The Hidden Art of Dive Bar Bathrooms
It's been a graffiti-filled fall for New Yorkers. First came Banksy's month-long residency, then disappointment over the destruction of 5Pointz in Queens. Now, the city's graffiti celebration has made it full circle, all the way back to that original spot for urban scrawl: toilet stalls.
Inspired by Ian MacAllen's Tumblr "Toilets of New York," filmmakers Brandon Bloch and Tim Sessler turned their camera on bar bathrooms in Williamsburg and Bushwick. Sessler told the New York Observer that the pair wanted to bring attention to art that's often overlooked in everyday life. “Bathroom graffiti often accumulates layer upon layer, leaving behind a multitude of intermixed colors that provide a visually stunning experience,” he explained.
The filmmakers spent up to two hours cataloging each bathroom, and the resulting short film, Dive Art, is billed as "part bar crawl" and "part gallery walk." That description is in part a reflection of their unusual (and probably pretty fun) process, staging bar crawls for friends rather than hiring extras. “We needed extras, and people to flush the toilet a bunch of times, or wash their hand a bunch of times.... There’s a lot more footage of people drinking that didn’t make the cut," Bloch told the Observer.
Check out the full film below: