| Legals versus illegals is like comparing a pin-up poster to
penetration. It does not matter how ugly she is, penetration still feels
better. For me, and I paint and like both, to only paint legals is to
concern yourself with style with no regard for content. There is no
commitment to the political implications of an illegal piece. I feel a
necessity to give something back to the movement. I did a piece in the
Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane. The next day I did an illegal piece
in a spillway. The drain was painted as a representation of a gallery.
This created a dialogue between the two spaces. I want to embrace as many
spaces and audiences as possible.
Other writers are content to be style technicians that like the way it looks but aren't prepared to lay it on the line. Well-known writers painting dead trains and playing it off. I feel it lowers the standard and reduces the movement to a fashion scene. A concern only with appearances. That is their path and it is not my concern.
If however, too many writers work towards making the public think that writers are peachy-keen nice boys who just want to paint murals, it will take off the very special edge this movement has. It will turn writing into sweet old mural painting rather than an attack on capitalist society and hierarchies contained within the written letterform and public space.
I have this idea and I had it from the start that I wanted my name to be
etched into the general public's consciousness. COST and REVS have pulled
it off in New York. So in accordance with this idea I select certain
styles for different sites. There are freight cars that carry coal that
run through most of the city I live in. I have painted a lot of these cars
with clean large and simple blockbusters and other simple styles. Anyone
that lives near or travels past these freights knows the word KASINO. Some
people don't even realize its illegal because they are painted so much and
I once spoke with a flight sergeant from a nearby airforce base. He saw the coalies and told me that his favourite car was a married couple that said "NO MAN MY MASTER". It had two characters a cop and a army guy with a gun. I didn't tell him I had done it, but it made me smile to realize how through using a simple public style I was able to communicate with this man. It doesn't change much, but it marks resistance.
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