Rows of boats to our right and columns of caravans to our left, a thin wall of ever so greens and two small red clay houses, one of which held the shower; 10 kr for 4 minutes. Debates on the length of 4 minutes would later be free. Besides the insides of the bus, this dreary morning there was not much else to see.
The first day was a weather trial. Socks soaked with a liter of water that had no business being in my shoes. We’re deep into the first week and everything is going fast. Already there is a test of stamina that I am naïve not to have anticipated. How can these Big Geezers be expected to paint massive spaces 2 out of every 3 days? To enter unfamiliar rooms, paint in front of strangers, feel strong enough to be spontaneous and creative? Is it possible to be creative on demand?
Eventually, it is important to point out that the art on tour is also the tour itself. It isn’t just the final piece or the traces that will stay in each city after the Alfredo has rolled away. Art is employed as entertainment. It is offered as an excuse for people to come together, to BBQ, to talk, to dream, whatever …
The point of production here is backing process and people, the lives of people, without looking at final product or some mystical algebraic price tag. It will be a challenge for all these Big Geezers to take the work seriously, but not solemnly, to employ it as a rehearsal, a practice session offering the possibility to travel by bus, have a three week roll about with close friends and do what you love to do in foreign places with familiar faces surrounding you.
Day 2 in Oslo and the sun was up early. We played football, listened to music, talked and doodled and eventually drove over to the venue for the second painting where we had a really warm welcome from a literally massive geezer named Anders/Stork. He not only showed us some fine Norwegian hospitality, but also got in on the collaboration, working his stencils onto the wall as bodies to be fitted with heads by Bo130, Wayne Horse, Jeremy Fish and Morcky Troubles.
While Oslo had appeared sort of gloomy in the city center*, this venue was full of character and well cared for. By the time the sun was gone, Joska was working to the moonlight and the rest of us were enjoying the food, music and sort of standing in awe as the place quickly grew packed.
Around 2 in the morning, we were all on the bus ready to roll towards Warsaw.
Warsaw was capitalist between the two world wars and the Poles were previously one of Europe’s most proficient manufacturers in nearly a dozen areas. Did you know that 40 million people live in Poland? It’s massive. It’s also barren as we’d learn from the bus windows and slight detours (arrival at 20:00 became 01:00 and then, erm, 08:00? Donno really, I’d crashed by then).
*(you’d think that not many people immigrate to such an expensive city, especially one where the sun hides for about half the year and isn’t close to much else, but on the contrary the center seems to have been filled by government asylum programs. Downtown Oslo is not glamorous. It does not give that magazine pin up feeling of Stockholm or hint at the colorful bohemian trails of Copenhagen and all her glorious cleavage … it feels even further away than the rest of Scandanavia)
Read the Big Geezers Tour Diary Part 1: Copenhagen
Read the Big Geezers Tour Diary Part 3: Warsaw
Read the Big Geezers Tour Diary Part 4: Budapest
Read the Big Geezers Tour Diary Part 5: Vienna
Read the Big Geezers Tour Diary Part 6: Bratislava
Fotos: Landry A.
Words: Harlan Levey