Katsu Takes Tagging to New Heights in NYC

At the intersection of Lafayette and Houston in New York City’s SoHo Katsu, graffiti artist and lauded vandal, got up in a way that many would’ve thought was impossible.

Early Wednesday morning, Katsu took to a six-story Calvin Klein billboard with the help of a hacked Phantom drone. Using a technique developed in 2014 for his Drone Paintings series, he continues his experimentation with the new and burgeoning technology.

Drones are no longer taboo and the thought of them being reserved for military surveillance almost seems archaic given how they’ve been adopted for everything from filmmaking to Amazon delivery drops.

Katsu has opened Pandora’s box with his latest efforts. To tag a surface like the billboard on Lafayette would require meticulous planning and brow furrowing execution. You would have to take into account making your way down from the roof and working in a timely manner in order to avoid being spotted by authorities or even garnering too much attention from onlookers. The task would be nearly impossible without running the risk of swift apprehension.

Many have experimented with drones, but Katsu has now taken it a step further and has shown the potential to do some pretty interesting things when it comes to getting up. In 2014 he made humongous strides in creating the first ever “graffiti drone” and now is steadfast in identifying and subsequently expanding on its capabilities.

The resulting tag may not look like much, but it should be perceived as more of the first steps in transforming the way in which artists can fuse the old with the new. Those wanton lines and streaks across the face of Kendall Jenner are more than just scribbles.

Katsu’s latest drone tags represent what the future may hold for graffiti and street art. In addition, it makes a very interesting case for what role technology could possibly play in changing the game.

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