Story, photos and video by Sherry Mazzocchi
Teofilo Olivieri judges a book by its cover.
He doesn’t care about what’s inside. He rips out the pages and recycles them. Then he lays the cover flat and transforms it into another work of art.
Olivieri, a Washington Heights artist, has been using books as canvas for more than six years. Book covers are usually made of linen, giving him a finer (and less expensive) surface than typical store-bought canvas.
He makes and sells art on the street, typically between the two A train subway exits on Avenue of the Americas between W. 4th and W. 8th Streets. On the hottest day of the year, Olivieri, 46, brought his studio (a small cart containing a stool, paints and covers) and set up shop along the sidewalk.
About 50 pieces of art were propped along alongside the bank on the corner, turning the sidewalk into a gallery.