There is a certain kind of inevitability in things we do. You may wonder why you want to do or follow a certain interest and it can take years for it to make sense. Sometimes the understanding disappears only to be replaced by something else. Almost as though we are building through experience. If you stop and start you only delay the inevitable understanding. In a way even detours lead back to the path. It isn’t that things are predestined it is just that you take a path and are on one. Reality seems to have billions of eyes and I can see why I have tried certain things. It looks like endless failure. Misstep after misstep but I try to see a thread that follows through.
In a way graffiti is just another way to change reality. Even if it is only a little it changes a space and transforms part of the world. It can change the function of form and function. It is a small change or sometimes a big change and it takes a certain amount of confidence and self belief to believe you can change the world. The New York subways and streets were changed through a collective drive to change reality and in the end their realities and lives were transformed. Some for the better some for the worse. It was the drive to change reality even though it seemed to just be about surfaces it was changing the function or adding to it.
At the same time you have to be aware of the power we all possess. Because we have to be sure that we are making changes to improve our lives and the lives of others. In certain circumstances people chose the wrong paths and create pointless destruction. If you focus on destruction you don’t help your self and others grow. The influence of destruction where people take hard drugs or use violence to get their own way only come to their own destruction.
We all know that we project our hopes and desires when we do start changing reality and changing our world. We also change with the world around us as we create our art and vision. It is collectively singular. What would dominate in a commercial world? We can see that through what street art and graffiti grows commercially but it isn’t everything because in essence there are different priorities. There are smaller stories but they are not meant to dominate. They are like the small delicate flowers that exist in the world. You have to look for them. Then when you find them you can look knowing that it was worth the effort. Plants are adaptable and can take over creating new realities and spaces. Animals and plants are always looking for an opportunity and if it is worthwhile great things can happen.
This essentially is why street art has grown and dominated. It has adapted and brought change. If it doesn’t suit you or me we need to have a better alternative. My own alternative is to show what freedom of expression looks like. To disengage from what I need to organise to find a spontaneous answer that happens through the journey of art. It is good to plan and when I paint I plan but it is based on experience from before leading to the act of creating a painting now. It is the process of creating a story. The gallery is a blank space in need of stories and so is the street. A canvas as well needs a story. We all need a story. Otherwise the world will force us to engage with its stories and it may leave us empty. It may lead us to doubt ourselves. It is good to engage with the world but if you have a reality that may be bad for you it needs to change.
When my father was wandering the streets looking through bins and having all sorts of problems I knew I needed to change my reality. I needed a story other than being the victim of circumstance. I started writing my name on the streets looking for acceptance in notoriety and style. I found art which was full of interest and engagement. Some people will hold that against you. Then again some people won’t let you change. But essentially we all need to grow and be in charge of our lives to the best of our abilities.