The silence between the buzzing sound of rubber on the road. The smell of asphalt stitched together with tar, exhaust, pollution, blood, sweat, and tears. The cracks widening, flowers pushing through the stone reaching for the sun, the black on black. The rough rock, sticky gross, bubbling hot slabs through the city and the townships. The streets are calling, and this is what they have say:
Welcome to the house of horror where daily the blood enters the drains to the rivers flowing. Beware of the drugs for they surge the hungry who guard my corners like light towers; actual warnings. Business hours are all hours.
Where shall we begin? Terrifying tragedies daily pass along this route. Steel and plastic clash, wrapped, in scenes of gore that the darkest thoughts could not imagine. While most of the world passes above, the view from below is a much better vantage point. The streets know how to steal people, how to deal people, and how to consume people. Look too close, and you may never look away.
From close and from afar you can see, hear, and feel that this is not the safe place which you seek, but rather a death trap that should be approached always and forever with caution.
The roads are veins, and the alleys are arteries where the drugs flow in and out with the consistency of human life itself. Gang members and affiliates stand at guard where the streets meet to deliver destinies both wealthy and poor. Perpetuating a culture of carelessness and blindness that only those who venture into these pathways dare to see.
We travel on the streets in steel buggies casting blind eyes over the destruction that inevitably fills our peripherals. The windshields block not just the fast-moving air but all the world around us. These streets are cut-off from the rest of the world. Humanity exists in set places like workplaces and shopping centers, but the streets have become the place where the lost wander, or so it seems.
We see a gallery of graffiti, scribbles, vandalism; street art becomes the voice most widely heard. In the meantime, the masses see the beginnings as chaos and noise before the development into the beauty and the real aesthetic of this town. Layers of egos atop advertising for larger egos on top of structures of yet more massive egos have become the truth of our surroundings. The stacking of ideas of lives past lived have emerged as the predictions of the future. Shall we care to look now?
Scratch the surface and look and these are the just the beginnings of the layers that you see.
While they lie sleeping, lying dead, avoided, ignored, here exists the streets. These here lanes are horrifying, look away and do not see how the abandonment of growth for the past half-century or two.
Then it happens, captured by the grimness, the freedom, the escape routes, the bicycling space, the found objects, the routes of exploration.
Passageways for us all, the rich and poor, the straight and crooked, the old and young.
Crumbling concrete creates boundaries for decaying black asphalt to contain the blood spilled in countless misfortunes that come with the karma of this towns past.
We all use these streets and experience them on a daily basis. They are one of the most important parts of civilization, and they dictate the places we go and the people we see. These hot and sticky messes of an invention make our ways of life possible.
Joshua Soto and I collaborated on this mural “The Streets” in which we expressed conceptually, a moment in the streets. The inspiration is from on our experiences as graffiti writers and explorers. We began with a single layer, and then layer upon layer of flowing decisions became this painting. We had some other influence and artists making some guest scribbles in this mixed media mess. “The Streets” were painted inside Kadoya Gallery in Pueblo Colorado in spring of 2016.
Art is a form of therapy for individuals and cities. Pueblo is destined to be an arts destination within the state of Colorado as well as the nation.
These streets of this city will be fixed by changing the culture of poverty and scarcity to one of creative abundance. Pueblo is to become a creative and thriving city not based on money but on the richness of the culture.
With your help, we can elevate Pueblo and increase the level of peace and prosperity through addressing its problems through art.
Donations help support art to make Pueblo an arts destination within the state of Colorado and the United States through massive amount of community art and cultural participation. As well as by encouraging artists local and abroad to come and participate in the reshaping of our community.
Support The Shadows
The Shadows is an art therpay program aimed at helping the world to learn to express and let go of the dark parts of ourselves through art and creative processes. Donations help to further the video project, work with inmates and youth, and create art of my own to share the message.