You never know what is going on in someone’s life, you may get mixed messages and feel it is because of you but you have to hold judgement. I had some awkward moments but won’t say when or where because people can have any number of difficulties dealing with life. In other news, I went to see ‘Sydney Buries it’s Past’ at the ‘Tin Sheds Gallery’, it is a very strong show with memories of times past that relate to where we are now. I was lucky to talk with one of the people who curated the show. Toby Zoates was at the show and was talking to another gentleman about a painting before he had to leave. When I saw the videos from the show it brought back the reasons why a lot of people became rebellious. I remember when I was growing up and some of the conservative attitudes I had to face. Now that I am older I don’t hold any grudges and understand everyone has their own outlook. I won’t go into personal details because that is a whole other story in itself.
I was talking to a person about my graffiti and we were talking about art and motivations, what we can bring to the table and those types of things. It is interesting when you get feedback about your own art. It is very rare to get any detailed response and I was fascinated by how my work can be perceived by someone with an art background. In a way, I am lucky I am in the position I am in. There are people I work with who try and impose limits on what I do, only because they know I can be unpredictable in how I make my work and I normally won’t listen to them anyway. Yet I know full well that I can at any point go too far, yet I always feel after painting a wall that I didn’t go far enough. Sometimes I will paint a wall and a collaborator will get upset with a certain detail but they know what I am trying to do and some work literally asks to get destroyed.
For example, I once did some abstract renditions of a female face and that in itself is a big no-no because you are working in a public space. Yet it was the way I painted the work that I was focused on, not the content. The wall didn’t last long and my friend was upset with me but I had to follow through with the idea and simply document it. My collaborator gets nervous when we go to a wall, he starts questioning me and sometimes I won’t reveal what I plan on doing until I have started. Mostly I don’t push certain work in public but at the end of the day, if you look at what you do in an abstract way, it is just tone and lines and colour all interacting and the content at times is pretty tame. It isn’t like I am painting x-rated content on walls, and I have no interest in doing that. Public art though has some limits but at times I only paint two public walls regularly.
One is a long-term community wall and normally it is pedestrian content. The other wall is more public and I normally keep the content abstract with only the occasional work that may make my collaborator upset. Other walls are totally unhinged or should be because they are smaller community walls with scope for anything. There may be times I do a wall that isn’t in the public realm at all, I am not really focused on creating anything difficult or risque but I do at least want some kind of edge that isn’t just eye candy. If I had a gallery to keep happy or a big audience of people who wanted fashionable content or something I think I would feel stressed and not enjoy making work. I suppose the reason I stay in a sense obscure is I can have free reign and make things that can be unique and outside of fashion or expectation. Graffiti in a way, because people don’t really care about it, is a great place to do visual work that has no connection to anything other than creative urges and personal realities.