When I had reached a whole lot of time doing graffiti I thought of the all the people who had stopped and thought what would they have done if they kept at it. What I didn’t realise is that some of the best graffiti artists don’t even do graffiti at all. How is that a fact? Well look at 3D from Massive Attack or Merda from Melbourne who tends to design either stencilled or screen printed work. You don’t have to spray to stay relevant. Goldie is another example. Though at that time I thought about all of this I wasn’t really pushing anything that interesting. Its not that I am now either but what my work talks about and references is the use of spray itself.
It isn’t a very important topic but spray painting seems to get left behind in the notions of hard core and fashion and youth culture. But it can go further. Thats why when I meet some people I mention my art background and study to show that even though I am not on top of current trends my work tries to reach out. The thing is I want to bring it all along. I want fades, dimensions I want to reference graffiti and film and just have a kind of history that isn’t just about one thing as opposed to another. I claim nothing but you can’t hide your interests. That is the take away point and that is interests. I want interests and I want it to be interesting and I don’t want to think that graffiti will always be relagated to a gateway artform. It is supposed to be the gateway to crime or the gateway to bigger and better things. In essense I just want it to be taken seriously. To get there you have to take yourself seriously and maybe be professional. But the underlying chaotic nature of the artform is also its strength.
I suppose as a one off conversation the professionalism that has crept into major street projects is apparent. For multidisciplinary artists it is a great opportunity. You can build freestanding structures and wrap them with art or put them to other uses. The competition is fierce but that isn’t a bad thing. It is a smaller and more professional set of criteria and outcomes. For me being a somewhat traditional artist using paper, canvas and walls my own work isn’t a wrap around option. It is more about what you are interested in doing and wrapping surfaces completely seems like a problem that seems more in tune with graffiti wholecars and advertising. Wholecars were always the most revered graffiti form but for some the smaller formats were more appealing.
When I do graffiti I want to see the wall as the frame. I don’t want an architectural frame. These huge walls are very architectural and that is where the professionalism comes in. I didn’t always think like this but it is my main format. The long 2.4metre high frame. But I don’t like it when it gets too long because it spoils the detail. All of the details gets lost in long extended graffiti. I am talking over six names or more. For me two names are great. There is interest and detail in that format. I love work that does wrap around and I am excited to see the kinds of projects like Elysium and Artmoves coming up. They are showcases for professional format work but there is great skill in smaller more contained formats that may not be as institutionalised or popularised but contain the jewels of expression.