When I first heard of The Bushwick Collective, I thought it was a specific group of street artists. It turns out it is really more of an outdoor art gallery that was started by a guy from Bushwick, Brooklyn who wasn’t even an artist.
The unexpected curator, Joe Ficalora, was just a guy from the hood who was tired of the mindless vandalism and unsightly graffiti he saw (some would argue about the cultural significance of tagging in authentic street art but I won’t here). The story goes that a little over a year ago Ficalora came out of his family’s steel business and saw a wall that he had freshly painted tagged within only a few hours. Fed up, he began Googling prominent street artists and invited some to come and legally paint the walls. He now procures other spaces in the area and artists from all over the world are now contacting him for an opportunity to paint on the walls. They all do it for free and provide their own materials.
The outdoor gallery starts at the intersection of St. Nicholas and Troutman St. near the Jefferson St. stop on the L train and branches out from there.
If you did not get a chance to see Five Pointz before it was destroyed, get out to see this before gentrification takes over and businesses start to commission less authentic commercial works.