Robert Janz and the art of disappearing

This below is straight from Janz, whose work in Duane Park was recently filmed for a documentary by filmmaker Noah David Smith. There’s also a wonderful Q&A with him on Third Rail, a street art blog. The portraits of Janz in action are by professional photographer and street artist @acool55.


My water drawings in and around Duane Park are evolving ever lighter. The word VISIBLE was not drawn, the letters are dry wall, seen only because of my water frame. As the frame dries VISIBLE becomes invisible, the frame distorting wonderfully as it evaporates. Lasts only a few minutes but any passerby who notices me at work sees the whole work, start to total finish, no storage problem, unlike the embalmed fine art works on display as Public Art. As an assertion of transience it is unique. Water drawings are known, monks in Japan have for centuries practiced their calligraphy on temple floors. Water drawing frames are very unusual, I have never seen any. But my current park poems are bolts thru the eye of the needle.

Everything is transient, nothing lasts forever, we and the stars are all time based. These Duane Park drawings are as original as they are accurate.

VIEW marks an official viewing spot, west edge of Duane Park. Naturally it draws a crowd. But as my water drawing fades, the curious disperse. Aging saps energy so am now confined to Duane Park area. Before I was so limited I did not notice the how special the park is, and its potential as a wonderful studio.



  1. what a treasure we have right here on Duane Street.
    thank you Robert!

  2. My family and I have enjoyed Duane Park since 1980 and wish to echo Madeline’s words: thank you Robert and all other people that make the Park a place to sit and reflect in a pensive and quiet environment.

  3. So brilliant to remind us of the ephemeral nature of everything!
    A wonderful artist!

  4. Bravo Robert. Our Tribeca artist/poet laureate. If you miss his vanishing works you can see them and his insightful comments on Instagram @janzworks.

  5. For the record the Q&A with Mr. Janz mentioned in the story can be seen at in the news section.

  6. Merci’ buckets to all! Aging is not a problem, feel freer. But Age is entwined with Health, that’s a drag. Feel lighter, yet weighed down by visits to clinics. Song on + on!

  7. I’ve followed Robert and his work since the 70s in LA. Beach, woods, sidewalks and stones. His canvas is everywhere and, fast or slow, nowhere. Great art that, oddly, leaves an indelible impression.