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Friday, June 20, 2014

Graffiti II

Graffiti II

   G=R= A 


These scenes are from Glenn Innes and in fact the field here is where I was 
at school (Tamaki College) in the years 1962-65. 

My brother Dennis also attended. One year he was "dux" so his name 
is on the honour board or list. 

This was then basically the "academic" side of the two sides
of Tamaki College. It is now only on one side where what we 
called the "Technical School" was.

This association with my own past and the mix of graffiti or "street art" 
(although on these walls
that can be seen I think the art is legal which in one sense makes it less interesting 
than the illegal or slightly "anti-social" art (some of which I showed last time, I had 
downloaded so many images that, added to the fact that I had a faulty modem, 
meant the system couldn't handle them).

I have included under graffiti anything that is written either "officially" or illegally 
and also I have images of commercial buildings, logos, street or road signs etc 

I need more images of local
buildings and people but I am just now in a particular folder so I will see 
how far I get with my "mix". I have started to experiment with my own graffiti. 

I mean I am writing digitally onto
the photographs: but I did want eventually to "do" street art. 

The reason so far I haven't includes
a number of things but one is simply that I really need or would need a 
good "apprenticeship" in
the kind of art-lettering and methods etc as well as the more I read about 
this area of art the
more I realise how ingenious some of the artists are 
(throughout the world).

Apart from such as Dondy White (who I once read a book about) and Basquiat, 
and perhapsthe The Slider, Does, Kles (who tend to use brilliant 
"traditional" street art etc) - such artists as 'Banksy', Blek le Rat, and say 

Magda Sayeg 
who puts beautiful knitting on public statues or
other cold official places, and the many ingenious ideas these people have - 
many of whom
are more or less or perhaps always permanently writing in an "illegal" way.

If I sound a bit naive and overenthusiastic it is partly that as I load these images, and as I read
about graffiti and street art it affects me more intensely... 

(I have to say I have always felt ambiguously about such art or
writing (as Anna Waclawek in Graffiti and Street Art (Thames & Hudson) calls it). 
I have always thought that the overreaction and pious opposition to it is just that. 
On the other hand it is a kind of
secret society in some ways of artists who either by 
design or practice 
challenge the main
official art world as well as 
certain social mores etc
and they are able in a way to either 
make some direct challenge to political 
and police authority,...

...and or stay in a permanent world of this art
that, in a sense may keep some sense of
possibility open.

I am relatively new to thinking about this art, but
I like the semi-random and even vandalistic 
aspect of it and the potential
it has for anarchistic action
or even just insane protest against
everything. There is room for anything.

"It is right to rebel." As Mao tse Tung spake in his
'Little Red Book'.

There are wonderful potentialities for ether 
some kind of Wagnerian
or "positive" actions and protest:
or just wonderful destruction.

Destruction has a fascination.

Along this "path" I have even recorded graffiti
on the cars, hopelessly mangled
by what were probably terrible
and fatal accidents
that reminded me of reading
'Crash' by J. G. Ballard and even
'The Drowned World', and
the film and the book 
'The Empire of the Sun'.

Dark memories of the terrible sun that knows no friends, 
loves nothing.

And as I put these images up (I have not actively sought graffiti I only 
photograph things seen
on my daily walks with my son, when we stop somewhere 
to eat lunch and play
over a game of chess): it is then (on studying the street art closely)
that I see more and more in these works. 

Terror is the purest emotion.

My son likes 
to keep to the same routes so I tend to photograph the
same places over and over again. This is, however, interesting 
as things change as time "moves". 
(I also have a folder of bird photographs, 
ones of Maungarei (Mt Wellington),
trees, shops inside and out, building sites, 
old buildings, boats and other things.

As I study this art (to repeat) I am amazed at what I didn't see previously. 

The reasons these things
seem significant to me change or there are added new aspects 
of meaning to them.

I value these gestures on the street. 

Many years ago, in South Auckland, where I had a
house, I built a fence, and then told some young kids 
they could use it to practice
writing on. Of course this might have meant that their feelings about writing 
on it were
from then ambiguous. 
That was many years ago however, perhaps 
in my happiest days,
if any being can identify such time 
or days.  

The following are digitally enhanced as I work with a program called "Paint" (not the one
that comes with most systems but a program that is a kind of endless Beta system
and is possibly similar to Photoshop. I use a either of two fairly basic digital cameras.
I have been using cameras for many years ever since I started with a Pentax in
1969. It was a good camera and I had a lot of accessories but I had a car stolen
and I think it was also stolen at the time. Now of course every man and his dog
has a camera of some kind.

Seen casually this might look chaotic but there is a great technique here. I have made it appear more
"garish" than it is. But bright colours and the many great techniques here are typical of some of the
very good street art.


Two writers and two of those "pronuniamentos" I might quote here:

"There is no construction 

without destruction."  

Mao tse Tung.

"Destruction is infinitely more 
convincing than construction." 

Patrick White in The Tree of Man. These motifs recur in the pictures I will try to get up here.


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