Phlegm – is truely astonishingly fantastic

Rash – (The Documentary)
Australia 2005

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I can relate to the Rash documentary very well. Remembering back sometime my first introduction to Graffiti visually would be a film made in 1979 named “The Warriors”. Quite controversial at the time though in reality the Graffiti at this time was quite silly. Personally I have watched with interest Graffiti develop over time and most of it without a doubt artististic when not gang related.

The second part of Graffiti art that I witnessed as mainstream became popular around the 1980/s. It was the hotel proprietor and public lavatories that commissioned artists to paint interior walls so that vulgar statements from perverts written usually in texture had no place.

More recent times I have also monitored with interest Graffiti being used in by the media in News coverage. For example there was a recent story about a Muslim mosque that had been vandalised and the background had hate Graffiti sprayed onto the walls. Sublimlinal statements regarding ISIS were painted onto every object in the room during the story and you could tell it had been planted with the idea to get into the viewers head that this was somehow related. Conspiracy? You Bet it is, Graffiti can be a tool used for and against any campaign that has crowd swinging proposals. Just one example in my view.

Moving on,  The Rash has a common theme amongst the interviewed characters, and that is, they all comment on Graffiti as being not only an art-form but also a thrill in the dead of night, the idea of doing something illegal and getting way with it appears to be the fun part. However, nothing can taken away form the fact that Graffiti in the case of Rash is artistic, if you ever wondered how such beautiful art can be done overnight the answer is, it is not. Normally a true statement carefully planned will be worked on over many nights to perfect the outcome.

Interestingly Graffiti is fast becoming accepted and often commissioned to beautify certain areas, and it’s not hard to tell why when you see a majority of city areas with sad run down buildings as ugly as hell.

Graffiti artists in the movie Rash are Brand Artists in the true sense most as they are all part of a group or cult based unit that must use a particular name to identify themselves. I imagine this also is personal branding to avoid conflict or in-house copyright work.

Surprising to see the amount of preparation that is usually collaborated on when designing a project, it is without a doubt a full time occupation. Is it damaging to another’s property? absolutely it is but only if not done well, the movie does not supply statistics relating to what is regarded as bad or good Graffiti and what would be targeted as a crime or vandalism. Historically the work speaks for itself, as it becomes a lot more interesting one could only say that 95% of Graffiti is beautiful compared to what was before.

Rash is a subculture documentary made in Australia around 2005 that cleverly highlights the artist and the lengths they will go to in order to belong. Very similar to the music sub-cultures there are literally tens of thousands of professional artist’s who never get a break, the A-list is hard to break into and anyone outside of this arena is basically viewed as being a destructive vandal.

The movie Rash does has a common theme and that is “getting caught” or “not getting caught” is proposed as the thrill and the purpose of creating art-forms for youth who apparently have no other prospects.

Graffiti art is one sub-culture that never really developed into a full blown accepted across the board culture, it lacks the music and the dance steps that is normally associated with anything that has mainstream acceptance. There is not a single beat or lick that can be associated with Graffiti art and until such time as this materialises Graffiti will be selective and illegal. Sad it is, the risks, the thrills, for the desire to create on a personal level, but more important is the fact that anyone you ask about town will almost always comment Graffiti is well accepted visually. At the same attacked by property owners due to the cost of a clean up if the art is not creative or disruptive to a sale of a building.

Rash does distribute smart commentary in that predicting Graffiti art is developing, in it’s early stages still, in my opinion 3D Graffiti has all of the potential to become a sought after field and the occupation of Graffiti Artist will in time be part of who we are and what we aspire to be.


PHLEGM

Phlem Wikipedia
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London Street Art

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Admittedly at first glance I was hesitant to create a blog post about someone who goes by the name of Phlegm. Further investigation into this character revealed something very surprising. If this is street art I want to be Phlegm, the detail and complexity of works carried out by Phlegm is truely astonishingly fantastic.

A world known cartoonist and illustrator Phlegm creations are purely based on his self published comics. Not aligned at all with letter styles or typography he truely enjoys believes that a street painting should be a part of a cities architecture. If anyone can lay claim to having freedom of painting a town red it is hands down owned by Phlegm. He insists his influence is drawn by what is around the subject therefore giving street art a new context.

The name Phlegm stems from an ancient greek medicine term based on four bodily humours, blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Phlegm is said to be the primary response for an apathetic and unemotional temperament.

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From Sheffield England’s Steel City, Phlegm is one of the most exciting street artists his work is highly detailed with a distinct narrative structure and figure mural. His them is of an old world aesthetic similar to woodblock printing and tends to stand out. What is clear to the viewer is that Phlegm has an outstanding understanding of scale to boot. He has painted Aeroplanes, boots and is big on buildings which has made his acceptance easy to mainstream.

Phlegm is mysterious, no artistic statements, no fancy bio, he simply let’s his art speak for itself. And that is why Phlegm could also be popularised as being a visionary in popular street art.


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