A while ago a guy contacted me after having a certain success with a book on street art. Now he wanted to continue with a book on the background of street art, the old spontaneous graffiti.
He had already contact with the guy supposedly inventing Örva. There are many special ways to aim for success and fame, and he certainly was one of the false prophets.
This particular Gnuff album was even remembered by a later TV host thus paving the way for my appearance on a national children’s program. I was also at one time contacted by a journalist covering the same theme on radio. The theme of communication was natural to me. I have used that all through my career, so I should know all the cons and pros.
I did this story in the 80’es after the Graffiti fad had peaked. My own satisfaction creating this album however is not the PR potential it seems to have had but more the fact that I have succeeded in making a quite precise fairy tale rendering of a prominent mechanism in our contemporary cultural life. The art form of graffiti starts out as a spontaneous way of expression a statement and from then on develops into a matter of aesthetics and impressive pictorial renderings.
In this process the art form however loses its original idea of communicating an idea or attitude. From this level it passes rather easily on to being accepted by the established elite in art preservation and the transition to prestigious museum display as shown in the end of the story.
Looking back on Animal Graffiti it captures in symbolic form the whole process developing into an accepted art form shifting from the basic ground level and on to the highest circles managing the art world. That was what interested me the most and in a way I am glad that this particular story seems to be one I seem to have been remembered for.
In the last part of the story I even have a reference to the worshipping of gurus. When Gnuff reveals himself to the later followers in the Örva cult, they won’t believe him. He has not the makings of an idol. When persons elevate to the state of ikons they leave behind all the dreary facts relating them to have been ordinary living persons. It pleased me a lot to have managed to include that angle as well. I have used that inspiration later in my literary book attempts.