An exciting, vernacular art form created in the streets, on the walls, continuously on trains, free, anywhere and anytime the desired result is your name, visible. You entertain fame. You aspire exaltation for your cheekiness.
On your eleventh birthday, you receive a gift of markers and spray paint from your daft uncle.
“Rust-o-leum is the best,” he snickers.
Originally used to mark territory, a “Tagger” is considered a nuisance, or worse yet, a vandal. You write letterforms with markers and spray paint. The skeleton of graffiti is your signature. Tags belong in abandoned places and neglected buildings. You explore melancholy splendor in urban locations.
The writing breathes “life.” It is mutually considered damage as well as art. Society doesn’t like you painting in public places. Billboard charts and scratched structures on backsides of traffic signs catch your attention.
You want to paint trains because so many get to see the short–lived “work,” picturesque, vivid, versatile and diverse, before it is “buffed.” This secret, illegal medium creates a risk, a danger zone, adrenalin rush, panic, sweats, and the “shakes.” A lot of things “go bump” and you are on alert.
“Are you listening?” as sirens blare, tires on wet pavement, rumbles of the subway trains, air brakes hiss, and buses squeal and squeak in the background.
It’s a medium that attacks authority and adds tone.
Influenced by advertising, if used with permission it is called public art, without permission “vandalism.”
Right or wrong… all you want to do is paint.
Police have warrants on fifty-five felony counts of criminal mischief based vandalism caused by your assumed spray-painting on neglected structures and trains.
“You may want to translate your street art style to canvas,” advises the judge.
You serve 13 months.
The first two hours is a test until your inconstant muse finds you worthy of her consideration. Immortal, magical, emotional, completely irrational, she lives inside, always looking over your shoulder, influencing the way you make art.
The wind speaks her mind.
your house is haunted,
and she’ll make your
blood run cold.
Painters paint, so…paint.
You are a rebel. So, you run to the street in search of heroin.
You learn that your art is a process. You know that some people will criticize your life’s work. You paint because you need to smell, feel… make art.
You mix water with heroin and shoot up. The results are virtually instantaneous.
Heroin turns into morphine. Endorphins inhibit your neurons from firing, so they halt pain and create a delightful sensation.
Daily, you paint… and paint some more.
When you’re a heroin addict that’s what you do… that’s all you do.
You have classic signs of withdrawal: runny nose, sweating, muscle aches, tremors and punishing anxiety.
Then you shoot heroin over…and over again.
You learn that your life is a process. You know that some people will criticize you.
It is your right to have whatever you want, and that it is the obligation of the rest of the world to provide it… self‑destruction.
You forget to breathe.
You let go, die young and leave a beautiful corpse.