Whether in town or country, evidence of untethered creativity is ample.  Sometimes it is found hidden beneath the homiest diner's counter-top or tucked under highway overpasses far beyond the reach of the most distant satellite-city.  Or briefly glimpsed from the train window while whizzing towards Union Station or Metropark where bustling commuters intent on:  making it in for early meetings/drop off at day-care/pick-up dry-cleaning (or get picked up at the 6:30 happy-hour) can scarcely make out the images precariously situated on roof-top water-towers/derelict apartment's north-facing wall/just above the shop sign for beer, wine, and cigarettes, which to many, seem hallucinatory.  Human-beings clustered in tight quarters and hurling through space display puzzling behavior made even more extreme by the fear of: missing a connection/getting a parking ticket/losing one's favorite table/being reprimanded or replaced or rejected/discovering that everyone else had been invited to the after-party's after-party (or something like that). Nothing can compare with life in the big city!!

The unusual images seen scrawled across building/bridges/bath-house walls/bodegas/cars/campers, rarely concern themselves with the twin purposes (meaning sale and seduction) of conventional large-scale advertising boards plastered across entire building-fronts hawking CK underwear, Apple products, or luxury SUV's.  These images, commonly known as graffiti, are the bane of town councils, developers, and nice homesteaders everywhere who fear that this (graffiti) marks the end of civility and the beginning of anarchy.  Sandra Fabara a.k.a. LADY PINK, in an address to UIMA offered this insight; ' People fear graffiti because they don't understand it.  They think it's evil, scary and that crime will soon follow . . . Graffiti is just a form of expression and a mild form of rebellion.' Graffiti, comprised of images and lettering(s) which are scratched/scrawled/marked/painted on walls/roofs/cars/trams/bridges and so forth, are considered by many authorities as defacement and vandalism.  Yet, the underlying social and political messages cannot be ignored.  Artists working in this genre, frequently and subtly (or blatantly) point out inequalities in society, economic disparities, questions about race and identity, concerns about the environment, the role of technology within our everyday lives, as well existential themes.  Artists develop signature looks (or tags) comprised of the hybrid of typography, classical and traditional painting styles, mass media, poster and album cover art, screen-printing, and stencilling. And some of have been included in museum shows devoted to this revolutionary form of art.  Graffiti it seems, has the ability to be altered for exhibition within the walls of a gallery (or on a t-shirt/coffee-mug/album-cover), yet stubbornly and defiantly persists most forcefully in free-form outside the walls of any institution.  Beyond the reach of being commodified or controlled or censored, it is keenly appreciated by the audience for which it was intended, the countless numbers who seek validation, and a reflection of their own existence.  

Please enjoy today's visual treat courtesy of Lady Pink.



There seems to be a growing bandwagen of artists who now use gas mask imagery in conveying their message. While I found it to be pretty interesting and original several years when it seemed irreverent and fresh, it is now feeling ho hum...
Shane said…
Tell that to the millions of migrant workers out in the fields who are subjected to pesticides and other poisonous chemicals daily. Tell them that you no longer find their story fresh, but somehow ho-hum!!