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The Buddha Of Woodbury

Kasso just did a massive Buddha-themed wall down in Woodbury, NJ. Here are some pics, taken by the talented Habiyb Shu’Aib. The artist describes: “For those that have been following me via social media, know about the mural I recently completed in Woodbury, NJ entitled “The Buddha Of Woodbury.” In collaboration with the Woodbury FAF, who champions initiatives rich in arts, culture, and sustainable design as a catalyst for community development and economic revitalization. They execute these initiatives by creating engaging places and innovative experiences that transform the lives of the community. SAGE Coalitionand FAF first collaborated 4 years ago at their inaugural festival, were SAGE members demonstrated our artistic skills via live painting, welding, and music performances.”

“This year, FAF president, Tara Rea, reached out to me to see if SAGE would be interested in getting involved with this year’s festival LOT 323’s GRAND Opening Party!, their new initiative, is an urban garden/park with an industrial motif, inviting people to gather, play, remotely work, relax, and enjoy light fare and entertainment. Space will be outfitted with furniture that is designed for play and creativity, as well as a stage for performances.

Tara received permission for a section of walls within the destinated Lot 323 area, and she presented me with the opportunity to paint Woodbury’s flagship urban art mural. The wall is approx 20’x40′ and I was given complete creative freedom. I choose to render a giant buddha on the wall. The idea of the buddha was inspired by my daughter, who has a unique birthmark, which resembles Buddha’s third eye. She has dealt with cruelty from her peers over the years, which has made her a bit self-conscience about her appearance. I figured with this image, in all its massiveness, could help her in dealing with the pressures of being a little “different” than everyone else. I always instilled in her, that her birthmark…is a beauty mark..and I’ve done my best to imbue her with confidence surrounding her uniqueness. With no set layout for the design of the mural, I began with my signature abstract designs at the base and built up from there. Next, I laid out the image of the Buddha with a complementing background of bold colors and shapes.

The heat index was well over 90 degrees with 100% humidity while I was grinding away. What was suppose to take a few days originally; took well over two weeks of chipping away. I wanted to make this wall my magnum opus. On the final day of work, my good friend, and photographer, Habiyb Shu’Aib accompanied me to document the final stages of the mural. His pictures vividly captured the intensity and scale of the wall and one can see that the volume of the piece is well worth the time invested.

One of the final images I rendered for the mural was that of a giant serpent circling behind the buddha. “Ancient Chinese thought that the snake could prolong life, and considered it to be a symbol of good luck, great harvest, and reproduction. they worshiped the Snake and viewed it as the beginning of life and universe. It is only until later that the Dragon overshadowed the Snake and became the number one auspicious creature in the minds of the Chinese”. But the Snake still holds that special place in Chinese culture evidenced by our Year of the Snake” My daughter and I were both born into “the year of the snake”…mines being 1977…and hers being 2001.

As the sun settled behind the clouds, I was coming down to the final details of the production. Tired and hungry, I finished up my mural in time for Habiyb Shu’Aib to get some decent post production flicks. I was proud of my work, to say the least. It took a lot of time, paint, and energy to produce, but It was done. Massive thank yous goes out to all the good people involved with Woodbury FAF for their unconditional support and hospitality during the production of the buddha of Woodbury. Lastly to my crew at SAGE Coalition: Thank you to Habiyb Shu’Aiby for the amazing photos (check Video Production Services from here) and documenting my final day. Thanks to Dave Orantes and Sel for coming through and blessing the adjacent walls with burners(feel free to add your pics to this album). To the homie Leon Rainbow for blessing the container wit the huge LOT 323 blockbuster. To Earlie Harrell for assisting me during the early development of the mural and to Wills Kins for coming through with the giant chess pieces. It don’t stop…and it ain’t never stopping. Onward and upward.
Peace, Love and Hair Grease.” – William Genghis Kasso ‪#‎buddhabless‬ ‪#‎njtakeover‬ ‪#‎faf‬ ‪#‎sagecoalition‬