A true storefront artist

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Walking into Greenpoint’s Wash & Dry Laundromat on Meserole Avenue on Wednesday afternoon, customers might have been hard-pressed to notice the art exhibit haunting the back corner.

That’s because an elderly customer had asked owner Elvin Tung to turn off the 13-inch TV propped up on the change machine; she said the four-minute film loop of colorful images undulating and floating over a blue background had made her dizzy.

Everyone’s an art critic these days.

Tung’s store, along with a flower shop and an electronics store nearby, houses one part of a three-part video cycle, “Strands,” created by local artist Dillon de Give. The works pop up in unexpected places — hovering over multicolored piles of laundry bags, in a bank of TVs playing travel shows, sunk in between bromeliads and a Chinese evergreen.

The images — and accompanying soundtrack — are linked to form a past, present and future cycle, said de Give, which crystallizes in the environments in which they are located.

But de Give’s grand vision is lost on most of the storeowners — who “curate” the pieces — and many of their customers, they said.

“I didn’t know what kind of project it is — I still don’t,” said Tung, 50. “But [de Give] is a regular customer, so I had no reason to say no.”

The dry cleaner-cum-curator said most customers either don’t notice the art or wonder aloud about what it is — if not what it represents — though younger customers seem to like it.

That seems to be the case at MTV Super Sound Electronics & Appliances, around the corner on Manhattan Avenue, where a 90-second loop of a disembodied arm setting off New Years’ champagne poppers plays on a standalone flat-screen and on a set in the middle of a bank of TVs for sale.

“There’re young people who’ve come by, but not [locals],” said Peter Szymanski, 26, an employee.

Up the block at Greenpoint Floral Co., owner Nick Giannos, 40, is proud of his place at the end of what he sees as an art “scavenger hunt.”

Giannos, whose store’s video monitor plays a loop featuring a shredded green T-shirt shuddering in the wind, seemed most attuned to what de Give was going for, and de Give said he even offered some suggestions.

Others, like MTV’s Mounir Youssef, were accommodating, if still utterly confused.

“It means something,” Youssef said, throwing his arms up. “But I don’t understand.”

“Strands,” by Dillon de Give, runs through Sept. 10 at Wash & Dry Laundromat (120 Meserole Ave., at Leonard Street); MTV Super Sound Electronics & Appliances (747 Manhattan Ave., between Meserole and Norman avenues); and Greenpoint Floral Co. (703 Manhattan Ave., at Norman Avenue). For information, go to

Updated 4:32 pm, July 9, 2018
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