Adrian Wilson

Adrian Wilson

November 18, 2021

A professional photographer by trade, a witty raconteur by nature, Adrian Wilson, who the New York Post recently crowned ‘NYC’s Banksy’, takes a lexical approach to street art where his play on words, symbols, and names by way of irony and satirical waggery amount to pure genius. Two discarded chairs curbside are spray painted to read “Sonny” and “Chair” (a play on the famed 70’s duo, Sonny & Cher). A tossed mattress found out front of a shuttered restaurant during Covid lockdown is tagged, “Eat Out Sleep In.”  Beloved celebrities get memorialized by way of altering city signage: The 50th Street subway platform becomes “Ruth Street” as an homage to the late Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg; the PRINCE ST station in SoHo is morphed into “PRINCE RIP.”  And after David Bowie’s death, the Bowery Street sign at Houston Street near where the music legend lived was transformed to read, “David Bowery Street.”

But perhaps his most biting and sardonic work, a mural on a gated storefront along the Bowery, is his commentary aimed squarely at Big Tech and the social media monopolies that play on our insecurities, fears, and addictions and that allow the flames of hate, division, and extremism to fester. By utilizing the icons (or fragments thereof) of Facebook, Instagram, Apple, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Google, Mr. Wilson’s riveting and spot-on anagram (with some added text for creative punctuation) allows the viewer to interpret the full scope of his message. As the artist himself addresses on his Instagram account @plannedalism: “These “social” media entities (and more) have all been fucking with you…” A brilliant lampoon-as-art for the age of anti-social discourse. — de la Haba

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