Authorized Drone Strike Zone
Jul 30 2018
Street art becomes the vehicle for national discourse and the artist the subject of a man hunt for his provocative work on drones and the NYPD.
Presented By: The Artist
Essam joined the US Army in 2003 where he served for three years as a geospatial analyst. After earning a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in 2011, his military service inspired his mission as an artist to create conversations about topical social and political issues, where in early 2012, he began working in the streets of New York City. Over a 12-month period he created his most notable works, Drone Zones and The Drone Campaign while working stealthily by night. These seminal works garnered international press and have been featured in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and Fox News. Inquisitive response to these pieces prompted interrogation of presidential candidates concerning foreign and domestic drone use and led to his arrest by the NYPD Bureau of Counter Terrorism. Post-graduation, he has actively been spreading his knowledge as an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts, and through speeches and artist talk around the globe. With a family history that dates back to the American Revolution coupled with his Egyptian descent and personal service to the nation, Essam’s revolutionary spirit continues to push the boundaries of art and public discourse in service to American ideals.