One of Sydney’s most loved street artists, Sid Tapia, has long been a supporter of Work-Shop’s creative crusade. In light of an exciting new collaboration with Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art in which Sid will host the first class, let’s take a little dig into what makes this vibrant, adventurous individual click.
He was born on Crown St, Sydney in 1973 and raised a ‘street’ kid. Taking on graffiti culture at the age of 10, a time when it was mostly considered vandalism, defacement, and a punishable crime. It’s a culture that has since interspersed throughout the Inner West of Sydney and transitioned from misunderstood to celebrated. Why?
In the 1980s, when hip-hop, skating and graffiti culture emerged in Australia, something about its visual attractiveness, its air of liberation and rebellion caught young artists’ eyes. It took hold of the urban youth. It was both a form of creative release and an adrenalin rush of risk, with many crews forming to stake their territorial claim on a train line or district.
After shaping his youth around hip-hop culture, breakdancing and writing, Sid changed his focus to skating, a professional career which he followed between the ages of 21 and 36.
Since taking back to the spray can, Sid has emulated the heart and soul of street art. With eye-capturing precision and technique, he has gained appreciation from audiences young and old. Using bold lettering and colours, Sid’s work embodies what he believes in most – life, love and creation.
Sid’s roots run deep in his art. Born of Ecuadorian parents, his writing style was influenced by old Ecuadorian lettering books. His mother’s self-expressive style, his father’s agility, and his uncle’s portraits, guitar playing and handcrafted installations all shaped the creative, entrepreneurial artist we see today.
And it’s this love and influence, creatively inspired and enthused by the presence of God that he shares with other people.
Aside from running ‘Intro to Street Art’ workshops, where he teaches budding artists lettering form, character animation and spray can knowledge, he is a leading youth communicator, advocates for international apparel RCVA and directs his own label, Crown St.
Sid has contributed back to the community in which he grew up, and you’ll see his murals and works pop up throughout the likes of Marrickville, Camperdown and Redfern. Because of artists such as Sid, we’ve seen the transition of graffiti culture into a legal, celebrated practice. With more individual and community support, self expression has thrived.
The attention to detail and pride with which Sid presents his work is a testament to his character and the way he believes anything can be achieved through perseverance. A desired result, whether in skating or in art, can be manifested through the potential of a tangible reward, but more importantly an inner sense of victory.
He believes that everybody has an artistic sense of how to do something, and that art, particularly graffiti, is at its core an expression of oneself. That is where the joy comes from.
“I look at my little girl and she just wants to create and do things, and she does it with joy and with love and ease and she wants to just naturally show it off to me…” he tells Work-Shop.
“At the heart of that is a beautiful sense of purity… there’s no reason why we should stop being that way really.”
Sid will be running our first Saturday Session at MCA this Saturday 7 November. Get tickets for upcoming sessions here: http://www.mca.com.au/series/saturday-sessions/
Check out more of Sid’s dope stuff at http://sidneytapia.com
By Emily Barlow