Photo Essays

Taking it into the Third Dimension: New York’s Sculptural Street Art

In my travels across New York City documenting street art and graffiti, I’m always excited when I stumble across full-blown illicit installations. While stenciling and wheatpasting continue to explode in popularity, it takes another level of commitment, chutzpah if you will, to pull off something more involved.

Using salvaged or re-appropriated materials, NYC street artists are both piggybacking their pieces onto existing street furniture and brazenly installing work of their own. There are highly skilled carpenters and iron workers amongst the ranks of artists — the sole unifying factor in an otherwise diverse group is the placement of their work on the street. Some pieces last but a few hours, but you’d be surprised how many fly under the radar and run for years.

The following is a cross-section of some of New York City’s finest three-dimensional street art.

witz

Dan Witz’ photorealistic diver peaks over the edge of a construction fence.

/ Luna Park

supine

Judith Supine playfully adds some wooden feet to two metal pipes jutting out of a sidewalk.

/ Luna Park

unknownsculpture

An unknown artists has sculpted a kodama, a spirit from Japanese folklore, out of clay.

/ Luna Park

highline large ground

Generally known for his use of ceramic tiles, Space Invader builds a classic arcade ghost out of Rubik’s cubes.

/ Luna Park

moody

Moody often attaches his one-of-a-kind wooden characters to storefronts and signs.

/ Luna Park

GoreB

Using standard DOT street poles as anchors, Gore B installs numerous wooden boards all over the city.

/ Luna Park

Deeker

Deeker has a way with words — he cuts them out of wood and glues them in unlikely places.

/ Luna Park

skewville

Skewville re-purposes found material to spell out the name of his neighborhood in his distinct font.

/ Luna Park

zast

Although it has seen some wear, this installation by Zast still gives passersby a reason to pause and wonder.

/ Luna Park

jbird

J-Bird attaches his painted wooden pieces to construction sites.

/ Luna Park

stikman

Although Stikman constantly reinvents his iconic figure, its form is still distinguishable under a coat of paint.

/ Luna Park

revs

An iron worker by trade, Revs welds words … and dark, foreboding figures.

/ Luna Park

dariusjones

Under an elevated train, Darius Jones’ metal flower blooms eternally.

/ Luna Park

jjveronis

JJ Veronis honors his good friend Andy Kessler, a skateboard legend, who died too soon.

/ Luna Park

unknown-2figurebird

An unknown artist has installed two figures whimsically contemplating a bird.

/ Luna Park

specter

Specter’s gilded shopping cart full of empty bottles is a monument to the city’s unofficial recyclers.

/ Luna Park

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