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Controversial 'Hipster Transplant' Mural in Bushwick to be Taken Down

By Serena Dai | September 23, 2015 12:46pm
 A crochet mural by London Kaye at Bushwick Flea sparked outrage after the property's owner said flea owner Rob Abner never got permission to use the wall.
Bushwick Flea Crochet Mural
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BUSHWICK — A crocheted mural on a wall by the Bushwick Flea market is coming down Wednesday after igniting outrage from locals who said it symbolized "hipster transplant" entitlement.

The mural, a Wes Anderson-inspired piece made of yarn, went up on the wall of 56 Wyckoff Ave. earlier this summer after Bushwick Flea owner Rob Abner let artist London Kaye install it there, without the permission of the property owner.

Will Giron, whose aunt owns the building, wrote a lengthy Facebook post claiming Abner yelled and cursed at him when asked to take the mural down.

The post was widely circulated around in the neighborhood, earning more than 3,500 shares.

Abner said the mural, which is attached to the wall with a light adhesive, will be taken down on Wednesday amid the backlash.

In a Facebook post on Bushwick Flea, Abner said it was a mistake to never ask permission to put the mural up, but he questioned what taking it down would accomplish.

"It's just a shame," Abner said in an interview, after previously denying having yelled at Giron. "It was a nice piece. Now there's going to be an ugly freaking wall again."

Kaye, who said she never realized Abner didn't get permission for the piece, noted that she sent an email to Giron apologizing, and that Giron responded saying his family wanted the piece down by the end of the week.

The 26-year-old artist will be keeping the piece, which took her two months to complete, and hopes to find a way to use it differently in the future.

"If people want it down, if the homeowners want it down, I want to take it down," she said, adding she would remove it herself.

Although many people posted negative comments to Kaye's Facebook and Instagram accounts, calling her "entitled" and "hipster garbage," she's taking it in stride.

"They don't know me at all," said Kaye, who just moved to Bushwick this year, but has been working since the age of 13 to become a professional crochet artist.

Giron, a tenant activist who grew up in Bushwick, said he thought the outrage expanded the conversation around gentrification. His aunt is planning to do work on the side of the building later this fall, requiring the piece to come down, he added.

Giron still thinks Abner "just doesn't get it," noting he thought Bushwick Flea's Facebook post about the mural coming down also sounded entitled.

Maybe now the flea market's owner will ask for permission in the future, Giron said.

"I think he’s learned to respect your neighbors and respect the community that you’re in," he said.