Finally! Inside 190 Bowery – First Show, Last Show curated by Vito Schnabel

By on June 10, 2015
 IMG_8691The historic graffitied stoop of 190 Bowery.

Though its ultimate fates are still in flux, much like the transitioning neighborhood, for now the famed mystery mansion of 190 Bowery remains coated in the graffiti that helped make it famous, along with its metal gate and placement on a busy corner on the Bowery.

1. A Peek Inside

Purchased by photographer Jay Meisel in 1966 for the today unbelievably paltry $102,000, due to an inability to maintain the manse, the artist was persuaed to sell the 72-room, 35,617-square-foot building to new owners Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs for $55 million, which should hopefully keep his family warmer during the next winter, as the building had no heat, keeping Meisel, his wife, and daughter, settled in just one section of the massive complex.

julianschnabel Inside the main lobby, Julian Schnabel illuminating the north wall.

The 1898 building, a former Germania Bank, has undergone little transformation in that time, even with artist Roy Lichtenstein renting out the fourth floor for awhile. Except for some paint and floor scuffs, the original marks from the teller booths fully are fully visible and the original safe-deposit vault in the basement.

Mark Grotjahn Untitled (Orange and Yellow Eye Growing Vito Face 45.42 (2014)Mark Grotjahn: Untitled (Orange and Yellow Eye Growing Vito Face 45.42 (2014)

Though the sale of the building had the curious frustrated with a lessened possibility of seeing the place, the current owners chose to host a two-week art show inside the first two floors of the building, lending wall space to Julian Schnable, Harmony Korine, and others, allowing the public, and possible retailers, an opportunity to at least enter the complex.

Harmony Korine Titan Bmhex Chex (2015) : Raceland Fanny Check (2015) : Antioch Mail Chex (2011)Harmony Korine: Titan Bmhex Chex (2015) / Raceland Fanny Check (2015) / Antioch Mail Chex (2011)

Landmarked in 2005, and now undergoing its latest iteration, the building was open by appointment only through May 29 before beginning its transformation. As of now the exterior is still coated in graffiti, a decision to clean the façade of human interaction is also in flux. For now, Night Flight offers a glimpse of just a few the hallowed halls of the Manhattan classic known as 190 Bowery.

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About Shade Rupe

Shade Rupe is the author of Funeral Party 1 and 2, and Dark Stars Rising, a collection of interviews with Divine, Crispin Glover, Gaspar Noe, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Tura Satana, and many more. He produced and directed the live recording of Teller of Penn & Teller’s off-Broadway show Play Dead. He was a featured guest on all three presentations of Bravo’s Scariest Movie Moments alongside Stephen King, John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson, and more. He appears often at international film festivals and is now working on an updated edition of Dark Stars Rising to include new interviews with Norman Reedus, William Friedkin, John Boorman, and more. Visit him at shaderupe.com.