A few weeks back on the way to dinner, my girlfriend and I discovered a large graffiti flower on the side of a worn-down facade in the City Center District of downtown Durham. The street-art looked so familiar that I stopped to take a photo, and after some research on social media we discovered that Michael De Feo, aka 'The Flower Guy', was in Durham planting his iconic blooms.
The bloom looked so familiar because I remember seeing The Flower Guy's work featured in Banksy's "Exit Through The Gift Shop" . Living on Wrightsville Beach for a number of years, the only graffiti I ever noticed was ignorant vandalism but living in downtown Durham I've become more aware of the buildings and historic structures- especially the ones tagged by a well-known street artist.
Living in a smaller city, it's not often I have the chance to see- or stumble upon in the process, works of art by such household names as Michael De Feo's The Flower Guy and Shepard Fairey's OBEY. Being a curious filmmaker, I reached out to Michael De Feo to see if I could film him at-work during his time here since I noticed he was hitting parts of Raleigh as well. Unfortunately, I just just missed him as he already left and was back in New York.
Even though Michael De Feo was busy planting blooms back home, I grabbed my camera and took photos of what I could find around the neighborhood. I wanted to capture his work before the weather/construction/greedy art-horders started to deteriorate the pieces- as it was, someone has already tried to remove the flower on the Durham Bookcase building.
As excited as I was on social media to post photos of The Flower Guy's blooms, I was equally pumped to know that he chose Durham as his canvas- a city I've grown to love and appreciate and in such a short period of time for its sense community, character and history.