American Graffiti In Russia

Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 12:18 pm

They went to Russia to represent the art form of Graffiti with a collection of past FX crew members who’ve titled themselves “the Antidote”. Comprised of Pilot, from Houston TX. Poem and Jamie Hef from New York City. Yama, from Italy. Koka, from Mexico, Bert, from Germany and Pose2, aka Mr. Maxx Moses from California. Individually each member carries with him his own distinct style but collectively they are a dynamic force that forges a unique blend of nostalgic and modern letter forms with futuristic concepts. And this is exactly why they were invited to Morphogenesis 2019.

Planning for the adventure to Russia, Pose 2 wanted to make a strong first impression. So he dug into his closet and pulled out his vintage 1983 Graffiti Painted denim jacket. When he landed in Moscow he was greeted by journalist Anja and Photographer Andrew who both spoke good English. Pose was excited to be in Moscow and they picked up on his vibe right away. Immediately Andrew started shooting and Anja began interviewing him. Pose was like Dam I just got off the plane. But they already understood that he had a long history in Graffiti so they wanted to seize the opportunity.
When Pose arrived at the Morphogenesis festival he was mind blown. “He said to himself dam this is happening in Russia, twenty story buildings getting blessed with art?”

The community of buildings was like a city onto itself with at least fifty high rise apartments all in one area. And forty of them were in the process of becoming painted. There was an enthusiasm beginning to spread throughout between the community and the artist. Pose mentioned how those who could speak English genuinely expressed their joy in having the artist transforming their neighborhood. “It was amazing people invited us into their homes to eat, talk, sing and enjoy the culture. This feeling of international connectedness really made it easy for the artist to feel at home away from home.”


However, Pose was on a mission and had two things at the forefront of his mind. First, to see the building they were assigned to paint and secondly, go up on the swing stage and experience what it feels like being twenty stories high in the sky. The entire antidote team knew this mural was going to be a challenge. And They were faced with a lot of unknowns throughout the process. Things went extremely slow at first and this created tension amongst the crew. With only two weeks to complete their wall five days had already zoomed by and barely a scratch had been made on the wall.

Frustration chaos and the fear of failure was not just looming it became real. Most of the murals created were single images where the entire team worked collectively on the production. This wasn’t the case for the Antidote crew, each section had to be done individually. Tempers flared and egos clashed so a schedule was devised. Daily from 6am to 9pm each artist had approximately three hours to work on their section of the wall. The blessing in disguise was this left a lot of down time for crew members to go throughout the festival to create and connect with the community. “We are artist and we are most happy when we are creating.” says Pose2.
Perhaps this is why this unique group of individuals call themselves the Antidote Pose explains. “We took the Art Form of Graffiti along with our fears and insecurities and flipped it into the most dynamic awe inspiring art movement of all time. Now that’s medicine, that’s the Antidote. We are transforming communities throughout the world with an art form that the world once hated. Ironically our art now transmits an universal language that inspires and connects people to joyfulness, now that’s power.”

“American Graffiti” is the title of their Sky Scraper. The concept was orchestrated by the Italian artist Yama. But it’s the imagery of Bert and Koka that give the mural it’s story. Graffiti became famous back in the 70’s when teenagers took risk and were courageous enough to go out and paint their names on the sides of trains and buildings. Before the age of the internet kids pushed their faces deep into graffiti magazines to see who had freshest style and this is how the tradition spread throughout the world.
Pose feels like this mural is a tribute to honor the tradition of Graffiti and New York the city that made it famous. He states that the large scale triangles depicted within the mural are like futuristic beams on the inside of the building. It’s the framework the structure the skeleton inside the body. Resting on these bones are the styles, these names represent the identity the soul and raw self–expression. “Throughout all my travels I’ve come to realize that self-expression is the most important part of being human.”
“Watch a brother blend a dope rhyme with no help there’s no fessing or guessing while I’m expressing myself. It’s crazy to see people be what society wants them to be but not me…”
Express Yourself, Dr. Dre NWA



Update is tagged art and culture, community, education, EVENTS, graffiti, international art, murals, painting, travel.
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