Nika is a hispanic young woman and an artist of sorts. She is actually a tagger, she finds the perfect building to do her kind of art on and she makes magic happen. Though this is not the typical idea of art it is what makes her life make sense. A product of the foster care system she finds herself standing in front of the building where she spent her summers in an after school program learning how to paint. The colors are her connection to a life that was not very good to her and not very forgiving. It is an emotional reunion; with the doors locked and chained and the building closed all she has are her memories of what it was like to grow up with one love, her paint and paintbrush. She shares with us her creations, tells us what she sees, what we should see and how the Mural is the perfect mix of color, life and breath. It is much mort than just graffiti, it is telling a story, her story.
DI/ Female- Mural
- (Scene opens with Nika, she is painting on a large wall. It needs to be conveyed to the audience that she is in public and should not be painting on this property with a brush. She looks around to check to anyone who might catch her, continues to paint. Takes a step back to admire her work and begins to speak. In the beginning she is not talking to us, she is talking to herself, and then she sees us and shares her story.) Not bad Nika, not bad at all. (She looks at her dominate hand and it starts to shake slightly. The shaking will progress throughout the piece, it should start subtle.) Damn. Breathe Nika, focus, you can make it stop. (She holds her hand up, it stops. She sees the audience. Presenting the mural.) Not bad right? It took me about three weeks to finish this one. Yeah, that’s how it works out here. You come up on a clean piece of brick, you mark it with our symbol and people respect that this space is taken. (Smiles) People don’t understand the kind of respect that we get on the streets. Here’s a little bit of honor with thieves. We have our ways of communication to. You ain’t gotta be no Harvard graduate to look right up there in the corner and see that NJ and know that this space belongs to me. My name is Nicole Juanita Torres but my graf name is Nika. “Graf” means graffiti. You look confused. Okay so this is how it works out here. If you think you got what it takes to tag a building you do it. If it gets respect from other artists on the streets you’ll know because it’ll still be there when you walk past it again. If not, (Laughs) please, if not it’ll be like that wall over there, I mean come on don’t nobody come to the hood and put up cartoon characters on a wall and think that they getting some respect out here. Hells no.