Recap: Load Limit and Smart Minds Presents “The Lay Up”
A night when the freight community came together to embrace freight art, from graffiti bombing, pieces, burners, hobo art, benching, train hopping and passion for the cold steel. Load Limit and Smart Minds presents: The Lay Up, a one night photography pop up event, featuring: Bob Ross, Bob the Bencher, Brad Wescott, Electric Funeral, El Topo, Everyday Dude, Fr8watcher, Freshynapper, Reefer Sutherland, True 2 Death, Hyphyhands Lincoln, Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye, Power, Railside Rebellion, Wooden Axle and artwork by King 157, Big5, Baer, and Home & Knistt. In attendance were street artist from some of Los Angeles’ prominent graffiti crews such as, SKA, CBS, UTI, CULT, and BAMC. Aside from the freight community, numerous non locals flocked to see this exhibit. Black books and stickers were flowing amongst the crowd, all representing the art that drives them to create and to express their love for the freight art culture. People fail to see the humanity behind the freight/graffiti scene, a scene which includes enthusiasts from all types of backgrounds from families to zinesters, fans passed around photo copied booklets packed with pages that bled with boxcar art. All in all, this eventful night demonstrated that the freight art subculture will always be an evolving mystical movement. I had the opportunity to speak to one of the featured photographers, I bring you words from Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye.
It was a real pleasure meeting you at Load Limit, You go by the moniker ” Harsh Truth of The Camera Eye.”
1. Can you give us some words on the meaning of your moniker?
Well I don’t write Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye as a moniker actually. I picked the name from a Morrissey song . There was a time where I was pretty obsessed with Moz and I was listening to the song and felt that it went pretty well with how I feel graffiti is. Just harsh and in your face, so that’s why I go by Harsh Truth.
2. What drives you to photograph freight trains?
What drives me is that every time I go to the yard it’s always different. It’s awesome to see stuff from all over the country and to catch stuff that’s been running for 10 plus years.
3. How do you think the general public perceives the freight art? And how would you describe freight art to them?
I don’t know if the general public feels anything about freight art to be honest. With the way the economy is right now I know the rail industry has slowed down a lot and I almost feel like most people would be surprised they even still ship stuff via freights at this point let alone know people paint on freights. I honestly don’t know how I would describe freight art to people. I feel like people either understand graffiti or they don’t. People either see the art behind it or they just see it as vandalism.
4. What does the term “Benching” mean to you?
Benching means a lot of things to me-sitting under a bridge with your friends for hours waiting for a line to pull in or out. It means going to check out what’s at the yard whether there’s 5 cars or 50 cars there that day. It means running out in the car in pouring rain and getting soaking wet just to get a flick because those trains might not be there tomorrow. Basically benching to me means dedication to flicking trains no matter what.
5. Do you believe there is a benching, graffiti, art scene?
I do believe there is a benching,graffiti, and art scene. I think they can be a little separate as in some people just bench and don’t pay attention to street stuff, some people just pay attention to the streets and not freights, etc. I personally like being well rounded as far as taking graffiti photos and shoot both freight and street graffiti.
6. How do you feel about last night’s exhibit, Load Limit’s” The LAY UP?
It was a really good turn out and I was honored that this was the second time the guys at Load Limit have asked me to show photos for the Lay Up. It was nice meeting new people and thought it was awesome that a lot of people traveled to come to the show. Shout outs to Load Limit!
You can catch frequent benching updates of The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye at www.flickr.com/photos/loseryouthcrew and make sure to contact him to pick up his zine,
Interviews with Cue (UM, LIB), Freight Bandit, and Jase (BA).