No part of this publication may be usee! Someone recently asked me if I thought most graffiti writers were really frustrated artists myself. Some people think should have better to think about than to think about better things. But the instinct is still there.
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Someone recently asked me if I thought most graffiti writers were really just frustrated artists like myself. This seems difficult for some people to under- stand - you do not paint graffiti in the vain hope that one day some big fat tory will discover you and put your pictures on his wall.
If you draw on walls in public then you are already operating on a higher level. The irony is that despite having to scuttle around at night like Jack the Ripper with a marker pen, writing graffiti is about the most honest way you can be an artist.
Some people think you should have better things to think about than trying to think about better things. But the instinct is still there. Life is unfair and the world is full of cripples, death and deviousness. In response to this , painting pictures seems a pointless way to spend your time.
Your average plumber does more for humanity than some git that makes abstract art or paints seaside views full of boats. At least graffiti has a fighting chance of meaning a little more to people. Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. I mean, how much more useful can a painting be than that?
You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clar- ity. In the meantime vie should all go shopping to console ourselves. His ferocious government had run the country emphatically for many years, crushing any signs of dissent ruthlessly. In November he was re- elected President for another five years as his supporters at Party Con- ference gave him forty standing ovations.
On December 21st the President, disturbed by a small uprising in the western city of Timisoara in support of a Protes- tant Clergyman, was per- suaded to address a pub- lic rally in Bucharest. One solitary man in the crowd, Nica Leon, sick to death with Ceausescu and the dreadful circumstan- ces he created for every- one started shouting in favour of the revolution- aries in Timisoara. The crowd around him, obedient to the last, thought that when he shouted out "Long live Timisoara!
They started chanting it too. It was only when he called, "Down with Ceausescu! Terrified, they tried to force them- selves away from him, dropping the banners they had been carrying.
In the crush the wooden batons on which the banners were held began to snap under- foot and women started screaming. The ensuing panic sounded like booing. The unthinkable was happ- ening. Ceausescu stood there on his balcony, ludicrously frozen in uncertainty, his mouth opening and shutting. Even the official camera shook with fright.
Then the head of security walked swiftly across the balcony towards him and whispered "they" re getting in". This was the start of the revolution. Within a week Ceausescu was dead. I was arrest- ed for painting a picture about corruption over a billboard. As a result I spent 40 hours in a cell with the cops talcing the piss and telling me lies, followed by a spell of community service and a hefty fine for which I never got a receipt and no record appeared to be kept.
There are no exceptions to the rule that everyone thinks they are an exception to the rules. Sometimes I feel like an inside-out policeman. I guess I do believe some people become cops because I they want to make the! But I then some people become vandals because they want I to make the world, a better-looking place.
It was punish- ment for swinging one of my classmates round and round before dropping him onto a concrete floor. The next day I was made to stand in front of the whole school at assembly while the headmaster gave a speech about good and evil before I was sent home in disgrace.
The unfortunate part of this story is that I never actually touched the kid. It was my best friend Jimmy who had put him into casualty. However, Jim was a big chap for his age and could be very persuasive. So I shut up after that. The kid sustained a fractured skull and some mental problems. You will probably be punished for something you never did anyway. People get it wrong all the time. Anyone who believes in capital punishment should be shot. I was at home drawing and listening to Radio One late at night when the dj became so annoying I grabbed some paint and drove to the studios on New Cavendish Street".
I started walking off as the van drove past and took the next corner. I turned back and got my paint out just as the same van pulled up again, having just gone round the block. I straightened up and walked to my car as the cops pulled up very slowly and stopped 20 yards up the road. He opens her door and she goes into the building. I turn on my engine as a cop finally gets out of the van and walks over.
The driver suddenly looks a bit perturbed. A lot of people never use their initiative , because no-one told them to. Why all the bombs? A wall is a very big weapon. We hung up some decorators signs nicked off a building I i i Le and painted the walls white wearing over- nils.
We got the artwork up in twenty five minutes ni id held an opening party I , i ter that week with beers and some hip hop I nimping out the back of a i ransit van.
I I I had a pound for every i Lme Lhat happened. I look straight ahead and keep walking but just as I get to the gate I see the blue lights start flashing and the siren goes off. When I look kick I see the beaming I ice of a mechanic behind I In- wheel, flashing me a 1 1 lq Jamaican smile as he I hi na the siren on and off cii rii. I stand there as iii.
Snap off blades are best. The sharper your knife the better the stencil looks. As the Grim Reaper said to his new apprentice: "You must learn the compassion suitable to your trade - a fucking sharp edge. Any thinner and it gets sloppy too quick. Cheap British paint is fine but some brands bleed more than others. Acting like a sad old drunk if you attract attention. I would be grateful if you could tell me where else I can catch any other pieces of your work in shoreditch or the rest of london.
I have just started work as a car park attendant, night shift in swiss cottage. There are a lot of crappy tags but there is great scope to do something there. I am only working there for another six weeks so if you are interested mail me. He does not appear to have understood the project brief which we supplied to you and his ideas fall somewhat short of i: what we were antici- pating.
Please note that the agreed design feewill not be released until all out- standing artwork relat- ing to this project is submitted to our office. I live in Montpelier and we have two of your pieces at the end of our street.
Thought you might be interested to know we had the police here last week because a neighbour was burgled and I asked them what they think of your stuff. All the best Andy Banksy I read in Level maga- zine that you are trying to etch grafitti into limestone but were unsure of how to do it. I did a little work with steel plate etching, we would use a j laquer to coat the back J of the plates to stop them dissolving. This could then be removed with meths. Ed, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol!
Additional lyrics by Mil-. Further copieu av. Each and every one of them a pathetic cry for help.
Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall
Banging your head against a brick wall. November 2001
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