World Universe Gallery

Last month the HOWL! Festival proposed the question "Is the East Village dead?" and though it still has some life left to it, for some East Village artists it's not all a walk in Tompkins Square Park.

Written By Liberation Iannillo

World Universe Gallery

World Universe Gallery knows first hand what it’s like trying to survive in a part of town where some landlords are less concerned about the neighborhood’s authenticity than they are with building another beige martini bar.

Located on East 12th Street in a former carriage house, World Universe Gallery was founded by Haitian artist Sylvestre Leon in 2003. The four-thousand square foot, two-level space is home to photographs, paintings, furniture and sculptures from around the world including Haiti, Japan and Australia. The gallery is also a hub for various non-profit organizations including African Cultural Center and Music for the Masses.

Root Chair Set

Unfortunately the gallery is now in the middle of a legal battle with the landlord that may leave them out on the streets within a matter of hours. This would be a shame considering in its place could come yet another minimally designed bar / lounge where $10 martinis can be purchased by a fatally hip, bored looking clientele.

Life Sized Teak Wood Motorcycle


Dantor & Freda - 30x40
Sylvestre Leon, mixed media
Shrouded - Kob Thanapat

World Universe Gallery is currently accepting donations to help keep their doors open. For more information, visit

World Universe Gallery
421 East 12th Street, NYC 10009

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