This is the work of ABOVE, who generously joined us in New York for several weeks this summer and created these 14 gate installations.
We learned a lot from working with him. Like how much spraypaint a person can use in a night (50+ cans). How heavy a ladder can be to lug blocks and blocks in 100-degree weather. That a “gate” is actually a “shutter.” About the undeniable helpfulness of iphones and google maps and the limits of the best-laid spreadsheet. That hardware store employees even in the biggest chains can be very kind. That you can’t get your paint without showing your ID. How well chrome covers. How bright it is at 1am on 33rd Street. How compelling it is to watch process in action. That even the straightest-seeming people may have a bit of a history with the tags. How the streets can be savage, which maybe is a
cliche to some but which sure feels right when a couple of thugs try to steal your paint and scare the shit out of you just at the moment when some really beautiful things are finally happening. About the elegance of the flow of a line of paint being sprayed onto a vertical surface. About the frustrating flow of a line sprayed for no good reason. About giving and taking. About showing up and on time to boot. About optimism
and trust and communication. About long hours of hard work when most everyone else is at home asleep to make something for people to wake up to. About the amazing support and community of the street art world. And about the streets that keep communicating who we are.
Find Above’s work in your neighborhood streets… in Chelsea, Times Square, Herald Square, and the Lower East Side.
ABOVE (born 1981) has been creating public art since 1995. Above is an international contemporary street artist who keeps his identity concealed and is known for his multi-layer/full color social and political stencils, spinning wooden “arrow mobile” installations, and large mural “word play” paintings. He started traditional graffiti of tagging freight trains in California in 1995. At the age of 19, he moved to Paris, where he started painting his trademark arrow (pointing above) all around the city. Since then, Above has been traveling consistently around the world doing many large self-financed “tours” with each tour exploring a new medium or style of artworks. Above has installed his street artworks in over 60 cities in more 45 different countries around the world.
Check out Above’s website.
Special thanks to Above’s generous, dedicated, brave, and talented project assistants.
Photographs here and in Flickr gallery courtesy Shea Cote. Process video courtesy Klone Killa — thanks for filming!
We were introduced to Above by Anonymous Gallery.