STUFF TO DO:
Soccer! Soccer! Soccer! (Fan park 🙁 Dad didn’t come through with real live actual match tickets)
Pack for Grahamstown Festival (NB: Ben says it’s freezing!)
Finish the damn mural already
Sort out my car insurance and, related:
Take Sbu for driving lessons (eek)
THOUGHTS 8:17 AM
Mission Solo! Love working with the crew – there’s an art in collaboration, working with other artists – but sometimes a girl’s gotta go on her own mission, you know?
About 90% done on “Consumertopia”, which is what I’m calling this particular work: kids playing, a little girl skipping, a boy kicking a ball, two girls playing clapping games. Only skippety girl has a giant Nike sneaker for a head, ball boy has the FIFA logo on his face and the two girls clapping both have TVs for heads, staring blankly at each other. Kif message if I say so myself!
And I’m beautifying the hood. It’s up on this wall of this falling-apart rotten old abandoned house just under the highway. High visibility AND no-one gets hurt.
Can’t wait to finish it. Heading out in T-minus one hour when the parentals head off. Got my cans and my overalls, ready to rock!
MORE THOUGHTS. AROUND 7 PM
Woah. Did things NOT turn out the way I expected. I caught a minibus taxi to Woodstock, but even as I turned into Cambrey Rd, I could see everything was not right with the world. Some bastard had tagged over my mural!
I was standing outside just gobsmacked, when this lady pulls up in a skedonk of a car. She got out, lugging cans of paint and a toolbox and saw me looking at the wall.
“Isn’t it terrible? Bloody vandals,” she said. I was about to agree with her when I realised this philistine wasn’t just talking about the tag, she was talking about *my* mural!
“It’s the last straw,” she sighed before I could set her straight. “Looters stole all the copper piping in the house, they nicked the brass numbers off the wall and now this! I wish I’d never inherited this place.”
“You inherited it?”
“My aunt died and left it to me, but it’s been standing here for years while I was overseas. There was supposed to be a caretaker, but I’m guessing he never bothered to check on it.”
I felt bad for her, so I offered to help. Did she ever take me up on it! We hauled out garbage and a stinky old mattress left by squatters, we nailed window panes down, we pulled up rotten old carpeting, we put on a new door and finally we painted over the wall.
It hurt, but the mural was ruined already and the lady – Marilize – even admired it. She said it looked a bit like the paintings by that melting clock guy. I asked if she meant Salvador Dali. He’s only one of my favourite artists ever. I love all the surrealists, but also more recent artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Takashi Murakami, Banksy and Faith47.
“That’s the one!” she said, and added that she’d seen his work, for real, in a gallery in London. “The clocks and the skinny elephants.” She really liked it.
So, while she was inside, getting us some cold drinks to say thanks for all the hard work, I quickly sketched out something in my notebook. I could have just painted it on the wall, but if this day has taught me anything it’s that you should always ask first.
When I showed her the sketch of a Dali-style number 20, with the two like a skinny swan and the zero like a melting clock, she laughed out loud.
“I could paint it for you,” I offered. “To replace your stolen numbers.”
Marilize was ecstatic. She even paid me for it. Just R50, but hey, more spending money for Grahamstown!
And now I’ve made a piece of art that’s all my own, totally legit, and STILL visible from the highway!