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'Super Bushwick World' Map Hits iPhone Cases

 Artist Ken Kocses painted the map of streets near the Morgan and Jefferson L train stops.
Super Mario Bushwick Map
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BUSHWICK —  Lost in Bushwick with an iPhone? Soon you won't even have to turn on your phone — you can glance at the Nintendo-style map if you get a "Super Bushwick World" case.

"Super Bushwick World," a painting that maps out part of Bushwick using Super Mario imagery and kitschy symbols to stand in for actual businesses and buildings, will cover some iPhone cases in a "limited edition" release this fall, the artist Ken Kocses said.

The painting, which Kocses finished this May just before Bushwick Open Studios, includes pixelated pizza to represent Roberta's Pizza, PBR cans to signify bars, and toads to stand in for bodegas.

"I previously had been making fantasy worlds and someone suggested to make something real," Kocses, 30, said of his idea to paint Bushwick. "Bushwick is a playground in some sense. It's such a frontier for a lot of new people."

The painting, which is also now on display at Mama Joy's restaurant in its first major public show (along with other pieces by Kocses), encompasses the area around the Morgan Avenue and Jefferson Street L train stations. The image was used as the blog Bushwick Daily's cover in its Bushwick Open Studios print art guide.

But even with his painting's lighthearted tone, Kocses said he knew the rapid transformation of the neighborhood was a "sensitive" topic, especially for people and shops being displaced.

"In a way this is an artifact already and has become that more as things opened and changed," he said, noting that a few buildings he documented in the map had already been demolished. At the map's top the graffiti "call your mother" is now gone due to the building's demolition, for example.

But mainly, he said, the map "encompasses the fun parts of being young."

"I think this was inevitable," he said of the map.

"Super Bushwick World" and Kocses' other works are on display at Mama Joy's on 1084 Flushing Ave. until Aug. 25. The painting, prints, and cases can be bought through his website.