Morley is the antithesis of street artists in Los Angeles. Where traditional taggers obscure their name in scrawled script only readable to their own, Morley prints big messages with his large bold lettering. Where most find it cool to be cryptic, Morley shares his wit in complete sentences. Where many street artists prefer anonymity or an empowered alter-ego, Morley includes a plain drawing of his unglamorous self writing each ironic aphorism. His humor veers from self-deprecating to sly, his insight ranges from soul searching to silly.
Morley is so un-street art, he walks around in broad daylight plastering his posters up in the busiest intersections. It was a privilege to document the artist at work, if only to be able to capture the meta moments of the artist putting up art of himself putting up his art.
In this short documentary, Morley explains how he uses hope and humor in efforts to lift the unsuspecting viewer.
Much of today’s street art is reflective of Andy Warhol’s signature style of celebrity iconography, stenciled composites, and above all, repetition of imagery. It is no wonder Warhol’s ideas, Sixties images, and commercial success have inspired young artists to take to the streets. So it is both intuitively astute and perfectly logical to see Andy Warhol’s stenciled visage appear across Los Angeles over the past year signed simply “Thank You, X.”
Thank You X intended his moniker to simply be “X,” the penultimate pseudonym of an anonymous artist. But as curious fans might not be able to Google “X” at their workplace without fear of reprisal, “Thank You X” has stuck as his nom de guerre. The image of Warhol used in X’s pieces is from a lesser-known photo taken by an assistant of Warhol’s to build his portfolio. The casual, unguarded spontaneity in this head shot of Warhol looking away suggests a genuine appreciation of a subject whose mind is often elsewhere. [Read more]