NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A chance sighting on the Upper West Side is bringing attention to an artist whose work was thrown out.

It all started when resident Lily Bilgrey saw a post on the Instagram account “Stooping NYC” showing dozens of paintings left on the street for trash.

She rushed over to 90th between Columbus and Amsterdam to check it out.

Bilgrey tracked down the artist from a postcard attached to a painting. It turns out artist Ralph Serrano left the city due to financial problems and returned to Puerto Rico.

He had to leave the paintings behind because he couldn’t afford to ship them.

“I was just shocked by all of the incredible artwork, so it was, it was exciting,” Bilgrey told CBS2.

“It’s been amazing, and I’m super inspired and I’m just gonna, you know, all these new followers, they’re going to get to see all the new work, and I have to thank them for the inspiration,” Serrano said.

Serrano says he has received donations from people who picked up his work.

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