Street Art on Neptune:
The Story of Two Artists 'Orbiting' the Same Planet
We all have bad days. Life spares none of us the experiencing of hard times. The kind of day when even breathing feels like torture. While walking with your head bowed down, you watch your shoes. As if you`re begging for a sign of encouragement. From…your shoes? Maybe it seems crazy, but it`s not. It`s just the desperate need for something to help you go on and not give up. Even if you believe it is pointless to seek for help, you still raise your head and look for an answer to your cry! And then your eyes are welcomed by four big words painted on the wall in front of you: “Look At The Sky !”. And all of a sudden, your soul is lifted, overflowed with a sky-blue plenitude. You feel like you’re the perfect vessel to be filled with bliss. This is the soothing message that you have been seeking. Now you know for certain that as long as the sky is above, the best is yet to come.
But wait a minute! You`ve just found hope where you least expected to. Yes, it`s the same “scribbling painted by drunken teenagers” that yesterday you called “visual clutter” or vandalism. But it seems that today it is lifting your spirits up. What is this “visual clatter” though? There seems to be in all of us a desire to leave a trace, a testimony that we were here and had something to convey. And this longing for express oneself, in these days has found expression in tagging, spraying or drawing on public areas. In two words: Street Art. Still, this form of art is as old as the world. Long before our modern spray cans, caverns were “graffitied” by cavemen whose vestiges are still to be admired these days in ancient caves. This was their way of telling us “We have been here!”.
The story of our artists begins with the same yearning. It was their choice not to reveal their real names, but to be known under the pseudonyms they use among friends. The first to discover the inner flame for art was Laila. Aged 32 now, she couldn`t quench this burning fire ever since she discovered it some years ago. ‘’I was doing who knows what, lying in my room, when I wondered: <<What would I like to do the most>>.And then, like a thunder it struck me: to roam the streets and leave some signs there, some colors. Colors that could bring something: a smile, a reaction, a sense of joy, a SURPRISE! In that moment, this seemed to me the greatest form of freedom!”.
In her unquenched thirst for color, for leaving the world more “painted”, Laila also had to face obstacles. Things that society and its “canons” put it her way. She was like Cinderella`s stepsister. Do you remember that scene from the story? When one of the stepsisters had to cut up her toes in order for her foot to fit in a shoe that was too small for her? Why would she do that? To marry Prince Charming: a prince who was not even fated for her. Like the character from Cinderella’s story, Laila was close to “cutting up” her talent so as to fit in the small “shoe” of society. Fortunately, this did not happen, and now she is blessed to be able to let her passion and her genuine self fly high. ”What you truly are cannot be supressed. At one time or another, what is inside of you will come out. At the end, what really matters is not if you achieved or accomplished something, but if all this time you were genuinely yourself”, she confessed.
Recently, Laila discovered in her neighborhood that another “torch” was smoldering because of the same passion for art. And this is how Leila met Fex, a 17 year old who is a student at the Plastic Arts High School. So, there`s no wonder that Fex joined his passion with Laila`s. Whatever differences could have been between them melted down, allowing only their enthusiasm for painting to emerge. Like satellites, they orbit around the same planet. A planet that has been transformed in what they call “Neptune”. The concept of Neptune came from the street they both live on – Neptune Street - and also because they feel like this planet governs them and their works. Fex perceives Neptune as “a special vibration that unites not only Laila and myself, but all of us.”
More than the symbol of Fex and Laila`s art, Neptune is a dream. A vision of hope, in which “Neptune is the most colored and vibrant street that has ever existed in our city. An oasis of joy and harmony, where not only walls are glowing with color, but people as well. I wish that love for art and color would spread from our “dear “ Neptune to all over”, added Laila.
But what happens when more souls put together their inner “flame” so as to share and create art? Can art be the answer to the unabridged gaps between human beings? The starry night of a cold winter was the “witness” of an occurrence that could give a “yes” to this question. While Fex and Laila were painting, making art from a “lonely” wall on their street, a man approached and joined them. He was a scavenger, a simple man sweeping the street. Suddenly, he dropped his broom, took a paint brush and let the colors of his soul be painted on that wall.
From the very beginning, Laila,regarded painting as a “therapy”. But from the experience with that man she realized that it is more than that. ”If you are open, things happen. From that day, I feel like it`s not just me and Fex who can bring color. Anyone can do it! We are all connected. And that man who joined us is the proof that we are united by the same need for manifestation. I saw in him a brother, a dear one. There was a sparkle in his eyes. A flickering light in which I found the understanding that we are all the same.”
Real art is said to be found only in art galleries. But the real meaning of art can be grasped only within our hearts. What place can be more worthy of praising art than the “lobby” of our soul? Fex said: ” To me, Street Art is the way to leave pieces of my own joy, harmony and optimism everywhere I pass by. It`s exciting to share happiness with unknown people.” Among the gallery of emotions that Street Art from Neptune is exhibiting through Laila and Fex`s paintings, love is the greatest. If would be to tell something to the passer who see their paintings, Laila`s words will be :”I just passed by here to say I love you” .
So let`s leave Laila and Fex be our teachers! Let`s learn from their paintings a lesson that schools do not teach us. A lesson that humanity needs more than ever. Let`s discover how to say “I love you”. Three words that sometimes are the hardest to utter these days. Thus, whenever you see something beautiful on the street, something that urges you to smile, like our artists’ paintings, tell someone these three magic words. No matter if they are your mom, your sister, your friends or even the stranger next to you that seems despondent, tell them! You can never know how many dreary thoughts you can dispel by saying just these three words. I LOVE YOU!