Graffiti Conventions, collections, infractions or persecutions?
ESCRITO POR: LORENA SIERRA
It was a weekday in the San Telmo neighborhood, the neighborhood where we both lived and we were to meet for breakfast after I saw a publication in Jere's networks where he complained about having to leave the graffiti for different situations who forced him not to paint anymore.
Starting to collect photos, publish, receive notifications, be investigated, mistreated, recognized or even denounced are some of the dynamics that any illegal graffiti artist lives.
The difficult thing after living them, is to continue painting knowing that there can be serious consequences where adrenaline and panic will be divided by a thin line.
We were in a corner of the Defence street and we went to a coffee in the area.
Jere takes a seat and while the waitress arrives, clarifies.
-These situations led me to nowadays, after 3 years since those bad experiences, wanting to relive it costs me a little more .. maybe I go and paint but it is not the same anymore. He says and then asks for a coffee with croissants. He still trembles a little when thinking about the different events that impacted his life as an illegal graffiti collector.
Jere is a tall man with long black hair and a long beard. He was a graffiti artist for 8 years and in 2016 he made the third version of a graffiti convention that he did three times and did not make another call "El point". Maybe that was his farewell to all the good graffiti gave him and the best way to meet again with friends who no longer paint as much as he does, besides gathering people from all over who paint regardless of whether they are new, old, legal and vandals.
Many graffiti artists like him have been arrested when they are performing their interventions on trains or subways, all have a different story in relation to these events but many have been injured and injured to the point of not repainting.
That is the coming and going between the authorities and those who live with the challenge of leaving something of themselves in a public space. A signature, a bomb or something bigger. There the antagonists or heroes according to how the graffiti is appreciated are the ¨mulos of the trains.¨ As many graffiteros call the security personnel of the stations
And it is that between them it could be a fight, a game of police and offenders. There, the offender almost always loses.
In this case graffiti artists who could be offenders by nature, are facing moments in which a trace of paint on their hands is the best proof for a lack, contravention, or receiving abuse.
"If you get caught painting trains you give everything, anything can happen," says Jere.
But first let's start with the beginning ...
I started in 2006 with everything about the stencil scene, at that moment nothing to do with the wave of graffiti, nothing to do with the hip hop wave. I started then with the stencil, until one day a friend arrives at my house very happy, he arrived with a lot of markers, with all the measures, of 1 cm, with a spatula, a huge marker like a hand and he showed me what they did signatures and all those. I told him that he wrote my name with stencil and that we did very similar things. Until he told me the word "this graffiti" was how I change the world. The next day I went out and saw that everywhere and said how it is that for so long I did not see this.
-I came learning all that was graffiti, knowing ... Although vandalism, so to speak, it was not so much, that is, once in a while, I made a blind or painted a wall quite illegal but was not that fullness, like other groups or other people who only bombed or just made trains. I came little by little
In 2012 it was like a boom, it was like "well now I have a job, I have money, I can start buying the paints and I can not get fulness to paint only walls, I want to paint more, more, more, more ..." one day, I made all the blinds of Lanús only one night and then say: "Well this does not reach me, I want to do more I'm going to get into painting trains ..."
He began to upload all his material to social networks, because like many, he considers them a tool to show his work everywhere, besides Jere when he started painting trains had a particularity. He painted in the day
-I leave at 8 o'clock in the morning from work I go and paint at that time. I look from one end to the other, I get off the train, I turn around, I paint it, I get back on the same train and I go back to my house. So he did that routine every day.
I was traveling with a happy face! because he had just the cans he had calculated to paint. He was carrying two cans or three cans. I painted, I ran out and I went, then I never had marks of paint in my hand, I never had cans, I never had anything.
- I had started at the Glew station that was the train terminal, there was braking 15 minutes, and in 15 minutes I could do what I was singing with the people above, there was no problem, people did not say anything, sumo you touched the window. And since it was something that at that time was given every day and you saw people painting all day, people did not have the violence that they have now, before they could tell you what! Che! .. Now you can get off the train and do not know what can happen, that was the head washing of the media that was given over time
The idea of painting trains began to be more constant, by the year 2013 Jere began to paint in different lines.
