history never ceases to repeat itself. things that are taken for granted eventually vanish, only to become revered with nostalgia. this public installation entitled ‘mom & pops of the L.E.S.’ exemplifies this cycle. it was the vision of karla and james murray, who have worked as photographers documenting the changing streetscape of new york. over the years, they have created many beautiful books which illustrate iconic city stores sadly going extinct. 

karla james murray
images courtesy karla & james murray

 

 

the duo constructed a wood-frame sculpture inside seward park, using lumber and plywood as a base for blown-up images of storefronts. these near life-size photographs were printed on dibond — an aluminum composite material that is weather, UV, freeze and heat-resistant. it also has a graffiti-resistant laminate, which will see it through its installation from july 2018 through july 2019, at which point it too — like many mom and pop shops — will vanish from the city.

karla james murray

 

 

the structure stretches 8-foot high x 12-foot wide x 8-foot deep; yet, the materials required to make it — despite its tiny size — were fairly expensive given their resilience. the team received funding from both the NYC park system, uniqlo and the concerned public through kickstarter. now the structure adds a vibrant color to the park, sparking up nostalgia in long time locals and prompting curiosity in tourists. 

 

while it seems inevitable for new york icons to continue to vanish — kept alive only by those who remember — hopefully, this project will encourage locals and tourists alike to support the few remaining mom and pop shops around the city.

karla james murray

karla james murray

karla james murray

karla james murray

karla james murray

karla james murray

 

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