So I know that I’ve always felt displaced. And I like to think my artwork mirrors the idea that I am, and society is starting to be, culturally displaced. Like I have said before, my upbringing (that being me doing what I want since it was single parent family and my mom had to work 2 jobs and all that jazz) meant that I have been working on a hyper individualism level for sometime now. I discovered hip-hop and RnB and Graffifi art by myself and that consequently, along side a few teachers, saved my life – to put it in a dramatic way. Seriously.
Like I said to Pheobe the other day, street art was my way to legitimate art. My mom worked and we didn’t have much money so I could never or didn’t know about the big galleries in London. In Doncaster we have no art gallery. I had only ventured into Meadowhell on my own on the train when I was 13 (without permission but no one was home, so what?) But never ventured past the mall. How Dawn of The Dead of me?
Because of my working classness, my somewhat lack of intelligence (but a want to learn) and the fact that yo I’m a street kid, i’m streetwise and I look after myself! attitude, people never really gave me a chance. Kids would ripp the shit out of me because I didn’t have Rockports or a brand-named coat. Teacher’s dismissed me until about the age of 16 – which even then was hardwork to demand the respect which i deserved.
I’ve mined the experience in my art work and my culture ever since, which may explain its/my weirdness. What I realize now is that I was trying to visualize an intense sense of abandonment, something black people feel all to often. What happened to me, happens all the time with the same physical results.
So with poverty and anomie and classism all mixed into one, it makes sense that I feel liberated and connect to the black culture. From its music, the understanding of where I have come from to where I am and where I want to go – to how people see/treat me, from art and even clothes. I take the all aspects into account and can relate to them more so than the evil white-man culture. I am, at times, disgraced by my an ancestors – especially when I watch the movie The Colour Purple.
So it comes as no surprise to me when at work everyone askes about where exactly I am from? Am I American, Canadian, Scottish, Polish and the other day I got JAMACIAN?. No one everrrr thinks Doncaster. I think my accent is Yorkshire. I know some words I use really aren’t yorkshire likeee, like Fo’ Shizzle. But come on, I can play it. I usually get American, but I LOVE the american accent, and I know I ain’t got it, fo’ sho.
I’m from the white ghetto of Woodlands. I have lived under the poverty line aka relative poverty. I’ve seen love die, and i’ve seen hate reign from revenge, i’ve had friends die from drugs, I’ve had murders on my street.
Smizz is wild and rambuncious, tender and dangerous, sweet like red kool aid with dash too much sugar, rough like man stuble emerging from pubescent boy skin, beautiful like love when it ain’t make believe but the real stuff your mama can’t warn u about and life can’t prepare u for.
I’m Smizz the Ghettographer… the artist.. the kid who works 40+ hours to see the world is still dead poor. A marxist from birth. A wanna be. A hopeful revolutionary of somesort. A lover of all kinds of stuff. A person who appericates most things, aware of whether or not I am taking something for granted. I am always thankful for anyones help, because help doesn’t come often. And ultimately, I want to be the change that I want to see in world.
I am from Doncaster, SoYo – In the UK. ENGLAND. I should have been born in NYC america. But I was born and raised here, to give the Donx something to front about. Ya digg?