Walking to the neighborhood theater last week (to watch Man on Wire a second time, which was even better than the first) we noticed a glut of superselfconscious Williamsburgy hipsters crowded at the corner of Bowery and Houston for what turned out to be an opening. The gallery space is only temporary; it’s eventually going to be a pizza joint. But for now it’s dedicated to the kind of wheat-paste pop-ups you typically see on plywood-covered construction sites and abandoned buildings. The Modesto Kid (our lonesome commentor) had tipped me off to the work on the building’s exterior a couple weeks ago:


The piece, by the French street artist known as “Jr,” announces that much of the show inside — dubbed “The Outsiders” — deals in forms more at home on the street, plastered in the middle of the night when no one’s looking, than in a high-art gallery space, though we shouldn’t miss the fact that we’re talking about a group of street artists here who, as the glitz last week would suggest, have serious gallery representation. (You’ll find another Jr piece currently on 12th St. between 1st and A.)

The show is organized by London’s Lazarides gallery, and it’s a shame they’re not staying longer. (This feels more exciting than anything that’s turned up yet at the New Museum down the street.) For the time being, though, the buzz seems to have generated an outburst of pop ups in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Sun speculated that they may be the work of Lazarides artist Banksy, who’s not in the show but who has done up NY corners before; bloggers have discounted the claim and attribute the work to Mr. BrainWash (MBW) instead, which makes sense, given that his website currently sports the Warhol spray-soupcans that also dot the neighborhood at the moment. My favorite, SuperObama, makes me want to go buy a cordless jigsaw and take one of these babies home:


(Top photo from Lazarides site; bottom one from animalnewyork.com)

“The Outsiders” shows at 282 Bowery through 12 Oct.; the MBW pieces around the neighborhood are already starting to wear after last week’s rain, so see them while you can.