De Leon embodied the American dream. After racist audio leak, he’s living a political nightmare
Tired of being the “other” to people of color on the street? Then get into the game of urban street art and get noticed by the gallery owners who come to see it.
When it comes to getting noticed, some do it better than others.
While we have this gallery dedicated to the murals of graffiti artist David Roldan, we also have a small display of murals by David Adair, another New York street artist.
These two murals, one of which was covered up by the city, tell different stories. The other, covered by the city, speaks to a much different story, which would have been much more disturbing.
What’s the difference? Well, the first mural depicts a black man. The other was created by someone who was a white man.
“I’m just here to do what I can do as an artist to bring awareness to the situation in this country,” Adair said.
It started when a group of people made their way to the gallery, and they didn’t recognize Adair.
“I walked up to them and just said, ‘It’s me, David.’ And then the next thing I knew I had to turn around to my left,” he said.
So Adair pulled a blanket over his face to hide the fact that he was white.
He was one of several New York street artists who started paying more attention to race issues after hearing tapes of a phone conversation in which Adair made racist comments.
“I’ve been living in New York for about a year and a half and I’ve seen a lot in the past year,” said Adair.
But then the phone conversation was leaked, and it became a much bigger deal than Adair could have imagined.
“I feel like I’ve been blind, and now I know what I need to do. I’m going to take off my blinders and I’m going to really change,” said Adair.
Adair’s mural is on the first floor, near the entrance of the gallery. It’s