The sight of an artist spray painting four metal gates at Essex and Delancey streets elicited a range of responses earlier this week.
Curious pedestrians glanced towards the building as illustrator Shantell Martin drew free-flowing lines and faces at the former Essex Street Market site Wednesday afternoon, while others whipped out their phones and cameras.
“I love it,” said one man as he paused to watch Martin work. “[I] love, love graffiti.”
The piece — a collaboration between Martin and the acclaimed graffiti artist Faust — was the latest installation of the 100 Gates Project, a city-funded effort to create public art on metal gates throughout the neighborhood.
The black-and-white mural, featured the words "New York" in Faust's calligraphic style, which he completed earlier that day. The words were surrounded by Martin's line drawings.
The project has tapped a wide range of artists to decorate more than 70 gates in the neighborhood so far, but Martin and Faust are among its highest-profile participants.
Faust — whose clients have included Nike, Samsung and other brands — has shown his work at the Grand Palais along Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art. Martin, who has a studio in Tribeca, has shown her work at the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image and MoMA.
Both artists also have a large social media following; Faust’s Instagram profile has more than 93,000 followers while Martin has more than 129,000.
One of Martin’s followers, Amy Semple, said she was surprised and delighted to run into the artist after finishing a photoshoot nearby.
“This is crazy!” said Semple, a photographer. “This totally random. This is like those moments where like [you’re] blown away.”