As ever in DS106 land, it started with a tweet.
I hade never heard of King Robbo but I had seen Banksy’s work around the UK. Meh. I follow Ryan Seslow here on Tumblr and like his art, sometimes. Yet I never got (until yesterday) the recurrent aerosol can in his art, forgive my ignorance Ryan.
I clicked to watch with a view to ‘scan and go’ as so much of what goes through a daily feed. I never ‘went’. The video was such an education, then Google filled in the holes of my ignorance. Graffiti vs Street art, free hand vs stencil, what legitimises graffiti as art, passion vs economics….yet, what stayed was as deep sadness for a talent lost.
Some people, I learnt as I read, did not approve of the documentary. Yet, I found it compelling. It opened up a world I knew nothing about and showed me people passionate about their art. Blek le rat saying he was a little bit miffed (as we say in the UK) that Bansky had used him as ‘inspiration’. It takes time to find a style, he said. And when you do, you want it to be yours. It takes time to find a style, noted. I will keep trying.
I learnt content, I learnt useful strategies to help with inner struggles about what the heck is it I am making since I joined DS106 - art, artefacts, or just shit - but once again, the deep sadness for King Robbo’s life. On the edge of getting the recognition he craved, his life destroyed by some random act of life. Deep sadness. Also striking to me was how Robbo thanked Banksy and the their war for bringing him out of retirement and getting him motivated to make the transition to the art gallery. Something I imagine some might condemn as breaking some deep Graffiti art rules. Yet, nobody got the chance to condemn him. As he felt inspired to create again, he left this life. In a coma for 3 years, before dying this week.
Well, in true DS106 style. I was curious about the art. I never thought twice about this type of art. The film made me think. The Google obliged with a lovely little project to help students create graffiti. I was not tempted to go to my nearest train depot to use one of their trains as my canvas, I must be getting old.