F%$! Nice Be Kind
Over the third weekend of this past September, I was fortunate to be accepted to display my work just outside of Detroit. The Event: The Ferndale DIY and Street Fair was by far the best event I've worked in terms of the support and organization for the artists. Ferndale, it seems to me is young, hip, cultural and generally speaking: fun. However, since it was my first time working this festival, my booth ended up in no-man's land. Lemons.
Since this three-day event is hip, I was able to bring some art that I cannot usually show at more conservative art fairs. For example, I displayed some little pastel-collaged skulls and a huge (5' x 6') multi-layer collage of Lemmy Kilmeister (RIP) of Motorhead. Now paintings of skulls and rock icons have no deeper artistic message, really. So I was excited to show off a simple stencil painting called "fuck nice be kind". Lemonade.
Since I did a have a little foot traffic and some fairly shocking images to make them stop and ponder, I decided to create some digital content using the patrons and FNBK. I started gathering people for group shots and posing them like B-boys and Fly Girls a la RUN DMC 1983. At least, I'll say, I tried to interpret that vibe...
The process led to interesting conversations. Now, some people get it immediately, but other folks, upon immediate response think I am making a distinction without a difference. That was especially true for the couple who used sign language to communicate. Through a translator, we had a wonderful dialogue about how ASL uses the same sign for Nice and Kind.
My Theory is this:
Nice Says: “I don’t think your feet stink too bad.”
Kind says: “I love you, but your feet stink and you can use my bucket, water and soap to wash them.”