5 Brooklyn Street Artists You Should Already Know
by Laurie Riihimaki
For years, graffiti artists and muralists have taken over the bleak bricks and gray-cemented buildings of Bushwick and beyond to celebrate the culture of the city while also shedding light on current political, economic, and societal issues – striking on important conversations.
These murals are not only the perfect Instagram-able photo op for tourists and locals alike, but they have also become an artistic movement meant to spread awareness, love, and truth to the community. These unique pieces truly show the power that art can have. And, by bringing it to the sidewalks, it gives everyone a chance to reap the benefits without paying for museum admission.
Here are some of our favorite street-artists bringing more vivid beauty to Brooklyn’s neighborhoods:
Sara Erenthal is a Brooklyn street artist exploring different forms such as painting, sculpting, and performance. Erenthal has a very interesting background, as she ran away from her Jewish-Orthodox home at 17 to escape an arranged marriage. Since then, Erenthal has been traveling with her paint supplies dousing the world with her storytelling projects.
Erenthal enjoys repurposing items she finds on the street and incorporating them into her projects. This Brooklyn local’s murals have been showcased in local, national, and even international street art festivals.
Erenthal’s pieces usually focus on the themes of survival, displacement, and liberation. Her pieces have been featured in top publications such as Vice and The New York Times.
Deedee is a street artist that has been seen around for years. And though her art was plastered all over the city, no one really knew anything about her.
Her mysterious birth into the underground world of street art is what makes Deedee such a popular and trending Brooklyn artist. Well, that and her knack for spreading messages in colors to the dreary walls across the bridge.
Deedee’s approach to letting her art speak for itself continues to this day. In interviews, Deedee will say, “People want to know more about me? Why? Everything about me is in my art.”
Deedee truly is a storyteller as she mixes iconography, pop, rock, and gothic elements. The unique undeniably “Deedee” style keeps onlookers guessing who this rockstar artist really is, while also entertaining them with her mixed media pieces.
James Cochran is not a native Brooklyn artist, but his pieces are featured throughout the neighborhoods.
Cochran is an Australian native and now a dweller of London. His claim-to-fame was his contribution to the underground graffiti movement in Australia during the early 1990s. Since then, he has gained a master’s in visual arts from the University of South Australia. While attending college he focused on his two favorite mediums which were oil-painting and urban realism, or graffiti.
He converged his two academic focuses together to create a dynamic style that is immediately recognizable. He calls is “drip painting” or “scribble paintings”. And, the result is an urban painting created by different layers of colored drips and bold lines that eventually develop into cityscapes or portraits.
You can find one of his most recent portraits in Bushwick at 1 St. Nicholas Ave.
Natasha May Platt
Natasha May Platt is a Brooklyn-based artist and muralist. Her work is displayed in locations both indoors and outdoors including the 100 Gates Project, Java Studios in Greenpoint, and SpringBone Kitchen.
Platt trained with Sabyasachi Mukherjee, a designer in India, where she lived for three years. It is apparent that Platt infused her own art with the textiles, colors, and decorations she encountered there.
Her works usually feature elaborate florals and are inspired by the spirituality and beauty of the natural world. The mood of her pieces is uplifting, connective, and peaceful.
Platt also took her passion to another medium: fashion. She currently works as an embroidery designer with Relievli and is very respected in her field.
Huetek is an original Brooklyn born-and-raised artist making great strides in the urban world of street art. According to his website, his art is dedicated to inspiring the uninspired. And, with his art visible in most areas of NYC and Brooklyn, you can assume that it has.
Huetek is not only a graffitist, but is also a graphic designer, illustrator, and musician. Being a musician himself, Huetek is known for creating street portraits of other musicians who have inspired new sounds and helped form new musical movements.
One of his most notable projects is a portrait of Patti Smith in the East Village, which is where Smith resided in the 70s. The stunning portrait did its job to bring punk back to that area of NYC.
Other portraits of Huetek’s include Mike Tyson, Kurt Cobain, and Hunter S. Thompson.