Fumero-Ism, The Grafstract, profiles the well known NYC street artist and muralist known as Fumero. The film examines his interest and growth in art from childhood to present, reveals his process, and what motivates him to keep putting out incredible work at a high rate, from canvas to street. Fumero is intense, real and one of a kind, all of which is revealed in this film short.
Keith Aronowitz has been involved in filmmaking and photography from a very early age, making his first actual film at the age of twelve. After graduating from college with a degree in Television Broadcasting, Keith moved back and forth from NYC to Los Angeles, mostly working in television as an editor while simultaneously working on passion projects such as music videos for up and coming artists and various documentaries and the like.
Needing a break after 20 plus years in the industry, Keith went down to the amazon, met some shamans, and ended up living there for five years. While there, he produced and directed a full length feature documentary on Ayahuasca, a visionary brew used by shamans to heal people of many ailments. After the success of his film, and once again needing a change, he moved back to NYC with his wife and young son. He is currently working on a series of short films that profile various street artists/muralists living and working in NYC.
I have been working in film and television for the past 25 plus years, as an editor, camera person and director. Besides working for a living, mostly in television, I have always tried to work on passion projects on the side, such as music videos, documentaries, film shorts. I have always admired street art, because I happen to think there is some brilliant work out there, and I've felt this way from a very young age growing up in NYC, when graffiti and crazy works of art were all over the trains as well as the streets.
A few years ago, after moving from the amazon where I lived for 5 years, I had a renewed interest in street art, particularly murals, as I was seeing some pretty incredible work. I read up and came across the Bushwick Collective, and saw many incredible works online. One day, about 2 years ago or so, I called up a friend and we drove out to Bushwick to see for ourselves. I wasn't disappointed, as I came across many fantastic, sophisticated, impactful works of art done in many different styles, with many different themes. From that day on, I was hooked, as I started photographing and shooting video immediately.
As the months went on, I started thinking about the artists behind the work and what motivated them to create them. I started coming up with many questions, and came up with the idea that a series of film shorts, profiling these great artists might be a good idea. Fortunately, many of these artists post on instagram, so I started reaching out to gage their interest in my concept.
I met an artist very shortly thereafter. We had a great conversation, as I asked him many questions about himself, his work, and the work of others. The more we spoke, the more excited I got, as I realized there were many great stories to tell, and even possibly a full length documentary to be made in the future, as I realized the scope of this world, which was many characters, many different paths, and many intertwining stories, as it is a pretty tight community. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do a film with this artist, as he was moving away, but he gave me the name of two artists I should speak to, one of them which was Fumero, the subject of this film.
As far as the films themselves, my goal in all of them is to show the process of the artist as well as the passion behind the work, and in my experience talking with these artists, they are all very passionate in what they do, which shows in what they put out there and the risks they take. Finally, my ultimate goal with these films is to show the heart of the artist, and to hopefully gain a little understanding of why they do what they do, and why this particular art form is so important on a deep level to them. I think I have succeeded with Fumero-Ism: The Grafstract, and I'm looking forward to sharing this film with others who may be curious and interested in learning more about this art form and artists like Fumero.