Artist, Marine, Steelworker, Truckdriver, Hip Guy

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©2010 Bruce Berman

EL PASO  –  Grave is a Renaissance man. He prowls the city spraying paint, rapping with passerby (me included), dreaming of new projects, checking out vacant walls that he or his kids can awaken, always lining up the next stuff, sharing philosophy, Being.

He talks about “getting new projects for the kids,” before he talks about his own stuff. He speaks softly, clearly, wisely. As he talks, he sprays. Next up, he says, he’s thinking about fish that use to live where this desert is now,  about painting them. He talks about, “putting up, a new mural and then he talks about “painting it down,” part of the challenge of his generation of Graffiti Artists, to get work up fast and then to paint over it, fast,  pumping up the energy another notch.

He paints with Euro spray (Spanish are the best, German stuff “ain’t bad.”), “…because the nozzle’s are finer,” and he talks about “…showing the kids a legal way to tag, to do the community good.”

The ‘hood is the ‘hood and it’s a sweet barrio but Grave and his crew fluff it up, make it alive: he’s hip, he keeps it real and his work is intense. Next time you’re cruising through, groove on the spray, think about the artist that put it up, just say “thanks.”

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