June 29th, 2018
Let me kick this blog off with a new show announcement! On July 21st, Go Gallery is hosting their new exhibit “Pink with pride” in Amsterdam. It’s an honor to be part of this great line-up of international artists and an opportunity to celebrate the L.G.B.T community. For this exhibit, I’m making a diptych of Trans people. I find it fascinating that in this day and age, transitioning is still a taboo and I don’t get it. I mean, back when I was rocking long curls, that shitty Nirvana shirt and a musk of mary-j (kids don’t call it that anymore do they?) we had a friend who felt like a dude trapped in a woman’s body. We would always treat him like one of the guys and rightfully so. I mean, I saw him knuckle punch my buddy Dave in a mosh pit once during one of those impromptu punk shows in someone’s living room. Yeah… fun times, but as we grow older that comfortable bubble of friends and carefree living surrounding us fades away. I guess I started to get more active for gay rights when I mistakenly opened up the news app on my phone, yes mistakenly, because I’m sick and tired of the negativity that I read about. That day was filled with, young gay man stoned to death, lesbian couple raped and burned alive in South Africa, boy beaten by a group of 11 males after being lured on Grindr and all that stuff. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m better at painting and writing about love than experiencing it. However, I do believe that people should have the freedom and safety to love who they want. I don’t think the L.G.B.T community is going to be fully accepted if it only gets support from people that are part of that community. People outside the L.G.B.T community should speak out against the violence and hatred as well in order to make a difference. It just doesn’t make any sense to beat up a dude kissing another dude, it shouldn’t be a problem if someone wants a body that matches their mindset, other peoples lives shouldn’t have that of an impact on you in general. If you’re religious and have a problem with those around u remember, you’re not the one calling the plays. I could rant all day about injustice but luckily my life has more to offer.
This past week I caught up with my former art teacher, a long-time friend, and proud owner of some of my artworks; ccartlover. I always value the talks that I have with her because she’s always the voice of reason for me. Whether it’s about art or life in general, CC always gives custom catered advice because she knows me for over 10 years now. But besides life advice, we talk a lot about graffiti and street art, yes there is a difference between those two. We came to an agreement that the gap between the first generation of graffiti in Amsterdam is so different from the second generation of graffiti. Please be advised that the following part is about the history and the shift of social structure in a subculture that is usually wrongfully depicted in mainstream media, so if you don’t care about it you can close it and get back to whatever you were doing. The first wave of Amsterdam graffiti happened in the 70’s with the effort of people like Hugo Kaagman, Diana Ozon, DR.RAT and many more. With a stencil on request service, graffiti hotspots, and pop-up galleries, the scene was creating a solid foundation for not only graffiti but also the punk subculture that they were part of. Hugo Kaagman is still stenciling to this day and during our art walk, we saw his work painted on someone’s food truck. DR.RAT (real name Ivar Vics) passed away at a young age due to a drug overdose but will be remembered for his Old English style graffiti in the streets of Amsterdam. For me, the 1st generation graffiti has the most charm because of the punk and do-it-yourself mentality. Making your own zines, starting bands, and wreaking havoc are all things that I did in the 90’s as a skater kid. Now, the second generation of graffiti is a whole different ballgame, not to sound condescending, but this wave has more of a posh vibe going on. A lot of the writers, like JAZ and SHOE, came from wealthy neighborhoods. Their art didn’t have the same rawness of DR.RAT for example but was more stylish and well thought out. Another key element of the second wave were the first few signs of acceptance by the art world and general public. Yaki Kornblitz (whose gallery is been replaced by one of the shittiest concept stores Amsterdam has the offer) was the first European gallery owner to invite U.S graffiti artists over to show their work in a gallery setting. Writers like Blade (CC did a great interview with him which you can find here) Dondi and Quick all left their influential mark on the Dutch graffiti writers during their stay which led to even more stylized pieces throughout Amsterdam. Anyway, this was my short history story ( I wouldn’t dare to call it a lesson) about the difference between those two generations.
I’m off, got to catch dinner with my dad because he turned 61 yesterday. The man helped me a lot throughout my career, whether it was transporting paintings to Austria, fixing all the stuff I broke or just buying me McDonald’s because I was drunk at 2 a.m after an art-show. I know you’re reading this, and I just wanted to say thank you for putting up with my shenanigans for the past 26 years.
Ard A.K.A Budget Post Malone