An old, well-known street art artist who has long been a fixture in the city’s downtown has been forced to move out of his apartment after his artwork was vandalized, according to police.
The artist, who is known for his elaborate, colorful murals, was attacked in his Brooklyn apartment in September and October and was found dead on the second floor.
He had been fighting with police for months and had been living in a basement apartment since his eviction from his Brooklyn loft, where he had been painting his work for more than 10 years, said Police Commissioner Charles Hynes.
“He’s been a constant fixture in New Yorkers art world for a long time,” said Hynes, who was not immediately available for comment.
“I think it’s really sad,” said another resident who identified herself as Mr. Hynes’s neighbor.
“This was his studio and it’s been here for years.”
The artist has been working in the neighborhood for years and recently took over his own space on the 1st floor of the building, which was the only one where he could paint his work.
He was a regular at a nearby coffee shop and had made his living painting murals of people and other street art.
The attack was just the latest in a string of vandalism incidents that have rocked the city.
On the morning of October 18, a graffiti tag, a slogan for the Occupy Wall Street movement, was spray-painted on the back of a car.
A month earlier, a mural depicting a white police officer was painted over by a masked vandal, who later was charged with criminal damage.
In April, an abandoned building at a shopping mall on the Upper East Side was spray painted with the words, “Black Lives Matter.”