DKNY mural, from pre-9/11, doomed
The DKNY mural depicts a pre-9/11 Manhattan. (Andrew Hinderacker)
BY SERGEY KADINSKY
Special to amNewYork
SoHos iconic DKNY mural ad a six-story painting of a pre-9/11 Manhattan skyline is about to be wiped out, facing extinction like so many commercial frescoes in the city have before.
It will be replaced with 15,000 square feet of dark gray, and the name of the new tenants of the building: Hollister Co.
When the DKNY ad went up in 1992, it was met with community derision, but it has since earned legendary status. The black-and-white mural shows the Statue of Liberty emerging above a skyline that still features the Twin Towers.It was a precursor to gentrification, said SoHo Alliance president Sean Sweeney. We have mixed feelings about it. It led to the invasion of other ideas and ads.
Mural advertising may not be as strong as it once was, losing market share to vinyl billboards and LED screens, but still wall dogs carry on the art form.
Williamsburg-based Colossal Media, founded in 2004, specializes in mural ads, as does the graffiti-inspired Tats Cru of the Bronx.
Artkraft-Strauss Sign Corp. has been in the commercial mural game for 111 years, and once controlled a 225-foot high wall on 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, facing Penn Station. The wall hosted Joe Camel, an Amtrak train and a Gulliver-sized Levis jeans model.
That wall has so much paint, I wouldnt be surprised if its holding the wall together, said Bob Jackowitz, vice president of design and engineering at Artkraft.
Lamar now owns the space, which commands $175,000 a month, and it takes a team of about four workers up to 12 days to put up a mural, according to Jason Graham, a sales manager at Lamar.
Unlike Lamars high-altitude painters, the Tats Cru usually works on the sidewalk level using spray paint.
Were like performers, because were exposed to the public, Sotero BG183 Ortiz, a member of the crew, said. Its a mass experience, added Raoul How Pierre.
The artists of commercial murals understand the transience of their work; all good ad campaigns must come to an end just ask DKNY.
They stay up for 1 to 3 months, said Pierre. Advertising is usually temporary.