Saturday, July 19, 2008
A Conversation with Jim Power, Mosaic Man
"R.I.P. NYC," says the script on tombstone drawn in chalk on the sidewalk outside the Gap on Broadway. "Died of no funding." In larger lettering beneath that "Mosaic Man's Trail" and then "EMPOWERJIMPOWER.com."
Residents of the East Village probably know Jim Power by that more colorful attribution "Mosaic Man." He's responsible for the trail of some 80 mosaic-covered lamp poles covering New York's Lower East Side, East Village, and Greenwich Village. He started decorating them over 20 years and today he's repairing one, which pays homage to police and firemen who served on 9/11. He says he found a photo in a book about the East Village, which is helping him reconstruct some of the details of this particular mosaic. I mentioned to him that he could probably find many photos of his work on Flickr. Yes, he confirmed, he has many photos online.
Mr. Power hopes to raise funds, which would allow him to continue restoring his work across this large swathe of Manhattan. His work is mentioned in guidebooks, but has never been officially recognized by the city.