The passing of someone you hold near and dear to your heart is as hard an emotion that we as human beings have to face. Those initial surges of grief make me long to be numb to the interpersonal connections and more like a four legged forest dweller that only knows hot, cold, hungry and full.
When the graffiti world lost NEKST late last year, a stream of tributes from the who’s who of the art world paid homage to their fallen mate in the best, and most appropriate way they knew how: by putting his name not in, but under lights. Big. Aggressive. Unmistakable. As POSE said, “His style and his approach became synonymous with being completely lawless. With being bold and completely relentless.” The latest tribute comes as the anniversary of his death approaches, as handled by Bankshot – who has been following members of MSK for nearly 6 years now as he completes his long gestating documentary on the crew.
I’m fascinated by how we as a society keep people’s names alive – whether that be their government name or a moniker adopted whose one syllable spout through the lips makes it seem like we’re dealing with superheroes. Some get memorial tattoos. Others keep pictures close by to ensure that daily triumphs are enjoyed in both three and two dimensional platforms. I’m fond of what those closest to NEKST have done; acknowledge somberly that he’s gone, but realize that his life’s work can live on.