

Pano 2

On Saturday, even with torrential downpours, more than 2000 people passed through the “Demolition Exhibition”, admiring the giant pieces that are wrapped around the whole complex. The event had some of graffiti most respected artists participate. We talked to Distort about the work he put up:

I will usually take any opportunity to paint. I love it, whether a hundred people will see it or just a few. The only way to get better is to do as much as you can and push yourself every time.

This sentiment was common throughout this project. People painted and worked the event out of love for the culture and the community. From locals to out-of-towners, there was a constant flow of people coming in and out of the exhibition on Saturday. There were some great pop up shops by Suvas, Stick Em Up, Open Crates, River Horse and local artists’ set-up around the DJ Booth.

Be sure to check out the upcoming events from the Green Villain such as the additional murals outside the Holland Tunnel, next to the Greetings From Jersey City mural:

We expect to have completed murals by Clarence Rich and Jerkface by the end of summer. We started a print gallery operation that will be housed in our Mana Contemporary office, too.

The Demolition Exhibition drew people in from all communities to admire the work and sounds of the artists who painted masterpieces along the walls of a soon-to-be demolished building. Though the installation isn’t permanent, the work and memory of this event will live on and hopefully set the tone and standard for future events of this caliber and scale.

Story by Derek Rue

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