My brother Mikemetic put in serious work on this documentary short featuring his son Meechi – and their trip to Graffiti Mecca 5 Pointz in NYC. Mike has been putting in work all over RVA social media and is making a splash with his newest social media project NATIVES – make sure to visit the site. WE SEE IT!
“About 6 months ago Meech and I took a trip to NYC to visit the international graffiti museum 5 Pointz. The building has been in a legal struggle the past couple of months as developers and the owner of the property want to demolish it and turn it into high rise condos. I put this short vid together in support of 5 pointz and as a preview to a more expansive street art retrospective coming out December 2013. Check it out and visit 5ptz.com to see how you can help.”
The article posted on Facebook last night and most will see it this week in the print edition of Style Weekly but one of RVA’s biggest unsolved mysteries is no more. That is because Keeley Laures decided it was time to end the mystery and talk about her amazing site Graffiti Richmond. I met Keeley last year while she was displaying art at Steady Sounds. We just started talking and became friends. I’m proud to say that she is a friend of the site and was instrumental in the 3 Part Graffiti Adventures photo series posted last year. I’m going to spend the rest of the week begging her to do an interview with me. I’ll keep you posted – Congrats Keeley!
“It seems like with abandoned buildings – they sort of take on a life of their own – a different life – a different type of community takes over when a building is left behind. An unseen community – the homeless – the artist – the explorers – bondage photographers.” — Decayed Richmond
Last week, I sat down with Decayed Richmond to talk about their amazing urban exploration project. Decayed Richmond has been killing RVA’s art-culture scene since they launched their website last spring. Documenting urban exploration has really skyrocketed in popularity with the growth of affordable cameras and the rise of the internet. Richmond, with all of its history, and unique appreciation for historic relevance, makes it a perfect backdrop for a state-of-the-art urban exploration project. Decayed Richmond is that project – but they need your help. Support them at: decayedrichmond.com
Below is only a snapshot of THE INTERVIEW. Click HERE (or the main menu tab) to read the full interview with Decayed Richmond.
Cheats Movement: Decayed Richmond really jumped on the scene last year. Tell me a little about the creation of Decayed Richmond?
Decayed Richmond: It started around the spring of last year. We basically started the site because we saw other sites about exploring abandoned buildings and wanted to start something of our own. We had a stock of pictures that have been collected over the years. We knew the photos would fit well on a website. So we went up with Decayed Richmond and it really blew up. Over the course of two or three days the site got like 200 to 300 followers. And that’s when we decided we wanted to shoot a movie about it.
Cheats Movement: There is defiantly an element of surprise every time that you explore a new building. What are some of the most unique things that have happened on site?
Decayed Richmond: The most unique, and the most recent, is the last time we went out – we ran into some other people doing bondage photography (fetish photography). We kind of spooked each other out. They ended up being very helpful. They showed us some different ways to get in and out of the building – but it was weird.
Cheats Movement: So when you go into a new building – what is the goal?
Decayed Richmond: It really varies. Going into a new building, we shoot photos and video. We try to explore all the ends and outs of the building. We try to learn a little bit of the history of the building before we go in so we have a better understanding of what a room could have been used for. One of the main goals is to always reach the roof of the building – seeing the rooftop.
Cheats Movement: What is the most interesting building that you’ve been in so far?
Decayed Richmond: It’s hard to pick one but the 25th street theater in Church Hill is really cool. Another would be Innerbake, the old cookie factory on Belvidere and Broad. Every time in that building is a new experience.
Cheats Movement: This seems like way more than just a website and movie to the Decayed Richmond team.
Decayed Richmond: It is. It’s something that we will do forever. Whenever we travel, any city, any town, we try to find something (to explore). You would be surprised how many places are just completely neglected. I feel like so many of these places would be great to give back to the community.
Cheats Movement: I feel like Richmond is one of the worst offenders of that – we have so many great opportunities to restore history here. Even the laws in Richmond, in regards to restoring abandoned properties are very tough.
Decayed Richmond: Yeah. That’s fortunate for us and what we are doing but tough for the city. There are so many places that can be turned into cool venues, artspaces, etc.
I think most people will agree that RVA is a close knit town — and that there are many positives (and negatives) about that aspect of our city. A positive is the close connection of talented people. Often I will be doing a project for The Cheats Movement and someone will ask, “have you seen my friend’s art work or have you heard my friend’s cd?” That is pretty normal and I love it. It is the best way to connect to what’s hot on the street.
Since I started this blog, the name Hamilton Glass has come up over and over from my friends and other artist. Though I was familiar with his mural work, I had never met HAM until a about a week ago. HAM’s talent is truly world class. I was instantly drawn in by the visual ascetic of his art and also the powerful messages he displays. I agreed that HAM would be perfect for a profile on the site but then I thought — PROFILES ARE NOT ENOUGH IN 2012.
