BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each Monday, we highlight a City Shaper - someone or a group of people -who are making Western New York a better place.
This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik introduces us to two men who are on a mission to make art accessible to everyone.
The Tower of Power. The Mothership. Electric Avenue (in Blue). Their inspiration is drawn from music, and the vibrant colors pull you in.
"If you stare at it long enough, your eye kind of travels throughout the piece, and kind of in and through it," says Chris Kameck.
Nick Miller and Chris Kameck are TeamRazorWire. The two met in 2015.
"We were the last two people to stay on the project after months and months, so we had to paint the rest of the background in and amongst the razor wire, so it just became a running joke between us that we were TeamRazorWire, and we were there to finish the project, and we were like this would be great if we could keep doing this for a while," says Miller.
And they have. TeamRazorWire's work can be seen across Buffalo and beyond.
"The color that threads all the pieces is the gold in everything that we've done," says Kameck.
Kameck and Miller are meticulous when it comes to straight lines and their precision has paid off. While most of their work can be seen outside, earlier this year, they were commissioned to paint Electric Avenue in Blue at the UB Anderson Gallery. For forty years, this was a plain blue wall.
"We wanted to try to transform the paint into actually a texture or have a fabric feel to it. So, it kind of has this velvet feel to it, and it's just not paint, it takes on another life," says Kameck.
Gallery representatives contacted TeamRazorWire after noticing the Tower of Power, a work the artists completed last summer.
"It took two guys five days of scraping it. Our hands were swollen. We had to put them in ice baths in order to get through the first week," explained Kameck.
The artists are passionate about giving old buildings new life.
"I'm born and raised in Buffalo, so I've really seen it change and turn around in the last ten years. And I think public art has a space for that within the neighborhoods. It allows people to see artwork without having to go to a gallery, and it allows them to affect them every day and bring up conversations that normally they wouldn't have," says Kameck.
This month, they finished The Mothership at 571 East Delavan. And, they have two murals in the works at Bailey and East Amherst.
"When they see something big like this change, it gives them hope that other things are going to change, too. Jobs may come back. And so, it's that inspiration, or a kid drives by, and it's not a white building anymore, it's like what is that?" says Miller.
Those conversations push the artists to keep creating art for all to enjoy.
"It's the only thing I know. It's the only thing I can wake up every day and be happy doing," says Kameck.
If you would like to see TeamRazorWire's art in person, you can go on a self-guided tour.
To nominate a City Shaper, contact Kelly Dudzik.
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