-And I said: "Well, I'm going to start doing something ... that is, there are two types of graffiti artists in terms of the theme of trains: There is a base, that is, they always occupy a train and are constantly painting, painting, painting. .¨ and there is the collector who goes and says: "well .. today I paint one in this, today I paint one in another, this one I do not have, I'm going to paint it, this one either ...". Then I stopped painting the same train and said: "I'm going to look for different models, things that I did not do, things that I do not have, that is a challenge." So I began to paint in one, in another, in another, in another and when I returned to The Roca I find myself in a completely different situation
When he returned to the Roca line, he realized that his face was known in the station, since there were some posters with his face and a phrase that said "lavender in formations"
It was 8 o'clock on a Saturday night. Jere and two of his friends were waiting for the train at Temperley Station to head to a party.
Two security people approached him and grabbed him by the back, mentioned his name and his surnames and said: "Look, we have a file here in the office that you are with your face, you are the same ... And you are the only skinny with beard and long hair that paints trains..¨
-My face was like, I can not believe, I do not know what to do, I do not know what to say, I do not know how to act, I knew absolutely nothing and I said: "Well, I do not know bring the poster and we see" and he says: ¨ Well, I'll leave you in charge of two policemen and a security partner. They put me inside the car, the other two guys leave them outside the car, checking all the belongings.
Luckily there were many people there who did not understand why they had a young man who did not have any sprays on his hands, he was detained without reason and they began to complain, so they had to let him go free.
After this, Jere cut his hair, his beard and began to paint always accompanied, changed his style a bit and sometimes went out to paint but in a legal way, which allowed him to create another more artistic style. He did not stop painting trains. But it lowered its intensity.
-I began to advise legally, I got a lawyer who was a friend of mine, almost family, he advised me, he explained to me that if something happened to me what I had to do and what I had to take into account if I was going to make a complaint, then if I was missing, also take into account if the other was missing, right? If they hit me, if they did not get to call the police, if they did not report me ... they were things that I had in my favor -.
Unreal profiles and unexpected encounters
Jere continued painting with more preventions, and after having a change in his appearance he began to receive different friend requests in the networks he used to publish his photos. Profiles of women he knew were not real, they spoke to him. They asked him about the days he would paint and each time they became more real. Jere began to talk with one of them more often until they had a good friendship, one day they decided to agree on a meeting in Plaza Temperley to chat and have a drink.
That day while waiting, a car was parked and 4 people got off, they were from the train security, Jere knew them and knew that day that his last friendships were not the real people he imagined.
Days later and after painting a workshop that was going constantly, Jere realized that there was parked the same car that had gone to Plaza Temperley and that there were also the 4 people who would have gone down that day.
That same week he completely deleted his profile and stopped uploading the photos of his collections.
- There was a phrase among all that was "if they pass it to Jere we are all in the oven because I was, did you see? a human detector of tricky profiles and they said to me: "Jere, this is fake?" "Jere? And these are little kids of 16 years old railroad fans?" and so very funny situations that were influencing every behavior I had.
In 2014, as in June, he had been painting every Sunday. It was religion to get up at 8 in the morning and go to paint with a group of friends. We were at 8 in Temperley Square. We would play ball until someone got the idea and said "let's paint now"
We had time until ten in the morning and it was just a train. We got on the train to which we knew the departure time, we had everything studied. Then it was: We got on the train, when the train stopped, we got off, we painted, we climbed back up and came back. This was the routine of every Sunday, so we camouflaged it with something else (go play ball, or go for a drink)
We never painted at night, we always painted during the day.
In July of the year 2014, just one Sunday morning they were going to play ball as they were used to. After playing and while waiting at the bus stop near Luis Guillón street, a car approached from which 4 characters got off. An average of 1.90 in height, he was muscular and bare, behind another 1.65, with his wavy hair and a shirt of Boca Juniors, behind him another 1.70 with short hair, shaved with white shirt, which He was short and had a white shirt.
