Street Art

Dangling Carrots

Posted by on Mar 2, 2011 in Blog, Goals, Life, Photography, Street Art | No Comments

There’s no doubt about it…I’m a yes person.

I like to please people; I like to help; I don’t like letting people down, even to my detriment. And I think that’s ok, that’s just me.

But sometimes there is nobody in trouble. Sometimes I’m presented with an opportunity and regardless of how upset, scared or negative I feel about it, I usually take it on because 1. I don’t like to say no and 2. you just never know, you know

Well I was presented with an opportunity yesterday with the usual immediate response required. It was a brilliant idea that was solely mine for the taking. No tender or application required. The gig was guaranteed mine.

It included an opportunity to connect with over 100 entertainment industry folk who regularly need photographic services. Seriously, two of the words in the proposal were ‘National Geographic’. Other words were ‘party’, ‘exclusive’ and ‘incredible opportunity’.

This is something I would usually say yes to. Who wouldn’t, right? It was most likely going to take me down a road of photography, fun and financial success. The only problem being, it really wasn’t my scene. At the start of the year I worked out what I really want to do with my life and the steps that would get me there. And, sadly, this opportunity wasn’t part of it.

I’m still thinking about it though. I know I made the right decision turning it down but it’s one of those ‘Sliding Doors’ moments where you just never really know where the other path could have taken you.

But I stand firm by my decision which, surprisingly, involved the answer ‘no’ (followed by much thanks, explanations and “please think of me next time anyway!”). I feel like this has given me extra resolve to make things work with my own projects. I have to make it work now I turned down an opportunity that could have been amazing.

So, sometimes you try and take a bite at the dangling carrot and sometimes you don’t. This particular one was a deep orange, perfectly formed, large and tasty looking offering but I’m going to stick by my organic, garden-variety carrot this time around and hope in the long run it will be better for me.

Yours in resisted temptation…

x Andy

Organic Options

Source of inspiration

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Art, Blog, Life, Photography, Street Art | One Comment

You know when you find something that just clicks with you? In your gut, in your heart, in your subconscience – before it becomes an intellectual pursuit to work out why?

I felt that way when I saw the Flash Life paste-up in the streets of New York, which may be why it has become the title and centrepiece for my current exhibition. It was the words Flash Life and what they represented to me, alongside the image of a camera and then how they were presented together…representing a flash of life, captured on a camera…an instant in time.

That’s how it all resonated with me. With a fine bottle of wine and a lazy couple of hours I reckon I could prattle on even more about the conceptual and artistic merit of the image and what else it means to me.

Funny thing is, that’s not actually what the image was really all about. The camera, yes, but the rest of it had different roots of representation. And how do I know this? Because, finally, amazingly I have come into contact with the Flash Life artist himself!

Having used their work as inspiration, I acknowledged as many of the street artists that I could in my exhibition but was unable to track down who was responsible for my favourite piece. I googled, scoured the various street art websites, contacted a couple of people who had posted other photos of Flash Life on Flikr…all to no avail.

And yesterday, out of the blue, I received an email from the man himself. Even after posing the question I still have no idea how he found me so I’ll just have to live with the mystery for now but, the great news is, we have connected! And he is cool. I really like him. And he and his partner “have a feeling we will maintain a freindship”.

Here’s what he had to say about Flash Life…

“It has many meanings but 2 core meanings..

1 Being to Honor the camera for it being one of Mans best creations to be able for us to Capture Moments…. Which always still amazes me. The 2nd being a symbol of the feeling u got when u grew up poor in the NYC streets and u first obtained a new outfit or new sneakers bcuz u know NYC is and always will be the most fashionable place.. So we represent that “feeling” that no matter how poor sometimes the “Success” is really just a feeling not neccesarily having all the riches in the world. “We just try to bring that feeling back”!  You see the feeling u got… The one that inspired a name for a gallery exhibition, that’s Flash Life! Inspiration threw art and life…”

How awesome is that hey! I love this guy. All I want to do is head back to NYC and meet with him and his partner. They are starting up a t-shirt company based on Flash Life and already have underground HipHop MCs wearing them. He’s going to send me some pics – I can’t wait!

And that, my friends, is what art is about. Connections. Inspiration. A Flash of Life.

x Andy

Flash Life

The cover up

I’m really disappointed folks. But also incredibly inspired by the very same event.

I know a lot of art is ephemeral. Some of it involves risk. But all of it involves putting a little bit of yourself into it…your thoughts, efforts, emotion and artistic expression. So when I see a 20 metre stretch of art get covered up with stinking, stark white paint it bites a bit.

As I think I’ve mentioned, I live in Bondi Beach. It is my home in every way and will be for life, no matter how far afield I travel and for how long. I’m centred here and inspired, happy, healthy and grounded. I’m at home.

And one of my favourite places in Bondi is the graffiti wall along the beach promenade. I jog along it most mornings at an ungodly hour and it greets me like an old friend, the various artworks encouraging me along from end to end. Some mornings there is no change, some mornings I’m met, wonderfully, by a new piece of graffiti art and some mornings there is horror.

By way of background, art on the wall must be sanctioned by Waverley Council. God knows what you have to do to be allowed to make your mark. I do know that you have to sell your soul (plus a buckload of cash) to get granted a resident parking permit so I dread to think what red tape faces artists in this situation.

A few months back there was a new piece painted up that was kinda nice but also made me a bit sick to the stomach. I’m guessing (but really happy to be proven wrong) that the Council organised an artist to throw up a ‘bin your butts’ message. While I’m all in support of no ciggie butts on the beach, it made me a little queasy that this gorgeous space for artists had become advertising space for Waverley Council. Unless some totally independent street artist had really strong anti-butt feelings they wanted to express through art? I’m guessing probably not.

Aaaanyway, this ‘sanctioned’ message along with a couple of others (one stencil work I loved, one I was far less enamoured by) were painted over by some truly fabulous, almost old-school, vibrant, colourful graffiti work on a striking black background. I loved it! It made me want to jog back home and grab my camera but, alas, I had to scuttle off to work like any other day.

Unfortunately I left it too late to head back and shoot the piece as it was this fine new work that was whitewashed by Council and plastered with warning signs. Seemingly they didn’t fill out the necessary forms.

I admit I’m conflicted over it. I’m bitterly disappointed by the loss but inspired by their courage. I’m sad for my previously-admired sunny stencil piece but grinning naughtily on the inside, encouraged by these colourful covert creatives. I really do like to mostly abide by the rules and I understand their importance in the case of Bondi’s public art space but I also feel like rebelling against it. Maybe it’s just my Libran nature. Perhaps part of the whole ‘conflicted artist’ thing. I don’t know. But I find it fascinating.

If you find these issues interesting, you MUST see the Banksy film, Exit Through the Gift Shop – one of the finest films of 2010 (put your hand up if you think he – brilliantly – orchestrated the whole thing?!).

I’ll probably spend a decent amount of time talking street art. I love it. As you’ll see from a large proportion of the work in Flash Life: New York (oh my god, I can’t believe I plugged my own work again!!). Let me know what you think about the whole street art thing and, in particular, the ‘Waverley Council Whitewash’ affair.

Yours in artistic rebellion…

x Andy

On Notice