Houston and Bowery History
The wall on the corner of Houston Street and Bowery has seen its fair share of artists over the last three decades. Purchased by Tony Goldman in 1982, the Houston Street and Bowery wall is said to have been made famous by artist Keith Haring after he illegally painted a mural on the wall in 1982. In 2008, Tony Goldman teamed up with then art dealer Jeffrey Deitch to curate a series of Bowery Mural Projects that would begin with a recreation of Keith Harings famous mural replicated by Gotham Scenic in honor of what would have been Keith Haring’s 50th birthday.
It has also been documented that in 1983 Keith Haring illegally painted the Houston wall with friend and present day street art legend Kenny Scharf. Scharf was invited back by Deitch and Goldman in November of 2010 to legally paint a mural on the wall which featured the same blue character with red nose in the same position as he had illegally painted it 26 years earlier.
In 2009 Brazillian born street artists Os Gemeos were invited to paint the wall, covering the Keith Haring tribute mural. The mural featured their quintessential yellow characters in a dreamscape of prismatic color and remained until April of 2010.
Shepard Fairey was the next to be commissioned to create a mural on the wall, which he did in honor of his then upcoming solo show at Deitch Projects entitled May Day. The wall was almost immediatley vandalized, despite efforts to gaurd the wall. Becoming increasingly targeted the wall was ultimately bashed in exposing the Os Gemeos Mural behind the wheat pasted encasement.
In August of 2010 Barry McGee filled the wall in the middle of the night with a cluster of red tags as he had previously done in San Diego and went on to do in Sydney, Australia.
Since then, the wall has seen work by French street artist and TED award winner JR, Brooklyn-based street art collective Faile, and most recently Retna MSK.