We all have our bucket lists, those things we want to do or complete in our lives. My bucket list is full to the brim with the names of artists that I want to watch in the process of creating their work. Last year at Art Basel in Miami I was able to cross one of those names -Zed1- off the list, so imagine my surprise and delight when I found him working A BLOCK FROM MY HOUSE here in Astoria, Queens, NYC.
From a small town southwest of Florence, Italy, Zed1 was a graphic arts student when he was first introduced to the world of graffiti and street art. For more than twenty years now his work has graced walls worldwide. Zed1 combines a great sense of humor with a dose of surrealism to create characters, each with its own stories to tell.
What does he like about working in New York? Unlike Italy, in New York, everyone can paint. In Italy the gallery is in charge and if you are not a canvas artist you do not get appreciated. “I sometimes work with a gallery, but because I do not have a big production on canvas and I prefer to work on the street, they don’t care too much about me.” He also notes how the scene has changed over the years. “So many young artists are just in it for the money.”
Four months ago he published a book of his work, Tales From the Wall. Out of the 500 copies printed he has already sold more than 300. What makes his book special? It isn’t just a book of photos of his work, he takes the time to explain the history and story behind each wall and what he was trying to say with his painting. “I don’t think there is anyone else who has done this” he states. Every wall is special in Zed1’s world, every character part of his evolving storyline.
The newest just completed in Astoria, "Find Your Inner Energy", calls on each of us to find inside ourselves the energy to grow into something new.
For information on his book and how to purchase a copy: