During the 1980s, Manhattan below 14th Street was a vibrant and affordable place to live and make art, a flourishing scene for creative expression. With the city as their stage, artists working there engaged with graffiti culture and street art, photographed their communities of friends and lovers, and produced collaborative forms of sculpture, painting, design, and performance. The rough-hewn streets still bore the traces of New York’s economic collapse in the 1970s, and downtown was fertile ground for art responding to urban blight, Reaganomics, gentrification, and the first wave of the AIDS pandemic. Producing art for public spaces as well as exhibitions in galleries, studios, and nightclubs scattered across the neighborhood, these artists turned their environment into a hub for the integration of art and life.
- MoMA, Floor 2, 202
7 works online