The Real Deal New York

Twee mural at the center of a Bushwick gentrification debate

The mural was installed without the building owner’s permission

September 19, 2015 12:00PM


Yarn artist London Kaye and her mural at 56 Wyckoff Street

It seems like a typical day in Bushwick when an artist installs a 15-foot crochet mural based on a Wes Anderson film. But the piece titled “Moonshine Kingdom” by artist London Kaye – depicting Sam Shakusky from Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” holding hands with Delbert Grady’s daughters from “The Shining” – is also stirring up a debate about gentrification.


Yarn artist London Kaye

The building where the mural was installed at 56 Wyckoff Avenue abuts the Bushwick Flea. The flea’s owner, Rob Abner, gave Kaye permission to erect the artwork. However, the building’s owner was never approached, according to Gothamist. The building is owned by an elderly Hispanic women who has called 56 Wyckoff home for decades.

“One day Mr. Abner decides that he is going to allow some hipster transplant named London Kaye to paint on our wall without asking permission because … she wanted to ‘claim the wall for herself’ in order to ‘express herself,'” Will Giron, the owner’s nephew and a tenant advocate with the Fifth Avenue Committee, told Gothamist.

Giron has told Abner that the art has to come down by October so work can be done on the building.

“Abner started to yell at me, curse me, and even threatened to call the city on my family because one of my aunts sells Salvadorian food on the front yard,” Giron alleges.

Abner has since apologized and promised to take down the art, according to Gothamist. But Giron claims that the apology e-mail includes the line: “Besides: We’ve just raised your property value.” [Gothamist]Christopher Cameron