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Native American Mural Goes Up at Houston Street Wall

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

EAST VILLAGE — A mural paying tribute to Native American culture went up at the famed Houston Street graffiti wall Thursday, marking the latest artistic iteration to grace the massive canvas.

The piece, a poster entitled "Lakota, North Dakota," is the work of French street artist JR as part of his Inside Out Project, a participatory exhibition that encourages people to paste large-scale black-and-white portraits in public places.

The mural depicts a massive black and white close-up of a person's squinting eyes with paint daubed on the forehead, temples and cheeks.

The new work aims to highlight the Standing Rock and Pineridge Native Reservations, "some of the most important Native American reservations whose impoverished and forgotten communities have suffered unspeakable hardships," according to a statement.

The wall, at the corner of the Bowery, was made famous by pop artist Keith Haring in the '80s and recently became home to host of rotating murals under the guidance of property owner Tony Goldman.

The mural replaces street artist and Haring contemporary Kenny Scharf's spray-painted piece, which went up in November and acted as the backdrop for Chinese artist Liu Bolin's camouflage performance piece this week.

Street artists Shepard Fairey and Barry McGee both completed works for the wall last year.

JR, who remains anonymous, is the recipient of a $100,000 prize from TED, the nonprofit group behind the popular online "TED talks."