Artist to fix eyesore with kids’ help

The Brooklyn Paper
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The children of DUMBO will help create a massive mural this week to spruce up the ugly corrugated-metal wall on Front Street under the Manhattan Bridge.

Conceived by artist Tattfoo Tan, the 68-foot-long, eight-foot-tall mural, has a simple checkerboard design rooted in fresh food, bright colors and childrens’ imaginations.

Tan will work with 40 students at PS 307 with his “Nature Matching System.”

This is where it gets complicated.

Tan says fresh fruits and vegetables contain pigments that have special disease-fighting nutrients that keep people healthy. Inspired by that idea, Tan will bring fruits and veggies for the kids and ask them to pick out their favorite colors. Each color will then be named for the child who picked it. So if a boy named David likes green apples, that color will become “David’s Green Apple.”

Tan will then “match” those “natural” colors and fill a square on the mural that will be labeled “David’s Green Apple.” Nature Matching System — get it?

“On my business card I call myself a ‘provider’ rather than an ‘artist,’” Tan told The Brooklyn Paper. “I am providing the idea of art to people who want to contribute to the realization of my projects.”

PS 307 Principal Roberta Davenport is pleased that her students will be involved in Tan’s latest project starting this Thursday.

“Art is so important because children at that age have a creative instinct,” Davenport said. “And when they explore that intuition, it excites their minds and inspires them to learn.”

The mural, sponsored by the DUMBO Improvement District and the Department of Transportation, should be up by mid-February.

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Reader Feedback

Friend of DUMBO from Williamsburg says:
There is almost nothing uglier than a community mural... not even a corrugated-metal wall.
Jan. 22, 2008, 5 pm

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