Saturday, February 10, 2007

Talkin' Art

Sheena appreciates the urban experience and this enjoyment extends to the colour and creativity that surrounds her as she short-cuts through back alleys in her magnificent realm of East Parkdale.

Today she happened upon some pictures of what struck her as, well, lame-ass. To get a second opinion, she reaches out to her mentor and tutor in all things paint, the internationally renowned urban artist and social critic Jeks.

Good morning Jeks. As a respected urban artist, Sheena wishes to incorporate your experienced eye into her assessment of some pictures of a recent tagging of the Trans-Con. Do you have a moment?

JEKS: Yo what up Sheena... much love, girl!

Sheena: My gut opinion is that, well, the colour schemes in these paintings are pretty weak. Maybe even kind of flouncy. And they seem, well, prematurely gesticulated. Am I being snobby, or are these tags, well, shitty?

JEKS: Yo K check it. These guys bombed this train hard!! Props yo. Da shits not da best but like yo they aint goin for sum artistic integrity er nuthin.

Naw, they heated themselves out hard and just destroyed da VIA train, thats like the most ballzy train in all of Canada to hit. Yo like these dudes coulda spent a couple hours workin on a boxcar in a yard and made that shit look all nice, but naw, they just wanted to get da name up n show people they got ballz, not skillz.

Da pink makes you notice it yo. I luv pink yo it's silly fresh and I aint no friend of Dorthy if ya know what im sayin.

Sheena: "These guys bombed this train hard!! " Why do you assume it's guys? Maybe the pink indicates a girl painter. Why is graffiti so sexist?

JEKS: Yo my badd. Coulda been some chicks or something that would be dope. Coulda been a hermafradite for all Jeks knows. Theres some honeys that write graffiti but da theory is like cats pissin in your shoes cuz they markin they territory. Yo it’s a guy thing.

Sheena: Why do you say the "most ballzy train in all of Canada to hit"? Are you saying that there's some ranking of targets out there in graffitiland? Are points awarded? What are some other prime targets?

JEKS: Yo we get points there called props. Can be redeemed at UnderPressure da graff-fest in MTL every year. Prime targets is like anything that will get noticed ya know. Trains and busses is pretty fresh cuz they move round for everyone to see. Billboards is ill too cuz like fat cats spend mad cash on plannin the perfect spot for advertising so we just climb up n get our own for free. Yo as long as its gunna be seen, it be a prime target.

Sheena: Hm... So in a lot of ways, tagging is kind of like blogging. It's all about being noticed. Just another form of attention whoredom? I geddit.
But back to the pictures. So, is this trying to say TOM B or TOMB? How does one distinguish a mere doubter from a desolate grave?

JEKS: Yo I aint hearda this dude before ever, but Im pretty sure it says "TOMB". Could be TOM B tho, I aint here ta spekulate.

Da point of dis lil stunt wuz to get people talkin about it... "TOMB is crazy, yo! He hit da VIA train" Prolly a pretty cocky dude in his teens lookin to earn some respect in a crowded "urban" subculture. So many kids competin for respect that they start doing real risky shit to get noticed. This shit takes sum plannin. Prolly cut holes in da fence and chilled there scopin out the train for a couple nites til they figure out da best way to hit it without gettin busted.

Sheena: "Da point of dis lil stunt wuz to get people talkin about it... " - So are you saying that Sheena is falling into this sordid little ploy? I've been duped? Will this up my blog hit traffic?

JEKS: Yo I aint sayin you been duped, like yo if someone scaled the CN Tower and painted it we’d be talkin about that. If sum dude in BC kills sum hoes at a pig farm then we talk bout dat too ya know. Graff is a enough a crime to be in the papers and news and like thats dope cuz I’d be cuttin that shit out and hangin it on my fridge. Famous… Infamous… either way, dudes is talkin ya know! Yo I’ll get ya some madd traffic like the 401 up in here ya know what im sayin!

Sheena: What is the significance of 315? I understand that many graffiti kids use their area code as a shout out to homies in homieville, but - like... Albany, NY? Come on. Are you sure these weren't perhaps special ed students tryingto do Jesus proud by respecting John 3:16, but missing a verse?

JEKS: Yo Jesus aint a big parta graffiti. I aint real sure what da 315 crew is... most likely a buncha dudes who paint together n stuff. It's just numbers yo I aint no mathematician. We used to rep da 594 crew cuz dats da cops code fo graffiti in progress... also da country code for French Guyana but yo I aint never been there yet.

Sheena: Well, thanks for the input, Jeks. I hear it's pretty cold out West these days. Keep ya earz to the ground so you can hear the warm vibz I'm sending out to ya crib! And next time at UndaPressure, stay away from noo shooz. Word. Maybe find a little place for Jesus in your work some day.

JEKS: Yo it's been a real slice, girl. Hit me up on Myspace Yo, I'm out like the Jerry Curl... Peace!


At 2:20 AM, Blogger Michele said...

Sheen, props to the interview playahs in the house. You gots da beat on da street, for shiz. Word! Lathah, rinse, and repeat dig? Give us mo', mo', mo!

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Jason Bo Green said...

This is probably your greatest post ever... having just cleaned up puppy diarrhea crawling with worms, unable to stop washing my hands Lady MacBeth-like, and too profoundly disturbed to go back to sleep, I really needed this...

At 10:59 PM, Blogger tkkerouac said...

You've been to Jordan Sheena? Where in Canada is your crib?

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Jeks said...

Seems as though you have gotten rave reviews on your most recent discussion regarding the VIA Train that was vandalized earlier this month, Sheena.

Despite the fact that your target audience seems to have problems with grammatical skills.

Kindest Regards,

At 2:32 PM, Anonymous rgraham666 said...


Dat's all.

At 9:53 PM, Blogger K-Dough said...

hey you- check your email for Friday night details!

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous sooey said...

i don't think i like your attitude, young lady.


square drawer

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Sheena said...


I am in Toronto but love the wineries around Jordan.


Huh? Oh, and can't wait to read the book.


You're just jealous.


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