MYCOOP STORIES: Artist
In MYCOOP Stories, we ask interesting people about themselves and their places. In our latest installment, we talk with Kevin, an artist who lives in Brooklyn.
Where are you from: New York
Where do you live: Bushwick, Brooklyn
What do you do/What is your profession?
Now I am retired, but I used to work in mechanic and carpentry. However, I am still pretty active! The building keeps me busy, the younger people need advice on how to use tools and stuff like that and I work a lot on my art.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your hobby?
I like to make beautiful things. I was always a carpenter but also a kind of story teller. Photography was one way to tell my story, which has been what it is to grow up in the 60’s and to travel across America and China in order to photograph the life of my generation. What I photograph today depends on the project. My current project is photographing panoramas and landscapes of New York city’s skyline. The contrast between Bushwick on the foreground, the city on the background and then the sky, bigger than anything. I am trying to get different pictures every day in order to show how we are interacting with Mother Nature and then I print the picture as big as possible on canvas to make it look like a painting.
What do you like most about where you live?
I have been in this building for two and a half years. What I really like about here is the constant stimulation. There are always young, interesting people and always something going on. It is not like living in a building with other 65 years old people. I also like the fact that I can work on my art in my own place because apartments are big here and we have a lot of space. I can work on my art until 2 am, go to sleep, and keep working on it the next day.
What would you want to improve?
This building used to be a textile factory and I think there is something here I am allergic to. I don’t know if anyone else in the building has the same problem but I have to make a choice: do I want to make my art or do I want to breathe?
How do communicate with your neighbors?
I like to meet people. When someone arrives in the building I say “hello “and see if there is a reaction. If someone doesn’t want to talk that is fine but at least I like to say “Good Morning”. There is a roof on the building and during the evening, it is where I meet my neighbors and have conversations with them. Moreover, the door of my apartment is always open. It give me a nice breeze and people who pass by knock and come in! We also have a Facebook page for the building but a lot of people don’t really comment on it.
Tell us something unusual/unique about your building or your neighbors?
There are few buildings like this one but what is really unique is Bushwick itself. I hope the photographs I will take the next couple of years will express what is going on here: the life, the vibrancy, and the young ideas.
Is there anything you wish you knew before moving in?
It is an old building and nothing is insulated here. During the winter it gets cold! I was able to windproof my window but there are other people in the building who I helped to put window treatments up in order to stay warm during the winter.
What quote would you like to share with the mycoop community?
I am really lucky but the harder I work the luckier I get…
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