Hit the Wall

These street artists each went viral after painting graffiti in highly-visible places. Which one did it for the “right” reasons?

By Andrew Andrews

Alexandra “Allie” Guerrero and Adam Files star in Jake Shore’s Hit the Wall, directed by Timothy Haskell for Spin Cycle, Frigid and JCS Theater Company at The Kraine Theater. Original photo by Max Ruby.

Amir is an aging street artist who’s blown up bigger than Banksy or Shepard Fairey, living anonymously on the 47th floor of a luxury building in Midtown Manhattan with his protege, Rae.

Rae has just returned from gentrifying Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where she started to paint her latest piece on a highly-visible wall seven stories above the street at a construction site.

She started, but she didn’t finish.

“I couldn’t find balance,” she explains. “I have to go back.”

“You shouldn’t do that,” Amir argues. “You want to end up in the back of a cop car?”

“Sure,” Rae answers.

And so begins the debate, and not just about whether Rae should finish the painting—Amir changes his position and pressures her to do exactly that. The couple (are they a couple?) argues about the right place to paint, and whom to paint for. About the ideal amount of exposure. They even fight about the right reason to “hit a wall” and risk being caught… being exposed… being made famous.

Meanwhile, Rae’s mom keeps calling. Her father—whom Rae hates—is in the hospital, on his death bed.

Rae couldn’t care less. She doesn’t want to see him. She doesn’t want to go home.

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