In honor of May Day, also know as International Workers’ Day, coming up on Wednesday: images of work and workers from around the borough.
The first couple of examples aren’t street art proper, but I love them anyway. The gears and fasteners at the top of the post aren’t retro, or ironic, or historical: they decorate the walls of a small machine shop on the northern edge of Sunset Park. I choose to believe that one of the workers there – a skilled painter as well as a machinist – suggested festooning the outside walls with images of precision tools and quality products. Here’s another look:
In the same general neighborhood, a publicly-commissioned piece inside the 36 St N/D/R station in Sunset Park pays tribute to the Industry City workers of the 1940s – including these commuters, heading home after a long day of defeating fascism.
A few miles north, along the perimeter of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an extended series of murals titled “Here Goes Something” by the group Groundswell (with an assist from students at P.S. 307) depicts the history of the place and the people who’ve worked there – including this determined group.
And finally – while I don’t know exactly what the artist who created this image had in mind, I see it as a reminder of who made all those magnificent buildings and temples of finance possible – and that this city would crumble away without them.