how graffiti artists sell their souls
‘anser’ is a well known Toronto based (graffiti-)artist, who spray paints garages and walls and has his work exposed in various galleries and all over google. just search his name and you find his tags and graffitis on peoples property, but also hanging on the wall of fancy #-gallery on Dundas (about a year ago).
in most of the articles I’ve read about ‘anser’ the authors were very eager to state, that they want to protect his/her identity. protecting a person against authorities in the name and for the sake of art makes sense – to a certain point.
not too long ago I walked down Queen St. over to a friends house and I saw this never ending wall gating a condo-complex filled up with ‘street-art’. next to 50 other ‘artists’ ‘anser’ participated in a project against ‘another round of vandalism’ and helped covering a ‘development project’ with a variety of ideas from ‘graffiti is illegal’ to ‘go to school and learn’. getting established ‘underground-artists’ to be part of a project like this is a clever move. the city gets those, who paint the town in the colors they want to obey a well laid plan of politicians and to criminalize the boys and girls, who wander the streets in night with spray cans.
in my eyes projects like this take out authentic (street) art work, giving theoretically everybody the choice and a voice to express what they think, or feel about the society they live in.
money always changes people and their point of view. people get older, they develop existential fears. where am I going, what am I doing? how do I pay for this and for that? the officials fund these fears by calling artists in to work against vandalism, but mostly against themselves and their spirits. maybe ‘anser’ is funny, shows the city the finger and walks away with the money, the city usually needs to clean up the mess he does out there too.
I don’t understand how you can possibly turn from somebody contributing to the underground mission of painting a town in different colours to a profitable piece of merchandise, whose stuff is next to a message (camouflaged as a joke I don’t get) against free graffiti art on a wall fortifying a huge complex of brand new condo buildings.
shame on you!
you support gentrification!
criminalization should be illegal!
if you see da police warn a brother!