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A victimological tree grows in Brooklyn: Hideous hipster mural attracts race-card activists

September 28, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

What’s worse–crochet “art” on the wall or complaining that it’s “white privilege”?

That’s the question raised in the story of London Kaye, a transplant from Malibu to Brooklyn who glue-gunned a 15-foot-high crochet “mural” to a building in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood that didn’t belong to her. Nor did she or anyone else ask permission from the owner, a Salvadoran lady who happened to live in the building as well. Bushwick is gentrifying, but not fast enough for some Brooklyn hipsters.

Kaye, 25, is a self-described “yarn bomber.” Yarn-bombing, to judge from Kaye’s productions, consists of festooning walls, chain-link fences, subway entrances, and anything else that looks like a public space with amateurish crochet work that looks like antimacasser rejects from your great-grandma’s sofa arms. A female specialty, it’s literally the distaff side of graffiti (a male-dominated metier) and just about as attractive.

Kaye’s 15-foot-high “Moonshine Kingdom,” evidently inspired by Wes Anderson’s 2012 flop, Moonrise Kingdom, depicted a Boy Scoutish-looking boy holding the hands of the twins from The Shining. The building to which Kaye glued it abuts a vacant lot on which Brooklyn resident Rob Abner, a transplant from Queens, runs a flea market. It was Abner who OK’d Kaye’s installation.

Now this was an obvious open-and-shut property-rights matter. You don’t glue-gun your art, no matter how arty and meaningful, onto other people’s property unless they give you the go-ahead. It’s called trespassing.

But enter the Salvadoran lady’s nephew, Will Giron, self-described “tenant advocate” who decided the actual issue was “privilege” and “entitlement.” He launched a Facebook tirade against Abner:

“After Giron spoke with Abner last month about taking it down, Giron said Abner was rude and yelled at him, displaying an attitude common to ‘hipster transplant’ gentrifiers in the neighborhood, according to a lengthy Facebook post Giron wrote about the situation Tuesday.

“Giron claimed Abner also responded by saying ‘we’ve just raised your property value’ and that he threatened to call police on Giron’s aunt for selling Salvadoran food from her front yard, ‘something she’s been doing for years and is well loved in the community for doing,’ the post said.

“‘Now consider the sense of entitlement, privilege, the blatant lack of self awareness, and condescending attitudes towards people of color,” Giron continued in the post. ‘Consider the fact that it’s art when white people put up murals on private property but when we create our own art in Bushwick it’s considered “vandalism.”‘”…

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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