Transforming the Financial District

Eliot Choi
The 69th floor of 4 World Trade Center displays murals and sculptures by over 50 different street artists. The project is headed by curators Doug Smith, Jane Chun Smith and Joshua Geyer in collaboration with Executive in Charge of Production Robert Marcucci.

Over 50 different street artists are on display at 4 World Trade Center on its 69th floor. Rather than fine art hanging on the walls, sculptures and murals occupy this space.

Doug Smith, Jane Chun Smith and Joshua Geyer curated the exhibition with Executive in Charge of Production Robert Marcucci, and they tried creating an environment that incorporated art not typically associated with business offices.

Silverstein Properties Founder and Chairman Larry Silverstein gave Smith and his fellow curators the rare opportunity to overhaul the floor, which overlooks the Hudson and East Rivers.

Ron English, WhIsBe, Stickymonger, Sonni, Chinon Maria and Lauren YS all contributed to this collection, which aimed to bring street-style art into the World Trade Center in a meaningful way.

World Trade Center curators asked the artists to put more thought into their work rather than just decorating the walls with paintings. The elevator doors even feature art installations that coincide with those around them, making the entire floor feel immersed in New York City representations.

Pieces include recycled parking meters turned into microcosms of New York City, murals paying homage to the city’s history and graffiti. Smith said to WSN that he explicitly recruited local artists for the more permanent pieces to evoke familiarity for New Yorkers. A number of murals include depictions of Lady Liberty and tributes to 9/11.

Joe LaPadula and Jenna Krypell’s mural “Beautiful Freedom” depicted the Twin Towers and an American flag to commemorate those who passed and to unify New Yorkers and its observers.

The project is a continuation of efforts to bring the arts into the Financial District. Artists and curators alike have already been sprinkling art across New York City by installing their work in places such as formerly vacant storefronts, beauty salons and storage spaces. This project aims to expand the movement into the Financial District, in hopes of reaching spaces lacking not just art, but street art specifically.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 10 print edition. 

Email Eliot Choi at [email protected] 

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