KEN HIRATSUKA

Born in Shimodate City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, 1959, BA Sculpture, 1982 Musashino University, Tokyo, NYC Street Artist since 1982

 Ken Hiratsuka immigrated to New York City from Japan in 1982.  While most other street artists at that time spray-painted graffiti on building walls and subway cars, Ken found his perfect canvas in the rare granite and bluestone sidewalk slabs scattered throughout the boroughs.  In the middle of the night, Ken would carve this sidewalk stone using only a hand chisel and lump hammer.  In all, he carved nearly forty sidewalks throughout the 1980’s.  He has carved stones in 22 countries including Mongolia, India, Japan, Kenya and Italy among others. His dream is to carve a stone in every country to create the sense of one continuous line across the face of the earth.  In 2008 Ken was commissioned by Goldman Properties at 25 Bond Street to create permanent installations River (100’ x 16’ carved granite sidewalk) and Nike (7’ tall standing granite).  Ken Hiratsuka was one of the founding members of The Rivington School, an underground art movement that emerged on The Lower East Side in 1983. Many Rivington School artists were metal sculptors, performance artists or street painters. The movement was noted for public sculpture installations on the Lower East Side.