Inside courtyard opposite 45-31 Davies Street off Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens

January 2001

This was in the courtyard of the Fun Factory, a sort of graffiti museum. It has beautiful graffiti all over it that I’d always admired. I really wanted to add to the graffiti, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Since I’m not a graffiti artist, I thought it would be best to do it by stealth. So I painted the undercoat one evening when the Factory looked empty. Then I came back at daybreak on New Year’s Day because I thought that any self-respecting graffiti artist would either still be out celebrating or fast asleep. Unfortunately, it had thawed slightly, so the space in front of my painting had turned into a lake of freezing slush. It was one of the more miserable New Year’s Days of my life.

I picked this graffiti because I thought it was beautiful. I didn’t paint over it because I liked it so much. I painted this painting so fast that it didn’t turn out terribly well. My painting is embarrassingly less beautiful than the graffiti. I made up the painting, so its shortcomings are all my own fault.

I don’t know who made this graffiti, because I was too shy to ask at the time. The Fun Factory doesn’t exist anymore, and this graffiti is gone, along with my painting. An organization called The Five Pointz took its place. I asked them if they could tell me who made this graffiti, but they couldn’t, nor could anyone else I asked.