For months now, as I walk to and from the subway on my commute I’ve been forced to face Justin Bieber’s tatted-up biceps on a billboard (which, wasn’t too bad, because even though I’m ashamed to admit this, I’m a total Belieber). But a few weeks ago, the singer’s controversial ad came down in Soho and his model friend (maybe more than that?) Kendall Jenner was erected in his place. An oversized image of the 19-year-old instead assaulted my eyes before they had even fully open in the morning—her impossibly thin body (and just the fact that she’s a Kardashian by association) is enough to put anyone in a bad mood no matter if they woke up on the wrong side of the bed or not.
But overnight, the original pouty face campaign shot was replaced with a less in your face “check out how skinny I am” image. Just assuming it was time for a switch, I didn’t expect to discover that, like me, someone else had dreams of destroying the poster—only this person actually followed through.
In the early hours on Wednesday, street artist Katsu used a drone to spray paint the Calvin Klein Jeans for Opening Ceremony sign. The first wrecking of its kind, it wasn’t novel or playful (a mustache would’ve been funny, right?) it was introductory, just a bunch of red lines defacing her pretty face, yet innovative in its use of technology. But as Katsu explained to Wired, even just getting those marks up there was difficult. “Seventy per cent of the concentration is in maintaining this equilibrium with the two dimensional surface while you are painting,” he explained of the process. “It turned out surprisingly well,” he said. “It’s exciting to see its first potential use as a device for vandalism.”
The illegal act took less than a minute to complete and a similarly short amount of time for Calvin Klein to print out another massive image of Jenner to plaster up on the corner of Houston and Lafayette in downtown Manhattan. Less than 24 hours later, Katsu’s drone work was gone and replaced with a clean but different version of Jenner.
There’s also a stunning Kate Moss placard across the street that makes me feel bad about myself. Katsu, any interest in helping a girl out?