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Skewville's Bushwick Art Park Ready to Launch

"It ain't greener", says

"It ain't greener", says

a street art message

left behind by

Skewville

on a fence on Flushing Ave. The piece was placed right at the topographical boarder between East Williamsburg and Bushwick. Ad Deville of Skewville says that the grass in Bushwick isn't greener than the grass in East Williamsburg. And I confirm. Mainly because there ain’t any…. Yet…

However, Ad, as the master mind behind the idea of Bushwick Art Park, is promising some greener times pretty soon. Ad has been intrigued by an under-used street right behind Factory Fresh, for quite some time now.  On Saturday June 4th, as part of Bushwick Open Studios 2011, Vandervoort Place will be turned into a street-inspired public art park featuring statues of acclaimed Brooklyn artists.

The prototype art park curated by Factory Fresh gallery director Ali Ha, was introduced earlier in May at The Festival of Ideas for the New City StreetFest.

We chatted with Ad Deville about origins of the name ‘Skewville’ and about Bushwick Art Park to be built behind Factory Fresh already this Saturday.  

….hahaha so once again, what does Skewville stand for?

It’s funny that you mention that… If you go to the history section of skewville.org, you will see the house where my brother Droo and I first moved to. It was a crooked building in Queens that we called Skewville, simply because it was crooked.  It was right this color scheme: brigh orange, red, green, kinda bodega style. We collected a lot of toys and vintage items, because we liked that style. When people come down here (note: the basement of Factory Fresh), they see that this place is sort of a replica of the crooked house in Queens. Many items are from there: the clock, the soda, the drawers.

People soon started to say:  “We’re hanging out at Skewville, come to Skewville, …” This is how everyone was referring to the building…. Droo and I both quit our jobs to start our own accessories company with t-shirt, and smoking paraphernalia, and we named the company so Skewville. When we started to make our wooden sneakers and street artwork we would become known as Skewville.

Later, my brother and I split and now he runs a company named Skewville too, and the gallery we had at the Lower East Side was called Skewville too….

Bushwick Art Park is a really interesting concept. Is there a long-term plan to close down the street permanently or is it just a one –time event for Bushwick Open Studios?

The whole initiative is actually to de-map the street and have the city make it a park. The street is barely used and I clean it up on daily basis. There is always just trash, condoms, hypodermic needles, broken bottles… Sometimes during the summer you see kids playing ball against the wall… So we took over that one wall that I know the owner and we cleaned up the block. Actually, for this Bushwick Open Studios it’s just a re-lauch, because we had a party there already. It is an ongoing thing… To promote this area and maybe possibly make it happen….

That would be cool to close it permanently. There are only cars parked now…

Yeah, and a broken window every month, guaranteed. I’ve been collecting that glass, and there’s a pile of it now…

Who is making the art for the Art Park?

Some of the artists that did this for the New Museum project: Leon Reid IV, Specter, Skewville and And Bast, a Brooklyn street art legend, is making a surprise visit… He’s making a giant piñata that is going to be hanging above the street. My brother is installing the actual grass down the entire street that says Keep On Grass. And Veng RWK is painting the entire wall

Who are you hoping the Art Park will attract? Kids? Artists? Or just anyone who wants to come and chill?

It is a way for artists really to express themselves and to have a space devoted for that and obviously families and everyone can be involved. It is a community thing and that’s really what’s great about it! Although it may seem shady from me to try to have a place to paint right in my own backyard (he’s laughting).  The truth is that it’s definitely better than what is there now and obviously it’s going to help to improve the community, so everyone is welcome!!  As long as they don’t throw trash! (he’s laughting)

Just one more question…Who gets to smash Bast’s piñata?

Actually, a gallery is funding the material to make it:  all the eye balls from a doll park. Bast has to call them up when he’s done. If they buy it, he’s going to take it away, but if not everyone’s going to smash it! I am not sure what’s going to be inside of it yet….

 

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