Picture: source - http://streetarse.co.nz/
I remember when I first got to Auckland, I hated it with a passion. I use to hate on it the way people hate on gum stuck in their hair or someone stealing their parking spot. My reasoning for this malicious banter was "oh Auckland is so boring, nothing ever happens, the city is SO DEAD, what can you even do here". Silly, little, ignorant ole me. When you're new to a city, you can't expect it to come rushing toward you showering you with ideas and places to see and eat. Cities are spaces designed to be found and to be lost within. They are living, breathing beings created to be discovered and molded to suit one's imagination. I'm still getting acquainted with Auckland but what I've found so far is that it has an underground scene about it. Events and little things to do here and there are often known by word of mouth or just by being in the right place at the right time. This is what I genuinely grew to love about this city, its closeness and its ability to pleasantly surprise you in subtle ways. It took me a long time to catch on to this though, I was bored for the longest time, until I started watching and reading the right things and the right time, that gave hints of where, how and why. And all of a sudden I found myself at art exhibits, pop-up stores, fashion shows, street shows, live gigs and large concerts. It's made me really appreciate the people more than anything. And it's also made me realize that you just need a little patience with new places.
And speaking of...here's the next one I'm REALLY looking forward to. World renowned graffiti artist Askew One a.k.a Elliot O'Donnell , who is Kiwi by the way is doing a solo show! Truth is, I had no idea who he was, I'm not tuned in enough with the graffiti art or art scene in general in Auckland or around the world really, but like I said I just happened to be reading the right thing and the right time and stumbled across this amazing score. But let's get another thing straight, I am no artist I couldn't draw you a square even if you drew the first two lines (that may be a little exaggerated), OR press play on the stereo if you needed. The creativity that I lack in those outlets are displayed in others, like making sandwiches or creating an ultimate chocolate sundae, things that may not be as relevant to society but you know we can't have it all. So... where is all this enthusiasm for this event coming from? I love art, I do. I have a great appreciation for it, but more so in its cultural and social implications and contexts. That's the anthropology in me. In the case of this exhibit, I'm interested in questions like: what is graffiti? Is it still graffiti when displayed and housed under a socially controlled setting like a gallery? Does a white canvas take away the context and nature of graffiti? How much weight do the concepts of location and law still have on graffiti? And blah blah. Technique, color and image don't strike me quite as much as the questions do behind it. All the intellectual riff raff aside...I'm also just as excited to soak up Mr. O'Donnell's amazing hard work and talent.