Artist Proposes to Girlfriend With Rooftop Graffiti

February 5, 2013 | Marina Galperina

Artist Jay Shells — who our readers know from putting up uncanny “subway etiquette,” telling the cops to clean up after their horses and gloriously punking Fox News — is getting married, yey! His proposal was perfectly appropriate: “RACHEL WILL YOU MARRY ME?” in five graffitied rooftops on the Upper East Side.

“I was definitely going to paint the proposal somehow, but wasn’t sure where,” Shells tells ANIMAL. “I recently moved in with her uptown in a very tall building and the idea hit me when I was looking down off the terrace. Found my way up onto the roof and used inverted ground marking spray paint, one word per roof. It took about 8 minutes to paint. I brought her out there the next morning and told her to look down on the sidewalk for something else I said I painted. She looked over the edge and noticed (not right away) the rooftops across the street. Then I dropped to one knee and did that part in the traditional way.”

What did she say?

“She cried and smiled and laughed and it was awesome,” Jay says. And the lady?

“It blew my mind and took my breath away and brought me to tears to see the biggest, most important question ever asked of me — in 6 foot tall letters, spray-painted in fluorescent orange on the rooftops,” future Mrs. Shells tells ANIMAL. “It was also the most super natural way I can think of him to propose… In his natural environment… Painting New York City. And it was the most super natural way for me to say yes – nearly naked on our terrace, before 9am on a Saturday.”

Excuse us while we awww.