I really want this site to be a part of RVA’s creative community. Instead of just profiles, I want to build real relationships with the talented people I highlight doing work in the city. So this post is just a start of my new goal.
HAM has blessed the site with a brand new 2012 logo and I will continue to highlight HAM’s work on this site. CHECKOUT HAM’S WEBSITE: www.whosham.com and hit him up for work.
Let me know what you think of the new logo by comment, facebook, twitter, or email. I want to know — and the first ever Cheats Movement stickers are coming later this month.
HAM X THE CHEATS MOVEMENT 2012
It’s been a great year for Graffiti in RVA. I’ve had a great time going out and taking photos of the RVA graffiti scene. Another S/O to the best graffiti site in the city Graffiti Richmond. More photos coming in 2012 — CLICK HERE to see the final installment of Graffiti Adventures. And check the graffiti tab on the home page to see all my graffiti photos.
If you follow this blog closely — you may have noticed that I have done some new (slightly different) things within the last week. I debuted the RVA HOT SAUCE Trailer on the new Cheats Movement Vimeo page, I created a Cheats Movement tumblr page and have been more active posting on Richmond Neighborhoodr. In addition, I’ve been working on even more collaborations with RVA News, RVA Mag, and any other blogs or groups that will have me shoot photos or write content for them. Long story short, as the first year of this blog ends (1 year anniversary is Jan 2012) — I really hope that year 2 is about diversifying the outlets in which The Cheats Movement content can be viewed. The goal remains the same - to highlight the talented creative community in RVA and show as many people as possible the many different sides of Richmond. I understand that in order to do that the way I want to — The Cheats Movement has to be in even more places and work that much harder (and smarter) to gain the attention of the city. So that’s the goal — even more collaboration — even more events — even more photo projects and videos — with the goal that the next photo, video, article, post, collaboration, has to be better than the last. That along with the best day/night job in the world – the focus remains on a trillion. People that know me or have worked with me – know this already about me but if you don’t — I’m really easy to find and contact (email, facebook, twitter). I’m always looking to collaborate if the content represent Richmond well and represents positive growth. Hit me up — Stay Focused!
Click HERE to see Part 1.
Hands down my favorite Graffiti site is Graffiti Richmond. I know what you’re thinking and calm down – Graffiti Richmond does not write graffiti. It is a site – very similar to mine – in which it highlights “other” people’s amazing art. With that said – the site is dope AND I was lucky enough to link up with the crew. In part 1 of this exclusive series of RVA graffiti pics — I went out with Graffiti Richmond for some of the coolest shots I’ve ever done . Click here and enjoy the first part of Graffiti Adventures.
The first time I laid eyes Adrian King [AKA The Holik], I featured his freestyle in Richmond Kids Episode 1. He clearly has a certain star quality to him. However, I was surprised to learn that hip-hop is just one tool that Adrian has in a bag full of weapons.”I’m actually a graphic designer before anything else…drawing is fun.” And now, it appears that he has found a like-minded business partner and support system in Brianna Lee. Together they have formed Half Evil Clothing; a skate & street wear brand. “It really all started while I was on the phone with Brianna — I was kind of complaining that I wanted to start a clothing brand — and she just said…okay do it. A few weeks later — we have two shirts, an online store, and the beginnings of a brand…True Story.” Read the rest of the story behind Half Evil by clicking HERE and be sure to support these young business entrepreneurs in RVA.
Since I’ve started The Cheats Movement, I’ve met a lot of inspirational Richmonders. I’m the type of guy that finds inspiration [and motivation] from my peers…bloggers, photographers, artist, musicians, writers…my RVA surroundings. And since I’ve been surrounding myself more and more with these talented people, I’ve discovered a shared personality trait that makes them inspiring to me — that trait is the: Willingness to Succeed. It is the classic “Why Not” attitude. Failure never stops this group from trying. It’s awesome that RVA has so many talented people with this attitude — the city benefits from it [Richmond City Council needs more of it]. I hope that in some small way that The Cheats Movement can serve as some type of motivation for my peers to keep pushing the envelope and attempting creative projects in RVA — If you do, I’m going to find you and post about what you’re doing! Stay Focused! Go Skins!
I normally take the highway exit over by the Byrd Park Tennis Courts when I’m leaving the Museum District to go home. For over a year I’ve noticed a fence with art on it but I never took the time to check it out. Well, last weekend I checked it out and the entire fence, though worn, is pretty spectacular. This is just a close up of one drawing on the wall. I really wish I knew the background, so if you know, please hook me up.
Two weeks ago, I posted the VCU Style: Skate Park & Graffiti Picture Series. Since then I went back and took a few more shots. Check out the entire picture series by clicking here.