Curator Jeff Beler has had a busy year. Coming off the massive success of the STEAM mural project, which saw Brooklyn’s PS9 transformed into a colorful art mecca, Beler has revamped his long-running Underhill Walls with a musical touch. For this season, each of the Underhill panels was painted in the style of a different album cover, spanning genres and styles.
“I’ve always wanted to do a music themed mural installation.” Beler explained.
The murals display a wide array of styles, both musically and artistically. From Nas to Coltrane, wheatpaste to airbrush. While some long-time collaborators have returned for this season’s set, Beler made it a point to get a few new artists involved.
Underhill Walls, which began in 2015 with a line-up of Zodiac murals, is typically rotated every 3-6 months and has hosted some of New York’s most talented street artists. The famous corner has been featured in a variety of media outlets, from local news stations to music videos to a cameo in Spike Lee’s Netflix joint, ‘She’s Gotta Have It.’ It was Underhill that helped launched Beler’s curatorial career, and remains a dear part of his oeuvre. With the STEAM project requiring nearly 4 months to complete, Beler was happy to return to his landmark walls and have them painted before the end of the year.
For the future, Beler hopes to get the music industry involved, with potential plans to have record labels sponsor different panels. More than that, Jeff is in the early stages of planning an art takeover of other schools, including BASE (the Brooklyn Academy of Science and Environment) and PS 316. While Beler continues to grind on, the musical murals at Underhill will be here to stay for the next few months.
The Underhill Playlist
In honor of this season’s musical theme, I’ve included songs from each of the albums to accompany the photos. Enjoy!
Artist: Paolo Tolentino
Album: Parallel Lines by Blondie
Selected Track: Heart of Glass
Selected Track: Me, Myself, and I
Selected Track: Bloomdido
Artist: Bianca Romero
Album: Live (1997) by Erykah Badu
Selected Track: Otherside of the Game
Artist: Ralph Serrano
Selected Track: Como Acostumbre
Album: Homogenic by Bjork
Selected Track: Hunter
Album: Love Train by The O’Jays
Selected Track: Love Train
Artist: Marco Santini
Album: Hot Space by Queen
Selected Track: Las Palabras de Amor
Selected Track: People are Strange
Artist: Carlos Pinto
Selected Track: Water No Get Enemy
Artist: Jappy Agoncillo
Selected Track: Fight for your Right (To Party!)
Album: Illmatic by Nas
Selected Track: NY State of Mind
Artist: Lexi Bella
Album: Madonna by Madonna
Selected Track: Lucky Star
Album: Rio by Duran Duran
Selected Track: Rio
Album: 1984 by Van Halen
Selected Track: Hot For Teacher [In my opinion, greatest drum/guitar solo of all time]
Artist: Jeff Henriquez
Album: Blue Train by John Coltrane
Selected Track: I’m Old Fashioned
Album: Mac Miller Memorial Mural [R.I.P.]
Selected Track: Self Care
Bonus Pic/Hidden Track:
Written by T.K. Mills
Photos provided by T.K. Mills
For more by the author, check out his website tkmills.com
For more on Jeff Beler, check out this Sold Mag article I wrote last year about his LGBTQ+ Class – Alpha Workshops: An Outlet for Expression