What’s the lifespan these days for Roosevelt Island graffiti?

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The lifespan for Roosevelt Island graffiti? short or eternal? Hard to tell, and these example show why.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The varying lifespans of Roosevelt Island graffiti

Midday, a RIOC contractor was busy cleaning the iconic bell in front of Good Shepherd Plaza.

Roosevelt Island Graffiti
©David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

The artist or artists’ work lasted just a few days because RIOC called in help on its first day back at work. Residents report first seeing the freestyle artwork on Saturday.

But there’s another more legitimate artwork defaced years ago and still ignored by the state agency.

RIOC and internationally known New York artist Tom Otterness

© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily.

Tom Otterness contributed three sculptures, The Marriage of Real Estate and Money, to their East River home in 1996. They’re in the water but close to the shore just north of Manhattan Park’s “technicolor” swimming pool.

Tastes vary, but these assert cynical comments about real estate developers. But RIOC, under massive campaign fundraiser Andrew Cuomo, loves them.

There’s no direct evidence that distaste for the content led to leaving the smears intact, although the only other rational excuse, simple neglect, is not a sign of honor either.

It hasn’t got as much love from RIOC as the Good Shepherd bell. I took the above photo in September, 2017, after the graffiti’d been there awhile.

It’s still there.

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