Here’s Looking at James & Karla Murray’s ‘Mom-and-Pop’ Installation in Seward Park
Acclaimed husband-wife photographers James and Karla Murray last week completed the installation of their Lower East Side mom-and-pop throwback inside Seward Park.
“Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S.” is a large-scale public art installation situated in a garden triangle beside the children’s playground. It consists of an 8-foot-high-by-12-foot-wide-by-8-foot-deep rectangular wood-frame, and includes four nearly-life-size photographs of family-owned businesses, most of which have vanished. Three of the four are gone – Cup & Saucer, Chung’s bodega, and the Superette – leaving just Katz’s Deli.
The Murrays’ project is part of the city’s Art in the Parks UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant Program. A Kickstarter crowdsourcing drive also raised an additional $6,200 (double the initial goal) to help with its construction.
“When viewing the near life-size photographs one can get a visceral sense of the impact of these losses on the community and on those who once depended on the shops that are now gone,” James and Karla Murray noted in the recent Kickstarter pitch. “The installation is an artistic intervention and a plea for recognition of the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses. These neighborhood stores help set the pulse, life, and texture of their communities.”
“Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S.” will remain on display at Seward Park for an entire year – through July 2019.