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Once upon a time ...
February 8, 2013 9:35 AM   Subscribe

... a story appeared on a wall
posted by specialk420 (38 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought the characters were rather flat.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:42 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I see what you did there.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:43 AM on February 8, 2013


bicyclefish: "I see what you did there."

█ ███ ████ ███ ███ ██████
posted by boo_radley at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh wait, this was vandalism? I assumed it was an art project.
posted by royalsong at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2013


So this is finally our chance to discuss Art Vandelay?
posted by rmxwl at 9:49 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Once upon a time...

...someone stenciled words on a wall...

...and they were painted over...

...and then new words were stenciled...

...that continued the thought...

...so an interesting art project was photographed...

...only to be superseded by a gigantic ego-stroking photo...

...of a girl who may or may not be the project's creator...

...as she makes a cross between a Myspace face...

...and a duck face...

...whilst wearing a Joy Division t-shirt...

...thus diminishing the impact of the words on the wall...

...Burma-Shave...

...or possibly Urban Outfitters.
posted by item at 9:50 AM on February 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


One wonders if the photos are geo-tagged to confirm if/what crimes were committed?
posted by specialk420 at 9:52 AM on February 8, 2013


Take a left at writer's block.
posted by hal9k at 9:54 AM on February 8, 2013


Here it is on the artist's webpage. Maybe we can replace the link in the FPP?
posted by griphus at 9:56 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also I am pretty fond of this one.
posted by griphus at 9:57 AM on February 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


so in the reddit thread about this (when I find myself saying things like "on the reddit thread about this," it's a clear sign that I've been spending too much time on Internet), uh, on the reddit thread about this someone posted a link to a slo-mo graffiti battle between Banksy and an early UK graffiti artist. It's pretty great.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:57 AM on February 8, 2013 [13 favorites]


For what its worth I found the post on my friends Steve's tumblr - which is it's own interesting can of worms
posted by specialk420 at 10:00 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for sourcing the artists page griphus
posted by specialk420 at 10:01 AM on February 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Between the lines is where it's at: snark magnet, as well.
Bound, as it were, with verisimilitude
City Hall brings paint to the revolution.
posted by mule98J at 10:26 AM on February 8, 2013


griphus: Also I am pretty fond of this one.

Rebellious and transgressive Art...or poor planning?
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:44 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


|IMPEACH BUSH|
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on February 8, 2013


Rebellious and transgressive Art...or poor planning?

You have any idea how you were framin' back there?!
posted by echo target at 10:59 AM on February 8, 2013


Think
Ahea
       d

posted by Greg_Ace at 10:59 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I can see two possibilities here:

1) It was faked, meaning it's a marginally clever hoax

2) Some working stiff had to keep going back and covering up someone's ego-stroking project by someone who is too self-absorbed to ponder how much their actions might potentially annoy others.

I'm ambivalent about street art generally, but I really dislike this. Even if it turned out to be a statement about how graffiti inconveniences others, it's still got the potential to make someone's day just that little bit worse.
posted by graphnerd at 11:04 AM on February 8, 2013


2) Some working stiff had to keep going back and covering up someone's ego-stroking project by someone who is too self-absorbed to ponder how much their actions might potentially annoy others.

This is kind of silly.
posted by threeants at 11:23 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


One wonders if the photos are geo-tagged to confirm if/what crimes were committed?

Why bother with all that when you have the street name and Google Maps?
posted by eyeballkid at 11:30 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]



2) Some working stiff had to keep going back and covering up someone's ego-stroking project by someone who is too self-absorbed to ponder how much their actions might potentially annoy others.

This is kind of silly.


As someone who has to regularly paint over graffiti as part of my job, this isn't silly at all, it's fucking downright poignant. Most cities have scads of places where graffiti can live unchecked, and if it was a pre-planned commentary piece then I'm certain she could have gotten permission to put it somewhere. Instead she's a douche about it, and art doesn't excuse that.
posted by mikoroshi at 11:32 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I agree that this seems like an ego-stroking project that is an annoyance (or worse) to whomever has to repaint it. To be honest, it mostly makes me think of the Steve Martin line to John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles: "Here's an idea, next time you tell a story, try having a point."
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:49 AM on February 8, 2013


typical metafilter bloviating about hipsters. hurf durf fixies pbr moustaches
posted by dunkadunc at 12:09 PM on February 8, 2013


Isn't another possibility that the whole thing was photoshopped?

Also, the operator of the linked tumblr is almost certainly not the culprit. Following the links dead-ends back at this blog, which is another 'curation' tumblr that doesn't tend to source its photos.
posted by muddgirl at 12:22 PM on February 8, 2013


(although looking at the larger photos from the 'original' tumblr, it would be a pretty masterful photoshop - you can see other tagger's responses painted over below the 'art' text.)
posted by muddgirl at 12:29 PM on February 8, 2013


If it doesn't piss somebody off, or give some cause for pause, it was a waste of time. This is the sort of thing that, in case you never bothered to think about it, let's you know who you are, the best part being you are the one who composes the definiton. All you have to do now is distill the definition into a word, or perhaps a short phrase. (I like law and order. I hate vandals / this is vandalism. I like subtexts because they.... Get Off My Lawn!)--stuff like that. It rises above FuckYouSideways by quite a bit.

