The Big Show

by jbyron

Nearly a year ago, the curator of Masur Museum approached me with this idea. He wanted to do a graffiti show. Of course I was very excited and flattered he would want to include me. But honestly I wasn’t overly optimistic that the show would ever happen. I mean, it’s not a terribly rare thing nowadays, a street-art themed show…alas, the town in which i live isn’t one of the great metropolises – we’re not exactly known for our graffiti culture and in reality, most people that indulge in the medium would sooner be classified as vandals than artists. Rightfully so i’m afraid. Yet, I type this having come in from the opening not 2 hours ago. And from my perspective it was a wild success. Well done, Ben. The show skewed away from it’s original roots i think; this is not a bad thing – and it might not even be true – could be a simple perspective issue – mine, being too narrow… but regardless, the show took on a life to encompass all things “mural.” Graffiti was one of those things, as was stencil-art and vinyl, as well as a chalkboard room for the kiddies to scribble on. All good.

I mentioned this show in a previous post.  See, this is the first time I’ve painted something on this scale. I’ve done big paintings before but never wall size. So I did a trial run on a smaller canvas which had a 2-fold purpose. First, it gave me a chance to work out the kinks. But secondly, since the Masur show (called “Outside In”) was to have all the artists (5 of us) actually paint directly on the wall… a wall that would eventually be painted over once the show ends, I wanted to make a version of my design that would last a little longer than 2 months. A take-home version if you will. So I did.

It’s fun working big. And I can do it a lot faster than i expected – probably took me as long to cut all those giant stencils as it did to actually paint the piece. And guess what? I taped it. Two and half days of work in under 30 seconds. Check it:


And if you’re still reading, here are a few shots of the final piece as well as the room that i have most of my work in.

Thanks to my friend, Ali Hijazi for helping me with the stencils as well as spelling my name right. It was difficult editing you out of that video, but you understand that it’s important people think i did it completely on my own… luckily no one reads this.

That piece there in the foreground is relatively new; other than the gorilla, it’s the only thing i’ve done in 2012 so far. I was going to go more in depth about it within this post but my eyes are getting seriously heavy. It’s the second piece I’ve done inspired by lyrics. I’ll post about it later.

Thanks for Ben and Evie for throwing the shindig, for Masur and it’s board for the follow-through, and everyone who came out tonight…and as always, thanks to my faithful readers.