Sunday, 27 March 2016

Graffiti or art?

On one of our fairly frequent rides down to the local café and supermarket, we noticed a young man doing a painting on a Chorus cabinet by the side of the road. I called out “Wow!” as we rode past, which he ackowledged with a wave. It looked intriguing, so on our way home, we stopped by and had a chat with him. 

Talking to the artist (photo by John)

We watched him in silence for a bit while he worked. He was using aerosol paint with great skill and precision. It was fascinating to watch. Then he noticed we were there, and stopped working to talk to us. His name was Ants – short for Antony – and the bird he was painting was a NZ native falcon, kārearea. He told us that Chorus had contracted him to paint several of their cabinets as part of their cabinet art project. The paintings help to deter graffiti and taggers from defacing the cabinets. 

I asked him how he’d got into doing this sort of thing, and whether he had any arts training. No, he had no training, he started out as a tagger and graffiti artist. What motivated him to do that? “To become famous, I suppose”, he said, “but this is better”. He does these projects for Chorus in his “spare time”, as he has a full-time job as a screen printer. What a talented guy!

A week later, we rode past again to see if the work had been completed. It looked stunning.

The completed work of art – the NZ native falcon, kārearea (photo by John) 

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