I’m always on the lookout for empty walls and surfaces. I collect them to use in my graphic design as texture maps. On my way to the art supply store I was please to see that a fence on a vacant lot in my neighborhood had fallen down revealing a new surface. With the film”Exit Through the Gift Shop” still fresh in my mind I saw an opportunity knocking. As non permanent spray chalk was unavailable and spray paint out of the question I settled for the thickest magic marker they carried, a one inch hammer head.
The magic marker was less than satisfactory on the gritty concrete but I managed a quick sketch of a face with word bubbles. Afraid of being discovered I moved to the back corner where I had a better chance of creating my piece calmly, unobserved. My tool quickly failed and as I turned to leave a group of people walked the length of the opening sidewalk and stopped. An audience. With a wave and smile I shouted an enthusiastic hello like I was sanctioned.
A group of local high school students were on a class trip. Their teacher was holding a map of vacant lots in their immediate NYC neighborhood. The assignment was to observe and address the possible uses of these spaces. We immediately engaged in a delightfully animated conversation that are encouraged by such serendipitous encounters.
My intention for the word bubbles is to stimulate people to think of what they have or want to say. Opinions expressed in public spaces can be dangerous. Hence the need for more subversive means, Graffiti!