Tuesday, November 5, 2013
MELROSEandFAIRFAX: the BEST Street Art Blog Ever -- Now, We Will Be Taking Some Time Off
When MELROSEandFAIRFAX started, our only goal was to shine some limelight on all the incredible art blanketing the streets of LA. That was it. Just one modest goal.
Without a doubt, M&F has more than surpassed the initial landmark.
Over the years, M&F has built itself from a local neighborhood blog, into the lead street art blog for Los Angeles, and from there, M&F has maintained a 2-year stranglehold in online rankings as the #1 Street Art Blog in the USA, and, currently, ranked #2 in the entire world. Pretty damn impressive for a blog that is mainly focusing on illegal work from local talent in the neighborhood~
The resolve of this blog cannot be questioned. Hard work is what led to M&F's success. No one spent more time on the streets than this blog. And no single source (online, print or what-have-you) has put more effort trying to capture and document the actual action on the streets.
Just in terms of sheer numbers alone, here are some stats. M&F has been around for 4 years. Over that time, we have averaged 10+ posts per day, and not missed a single day of posting in over 3+ years straight. M&F has made 14,581 total posts and has thousands of visitors from all over the world visiting the site each and every day.
M&F believes it is the best street art blog ever not because of the stats, but because we stayed true to the streets. That's what street art is about, right? Street art. Not public art. Not gallery art. That stuff is boring. Street art is the stuff that doesn't need a permission slip. That's what makes it exciting. And for 4 years, M&F has constantly captured the action on the streets, broadcast it to the world, and in doing so, explained and detailed the nuances of the streets. There is no other site who has taken on this type of task, and no one who has remained so completely dedicated to the mission. M&F didn't get to the top of the street art world by grabbing the biggest names and trying to capitalize on that. No, we worked from the streets up, trying to gather nickels and pennies to make a buck. M&F didn't just post pictures. We told the story. M&F was the main source to find out the backstory of what street art is -- how every little tag has an origin, how every artist climbs from humble beginnings towards the top, how every little beef has a story, and how every little mark has a meaning.
Sometimes it was difficult. Especially how M&F represented the general street art community but M&F did not always feel supported by the community. We understand that this genre is composed of people who by their very definition are rule-breakers, ego-maniacs and outlaws. It takes big balls to get up in LA, and even bigger balls, and a thick skin, to remain in this community for any time--especially in the position of a public figure. M&F was proud to be tougher than the haters, and the nay-sayers never stopped M&F from doing or saying whatever was needed to be said or done. And all the hate never stopped M&F, not even for a single day. But it is sad, because its hard to hold any community together when the hate is stronger than the shared bond. This situation might be similar to the way that Banksy is reviled in some graffiti circles. In the graffiti and street art worlds, currently, disdain is kind of like a badge of success. M&F believes that the street art and graffiti community, as a whole, have some growing up to do. If there is going to be a productive community, its got to be supportive of each other. Battle the ideas that keep people down. Battle the authorities. Battle the buffman. But don't waste time and energy battling each other. The street art community will finally come into its own when people stop bickering within the community, and come together, as a whole, to fight the good fight. Remember people, its us against them--not us against us.
Our favorite pieces of street artist are not necessarily painted by the most skilled artists. M&F's favorite street pieces are the ones that pack a message. Street art is not just decoration. Street art is a public forum, and the best art is a catalyst for change. Street art should aim make the world better a better place, both through ideas, and imagery.
M&F encourages artists getting up to remember that the streets are the highest prize. Like Banksy says, art was brought inside at the will of the church and institutions. That was a blip and a mistake. Art is for the people and the streets are for the masses. To be explicitly clear, fuck the galleries and museums. There should be no greater pinnacle for any street artist other than getting up with an awesome new piece on the streets.
Street art is the biggest art movement the world has ever known, not because of online blogs, or Instagram, or Facebook. Street art is massive because you can travel to any corner of this globe and it is there. M&F has personally been to 46 states and a few continents ourselves, and seen it everywhere from the backwoods of Kentucky to the S. Dakota Badlands. In every city, in every small town, on every little abandoned shack and in every overgrown corner, folks are getting up. Its not about where you live. Its about the human need to express one's self in their environment. What graffiti has done is re-connect modern humans with our inherent, innate and primal need to mark territory. Tagging is the modern version of piss and cave writing. Street art is the biggest art movement the world has ever known because it gives a public voice to each and every person. Even as net neutrality is dying on the internet, the streets remain the one free place to speak your voice--at least until you get caught. And, once again, that's what makes street art so fuckin' exciting, right? These are not merely artists, these are outlaws risking life and liberty to share their message. And the street art movement will just keep growing. Wherever someone feels like they don't have a voice, the strong begin to speak up. Street art is just going to keep getting bigger and bigger. Indeed, a voice on the streets is the best weapon the people have. Stay up~
M&F has been telling this story for the past 4 years. And we have been so involved that this was not just a blog, this has been a lifestyle. Which is what makes it so necessary to take a break, and also so hard. The story on the streets is never-ending, which is makes it difficult to step away. Even now, we feel there are stories that need to be told and posts that ought to be made. But not by M&F, and not now. This is not a closed door and M&F is not gone forever. The return door is still cracked open. M&F might be back and pick up where we left off. We plan still be writing, and still be invested in the street art scene--and we even plan to post again on MELROSEandFAIRFAX at some point. However, we are aware that with something like a blog, it doesn't pick up where it was left off. If we ever wanted to regain the status the blog now has, that it would take much hard work to build it back up. Half of M&F's heart is still on the streets, but to try an live a balanced life, M&F will be taking some time off the blog so that we can focus on some of our other passions.
Thank you to all the artists who make the streets a better place. Thank you to all the photographers and contributors who made things happen. Thank you to all the fans who drove the success of M&F. Thank you to the beautiful City of Los Angeles -- it is the best place we have found in 46 states.
That's it. For now.~