A closer look into one of London’s most prolific graffiti writers
Many people would be quick to claim “graffiti” without understanding the meaning behind it, vandalising the mentality of the graffiti culture; just because you own a paintbrush does not make you an artist, or buying a camera automatically qualify you a photographer. with this in mind, using a spray can does not make you understand what it is to be or become a graffiti artist.
There are a dozen or so graffiti writers that really plague the streets of London. This is not a part time hobby, or just for the weekend offenders, nor for the bystanders that state they have too much in “life” to loose. These people live, eat, work, sleep graffiti; it takes over their whole mentality and gives them a one track mind. It’s the kind of obsession that gets you up in the cold and dark of a 3AM morning, ready to walk the streets looking for the next spot, the next mission.
To give one a small glimpse into this mentality, it’s the feeling of having your heartbroken and for the foreseeable future your only thoughts are about that person or thing, and the on going struggle to function normally whilst your thoughts always revert back to the one moment. No going forward; no going back.
This is what graffiti is, it is what lifestyle means, not something that can be bought online and arrive at your door in less than 24 hours. It’s the addition of creating something so selfish that it is only to impress yourself. And to what avail?
This is what The Invisible Man focuses on; for what or who? who really cares?
Amidst the city’s landscape of high rise concrete and architecturally appeasing stone, alongside hideous over zealous advertising, who really notices new tags or a throw up on the street; do they see the freshly painted carriages or track-sides? How many tags would it take to capture the attention of the general public, before it gives them a sense of deja-vu? Who’s day does it really affect? It’s as much about opening your eyes to take in your surroundings as it is to engage a different outlook and understanding of this culture and language.
In this journey following Arxs, you get the sense that this is not something ‘cool’, a fashion trend or even done to be anarchic, but instead a mentality that is ingrained in one’s DNA, an opportunity to express a different viewpoint both metaphorically and physically.