Bushwick Collective: Visitor Guide
The top site of NYC graffiti and street art culture is now in Brooklyn. The neighborhood of Bushwick has become known for all kinds of up-and-coming artists. Now it is also being recognized for a large and ever-growing graffiti exhibition: the Bushwick Collective. This page provides important info for visiting; and an insider map of the mural locations.
About The Bushwick Collective
The Bushwick Collective was founded in 2012 by Joseph Ficalora – a neighborhood personality and business owner – to beautify a formerly blighted area with vibrant graffiti art. Joe is inspired by his deceased father and mother, and the art is dedicated to them. The Bushwick Collective brings together street artists from around the world, legendary NYC graffiti artists, and local Bushwick talent. The art is all temporary – on average a mural will last approx. 12 months before being replaced. Artists are not paid – these are “permission” murals (as opposed to “commission”). The Bushwick Collective is a work in progress, and it grows continuously. New murals are painted all year round (approx. every few weeks), and more new walls are added to make the exhibition larger.
Location & Directions
The Bushwick Collective is located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is easily accessible by the city’s subway – a ride of approx. 15-25 minutes. Take the L subway line to ‘Jefferson Street’ station. It is 7 stops out of Manhattan. The L line can be picked up at ’14th Street – Union Square” station or any other station along 14th Street: at 8th Avenue, 6th Avenue, 3rd Avenue and 1st Avenue.
Best time to go
The Bushwick Collective can be visited at any time. It is on public streets so it’s never closed. On weekends there are larger numbers of visitors and tours. On weekdays it is quieter and there are fewer visitors – so it’s easier to get a feel for the local vibe. The Bushwick Collective is outdoors, so visiting during warmer weather will be more pleasant – although any time of year is fine. The most ideal time of year to visit is June. In June there is the annual Bushwick Collective Block Party – a weekend festival with music, food and live artists painting. Many new murals are painted then, and in the weeks and days leading up to the block party there is heightened activity in the area.
Black marking shows locations of murals and art. This map can be used for a self-guided tour.
Types of Art
The Bushwick Collective is comprised mainly of large aerosol murals. Most of them are pictures, images, or portraits – art known as “post-graffiti.” Then there are some murals comprised of traditional graffiti (also known as “graffiti tagging”) which are generally the artist’s name written in advanced, contorted or colorful lettering. Additionally, there is also an occasional artistic paper poster (known as “wheatpaste”) attached to a wall with adhesive. Around the area there is also lots of other art which is not part of the official exhibition and is not organized by the Bushwick Collective. There are local street artists who frequently deploy unsanctioned paper posters, stencils or stickers on walls and doorways in the neighborhood. These works of art generally do not last as long as the official aerosol murals. They are not overseen by any official curator so they are put up at random and do not follow any schedule.
Here are some of the street artists who have painted at the Bushwick Collective:
Zimad & Sexer – Zimad and Sexer are two pals who have wielding aerosol cans since they were teens in the late 1970’s. Over the years they have transitioned into more traditional forms of painting and art, too.
Damien Mitchell – Hailing from Australia (the city of Wagga Wagga), Damien Mitchell has made a name for himself over the last few years in New York City and Brooklyn. He is known for his murals which usually feature people or portraits.
Dasic Fernandez – Dasic Fernandez divides his time between New York City and his homeland of Chile. His aerosol murals often feature human figures made with bright colors.
Case Ma’claim – Case Ma’claim is an accomplished street artist from Germany. He has painted around the world, with his distinctive style focused on closeups of human hands and finger.
Here are some other prolific artists: Lexi Bella, Danielle Mastrion, Sipros, Pixel Pancho, Beau Stanton, Fumero, Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Jorit Agoch, Don Rimx, Tats Cru – Nicer Bio BG183, MeresOne, Nychos.
About Bushwick (neighborhood)
Bushwick is a dense post-industrial neighborhod in Brooklyn, New York City. It is currently becoming recognized for a blooming artist and creative scene. Also for new trendy restaurants and nightlife. The artist and cosmopolitan scene has blossomed over the last few years as the nearby well-established artsy Williamsburg neighborhood has gotten more expensive. Besides incoming artists and young professionals, Bushwick’s primary population is Puerto Rican and immigrants from Latin America. Bushwick is nearly 400 years old and was first founded by Dutch. In the 1800’s the area filled with German immigrants and became a major place of manufacturing and beer brewing. There was also a large Italian and Sicilian immigrant community, before Bushwick’s current Spanish-language residents began arriving in the 1970’s.
Here are suggestions for dining and culture nearby to the Bushwick Collective:
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos – Off-the-beaten-path Mexican food housed within a tortilla factory. Super cheap!
House of YES – Party space and venue for trapeze performance. Frequent dance, music, bodypaint. Brunch on Saturdays & Sundays open to the public.
Hi Hello – Laid-back restaurant with New American menu. Perfect for relaxed meal or brunch.
Sea Wolf – Nautical-themed seafood restaurant. $1 oyster happy hour 4-7pm.
Roberta’s Pizza – Wildly popular pizza restaurant known for Neopolitan (thin crust) wood-fired pies. A super hip place which is covered in graffiti art and has an urban garden on the roof. No reservations! Roberta’s Pizza is a walk of approx. 10 minutes from the Bushwick Collective.
Fine ‘n Raw chocolate factory – Small-batch artisinal chocolate factory. More than 15 flavors. Free samples to try. Closed Sunday. Fine ‘n Raw is a walk of approx. 10 minutes from the Bushwick Collective.
All businesses listed here are in the immediate area of the Bushwick Collective – except Roberta’s Pizza and Fine ‘n Raw chocolate, which are a walk of approx. 10 minutes.
|Brazilian artist Sipros at work||Artwork by Joe Iurato and Logan Hicks|
Interested in a guided tour around the Bushwick Collective? Our Brooklyn Unplugged Tours Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour runs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. Now available for free with the New York Pass. To book the tour, please visit the Brooklyn Unplugged website and select your date and time.
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