NYC dream: A bit of NYC elsewhere – Graffiti

6:30 AM, Saturday morning, I opened my eyes and I remembered that I have started a siRNA transfection experiment yesterday on couple of lung cancer cell lines. So, I needed to be in the lab to feed the cells fresh media. But, it was also my weekly detoxification day. After I finished taking care of those cells I had to do something unusual. Something that I have never done before.
I heard about Side Tour coming to Dallas recently. So I went to their website and found a great opportunity to learn about Graffiti from an young artist who was one of two selected mural artists working on Jean Paul Gaultier’s fashion show at the Dallas museum of art in 2011. I have been to that show and took pictures with the evening gown that Gaultier designed for Kylie Minogue for her Aphrodite tour. Today was my opportunity to meet the artist who worked with Gaultier.

I met the kind, young, and talented Jerod “DTOX” Davies in Deep Ellum. He started the tour once all the participants arrived. During the tour Jerod took us through approximately ten murals in Deep Ellum area, among which some were of his own. He explained patiently about the unique motivation, challenges and fun trivia about each one of them. The element of revolution, collaboration among artists, the pop street culture, existentialism, dialogue of two artists (who have never met each other) through their art, he explained it all. Throughout the tour he maintained a balance between “sincerely informative” and “keeping it cool” personalities. Towards the end of the tour, Jerod found a puppy running on the road and rescued him. We followed Jerod to his studio near Fair Park. In a super short crash course about stencils and graffiti he gave us a lot of information and guided us through making our very own graffiti with stencils and spray paint. 

Fortunately, my graffiti turned out to be really good for a first-timer. Jerod’s brother was having an art show at the alley behind the studio. Jerod was so happy with the graffiti that he showed it to everyone there. I smiled and bid goodbye to everyone and got on the green line at the Fair Park station. Right at that moment, I remembered a comment from an artist friend of Jerod who I met at that alley. He looked at the graffiti Jerod taught me and said “You know one artist when you see one”. As the train picked up speed, my eyes burnt and the mural by the station became blurry.

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