After some anxious moments, I decided to jump in with both feet! I am moving from Atlanta to Chattanooga. This is absolutely, one of the biggest decisions I have ever made. I’m moving to Chattanooga with my girlfriend (and future wife) and her daughter. My loft in Atlanta is in a hot area of town. Time to cash in and invest in a new future with Kelli and Grace in Chattanooga. Now that I’ve decided this is what I’m doing, my anxiety has lowered and I feel excited. I feel good about this.
I’ll miss my place on Wylie Street (and it’s view of my street art) and a lot of people in Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta for 15 years, and in this location for the last seven. The next chapters of my life will be in Chattanooga.
Major life changes came often in 2021. They played a big part in my extended absence from this blog. Here are a few photos from moving day.
Yeah, I got big timed. Greg Mike covered it up with some of his work. Guess, he liked the location too. Since I live nearby and could see what was happening, I walked up to him and introduced myself when he was painting his work over mine.
Nothing wrong with Greg Mike, Greg Mike is alright. He has as much right to put his work up there as I do. However, it’s not that simple. Here is a great spot that many people used over the last few years. Now it is changed. Because he’s a known commodity, the spot is now basically his. Others artists will now be reluctant to cover it up, even though they should.
This episode is all from the unwritten rulebook of Atlanta Street Art culture. I don’t belong. It’s OK. I’ve never fit into any club anyway.
For months, I continued adding posters in these two locations on Wylie Street on a regular basis. Then I’d sit on my patio and people watch. During daylight hours, there’s a steady flow of people here on the Atlanta Beltline biking and walking path. These locations became my LIES street galleries and I had a lot of eyes on my artwork.
I documented their destruction extensively too. I plan to be use those images in a future series of mixed media paintings. See the visual report posts for details.
Street art in a space like this will get tagged, and should get tagged. It’s a part of the public space. No one expressing themselves creatively can claim ownership of these spaces. The slow destruction of this type of work is normal. In my opinion, the weathering and tagging adds to the visual appeal of the medium overall. I think it’s beautiful and has amazing mixed media potential. Makes the creative gears in my mind turn.
My final response to my graffiti artist nuisance was to make more posters, and paste up more posters. A lot more!
Living across the street allowed me to work with precision timing. As you can see from these photos, it was a lot of fun. A few total strangers stopped by to show support. Some of them wanted to get involved, including a Canadian citizen in full support of my message. We had to work fast, but I still had time to document the activity.
Here is my response to the message sent to me in the previous post. You might not agree with my point of view, but my guess is that most will. Regardless, I hope it provides context to why I would bother to respond in the first place.
You also might not agree with my sharp language, however I feel it is absolutely appropriate for this environment. For context, the Forward Warrior murals I refer to are spaces given to artists to make their work, a specific work. They are making art for the public space. For everyone. Taggers, at least the ones that are assholes, will often tag those pieces of art. These murals are art in a public gallery given to the community for all to enjoy. It is wrong to tag this work.
The space where I am working is public domain. No one can claim it. No one can dictate what type of media can be used either. Taggers can go ahead and tag it. They can do their thing, but don’t tell me I can’t be here. “The entitled tagger?” Makes me laugh out loud, because it’s super lame.
I’m not hiding or running away. I put my name to my words. I stand behind everything I wrote and posted.
Open Letter to Graffiti Artists (AKA Taggers)
It shouldn’t have to be said, yet here we are. You do not own the wall on Wylie Street, CSX does. Don’t be bitches when other artists use paper and paste instead of spray paint to communicate their message. Until CSX declares this wall to be for “graffiti only” you’ve got nothing to say. Tag it, that’s the nature of the beast. However, don’t declare it “graffiti only.” It’s laughable for a street artist to make such a suggestion.
I’ve been pasting up my art on this Wylie Street wall for over 5 years. In 2016, I had 150 feet of this wall covered at once. At the time, this was a stagnant location filled with old, weathered graffiti and lame ass tags. I was tired of looking at the same old stale shit. Graffiti artists have been tagging over my pasted up street art for years.
Now there’s an unwritten rule that this particular wall is only for graffiti? What a joke. Street artists intentionally avoid the structured gallery system and their rules. Now some want to subject others to their own version of arbitrary gallery rules within the public space???! Sounds like a bunch of bitchy establishment bullshit to me and any street artist worth their salt would know better than to utter such nonsense. Only the Forward Warrior murals are off limits. I do not paste on those, nor should anyone else. Yet that still doesn’t stop taggers from pissing spray paint on them too.
Pick up your damn trash! I regularly throw away empty spray cans tossed aside by street artists as I clean up as much of my mess as I can.
Spray paint artists and paste up artists, and slap (sticker) artists can and should co-exist in a public space such as this one right here.
Logistically, I started focusing my street art displays on one location. An old favorite. The wall across the street from my house on Wylie Street. The place I used for three of my four large scale paste up pieces. I posted about them years ago. You can find pictures here, here, and here.
This wall is ridged, which made it too difficult for pasting up the large-scale prints. Too much surface area. However, this would not be a problem with these new smaller posters. Therefore, I went to work making a large scale display.
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.