So here’s another creation from the artist we’ve been stalking much of this week… These are much larger stickers (11 x 14″ I think) and have been reproduced, unlike the individually hand-drawn stickers from Tuesday.
It took me awhile to decipher this image, which is kind of what makes it interesting… in the first photo below you’ll see that I’ve added some yellow highlighting to help show my points. In the top image you can see the basic face that we’ve seen on his/her other stickers (wide square nose, thick lips)… it’s almost identical to the face seen on the newspaper rack yesterday. But in this piece, the artist has added another level of complexity. In the bottom image, see the outline of a man riding a motorcycle… the eyebrows become shoulders, the nose his torso, the lips seem to be handlebars, and there are two side view mirrors above his knees which frame the front wheel.
In both of these instances, the artist has chosen to place his stickers on public property…
Of course, there are laws about these things, and it’s really up to the individual artist to decide where he (she) deems it appropriate to place his art, and what risks he is willing to undertake. Many street artists feel it is hypocritical of our society to criminalize public displays of art, while endorsing massive public displays of private advertising campaigns that we literally cannot avoid.
Just the other day, I was at the corner of 51st and Broadway, and in just a portion of my line of sight were 5 huge billboards, all virtually screaming at me to buy something. Ick.
Despite this, I am definitely not a proponent of defacing/enhancing/altering (whatever you want to call it) private property without permission. My own building has been tagged with spray paint (in a manner I would not deem artistic), and I can tell you it’s a real pain in the ass to clean up.
I like Keri Smith‘s take on this subject… she uses materials that are environmentally friendly, non-destructive, or often temporary in nature (like chalk or soap), and prefers to post her creations on temporary construction walls. She rarely posts art on privately owned buildings or property. (The Guerilla Art Kit)
No one is a fan of having their house/building being tagged, but I think that the issue of when guerilla art is appropriate is complicated and not likely to be addressed well by laws. I have no problem with the use of billboards, which are private property, for public displays of art. I also do not have a problem with unused space that is owned privately being used for guerilla art, especially when it is a ugly vacent building or lot that is nothing but an eyesore. I definitely think that the horrible billboard on my street corner is far more ugly and damaging to the neighborhood than the prolific graffiti that abounds, but I’m not a big fan of the graffiti either. It’s tough stuff. I can’t help but feel that it is totally hypocritical that our government allows me to be totally assulted in every way imaginable by advertising, but the artist who put those amazing pieces of art on the phone booths can be prosecuted. I’m always leary when the laws “protect” me from art, but not advertising. On a lighter note, check out this great footage of The Reverse Graffiti Project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lX-2sP0JFw
That is a lovely clip… As the brits say… “brilliant!”
Does he have one in the Yerba Buena tunnel? We can call that Oakland, can’t we?
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