The Continued Transcendence of a Graffiti Tag.
Begun November 2014 — > Ongoing 2015 –>
I have been writing SLOW for over 20 years now. I enjoy working in a variety of styles. I developed a traditional bubble style to write my name and repeated the process until it became second nature. Over 20 years and the action itself still holds my interest and evokes the nostalgia of my early teen years when graffiti was brand new to me. I have learned, all things in this world will evolve. They grow, synthesize, expand and pull themselves inside out to become something new. We do need to participate and allow for that. I am grateful to have this creative awareness and the continuous desire to transparently share my experiential opportunities. I’m still interested in participating and writing SLOW, and in 2015 SLOW wants to continue to grow.
Variations are common in the extension and development of letter styles. At the core, drawing with pencils, pens and markers make this easy. I find the whole process to be fun. It enhances the hand eye connection while discovering new forms and endless shapes. Playfulness and character enhancements have always attracted me and seem to compliment the flow of the marquee. My bubble style is by all means light and represents the energy that graffiti brings to me. Im also amazed at how something as simple as a series of lines can evoke such movement and energy. I experienced my first gesture drawing demo in junior high school, I connected it right away to graffiti. My teacher at the time did not, and that lack of support in what I expressed fueled my definition and to pursue writing graffiti. My high school teachers were different though and I teach this at the college level now.
Sketches like this (above and below) are always done in immediacy. They are fast ways to practice and see the endless potentialities of what else can become. Not all drawings will become murals, paintings, stencils or prints. Sometimes drawings like these are simply for the act and subject of drawing and writing graffiti. My tag is simply the content being asserted. This action of repetition has become a habit, but even habits evolve, and I have learned that not all habits are bad.
Quick line based hand styles (like this one below) will vary and visually become a nice contrast to the pencil and pen based works through the gauge of the markers used to create the lines. I love working with thick felt tip markers. Acrylic and enamels paint markers have a great fluidity to them, making the gesture of hand style tags flow easily across almost any flat surface.
Marker technology continues to grow and it integrates well onto paper, canvas, masonite, wood or metal surfaces. Even with all of these options a static image to me cries out for more, I want more movement. I want more graphic quality. Integrating motion graphic techniques via stop motion frames and the animated gif works perfectly to express this.
This piece above represents one of the first all digital hand-style translations that I made. I used the KRINK app on my i-pad. In essence it is still a hand drawing. I used my pointer finger for this drawing. It took half the time that a piece like this would take to render using markers. I loved the speed at which this took place. (I completed this on the LIRR from Queens to NYC in 12 minutes) I love the flat bold opacity of the colors, plus the app allows you to have control of the drips by tilting the i-pad. Im in the process of printing a few of these out at larger sizes, look out for those soon.
This is one of the first graffiti GIFs generated site specifically for my tag and for the web. It lives on my site archived into a growing series of all graffiti based gif animations. (There is a lot more information coming soon on this body of works.) This piece began as a hand drawing made with a black KRINK marker. I scanned and brought the drawing into adobe illustrator. Using the live trace feature I created a smooth lined vector file. I then scanned a series of lego toys and made the back round move through the interior of the letters using the animation feature in adobe photoshop. The whole process took about 1 hour from start to finish. Is that immediate enough? This piece as well as the one below is where the subject, style and energy of graffiti has taken me. Pieces like this continue to provoke me, and push my desires to see what else can happen. Has their been resistance to this kind of work from my peers? Some, but like any art form, their will always be resistance, it is necessary in a world of dichotomies, and everyone gets to be right.
GIF animation piece like this one above allow for me to fuse together elements of childhood nostalgia while reflecting, personalizing and hacking into the subject matter. What does Mega-Man have in common with graffiti? Does Mega-man know SLOW? Are they collaborators now? SLOW wants to be a motion graphic now, and he wants to expand into public space adopting new technologies and new techniques so what is next? Your city?
Getting back to the first piece shown in the post, the idea to use and cut out children’s construction paper came out of the ideas spoken about above. What are the potentials and evolution of an image or a subject? You wont know if you don’t allow yourself to push the boundaries while also not being afraid to suck at it. I love the endless variety of the creative process.
My manual hand style, flows in two to three single strokes.
The digital tag flows the same. Same idea, same flow, same immediacy but with new tools. Placement begins in virtual space but can quickly be uploaded and projected onto objects and into various spaces to augment the physical space.
Adapting 3D forms and sculpture into the process is another way to fragment, break down and dislocate letter forms. I began working with this idea off and on over the last 5 years, and the first pieces were difficult to interpret and compose. The idea was to get further away from anything recognizable, to make rounded forms angular and sharp, and to push the definition of wild style in the 3D relief format. Once this began happening, animating the works seemed obvious and necessary.
Read an Update as of 11/30/14 – http://www.ryanseslow.com/WmeT7
The Jump to Discarded Cardboard cant be stopped!
Updated – 11/25/15
I’m happy to add this new addition to the growing body of abstract graffiti works that I have been working on for the last year. Most of the previous sculptures and reliefs have been arrangements in wood. The wood pieces have led me to push on the idea of ephemerality and immediacy a bit further. I made this piece as an example for my sculpture students at Iona College. We talked about form and composition, and how letter forms can be broken down and reconstructed. The evolution of a tag continues.
Paper, Cardboard relief and Digital GIFs continue.
I enjoy challenging myself.
short – link to this post :: http://www.ryanseslow.com/3lhJ6