The Real Deal New York

Drones added to NYC vandals’ arsenal: VIDEO

Drones are allowing street artists and vandals to reach the city's tallest buildings and billboards

May 02, 2015 11:00AM
By Business Insider


The six-story billboard stands at the Houston-and-Broadway intersection and a drone

You would think that the top of a six-story Calvin Klein ad would be difficult to tag for even the most enterprising of vandals. But not even Kendall Jenner’s innocent face is safe from a drone.

According to a Wired report, graffiti artist KATSU tagged her face on Wednesday night.

Here’s a look at one of the nicest strokes, thanks to a mysterious YouTube video.

Back in January, KATSU drew attention when he showed off a portrait of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg created with his feces.

The billboard features former “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star and Kardashian sister Kendall Jenner. Part of the #mycalvins campaign, the ad went up earlier in April to replace a possibly Photoshopped Justin Bieber.

The Bieber ad got egged. The drone is way more clever.

Given that the six-story billboard stands at the ultra-busy Houston-and-Broadway intersection, the result is pretty epic. Here’s the landscape view:


Drones are most often used to monitor crops, take photos, or shoot missiles.

But here one is joyfully buzzing across a celebrity’s face.

“It turned out surprisingly well,” KATSU told Wired. “It’s exciting to see its first potential use as a device for vandalism.”

The 60-second tag was super tense.

“Seventy percent of the concentration is in maintaining this equilibrium with the two dimensional surface while you are painting,” the artist said.

This is only the beginning of drone-based street art. KATSU explained that the Calvin Klein tag was a proof of concept — he’ll be releasing a more user-friendly version of the graffiti drone “very soon,” he says.