This is chalkboard bombing, its an act of ephemeral immediacy, and a temptation for self expression with drawing. The drawings may last 5 minutes, or they may be buffed by the next person that passes by 8 hours later. I never know, but what I do know is this, if the chalkboard is blank, I’m going to hit it, record it, share it and archive it. All in under 10 minutes. My chalkboard bombing dates back to the early 1990s, or even earlier but I didn’t start documenting and archiving the works until the mid 2000s.
True, most of the earliest drawings have been lost in transition, lack of documentation awareness or perhaps buried on old forgotten above external hard-drives. I am currently doing the research to find them, trace back the process and share them. Its a hell of a lot more fun to keep making them, and the story continues.
Do you have a snap shot of one of these pieces? I would love to know! Feel free to get in touch.
I started a #flickr set a few years ago to watch how the process would change over time as well as archive the works, you can check it here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmsmovement/albums/72157627925471274 but going forward, the series will continue on this site as I will be sharing the actual drawing process, as well as collaborating with other artists.
Chalkboard bombing (and non graffiti art making people should look up the history of tagging, and how the term “bombing” relates here) has since become a great teaching tool for me in many ways. What better way to inspire and evoke the creative spirit than through a live demonstration?
I teach Introduction to Drawing and 2D Design here in 2 CUNY colleges in NYC and we cover the foundation vocabulary via the elements of art and principles of design. The use and application of mark marking, shape, space, form, movement, gesture and controlled line play a role in the exercises that we participate in. Drawing is fast, immediate and full of loose gesture. The observer participates in the energy by watching, and then taking over.
What about Dry Erase Boards? They are certainly on the roster as well, especially with actual chalkboards becoming more and more extinct. Time must change, and we must adapt, and I will miss the flow of the chalk on the surface of the chalkboard, but then again, the dry erase marker also has a very fluid easy flowing line. Its a tad bit faster than the chalk’s flow and I like the contrasts it creates between the surfaces.
Not all of these drawings are executed on the chalk and dry erase boards, a lot of them do, but I also draw regularly on all kinds of papers and surfaces. Quick sketches during the in between times in life are perfect for this. I take advantage of those times and am acutely aware of them. If I have 6 minutes waiting for a train Ill pull out the sketch book and rock a drawing. These times induce a feeling of immediacy, as if I have a deadline pending, this energy forces me to work fast and not think too much, so the lines and characters flow out. Judgement is suspended 100% and I love that. The ego gets served a nice slap of higher self awareness, the human creative potential is much bigger than the ego. We can take action anywhere. This awareness helps redefine the “studio” as a mobile and ongoing transient space.
On and on, and on and on.
short-link to this post – https://ryanseslow.com/h4lvi