One of Thea Boyer’s favorite hobbies is walking the streets of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, turning former industrial havens into canvasses for magnificent artwork. An avid photographer, she began snapping pictures of graffiti, murals, collages and other artistic expressions that caught her eye. This knack for capturing street art in its natural setting eventually led Boyer to create her own exhibit, now on display at Brouwerij Lane on Greenpoint Avenue.
“I used to take pictures of graffiti. When I moved to Greenpoint I decided to start taking pictures of the neighborhood for myself,” said Boyer. “People seemed to like them so we decided to do a show.”
Boyer and her boyfriend Brian Cange, a filmmaker, are frequent Brouwerij Lane patrons and noticed that the bar often rotated the artwork on its walls. Boyer met with their management and asked if she could do a showing. After reviewing her portfolio, they agreed and two weeks later, her photographs adorned the exposed brick walls of the post-industrial pub. A laminated breakdown of the prices of the photographs rests on the tables inside the bar, with listings as low as $75 and as high as $225, depending on the size of the print. She has already sold several paintings and hopes to sell more before her exhibit ends.
A former Greenwich Village antique store owner and current real estate worker in Woodstock, New York, Boyer moved to Greenpoint a year and a half ago and fell in love with the unusual artwork that lined the streets. She was specifically drawn to collage art and works that portrayed interesting characters, such as her “Cereal Killer” series which portrays dystopian exploits of animated cereal mascots like Capn’ Crunch and Snap, Crackle, and Pop. The mystery behind the origin of some of the works she photographed only added to her intrigue.
“I would like to know a little bit more about the artists. I did this for myself, I didn’t really take any notes, didn’t really investigate any signatures and I would really like to find out more about the people who did them and the stories behind the art.”
Case in point is Boyer’s photo of a painting showing a man wearing a fedora covering his face with his hands, perhaps in fear or embarrassment. This ambiguity sparked a lot of conversation at Brouwerij Lane, with patrons speculating about the subject’s mental state.
“Everybody was commenting on that, they wanted to know the story behind it,” said Boyer. “It meant different things to different people.”
The fact that a lot of the street art she discovers tends to disappear, after a while, adds a layer of mystique to her work, Boyer said. She truly captures a moment in time when the art and environment blend seamlessly. For the exhibit, Boyer sifted through hundreds of her photographs before settling on those that fit a certain theme, and solicited the advice of friends and family who had seen her work. “I just kind of went through and picked out my favorites, and also we had shown a bunch of my photos to friends and family just to get people’s reactions. So I tagged the ones people liked and went from there.”
Boyer plans to put together a book of her work in the future, and is already scouting locations to put together more exhibits. “I have a couple of plans to do more exhibits, more photographs, maybe even sell the book simultaneously,” said Boyer. “I want to get a lot more of the ones I love enlarged, printed and framed, because it’s so hard to choose.
Boyer’s exhibit runs through July 3rd at Brouwerij Lane at 78 Greenpoint Avenue.
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