You've seen his work before, now a New York City street artist is revealing his identity

Kemberly Richardson Image
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Street artist comes forward after works of art around NYC go viral
Watch the video to see more of the artist's most buzzed about tributes in subway stations and around New York City.

LOWER EAST SIDE (WABC) -- The artist behind some of the most buzzed about tributes in subway stations around NYC has come forward.

Adrian Wilson is a street artist who has created art around New York City for years.

Some of the work he is responsible for that you may have seen include tributes to fallen icons like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Prince.

On Tuesday, his canvas was a wall on the Lower East Side that he received permission to tag - but that's not always the case.

"You get somebody looking out for the cops or holding paint or all these different things," he said.

It took teamwork for Wilson to climb a ladder and pull a switch-a-roo on a street sign after David Bowie died.

The 56-year-old professional photographer admits that by doing it, he is technically breaking the law, but:

"Vandalism isn't necessarily destroying things, it can be upsetting things, it can just be a little thorn in the side, it could be a funny joke," he said.

He uses items like stickers that won't damage a surface. He calls the process plannedalism.

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"It takes about four to five hours of planning and ideally you spend the least amount of time sticking it on it because there's less chance of getting caught," Wilson said.

Wilson has been arrested twice, but the charges were dismissed and he's found a way to get his message out without ending up back in a jail cell - because it's not against the law to tag garbage.

His quick wit is on display when and where you would least expect it.

Up until now, he has worked anonymously, but after his tribute to RBG went viral, he figured it was finally time to put a name and face with his images.

"I don't profess to be Leonardo or anything, this is just really being playful, having fun with life and not take life to seriously," he said.

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