If there weren’t pictures to go along with this story, I’m not sure I’d believe it. But there are pictures, and here’s the story of what was probably the first graffiti production in Alaska. I hope you enjoy this anecdote from PMER/CATELLOVISION as much as I have… – RJ
Back in 1995 Myself, REVS & FUEL drove up to Alaska just for the mission of going. When we got to Fairbanks, the place was corrupt, full of drugs, boarded businesses, hookers, depression… it was great. It was July so we had 24 hours of daylight.
We saw this wall in the center of the city and asked the owner for permission. He told us we had to ask the Chief of police because he was in charge of beautifying the community. So we meet Chief Woolley and he gives us a thumbs up and tells us how to paint, what he wants to see: Alaskan pioneers, animals, mountains, all that good stuff. We agreed and got to work…
By the time we were done it was 4am… We had the sun on one side, the moon on the other. We looked at the wall, looked at eachother and said… Let’s get the fuck out of here!!!
We painted a pipeline that started with a shiesty character holding a fist full of money, the pipeline going down the wall, finally opening up with oil spelling our names. We threw in a bloody cross that said “Valdez” and gave him a mountain.
Two days later we found that we were wanted and on the cover of the newspaper for being a “Fast talking band of NYC graffiti artists that duped the Chief….”
I recently met PMER/CATELLOVISION at X On Main in Beacon, New York. He has been kind enough to share with me some of the photos from his extensive collection of graffiti photography. This is the first post of what will hopefully be many, and look back into an era before street art and blogs and Oscar-nominated films, an under-appreciated era in the history of graffiti. Because some Vandalog readers will certainly be less familiar with this kind of graffiti than what we normally cover and because many of PMER/CATELLOVISION‘s photos have undergone edits to become artworks in and of themselves rather than simply documentation, this post starts with his explanation of his photographs. Enjoy! – RJ
“It’s graffiti. I like to twist it up, rock it up, shake it up, fingerfuck to fuck it up. I learned a long time ago not to trust graffiti artists. We’re a rare breed. Cut throat motherfuckers! Wreckless. Disrespectful with a shrug. We DGAF! I rock CatelloVision on each photograph because I deserve it. I earned it. I lived it. It may be your art but it’s still my memory. Besides, I was taught at an early age to write my name on everything. Each picture I choose to edit rocked me upon first seeing it. It’s that “Yo!” factor. Turnin’ the corner to see that wall for the first time, “YO!” Being a little kid in the midst of adults on a train platform while a dope train rolls in, “YO!” It was like Christmas! I had the camera and an endless supply of stolen film. I went everywhere and had friends in the lowest of places. It was the 1980’s and I was a little kid, a Brooklyn graffiti writing scumbag calling himself PM. All I ever wanted was to write my name on a wall and inspire a memory. I’m not sure if I have yet. Everybody is too busy paying attention to sugar coated graffiti dudes. I favor the underdogs. The dudes time forgot. . Graffiti is fucked up like that. You put in all this time and energy and have nothing to show for it in the end but a picture, and most dudes don’t even have that. Graffiti! The greatest sport ever played. It’s method & mischief. It’s Mission. It’s a coked out whore at last call. I’ve danced with this Devil almost 30 years now. It’s the only way I know how to live. It’s how I was brought up. It’s graffiti man! I love it and sometimes it loves me too.”