All photography by Joe Russo
Tavar Zawacki was born in California in 1981 and now makes his home in Berlin. He has been creating public art since 1995, when he first began tagging “ABOVE” graffiti on freight trains. At the age of 19, ABOVE moved to Paris, where he started painting his trademark arrow icon pointing 'above'. Over the past 17 years he has painted artworks in the streets of over 100 cities in 60 different countries around the world. During this period, the artist has become known for several distinct styles of street art, including multi-layer, full color social and political stencils, large text-based painted murals and colorful abstract arrow compositions. ABOVE's stencil and text-based artworks usually have a strong message or awareness about social, political, or international current events, while his abstract works are a visual language of shape, color, and form.
Quin Arts curator DK Johnston commented, “ABOVE has separated from many of his peers in the street art community with a move from figurative expression to geometric abstraction. He’s really one of the only artists in the street art movement speaking with this style of voice.” “What’s more,” Johnston said, referencing the artist’s signature arrow, “he’s always thinking upwards, with an optimism and enthusiasm that resonates.”
ABOVE’s solo exhibition at the Quin featured 36 works of handmade sculptural relief, using acrylic and resin on wood.