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NYC Artist Looks to Spice Up the Art World

by Kris Venezia
A A
Statue of Liberty painting.
keith jensen

Manhattan-based Keith Jensen looks to leave art in various parts of the city.

A Manhattan-based artist has a new and creative idea to erase what he says is the stuffy stigma attached to art. 

While standing near Zuccotti Park with a black garbage bag, artist Keith Jensen pulls out one of his original paintings and leans it against a fence. That's when two women rush over, grab the art piece, and leave. This is part of his plan to freshen up the art world. Jensen is placing his work all over New York City for the next year. He says he decided to do this after his hobby started to feel too much like work. 

"After like the sixth request to paint some guy's face and his dog, I was like this is ridiculous. That's not fun for me," he said.

Jensen vows not to sell any pieces for a year, and already has plans for some of his next works. One upcoming project includes a painting of Jay-Z that he will leave in the rapper's home borough of Brooklyn. 

Jensen uses twitter (@paintpenart) to hint where each piece will be left, and attaches a sign that says "If having this art will make your day better, then it's yours." He says he wants to continue making art fun even after this year is over. 

"It's kind of fulfilling, it makes me feel good to hopefully brighten somebody's day even though I don't know who it is. Who knows, maybe there's no end in sight," he said. 

He sketched his entire life, but never really considered himself an artist. Then, in October of 2011, a friend asked him to do a paint job for a jet ski, and after that he started getting more involved with his hobby.   
 
His movement aims to get more people in touch with art in New York City. 
 
"Let's make art fun again," Jensen said. "I'll hide, you can go seek." 
 
His fifth piece will be placed in the city sometime tomorrow. 

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