The Kaves mural was destroyed during an NYPD campaign to paint over graffiti across the city.
On April 10th, the NYPD‘s 84th Precinct launched a campaign to clean up graffiti across northwest Brooklyn. Among the pieces destroyed in the process was “Death From Above,” a piece by Michael “Kaves” McLeer, renowned artist and Brooklyn native. In his spare time, McLeer owns and works at Brooklyn Made Tattoo parlor in Bay Ridge. On Tuesday, McLeer filed a class-action lawsuit, accusing the NYPD of endangering “hundreds of valuable, recognized, and permitted artworks.”
Kaves dedicated “Death From Above” to his mother Donna Blanchard, who died in 2014 in a hit-and-run accident that also claimed the life of his four-year-old sister Michelle Blanchard. The driver was never found.
“When I found out this piece was destroyed, I was devastated,” Kaves told the New York Daily News. “When I made this work, I was full of pride. I felt it had an epic quality to it. It was a piece dedicated to my mother and became one of my oldest public pieces, standing untouched for 13 years.”
During today’s Community & NYPD graffiti cleanup:
➡️Officers partnered up with volunteers from around Farragut to clean graffiti from 115 York St.
➡️Let’s keep working together to keep NYC graffiti-free! pic.twitter.com/gkOct8EDYe
— NYPD 84th Precinct (@NYPD84Pct) April 10, 2021