International street artist – Tabby – has paid a whirlwind visit to Buffalo, while creating upwards of 20 stencil-spray works in the process. The artist, who hails from Austria, teamed up with one of Buffalo’s own – Jesse Zuefle – who toured him around the city. It took five days to complete the brush-up process, and over 50 hours.
Zuefle was happy to share his insights with me:
How did this all come to pass?
3 years ago I breached a conversation with international street artist Tabby (@tabbythis). I offered him a space on an exterior wall at 517 Washington Street (the former Club Diablo). In short order he designed a piece for my wall, and asked if I could find other walls in Buffalo. If he was going to make the 4,000+ miles trip we had to make sure it was worth it.
And so the process began?
After a bit of recon, a dozen or so walls were secured. Countless hours went into taking photos and measurements. With Tabby’s mockups in hand, we then had to seek out approval for each piece from the proprietors of each building. Tabby then set to cutting stencils and preparing the massive undertaking.
When the dust settled, we were about a year into all this. Flights were booked from Vienna to Buffalo for April 2020. Two weeks prior to his trip, the Ides of March, brought the covid lockdown. So we patiently waited. Four months later and no end in sight, Tabby came up with an idea. He would send me two of the stencils to do on the streets for him. There was one small problem. I had never picked up a spray can in my life.
So he helped you along from afar?
With his guidance and patience, through Facetime and emails he taught me some of the basics until I was ready to paint the town red.
So began the official undertaking. What happened next?
In the fall of 2020 I successfully got 2 Tabby pieces on the streets of Buffalo. He posted a blog Painting internationally during a lockdown, or: How to teleport 4000miles with the press of a button – or should I say four days.
Eventually he arrived?
He finally came in the first week of May 2022.
And everything was ready to go?
The locations were once again secured, reconfigured and revisited, flights booked, and with a bit of luck some great weather. In 4 day we put in 47 hours. Tabby worked his magic, while I was his gopher, sidekick and public relations assistant. We navigated Buffalo seamlessly. When all was said and done there were 20 Tabby pieces (the 2 put up in 2020 and 18 new) in our Queen city. Thank you Tabby, for forever changing our artistic landscape. The works will be cherished by myself and many others for years to come.
-517 Washington Street (parking lot side). -300 Ellicott Street (side alley). -391 Washington Street (back alley on Ellicott Street). 5 pieces on site. -437 Ellicott Street (side of building). -191 Allen Street (Elmwood Avenue side). -175 Allen Street (1 by entrance,1 on patio). 2 pieces on site. -330 Richmond Avenue (garage on West Utica side). -801 Elmwood Avenue (parking lot side). -290 14th Street (garage up driveway). -197 Grant Street (driveway side). -320 Grote Street (parking lot side). -1416 Hertel Avenue (side of building). 2 pieces on site. -3234 Main Street (side of building on side street). -3231 Main Street (parking lot side).