Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Burning Candles

Often I contemplate what keeps the average graffitti writer or street artist going, motivated.  Why they are making the effort to put up work in public areas.  I'm guessing it depends on the artist. 
     Some are pushed by social conscience - the effort of giving back to their community. 
The streets can be a publicity stunt, used to push the artist name or brand. 
     The act of destroying and striking out against society. 
Others just along for the ride, part of the crew since school daze. 
     The streets have long been used for protest. 
And to some perhaps just another extension of their gallery or professional work. 

Darebin council recently estimated that the cleanup for unwanted spray-painting/ street art for one year was in the sum of 360 thousand Australian dollars.  If only we had a tally of the total costs of everything that is being payed for by the graffitti writers/ artists.  When you have to outlay money for painting supplies and other you can easily chew chunks out of the modest incomes the majority of Australians have.  And I'm hazarding a guess that more of these people are in the lower income slumholds of the terra.

With the explosion of hip hop culture in the 80's and 90's and the street art boom of the 2000's Melbourne/ the world will probably never remove the mass amounts of work that goes up onto the streets, the fads come and go but dedicated few never seem to leave.  There has always been people working in the public space illegally and sometimes pseudo-legally  Even before hip hop culture there were artists working on the streets, small sculptures and shrines to indicate a higher purpose of art beyond income. 

Little Clay Sculpture fallen from it's Decaying Mortar Wall Fitzroy ( circa 60-70's? )
To take from society monetary rewards and recycle that into an art devoted to a higher purpose would be a noble cause.  To have faith in that chance that the work would fade early and fall before deaf eyes and blind palette would be a necessity.  I think the best of our street works contains some portent of this, sometimes not realized - unconciously produced in the best of them and hard won by others. 

Maybe a naiive view but better to hope for the best and plan for the worst. 

ttttttttttt    h         h      aaaa      n        n    k     k    ssss
     t          hhhhh h      a     a     n n     n    k k        s
     t          h         h     aaaaaa    n    n  n    k k            s
     t          h         h   a          a   n        n    k     k   sssss    for reading ..


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