PARIS, FRANCE // JULY, 2019
One could say it’s your curiosity, but I’d like to think that it’s synchronicity that you’ve landed here on this page.
I’ll start by saying that I’m not perfect, nor do I try to be. Thanks to my parents, I believe that anything and everything in life is possible. If you can visualize it, you can manifest it. So then, I have dreams of speaking six languages by the time I’m 60 years old (I'm currently learning my fourth). Skateboarding through rush hour traffic in San Francisco is dangerous, but very fun. I have far too many questions in life than I have answers. However, the process of finding the answer is what makes life interesting. I’m Left-Handed, therefore I’m never right (bad dad joke). Laugh at yourself as much as possible. I try to learn from my ‘mistakes’ otherwise I will repeat them, usually it takes me a dozen or so times to figure it out, I’m human. I find negative space in a painting very positive. Sharing information, and being supportive of other peoples dreams are extremely important to me. Humility, empathy, acceptance, and patience are attractive characteristics I find in people. Dream BIG, and never limit your imagination. Be careful what you wish for because you will get it (seriously!) The only limits are the ones that you put on yourself. LSD is fun. Give out as many compliments as you can, after all, they are free! Never regret anything that made you smile. ohhh yeah, remember to breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth.
My name is Tavar Zawacki and I live in Berlin, Germany. I was born in the Foothills of Northern California in 1981 from two creative hippie parents ( hence my unique name, Tavar ). I was encouraged by both parents at a very young age to express myself through art, and music. When I was 13 years old I was introduced to skateboarding and graffiti. As a teenager, I spent my time after school skateboarding and painting graffiti on freight trains. I was magnetized towards skateboarding, and graffiti because they were both D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) ways of expressing myself. I graduated High School with average grades, but I wasn’t interested in attending college, I was more interested to start traveling the world and experience different cultures while painting during the entire journey.
When I was 19 years old, I bought a one-way plane flight to Paris, France. I’d never been to Europe before and didn’t know anyone there, but I wasn’t letting that stop my dreams. I took with me a backpack of art supplies, all the money in my bank account ($1,500 dollars), and a 'rise above my fears’ approach for starting my art career. ABOVE was my graffiti moniker. In 2001 I decided to stop painting the traditional letter style graffiti of A-B-O-V-E, and instead create a universally recognized icon that represented the optimistic and powerful message to ‘RISE ABOVE.’ I started this transition in 2001, and at the birth stages of what is now known as Street Art. The arrow icon I painted was representational of the powerful mentality to Rise Above fears, challenges, and anything holding you back from your goals. I'm a self-taught artist having gained my knowledge through the trials and errors of my creative process. For me, I find it attractive to see other artists that bring their raw, unaltered, and natural spirit into their practice. I gained my education, and value system from having met new people from a multitude of different cultures, beliefs, and communities. I have lived in a variety of different countries that I credit for being my largest sources of inspiration. For 15 years I lived a nomadic lifestyle, having painted in about 40 countries around the world, yet I've still (at time of writing this) never been to Texas!
The summer of 2014, I moved to Berlin to focus on building a new permanent foundation in Germany. My interests had shifted from traveling the world, and painting in the street, to developing, and refining my indoor studio practice. I call this my ‘introspective downtime’, because for the first time in my adult life I was not traveling, or moving from one place to another. During the three years that followed, I focused my attention inwards, observing issues that lived deep inside myself. With a lot of brutal honesty and conviction for growth, I was able to take inventory of what no longer served me in my life. I initiated the process of cutting off the dead weight and making space for new growth. My self imposed shadow of anonymity was isolating me from the rest of the world, while my artist name, ABOVE would always be synonymous with the arrow symbol I created. I wanted to change, so I took action.
In January 2017, I decided to step out of my self imposed shadow of anonymity, and start creating, and signing artworks with my real birth name - allowing more freedom of creative exploration. My decision suddenly liberated me, as well as opened up creative ideas to a seemingly unlimited expansion of new opportunities. I see a new foundation to expand upon, free of any artistic restrictions. I look forward to sharing with you these new artworks now, and in the years to follow. Everything is Possible!
“Go With The Flow, And Trust In The Unknown.”