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  Above  (c. 1981 - )

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Lived/Active: California / France      Known for: Graffiti street art, stencils, installation, caligraphic murals

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from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
ABOVE (born circa 1981) has been creating public art since 1995.  Above is an international street artist who keeps his identity concealed.  Above is known for his multi-layer/full color social and political stencils, spinning wooden "arrow mobile" installations, and large mural "word play" paintings.  Above started traditional graffiti of tagging freight trains in California in 1995.  At the age of 19, Above moved to Paris, France where he started painting his trademark arrow icon pointing 'above.' Since 2001 Above has toured around the world, with each tour exploring a new medium or style of artworks. Above has made artworks in the streets of 90 cities in 50 different countries around the world.

Above was born and raised in California by 'hippie' parents.  He states that art and music were practiced and encouraged by both parents at an early age. At fifteen years old Above started spray painting the letters A-B-O-V-E on freight trains in California. Three years later Above transitioned from painting traditional letter graffiti to an arrow symbol that pointed 'above.' In an interview he stated that he thought it was useless to paint the side of a fast moving train with letters if nobody could read it. Above said he wanted something that could be seen and understood in a fraction of a second regardless of how fast it was moving.

In 2001 at the age of 19 years old Above moved from California to Paris, France. At that time in Europe and in particular Paris, France there was a new movement called 'street art.' Paris was home to early pioneering street artists like Zevs (artist), Invader (artist), Stak, Honet, and Andre as well as Above.  Above as well as the other Parisian artists were making new styles of street art that were heavily based on a character or artist logo instead of the former or traditional ways of letter based graffiti. In 2003 Above moved from Paris to California where he started his hanging wooden arrow mobiles which seemed to be the start of Above very frequent traveling and art tours.


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