Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Strangely New York: Leghead Knows What to Do With the Body

By Mitch Broder

I saw a man with four legs, and two of them were on a skateboard.

The other two were growing out of his head.

Actually, they were growing out of the butt growing out of his head. Of the two likely nicknames for himself, he was wise enough to choose Leghead.

His lower legs were on the skateboard because he’s been skateboarding since he was nine. His upper legs were growing out of his head because he is an artist. He makes art using fiberglass female body parts as his canvas. He sells his works on the street. He is always symmetrically leggy.

He made other kinds of art until about a year ago, when he found discarded mannequins outside the Prada store at Broadway and Prince Street. He did what any of us would do: Take them home and enrobe them in comic-book pages, subway maps, paint, and wheatpaste.

Mysteriously, he discovered that a leg unit fit his head. “I did a collage on it,” he writes on his Web site, “and it was my new hat.” He skates with it, and people photograph him. He told me that it isn’t heavy. He didn’t offer to let me try it on. I was disappointed and yet grateful.

Leghead is usually on Prince, near the scene of his rebirth, along with an alfresco gallery of his creations. His pieces range in price from around $100 for a leg to around $4,000 for a body. Torsos are in the middle.

That makes him high-end. And in that sense, you could say that he’s no different than neighbors like Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and J. Crew.

But Leghead revives the street theater once so common in New York. He’s a character, a breed that seems headed for extinction.

He’s fun to look at. He’s nice to talk to. His art is skillful, if gruesome.

And though he’s expensive, at least Leghead is not another mall chain store.



Have some kicks with Leghead, on the street.


  1., an interesting birthday post you put up there Mr. Broder. Mr. Leghead is certainly an interesting man part of a lost group of street artists. Love the post, as usual! Thanks for sharing!

    On a different note the changes you've made are very nifty. Way to go! Keep it up!

    And btw, Happy Birthday!

  2. A true "Strangely New York" entry if ever there was one! Bravo. Way to go Leghead! I applaud the artist and busker in him. You're right...his is a breed on the verge of extinction in the increasingly sanitized NYC. By the way, could he have found another way to attach the appenditure to his head? Ow.

  3. I'm guessing one big reason he stays outside is because it's DARN tough going through doors!

    ONLY in New York... Thanks, Mitch!

  4. Better he didn't let you try it on. Didn't your mother warn you about never trying on someone's hat you don't know!? And who know where those legs may have been?