The Wooster Collective talks to Specter about his depictions of the New York City's unheralded workers. Specter is one of the...
The Wooster Collective talks to Specter about his depictions of the New York City's unheralded workers.
Specter is one of the few artists today who is putting up large hand-made pieces in New York. Focusing his art on those the city often ignores, his goal is to bring attention to the people who keep the city "alive." We love the attention to detail Specter's pieces have and how they often look so real that you look twice, thinking they are actual people.
WOOSTER: Why did you choose the specific placement?
SPECTER: The characteristics of certain neighborhoods such as architecture, signage, local businesses, and socio-economic classes are factors in that influence. This particular location was chosen because it draws a parallel between the disappearance of Brooklyn's industrial spaces and its workers, [and comments] on the transformation of these work spaces into residential units.
W: What do you think your piece adds to the community?
S: I feel this work adds a connection to the past for the long-term residents. A nostalgic glimpse of their quickly vanishing community and a homage to the marginalized workforce in our city.
W: What type of reaction did you get from the community?
S: A lot of puzzled expressions!
W: Is there a story about putting it up?
S: I put the work up on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hoshanah. While I was putting up the work, a friend of the owner of the building came up and asked me what I was doing. I said: "Public art." He looked at me and sighed because he knew he could do nothing. Rosh Hashanah is day where you must refrain from work, so he just walked away.
W: Why did you choose the subject matter you did?
S: I often deal with socially marginalized people and places in my work. I felt there are a lot of individuals working very hard but not getting any acknowledgment or proper compensation for their effort. So, in a way, this is how I say I care and thank you for all your hard work.
W: What is inspiring to you now?
S: My creativity is influenced by my environment. I am inspired by people I meet everyday. Their compassion, work ethic, character, and overall openness toward others. Most recently, I am inspired by the ingenuity involved in collecting scrap recyclables and the effort afforded in the search for these discarded items.
To see more work by Specter, visit his website. To see more excellent street art, visit the Wooster Collective site.