Lately I’ve been drawn to the progression of new murals at the Flushing Ave and Forrest Street triangle, where a new restaurant, a brain child of nearby eatery 983 Bushwick’s Living Room, is up and coming in the Fall. So what’s the latest over there? You may have noticed the giant elephant standing tall along the exterior wall, or the birdcages balancing at the triangle’s corner, the silhouette of a woman blowing them a kind kiss. If you peek around the opposite side a high contrast profile tempts you toward what will be the outdoor service counter, joining what once appeared as an abandoned playground with a picturesque new setting.
As the triangle-shaped building at 970 Flushing Avenue is bound for a new establishment in the Fall, owner Darin Rubell has been working with Sean Bono, founder of Art Battles, a pioneer movement of live art events all over NYC and active in France, Spain and Switzerland. Sean created Art Battles in 2001 at age nineteen, for which he now has over 400 participating artists who paint in a form of live combat while the audience votes on a winner.
The new murals we see on the restaurant’s exterior are by Art Battles member Ben Angotti. The high-contrast creations include the giant elephant, which itself contrasts greatly with the delicate and petite birdcages all draw from Ben’s influence of Baroque art and classical Renaissance pieces. From live art battles at Webster Hall’s venue The Wall to Ace Hotel’s Liberty Wall, to group shows curated by Faces Ink at The Sampler and this artist is a must-watch as he makes his illustrative mark here in Bushwick.
Ben Angotti’s hyper-realistic mural of a giant elephant marks the entrance
A quirky juxtaposition between classical and unconventional
The silhouette of a woman blows a kiss to a delicate birdcage – the birdcage was just added last week!
When information about this new restaurant emerged in early July, a name had not yet been chosen but earlier this week Darin filled me in on the designation, and while it’s too soon to tell everyone just yet, it promises to be very fitting of its one-of-a-kind location. Darin invited me inside for a preview of the décor, where a collection of bird cages reign elegance over the dining area. From delicate cages resting upon tabletops to oversized pieces suspending from the ceiling – the character is carried on both inside and out. The atmosphere and décor also promise a nod to the building’s past, keeping true to original items found there, from vintage gumball machines to antique telephones.
A charcoal-like texture draws attention via spray paint
Abstract artist Depoe has been painting this pattern onto the building exterior
The artistic collaboration between Darin Rubell and Art Battles has come alongside the surging tide of fresh street art in the neighborhood. We’ve seen new works just down the block on Vandervoort Place and over on the Tutu’s Wall, as well as the ever-changing murals by The Bushwick Collective all throughout this Summer. They’re keeping us on our toes, which if you walk over to the Flushing and Forrest triangle yourself, you will see are no match to those of the giant elephant standing ground before you.