Shepard Fairey Paints Portrait of Rosario Dawson on Water Tower Atop 190 Bowery

Posted on: July 31st, 2019 at 5:06 am by

The graffiti Mecca of the Lower East Side is further legitimized this week with the stroke of Shepard Fairey.

The iconic street artist – currently celebrating thirty years of his Obey Giant brand – hit the rooftop of 190 Bowery to (legally) install his latest piece. Dubbed “Power & Equality,” the water tower paint job champions women’s rights with an enormous portrait of actress and activist Rosario Dawson, who grew up on the Lower East Side, and remains a fierce neighborhood advocate.

Long a graffiti magnet, the Germania Bank Building has certainly reached peak mainstream. This Shepard Fairey treatment is corporate art incarnate – the owner of 190 Bowery along with its office tenant, Great Bowery, commissioned the work, and the city reportedly blessed it.

The mural will remain on display for the next six years. Or until it’s defaced by Fairey’s myriad haters.

Real estate mogul Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty purchased the city landmark over four years ago for $55 million. Photographer Jay Maisel had lived here with his family the prior four decades. The address currently houses the temporary Supreme store on the ground floor, exiled while its headquarters is remodeled.

Tapping Shepard Fairey is somewhat ironic, as Rosen initially attempted to remove the sheath of spray-paint from the facade of 190 Bowery shortly after the acquisition.

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