Logs:Art Crime

From X-Men: rEvolution
Art Crime
Dramatis Personae

Jax, Tag

2020-08-18


"We got range like the day is long."

Location

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Dumbo


This is just one of the many abandoned warehouses in DUMBO, and like many of them it has recently changed hands. Unlike most of those, however, it does not have some corporate developer's sign out front promising a transformation into luxury condominiums or a boutique shopping center or the latest concept restaurant. Instead it's marked by a piece of weathered but wildly colorful plywood propped up on a stack of broken pallets, which reads "Chimaera Art Space!" above "chimaera.org" in smaller letters.

The warehouse is moderately large and decorated with graffiti art in various styles--some of it recognizable as the work of renowned local street artists. A pair of monstrous scrap metal sculptures, perhaps still works in progress, flank the entrance. The building itself has undergone significant renovation recently, complete with wiring, plumbing, and a modular partitioning system. The grounds, too, have been cleaned up, ramshackle fences torn down and rusting detritus removed in favor of reclaimed (and brilliantly repainted) outdoor furniture ringing an impressively engineered firepit.

The rooftop at Chimaera is not the popular hangout that one might expect from a large group of anarchists who boast multiple circus troupes among their number. Used by almost nobody, it isn't even apparent how to easily access it from within the warehouse complex. Despite its infrequent use, it's very apparent someone is up here regularly. It's clean, for one. Brilliantly colored, for two, painted in a phantasmagorical panorama of Dumbo itself as viewed from this very rooftop, albeit Dumbo a little bit weirder, something wild and fae about the plants that are burgeoning through the sidewalks and overtaking the buildings, about the elfin and monstrous not-quite-humans that occupy its stoops and streets.

Three-quarters of the way down the roof the colors of the Other Dumbo are faded, the image in a lined and half-filled form. Jax looks half a fae himself, crouched by the still-developing cityscape -- shirt and shoes discarded together with his gear and snacks on one side of the roof, he's just in fading old skirt whose swishy top layer looks like a hanging fringe of peacock feathers to match his mop of purple-green-blue hair; the summer sun has set his skin literally aglow, expanse of tattoos luminous-bright in the halo around him.

(The enormous metallic-blue dragonfly standing nearby, casually chewing her way through a large bowl of minced chicken as she watches him give life to the city, is not hurting the impression.)

It's a meditative sort of work. Long stretches of painting without much to break the noise besides the thrum of the city around them and the music playing from the little speakers currently connected to Jax's phone. Conversation picked up and dropped again as focus ebbs and flows. It's only when Jax pauses, finally, to get some lemonade, that he seems to remember a thought he'd had perhaps five minutes or perhaps five hours before: "I'd start with Ian."

Tag has stripped down to his binder--a tight black cropped tank that zips up the front--and a knee-length skirt in rainbow ombre. His hair matches his skirt, but he's tied it back into a high pony-tail that leaves a remarkable amount of bangs to fall across his face. He's sitting on a beach towel patterned to look like a blue sky dotted with white clouds, sipping his own lemonade, and doesn't seem the least put off by the abruptly resumed conversation. "I think that would be amazing." His smile is soft. "You thinking just portraits or like--whole murals, showing them doing stuff maybe?"

"Both. Either. More murals, I think. Can put story to a mural. Especially," Jax muses, fierce glow trailing from his hand as he sketches a vague pattern in the air, "if we just want to celebrate -- folks. Us. Everyday an' thriving in a world that don't want us to. Like, look, you don't need a lot of context if you go splash Ryan's face big an' bold on the side of Themis House, yeah? Five years ago mebbe we'd'a needed a little more environment to give that the same oomph." His smile comes quick and bright. "We got range. I trust us."

Tag stretches his legs out in front of him, bare feet on the painted rooftop. "We got range like the day is long," he agrees readily. "Some of the bigger ones, maybe we could include two or three--show some relationships, too." He's actually bouncing in place, just a little, in his excitement. "This is gonna be so great. I was starting to feel kind of like a fraud teaching that class, you know?" He sets his lemonade aside and rolls to his feet, stretching. "I haven't done hardly any art crime this year, unless you count that sidewalk thing at the big trans rally."

"Honestly. Poser. Y'know how much street art I been paid to do this past year? That's like, negative art crime points. Although," Jax admits brightly, "It is good practice for the rest'a it. I have been doin' some share of proper art anarchy but we could step it up. Do it with more purpose, like." He squints up towards the sky. Rubs a paint-speckled palm against the line of his jaw. "'course, movin' outside the realm of the one point five public heroes we got, might be a job of work advertising for folks to sign up and get their pictures splashed across the city in freak art crime. Do you love being outed as a mutant? Do you love pissing off cops? Boy have we got an offer for you!"

"Alright, we're both gonna up our art crime scores, big time." Tag bounces up onto his toes, balancing there for a moment. "I bet people are gonna be jumping at the chance to make a splash." He skips a couple of steps along an overgrown street of Other Dumbo. "Maybe we can solicit folks for ideas on good places to put 'em, too." His lips press together thinly as he settles back down, feet fully on the rooftop. "Especially if there's other requests for memorial art, you know?"

"Way too many I could think of even just this past year or two." Jax sets his lemonade down after another gulp and turns back towards his work. He doesn't actually start painting yet, just picks up a brush, looks down at the work in front of him. A flex of his hand sketches a shape in midair -- colors blossom on the unfinished stretch of ceiling below him. A figure partially obscured amid the lightning bolt he rides down to kind of Cheshire-cat effect -- the most clearly visible part is the manic-bright grin. "Still. Some people gonna jump, for sure."