09 Nov 17
DISTORT: New Jersey City Mural
With his latest and largest mural, DISTORT sets the record on Jersey City straight. Jersey City has recently been called “a suburb of New York City” and the “sixth borough”. Through the support of the Jersey City’s Mural Arts Program and Green Villain, and with the help of Jersey City Summer Works Public Art Program, DISTORT created a piece that visually preserves the spirit and ingenuity that have always made jersey Jersey City one of a kind.
In his mural, DISTORT blends icons of the cityscape with figures of classic mythology, connecting the legend of Theseus’ Minotaur to the contemporary iconography of the financial world. He makes reference to Jersey City as the “Gateway to America”, then reveals it as a portal to a Cretan labyrinth: A city defined by a nervous system of antiquated railroads and secret tunnels.
The landscape that DISTORT depicts encompasses pathways both new and old, overlaid and combined with mind-bending perspective. The viewer sees the Pulaski Skyway from an unusual angle as it recedes into the distance with the historic Bergen Arches deep underneath. Atop a remote hill sits Jersey City Medical Center which, built under the reign of infamous Mayor Hague, is rumored to house the entrance to a hidden tunnel leading to City Hall. After a dizzying journey through local history in vivid hues, the viewer lands in the valley of the Bergen Arches. To the left, a passageway of the iconic 9th Street Path Station stretches into the unknown, an illustration of the distinct industrial architecture of Jersey City. A figure stands at the mouth of a rail tunnel, looking back at the viewer, spray can in hand. Figures of legend loom over him, giants of mythology—the rampaging bull-Minotaur, the hero Theseus, and a decorated soldier flank the mural, their struggles defining the landscape of Jersey City.
Viewed in context, DISTORT’s work renders the heroism of Jersey City residents before the city’s most essential gateway. The mural took 7 weeks to create and is located on the Mecca Trucking Company building, which sits just outside of the Holland Tunnel at 580 Marin Boulevard.
For more information about DISTORT’s latest mural, click here.