Urban Art Redux: Using Tape Art in Your Business


Art can make a business stand out, whether it’s a memorable logo or framed pieces in a corporate lobby. Many businesses, particularly those located in urban areas or engaged in creative endeavors, have used art in their offices and buildings to draw attention to themselves.

For years, this meant murals or other painted art which was problematic if the premises were rented. The landlord might have a ban on painting the exterior of the building, fearing that if the business moved, they’d be stuck having to paint over the art. Then came tape art.

Collaborative Creativity

Tape art began in Providence, Rhode Island in 1989. The first tape art creations were collaborative, with several artists working in a public space. Now known as the Tape Art Crew, the original group of artists has created over 500 public works of art around the world.

Original tape art masterpieces were intended to be removed shortly after completing, often remaining on display for only 24 hours. Perhaps the most notable tape art project was a rogue memorial that emerged after September 11, 2001 on the walls of New York. Ultimately, this work consisted of life-size representations of every firefighter and airline passenger who died in New York City that day.

Performance Art

The original Tape Art Crew used a low-adhesive blue tape that was easy to remove and reposition. In the early 2000s, the manufacturer of this tape discontinued it, leaving the artists without a medium. The Tape Art Crew developed their own tape with the same low-adhesive quality and produced it in various colors. The Tape Art Crew primarily creates performance art, but they have also taught thousands of tape artists, some of whom create commercial works of art.

If you want to use tape art to make your business memorable, here are a few things to keep in mind. The tape is not as durable as paint when exposed to the elements. Tape art was originally intended to be removed shortly after completion and is not designed to be permanent. If you are in a position to replace the art for your business on a regular basis, this can be an advantage.

If you use tape art on an interior surface, you can keep it up longer, but it should still be replaced as it will start to deteriorate. It’s a time commitment to keep changing it, but it also brings an instant refresh to your workspace.

If you already have some artistic talent, you can learn to create tape art. Current tape artists will often teach others the technique.