reas-mosaic-bench-ortine-2After years of painting graffiti as REAS, then earning recognition for his canvases, graphic design, curating as well as cartoons and puppets on TV, it’s clear that artist Todd James is comfortable experimenting with new mediums. That’s why it wasn’t all that surprising to see this earlier piece planted in the backyard of Ortine Café in Prospect Heights: a mosaic bench, featuring the New York-bred artist’s name and signature naked lady in tile.

According to one of the staff, this first foray into tile work was left behind from when James’ father ran a framing shop out of the space near the corner of Washington Ave and Pacific Street. Now the heavy concrete seat has become a shady spot to enjoy the café coffee and wide-ranging menu.