DEGA Films consistently does an outstanding job in their documentation of New York street artists. Their series Wild In the Streets covered NDA, Enzo & Nio, Jilly Balistic and Mr. Toll. The series comes to a close with two new episodes featuring ELLE and Royce. In conjunction with The LISA Project, these two episodes will be screening at 8:30pm Sunday, September 28 in Little Italy under Ron English’s Temper Tot mural (on Mulberry St between Canal and Hester).
What impresses me about DEGA’s work is the production quality and the creativity that goes into their shots and cuts. When it comes to capturing illegal work, the videos I’m used to seeing tend to look like this, with quick cuts and a shaky camera. Or the standard time lapse video with a dub-step song in the background. Legally speaking, perhaps it is more comfortable to shoot someone putting up illegal street art versus graffiti and that’s definitely a discussion worth having. But for now we’re just going to focus on the quality of DEGA’s product.
Elle’s episode really highlights the diversity of her street art methods, showing ad busts, rollers, extinguishers, marker tags, wheat pastes, stickers, and so on. The creative direction was interesting, by showing Elle transform through various “looks”, and thus breaking the stereotypical hip hop characterization of graffiti writers.
I’m really into the fact that Royce’s episode begins with a butt crack about 15 seconds in. I’d like to think of it as a statement: street artists are assholes and DEGA isn’t here to dress up that reality for you. It is a testament to DEGA’s commitment to the honest portrayal of street artists. Revealing the butt is an attempt to reveal the humanity behind these anonymous artists, how they are just regular people, carrying out their days with no time for petty concerns like the height of their pants.
Royce’s video is a cool look at his approach to interacting with his visual environment. He takes it in stride, without having to creep around at dusk. Whether this is how he always works is not clear, but the episode inspires a feeling of ‘second nature’ to Royce’s tactics.
Though the Wild in the Streets series has come to a close, Vandalog is excited to see and share with you what DEGA has in store for the future.