Mars Bar Mural


Ori Carino

With Alphabet City a pale shadow of what it once was, I wonder if anything from the vestiges of the Punk Era can be salvaged by means of fresh needlepoint design ideas.

Specifically, I was thinking about Ori Carino’s famously doomed Mars Bar mural, which was inspired by his experiences, as a child in the 80s, growing up in the neighborhood, when it was a very different place from what it is today.  Carino is a fascinating, young visual artist and street iconographer. You can view his website and bio here.

Imagine his Lower East Side mural as a departure point for a needlepoint canvas… a sort of modern-day Cave of Nightmares, in some ways a version of what Herzog talked about (see my Canvas of Waking Dreams Part II post) in his recent documentary about the prehistoric cave found at Chauvet-Pont D’Arc.

Not by any means the usual subject of a commercial needlepoint canvas, Carino’s vision is of an urban hell of drunkenness and drug addiction and grotesque hallucinations being left behind, or trampled upon, or maybe even saved, by the central image of a young woman — the entire panorama commented on with the enigmatic phrase “And it is all for you.”

Why not have street graffiti suggest a different approach to needlepoint art that is superlasered thematically onto a modern setting?

It might make for one heck of an edgy canvas, or, if not that, at least a rather eclectic conversation piece.

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

Image under


About Erin

Owner of Needlepoint Land, LLC. Professional in the field for more than 15 years, during which I have managed and/or worked with various high-end needlepoint shops. I enjoy teaching both beginners and advanced stitchers, and have created numerous stitch guides, with speciality thread selections, for in-store customers and private clients. I maintain contact with an extensive network of needlepoint vendors, custom artists, and, most importantly, reliable, high-quality finishers. I look forward to hearing your comments on my blog!

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