I'm so excited I can't stand it! I googled one of my favorite new artists, Mathew Rodriguez, who was featured recently in Portland's own Motel gallery, and I stumbled across this AMAZING website! "Wooster Collective". http://www.woostercollective.com/
I first see a picture of Mathew Rodriguez in a snowman's costume, pasting up christmas trees on the side of buildings. They were reporting Mathew's recent arrest in New York for pasting candy corns on buildings dressed as a rooster! Here is Mathew's myspace link, it's fantastic, and he mentions his trip here to Portland on it. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=1550022 Then I scroll down and am transported into a beautiful new world of street art. I say new, even though there have been street artists around forever, but these days they are celebrated! With websites and everything!
I used to be a street artist. I discovered stenciling in France and have been in love with it ever since. I've spent my fair share of nights, prowling around with spraypaint, looking for a likely ugly wall to beautify. I admired certain artists' work that I would see all the time, one guy had work in nearly every major city I visited in Europe and the US! Finally, one miserable day, I got caught. A cop in Eugene, Oregon caught me painting an underwater scene on a sewer wall and threw the book at me. This was back in the day when gangs were starting to make headlines, and Eugene Oregon felt it was the next LA, and I must be the harbinger of the gang warfare to come. There I was, 21 years old, flowered skirt and punker boots. "Got any knives or syringes?" queried the cop. "No, I have some pens and an orange" I answered. "Any nicknames?" he barked. Ever since that experience I have been a retired street artist, preferring to market my stencils behind respectable frames. But I still quiver at the sight of these brave visionaries. Their work adds something interesting, lovely and intelligent to the world, I think.