Part of me feels like “urban exploring” and graff has become a little bit passe, especially since the advent of instagram giving kodak courage to the masses when it comes to these activities. Then there is another part of me that still has favorites in this realm, especially when it comes to graff. Without getting delving back into the question of “what is art?”, I will disclose that my bias lies with those artists whose work pre-dates the onset of social media madness.
As a law abiding citizen and responsible adult, I can’t really condone vandalism or property damage. I also have my opinions about thrill seeking at the expense of personal safety and the safety of others. Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, I have to admit that I have been a longtime fanboy of the woman/man graff duo Utah and Ether. They descended from Chicago’s MUL crew and went on to become globetrotting scofflaws. You can find an interview from 2013 over here for more background.
In addition to appreciating the aesthetic appeal of their work, I find the “romantic couple” dimension of their story quite fascinating. They were both arrested in 2008 after a painting spree spanning multiple continents and 10+ countries. Needless to say, the arrests didn’t slow them down much. They have recently released the first two installations of a series of videos titled “Probation Vacation: Lost in Asia” produced by The Grifters. Episode 2, shot in India is embedded below. You can catch the first one (Turkey) over here.
UTAH & ETHER – PROBATION VACATION: LOST IN ASIA (Episode 2 – India) from The Grifters on Vimeo.
Image: screen grab from above video