Legacy

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Legacy

This is a photo taken from the last time I was at Legacy skatepark, near Algonquin college. I just noticed that the park is literallly covered with graffiti of all kinds and is sanctioned by the city. This just goes to show to what extent the bureaucrats associate delinquent behaviour as one massive subculture; a skatepark can be allowed to have graffiti because obviously none of the skaters are going to want a “clean” environment. I’m not saying it’s not true, but it is a massive assumption as well, given that indoor skateparks such as McNabb, near Gladstone, would never allow their ramps and equipment to be painted. So what is the difference?

Summary of: “Swoon Talks With Lydia Lee” from “Art In The Streets”

In this text, the author chronicles Swoon’s development as an artist; from her hippie parents who encouraged her to finger paint, to her interest in printmaking at the school of Pratt. Swoon talks about her transition from traditional mediums to the streets and how the experience opened an entire world of possibilities and venues, and had nothing to do with what she had previously known. Having already had an interest urban style and portraiture, her art in the street was guided by her interest in textural exploration and quickly shifted into more of what she would later become known for, graffiti. She talks about the political side of her engagement with art and how she sees that a collection of small actions that step towards a “New World” is, in a sense, more political than participating in the existing paradigm.

Quick Thought

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I’ve often asked myself: “Why L.A. & New York?” Now there are many different cultural factors at play when talking about the appearance of street art and graffiti, but as our annual winter approaches, I’m forced to wonder if the weather and climate could play a part as well? I’m fairly confidant that having snow on the ground and having to be wearing a scarf for 6 months out of the year can’t be conducive to people wanting to go spend hours outside every night, trying to put up tags and pieces. Just a quick thought.

Our Backyard

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Our Backyard

A lot of focus is often placed on the Bronson bridge, as a legal graffiti area, but there is also a very cool and much more spacious wall downtown, which we don’t seem to hear as much about, but I remember going by a while ago and finding it really interesting, and in fact, more so than the Bronson one, simply because of the diversity of material and scarcity of tags. Although I can recognize the quality of a tag, an interesting piece of art will always overcome in terms of gaining respect and attention.

Canadiana

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Canadiana

A portrait of two Canadian Graffiti artists under the overpass, I enjoy how they enjoy having the portrait done, even if the pseudo-fame cannot be identified with them. I feel as though they are almost experiencing the fame vicariously through their alter-egos, and art form, which is very interesting insofar as it allows for the artist to remain true to what they set out to do… Unless their alter-egos start getting paid tons of money to make Madonna album covers…

The Wall

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The Wall

The Wall at House of Paint 2013, that was later taken down and sold for funds to help support the arts in Ottawa communities. Personally, I think this is a great opportunity for people to test out their skills, and contribute. Had I not been working through the festival, I definitely would have added a piece. That’ll be for next year 😀

Summary Of: “Street Art as a Threshold Phenomenon” by Diedrich Diederichsen, From “Art in the Streets”

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This reading talks in part about how art’s dream, was to eventually hit the walls in the streets, and that the neo-avant-gardes were ready for it to be brought to public arena. However, a key problem with bringing something so interpretative to a public sphere, especially the streets, can certainly have a negative impact by making it less instrumental in how it can affect people and create movements or revolutions. It also mentions that although most people talk about street art as something that arose from the 1070’s, particularly in New York, L.A. and other places in the U.S., drawing on walls is something that has crossed people’s minds forever. Afterall, the public space people share is an open canvas for whoever feels the need to say something. The author also mentions how the gap between the population and the art world is in a sense getting smaller, but more different. He uses the example of Banksy: The general population loves the anonymous artist’s works, but as for the art world, they could not care less, because he simply is not part of what they consider art. As far as the high art society is concerned, art remains in the gallery and doesn’t address the general public. However, the comparison between Banksy’s current socio-political art and the case in 1980’s: The graffiti of the time was meant to communicate local problems and was generally a direct product and response of the disenfranchised youth that were experiencing the problems of their society. Interestingly enough, the linguistic skills of these youth were often superior in symbol recognition, even if they were less literate. Graffiti was proving to be a new type of language- one that only few could understand and communicate within. This made the action and culture of graffiti all the more elusive to the general public, and thus, we see most of New York’s population revolting against what they 1)can’t understand and 2) are intimidated by. Graffiti completely turned the tables on the population that thought they controlled the aesthetics of public space. As the author discusses the transition of such graffiti writer as SAMO (Jean Michel-Basquiat) into stardom, he suggests that perhaps a new form of street art can emerge, and shifting away from the now-popularly understand form of graffiti, into a more contemporary form of art, where the medium is simply in the streets.