Graffiti Writer, Sluto, Consoles in Fishtown
You know, I’ve walked by this piece on Front street, between Thompson and Master in Fishtown, a few times over the last number of weeks. Every time I’ve just kept on walking, blowing it off as nothing of too much interest. (I tend to, as a rule, only photograph stuff that literally stops me in my tracks. It prevents me from having 3,000+ photos to look through every week. And trusting that instinct has helped me to curate what I really want to talk about, highlight, and celebrate on this blog.)
But today, at the end of a three-hour summertime walk around the city in search of new work to photograph, I found myself walking by this yet again. Today, however, I stopped. All of a sudden, it just connected with me. It made me feel some feelings. And before I knew it my camera was out of my backpack snapping photos.
Ok, so who or what is ‘Sluto,’ the apparent writer of this piece?
Well first, some quick context: the word ‘Sluto,’ according to Urban Dictionary, means “the new revisioned male version of slut.” Cool.
Sluto, for our purposes, is also the name of a traveling graffiti writer who Juxtapoz Magazine called an “under the radar writer” in a recent post.
After some digging, I found this interview with Sluto by The Flop Box that’s particularly enlightening…
“So you meet someone who has never seen your work before and they ask what kind of work you make. How do you describe it to them?
I guess its graffiti art? I am stuck doing letters, writing my name in my paintings, maybe because I started painting 15 years ago, before the ‘street art revolution,’ and for the old timers, street art was and always will be abhorrent. That being said, just painting graffiti letters got very boring for me sometime in 2006. So since about 2008 I’ve been struggling to make a style of image-based, symbol-laden graffiti that is appealing to civilians and letter-based graffiti writers alike, a sort of synthesis. More simply, I want my Mom to like my graffiti. But about graffiti: I like the medium and that no one is paying me anything, so I can do whatever I want. I like being outside, in the world, exploring, walking down old railroad tracks, and I like my paintings, sometimes the really bad ones, because I know when some civilian sees it they are going to scratch their head. I want other people to think, to maybe just see how I see. You know, The Horror :)”
Meanwhile, I’m gonna plan some more three-hour summertime walks around the city…