Greenpoint Art Factory Makes Toxic Fumes and Noise for Neighbors

11/17/2011 10:35 AM |

The KB Projects crew working on a Yoshimoto Nara sculpture in Greenpoint. (Courtesy KB Projects)

  • The KB Projects crew working on a Yoshimoto Nara sculpture in Greenpoint. (Courtesy KB Projects)

KB Projects, a Greenpoint-based art fabrication company that specializes in everything from casting and molding to 3D modeling and art restoration, has worked with most contemporary art stars—among them, Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy, Allora & Calzadilla, Yoshimoto Nara, Barbara Kruger, Marcel Dzama, Richard Prince, and Will Ryman. But while the company makes objects that end up in homes of collectors around the world, it’s also producing noise and chemical fumes that are keeping its neighbors indoors.

KB Projects was recently hit with a $560 fine for a noise violation after neighbors of its foundry living on Eagle Street complained that the noise and fumes from the fabrication house were making their lives miserable and making their backyards unusable. The racket and smell was made worse by KB Projects’ rushing to complete an order of giant metal roses that Will Ryman will be exhibiting in Florida soon. That order kept the foundry working throughout Labor Day weekend, when a neighbors’ backyard party had to be moved indoors to avoid breathing in the noxious fumes. But after an October 7 complaint resulted in the first fine, another complaint has not been acted upon.

KB Projects’ owner Konstantin Bojanov—who was traveling when the Brooklyn Paper contacted him for commentary on their story—was the subject of a fascinating New York Times profile in 2006. Meanwhile young Adrian Korin, whose parents’ backyard is right beneath the foundry’s chimney, offered this appraisal of the fabricator’s un-neighborly behavior:

There’s a playhouse, I have lots of toys in my backyard, and I like to play with them but now I can’t. Their vent makes these noises—I can even smell it from inside my house.

A contact at KB Projects tells the Paper the fabricator is working on a new ventilation system; soon young Adrian can play outside again.