Represent! The Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle Recap ||| (Oakland, CA)
One thing you CAN’T say about The Estria Invitiational Graffiti Battle is that it isn’t popular. With the mix of locally grown produce, food trucks, and a healthy dose of visual and auditory talent, it has fast become the go to weekend event for all things ART. If you are of the youthful persuasion, you can find yourself in the sketch book battle, dueling other young bucks for the title of best piece. If you were one of the lucky artists to be invited to paint one of the sixteen installed “cubes” covered in canvas and spread about DeFremery Park in Oakland, you get to display your international talent. If not, oh well, unlucky you, sorry for yah. However, that does mean that you might’ve been one of the hundreds of onlookers enjoying the scene.
Writers from as far away as Tijuana joined the illustrious ranks of this elite competition, now going its sixth year. Not to say that this specific event stood alone as an attraction for the community of Oakland graffiti heads, or the whole of the Bay Area, but one event in the week long series of happenings titled the “Prism: Urban Arts And Culture Festival”. There was a youth art conference, panel discussions hosted by The Estria Foundation, and gallery exhibitions to yah know, overload you on AWESOME!
The crown jewel of course being the nations largest public art competition touted judges for the battle such as Doze Green and Risk (of MSK fame, but do I REALLY NEED TO TELL YOU THAT?). The winner takes all art gladiator death match was definitely given it’s spotlight for a reason! Local namesakes IROT, GRIFFIN, BOUNCER, AGANA, KUFU, and JOKER (SF) stood along side the 10 other participants like the 2 time (now 3 time) winner of the battle, VYAL (LA). To round out the roster, DYTCH (LA) (who took 2nd place), PEMEX (LA) XHAUST (CHI) , DOVES TC5 (NYC), TOONS TCB (SAC), LIKE (CHI), WOIER (LA), NORTENO (MEX), and SLOKE (TX) added their personal touches to the word of the day, “DREAM”, which was in dedication to the one, the only, KING DREAM TDK, and was given to the artists the day of the event as to prevent any planning, prepping, or overall haberdashery.
All in all, it was a sunny, beautiful meeting of local bands and even a huge skate jam which also happens every year as a part of the event. Did you know Dead Prez performed? Oh, Dead Eyes, Nina were live painting? Really!? Yeaaaaaaah. Zzzzzzz. What’s that? Oh, that’s the sound of you sleeping. *sigh*. Okay, so I for one would have gone any way, but much thanks to the Paint Pens Collective for giving me a reason to treat it like a job. No seriously though, all sarcasm aside, I took over a hundred photos, too bad you only get to see several. Ah shucks, guess you had to have been there. No really. YOU HAD to be there. Next time, try not to miss it, okay? Life is Living. Word.
Written by Contributor, Wel Sed