Party’s Over: Peter Missing Paints 20-Foot-Long Mural for Lower East Side History Month

Photo: FABnyc

The upside-down martini glass of yore, symbolizing the “party’s over” mantra of the eighties East Village, now has a dedicated mural. Its creator, artist-activist Peter Missing, painted a giant, cycloptic version with frequent collaborator Cyril Mazard at the corner of East Houston and Second Avenue (i.e. First Street Green).

Missing and Mazard began the task last month. Upon completion, the piece, “Current Obstruction,” will span twenty feet of real estate. To celebrate the completion of the mural, Missing will perform a short set on May 21 with his band, the Missing Foundation.

FABnyc commissioned the artwork as part of its FABLES series. It’s timed to coincide with Lower East Side History Month, which kicked off this week.

Photo: FABnyc

From the mailbag:

Missing’s symbol, the upside-down martini glass with three strikes crossed out, is established as the central panel of the piece, with Missing and Mazard taking either side, their painting extending and radiating from the core. The symbol, a declaration that the “Party is Over”, was created in the 80s, amidst a climate of massive commercial development, gentrification, and police brutality — a narrative not unfamiliar to the Lower East Side today. For many, the martini glass acted as both reporter and instigator, a warning of the collapse of civic society, while at the same time, a call to action.

Decades later, this symbol’s reappearance on Houston Street harnesses the weight of history and when placed in the present context, literally right at the intersection of heavy construction and impatient traffic, serves as a reminder that our attentiveness as a community is not something to be lost. Is the party over? Development might be inevitable, but as a community, we must not stay silent in regards to how and by whom our physical, social, and cultural surroundings are shaped!