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I don’t know what I’m doing now and this is a good thing. When I delved into fine art in the mid nineties I had a ton of ideas on what I would paint or draw. I had drawn mostly from other Black artists and the assumed aesthetic of pushing hyper-proud images. I backed away from art in 2003 because I wasn’t feeling my direction. It felt imitative and too contemplative. Things are different now.

I found a discarded board in the trash-room at building where my studio is. I put some Killz on it and painted some random “Gemailsm” stuff on it. I painted all sides like the board might sit alone as a final piece. I wasn’t sure and it felt like I should revisit the board a little later. Then I painted a cherry wood board I had intended on making a storage bin for my bike, much the same. It felt the same way afterwards: I have no idea what it is.

I traveled to Ace hardware on 14th and purchased a few more boards and then it was on. I made the decision to simply paint every board, stick or discarded object with the same approach and simply amass these pieces in storage. I will make a decision on what they will become if anything in February of 2023.

I found myself setting the boards on the way out of the door of the studio, or in the hallway. I placed a few paint markers near them and “tagged” them intermittently, based on my movement in and out or around the studio. A few lines here and there, laying on the floor to the bottom of the boards… it’s certainly a process.

At the age of 10 (1982) I’ve was intrigued by graffiti and its power to transform walls and spaces. I also liked the subversive and rebellious nature. In some ways I like the anonymity of it. Even though most people eventually knew who was as a street artist, I liked playing in those creative shadows. I wasn’t the most prolific of graffiti artists in Pittsburgh during the 80’s, but I had a unique flair.

I started simply writing words or drawing characters inspired by New York writers and artists. I eventually settled for an adaptation of my name with “Jazzy G”. After a brief tagging war with an artist conveniently named “Jazzy J” (She only did it to troll and connect with me) I changed my name to “Maestro”.

I got busted for tagging a guy’s car from the neighborhood in 1987 and laid off the spray paint for a while, mostly keeping my ideas confined to a notebook. This new graffiti inspired style in meant to be nearly formless but embraces strokes and outlines that feel like old school graffiti. Also the unskilled kind that just shouts out a name, gang or street crew.

I’m not quite sure how to explain the concept. It’s something I’ve done most of my life in some form. We’ll see what this evolves into.

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