Graffiti is one art form that plagues most neighborhoods, but in the neighborhood of Woodside the residents seem to embrace it as part of their culture. Some pieces are even sponsored by various associations such as The Kiwanas Club and Woodside on the Move. In this particular neighborhood there are so many that I felt it was necessary to devote a section of the site to them. All of the pieces are located on the inside walls of the LIRR train tracks, which run above ground from 39th Avenue across Woodside Avenue, where there is a LIRR train stop.
These non commissioned pieces were put up by graffiti artists not sponsored by any organization or club. All these pieces are located right on the border of Woodside and Astoria, one block away from Northern Boulevard, the Northeast end of Woodside.
This first piece was located on 38th Avenue and Woodside Avenue, but does not exist anymore. Even though is is a beautiful piece, recently Mayor Bloomberg has been trying to crack down on graffiti in Woodside and in neighboring Sunnyside, so this piece among others has been painted over.
This piece is located between 53rd and 54th Streets on Roosevelt Avenue. In the subculture of graffiti artists there are many different styles that they can create. This piece is what is known as Wild Style, this use define by the arrows placed at the ends of the lettering, and the difficulty in deciphering what it actually says. Arrows are a symbol in graffiti that reflects individuality, movement, and style.
This is piece located under the LIRR tracks on 57th Street and 39th Avenue. This piece would stand in the category of Complex Style. It achieves this rank, which is the highest rank of all, because it does posses the Wild Style and also uses links to connect the letters together, has a glass effect, is recognizable by only the artist, and the colors are blended.
Located also under the LIRR tracks on 57th Street between 38th and 39th Avenues, this piece is almost fifteen feet tall and is made up of 2 different pieces, the one on the bottom spray painted over the face portrait. As you will notice in this piece there are a couple different graffiti styles. First the black lettering located underneath the fire contains a style known as chips, which is recognizable by letters that appear worn, disintegrated, and broken. The colorful piece underneath the black lettering is known as Semi-Wild Style, because even though it contains arrows, blending, and glass effects the letters are still recognizable to other viewers.
This piece is on the same wall as the above, but is located on the 38th Avenue side of the overpass. You can actually see where the overpass dips down to the street on the left hand side of the photo. This piece would fall into the category of Complex Style, because it contains blending, arrows, 3D effects, and only the artists knows what is written. This piece also contains serif, which is recognizable by the elegance of the letters and the interlocking between them. You will also notice to the right of the picture there is white lettering, this is known as the Tag Style, this is the easiest and oldest form of graffiti.
This piece is also located on 57th Street between 38th and 39th Avenues, but when facing north it is on the left hand side of the street.
Also located on 57th Street between 38th and 39th Avenues on the left side of the street when facing North. This piece done by a famous artist, recognized in Manhattan's Lower East Side section, called SEM. This style of the piece on the very top is known as Simple Style, this is because it is very easily read by outsiders, and only contains chips in the lettering. The middle piece, SEM, is known as Semi-Wild Style, because it is easily read but does take some deciphering. Finally, the bottom piece would be categorized as Complex Style, because it is completely unrecognizable, contains blending, posses Serif, and has an electricity effect that ornaments the outside of the piece. As you can see there is a black line through the piece, and this is considered disrespectful to the artist or challenging to the artist.
located on 57th Street on the 38 Avenue side facing South located on the left hand side of the street. This piece would be considered Semi-Wild Style, do to the arrows, blending, and glass effect, that it contains.
Located on 57th Street on the 38th Avenue side facing South, located on the Right hand side of the street. Here we can see the black lines going through the pieces again; and in blue lettering you will see the Tag Style.
In this photo, on the left, you will see two different styles. The top piece is Complex Style; and also contains a star which is rarely seen as stand alone design. The star usually serves the purpose of replacing periods, dotting an i, or replacing an o.
This piece would almost qualify as 3D, because it contains depth, and the inner design is defined only by shading and contains no alphabet letters. But it is known as Complex Style because it does contain traditional outlines, which bind it.
These three pieces, located above, were located on 38th Avenue and Woodside Avenue, but are now gone. The middle photo of the scull reached fifteen feet high and stretched five feet across.
These pieces are located out of the residential areas of Woodside in the business district and are located on the northeast, southwest, and middle of the neighborhood, unlike the non commissioned pieces. These pieces are all sponsored, and or, organized by The Kiwanas club, Woodside on the Move, and the Phun Factory. Sometimes these clubs receive donations from local businesses and in return get their business name added to the piece.
These three photos are part of a piece that stretches one half city block going fifteen feet high. They are located on 58th Street and 39th Avenue. They are part of an environmental theme for this area.
Also part of the environmental theme, this piece takes up one whole city block stretching from 57th Street to 58th Street on 39th Avenue. This piece also contains the sponsors in the piece.
As I spoke about in the intro to the commissioned section in this piece, the sponsors and organizers are all listed. If you were to place a heading on the Environmental pieces contained in this area this piece would be it. It is located on 57th Street and 39th Avenue.
This piece is located on the south end of 58th street between 39th and Roosevelt Avenues.
This scene portrays the block and neighboring block it is located on, 61st Street between Roosevelt and Woodside Avenues. It also contains the signature red Number 7 train that makes three stops within Woodside.
All the above pictures, located in the commissioned section, were created with sponsorship from Woodside on the Move, Phun Factory, and the Kiwanis Club. These are clubs made up of community active residents, who support youth involvement in the arts and culture in their neighborhood. Unlike Woodside on the Move and Phun Factory, The Kiwanis Club is a nation wide club originating in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1915. Phun Factory which no longer active, was started in 1994, and held it's office in Long Island City. They worked with the Lirr, and Amtrak to get permission to use their overpasses as a canvas for their pieces. Woodside on the was founded in the 80's and is located in Woodside, found by Kevin Mahon.