Back in the 90’s the statement saying “an event is not what happens, but what can be narrated” seemed radical and real badass postmodern. Today with the transformation of reality through social media and everybody carrying a camera at all times, the statement is rendered rather obvious. If you can’t tell about or share photos of an event, it has no social relevance and hence has not happened.
It’s more or less the same when doing street art. If one got nothing to show on the streets, nothing has happened. Of cause there are lots of hours put in to the getting ideas, testing them, sketching, discarding ideas, stock up ideas that’ll work but on any wall available, drawing, cutting stencils, experimenting with colors, and what not – but it is only what is done on the street that really happens – exists.
Surely the anonymity has something to do with it. Not putting a name and a face on the creator, also hides the creation as process. One day the wall is blank, the next day there is a work of art on it, but the creation is seldom documented and therefore is socially nonexistent. I guess in some ways there will be elements of this within all creative professions, but it is accentuated in street art with the contrast of the anonymity of the creator and the extreme public life of the created work.
There is a very real consequence of this: In periods where I work on a lot of projects, putting in all the late hours, day after day, cutting stencils till my eyes aches and fingers literally bleeds, but when nothing hits the street, I have this feeling of not producing anything. Cause when not painting on the street, one is not making street art. At times this is a frustrating truth.