This afternoon, Caroline and I had lunch at Sea Wolf in Bushwick, at the heart of The Bushwick Collective. Unfortunately, we couldn’t enjoy the meal. We were seated right below the most sexualized painting of Lisa Simpson I’ve ever seen. Lisa is eight. I cannot imagine how The Bushwick Collective or the artist, GIZ, thought this was a good idea. Because the mural is NSFW and potentially triggering, I’ve cropped it in the above photo, but you can scroll down to see the full image.
Chris Tackett was, as far as we know, the first to call out The Bushwick Collective for this mural. He wrote an letter to Sea Wolf and The Bushwick Collective on Instagram:
Lisa Simpson is an eight-year-old child. It seems a bit creepy to have her showing her ass on your wall.
As listed on her Wikipedia page, “Lisa is a vegetarian, a strong environmentalist, a feminist, and a Buddhist. She enjoys many hobbies, including reading and playing the baritone saxophone.” She has been an inspiration to young girls for more than 20 years. A mural showing her doing any of these inspiring things would be far more fitting of your fine establishment. By allowing this to remain on your wall, you insult Lisa and make this precocious youngster into a sexual object. It’s weird.
If I may offer a suggestion, I think it’d be a welcome change to replace this with something less pervy, both for the people of Bushwick that have to look at it every day and also so people don’t feel like creeps when enjoying drinks on your lovely patio this summer.
As a huge fan of @thebushwickcollective, I don’t like complaining about something I love so much. But this one just feels off and worth reconsidering.
PS: I should add that I was there last night sitting at the table to the right. I was with four friends and their two infant girls. We had a great time, but it was that moment of sitting there with 4 of my favorite women that I was inspired to send this note. We were all talking about how weird it was. I’m always a little sad to see #bushwickcollective murals rotate out, but I can’t imagine there is anyone at all that will be bummed to see this one go.
Caroline has a great solution: Buff the mural and replace it with a portrait of a breastfeeding mother. I’ll pay for the paint for Caroline’s mural, if goes up in the next week. I’ve reached out to The Bushwick Collective and made that offer, but haven’t heard back yet.