It was a wild evening at Lot 45 on Thursday, where a couple hundred people were just as voraciously discussing art as they were filling their plates with complimentary food.
Artists and art enthusiast, some from down the street, others from as far and exotic as Marrakech, gathered to celebrate the lead-up to the 7th annual Bushwick Collective Block Party, which is going down on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It’s global appeal is what’s wild to Bushwick Collective founder Joe Ficalora. The launch party was sponsored by Perrier, which teamed up with local artist Juan Travieso to create an homage to the urban landscape for its PerrierxWild campaign. His artwork — a prominently chill lion surrounded by shades of green — was plastered on a truck parked outside; inside, it was projected on a wall and found on canvases, T-Shirts and the sparkling drink’s signature glass bottles.
“Everyone is coming together, doing what they love,” Ficalora said. “We’re all just contributing what we love.”
He looks outside; the lines to get into the warehouse space had yet to wane an hour into the party.
“I can’t get down the fucking street,” he said.
It’s what to be expected for the main event Saturday, a huge — and free — party with an expected crowd of 2,000. There will be live performances all day, with rapper Ja Rule headlining, plus vendors, a beer garden, haircuts, and live street art and graffiti, the core of Bushwick Collective.
As the party picks up in the back room — there was live music all night, including from Biz Markie — one of the artists soaked in the scene from an armchair in the middle of the venue. Mr. Hydde, who hails from Toronto, will most likely finish his piece as the sun begins to set Saturday.
His wall, to the right of AP Cafe, is sprayed in bright green, with other vibrant primary colors layered on top. It’s about looking for answers, he said.
“But the process,” he clarified. “It’s not about actually having the answers.”
This is his second year in the collective, and he recalls when Ficalora found him on Instagram.
“He’s so busy, a little hard to get in touch with,” Mr. Hydde said. “So I kept sending him polite messages: “I’m interested, I’m interested!”
The talent is never lost on Ficarola.
“I’m just in a room of superstars,” he said.