Wednesday, August 21, 2013

American Graffiti (New York Style)

We can't resist graffiti -- as evidenced by Valerie's jacket! Examples are ubiquitous and wide ranging and the good ones are almost always surprising. Some are just tags of someone's street name in big puffy letters, which sometimes seem a little self-indulgent. When it's well executed, the rebelliousness of the act can easily outweigh the self-referential factor. Others, like this one featuring a pair of pachyderms, tickle your brain and stroke your social consciousness.

In some countries -- obviously those with no sense of humor -- grafitti is still a punishable crime. Of course, in in the Big Apple, graffiti often makes the perfect backdrop for a spontaneous photo op. The other night on our way home from the Rubin Museum, we passed a parking lot with a collection of black and white graffiti and of very colorful pieces and, well, we just couldn't help ourselves.

In repressive environments, grafitti can be considered to be vandalism or defacement. Perhaps only bad graffiti should be called criminal, right?  Whoever is responsible for these pieces had to have access to a cherry picker or tall step ladder.

Evidence of writings or drawings scratched or spray-painted on a wall or other public space dates back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.

Sometimes, when the moon is full, you can even match the graffiti to your outfit!

We're not exactly sure of the sentiment conveyed by this "No Future Cost" piece.

We know, we know - using graffiti as a backdrop for style or attitude is not exactly an original idea. But wasn't it Picasso who said something like "if you're going to copy, copy from the best"?
Stay tuned for more images from The Big City.

1 comment:

  1. Graffiti is always disquieting (not exactly negative, but not exactly positive)to me, but not because I think it's "messy" or vandalous. Maybe it's because the expression is almost shorthand, terse, not fulfilling (or fulfilled). Something like that. I'm looking forward to more exploration of it! xxoo