Skip to Main Content

Tavar Zawacki

American, born 1981

Tavar Zawacki's mural Metamorphosis #5 at 1665 Main Street in Buffalo. Photo: Tom Loonan and Brenda Bieger for Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Metamorphosis #5,

Public Artwork Details

Currently on View


Acrylic paint


Commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Public Art Initiative, 2019

Location: 1665 Main Street (Get Directions)

At the time of its completion, Metamorphosis #5 was the largest mural of Tavar Zawacki’s career and in the whole of Western New York. The vibrant pattern of vividly colored overlapping and interweaving forms—visible for blocks on this stretch of Main Street—is based on Zawacki’s signature artistic motif: the upward arrow.

At the age of 19, Zawacki—who had been casually interested in graffiti since his early teen years—bought a one-way plane ticket to Paris, driven to “rise above” his fears and dedicate himself completely to becoming a street artist. While he initially channeled this spirit into the tag ABOVE, Zawacki soon gravitated toward the upward arrow as a more universal expression, as he has explained, “of the powerful mentality to rise above fears, challenges, and anything holding you back from your goals. . . . everything is possible!” In the context of 1665 Main Street, this imagery and the idea of metamorphosis, or dynamic transformation, resonates with the resurgence of the greater Buffalo region and ongoing positive economic and cultural developments in the East Side neighborhoods nearby.

Project Sponsors

This mural has been made possible through the generosity of Sinatra & Company Real Estate and Bank of America.

Additional support provided by C2 Paint.

Initiative Sponsors

The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.

  • Share your photos of #AKGPublicArt on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

  • A mural featuring portraits of 28 people on a paneled wall that stretches around a city corner
    Public Art

    The Freedom Wall

    Check out The Freedom Wall, with 28 portraits of civil rights leaders, around the corner at Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street.