Notes on a Vandal

I walk out of the house holding a large slab of cardboard, a paste brush, some folded drawings and a bucket of wheat paste. Hitting the streets of New York City as a vandal was never a strong suit of mine but here goes. It’s about 2 a.m. in mid July and it’s humid out. I’m cruising around in a rickety  2002 Jeep Cherokee looking for wall spaces to accommodate my images .  I pull up to a construction site with plywood walls. These construction sites are usually neglected and  bombarded with graffiti. I find one and  drive by slowly scanning it for a spot that will work well.   IMG_1431I park the car and leave it running. I then proceed to lay down the  slab and unfold the drawing. As I prep the drawing with wheat paste I’m looking out for cops. At this time of night there are plenty of cars  whizzing by but not too many people nevertheless it doesn’t hurt to be cautious.  At this point I’m not doing anything illegal. I’m merely crouched down on the sidewalk behind a running vehicle applying a glue like substance to a large sheet of paper.  No harm no foul. I lay down the brush and grab the drawing by the ends. My heart begins to beat a little faster now because  I understand that this is the part where I am vulnerable. I stick the wet drawing to the plywood and smooth it out with my hands. The drawing is as big as me so I’m jumping up to crinkle out those thick bumps at the top. I quickly reload the brush and wet the outside of the drawing in large arc like strokes .IMG_1005 IMG_4662This entire process takes about two minutes but for some reason the whole ordeal feels like an eternity. After I quickly pack the trunk I pull away from the scene. I take a quick glance at the image and smirk. Another small victory for an artist with a story to tell.  This new venture is not about fame or exposure. It’s just about sharing. One night while laying in bed I made a conscious decision to  become an art vandal from time to time. But not an art vandal in the traditional sense. The images stand alone. There are no words inviting the viewers to interact with it. There is no branding going on either. There is simply a piece of art where no art existed before. When it comes to using the city as a canvas, this is my value add. Not a really a noble cause per se, but rather a kid from Queens simply giving himself free license to spill his mind onto the streets of New York.

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