Female heads pop out from nooks where sidewalk meets store front and lay pasted over exposed brick. If the intent of street art is the beautification of urban landscapes then Cake succeeds by introducing femininity to the usual grind of muscle and decay. These portraits are individually painted and vulnerable. They provide a welcome dream like essence to so many cold buildings under gray skies. There is a breath of fresh air in seeing the exposed bones and anatomy of Cake’s work reminding the viewer that they are human. More importantly, they are surrounded by other humans in a city that can feel like a machine. A welcome female face emerges from torn wheat paste to portray clavicles and vertebrae that bring us all back together. I wanted to ask Cake her thoughts about the street art community here in New York.
“The street community is so unbelievably supportive of me and it moves me deeply. It’s the community that makes this so special- the pasters, the writers, the photographers.”
“Since I value this community in a very crucial way, it always pains me to see certain artists paste with no regard for graffiti and/or other pasters. Unless you have the intent to start Beef- this is unethical. There is no excuse for this. It is strange for me to see long time pasters still go out and paste blindly- with no regard to what lives on the surface before they get to it. Its complete disrespect. It also says something important about the paster- that they are unaware of the environment in which they are adding to/ working with. Which is also strange- I once put a sticker over Naks and then posted a photo of myself doing it. It wasn’t until the community pointed it out that I realized it. I hadn’t even noticed the tag when I was there. My practice changed immediately after that. Now I am hyper aware of where I place my work. I go out with respect. What worries me is the few pasters that seemingly never get the message that they are constantly going over others give the rest of us a bad reputation as a group that has no reverence for graffiti. My love of graffiti is what inspired me to take my work to the streets in the first place.”