Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The second generation of graff heads...
Many, many moons ago, in the bowels of a hot, dirty visual merchandising company in L.A., I met this cat named Mandoe. He had hair as long as Anthony Keidis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was long and black and luxurious and it gained him alot of attention. I got to know him as we worked alongside each other taping and spraying and painting and finishing racks upon racks of stuff that the factory pushed out to us in the slave mill. The only fond memories that exist of that place were the friendships I made. Mandoe was one of them. He was a cool dude, a graff writer, and a dad. He wasn't with his baby mama, but he took care of his son and he loved him.
A few weeks ago, I found him on that ubiquitous peoplefinder and I asked him to be my Friend. Do you remember me? And he did. Then he replied, Hell yeah... Whatup with that nigga Jimer? That put a smile on my face. Jimer of the legendary LTS Crew a.k.a Michael, a.k.a the Man, a.k.a my baby daddy, a.k.a my husband.
Mandoe had this video on his page of him and his son (who was only five or so when I met him!) so I wanted to share it. I thought it was really touching because he represents the new wave of graffiti artists. The second generation. All the cats that Michael painted alongside with back in day are now old enough to have their own sons painting with them and that is what this video portrays.
It got me thinking about my stepson and my own sons. They, too, have grown up watching their dad do graffiti. I know one or more of them will pick up the torch their father has passed to them. But it's bittersweet. I want them to explore their creative expressions with a can like their father...but I don't want to see them go down the road that is illegal or dangerous. Unfortunately, that is impossible. That is the nature of the beast. And what makes it alluring, I hear. Apparently providing them with enough graffiti games and computer games and wall space in our driveway and yard isn't going to be enough.
But this video, it's important. It beautifully illustrates the strong tie between father and son and the love of art and graffiti.