Graffiti Legend KATSU Accidentally Spray-Paints Paula Cooper Gold While Making Chelsea Mural


In preparation for last night’s opening of “F.A.T. GOLD,” the Lindsay Howard-curated survey of the Free Art and Technology Lab‘s (F.A.T. Lab) first years at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, street artist KATSU spent part of yesterday afternoon spraying the façade of the West 21st Street building with gold paint using his trademark fire extinguisher hack. Yesterday afternoon, you may recall, was also quite windy and some of the paint blew onto the façade of Eyebeam’s neighbor, Paula Cooper Gallery, precipitating the appearance of an unhappy gallery representative who was none too happy with the accidental paint job, an encounter that was captured on video (embedded below).


As you can see above, the effect of the building-spanning KATSU gold spray paint is actually quite pretty — and surprisingly evocative of Paula Cooper Gallery artist Bing Wright‘s work — but also somewhat out of step with the gallery’s muted aesthetic. That seems to have been the response of the gallery representative seen in the video below, too, who immediately deemed the paint spray grounds for repainting the entire Cooper building.

“I saw this guy in a mask pull out a fire extinguisher and suddenly the building was covered in paint,” a witness told Hyperallergic. “A bunch of paint got on the neighboring gallery, Paula Cooper, and someone from their building came out immediately, like, ‘What the fuck?’”

Whatever the outcome, we hope Eyebeam and F.A.T. Lab aren’t made to pay the cost of repainting the entire Paul Cooper building, as such an expense could have a serious impact on the non-profits’ premier programming.

Watch a video of the exchange between KATSU, members of F.A.T. Lab, Eyebeam, and a Paula Cooper staffer:

F.A.T. GOLD” continues at Eyebeam through April 20.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photos by the author.)