Friday, May 4, 2018

The Graffiti of Quick Draw McFiti

What would you think if I turned out to be local graffiti sensation (or to some spoilsports and haters of the arts, scourge) Quick Draw McFiti? What a surprise that’d be!

Interesting question, huh? You’re probably wondering why I asked. No reason, heh heh, just throwing it out there as a rhetorical question to muse on, let’s say. But, really, what would you think? I can well imagine how the run of the mill folks would take it. For the non-artistic among us, I’m sure so many of them would curse my name and feel that I should be brought to justice at long last. Then we'd have the other end of the spectrum, art lovers and fellow artists, who would be either very happy that the mystery was at long last solved or happy the authorities were getting me off the street, out of jealousy, or even because they're sticks in the mud.

It’s the last crowd that makes me sickest, frankly. To be the object of envy, or to put it more charitably, misunderstood in whatever artistic pursuit you choose, then vilified, is no good. It totally brings me down to contemplate that response, but of course everyone knows there’s lots of crumbs in life. Then there's the artsy-fartsies who think art isn't for the various walls around town, but for the museum. To them, I have a few things to say. The cleanliness of a wall is not worth stifling the artistic sensibilities of a person like Quick Draw McFiti -- Let's hear it for him! I’m not sure I can even forgive them, and people who know me always see in me a very forgiving person. I forgave that kid that sprayed "CRANK" on my outhouse.

But let’s set the naysayers aside; it’s dragging down my spirit. It’s the artistic-minded, the lovers of art, those who celebrate the spirit of the artist, that I celebrate. Whoever McFiti is, they may not care about that little detail as much, because they’re not looking to nab him or give him his comeuppance. Their thing, like I said, is to celebrate. You see a blank wall and you’re like, “Yeah, a blank wall.” But you see an artistic tour de force — and Quick Draw’s works are so often described with that term, if I do say so myself — you quickly shake off the doldrums and come alive.

I’m alive today and happy! Happy to see this arms-open-wide piece in the light of day. It looks better than I remember or even expected. For such a quick drawing. You just shake the can and cock it toward the wall and whisper a little prayer for guidance; there’s no UNDO button. It actually might be that detail alone that gives such quick abandon to McFiti’s stuff. Which I thoroughly resonate with. My thinking's precisely the same. Whatever you have in your heart and mind, put it down quickly, then let it be. The truest art simply flows.

Anyway, as to the details of this particular piece: It’s exactly something that’s in my own heart, continually. The prophet appears, like Isaiah or Jeremiah or Elijah*. They’re known for extended prophecies that welled up and overflowed from their heart. But the key to their power was their giving-over to the Spirit. Few edits, little self-consciousness; this was something bigger than themselves, and quicker. Like Quick Draw McFiti! Who has a similar message: The prophet throws his hands up and proclaims, “THOU SHALT.” A great positive message!

I’ve had that very thought in my own heart for a while, and how good it is to see it finally on full display. You don’t know how proud I am, and yet I’m only the conduit for a greater power; if we don’t personify it, we could merely call it The Power of Life! Elan, Energy, Elixir!

Draw on, mysterious Quick Draw McFiti, you’re doing our sad old world a great deal of good.

*Time would fail me to tell of Anna Phanuel.

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