Graffiti can take you away from reality or bring you back to reality. I had painted a wall last week and wondered whether I had succeeded in my quest for artifice. Was the work technically as good as it needed to be so on and so forth? Then a week later I returned to the wall to repaint it and someone had drawn a dick and a tag on it. That’s when I realised that I had made something technically sufficient as the dick and tags brought the work back to reality. I had tried to leave reality behind but someone else wanted to take the wall back. It got me thinking, that we are all in a way living in our separate realities. We can never fully bring anyone into our reality, we do try with social media, interviews, books, movies or any number of ways. We use words, pictures, symbols, tags and even drawings of dicks.
So to put it simply, graffiti is designed to change reality, which is in the way Hip Hop is meant to change your reality as well. Art is designed to work within the same push and pull of reality but hip hop can be more accessible if you want to leave reality completely then art is better. Although the reality of art itself isn’t necessarily straightforward either. I think that is why I keep coming back to graffiti. Only in that, you can only change reality for that moment, it could be a week, days or a few months. I like the tension on the street. The documentation and also the unwanted collaborators or saboteurs. There is something predictable about graffiti. Yet also temporarily otherworldly. Maybe that is why I like going to a gallery, I get to lose myself for the visit and then I leave and reality comes pouring back into view.