michael mut


SideWalks: Measuring 145 feet, the canvas takes its literal dimensions from the sidewalk of the West Village block where I then lived (Waverly Place between 10th and Christopher Streets). On a purely physical level, SideWalks is evidence of NYCity's ability to endure. Its inspiration, however, is highly personal and cathartic.

Employing a bright palette of watercolors on raw canvas (covered, later, with a clear polymer) I set about emblazoning the canvas, one 18-foot section at a time over the course of five months, with messages I needed and wanted to hear -- "Stop the Lies"; "Compassion"; "I Love Me NYC"; "No Lies" -- along with numerous spills and spatters. The piece's message is direct, appealing.

At the same time, an artgoing audience will recognize its reference to similar works of the FLUXUS era -- in particular Lennon and Ono's 'War is Over' billboards created during the Vietnam War in 1969. "I really admire John Lennon. He was often quoted as saying simple things; to me it's the simple things that make the most sense."