Atlantic Cities
Videos

Street Art of the Day: A Breakdancer Comes Alive After Dark

Just how much work goes into making street art? 

If the artist wants to play with natural shadows, it might take months just to find the right wall. This is the case of street artist ABOVE's latest work called "Timing Is Everything" -- in which a breakdancer stencil magically "activates" after dark. ABOVE spent more than seven months roaming the streets after dark in search for the "perfect shadow."

According to ABOVE, the main reason why "the perfect shadow" was so elusive was "Location, Location, Location." In July, he'd found a shadow in Paris that was “good”, but was "off the beaten path." ABOVE writes, "Even though we live in a world where the vast majority of people receive information and images on their computer screen (like now) or in print, I still am old fashioned and want my art works to be in heavily trafficked areas." Eventually, he turned to a popular area of Shoreditch, London, between a high-traffic road and the Shoreditch Tube station, which tens of thousands of people traversed daily. The shadow he found there was also the perfect height -- not too low, not too tall, therefore convincing. Coupled with the life-size breakdancer, the stenciled scene becomes even more realistic.

As with all of ABOVE’s outdoor stencil pieces, "Timing Is Everything" is illegal, and may be removed sometime in the future. But according to the veteran street artist, the exciting part is exactly the artwork's uncertain future. He writes,

“Each piece has it's own 'lifespan.' Some get cleaned the next day and don't survive. Other can stay for years, even decades. Timing is everything, and time will definitely tell if this piece stays or is cleaned off.”


(h/t Colossal

Jenny Xie is a fellow at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

Join the Discussion