Aerosol art covers a few different streams, or should I say approaches. Personally I am surprised how far reaching aerosol art has become. I do believe though that sometimes the best aerosol artists find themselves in completely different fields. For example they could be involved in contemporary dance or the music industry. Contemporary dance can cover set design, choreography, costumes to mention a few different disciplines. All of these are the backdrop for, or inspiration for aerosol art. Some aerosol artists are fashionable, in that they approach graffiti from a fashion standpoint. Some are hardcore, in that they are more interested in the criminal element of aerosol art. Some are focused on style. There are multiple offshoots of the few approaches I have mentioned. Some aerosol artists are muralists and commercially driven. When I think back to when I departed from hardcore graffiti in 1993 there weren’t many options to choose from. For me art school was a catalyst to try new things and forge a different path from the popular approaches of the time. Even though in the eighties there were fashionable aerosol artists, the hardcore approaches and even the anarchists and skin heads were busy with spray cans. The overall scene was fairly limited.
Maybe that is why some graffiti artists who are probably first and foremost lost causes think that all of the multitude of approaches are not worthy and threaten their own world view. They think they have to reduce the world down to to hardcore and street art. Never shall they meet. Not only is this reductive but unfortunately mistaken. I can think of plenty of graffiti artists from the eighties who were at best dandy’s and others who were so caught up in fashion or style that they would fit right into today’s rather mixed bag of approaches. A lot of graffiti artists wanted to do commercial work in the eighties and some did. In those days I was horrified at doing legal work. I enjoyed the thrill of illegal graffiti. Though even then I understood that those paths existed and even though it didn’t interest me at the time I never held it against them. I just had different needs that I wanted met. The driver for me was managing my mental problems. When I moved away from the hardcore scene, I had to manage my mental health. Art helped me cope. It helped me think and grow. A lot of different mediums are suited to certain narratives and open up experience. I suppose that I have confused and disorganised thought patterns. For me it is normal though. All of the approaches are like being in a different space with different light and shade. I hope that one day it can all make sense. Yet at the same time I am not looking for a clear narrative.