Travelers are getting a chance to check out a hidden gem in New York City’s LaGuardia Airport.
In LGA’s newly renovated Terminal B, just past the LEGO kiosk and next to Sharper Image, you’ll find Bowery Bay Shops where there’s a permanent interactive art installation that uses machine learning to paint your portrait in the style of the 5 Pointz graffiti artist of your choice.
The original 5 Pointz building, a sprawling complex in Long Island City, Queens, became a popular outdoor “aerosol art museum” (think: organized graffiti). It was demolished in 2014 after all the artworks were whitewashed without warning by the building’s owner, G&M Realty.
Litigation that centered on the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) concluded in 2020, when the artists were awarded a total of $6.75 million — $150,000 for each of the 45 works destroyed – plus an additional $2 million to cover the artists’ legal fees.
Patten Studio worked closely with the artists’ curator to render these lost murals in a new digital, interactive format.
Using custom software, guests can create a selfie painted in the style of well-known 5 Pointz graffiti artists including Meres One, Djalouz & Doudoustyleart, Monsieur Plume, Jimmy C and Dustin Spagnola.
The installation celebrates the featured artists’ style on a large scale digital mural wall to bring street art and 5 Pointz history inside the terminal. Travelers can have their portrait taken to become part of a mural and receive a digital image to keep or share on social media using #LoveLGA.
It’s one of three interactive experiences created by Patten Studio to entice passengers to linger in the Bowery Bay Shops. The other two are an interactive LED media wall that makes travelers part of New York’s cityscapes and animated characters celebrating New York’s diversity and culture at the Strand Book Store.