L at First Ave.; 6 at Astor Pl.
This venue is closed.
Spanish Harlem painter, photographer, and philosopher James De La Vega’s colorful St. Marks store is filled with his simple, poignant artwork. The Cornell-educated artist and former teacher has been featured in a number of major magazines. His small drawings and paintings cover an entire wall, floor-to-ceiling, and shoppers can purchase reproductions, as well as coffee mugs, T-shirts, notebooks, and stickers bearing his signature designs. The items are printed with straightforward and often motivational phrases—“Become your dream,” “Believe in yourself and stop trying to convince others,” “The pressure of survival in the big city will make you lose sight of your dream… Hang in there,”—and each is written in De la Vega’s unmistakable scrawl. The script might look familiar to longtime New Yorkers—De La Vega’s murals and chalk-art creations have permeated the city since the early nineties.