Morley: I Don't Make Sens...
Morley’s touching, inspirational and sometimes romantic slogan art has cheered...
Morley’s touching, inspirational and sometimes romantic slogan art has cheered up LA’s notoriously jaded population for almost two years now. His first major gallery exhibition will feature canvases, mixed media and sculptural works inspired by his most popular slogans, three-dimensional pieces in the form of elaborate ‘keepsake boxes’ made from found materials, and affordable, low-edition prints.
A “dreamer” originally from the quiet US state of Iowa, Morley began vandalising while at college in New York. “It wasn’t until I moved to New York that I got my first taste of street art,” he says. “While I was familiar with traditional graffiti, deep down I think I felt like a middle class white kid from the Iowa wouldn’t be able to muster the street cred needed to appreciate it. Street art seemed a bit more inclusive, had fewer established rules and aimed its messages at a more mainstream audience. Finding myself surrounded daily by a sea of anonymous strangers, each seeming to carry their own unique burden, left me with a desire to communicate some sort of message of hope. I started silk screening what I would later identify as 'slogans' onto Contact paper and sticking them around subway stations.
“Moving to Los Angeles made my mission a little more personal. Like most college graduates, I found myself confronted by the harsh reality that perhaps the future I had planned for myself wouldn’t stick to the blueprints.
"Los Angeles has an interesting populace. Dreamers, waiting patiently for their big break mingle with struggling immigrants, directionless children of privilege, and those too burnt out to remember why they moved out here in the first place. For me, the difference between LA and New York was that now I was truly one of them, not just observing from behind the protective shield of higher education.
"I also began including drawings of me because I wanted my audience to know who it was that was writing to them. Rather than a disembodied voice, I wanted them to see the words as coming from a kindred spirit and a comrade in arms. It took a while for me to convince myself that my words might have value as street art. Later I discovered that it was precisely what I was insecure about that set me apart from other artists. At first, black and white words on a page seemed too simple to be of any real value to anyone. What I had forgotten was that from a car driving 30 miles-an-hour down a city street, it’s difficult to retain much else.”
Post-postmodernism for the people, Morley’s work is touching, empowering and very refreshing. ‘I Don't Make Sense Without You’ is the feel good show of the Summer.