In 1966, famed photographer Jay Maisel spent $102,000 on the run down 190 Bowery, a former NYC bank that dates back to New York’s Gilded Age. And for nearly 50 years, he’s lived in the 6-floor, 35,000-square-foot, 72-room building with his wife and daughter.
The building was recently sold to developer Aby Rosen, who is planning to use it for office space, and quickly painted over its iconic graffiti. “The building is in terrible shape. There’s no heat, Jay lives in just a small area of the building, another winter is coming, and it was time,” Rosen told The New York Times in February. But before its residential qualities disappear, the public is going to get a peek inside a building which has reached mythical status amongst New Yorkers.
On Saturday May 16, from 5 to 8 p.m., Rosen and curator Vito Schnabel are hosting the opening party for First Show/Last Show, which will feature paintings from artists Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Jeff Elrod, Ron Gorchov, Mark Grotjahn, Harmony Korine, and Julian Schnabel.
The party will be the first public event since Maisel bought 190 Bowery.
“I grew up in New York City, walking by the former Germania Bank countless times,” Schnabel wrote in the invitation. “I always wanted to go inside, thinking it might be a perfect place for an exhibition.”
Additional reporting by Carey Dunne.