INWOOD — An artist who had his anti-cop mural removed from the wall of a private building by the NYPD was told police need to give permission before he can replace it.
Graffiti artist Alan Ket said the landlord of the Inwood building where his work has been on display for more than five years told him his art now needs to be approved by the NYPD.
“This wall is being censored by the NYPD,” Ket told DNAinfo New York over the phone Wednesday afternoon.
“I told him I found it kind of strange he would feel he needed to get approval or permission or run anything by the police, but he said that he doesn’t want any problems with the police, that the police are a bit threatening,” he added.
Ket’s painting, that called police "murderers," was removed by a pair of plainclothes officers who arrived at the New Edition Cleaners at 4929 Broadway at 11 a.m. Tuesday armed with buckets of black paint, roller brushes and drop cloths.
Art is one of the few ways expressing oneself can be done in an passive manner to be accepted or rejected by the viewer as they see fit. If someone is disturbed by the art it is more likely to promote cognitive stimulation which may eventually lead to a reassessment of those views.
One of the most substantive pieces of art is Picasso's Guernica. This piece was the result of Picasso's witnessing the horror of a Basque village in Spain that was bombed from the air. The impact of the message in that painting is so powerful it was placed in the hall that the U.N. uses to determine whether to engage in military intervention.
How powerful is the message in this art? Before the Iraq war when the Neocons were falsifying justification for invading a sovereign nation the painting was covered prior to the discussion.Art needs to prosper without being repressed. The messages it conveys are too important to cover in black paint.