Merry Christmas SoHu Community Mural!
December 25, 2012 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #95093
Ho. Ho. Ho.December 26, 2012 1:24 am at 1:24 am #528028
Boo!December 26, 2012 1:38 am at 1:38 am #528029
Sad.December 26, 2012 1:39 am at 1:39 am #528030
Yuck.December 26, 2012 1:40 am at 1:40 am #528031
Well, that’s just sucktastic.December 26, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am #528032
jeffr, you’re an interesting guy and I always read your posts when I’m here, am I mistaken that in the past you’ve strongly supported vandalism-by-spray-paint aka graffiti, asking for help with locations for a documentary project? Is this photo part of that, or is there certain vandalism you approve of and other vandalism you do not?December 26, 2012 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #528033
jeffr, you’re an interesting guy and I always read your posts when I’m here, am I mistaken that in the past you’ve strongly supported vandalism-by-spray-paint aka graffiti, asking for help with locations for a documentary project? Is this photo part of that, or is there certain vandalism you approve of and other vandalism you do not?
Thanks for the feedback Roy. I do appreciate street art and actually wrote a piece for Columbus Underground on the topic last year, Counter Offensive: Steet Art Gains Ground in Old North Columbus. In that article I try to reconcile the art vs vandalism nature of the form:
For my part, I’ve always been able to see both sides of the graffiti/street art debate. Defenders of graffiti inevitably point out the expressive nature of the form, its adoption by mainstream sources as a visual idiom, and the skill required to execute complex works. Detractors call it costly vandalism, plain and simple.
What’s most interesting (and perhaps most confounding) is that both sides are right. Graffiti and street art are expressive mediums. They do take a certain amount of skill. They have been adopted into the mainstream. They’re also – by and large – illegal. Given this state of affairs, it might be helpful to remind ourselves of two points. First, the illicit nature of graffiti/street art doesn’t prohibit us from discussing its expressive or aesthetic features. Second, the expressive and aesthetic features of graffiti don’t give it a free pass. You can’t paint on or alter other people’s property without their permission and expect them to like it. Rather, what you should expect is that they’ll resent it.
I also outline a few aesthetic considerations:
The waters are further muddied by the wide range of graffiti and street art being produced. Works range from tags and throw ups to complex murals and representational stencils. My hunch is that when you hear people complain about graffiti, it’s the tags and throw ups they’re responding to. These are ubiquitous. They are the signatures of particular individuals or groups painted ad nauseum across whatever surface might be available. They’re simple, monochromatic, repetitive and hold little visual interest. They are executed quickly, and as such sacrifice aesthetic considerations in favor of speed. By contrast, murals, pieces, stencils, wheat pastes, and sculptures represent a more advanced side of the graffiti/street art spectrum.
Which is a rather roundabout way of saying most tags are shit.
That said, in answer to the question “Is there certain vandalism I approve of and other vandalism I don’t?”, I suppose the answer is yes, though I’m not sure “approve” is quite the right word. Rather, I’d say that if individuals are inclined to engage in public acts of vandalism (that me and others will have to look at) I’d prefer they vandalize in a way that is smart, thoughtful, and engaging.
Does that make sense?December 27, 2012 1:12 am at 1:12 am #528034
I just drove by – looks like the tags have been removed.December 27, 2012 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #528035
It’s great that the tags have been removed so quickly – when that happened in WP we were told that the tags are usually pretty easy to remove if you get to them right away.
Being prepared to deal with stuff like this is just part of having public art. I have a friend in Philadelphia who works with the city’s public art program, which is huge. The mural she helped paint of Frank Rizzo has been defaced and repainted so many times that its lead artist says she’s not sure she can stand to do it again (just tired of doing a huge job over and over.) Hopefully the nice innocent trees on Hudson will face a less-sustained assault.
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