When i started getting up in the eighties in the outer boroughs of NY, i would never have believed graff would lead me to unravel the truth about life. Nature owns us, mankind. The government police etc, try to own you. People think they own things, possessions, power etc. we try to hold on with false hope, only to leave everything behind when we die. At any nature can spit back and take back. You can stop disaster. You must embrace chaos– Fade, Elemental Magazine, early 2000s.
Ten years ingrained in the mud & suffering from too much reality. Cos gloried crawling in the dirt this is, for the sake of art, and even thats disputed, and what have I learnt? That it spreads outwards not up, that the hierarchy is geographically based. That is governs everything if you let it.
You will travel the wonders of backwater alleyways in many parts of the world, you will get to know the truth of the city well and call the underbelly of it your friend, you will sit places no one else will have sat – mostly because they wouldn’t understand why you’ve just sat there.
Not everyone will understand the beauty that is found beneath a bridge next to a roadside at midnight with a smoke, or silent in the pit of a trackside with only the birds in your ear and the thorns stuck in your side.
They’ll say they enjoy it sure, but they’ll be lying.
The freedom you will find will be uniquely personal and have to be reckoned with in its own way. There will be a constant feeling of adrenaline that permeates everything you do, and you’ll dig into the earth for answers.
The world will close in around you, a narrowing of focus – the grand diaspora will be met and conquered slowly. Everything will be different everywhere you go because that’s how it works, the fundamentals are pure guidance, its the puzzle of the place that is the fun part to work out. You will live in the old cracks between places and open up new ones where needs be. Experiencing very real situations with a made up name and a bunch of people that you only half know who will become very good friends as trust breeds brotherhood.
It is done only for your own reasons, despite what the culture would say. i’m inclined to say its a life that chooses you and not the other way around as the amount of people i’ve spoken to who have done it since they first breached double digits is substantial, whether that be growing up around pieces or stealing their parents spray paint to go try something they didnt understand fully but had liked the look of after seeing weird shapes in a book at school.
People forget, or more likely overlook, that graffiti is one of the purest forms of art – that it exists because it is a condition of the nature our existence; to go out and explore and mark our territory, to expand our knowledge. You have entered into the grandest of games and once over the fence you will understand that the best way out is through, that all things become trivial under the great light of traveling for art. That creativity is the guiding principle by which all things come together.
This is all if you do it properly, which you will because there is no other way of doing it. You live it, and thats the problem.
At this point in time obeying the addiction wholeheartedly, which is nice in a sense because it does my thinking for me. I am but a passive observer in its wake whilst it guides me around, holding on by the coat tails. Always breathing fumes, always marked from cuts, edged out on the moors in remote towns on the top of slag heaps wild eyed at 360 degrees of desolate farm land, packed my bag full of coal for the end of the world, a can of beans, a bottle of water and as many cans of £2.99 Auto Extreme as I can carry. Marked surfaces.
I’ve nestled and buried myself in thorn bushes under starry skies by trackside where orion looks down and points his great bow towards something I cant see but there it is happy. And the adrenaline and the distant lights and the tension in my muscles and the words dead at the back of my throat silence it and I feel peace, momentary peace that I can’t grasp properly because it goes right through but, peace atleast.
My friend found a phrase scratched deep on the wall of a storm drain in New Zealand, it read “live to die a thousand deaths”
See you on the other side, black lunged and poor. I’ll wake up and we’ll plan a family together and I’ll give all of my time to you instead.
On way home, stopped to watch freights in the rain.
One strange rock.
words & photos by @somekindofbible