New York Beautification Project
By Ellen Harvey
Between 1999 and 2001, small old-fashioned landscapes painstakingly painted in oils appeared on graffiti sites all over New York City – on walls, dumpsters, phone boxes and even the occasional car. These exquisite five by seven inch paintings were the work of well-known artist Ellen Harvey.
New York Beautification Project documents the paintings, as well as Harvey’s diaristic notes and observations from painting illegally throughout the city. The narrative that emerges is both provocative and hilarious, exploring issues of art-making privilege in contemporary society and the line between expression and vandalism, while never losing touch with the frequently comic realities of creating contemporary art on the walls of New York.
Hardcover, 9 x 12 inches, 100 pages, 83 color images
Published July 2005