Concrete Alchemy
“A Brief Description of What Love Creates” (2009) in Yonkers
All images courtesy of Pose 2 unless otherwise noted

Concrete alchemist Maxx Moses a.k.a. Pose 2 has little to do with the medieval scientists’ quest for a formula to make gold. In today’s world threatened by climate change and extreme conditions, finding a balance between nature and our urban needs seems to be the gold we’re striving for. Pose 2 has found his own formula for turning grey, inner city spaces into art oases. Inspired by the nature around him, Pose 2 uses his own blend of street style and fine arts to create liveable art for and by the community.

“Public Private” (2009), a collaboration of graffiti artists in Tijuana, Mexico:

Community involvement is very important for Pose 2 who has furthered the cause of community art through artist tours, installations at cultural events like “Burning Man”, collaborative art projects and teaching, something dear to him. Says Pose 2:

“I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to teach so many people from so many backgrounds what graffiti and street art are all about. From kids in high school looking to express themselves to web developers looking to break out of the box, I’ve been able to help people face their fears and embrace spray paint as a unique and fulfilling medium.”

“The Watcher” (2009) at 14th and Girard Street Park, Washington, DC:

One of his latest projects is “Response Ability: Art for the Homeless”, a project that involves artists painting signs for the homeless, therefore giving their situation a voice and a face. At various events, the first of which was held on the 16th of January at Voz Alta Gallery in San Diego, local artists will paint three elaborate signs each that can then be bought by visitors for between $20 and $50. Completing the cycle, the visitors are then asked to donate them to a homeless person in the community.

The “Response Ability” project:
Image via joshcanhelp

Explains Pose 2 a.k.a. Maxx Moses:

“My overall goal for this project is to organize an army of artists worldwide to create and sell 144,000 signs for the homeless. The number 144,000 is based on the 14th Baktun, a period of time the Mayans see as a significant change upon the earth and the birth of a new cycle. … The distribution and sale of these elaborately painted signs will take place on the walls of international art galleries.”

One of the signs created for “Response Ability”:
Image: Keli Dailey

The idea for “Response Ability” developed when Pose 2 was on a cross-country tour in 2009, relying mainly on friends and family for food and shelter. This nomadic existence caused feelings of displacement, uncertainty and loneliness and his encounter with a homeless man one day on his journey therefore resonated strongly in him. Pose 2’s description of this encounter shows the ambiguous reaction somewhere between the urge to help and run away many of us have when encountering homelessness and poverty. Remembers Pose 2:

“He was impoverished physically, mentally and spiritually every aspect of him was wretched. I felt his pain and despair, I was actually attracted to his pain but wanted to ignore him. I was drawn to his loneliness but wanted him to disappear. I just wanted this moment to end I wanted his presence to stop reminding me that I was alone just like him!”

“Divine Love” at 3rd Rail Jam 2009:

Maxx Moses was born as Daniel Hopkins in the Bronx and raised in Yonkers, New York. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor in fine arts from Brockport University and returned to New York City in 1989. He has painted murals and exhibited his work in Dubai, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Paris, Osaka, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Anyone interested in upcoming events and more of his work can visit Pose 2’s website.

The graffiti artist at work:
Maxx MosesPhoto:

Sources: 1, 2, 3