Williamsburg

Katie Merz’s ‘glyphs’ make Williamsburg development a selfie magnet

September 14, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This art wall by Katie Merz can be found at the Ice Cream Factory apartment development in Williamsburg. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

Eye On Real Estate: And other random Billyburg eye candy

Selfie magnet.

Brooklyn-born artist Katie Merz has turned a façade of a Williamsburg residential conversion into a gigantic canvas for mesmerizing pictograms.

She has covered a black, three-story wall of the property at 347 Berry St. with tightly packed drawings of tiny figures and phrases, drawn in white. They are called “glyphs.”

This isn’t graffiti. It’s an art wall Merz was hired to create, which makes the rental-apartment development, which is called the Ice Cream Factory, a visual standout.

The hallucinatory black and white art work stands in stark contrast to silvery-colored cladding on the rest of the façade.

The glyphs are on the S. 5th Street side of the property, right across from the Williamsburg Bridge.

In the brief moments we spent looking at the glyphs on a recent Saturday, a half-dozen other people stopped to pose for selfies in front of them.

By the way, Merz, who has created a fascinating body of work during her decades as an artist, graduated from St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights. She studied art in Florence and is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Fine Art.

The 23-unit apartment building her art wall adorns was constructed by Pilot Real Estate Group and Horrigan Development. The developers converted and enlarged an existing warehouse.

The development site consists of two adjacent properties, 347 Berry St. and 95 S. 5th St., they purchased through an LLC in 2012 for $3.475 million, city Finance Department records indicate.

Citi Habitats New Developments is handling the project’s apartment leasing.

When we checked Citi Habitats’ website the other day, asking rents for available units at the six-floor property ranged from $2,796 per month for a studio to $4,950 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.

Seeing the glyphs reminded us that Billyburg is a neighborhood where there’s always fresh eye candy to photograph.

We’ve included snapshots of some other visually arresting sights in the neighborhood.

 

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