Photo by Ilk Flottante
Art often acts as mouth piece for culture, narrating what is not publicized by traditional forms of media. Here lies opportunity for resistance. Blending art and activism, graffiti has been used as a vehicle that births a greater sense of rebellion and street relativity. Graffiti is one of hip-hop's founding principles, and in that, hip-hop began as an art form that brought awareness to socio-economical issues, as well as impending issues of the street in dealings of violence, police brutality and racism. Much like hip-hop, the use of graffiti too has evolved. More complex, with a greater set of content behind it, graffiti artists are taking their approach to even greater avenues of visibility.
There is a certain level of activism that we see now, in forms of art with use of graffiti. There is a greater social consciousness that is felt in these forms of art or expression. Graffiti artist, Kidult is of that class. His work and promotion of such beliefs through defiance utilize forms of graffiti to focus attention and shed light, in protest; to big brands and luxury conglomerates. In what he describes as "brandilization", Kidult uses vandalism through an amplified voice that shouts cries of disgust and distrust against luxury brands and big budget, commercial businesses. These acts of protest, the work that Kidult puts on display, are different than art that would be seen in a gallery. Rooted in the true sense of what graffiti was originally intended, Kidult's work represents the voice of an avenue of culture which is silenced by luxury brands such as Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton or Fendi.
Mega brand store fronts of boutiques like Marc Jacobs, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton or Christian Louboutin have been targeted in footage that can be found on the internet. In his belief that there is no order without chaos, Kidult represents the psychological half-state of kidulthood. This psychological state is the blending of childlike behavior, acted out by adults. Interestingly enough, the execution of such childlike behavior seen in Kidult's work is where his adult mindset intervenes. Kidult's rapidly developed mind as an artists, which is acted out in protested tantrums, is what adds mystique and importance all the same, to what he does. Has Kidult insulted the world of luxury, or has he simply re-focused perspective in a necessary way? The act of vandalism itself is a criminal offense. Vandalism being defined as ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful. Such acts by vandals are found in defacing directed towards any property without permission of the owner. But what about the target audience of consumers affected by big brands? Is the selling or breaking down, commodification of our culture in order to generate revenue- is that not a crime? Are we not the victims who become enslaved by brands who prey on our minds, and control us with thoughts of luxury? Kidult raises these questions in a way that cause one to question who is being victimized. His work attempts to turn the tables and victimize big brands in the same ways that we, as consumers have been victimized.
False Prophet subscribes to these same forms of protest, using design and clothing as a facet to act as the antidote. Much like the work of Kidult, we speak to the idea that everything is not what it seems, and in the grand scheme of things, we reserve the right to choose. We expose ideas of altered freedom as seen in America, and take very seriously the impact that our work, through art, allows to be seen; or in some ways unseen. Kidult is a prime example of our brand's work through defiance and heartfelt protest.