Taylor Swift's pro-bono work as New York City's Global Welcome Ambassador has her promoting the city to the masses, leading newcomers to discover places like SoHo and the West Village. While tourists may feel as though Swift has led them to all the right places via a trail of tiny cupcakes, locals see her as the symbol of, well, a place that David Byrne recently criticized for being "usurped by the top 1 percent." Stop making sense with your appointments, NYC & Co.
Last night, before returning to his new home state of Florida, graffiti legend Antonio Garcia (better known as Chico) painted a mural regarding all of the above, on a gate at 37 Orchard Street. According to Bowery Boogie, "The new mural—sprayed onto the exterior of La Petite Mort—skewers Taylor Swift and her role as Global Welcome Ambassador for New York City. 'RIP Taylor Swift,' reads the artwork, surrounded by hearts and the city skyline. A commentary on the death of the city."
The boutique commissioned the work, and released this statement:
"We here at LPM have nothing but love for Taylor Swift. Rather, our comment is on the whitewashing and gentrification of New York. While we realize and appreciate that New York is ever changing, when a starving artist once representative of the New York spirit is replaced by the modern 19 million dollar condo owner who drinks lattes we have to shake our heads.
We worked with a true NY graffiti legend (Chico LES) to paint our take on the situation. Chico got his start painting memorial murals in the lower east side in the 80’s. While Taylor Swift is alive and well, and we wish her no harm, she did kill off yet another piece of that broken New York spirit. The idea of her being our spokesperson is DEAD and we expressed that through a true NY artist. RIP TAYLOR SWIFT."
Shouldn't it be "RIP NYC"? Anyway, La Petite Mort opened last year and sells $155 vintage Run DMC t-shirts.