His first reaction to seeing Jere with his friends was to tell them: give me everything! Give me everything! Give me everything!
At that moment his friends start running and Jere stays there as if they were not talking to him.
Hit the floor! It was the word that was heard before starting to receive kicks in the body and on the face.
-They throw my hands back and they make me walk 10 blocks, people looked at me type what happened? And the kids said "this son of a bitch stole my sister, this guy stole my grandmother" and people were insulting me in the middle of the street, I just thought I was not understanding anything, I thought: These guys are mules of La Roca, but I did not do anything, call the police, they're kidnapping me!
Without knowing how to escape and recording everything in his mind Jere is silent and does everything that these people tell him, when they arrive at a roundabout they meet the car that minutes before had left in search of their other friends, there was a boy much smaller than him, full of punches and much more beaten
In the car they went to the workshop that Jere knew by heart for having painted so often, there they locked them both, beat them and left them sitting for a couple of hours. It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon and they were still there, the boy that they grabbed kept vomiting, Jere wanted to calm him down, taking advantage of the fact that they were alone in the workshop, the boy wanted to leave but convinced him to stay inside the workshop while the new shift of the staff of security arrived.
When they arrived, several of them could not believe what had happened to them, they began to ask each one their story and decided to take them to the police station. There they declared and denounced these people. Jere remembered the number of blocks he walked, the streets he was on and everything he already knew he should have in his mind thanks to the legal advice he had received.
Jere was not painting, the other boy did not know why they had grabbed him and they had both been badly mistreated.
After this Jere began to leave the graffiti slowly. One day he tried to paint at the Belgrano Norte station and was discovered, that day he was at the station for several hours receiving blows from some staff at the Villa Adelina station.
-And then I started to calm down more and more ... I went to the Urquiza a couple of times but I started to experience a strange tremor before painting and that many guys saw it.
I already had a group of three people who painted every weekend in Belgrano sur Urquiza and San Martín.
He had stopped painting La Roca, the Mitre and the north Belgrano.
-But it started to happen to me that before entering and they saw it and they told me if something happened to me, before I went to paint my hands were shaking and I started to realize that. When I was painting, I forgot and when I left I was seized like a nervous breakdown, something upset me, it was difficult for me to breathe, I started to shake, I had to sit down, until I broke down or fainted. I happened to be taking a coca, kind of chatting, we had gone to paint type, we were shitting with laughter, everything had gone well and we were in a square drinking a coke talking and like ifainted because I had a very strong crisis-
-After that, as I already doubted everything, I did not want to paint, I had a little ... not fear, but doubts ... I did not know what was going to happen and it was getting worse, my hands were shaking worse, It was pale perspiring, it was midwinter and I perspiring then it's like a very traumatic sensation I think nobody graffiti came to that ...
After that, point 2016 remained. The last event that Jere did, many children from other areas continued to manage and carry out conventions in other areas, which does not let the connection between graffiti artists of different styles die.
Now Jere does not have that much time, he works much harder and has other priorities.
-You are from 9 in the morning, until 11 at night at work and at what moment are you going to paint? you have to pay a rent, pay some debts, pay for services or you are in a couple ..
Painting over the years increased a lot. Thank you if you can buy a can
So, it's like when you are younger, you decide, "Yes, I'm going to paint myself full" but many cases happen, I do not know. You painted throughout your life. You started studying and time is no longer the same. You have to prepare partials, you have to do a lot of things. Partial works, life. Thank you if you have 5 minutes to paint. You always say that there are 5 minutes left but sometimes the body does not give you the time
The cafe fills up with people, it's been almost two hours after breakfast and Jere smiles telling his experience accepting that strange painting but that Jere 187 signature now in many streets of the city helps him to have a history with the city, experiences of illegal graffiti that surely will no longer have.