Still keeping it real on L.E.S._ Chico's message is indelible

Believe it or not, one of New York's most prolific and influential visual artists works for the New York City Housing Authority. On a sweltering August afternoon, Antonio "Chico" Garcia, wearing a paint-splattered blue T-shirt with "Lower East Side" written on it in white letters, sneakers and dark blue painter's pants, was not sitting in an air-conditioned studio studying a canvas. Instead, he was taking a cigarette break outside the Nathan Strauss Houses Community Center on E. 27th St., which,for the moment,is his studio.

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