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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Street Art 2

I don't much like the term "Street Art," particularly since, as in the above example, it may not be on the street. This one is under the Gorge Bridge. But I've been using "street art" for want of a better term. I've been avoiding the use of the word "graffiti" because it has associations with writings on lavatory walls and or with scrawlers who simply have identity issues ("Kilroy was here!") though there is often socially significant content in these writings on walls. (For a time, when I was a grad student (Anthropology), I used to collect writings I found in men's washrooms. They are witty and creative surprisingly often, but I digress....) I'm also reluctant to describe the kind of public art seen in the photos above and below as "popular art" because it seems a little patronizing - as if it's not "real" art in the same way that comic books are not considered to be "real" literature. I hope someone out there can suggest a better term.

I think it's interesting that while we all applaud "art" and revere professional artists, these unknown street artists work in the depths of the night for fear of arrest and often decorate difficult locations at considerable bodily risk. (No Canada Council Grants for these guys - they're lucky if they don't get thrown in the pokey!)

In reference to the artwork above, I am impressed by the location chosen as well as by the execution. And the somewhat cynical, world weary expression on the face is not the work of some immature vandal.


Laurie Allee said...

Interesting shot, Benjamin. I wish Los Angeles had more actual art and less grafitti tags. Occasionally I stumble upon a real gem.

Jane Hards Photography said...

My partner who is an artist by profession, and he agreed it is only as you say the setting which dictates this is vandalism/urban art/grafitti. Just like your image which if a perfect study of the modern world, if this was in the right setting, gallery it would be lauded over, on the net can often be overlooked. A masterpiece is a masterpiece be it toilet wall, Tate gallery or a daily city blog.

Walker said...

I like the misty feeling of the picture.

Arctic Dakini said...

that's real talent!

Anonymous said...

Easter happy holidays.