Since 2011, Jim “Mosaic Man” Power has been fighting the mass pedestrian-friendly reconstruction project at Astor Place and this week, he has once again destroyed one of his signature works in protest, DNAinfo reports.
For three decades, Power adorned New York lampposts with mosaic tile designs, and for several years he had been posting distressed messages on his website as the Manhattan landscape changed to accommodate large and upscale construction projects. On Wednesday, the 67-year-old mobility-scooter bound veteran removed a Bloomberg-themed design with a hammer and chisel, and has vowed to take down all seven of his mosaics by next week.
His destructive frustration stems from uncertainty. The authorities were not able to confirm what will happen to his poles, first telling him that they may be relocated and preserved in Queens during construction, then saying that they might be incorporated into the new design of the plaza, then suggesting that an “artwork in Power’s honor” will be erected at the new Astor Place instead.
“I don’t want no monuments left to me out there,” Power told DNAinfo. “I want nothing.”
The Village Alliance sided with Power often and tried to help him. Their spokesman expressed regret that Power destroyed the lamppost.
Power is planning on creating new mosaic designs around St. Mark’s, using the tiles he chips off the endangered Astor Place lampposts. “I look at this as a recycling process,” he said. “Something better will come out of it.”