Stephen Powers, the man behind the fabled 'ESPO’ tag, began working in and around New York City back in 1994. Since then, mural art has evolved greatly. Powers was once arrested during Giuliani’s graffiti crackdown, but since then he’s stuck around. Following his Brooklyn Museum retrospective earlier this year, the artist recently completed a commissioned mural on the side of PS 11. It may sound like an unusual collaboration, but Powers’ old-school style of street art fits like hand-in-glove on the side of one of NYC’s most diverse public schools.
The mural was funded by Riverhead, a publishing house under Penguin Books, to promote their upcoming releases by writers such as Mohsin Hamid, Anne Lamott, Katie Kitamura, and Patricia Lockwood. Powers’ final product features quotes from the different works, echoing his Philadelphia mural for Kurt Vile’s album cover art.
The principal of PS 11 gave Powers full creative control over the piece. In conversations with the artist, he indicated that the school's student body would be engaging in discussion about the “thought-provoking” mural. Catch a timelapse the mural's creation below:
Click here to visit Stephen 'ESPO' Powers' website.