One of Sydney’s most iconic and respected graffiti writers passed away recently and he was buried yesterday. I couldn’t get to the funeral as I was working and work isn’t necessarily flexible for me at times. I had today off so I painted and did a portrait of my grandmother. The graffiti artist who passed away was known as ‘Gane 2’ and me and another writer ‘Pick’ made a wall for Gane in August when he was still alive to show respect. I heard he liked it and around twenty years ago I wrote about Gane on a forum and he reached out to me and we chatted via email. I made a page for Gane on my website as it was challenging to get work on the internet back then without knowing how to do web design.
I taught myself web design in the late nineties so I could get my work on the world stage, I ran some popular graffiti websites up until 2010 and then threw it in to do less popular websites based on art and mental health. I still have the images Gane emailed me but sadly like most web-based photos the quality had to be lowered for the low bandwidth of those times. I ran Gane’s page for a few years and slowly my web presence changed. I never knew Gane personally but saw his name written everywhere I ventured when I was street-tagging around the eastern suburbs in the late eighties.
I saw his name up all over the place and also saw a lot of his iconic pieces in Waterloo and Redfern. Once I saw a Gane whole car at Redfern dead sheds and it was all iconic and raw. When I was getting into track-side pieces around 2006 I had another brief bit of online contact with Gane and he told me to keep it grimey which it was at the time. Gane never started trouble or disrespected people, he never capitalised on his fame or sold out. He stuck by his mates and enjoyed a drink. Around 2013 my good friend and collaborator were doing a lot of work on Gane’s turf and he started getting threatened by a couple of people close to Gane.
A few years later in 2018, the two troublemakers turned up at a wall we were painting and showed they were true losers as I single-handedly scared them off with some good old-fashioned tough love. When we left the wall the two morons came back and capped our wall with their mindless scrawl. The last time I saw Gane was during this territorial fiasco and I didn’t hold it against him that he accommodated these two troublemakers. Gane drove by in his car as we were painting and pretended he hadn’t seen us as the whole scenario was pretty awkward. We stopped painting in Redfern a few years before so I was surprised the two troublemakers went to another area to hassle us.
Since this run-in that lasted from 2013 to 2018 which has a decent back story, I haven’t divulged fully I vowed to never step foot into any large groups of graffiti writers or have much to do with the graffiti scene. The funny thing is that the troublemakers copped a bit of physical abuse for trying to dictate what real graffiti is and in 2018 the scrawny piece of work in his meth haze was lucky he knew how to run. So even though I have the utmost respect for Gane and his incredible untouchable legacy I haven’t been anywhere near the scene and won’t go near it ever again. Everyone will remember Gane and his legacy will never die. He was the all-out King of Sydney graffiti and I am pretty lame in comparison so I will say it again. He was an icon and will remain one. A true pioneer and he made graffiti in his own original style. An absolute King.