Press Release: New York’s Street Art Champion Brings a Peace of the Streets to the Gallery Setting

New York’s Street Art Champion Brings a Peace of the

Streets to the Gallery Setting

Skewville is pleased to present “New Zen City,” a rare showcase by New York-based street artist and scene staple SacSix. Since 2020, SacSix has supplemented his ubiquitous vivid wheatpaste mashups with a new body of work, painting Urban Zen Gardens around downtown fire hydrants, benches, and more. “New Zen City” is only the second solo exhibition SacSix has presented of his now-notorious endeavor, debuting and activating new adaptations on the motif.

SacSix started using meditation ten years ago to cope with his anxiety. Years later, while toying with novel street art concepts—inspired by the likes of REVOK and Vhils—he grew fascinated with Japanese zen gardens. SacSix only conceived of his Urban Zen Gardens in 2019, and started painting them in January 2020. Thwarting graffiti impulses, he doesn’t sign this work. It’s a service. The artist stops in his Urban Zen Gardens to meditate while moving through the city. He hopes that with increased awareness, more people will know what to do with the work too.

Although illegal, his process is contemplative. Clad in an orange maintenance vest, SacSix applies oil-based black paint to the fortuitous six tines of his rake and draws steady, concentric lines around his target in one go, never going back over his work if it gets damaged or faded. That wear and tear adds a time-based element emphasizing the importance of each moment, in an always changing world. Such elegant simplicity lends itself to a vast range of forms. SacSix sees his gardens as lichen installations for towering indoor plazas, and on domestic goods, bringing the symbolic pattern he’s conjured into life’s most grandiose and mundane moments.

“New Zen City” convenes a diverse range of works from this project amongst the gallery space—and makes them available for otherwise impossible ownership. To maintain the essence of the streets, even in a white-walled setting, SacSix has started taking impressions of manhole covers for the canvases he paints atop. He’s fashioning smaller rakes, to create works in more accessible sizes. In the studio, he’s also able to employ the disparate textures of acrylic, watercolor, and aerosol in fluorescent hues, evoking the wily wildflowers that prevail even in manicured spaces. These works can tessellate together in many ways, and SacSix will rearrange them in performances throughout the show, fostering time-based modularity indoors.

The artist has also started snapping shots of the Urban Zen Gardens he’s painted around trees on the Lower East Side to capture how the leaves and fashions change with the seasons. These photos will be on view, featuring original Urban Zen Garden embellishments. Elsewhere, SacSix has painted his most compact Urban Zen Gardens yet around detritus like bottle caps he finds on his walks. For those who’d like to take the project wherever they journey, “New Zen City” will also debut SacSix’s immersive augmented reality project. Through a QR code, visitors can digitally project an Urban Zen Garden on any environment, creating space for peace—even in a setting as wild as the classic Skewville bash for the opening, which starts at 5pm on June 1 and is sponsored by Reyka Vodka.

Stay tuned for more information on programming throughout the duration of “New Zen City.”