Colorful horses come to Aqueduct racetrack

The Aqueduct Racetrack was painted over with 14 street artist murals. Credit: Aymann Ismail, ANIMAL
Street artists revamped the Aqueduct Racetrack with murals. Credit: Aymann Ismail/Animal

“Horse racing has been the same for decades. It’s time to shake the tradition up a bit,” says street artist Joe Iurato, standing next to his collaborative mural with artist Logan Hicks at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

It’s a dramatic, photorealistic black-and-white image of horses and their jockeys reaching the finish line, applied immaculately through layers and layers of stencils with spray paint over the course of a few late nights last week.

There are more than a dozen murals splashed across the formerly beige walls, between the terminals and above the betting crowds. The racetrack turns 120 years old next year. The New York Racing Association commissioned the project and recruited Iurato, who brought together an international group of 11 street artists from Brooklyn, New Jersey, South Africa, Australia and more to dress up the place with 14 vibrant, graffiti-influenced tributes to racing.

“Very cool,” says Peter, who has been going to the track for 20 years since coming to New York from Jamaica. “Racing is my game!”

No one here tells us their last names, but Peter says Hicks and Iurato’s piece is his favorite. Others say they liked the close-up horse and jockey portrait sprayed in bright red, black and grey by Los Angeles artist David Flores and the abstract, colorful “A” design covering both sides of the escalator walls by Rubin from Sweden.

“Ten times the upgrade,” says Anijah. “It livens up the place!” said one older gentleman who declined to give his name. He comes to the track four times a week.

“They’re here to bet, not to look at art,” a security guard says. “The art is OK, I guess. I used to write graffiti when I was young.”

The betting crowds by the terminals occasionally erupt in chants and stomps. Tiny mountains of discarded betting forms are beginning to gather on the floor. A pigeon flies through the building.

The Saturday night artist reception is almost unnoticeable in the regular bustle. A DJ table is set up near the entrance, a bit far from the main concourse.

“They’re beautiful. They’re beautiful,” says Miguel, nodding. “I like them because I’m also an artist,” his friend chimes in. Their eyes are locked onto the terminal. Miguel points at the murals, still looking at the screen. “They’re making money and we’re losing money,” he laughs.

For more stories like this visit AnimalNewYork.com.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Music

Caught a Ghost catches a soul/rap vibe

Jesse Nolan says Caught a Ghost's sound aims for two things everybody likes: soul music and '90s rap.

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…