A daring graffiti artist pulled off a tag for the ages at New York’s New Museum on Wednesday, spraying the name “Acer” on the third story of the Bowery building.
The anonymous artist does not appear to have any social media presence, but there are a growing number of posts on Instagram showing his or her work under the hashtag #acer444.
Photos show work by the artist in Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland, before more recent tags in New York.
“I don’t know anything about them, other than their work only recently started popping up in New York,” Luna Park, a photographer and graffiti artist who rushed to document the piece on Thursday, told Artnet News on Instagram. “They painted some highly visible spots—the kind that make you sit up and take notice.”
The mysterious Acer appears to be a master of tagging prominent yet hard-to-reach spots–or “getting up,” as it is known in the graffiti community.
News of the audacious artwork was first reported by Bowery Boogie, with more in-depth reporting by Hyperallergic. How the artist managed to evade New Museum security to access the premises and create such a large piece in such precarious location remains a mystery.
The New Museum did not respond to inquiries from Artnet News, but the institution seems less-than appreciative of the latest addition to its facade, which is clad in an anodized expanded aluminum mesh.
By Thursday morning, when Park arrived on the scene to photograph the piece, workers were struggling to buff off the black lettering and red background from the building.
Since opening its Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA-designed flagship building in December 2007, the institution has run a Facade Sculpture Program, installing large-scale contemporary art high above the Bowery. First came Ugo Rondinone‘s beloved illuminated rainbow sculpture, Hell, Yes!, which was on view until November 2010. That was followed with Isa Genzken’s Rose II (2007) through 2013 and Chris Burden’s Ghost Ship through 2017.
Currently on view is Glenn Ligon’s A Small Band, installed in January 2021 ahead of the opening of “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America,” the final exhibition from acclaimed Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, who died in 2019.
The Acer 444 tag appeared just above Ligon’s illuminated neon piece, which reads “blues blood bruise.”
The graffiti community on Reddit is impressed with the artist’s feat, with commenters calling his tagging of the New Museum “legendary” and “hard as fuck.”
“Absolutely insane spot—between this and the other recent work they’ve put in, they’re really locking it down,” wrote one user.
“Dead ass,” another agreed. “Even if bro didn’t hit another spot ever, this earns him a spot in history.”
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