|21 November - 4 December
|Billboard SN030201 0006.01, Crosshall Engineering, Wellington Street, Liverpool , UK, 2005
It was late 2004, after a visit to the Tate Gallery, that I first saw the huge PIES graffiti pasted onto the Tunnel Tower on the Wirral side
of the Mersey. It looked fantastic. Brash. Precise. Raw. Gallas. (good) American. Superflex-esque or Weiner-esque. I had heard that it was a band but despite a fair degree of searching and asking around, I could not find any product. No music. Virgin had heard of a limited CD but didn't have any. Someone said that the PIES should be avoided, someone mentioned
the large motorway graffiti and someone mentioned The La's.
I finally tracked down a copy of the PIES CD on eBAY only to be outbid while out of the country. A few days later I received the email asking whether I wanted to buy it straight, no bidding. I did and it duly came. Well, two of them came, both signed, along with a poster, also signed. Hmmm, I wondered, maybe this guy (ASH) who signed it is actually in PIES selling their CDs on eBAY? I emailed him and got a text back.
We finally agreed to meet in a city centre cafe and he talked of his PIES artworks (graffiti) and I spoke about how great they all looked and about wanting to do a work inspired by them. We wandered a bit and looked at some STOK works but they didn't really do anything for me, even the one that said PIES.
Personally, it wasn't really about graffiti - it was the precision, the artistic ambition, the strangely Communist feel to them, the Bauhaus, the placement (the old airway field at Speke, the ridged wall by Edge Hill Station) and the complete lack of product. Like billboards that are not advertising anything. Like a multi-national taking out advertising space just to keep the sound and look of their name fresh in the public's mind.
And I liked the paranoia, the sense that he (felt he) was being watched, spied on, monitored, pasted over and hounded.
And I lay in bed that night and thought about a billboard that featured a word that did not advertise product.
And I woke up thinking of Tony Cascarino (another work...) and humming 'this is your time'.