July 17, By Jason Cohen
A mural for the late Queensbridge rapper Prodigy was unveiled, then defaced, redone and vandalized again in the space of about 10 days.
Now, the plan is to replace it with “community-inspired” art that won’t include a tribute to the famous MC.
The mural was painted July 2 across the street from Queensbridge Houses, on the wall of the Urban Upbound building on 13th Street and 40th Avenue.
The leaders of Urban Upbound, a non-profit organization that provides anti-poverty services, agreed to let artists Jeff Henriquez and Eli Lazare paint a mural of Prodigy. However, a day after it was finished, vandals covered it in white paint and then after it was cleaned, red paint was thrown on it the following day.
Since the incidents, it has been painted solid black.
Urban Upbound CEO and Founder Bishop Mitchell Taylor decided a community-inspired mural would resolve the problem and has launched a GoFundMe page.
His goal is to raise $20,000, with much of it going toward the commissioning of artists to paint the new mural. Some of the funds, however, will be used to replace the organization’s damaged Urban Upbound awning and fix the damaged sidewalk..
“Unfortunately, this location has now turned into a crime scene, with paint splattered all over an awning and the nearby sidewalk,” Taylor said on the GoFundMe page. “Along with these disrespectful crimes and the loss of a beautiful mural honoring Prodigy, our organization’s Queensbridge campus, which serves thousands of community members per year, has been damaged. We’re looking to our community members and supporters to help turn this negative into a positive.”
Prodigy died June 20 due to complications from sickle cell anemia at the age of 42.
The organization plans to honor Prodigy at its 2017 gala on Oct. 25 at City Winery NYC.