Press Release: Artist Richard Haas’s Iconic SoHo Mural Being Repainted at 112 Prince Street

Artist Richard Haas’s Iconic SoHo Mural Being Repainted at 112 Prince Street

NEW YORK, NY, October 21, 2023 — For the first time in over 4 decades, artist Richard Haas’s landmark 112 Prince Street mural will be restored, with muralist Robin Alcantara tapped to take on the role. Haas created his first outdoor mural in 1974 on the side of a 75-foot wide, five-story high building on the corner of Prince and Greene streets. The mural was, as Haas describes, “a catalyst that led to the creation of over 100 of his interior and exterior murals throughout the world.” In a 1989 New York Times review of his public art, architecture critic Paul Goldberger called Mr. Haas “the great architectural muralist of our time.”

The trompe l’oeil mural originally mirrored the cast-iron facade on the 19th-century building that today stands on top of and is surrounded by some of SoHo’s most expensive retail stores. Almost half a century later, only a shadow of Haas’s original mural was still visible due to decay caused by weather, and a portion covered by street art and graffiti.

Robin Alcantara is leading a team of artists who are completely repainting the mural from scratch. The design consists of 55 windows that measure 3.75 by 5 feet, and four gallons of paint are required for each floor.

The true-to-size piece will be a replica of the 1974 painting done by Haas, including one cat, that belonged to a longtime tenant that appeared in the original version. The changes to the new mural will be the addition of a rescue dog from Aleppo, Syria who currently resides in one of the six apartments at 112 Prince Street, and a second cat.

Alcantara describes the project as “a long time coming” for both him and Mr. Haas. “I feel super grateful for the opportunity to do something for the city. This is Richard Haas’s legacy.”

Born in 1936, Richard Haas has made a successful career as a pioneering muralist. He has reshaped the urban landscape with transformative artwork blurring the line between reality and illusion. Haas’s signature trompe-l’oeil style, exemplified by iconic murals across New York, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, and Munich, Germany, to name a few, has earned him national acclaim and inspired a new generation of artists, including Alcantara. A few of Richard Haas’s notable awards and accolades include a Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects, the Isidore Konti award, the Clinedinst Award, the Jimmy Ernst Award, the Doris C. Freedman Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Abbey Mural fund, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Haas’s art works have been featured in exhibitions at esteemed museums and galleries including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Museum, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Robin Alcantara, founder of Blazay LLC, is a 30-year-old artist and muralist from Yonkers, NY. After earning his degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Alcantara honed in on his craft of hand-painting large-scale murals nationally while working at the award-winning Colossal Media. From 2015-2020, Alcantara served as an expert painter for Colossal working on campaigns for international brands including Adidas, Doyle Dane Bernbach, HBO, and Gucci.

In 2020, Robin Alcantara established Blazay LLC and has since focused on crowd-funded projects highlighting current events, local heroes and legends, and other private commissions. The muralist was introduced to Haas, who lives in Yonkers, NY with his wife, through CITYArts, a nonprofit arts organization. Alcantara’s work with CITYArts began in 2021 after he gained local media attention for a Yonkers mural which he referred to as a “love letter to the unsung essential workers.”

The restoration fundraising conducted by Richard Haas and Katherine Sokolnikoff with CITYArts as their fiscal sponsor has raised sufficient funds for the project with the extraordinary support of Two Trees Management, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Silverweed Foundation, Agnes Gund, and 70 additional supporters.

The 2023 repainting of Haas’s mural is in honor of the late Doris C. Freedman, the first Director of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, President of City Walls and Founder of the Public Art Fund, who originally contracted Haas’s mural to be painted in 1974. The project is supported by Manhattan Borough President Marc Levine, and Christopher Marte, City Council Member.

Painting at 112 Prince Street is currently taking place Monday-Friday, weather permitting, until November 1.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACT: Nora Hogan | MEDIA KIT Photo & Video credit: Nora Hogan/Blazay SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram: @blazayny TikTok: @blazay_ny Website: RELEVANT PRESS: New York Times – September 2023