Donning a ghoulish white mask and black hoodie, a mysterious figure has been attracting the attention of passersby in Manhattan lately. The poetic harbinger of doom and spokesman for the “rats in the walls” chalks strange occult symbols on the ground and hands out flyers celebrating graffiti writers who “eat trains and live forever.” Other times, he can been seen carrying around a cardboard sign urging people to follow him on Twitter at @kilroyisgod, an obvious tribute to primordial graffiti legendary Kilroy.
I first spotted “Kilroy” in Union Square and photographed him as he methodically walked through the crowd until he found an open space to begin chalking a “summoning circle.” Fascinated by the strangeness of his message, I researched his work and found him again the following weekend. This time, he drew a Kabbalah Tree of Life/subway map mash-up with the words, “eat trains and live forever,” again implying that tagging trains may be the key to immortality.
“The Rats in the Walls” appears to be an elaborate performance in association with the Occult Triangle Lab, which merges the glorification of graffiti with sacred geometry, as well as literary references to writer H. P. Lovecraft.
Kilroy doesn’t speak, but after he was finished chalking he handed me an origami black lotus with a message to ask the bartender at 50 Avenue B (Lovecraft bar) about “the rats in the walls.” There, I was given these cryptic details for a unique upcoming event which may reveal all:
April 25th, 10pm
Tompkins Square Park
Password is Yog-Sothoth
If you cannot come, follow @kilroyisgod
(Photos: Daniel Albanese|TheDustyRebel)