LNY was in Baltimore recently to check out Open Walls Baltimore (exactly what Caroline and I are doing right now actually). He had quite a time while there and put up a couple of very Baltimore-specific pieces. Here’s what he has to say:
So I got a story to tell you and some pics to share, see I ended up making these drawings in Baltimore by randomly running into this group of urban horseback riders galloping down an East Baltimore neighborhood while visiting Gaia and Nanook. It was Sunday so what would be better than to go on a horse ride right? So I took some pictures and then made some work to later find out that they are part of this old Baltimore tradition of Huckstering, basically going around in a horse drawn cart selling vegetables. These guys are also called Arabs, which comes from the term “street Arab” as in an abandoned kid who roams the slums, and I was lucky enough to find a stable in South West Baltimore where horses are bred and taken care of by the community. All of which blows my mind because these guys were so happy and excited about my posters as I was about meeting them and discovering this otherwise invisible history of a city I am completely alien to. As I was putting the work up I got a lot of feedback from the neighborhood and they read the images in so many different ways that I had never even considered; we talked about resilience, beauty, vision, excellence, dead space, gold, bling and the efforts of Sowebo to rejuvenate the neighborhood from the inside. I feel totally overwhelmed by the way the work was able to engage and be fulfilled by having this conversation with the neighborhood. All of this thanks to Martha Cooper who introduced me to Sowebo and has been constantly engaging and documenting the area, these are her pictures and a lil clip I took of the spot.
Photos by Martha Cooper