55 Berry Street between North 10th Street and North 11th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

March 2001

This painting is very close to my house. It’s painted on an old factory building. At the time, a lot of my friends lived and had studios there. Then it was sold for several million dollars, and now everyone has left. It’s currently being renovated, but the renovations are taking a long time.

I painted over a poster. Over time, the poster faded. Now the poster is ripped off and my painting is gone with it. I showed the poster to Brad Downey, who I met because he was making a movie about street art that he put me in. He told me that the poster was an art project, but that he couldn’t remember the artist’s name. I had assumed that it was for a band or something like that. Unfortunately, I look and sound completely ridiculous in the movie, which was called “Public Discourse by Darius and Downey.” But it was entirely my own fault. When Brad and Quenell Jones came to film me they were great, but I was really nervous and it shows.

I made the close-up of this painting into a postcard because it was one of my favorites. It’s based on Carl Rottman’s Taormina with Mt. Etna, which I had also painted onto a traffic-control box where it was almost obliterated by a snowstorm. This was my replacement version.

Some German photographers who were working on a book about women artists and their gardens took a photograph of me in front of this painting for their book. I never saw the book, but I think I must have the smallest garden in it. I would have liked to get a copy for my mother, who is a landscape architect. The painting, along with photographs of paintings number 4, 6 and 24, also ended up in Kelly Burns’s INY, a book of photographs of anonymous street art in New York City. In Kelly’s photograph, the poster has faded entirely to grey. I never met Kelly, but I heard about his book from a friend who saw his photographs of my paintings in it.