Dutch abstract painter Zedz likes to think of his new work in Erie, Pennsylvania as attempting to create a symbiosis. A former graffiti writer, he says that it is the architecture that has inspired him here, and his draftsman eye may be informed perhaps by Mondrian as well.
A layering of geometries are placed in a diagonal dance across the long walls, at once revealing grids, sharp lines, gradiated shadings, punches of sharply shattered color, and enlarge digitization of black/white shapes – a field pattern of many squares and rectangles.
He says that he has hopes for viewers if you let yourself stare for a while at his piece, perhaps “losing yourself in space and time, becoming part of the architectural plan or in fact becoming a part of the graffiti presented.”
“Zedz seemed to be the perfect artist to visually change ordinary architecture, bring some depth and erase borders between windows and doors,” says curator Iryna Kanishcheva, who organized this project in the Pennsylvania town.
Patrick Fisher has a different take on the project – hiring an artist improves social cohesion and accentuates the value of certain areas of cities: “The vacant lot adjacent to the mural had a history of unfavorable behavior,” says from the organization called Erie Art & Culture.
“After the completion of the mural, overgrown weeds in the lot were cleared, disheveled vehicles were removed, and new lighting was installed,” says Mr. Fisher. “All of this creates a better sightline of the mural, but these additional investments also help make the surrounding area safer.”
Fair enough. Also it’s good to remember that young graffiti artists usually get their creative start painting in marginal parts of the urban landscape exactly like this, and are vilified or criminalized for it. Later, some of them actually get hired to paint murals.