A street art carnival is underway at Coney Island this summer.
Thirty artists selected by nationally renowned curator Jeffrey Deitch are transforming temporary walls under the open sky in a former empty lot into works of art.
Often creating the works in front of live audiences, the artists say working at Coney Island adds a jolt to their creativity. The project got underway earlier in the spring, but there are still walls to be filled up, and plenty of opportunities for visitors to see the artists working in real-time.
While some of the works respond directly to the iconic surroundings, others do not. “For me, I didn’t feel like it was necessary to address Coney Island,” said Buff Monster, a Brooklyn-based artists with a fondness for cartoons, ice cream and the color pink.
Buff, as friends call him, chose to create an homage to Sebastiano Ricci’s 18th century “Hercules at the Crossroads” that depicts the strongman between the two forces of Virtue and Vice. Of course, Buff has changed it a “a little bit” with Hercules and Vice and Virtue depicted as ice cream cones.
“I think an allegory like this is nice for the kids and the environment,” Buff said.
Here’s a look at Buff’s work and a few of the others that have been completed in recent weeks. Coney Art Walls, presented by Thor Equities, can be seen at the lot on Bowery Street, West 15th Street and Stillwell Ave.