This week we wandered off the streets onto the train tracks to catch some graff in the wild. As we did we thought about photographer Jim Prigoff and how he told us that he relied upon the “graffiti gods” to lead him in the right direction to catch photographs. He was so right when he shared that jewel – an adviso to follow one’s intuition and trust your instincts. It was during this same adventure on the tracks that we learned of Jim’s passing, which was a very sad addendum to the exploration, at first. Then we realized that Jim is now one of those “graffiti gods” and he will lead us to find the next piece, burner, paste-up, sticker, poetry on the street.
May Jim and his instincts always be with us.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
– Mae West
Take it from Brooklyn’s own Mae West to give us the dry-eyed wit that pushes us further forward, boldly and without reservation.
So New York graffiti and street art continues to run apace – from Red Hook to Ridgewood to Williamsburg to Chelsea in Manhattan – we are dumb-founded by the new work that is covering Gotham. It is also notable the preponderance of LETTER-based street art and graffiti there is everywhere. Letters and their deconstruction, reconstruction, re-imagining have always been a part of the graff tradition of course, but it looks like many artists are talking at you from the wall right now.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: 2 Much, Adam Fujita, Al Diaz, Aneko, Healer, Jeff Roseking, Jet, Jowl, Lunge Box, Mega, Panic, RAKN, Riisa Boogie, Sac Six, Seo, Timmy Ache, UFO 907, and Wokem.
We continue to see a dissolving of previous tensions between the worlds of graffiti writing and mural artists and other disciplines of art-making as we travel around cities around the world. Artificial divisions have persisted, and indeed the lived experience of graff and street art and mural making are distinctly different in certain respects, but the piece is the piece, regardless of style, and each creator can be an ambassador with a message.
Our own philosophy is if art is going to have the transformative power that we believe it can have on all of our societies, families, and institutions we need to dissolve artificial divisions in the creative community as well – as they serve little constructive purpose. As art in the street usually reflects society at large, we have our own challenges with classism, sexism, and racism as well.
So it’s great to see the continuance of brotherhood and sisterhood at small neighborhood festivals like the 3rd Edition of the Kronos Art and Arts Santa Mònica here in an area of Barcelona during the third week of October. One core philosophy at this festival this year was to re-consider the future of art and its role by actively consulting kids in defining what art is, and what it could be.
“Be aware of the role of ARTIST and his work in our PRESENT, without
judging, without imposing criteria, with the sole conviction that what we are
creating is the prologue of the FUTURE in the ART”
During their ‘live painting’ events at 3 Chimney Plaza (Plaza de las 3
Xemeneies) it was the men and women, graffiti writers and street artists – all working
side by side. Part of a much larger group of events that included 70+ artists,
photography, sculpture, performance, music, video art, cinema, talks, and workshops,
these painters just did their thing and had a good time.
“Becoming cultural activists, taking the reins of how to express ourselves and about what to express ourselves through art; and by doing so becoming key pieces for the freedom of creation, we become aware as spectators, as thinkers, as artists, as a species. KRONOS ART BCN 2020 is a wager to the freedom of society through the freedom of the artist; free to catch everything that interests and surrounds them, without fear of being judged and without judging the protagonists of their artwork. Free to BE in all the aspects that make us human, thus turning the PRESENT into the prologue of a FUTURE world full of diversity.”
Our thanks to photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena for capturing a few of the artists at work at the plaza.