On the facade of The Springs bar and lounge in Greenpoint, passersby will now be greeted by four larger-than-life creatures illustrated by local artist Brooklyn Buzzy in an effort to inspire happiness and positive change.
The mural was commissioned by Brooklyn-based tequila company Hiatus Tequila and its founder Kristopher DeSoto to bring some much-needed joy to the neighborhood.
After more than two years, The Springs‘ previous mural “Everyday People” by artist Shane Bullock was vandalized. The incident inspired the bar’s owner, Irene Reyes, to partner with Hiatus Tequila to find an artist to help beautify the corner of Green Street and Franklin Avenue.
Following a brief selection process, Reyes and DeSoto decided on Buzzy after receiving a recommendation from Hiatus Tequila’s Creative Director, Suzanne Scott.
Buzzy’s colorful characters are inspired in part by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and sport troll-like feet, golden eyes and scales, and multiple faces to convey the positive side of human emotion.
Reyes and DeSoto’s parameters for the mural were few, but one thing was for certain: they wanted a painting that captured the aesthetic of The Springs but also showcased the bar’s values on inclusion.
“I felt like Buzzy’s work was along those same lines, removing gender, race and age,” said Scott. “It’s just very inclusive and very positive forward thinking. That’s what I liked about it.”
The joint message of forward thinking and positivity is central to the core values of Hiatus Tequila, which aims to eliminate the negative stereotypes associated with the Mexican culture that created tequila and to use its platform for the greater good.
“Part of the brand ethos is supporting the underdog and supporting creatives,” said DeSoto. “We’d like to work with local artists and different communities to try to put some spotlight on them.”
Sponsoring murals is just one way Hiatus Tequila supports the arts, said DeSoto. The brand has an extensive history of hosting art openings, community-wide collage making events, and funding artist residencies abroad.
Buzzy reflected on art’s ability to facilitate catharsis, which ties into Hiatus’s goal to encourage taking a break from everyday stressors, as implied by their name.
“The media is constantly harping on how horrible things are; the end of days,” said Buzzy. “Everything just feels so tragic and hopeless. I just think we should concentrate on having a little bit of fun.”