RTL Today caught up with Lisi Gehrend, one of the main players behind the massive artwork that now adorns New York City.
Covering 20,000 square feet, the largest mural in the history of New York City has been revealed on the side of City-As-School High School in the West Village.
The mural concept was imagined by students of the City-As-School, and was made possible by project manager and Christie’s Education student, Lisi Gehrend, who raised $19,000 (16,700eur) to fund the project.
Luxembourg-born Gehrend who graduated from the Christie’s Education Master’s programme in Art, Law and Business, had this to say about the experience:
"On my commute from the West Village to Midtown, I always passed a wall which caught my attention: A mural was started but not completed. Since I live across the street, it intrigued me that it was not finished. I contacted the initiator, which is a high school called City-As-School.
The school is an alternative high school with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mos Def and Ad Rock (Beastie Boys) among their alumni.
The mural was started in 2016 by Magda Love, but due to permitting issues, the painting had to be stopped four days after it had begun. In total 25 people from the Department of Education (DOE) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) had to approve the process.
Once the permits were signed, the money was scarce. At the same time as I contacted the school and offered my help in funding the mural in spring of 2018, artist Eduardo Kobra contacted City-As-School, looking for bare walls in New York City to paint during the summer months. Since Kobra is the Guinness record holder for the biggest mural in the world, we were more than happy to take him on board.
I wrote a portfolio of the whole project to find donors who would be interested in supporting the creation of The Biggest Mural in NYC.
At this point I have to highlight that 100% of the donors are Luxembourgish citizens. Once the permits were updated and signed and the funding was successful, Magda Love and Kobra painted during the month of October.
Finally, Al Diaz, alumnus of City-As-School and partner of Jean-Michel Basquiat, tagged their common name SAMO© in the middle section of the wall.
I am proud that the most recent piece by SAMO©, a legend in the street art community, became part of this project, in addition to the two amazing artists for the mural.
At the beginning of November, street artist Cern painted the middle section of the wall, thus completing the project.
Overall, the creation of The Biggest Mural in NYC was a time-consuming and nerve-racking project, but due to amazing team work and a great deal of patience, the project has been a success!"
Instagram account: @thebiggestmuralinnyc