The Bushwick Collective

By | October 1, 2020

Bushwick is a neighborhood in New York City. It was established in 1638 by the Dutch. However, its population today is mostly Hispanic. Bushwick was one of the most dangerous parts of the city because of the high crime rate. But at the beginning of the 21st century, the neighborhood attracted young creative people because the rents there were affordable in comparison to the real estate prices in Manhattan. Today Bushwick is an art neighborhood. Young artists continue to establish galleries and art studios there. Due to the neighborhood renovation, the crime rate has dropped. As a result, Bushwick has become a tourist destination. Bushwick is rich in historical landmarks. But the biggest attraction is the Bushwick Collective.

The Bushwick Collective


The story begins with Joe Ficalora. Joe was born in 1978 in Bushwick, NYC. Then the neighborhood was not a safe place even during the day. Joe’s father got murdered outside a local subway station. Some years after his mother died of a brain tumor. Joe’s way to deal with the sorrow was to put his efforts into reviving the neighborhood. And this is how the idea of the Bushwick Collective was born. 

What is the Bushwick Collective?

Ficalora founded the Bushwick Collective in 2012. It is an open-air gallery for street art. Bushwick was established in the 17th century as an industrial center. Its streets were gloomy and colorless. Joe Ficalora chose to freshen them up by inviting graffiti artists from all over the world. Their vibrant murals made Bushwick the street art neighborhood of NYC. Subsequently, Bushwick has turned from a dangerous spot into a lively area. 

The art of Bushwick Collective

People can find some of the best works of world-famous graffiti artists in Bushwick. For example, Solus is an Irish artist whose works interpret the personal inner struggle. Ruben Gerardo Ubiera Gonzales is another artist from the Bushwick Collective. He has an innovative technique of painting. Another famous author is the German urban artist Andres Von Chrzanowski. His creations combine photorealism with surrealism.

The Bushwick Collective is not a completed project. All artworks are temporary. Each mural lasts for at least one year. Then it is replaced with a new creation. However, some murals survive a couple of years before being replaced. New murals appear every year. Artists freely choose the themes of their paintings. The only restriction for the artworks is not to be offensive to anyone. Most of the works appear during the annual Bushwick Collective Block Party held in June. 

More on Bushwick’s history – here. Check Central Park, it is gorgeous in fall.