When it comes to art I’m a classicist at heart. I believe art should reflect the beauty that’s within us, focus on and raise up what’s best in human nature, and that it should be edifying. And, reflecting those classical Lain roots, in edifying it should also be an edifice—a structure meant to last, because it’s ideas are meant to be eternal.
So why graffiti? Because I’m also a modernist at heart. I believe art should challenge our preconceived notions, force us to think about things in a new way. Reality ain’t always pretty so art shouldn’t always be either. We live in a cold, indifferent universe that’s always changing.
The classicist believes everything is a remix. The modernist wants to make something new.
And that’s a belief that appears to have a longer lineage than the classical notions. The epic hero Gilgamesh goes on a quest for immortality and ultimately learns that nothing lasts forever.
He’s told this by a man whose wisdom comes from immortality which makes it even more ironic that his message is, “Nothing lasts forever.”
The Epic of Gilgamesh itself was lost, literally buried for thousands of years, before its rediscovery, but that’s another story.
That’s why this quick scribble on a trash can—how’s that for poignant?—got my attention.
And I took this picture six months ago. That’s not a long time but the neighborhood around it has undergone some major changes in that time with old edifices being torn down, new ones built, and some being renovated.
It’s also a call to action, to do something great. Even if you aren’t remembered, the message seems to say, do something that will be. And that’s raising up what’s best in our nature.