Coming up November 21 a show of work with one of the most curious themes you have ever heard of is brushing up big at Brooklynite –
“Go Get Your Shinebox”
– where shelves are being sawed while we speak – to display 100 international artists’ interpretation of the shoe shine box familiar to an earlier era; an earlier depression, I like to say.
In the meantime, our favorite street-art photographer Jaime Rojo writes about his own personal experience being a shoe-shine boy one summer in his little town in Mexico.
“Go get your shine box!” My mother commanded it and she meant business. A rite of passage for the five boys in my family: for one week take your shoe-shine box down town to the commercial district of our small town and learn about earning a living.
I imagine that my parents had more than one goal in mind. To inculcate us with the values of honest work and to make us study hard at school so we wouldn’t have to shine shoes for a living. I got that lesson fast.
Sure enough, for my 11th birthday I got a shoe-shine box with my name on it. And that box was not a toy. “You don’t play with this”, my father told me.
I only lasted a week shining shoes of businessmen and the boots of caballeros. And I got myself in big trouble. I broke a cardinal rule; no CANTINAS. They were dirty shameful places no respectful boy should go in.
I thought, “How come the real shoe-shine boys are allowed into the cantinas but not me? That’s where the money is!” I got in trouble with another boy who said I was in his territory and he punched me. The bloody nose from that cantina-whooping made me look tough, but not tough enough to take on my parents. After a lot of yelling and the ROJO INQUISTION my little entrepreneurial adventure on the street was slammed closed like a shine box.
The following summer I sold ice cream in the park, but that’s another story.
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Brooklynite Gallery will bring back those childhood memories on November 21 with an impressive roster of artists creating their own shine boxes.
Here are some sneak peek images from the show for your pleasure with more to come later. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Street Art has a great little posting coming up about this guy Billi Kid, and an experiment he did on the street with it on Central Park South with his shinebox.
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“Go Get Your Shinebox” at Brooklynite Gallery >>> Brooklynite Gallery Website Here