Monday, July 25, 2011

Big Wall

I wasn't going to write about this until it was finished, but it's taking forever... that, and my friend Jon took some great pictures of me working on it yesterday.

This is by far my most ambitious wall, and therefore my most ambitious painting, and probably my most ambitious artwork, ever. It wasn't supposed to be as involved as it has become, that's why I'm painting the background now, instead of at first, like any sane person would do. I had tagged this wall for later painting several times, and the stoopid political/propaganda sign painters kept painting over it. So I decided to paint over them (vertically). I may also paint over them (coat-of-paintwise) if the ambition continues to creep.

Note the police traffic stop (blitz) in the background. They were completely disinterested in me, which is why Salvador is a graffiteiro's paradise. At least for this kind of work.

The painting is taking forever because I'm only working on it on the weekends, and only if:

a. I don't have any other work that needs to get done
b. It's not raining
c. I'm not with Lucas

Plus it is clearly not a one-session wall. More like a ten session wall at this point. But I've enjoyed the chance to reflect upon what I've been working on, and the composition has built over time. I take pictures, print them out, draw on the printouts, and go back to the wall. I realized the thing was not going to jump off the background if I didn't just paint the dern thing, which is what I am doing now. I'll do the top part my next session- only problem, my ladder doesn't reach that high! But I have a solution in mind.

The location is really fantastic - poking up in the middle of the above photo are the Elevador Lacerda and the Basílica de Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Praia, two of the most famous landmarks in Salvador. Unfortunately, it's pretty run down, and there are some nasty streets nearby - lots of crackheads, glue-sniffers, prostitutes, and alcoholics in the neighborhood. On the weekends they are often the only folks around. Generally they are enthusiastic about my work, which is nice. The best thing about street art is that it's for everybody.

Generally when I'm done I like to pick up some garbage in the area, do my civic duty to clean up some. Didn't happen yesterday, because as it was getting dark a very sketchy dude, either a crackhead or mentally ill, perhaps both but certainly homeless and not in a good way, started pacing around my car- looking at me and mumbling and causing every mental alarm I have to go off loudly. I got off the ladder and picked up a stout stick I was using as an extension for my paint roller, and kept it near me as I packed up the rest of my stuff and split. It was unfortunate, because I wanted to spend another 15/20 minutes getting the wall to a place that I'm happier to leave it at for the next week or two, and that didn't happen.


Pedra said...

Awesome job!!! That is a good place as well as sketchy. Kind of falls into the category of "never walk from Cidade Baixa to Cidade Alta" except that at least you can speak Portuguese and are not naive about things like the idiots that start walking up that hill!

markuza said...

Thanks Cheryl! Yeah, I am pretty dern careful about where I go up that hill. Even the elevator isn't the safest place. I have know some people to walk it without incident, but I wouldn't do so myself.