Love is the Message

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“I want this to be a timeless gift to the world.”

That’s what artist, graffiti legend, Eric Haze aka HAZE, set out to do when he created his “Love Not Hate” artwork. Like the rest of the world, he bore witness to the systemic injustices affecting black lives and communities of color around the country, especially in recent weeks. Inspired to use his medium to share a positive message, the simple, bold design was first reposted, recycled, and reclaimed by thousands online.

Pass it on.

When a call came our way to bring this statement to the streets, it was a quick, easy, all-in yes! Creativity meets community. Art plus awareness. Craftsmanship and consciousness. Eric’s work ticked all our boxes. Now it’s been painted on two walls in New York and Los Angeles, taking on new life, captivating fresh eyes, entering the public domain with a revolutionary cry for hope.

“The beauty of this project is that it was mad simple. One phone call. I had an idea, a lightbulb moment, and within 20 minutes the project was on and popping. Everyone you see here, everyone on the scaffold, everyone stepped up,” Eric recalls with a humble and satisfied grin.

Spreading the message from east to west coasts.

Don’t forget the people you don’t see who helped make these murals happen. Peter Paid patching us into his call with Eric to talk big ideas. Our head of rigging, Matt Wright, bringing personal friends into our professional world and sharing this opportunity. Paul Park and his next-level crew behind the camera and in the cutting room. Not to mention the entire Colossal team who stepped up in solidarity with one another and the world.

Brushin’ and crushin’ for a cause.

“This lets everybody know where our hearts and heads are at,” painter Darius Dennis said between brushstrokes. “With this we give back to the community and add on in the best way we know how, which is with paint. I knew about HAZE growing up, plugged into the graff scene as a shorty in Chicago. It’s an honor and a privilege to be working with him and his art.”

Fine artist, graff legend, homie, hometown hero: Eric Haze.

Born and bred in The Big Apple, Eric created this work with the get-got attitude that has defined generations of New Yorkers and redefined the world beyond. The day of the Soho production, as the paint glowed in afternoon light and a renegade breeze touched down on downtown, he had one final reflection that transcended place and time:

“We’re the epicenter of this crisis, the epicenter of COVID, the epicenter of revolution in the streets. Maybe we can be the epicenter of hope and stopping madness.”

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Megan Gabrielle