In 2011, a concrete parking garage in Brooklyn became a piece of encouraging art. But the days of enjoying street artist Steve Powers’ “Love Letter Brooklyn” will soon draw to a close. As Alyssa Buffenstein writes for ArtNet, the mural will be destroyed, along with the downtown parking garage that hosts it.
Perhaps it’s the appropriate fate for work that began as a piece of street art—even though Powers, also known as "ESPO," secured the permission of Brooklyn officials before bedecking the huge garage with blocky phrases like “euphoria is you for me,” “I was nurtured here” and “turn to me.” (Click here for the full poem.)
“Love Letter Brooklyn” isn't Powers' first public art letter. The artist’s 2010 “A Love Letter For You” was painted across 50 West Philadelphia rooftops and features what Mural Arts calls “a love letter from a guy to a girl, from an artist to his hometown, and from local residents to their neighborhoods.” Another letter now resides on bridges in Syracuse, New York.
Powers brought the concept to Brooklyn in 2011, painting words of the city’s residents on the blocky garage in equally blocky, sign-like text along with collaborators. The mural was splattered across a dilapidated Macy’s store at the behest of Macy’s itself, which commissioned Powers as part of an attempt to revitalize the area.
Now, writes Buffenstein, Macy’s has sold the building in a corporate restructuring plan. The garage has already closed and is scheduled to be torn down this spring. Perhaps the mural’s statement that “I am made to leave. I am made to return” will prove prophetic for Powers’ public art. In the meantime, the artist's fans can view other work by Powers by visiting his installation about Coney Island at the Brooklyn Museum.