I feel the pressure of society trying to whittle me down into its utilitarian ground meet. Thats the agro that is the underlying force behind the street arts. Of course the artist lifestyle is already riddled with all sorts of frustration; struggling to gain a reputation, pent up sexual energy, unresolved daddy issues and economic complication. If you just generally suffer from existential angst then taking it out on the structures of society with a can of spray paint can appeal to the sophisticated demon within. Anyway nobody will ever see the art you paint on canvas unless your successful enough to get into a gallery and even then only the art patrons will take the time to get off their asses to check out your stuff yet a giant spray painted dick on the 15 freeway will definitely get noticed. As always this degenerate past time is frowned upon by the general citizenry and law enforcement. When dealing with police a good pair of running legs can really get you out of that mess.
I got into this four years ago when my friend Taylor consumed a lethal combination of xanax and booze. Her brother, who is also my best friend of twelve years, went on a life journey to cope with this devastating loss. It landed him in San Diego and on the drive home from the airport he pointed to a hardware store.
“Stop off here,” he said where he bought a can of spray paint and put it in my hands.
“This is the future of fresco (mural painting),” he said.
For the past six years I’ve been jumping fences, hiding in ditches, running from the police and hanging out in underpasses almost getting raped by hobos. However the past couple years my focus has shifted from the streets to the studio. I’ve gotten to a level where my time is better spent working it into something more substantial.
The last time I went out to actually put something up it had been almost two years since I had gone out before. After about an hour of trying to find a place to paint I finally found a spot that was an alley behind a mexican food restaurant. I got my things out of my backpack and just started throwing something up. As I was halfway through the art piece a door opened up and this white dude steps out and walks out. When he saw me he walked over shaking his finger at me.
“I don’t think your supposed to be doing that,” he said.
I just kept going as if I didn’t hear him. I was just nonchalant about it plus I was almost finished and one thing I hate is leaving a painting unfinished.
He got up to me and stood back, “It looks pretty good actually,” he said.
I turned to him, “Doug said it was ok,” I said pulling the name out of my ass.
The guy made a face that told me he recognized the name, “Oh Doug was ok with it?”
I think my painting skill legitimized the work.
“Yeah,” I said getting back to my work.
“Well keep up the good work,” he said and went back inside.
I finished the painting and walked away. It’s not often that you get to finish your painting after getting caught.