Probably because I’m an artist, but my first instinct here is to think that the person behind it is not a racist at all. Instead, they’re making a subversive statement about racism itself and our visceral responses to it.
It made you look, it made you think. That my friends…is why art kicks ass, regardless of what your emotional reaction may be.
I was working on class preparations in my studio this morning when I noticed the sunlight highlighting a section of a collage I made many years ago. Robert Mitchum from The Night of the Hunter. There it is. Another valuable nugget from the mine. Something I can use, right now.
Sometimes it’s right in front of you. An idea. Sometimes it’s staring right at you. Not waiting to be seen, waiting to be revealed and placed in the hands of the creative process.
In Atlanta, just southeast of downtown is a little neighborhood of called Cabbagetown. In the time I’ve lived in this city, Cabbagetown has become a street art Mecca. A destination for street artists and street art appreciators alike. As I’ve mentioned before, I live in the adjacent neighborhood of Reynoldstown, but just a short walk from the epicenter of the Cabbagetown street art scene. The Krog Street Tunnel is an ever-changing visual spectacle of street art. Unlike the murals around the corner, the tunnel is intended to be tagged and layered and covered and covered and covered some more.
Shaking’ Things Up is the first sticker slap in a new (as of yet untitled) series of work. I finally have something I wanted to add to the Tunnel.
Here are some images of the results. These are just the highlights of my Krog Street sticker slaps.
The kids call them slaps. Stickers. Well, when used as street art they’re are called slaps or sticker slaps. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
I went to the Krog Street Tunnel to add some slaps. Just a little of my flavor added to the constant storm of visual stimulation in this location. While there, I found a group of kids having fun and gave them some stickers to spread around other locations in Atlanta. Spontaneous assistance. It’s nice to have help when taking care of business like this.
Yesterday afternoon I walked to the street art Mecca of Cabbagetown in Atlanta. I live in the area. Just two short blocks from the epicenter, the Krog Street Tunnel. It’s a crazy kitchen, but I still want to add a little of my own flavor to the stew.
I’m not finished. I’m just getting started.
I am not alone nor do I want to work alone. I want help spreading these stickers (and the future ones I make) around on a local and national level. Reach out to me via private message (or other means) if you’re interested and I’ll get some into your hands one way or another.
It’s hard for me to work on one series of art at a time. Back and forth I go between mixed media paintings, map drawings and street art. My exhibition came together in a whirlwind and left me in a bit of a haze. Blowing out of that smoke came the need to further explore the work I have been doing in my other two primary areas of interest: map drawings and street art. Also, I am pursuing a new medium, screen printing. I am discovering fresh new energy at a time when I need it most. I am excited by the challenges of learning a new medium. Beyond that, I have started a new series of map drawings that have me excited. I also feel recharged by exploring different ways of making street art.
All of this is what led to the decision to make a series of stickers. Not unlike my mixed media paintings, this is commentary on contemporary culture. However, in the street art format, I am intentionally more sharp and direct. The first in the series is shown below.
Bring an artist is one of the toughest things anyone can do. For a variety of reasons. Almost everyone would admit this too, regardless of their big picture view of the art world itself. The last two years I’ve made street art. I went into this eyes wide open, so I expected my work to be tagged, weathered and painted over. I still think the solution to the art “problem” is weak. Check out these images of the location where my art once was.
A couple of weeks ago I added more of my Lies brand posters. Here are some images. I’ve already been painted over and torn down. When it comes to this kind of street art, it’s the nature of the beast. All posters are along the Beltline on Wylie Street in Reynoldstown, Atlanta. Just a couple of blocks east of the famed Krog Street tunnel.
Back home in Atlanta, I decided to take on the notorious metal wall again. The one along the Beltline on Wylie Street. This is the wall I used last summer for three large scale works. This time, the ridges of the wall were not an issue because I was working much smaller than before.
So here are images of the first 25 posters I pasted up in Atlanta. I have more, there will be more coming up in the very near future. Maybe even tonight.
Loyalty above all else will result in lies of one kind or another.
My latest body of work is a series of posters promoting a brand called Lies. The slogan for the Lies brand is Loyalty Above All Else. This is an idea that was conceived and specifically made for the streets. This series is intentionally more straightforward than the non-sequitur based imagery I typically create.
These posters are intended to be a sign of the times. Direct statements about the culture we inhabit in 2017. They are statements that critique our political culture and consumer culture. This statement belongs on the street, not in a gallery.
In our political culture, facts are more often being manipulated beyond recognition. Beyond that we have a leader that doesn’t know how to lead. A man that values loyalty over honesty and integrity. In our consumer culture, manipulated facts are accepted and commonplace. Brand loyalty is what matters most.
At this point, the Loyalty Lies series includes 8 different posters that serve as advertisements promoting the Lies brand. The Lies brand logo comes in two versions (as seen in the first photograph). Background photos are my own (taken straight from my Instagram page). The future is wide open in regard to where this concept goes next.
Earlier this month I was on the road again. This time I pasted up some posters in the city of Louisville. My friend (and Louisville resident) Jennifer Palmer assisted me with the job. We hung up the posters in Smoketown, a neighborhood just southeast of downtown. Here are some pictures of what I left behind.
Last week, I drove to Kansas City to visit my friend Tarin Eicher. I brought along some new work to paste up while out there. Most of it we pasted in Crossroads (specifically Art Alley) and the Historic West Bottoms neighborhood. It was a great trip, had lots of fun. Here are a few images of the work I left behind.
Yesterday was a big day. I finally installed another large scale paste up installation. This time I was assisted by my colleague and friend Mike Brown and SCAD-Atlanta students Daniel Byrd, Sally Burns, Carmen Reyes and Ruby Chen. All students in Mike’s Street Art class.
I decided against using the wall on Wylie Street I used last year. It’s location is perfect, however it’s ridged surface was too difficult to work with. The weather was able to get behind the work which made it deteriorate too quickly. Those three works lasted about 8 months before complete deterioration. Therefore, I needed to find a flat wall so my work could be viewed for a longer period of time.
The students asked me what this work, titled “What Is Old Is New Again (God Machine)” is about. I can sum it up in one sentence. It’s about the business of religion.
The work is located in Reynoldstown, on Fulton Terrace, near the intersection with Chester Avenue.
Installed my third large scale artwork this week with he help of a couple of friends. I will admit, it’s slightly slanted. However, I’ll also admit, this ain’t easy. That said, making this work has been an exciting adventure.
Next month, there will be more to come. But first I must go on vacation.
So, I’ve been telling you all that I’ve been working on something big. As you can now see, I wasn’t joking around. Last night, with the help of a couple of friends (shout out to Damon & Jeff), I installed the first of my new large format pieces of art.
This is my new direction. The work is comprised of many panels and is 8 feet tall and 50 feet wide in total.
Here are some pictures of the preparation, installation and the final result.
It’s my summer break and as I promised myself, I’m at work in my studio more often. Perhaps I should I say, fighting in my studio. Because I’m fighting myself at every turn. Making art is a battle. A good battle to have, but still a battle nonetheless. My creative energy as well as my physical energy have severe peaks and valleys throughout the day. More often than not, I’ll have creative outbursts followed by moments of fatigue. My confidence level can fluctuate greatly throughout a day in the studio too. At times, I’ll feel that my ideas and instinctive abilities are strong. Then in a moments notice I’ll feel indecisive, unconfident and almost insecure about my progress. Almost like I’m stuck in quicksand. At these times, I will even need to walk away and close my eyes for a few minutes.
These days I have been waging some big battles in the studio. I’ve been working on something big. Both literally and figuratively. Stay tuned for more images and other notes about my progress.