“Everyone has to scratch on walls somewhere or they go crazy” – Michael Ondaatje
The above piece of art was a piece done by a Parisian graffiti artist recreating the iconic Muhammad Ali (Then Cassius Clay) vs Sonny Liston fight. That fight (May 25th 1965) ended in the first minute of the first round with Liston KO’d on the mat.
In this piece Liston is replaced with a KO’d Ryu from Capcom’s Street Fighter series. This specific piece of street art speaks to me on many levels. It caters to my love of Graffiti, Ali, and Street Fighter.
This particular piece has also inspired me to pursue a personal project for a photojournalism portfolio. The freedom and lifestyle of street artists have always interested me. Having grown up with a cousin who was a decent graffiti artist, I was exposed to it at an early age. My only roadblock was my severe lack of artistic talents. I could only appreciate graffiti. I could never create it. On top of that I was only appreciating the art and not the artists. The intricacies of their art is outstanding, considering it is normally done under the cover of darkness in a very limited timeframe. What I hope to convey is the artists themselves, their mindset and their process in creating something that the general public considers illegal.