Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Creation or Destruction?  

Shiva the Destroyer
The number 23...sprayed too close to the wall, the paint drips down...ugly...into a heart.  A sword pierces the heart, and the red, and the blood and the drips and the beauty.

Then there is a snake, a shadow in the darkness, the silhouette of a man.  I follow the snake, away from the man.  

The snake is changing from grey to acid green and purple grape.  Colors shoot out of his tail, yellow, orange, making arrows and geometric shapes.  

The snake is turning the darkness into color; like a sunrise; like a painting. Like the sun coming through my window into my eyes and opening my heart.
Brahma the Creator

When the dream ends there, with the snake and the sunrise, I know all of the beauty of the world. Time slows and I see into the eyes of those I pass. I feel connected and I feel at peace.

But when the dream ends with the dripping red numbers I know it is an omen and I am afraid.

Some days it rips me apart: art or vandalism? creation or destruction? beauty or chaos?

Art born of Vandalism. Creation out of Destruction. Beauty out of Chaos.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


"The Buff": the act of removing graffiti by painting over, symbolizing the contradictory nature of graffiti as both art and vandalism.
"The Buff"

The City of Los Angeles spends $7 million a year to buy paint and staff and materials to support "the buff".  

"The buff" removes over 30 million square feet of Los Angeles graffiti a year.

How much did Graffiti Artists in LA spend on the work before "the buff"?  Somewhere between $2million and $8million (cans range from $1.00 to $10.00 and pieces can use from 5 to 30 cans per piece).

Are municipal efforts to erase graffiti
Artist: Mark Rothko
giving birth to a new movement in modern art stemming from the repressed artistic desires of city workers?  Director Mark McCormick produced an award winning experimental documentary called The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal.

The theme of the video, according to blogger and illustrator Ward Jenkins, “makes the observation that the process of destroying one art form unwittingly creates another”.  The video compares the result of "the Buff" to the work of famous contemporary artist "Mark Rothko" (right).


Blogger and Illustrator Ward Jenkins is also rumored to be a Graffiti artist himself.
Artist: Canon

His work (painted on walls around Atlanta) under the pseudonym "Canon" (left) is reminiscent of Picasso in his blue period.  

As a fan of Guernica and Portaits of Sylvette, Ward/Canon's art holds appeal.  

Sadly, most have been painted over (the downside of "the buff") but are recorded in his photo journal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Ah to be thirteen and to be let loose on the streets with a spray can.    Take a name like caliber44 or realkillaz join a crew like Can’t Be Stopped or On The Run or Kill to Succeed or (if your religiously inclined) Only God Knows.  Pull your hoodie down and cover your face with your hand, and there, in the shadows, post your photo on Instagram.  They won’t know who you are, but there you are anyway.  Now, go ahead, start writing your name all over town.

You’ll call yourself a villain, or a vandal, you’ll “do” rooftops, or alleys, or billboards.  At first they will all be “illegals”.  You’ll have a probation officer, he’ll check your index finger for blue spraypaint, you’ll start wearing gloves or you’ll stop.  Or you won’t.  You won’t carry sharpies.  You’ll find a place to paint “legals”.

You will post endless photos of girls with big tits, of you exhaling smoke, of 420 jokes, of automatic weapons and hunting knives.  You are thirteen and so is everyone you know.

You will have your own language, you will say “mad respect” and “dope”; your own drugs, buses (large street Xanax in four parts),  You’ll call your friends “G”.

Then there are the misfits, they have names like mostgiftedandmosthated, they listen to Punk Rock, they will be headed to college soon, they will do their sketches on their ipad.  They too will post photos of cases of beer and jumbo sized bottles of vodka, maybe a girl in a thong in front of a graffiti wall.

There will be forks in your road, maybe get a girl, maybe get arrested, maybe make serious “bank” and impress the “hoes”, maybe deal, maybe use, maybe do time, maybe join a gang.  Or, who knows, you may have never seen “the streets” at all.  Maybe you’re in your room, playing your guitar, dreaming of badness and street cred.

Or maybe, there will be an arc to your career, a tag, a sketch in a black book, a cartoon character, a “piece” on a wall, maybe art school, maybe graduate to street art and paint in Miami’s Wynwood District, maybe switch to canvas and have a show.  You will build your brand.

You will look back and hear them calling your work “street art” and spitting on the ground.  You may hear them saying “I wanted to be you when I was a kid”.  You will be loved or hated or forgotten.