BUSHWICK, Brooklyn — It’s a 15-foot crocheted mural of two girls and a boy glued onto the side of a home that borders the edge of the Bushwick Flea Market at the corner of Wycoff and Willoughby Avenues.
Only problem is the Bushwick Flea Market founder never asked the owner of the building for permission to put the mural on some else’s property.
“It’s not necessarily the artwork that’s the problem, “Will Giron, a self-described tenant advocate told PIX11. “He just decided to put it up because he wanted to” he added.
Giron’s aunt bought the building in the 1960s. He sees this mural controversy as yet one more example of gentrification where longtime residents feel pushed out by the newcomers.
It’s a changing neighborhood where trendy coffee shops replace bodegas and studios can go for as much as $1,800 a month.
“They live in a shell,” Giron said, “our art is all that matters. But there’s an entire culture that has longstanding roots here. Show some respect for your neighbors,” Giron added.
But the founder of the flea market says he has always tried to be a good neighbor, operating a flea market that’s as diverse as the neighborhood.
“It didn’t occur to us to ask permission. We thought they were tenants, not owners, “Rob Abner,” the founder said. “Also there was already graffiti on the wall. This was just nice graffiti.”
The flea market founder showed PIX11 the email he sent to the neighbor apologizing for not asking permission first before putting up the mural.
And offering to take it down whenever the neighbor would like.
“It’s totally removable, “Abner said. “I thought we had a good relationship with the neighbors. In Hindsight, I guess it wasn’t.
The nephew/tenant advocate said the wall will be coming down soon to make way for planned renovations to the building.