One of the things that I just have to bring up despite it happening in August while we were only posting illegal work is Tristan Eaton‘s portrait of Audrey Hepburn. It was painted last month in New York’s Little Italy as part of The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, a mural program that I help to organize along with Wayne Rada. Tristan painted this piece at Caffe Roma on the corner of Mulberry and Broome.
Ripping away at Hepburn’s flawless Hollywood exterior, Tristan finds a combination of the natural world and hollow advertising. Beneath the makeup and the hairdo, Hepburn is only human, but today we as humans are so surrounded by advertising at every turn that it becomes a part of us. We like Coke better than Pepsi, not because it tastes better but because Coca Cola is a part of our identity. And Hepburn, just like the rest of us, is made up of brands just as much as she is made up of natural elements. For me, the best artists are those who can make something that addresses both the “at a glance” audience who just want to walk by a piece and smile, maybe stop and take a photo if they have a moment, and the audience who search for a deeper meaning and enjoy spending time with an artwork, looking at it as more than just decoration. It’s very difficult to please both of those audiences simultaneously, but Tristan does it with this mural.
Plus, just have a look at the #littleitaly hashtag next time you’re on Instagram. People love photographing this piece.
Photos by Wayne Rada