Art

Last Letter from Bushwick!

My homemade meatball sauce was the closest thing to a restaurant, and much better at creating a community than Facebook.

Story and Photos by Max Power - max.power@citizenbrooklyn.com

Video Art Photo ©Max Power

Seven years ago, I moved to America and I landed directly in Bushwick.

Hawaiian Film-making Photo ©Max Power

I heard about this trust fund artist that had a large space and wanted to share it with other young artists. So, I showed up at his door. In no time at all, I was part of a community of artists who would soon develop great careers, such as Peter Coffin, Justin Lowe, Jen de Nike, Fia Backstrom, Jonah Freeman, Alex Singh, and Alterazioni Video.

Prints Photo ©Max Power

The space had been split into tiny bedrooms and large studios.

EAT LESS BREAD Photo ©Max Power

Alex Waterman would play violin in the cellar, while a gigantic printer was working upstairs day and night. The Brooklyn style backyard was the place for impromptu performances.

Need a ride? Photo ©Max Power

Outside it was rough. A semi abandoned industrial area with people squatting in burnt down buildings. It was the new Bronx… The real Bronx had been gentrified. Bushwick had been a failed experiment in urban architecture. A sprawling industrial park surrounded by housing for the workers. A very unsustainable concept inherited from the previous century. It had become dirt cheap to live there and the spaces were large. Hence, young artists moved in.

Watermelon Studios Photo ©Max Power

We could barely make it to the end of the month, and the ConEd trucks switching the power on and off were a common site. My homemade meatball sauce was the closest thing to a restaurant, and much better at creating a community than Facebook.

Photo ©Max Power

Then a gallerist from Manhattan showed up for a studio visit, and then another… Before we knew it Bushwick had become a buzz word. Prices went up, restaurants and stores came in… The usual story. The rawness was gone, and now it’s like an undercover Chelsea across the bridge.

Old Friends Photo ©Max Power

My years at 324 Ten Eyck Street are now nothing more than a sweet memory. We have gone on to our individual careers; the community has become more geographical than social. The pictures are all that’s left of those years after a hard drive crash. Enjoy them. ‘Til a new Bushwick comes around.

One Response to “Last Letter from Bushwick!”

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