iheart public 003
Highline | NYC | 2008
Completed on November 8, 2008, on the Highline in New York City's Meatpacking District, this mural was hand-painted and measured 7'X5'.
iheart public 003 was an homage to the Highline's graffiti and a protest of its rumored erasure to come, before the public opening of the Highline Park.
After writing to Friends of the Highline in November 2008, asking about the plan for the graffiti, this was their response: “It's out of our hands- it's city policy to remove it. While we may admire the artistic component of some graffitti, it has been found in other parks to encourage more graffitti and vandalism if not removed.”
In the spring of 2009, NYC Parks and Recreation painted over all graffiti on the planned lower section of the Highline in battleship grey, a wipeout of cultural history.
After its last days in 1980 as an elevated freight railroad, the Highline structure was left to rot, and this period coincided with the birth of hip-hop culture in NYC, with graffiti as its coded visual language.
With disregard came a return to the wild on the Highline tracks, with native flowers and vegetation filling the ground among rusting rails. As with other locations on the urban edge, graffiti artists soon arrived, looking to make their mark.
That mark is now erased.