Four Corners takes inspiration from pizza graffiti left on storefront

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A graffiti bandit with a delicious choice of subject matter has shocked the towns of lower Westchester by tagging the fronts of both pizza shops and Italian restaurants with a spray-painted slice of pizza. 

Beginning on April 28, the first two targets were uncovered to be Cosimo & Johnny’s Pizzeria (Eastchester) and Villaggio Pizzeria (Tuckahoe). Following these initial victims, pizza shops in Pelham became the next targets. Both Villaggio and Four Corners Pizzeria were tagged, but owner Joe DelBalzo of Four Corners decided to take a much different approach to this act of vandalism on his storefront. 

Upon the discovery of the graffiti work, DelBalzo took to Facebook to inspire a new community project: “Pizza Art Takeover”.

In this post, he wrote “Calling all Pizza Art Enthusiasts! We woke up to an unexpected graffiti artwork on our store, and while we appreciate the artistic talent, we want to make it clear that this is NOT okay. But instead of dwelling on negativity, we’ve decided to turn this into a positive opportunity for the pizza-loving community!”

This new challenge encourages community members to explore their artistic talents and “express [their] pizza passion” on the pizzeria’s chalkboard.  

“We were thinking that it was better to have the graffiti but do it legally,” said Four Corners Pizzeria’s longtime worker Juan Ruyz. “We don’t want anyone to do it on private property so we’re letting the kids make art on our wall.”

He added that a lot of kids, especially from the high school, have come to make their mark and decorate the chalkboard that hangs inside the pizzeria. 

The chalkboard is now filled with various styles of pizza art, with the words “Pizza Love” written boldly in the center of it all. People and children of all ages are welcomed and encouraged to express themselves and share their art along the wall: this time in a legal way.

As for the graffiti that shines on the front wall of the store, its presence will remain for the moment until the police decide how to handle the artwork.

“They had a good idea with the slice of pizza,” said Ruyz, although he disagrees with the act of vandalism.

The artist was not off with their choice of subject, but the staff of Four Corners and the other affected pizza shops hold a strong stance against the use of illegal artwork on their stores, even if it does match the brand. 

The mystery of the artist behind these pop-up pizza slices remains anonymous, but the art has shown up on various pizza shops and restaurants all throughout lower Westchester. Most of the slices are signed with a simple “S”, while the slice in front of Four Corners is labeled with a “4”.  

The workers of Four Corners have decided to take a surprising and illegal act targeted at their business and channel it into something positive so that the community can bond with one another over the love of pizza that residents of Pelham very clearly share.