stay curious

stay curious
Joe Iurato, ”Stay Curious” (2013)

Yesterday on the Lower East Side, I was on my way to meet a friend when this bold stencil piece caught my eye. It was painted on the side of a temporary housing unit (the kind you might see at large construction sites or movie sets) located adjacent to a neighborhood playground, tying-in very appropriately as a site-specific work. I grabbed a quick snapshot and realized later that the tagline was slightly clipped, but the message is, “Stay curious.”

Just as the toddler depicted, pointing in a state of wonder at the silhouetted pigeons, I recall instances of children intrigued by their feathered friends at the park, sometimes running towards them to catch a better glimpse, only to chase them away. The piece reminds and encourages us to take a minute to stop, explore and marvel at the world. Many of us look to movies for an experience or an escape, and quite often, those filmmakers and writers are extracting from or trying to recapture moments they took to immerse themselves in the real-life inspirations they’ve encountered. It’s kind of a symbiosis of life and art. It also reminds me of that infamous line in John Hughes’ classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that I probably needn’t quote. I certainly would have missed out on this if I hadn’t paused.

One of the things I love about street art – whereas galleries and museums have limited operating hours, these kinds of public works are open for all to discover any day, any time. This piece was created by Joe Iurato. You can view more of his work at


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