CAC Malaga. Spain.

CAC Malaga. Spain.

DATE:

June. 2015

WASTED YOUTH

I spent the best part of my youth doing the exact opposite to what I was being told, it didn’t matter who was telling me, I wasn’t listening… what I was listening to was punk music, early hip hop and the words I read in the monthly hand me down Thrasher Magazines. I can’t exactly tell you where or why this rebellious, anti-establishment streak comes from, all I can tell you is that it’s a streak that runs deep to my core, like with a felled tree, you can count the rings to tell it’s age, with me its like slice me open and you’ll be able to count all those rebellious streaks! Whenever I wasn’t at school (and most times when I was) I was doodling, day dreaming and working out ways to skate and paint more.

My work draws upon the very things I was inspired by from childhood; skate graphics by Jim Philips and Vernon Courtland Johnson to album art by Raymond Pettibon, Jamie Reed and Winston Smith to the bubble gum cards by John Pound, the obligatory cartoons by Hanna Barbera and of course the graffiti by NYC legends SEEN, DONDI and the many unknown names I saw gracing the walls of London. None of these things at the time would be considered ‘art’ and thats where I struggled, because to me, these art forms were more inspirational and exciting than anything else I was seeing anywhere.

As a twelve year old with an older sister I was fed music by her that was above my years, one of the bands she introduced to me was ‘Wasted Youth’ a lesser heard or played band, their name has

always stuck with me, their name shouted at me like my parents did trying to drum into me the importance of education; that the three R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic) were more important

than my three R’s; riding (skateboards and motorbikes), writing (graffiti) and rocking (out). The bands name ‘Wasted Youth’ seemed almost harmonious, it spoke to me and I liked the irony, the

juxtaposition, the certainty. If like me you believe your life is predetermined, that the path finds you, instead of you finding it and that your life is mapped out in front of you, you can either look for it, ignore it or just straight miss it, the signifiers are there, it just might not be in linear form, a simple path or equation, that the dots can be connected, they may just be years apart, see the things I embraced as a child and teenager have ultimately shaped me as an adult, as such calling my first museum show ‘Wasted Youth’ would seem almost logical, it summarises the elements that connect my work and the elements that connect me to my work. The fragility of life, the certainty (by my school and parents) that I was ‘wasting my youth’ by continuing to do these pointless and degenerate activities, it seems now perfectly ironic that I should call my first solo museum show ‘Wasted Youth’, a middle finger salute to all those teachers that believed following a tired curriculum was more important than following your heart and passion.