It’s been a dark couple of months for New York City as the global pandemic locked down the city. Citizens, forced to stay home, have waited out the days absorbing the sad and depressing news. But it’s often darkest just before dawn, and for Brooklyn-based artist and designer Sho Shibuya (previously), the city’s sunrises offered a means of coping, as well as a silver lining to what was otherwise a terrible situation.

While locked down and feeling overwhelmed in his Brooklyn studio apartment, “I realized that from the small windows of my studio, I could not hear the sounds of honking cars or people shouting,” explains Shibuya, who is the founder of the creative studio Placeholder. “I could hear the birds chirping energetically and sound of wind in the trees, and I looked up and saw the bright sky, beautiful as ever despite the changed world beneath it.”

So the artist decided to photograph each sunrise. He then skilfully recreated it in acrylic paint, on the cover of that day’s New York Times, rendering a beautiful and poetic window; a contrast between the daily chaos and the sky’s serenity. He has been posting the artworks to his Instagram account.

“If one thing the news has made clear, we need generosity and peace for all people now more than ever,” says Shibuya, who hopes these sunrises can also serve as a reminder of the strength and generosity that New Yorkers have shown over the last months.