Sign Language is a solo exhibition by interdisciplinary artist sTo Len who is the 2021-2022 Public Artist in Residence for NYC Sanitation (DSNY), through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ public artist-in-residence program.
During his residency, Len started the Office of In Visibility, an art project that bears witness to the unseen labor of sanitation and its extensive role in New Yorkers’ lives. He has been using this as a platform to research and re-contextualize the department’s archival material from film and video to printmaking and photography. For this exhibition, Len focuses on his work revitalizing an old sanitation screen printing shop in Woodside, Queens that housed hand-printed street signs, trucks, and posters dating from the 1960s.
Reusing the old equipment and leftover designs, sTo Len has created a series of mono prints on paper, aluminum, and wood that remix old DSNY slogans and symbols with his own marbling techniques. The results are bold, messy, and psychedelic updates to the originals with messages that remain relevant and speak to on-going sanitation issues such as illegal dumping and littering.
Hanging alongside Len’s works are original artifacts and ephemera that Len found in the shop, which acknowledge the historical significance of this lesser known workspace and pays homage to the current painters and sign makers that create the sanitation visual language we see today.
77 East 3rd St. NYC
JULY 8 - 30
Opening Reception Sat July 8th 6-9pm