Artist Ed Higgins of the ‘Rivington School’ Celebrates 40 Years on Ludlow Street with New Mural

Posted on: December 12th, 2016 at 5:11 am by

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Photo: Adrian Wilson

The Rivington School underground art collective of the 1980s, and its founders, are now commemorated in a new mural on Ludlow Street.

Ed Higgins III has lived in a Ludlow Street tenement since 1976. Forty years. You’ve probably seen him and his artwork around the neighborhood, but never thought twice about it. Namely, the “wingnut” icon of, you guessed it, a nut with wings.

(The imagery comes from the Midwest slang of a “wingnut,” one who is somewhat off the wall.)

A so-called graduate of the Rivington School of artists, Higgins focused his creative energies on “Mail Art.” Creating hyper-artistic postage stamps for what he called the Doo Da Post.

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Photo: Julie Turley

Of his stamp art, Higgins notes on the website:

It is probably more important to stamp artists to communicate with each other than with the general public. It is to me. But I like to see my work in shows and have people know more about the work of all stamp artists. Some people think it ironic artists’ stamps can’t always get work through the mail. But that’s not their point. Again, the point is art, the communication of ideas.

So, to commemorate the Rivington School, and the art of Higgins, former Inutilius Retailer proprietor Adrian Wilson and the Stanton Social together invited the man to paint a tribute mural on the Ludlow facade of said restaurant. (This wall has been a rotating canvas ever since Adrian Wilson painted his Prince memorial last spring; the lot of 159 Ludlow will eventually sprout a two-story building.) The new stamp art mural – the largest of its kind – includes shout-outs to fellow Rivington School co-founder “Cowboy” Ray Kelly is celebrated on the mural, along with the late Ray Johnson.

It’s also worth mentioning that the piece coincides with the Howl! Gallery’s publication of Rivington School: 80s New York Underground.

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