Wednesday, August 31, 2005

De La Vega Takes the E.Vil.

First I noticed the folk-artsy chalk drawings on sidewalks around the E.Vil. accompanied by sayings like “Become Your Dream” and
“I Just Bought Real Estate In Your Mind.”
Then I happened to be strolling along St. Marks towards Tompkins Square Park, as I do most every day, and discovered the De La Vega East Village art gallery/shop. T-shirts and post cards -- with philosophy-lite sayings such as, “You are your best investment” -- are sold along side works of art, notably oil paintings. My very brief perusal of his sometimes serious but mostly irreverent works made me think of a life-affirming, minimalist Basquiat. According to his website, James Delavega is a native of Spanish Harlem, was educated at Cornell and has been described by David Gonzalez of the Times as “a hybrid between a street kid and an Ivy League guerrilla performance artist.” The E.Vil. shop hasn’t been open a week, but I’m betting he’ll do quite well here.