I'm a fan of street art, so yes, I was pissed I didn't find any Banksys to steal (or buy for a song) during his NYC residency. But I have had a Mr. Brainwash run-in/own some of his stuff, once pried a piece of an Invader mosaic from a local bridge, and have found two stunning works by Ty Cummings on the street where they were left for—presumably—me to rescue.
So I was intrigued by the work of Pegasus, which I think merges pop culture icons in ways that are more playful and quirkier than Brainwash's cynical-feeling concoctions. If you're wondering what I mean, look no further than "Strike a Pose," his clever, sweet marriage of Cher, Madonna, Janet Jackson, David Bowie, Elvis Presley...and maybe more:
The ultimate celebrity mixer.
Unlike all of the artists I've mentioned, Pegasus is highly reachable...and reacted favorably to my interview request. What follows is my chat with this emerging artist, whose work is destined to decorate my walls one day...
To most, today is Valentine's Day. To me, today is the first day of Mr. Brainwash's first-ever New York show (and only his second show, period). I first became aware of his work after spotting Spock and other iconic characters and stars (same diff) in Andy Warhol Marilyn hair, then investigated him more fully after his interesting cover for Madonna's Celebration album.
His work is not ground-breaking—to say he's influenced by Warhol, Keith Haring, Shepard Fairey and Banksy is an understatement—but his focus on iconic figures as portrayed with a pure-pop art aesthetic is irresistible for me. I've snapped up a bunch of his works and hope to collect many more.
I dragged my partner, who's putting on a brave smile here.
The artist emerges to pose for the Post. (And his fans.)
The first 300 attendees of his show—Icons, running February 14—March 31 at 415 W. 13th St. here in NYC—were promised free hand-finished screen prints, so I dragged my Valentine and we went with our two pals by cab. We had agreed we'd only be willing to wait two hours in the 32-degree weather, but wound up getting there at noon. As we walked up, we were #109, #110, #111 and #112, which meant we could have afforded to arrive far later. Oh, well, we figured we were safe this way.
Give us our art.
I look sooo bad here (talk about cheeks!), but the original was worse.
The crowd was at LEAST half populated by scalpers who didn't give a shit about his work but had heard you could score a free print worth hundreds just for standing around. The rest of the people were in their 20s, 30s and 40s (mostly) and remarkably unfazed by the long wait. Probably the highlight was when Mr. Brainwash emerged to shake hands with everyone and take pictures with all who asked. He even signed some blank canvasses one bright fan had brought. He couldn't have been nicer, even if the scheme to get us to create a big scene by wrapping a line around the block for his show couldn't have been crueler.
Mr. B escorts us in.
Eventually, we heard the first hundred people were getting a bonus, which sucked because we just missed out. But worse, we weren't allowed in on time for no good reason. An hour late, as my toes began to die for good, he valiantly promised to get everyone in and stood at the door counting us off and patting us on the back as we entered.
Some original works are for sale, but there is no gallery store.