Many people don’t realize it, but Long Island City, located across the East River from Manhattan in the borough of Queens, is host to some amazing art museums – including experimental art museum MoMA PS1, the Sculpture Center, and the Noguchi Museum. There’s also free public art, particularly street art and murals. One of the latest mural projects, curated by Art Org NYC, is known as Top to Bottom.
Top to Bottom is a series of murals by more than 50 artists, painted on the three-story exterior of a building that takes up a city block in Long Island City. If you go, make sure that you walk all the way around the building, looking both high and low – there’s a lot to see! And regardless your taste in art, you are likely to find murals you like, as there is such a variety. (There’s even a poem painted along the top edge of the building!)
Here are some of my favorites. (More photos are available in my Instagram gallery @findingnyc1.) I’ve previously featured a mural by artist Alice Mizrachi at the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, but there’s another one of her murals here. Like her other mural, I found this one both beautiful and compelling.
There are also two wheatpaste murals by artist lmnopi, including this beautiful one titled, “Welcome.” This artist’s work always has so much power, such a strong social message, commenting on themes related to human rights, refugees, child labor, and immigration.
I was also excited to find this mural by Chris “Daze” Ellis. (You may recall, Daze has a major exhibition going on right now at the Museum of the City of New York, which I previously explored here.) This is the first time I’ve seen one of his public art pieces.
There was this graffiti heart mural by Bio TATS Cru.
This one is by Case McLaim.
I love how this mural, by Oksana Propopenko, seems to reference the art deco style of the building’s doors.
And don’t forget to look up! Here are some interesting figures up high on the second and third stories of the building, painted by street artist Cern.
This mural, by WERC, is detailed and vibrant – the more I look at it, the more I notice the small details in this piece.
I loved the colors and personality of this owl mural, perched up high on the building. This one is by Brazilian street artist Binho Ribeiro.
Or how about the details from this cartoon-like mural, painted by Yes2.
Finally, here’s a part of the fabulously detailed mural by Magda Love.
Interested in seeing the Top to Bottom murals yourself? (And you really should!) The building is located at 43-01 21st Street in Long Island City. There are multiple subway stations nearby. You can take the E train to Court Square-23rd Street (the M train also stops at this station on weekdays). Or you can take the 7 train to Court Square or Queensborough Plaza, or the F train to the 21st Street-Queensbridge station. From this area, you will have a great view of the Queensborough Bridge, as well as Silvercup Studios, with its iconic neon sign that is visible from above-ground trains and major roadways.