(click to see larger)
I was invited back to Cologne, Germany to paint the facade of a youth center. Instead of sketching out my own letters I asked the kids at the center to hand write the phrase ‘You Got My Back‘ and I then took one of their letter styles and painted it large onto the wall with my own colors and extra touches. It was a challenge to reproduce someone else’s handwriting on such a scale, especially a style as irregular as that of a child. The focus of the piece is on showing the value of something handwritten, even if it’s the handwriting of a child that people might dismiss as messy or useless. In these letters I saw experimentation and innocence. This also gives the kids some ownership over the piece and the building itself says to them that they are what’s supporting it.
After looking through 40-50 samples I chose this one. The unexpected combinations of capital and lower case letters, the parts in cursive, and then finally those loops on the ‘k’ were what made this one the winner for me.
Big thanks to Georg and CityLeaks Festival.