Wednesday morning, a notorious New York City graffiti artist and vandal used a hacked Phantom drone to deface Kendall Jenner’s face on one of New York City’s largest billboards. Thursday he told Wired his use of a drone for vandalism was likely just the beginning.
Concerns have been raised in recent years that recreational drones are becoming a menace to both public safety and privacy, and the animated satirical comedy South Park dedicated an entire episode to the potential source of trouble last October. Still, if you ask graffiti tagger KATSU, his work on Jenner’s Calvin Klein billboard is just art.
KATSU used the gadget to mark up the six-story Jenner ad in Soho Wednesday, after he attached a can of red spray paint to a drone and carefully went to work from down the street with a remote control.
Watch the vandal’s handiwork:
“It was a bit tense. It turned out surprisingly well. It’s exciting to see its first potential use as a device for vandalism,” the man told Wired.
The magazine reports KATSU attracted a lot of attention a year ago after demonstrated he had figured out how to attach a spray can to an off-the-shelf DJI Phantom drone.
While he was then only using the drone to paint canvass, he promised he would eventually take his invention out into the streets to tag places that were once out of reach to vandals.
The street “artist” now said of his inaugural act of drone destruction, “It was a bit tense.”
“Seventy percent of the concentration is in maintaining this equilibrium with the two-dimensional surface while you are painting,” he explained.
According to the New York Post, a few months ago the same billboard featured an image of a shirtless Justin Bieber wearing Calvin Klein white underwear, but was hit with yellow spray-paint, per an employee at the nearby Happy Paws pet shop.
The Post also reports police are aware of the graffiti, but would not discuss any plans to take action against the vandal.
KATSU told Wired he is currently developing a more “user friendly” version of the graffiti drone, which he plans to release.