I still look at a lot of graffiti, especially on Flickr and I find the general feel of graffiti is as varied and exciting as ever, yet most of what I see now is what I don’t want to emulate. A lot of what I initially saw in the past and as years went by seems to generate streams of approaches and it is more interactive experiences with artists I work with that seem more relevant and applicable. My approach wants to hook into as many streams as possible like they are just a set of techniques. All of the techniques, and the varied approaches give you a voice that is ready to explore whatever interests you.
Sydney graffiti as a whole has a lot of missed opportunities so why not explore some of those streams or approaches, I am thinking more of the work by Jive and Mess from 85. They dropped the style like a dirty nappy and went into the next big thing, the next, the next, but what I find amazing is the testament, the way they naively fashioned these pieces and there is a grainy document left behind.
What irks me is that once these artists reached the end of a fashionable cycle they just bailed once they felt they could no longer keep it going. Other things beckoned, for Rosanno it was music (still fashion but on a higher level) now he does a lot of community work for charity and he has found a place he can give back to the community he lives in. He said to me the new generation could bring in better work but that isn’t what it is all about I know what he means.
I guess I was into fashion a long time ago and eventually, I got sick of it, thinking more about integrity and what it is you find interesting. Of course, you can’t expect people to get on board what you think is interesting but you can still draw from the well, even if it is deep. So my point is the work that is now labelled naive re 85 stuff at this stage always had potential, then and now.
I remember a writer saying to me that old-school graffiti was the stone age and twenty years ago with 3D stuff that was like the steel age but really there is not much in it except the aerosol technology with caps and pressure. Now everything is at your disposal, like another artist said to me we have an impermanent art form made permanent through technology. I suppose I understand the idea, the mania almost of Antony Hamilton’s work ‘Keep Everything’, leave nothing behind and make your own junk spaceship to explore the junk world.
Daniel Weissbach was exploring the remnants of what was left behind of our world, the fragments, a nostalgia for a future time that will appreciate what we took for granted. They will study it, frame it, the future that is happening now. So 85 is that fragment, that place that we want to understand, maybe it is 1973, or tomorrow, the future in science fiction is the past, the future is the past. Only then will we appreciate it when it has all disappeared.