Stephen Powers’ Iconic Love Letter to Brooklyn Mural To Be Demolished

It has adorned the garage since 2011.

Stephen Powers.
Image: Courtesy of Instagram.

When Macy’s announced its restructuring plan to close 36 stores in the United States this year, few guessed it would have an effect on art. But a parking garage in downtown Brooklyn owned by the retail giant is set to come down, reports DNA Info, which means that the work of street artist and sign mechanic Stephen Powers will come down with it.

Powers’ monumental mural, “Love Letter Brooklyn,” has adorned the Hoyt Street garage since 2011. Most iconic (or at least most Instagram-worthy) is the skyway reading “Euphoria is you for me.” The black-and-white text wraps around the building in what Powers has called a “block-long poem,” which functions as an ode to the borough and the 99-cent stores below.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Powers confirmed the closing of the garage, and thanked fellow artist Dave Chino, mural painters Colossal Media, Macy’s, and Brooklyn “for making [him] the man [he is] today.” In an email to artnet News, Powers declined to comment, writing, “we feel the last word is already on the building.”

The Daily News reports that the real estate behemoth Tishman Speyer offered Macy’s “$170 million in cash” for the buildings, noting that the parking garage may become a residential high-rise. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring.

Community and a sense of home characterize “Love Letter Brooklyn.” The mural’s words were sourced from Powers’ friends (like Chino) and collaborators in Brooklyn, and features a depiction of Brooklynite couple Livingroom Johnston and his wife Katiya with their baby in a stroller.

Powers, who began his career writing graffiti as “ESPO,” creates work that brightens up unexpected spaces, such as “A Love Letter to the City,” a series of minimal, witty, decorative signs hung across New York. The demolition is sure to stir up feelings, since the nature of the work itself is so sweet. But that’s the cycle of public art in the ever-changing urban landscape.

The artist’s work is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, in a show titled  “Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (To A Seagull),” which runs until March 13, 2016.

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