I was in a rush to meet some friends for dinner in the Lower East Side and was stopped in my tracks when I came across some unlikely art—the words "love me" urgently scrawled on the side of a column. The message was simple but poignant. For the rest of the evening, I couldn't stop wondering who had left this sad plea and what had led them to write it?
As I returned to the city over the course of the next few years, I realized that the message was actually street art with a growing presence in the form of tags and stickers throughout the city. The person behind the "love me" movement is Curtis Kulig and New York has heeded his request–his art is now displayed internationally in high-end galleries and his moniker has been licensed by major companies for merchandising.