Yesterday I spent about 3 hours interviewing some graffiti artists that I have met before down at the Hall of Fame. They were in the middle of doing a really good piece that included the Joker and Batman..
I asked them my variety of questions and we stood and chatted about graffiti and its culture. Part of my blogs have been trying to figure out the motivations of artists and the meaning s behind the graffiti and its placement. I remember chatting about messages within work and pointed a few out along the HOF. So we left them to finish off and said we would be back today to photograph.
So I get back there today, camera in hand and my partner starts laughing. Intentionally for me or not there was a message in this piece, ‘Its about sending a message’.. If it was because of my questions its a very tongue in cheek message, in which they are poking a little fun at me and all my questions!
This is really a reflection of the type of artists I have encountered throughout this experience. All friendly, chatty and up for a laugh. Not the usual stereotype of a hoodie wearing kid, lurking in the shadows- hell bent on vandalism.
As a researcher I’m lucky to have been welcomed and so easily have gained access to a very secretive world. I’m sure the artists I encounter do find my presence, with my eccentric old staffy dog and sometimes 4 kids in tow (when photographing), a bit strange and amusing. I ask questions that are obvious to them, or are looking for things that some don’t think are there. But I am grateful, for what they share and the position I am in to be able to research such a creative bunch!