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Artist's Work Scales New Heights in NoLIta Ad Campaign

Pratt senior Anthony Morton's self-portrait for the
Pratt senior Anthony Morton's self-portrait for the "Edge of Greatness" campaign.
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By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

NOLITA — A Pratt student is bringing his creative talents from the studio to the street thanks to a public art project aimed at showcasing the work of emerging artists.

A 30-by-16-foot print of Pratt Institute School of Art and Design senior Anthony Morton's colorful self-portrait was unveiled on the side of a Mulberry Street building Tuesday, kicking off a campaign by Edge Shave Gel to "empower men" and promote up-and-coming artists.

Morton, 21, who attends the Greenwich Village art school, said the company offered to donate the wall space to hang one of his pieces after noticing the young artist's work online.

"For me and other artists, it's hard to find gallery space, especially in SoHo," said Morton, whose colorful tableau features him flanked by two women, with the words "Create The Life You Live" overhead.

One of Morton's other works.
One of Morton's other works.
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"I see it as a wonderful opportunity for exposure," he added. "Hopefully others can also see it that way."

Morton spent about four days working on a smaller version of the piece, which Edge then enlarged and installed on the building near Prince Street. The work will remain on the wall through the end of the month.

Morton will spend the summer instructing budding artists at Xmental University, an organization devoted to promoting "hip-hop arts" in urban communities, before graduating with a degree in fine art later this year.

"I hope I can build off of today and continue to go from here," he said, noting that his future plans include launching a clothing line.

For now, though, he is content with his first public work towering over the busy streets below.

"The billboard is enough," Morton added. "That's my reward in the end."