Time is a cypher.

I've had a pretty incredible week.

First practice wall of the season, 2 1/12 hrs
I've been working a lot, and recently finished collaborating on 3 different murals through the company I work for.  In addition to freelance and other responsibilities, it's been a bit challenging to find the time to work on my own practice.  However, summer is here, which means beautiful mornings in my Brooklyn garden full of chirping birds and white butterflies.  I've been trying to steal at least half an hour everyday to paint in the backyard, since I've gotten a bit rusty with my can control skills since last summer.  Here are some images of my practice walls.
30 minute character over coffee.

Practice wall I did today, on Father's day, 1.5 hours.

Last weekend was the BBoy BBQ in Philly, and I was really excited to paint since I haven't done a wall there before.  I haven't spent much time in Philly the last few years, but a decade ago it was an instrumental location in my life during a time when I was beginning to acknowledge my creative potential.  Pose, my old mentor, came out from San Diego with awesome artist Glow and poet Tanya Raz.  Sadly, there were some conflicts with a local politician, and painting got shut down after only an hour.  I'd just finished my fills, too!  But it gave me a great opportunity to touch base with old and new friends.

The organizers attempting to negotiate with the local politician and police who was trying to shut everything down.

Me, Pose and Glow hitting up blackbooks with Plan and some Albus Cavus folks in the back.

This is what happens when the writers don't get to piece - everyone hits the Ironlak station and bombs.  And none of these cats got taken in....I still think we should have just kept painting.

Col and Rain.


Locals taking flicks in front of Pose's piece.


Pose and Ella, an incredible hat maker, fashion designer and artist.

Kerz, Mensen and Glow.

Plan, Pose, Demer and Kasso.
Tuff Crew played at BBOY BBQ.

We crashed at the Hazel House in West Philly, which was a space teeming with purpose and community.  I met so many incredible folks there, and even swung by a crazy party they threw at an abandoned bank.  I've got to shout out the folks there- especially Jacob and Melissa- for being so welcoming and hospitable.  I'll definitely be coming through to bother you all again.

The rest of the weekend was great- filled with cheesesteak, dancing at Silk City while Rich Medina threw back classics, people-watching and philosophizing on the Hazel House porch, and good solid quality time with people I love dearly.

I rode the market line to check out Espo's Love Letters series...it was so fucking beautiful.  The way it changes space is masterful.

Cheesesteak with bacon, mushrooms, onion, pepper and barbecue sauce.  Worth the heart attack.

Rich Medina dropped these joints at Silk City- they are two of my alltime dancefloor favorites.  I was hella sore the next day.

When I got back, my boy Yuri took me to see Aloe Blacc, Childish Gambino and Kid Cudi at Terminal 5 for a show sponsored by Bacardi.  I've painted at promotional events like this before, and all the red flags of my internal social critic went off.  I'm super grateful to Yuri for bringing me through- and I'm not gonna front, I had my fair share of free Bacardi drinks. (Stay away from the grape Bacardi, though, people- that shit tastes like Robitussin).  The corporation pulled out all the stops- free old school arcade, half pipe on the stage with trick skaters and BMX-ers, dunking hoops with Allan Houston, and even a make-your-own-tshirt stand.  However, after coming from the BBoy BBQ and it's spirit of true school hip hop- and watching the resistance of local politicians to this community event- I found myself disheartened.  The spectacle of the Facebook-Like-Button themed Bacardi event felt offensive, aggressive, superficial and almost farcical.  I kept thinking of the book "Unmarketable" by Anne Elizabeth Moore.  Cooption and appropriation are the norm.  Corporate culture abounds.

I still think Shine Through is about 20 times better than Good Things, but oh well.

All of the doubts and confusion I had about community, about culture, about art and life that were brought to the surface by the Bacardi event were then countered a few days later when a bunch of friends and I went to go check out Nice and Smooth at Von King Park for free at Summer Stage.  We came back to my place late that evening, and collectively threw together a backyard barbeque that culminated in games of Mash, Fortune Telling, and painting together on the wall for fun.

Nice and Smooth

Fortune Telling.

Full moon in Sagittarius with a lunar eclipse, What!

Then, a few days later, I get a call from my little sister who had slit her foot open on a dirty Jer-Z dance club at the shore.  She had tickets for a band called Beirut, who I'd never heard of.  I got ahold of my girl Glow - turns out they're one of her favorite bands.  We checked out the show, and that shit made me cry three times in public.  Not an easy feat.

7 Stitches!  Stakke, Carina!  (Norwegian for, Poor Carina!)

The week ended well with 3 mural dedications, and then a low-key goodbye party for 681 Sterling Place, where Martin and Kelu have been holding community dance parties and gatherings for the last few years.

Man at Arms gets busy.

I am profoundly humbled by what a beautiful life I lead, and see it as integrally connected to the work I make.  Community, I'd like to thank you for being the bellows to my fire.

Side Note:  I am FINALLY reading Orc Stain and it is absolutely beautiful.