The Real Deal New York

Are high rents driving NYC artists to LA?

Street artist Shepard Fairey argues that NYC artists are “screwed”
August 24, 2014 04:00PM

New York City’s high cost of living will be the death of its art scene, according to street artist Shepard Fairey, best known for designing the widely used “Hope” poster during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Fairey told the New York Post that New York City artists are fleeing to Los Angles en masse.

“You can’t be in New York and not have ­either a trust fund or a good enough job to live,” Fairey told the Post. “Artists are screwed in New York right now.”

Fairey – a resident of LA — is currently completing a mural at 161 Bowery as part of The Little Italy Street Art Project.

“New York is incredibly successful, and one of the things that’s suffering is space for people to be struggling to make something that ­nobody’s seen before, or hear something ­nobody’s seen before, where they have no money and it’s not commercially viable yet, but it’s going to be the next thing. That’s happening in LA,” he added. [NYP]Christopher Cameron

  • Sh!t My Tenants Say

    Yea, most places you need a “good enough job to live”. Also, there are plenty of places in Northern Manhattan, the otter boroughs, or places like Yonkers…
    Artists have always had struggles. Some would argue its part of what shapes their art…

    • noclist

      It’s to be expected when the fruits of your labor don’t pay off until after you die?

  • The bigger problem is not that artists are moving to LA, but that artists are moving to many other different cities in a massive creative diaspora. It would be better, actually, if the artistic class was all moving to LA, because then it would be an obvious choice: abandon New York to the bankers, lawyers, trust funders and foreign money. Unfortunately, there is no clear winner city yet, and different arts are migrating to different cities. The multidiscipline creativity that has fueled New York City’s arts scene is being chopped up and shipped out across the country, which is bad for both American cultural capital and for the city’s economy.