At the time of its completion, Metamorphosis #5 was the largest mural of Tavar Zawacki’s career and in the whole of Western New York. The vibrant pattern of vividly colored overlapping and interweaving forms—visible for blocks on this stretch of Main Street—is based on Zawacki’s signature artistic motif: the upward arrow.
At the age of 19, Zawacki—who had been casually interested in graffiti since his early teen years—bought a one-way plane ticket to Paris, driven to “rise above” his fears and dedicate himself completely to becoming a street artist. While he initially channeled this spirit into the tag ABOVE, Zawacki soon gravitated toward the upward arrow as a more universal expression, as he as explained, “of the powerful mentality to rise above fears, challenges, and anything holding you back from your goals. . . . everything is possible!” In the context of 1665 Main Street, this imagery and the idea of metamorphosis, or dynamic transformation, resonates with the resurgence of the greater Buffalo region and ongoing positive economic and cultural developments in East Buffalo.