A Shovel Graveyard and the American Dream on Ludlow Street

Posted on: October 30th, 2019 at 5:04 am by

Photo: Adrian Wilson

More art for the vacant lot at 159 Ludlow Street. This time, it’s a collection of colored shovels arranged to mimic a cemetery.

The headstone of the middle shovel carries the loaded message of “American Dream.” It’s a dual commentary on gentrification and on the billion-dollar indoor amusement park that opened at the Meadowlands this month.

“This graveyard of gentrification symbolizes the downward loss of color and life in historic neighborhoods, in contrast to the concrete cartoon theme park built on a swamp in New Jersey,” artist Adrian Wilson tells us.

CK, a local homeless man who hangs at this spot, epitomizes the dichotomy. He was changing his bandages in the rain yesterday when this photo was snapped. However, he allowed us to use his likeness in the photograph and is a fan of what the message portrayed.

This vacant lot has become an art park of sorts with murals and corporate installations. It was made famous in 2013 by Banksy. The landowner at one point – four years ago – filed paperwork to construct a two-story commercial building here, but eventually put those plans on ice.

Photo: Adrian Wilson

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