Michelle Mayerson is in the mural business. Her company, Brooklyn Street Art, connects street and graffiti artists and the real estate companies or landlords who own Brooklyn’s buildings.
So in the wake of the October attack on Israel by Hamas, she started to think about what kind of message she wanted to make on the city’s streetscape.
The result was unveiled last week: A two-and-a-half story tall picture of a Jewish boy, wearing a kippah and tzitzit, and a Muslim boy, wearing a keffiyeh, arm-in-arm in soccer jerseys.
“I wanted to do something about the war,” Mayerson said. “In Bushwick, there is a Free Palestine mural of a Muslim woman holding a child and it’s beautiful, tugs at the soul. But it’s one-sided, and I just felt we should have some representation — and even this representation is really not pro-Israel at all. It’s just the fact that there’s a Jewish kid in Bushwick.”
At first, she found neither artists willing to paint the topic nor landlords willing to host art about it.
But when her friend, a Chilean street artist and muralist who goes by the name De Grupo, reached out to offer condolences and support, everything began falling into place. “I also wanted to get a mural together about the war,” De Grupo recalled.
Mayerson said Jewish realtors and landlords she spoke to were especially worried about vandalism and about upsetting their tenants. Eventually, she managed to secure 40 feet of wall on the side of 49 Wyckoff Ave., a popular canvas for street artists that often commissions art as well as advertising. Mayerson then went on to fundraise for supplies, lifts, and compensation for the artists.
A third artist, Manuel Alejandro, joined the project.
“I’m very happy with the idea and the way everybody came together,” De Grupo said.
NY Jewish Week – Jewish Telegraphic Agency