Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

10Aug/05Off

Art, Art, Cut A Fart

I live in Denver a city that despite its size sports some of the most poorly executed and imitative graffiti I've ever seen. I did a fair amount of the aforementioned ten years back and have one of the products of those weird late night scheming sessions tattooed on the inside of my forearm so I hope I'm not coming off as some kind of fuss-budget-ish would be art critic. I'm having a hard time deciding how I really feel about Street Art Blows in part because I can't really figure out where the people behind it are coming from. Some of what they've said I empathize with and cautiously endorse. Saying that, though, completely removes me from the crap equation and I threw up a whole lot of crap ten years ago. While I was figuring out what the hell I was doing and wanted to do folks like Twist, Mr. Element, and Reminisce were covering the walls of San Francisco and Oakland with totally incredible stuff. I did a lot of absolute trash with Krylon as well as with stickers and wheat pasted posters. It's embarrassing now although I can't recall the contents of most from memory but I'll never take it back. Some of it did look like bad advertising design or involved the manipulation of elements of those things with little or no context provided for the, ehm, patron of the street.

Of course, 'street art' is going to suck. It has an extremely low cost of entry. It isn't like graffiti where a couple stupid mistakes will get your ass kicked or at very least your shitty anime-influenced Shogun throw up crossed out. That's why fifteen year olds with access to a color inkjet printer are making stickers and why 'guerilla marketing' has become the 'tits' for all the recently minted marketing assholes. I think the misunderstanding of the context of graffiti and its derivatives is near total and no one, other than some other guy plastering up stickers critical of your shit, that you respect is going to really criticize you. There isn't any need to validate the seeming need to proliferate an endless number of mind numbingly dull imitations other things -- you're reading proof right now that this (among something like a hojillion others) is not unique to street art. Weblogs even have the same division down amateur (or whatever) lines delineated by things like LiveJournal and then there are the ever increasing number of marketeers spouting the word 'blog' like the marketeers before them were spouting 'multimedia' when this generation was in junior high school.

The point that I'm trying to make is that trying to give context to street art practioners is a weird way to address its terrible-ness. Folks who throw up stickers and posters don't have anything invested (other than time and money which are pretty relative) in what they're doing and I can't imagine that efforts like Street Art Blows will do much other than generate some mindshare buzz for more grounded street art and possibly making its creators feel a little better. Neither of those is a bad thing but I'm not sure that the intended recipients of the message are ever going to get it.

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  1. hmmm..yea but no but…. go look at ghostboys work init, its nasty (as in wicked) man. http://www.ghostboy.co.uk


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