Us Apes think it's important to stay true to your roots; your upbringing, your experiences, your friends, your failures, your triumphs. After all, who you are now is a result of all those things, and then some. For us, part of said roots has been art, it's been a constant. Can you blame us? We like expressing ourselves. For a while, and to a degree to this day, graffiti was one form of art I, Baker, was involved in. Lots of people don't understand it. I mean, by its very nature it is illicit. There's so much more to it, though. Growing up, you're told that "real" art is in museums. You're shown everything from the ancient frescos to the modern multi-million dollar paint splatter. Slowly, you begin to understand that these museums are carefully curated by a select group of individuals who are even more selective about deciding on pieces. You're taught to appreciate other people's work and learn other people's methods. Rarely, are you encouraged to explore your own thought or ideas. An artist will always be that, and by their nature, they want to express themselves as creatively as possible. Graffiti was born from a need for expression. Someone wanted to paint and they wanted their art to be seen. Exhibition is inherent to artists. You tell them that only the best of the best will make it into a museum/art gallery...they cut out the middle-man and make the streets their canvas, exposed to all and free of charge.
I hung out with our friend Nasi8 recently. Ever since I can remember, Nasi8 has been about the visual art – painting (graffiti), sketching, sculpting, you name it – and he's never lost sight of it. He's the one that got me more interested in the graffiti world, and the man has yet to drop it. We went out to the Nazi Yards (I didn't know these existed either) in Malibu a few weeks back, and it was awesome. We went out with one goal: finish the cans so we don't have to carry full cans back.