Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Enrique Grijalva
By Enrique Grijalva

I first discovered A Color Green in Bushwick on a cold Sunday night in February. I had just stepped out of the Body Actualized Center after attending their bi-weekly Tarot Society event. I stood across the street for a moment, admiring the artwork decorating the building facing Body Actualized. That’s when I spotted a peculiar sticker with a crude illustration. At first, I had presumed it was the head of a zombie with its brain exposed, but I would come to realize that it was Mr. Green, A Color Green’s deviant mascot.

The sticker had a caption which read: “Obama is a worse actor than Reagan.” The witty political commentary provoked me to take a picture. Later, I’d upload my finding on my Instagram page, where I’d tag A Color Green’s handle, and just as quickly as the picture was posted, someone running A Color Green’s Instagram account contacted me. They offered to send me some free stickers in the mail.

“Sure, why not?” I thought. “I love stickers!”

A Color Green Obama and Reagan 628x472 Uncensored New York: A Color Green is Spreading Through New York
Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Enrique Grijalva

I proceeded to exchange emails with a person who I assumed was Mr. Green, and as I waited for the arrival of my new batch of stickers, I stayed in contact with him. A few weeks later (and a couple of stickers richer), I met this mysterious figure over coffee and tea at Bushwick’s Express Yourself Barista Bar.

Our common interest in hip hop broke the ice as we spoke about Piñata, a collaborative album with Indiana-based rapper Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, a California-based producer who we both admired.

As the conversation moved from music to art, Mr. Green noted that he was not just a single artist innocuously posting stickers around the city. A Color Green is meant to be an underground movement. More accurately, it’s an independent community forum for filmmakers, musicians, writers, painters, and any other creative types who are looking to cultivate obscure projects.

And while Mr. Green enjoys drawing and posting up stickers around Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, at the core, he considers himself to be an abstract filmmaker and street photographer. If you examine the work, you can note how it is being used as a methodical form of street criticism and a respectful homage to New York.

Mr. Green noted A Color Green’s latest film Milt Retires, in collaboration with One Push Productions, as an example of their ability to dive into the obscure. We follow the film’s protagonist “Milt,” a mid-20s male, shortly after he retires. You might already be asking yourself, ‘How can anyone retire in their mid-20’s? That’s unrealistic.’ However, when you sit and watch the trailer, you realize that a part of you would have retired at that point in your life.

A Color Green Milt Retires 628x353 Uncensored New York: A Color Green is Spreading Through New York
Image courtesy of A Color Green

While A Color Green’s films and art are centered on the obscure, admittedly echoing the work of surrealist director David Lynch, their street photography remains grounded in a quiet reality. You’ll find many photos imprisoning an intimate moment or halcyon sceneries with a black and white filter — Mr. Green’s preferred style.

A Color Green Street Photography 628x441 Uncensored New York: A Color Green is Spreading Through New York
Image courtesy of A Color Green

Recently, A Color Green had the opportunity to do a photo/film collaboration with МИШКА (pronounced: Mishka), a Brooklyn-based clothing brand. A short video is meant to accompany A Color Green’s photos, which capture the МИШКА skateboard crew riding around Brooklyn, and is slated to be released in time for the summer.

A Color Green Mishka Skaters 628x444 Uncensored New York: A Color Green is Spreading Through New York
Image courtesy of A Color Green

Shortly thereafter, you can expect Milt Retires to be making the rounds at local and national film festivals. Best of all, you won’t even have to wait for it or pay much money (if any) to watch it. One of the ways Mr. Green plans on sharing the short film with fans is through VHX, an online distributor for films, television, music and more.

Before Mr. Green and I would head our separate ways, he handed me a new batch of stickers. I quickly sorted through them and I found that the last one was inscribed with a special, thought-provoking jewel that helped free my mind as I traveled back into the superficial jungles of Manhattan.

It read, “Some say cucumbers taste best pickled.”

I don’t agree. But pickled or not, it’s still a color green.

A Color Green Cucumbers and Pickles 628x594 Uncensored New York: A Color Green is Spreading Through New York
Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Enrique Grijalva

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