The guy from the city was going to do something that day. Somebody could ask him how he felt about his part in street theater. Maybe you could take a poll. I'm guessing that painting the wall is a step up from, say removing the soggy mass, whatever it is, that's clogging the toilet in the public restroom.

....well, anyhow, I liked it, and I can't really account for why. If it turns out to be a hoax, then thanks for the thought experiment.
posted by mule98J at 1:01 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Looking more at the larger images, the stenciled text must be going up basically right after the wall is painted over - you never see other graffiti in the images that just show stenciled text. It seems eminently possible to me that the person covering the wall is also painting the stencil.
posted by muddgirl at 1:21 PM on February 8, 2013


mikoroshi

And if you didn't have to paint over graffiti, would you still have a job?
posted by carping demon at 2:58 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


All you have to do now is distill the definition into a word, or perhaps a short phrase.

Is "unimpressed by obnoxious, not-nearly-as-profound-as-they-think-it-is, self-absorbed, ego-stroking real world tumblr art" succinct enough?
posted by graphnerd at 3:33 PM on February 8, 2013


Or less angrily:

It's interesting that you mention cleaning a bathroom, mule983, because that is a perfect illustration of why I can't stand this.

Would the response be as positive if the artist had decided to use feces as the medium instead of paint? After all, the fundamental message would stay the same; there's just a different aesthetic choice.

I suspect that most people would be pretty grossed out by that version. I mean, someone would actually have to clean that shit up.

Now the kicker for me is why someone can get behind the paint but not the poo. the only differences would be the aesthetic choice I mentioned, and the degree to which the artist is actively inconveniencing the person on clean-up duty.

So really, aren't many of us saying that it's acceptable for the artist's own tastes to be the final arbiter of how acceptable it is to actively worsen someone else's day? Or are we totally fine with shit-smeared walls?

And the fact that the work is raising questions doesn't make it Art. The same points could be made without forcing people to do mundane work as part of art without their consent.
posted by graphnerd at 4:03 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why did the original stencil require painting over graphnerd?
posted by panaceanot at 5:43 PM on February 8, 2013


Why did the original stencil require painting over graphnerd?

Precisely why I said that I'm ambivalent about street art. I get the question, and it's certainly worth asking.

But it has been asked many times over, and in much better ways than this piece.
posted by graphnerd at 5:48 PM on February 8, 2013


-I'm guessing that painting the wall is a step up from, say removing the soggy mass, whatever it is, that's clogging the toilet in the public restroom. ...
-And if you didn't have to paint over graffiti, would you still have a job?
My sister used to do this when we were shopping. She'd pick something up from a shelf or rack in one part of the store and then when she changed her mind, just put it down wherever. "They get paid to be here anyway!" Of course, if they didn't have to follow lazy people around restocking things all day, they could have another cashier, or maybe do some nice landscaping out front.

This is the same kind of entitled attitude. There's actually a hell of a lot that could be done to improve a cityscape if the employees didn't have to play catch-up just to maintain in response to the crap that its residents do day in and day out to deface it. Litter, graffiti, all kinds of casual low-grade disrespect for other people's things. It's fucking entitled. My project is more important than your time. In fact, your time belongs to me, and you should thank me for it because you've got job security because of assholes like me. I am more important than you.

So yeah, painting over graffiti is better than shoveling shit. But when your limited municipal budget has to include dealing with this kind of willful crap, and you're ok with it because it's art, man, then don't complain when your teachers don't get raises or your parks don't get mowed or your city council can't get it together to get that riverwalk project going.
posted by headnsouth at 8:32 PM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


You guys would be a whole lot of fun at a party.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:45 PM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


What gets me is the way they don't at all bother to match the original paint color when they paint over the graffiti. If they'd just left it at "...a story appeared on a wall", it would have been fine. A little puzzling, but unobtrusive. But every time they paint it out, they do it with a lazy, minimum-size contrasting-colored rectangle, and the wall gets uglier and uglier. The repainters are as much to blame for the mess as the graffiti artist.
posted by rifflesby at 6:47 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


They don't have to re-paint the wall. They can leave it with graffiti. I think even crappy graffiti is beautiful compared to blank walls. I'd love to live in a city where every alleyway and boring ass wall is covered with vibrant creativity. I want to be worried about leaning on a wall because I'll get wet paint on my jacket.

Evidently people in this thread think guerrilla murals, art pieces and tags are as bad as shitty toilets and liter. I don't get that.

There's exceptions. Defacing windows, store fronts etc. is contemptible vandalism, but there are so many blank boring, dead walls... anything is an improvement. Gang tags marking out turf is ugly and should be stamped out with a vengeance, because it speaks to the worst in human nature. Art-graffiti speaks to, if not the highest, the liveliest of our natures.
posted by wires at 11:28 AM on February 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wires - The medium is the message?
posted by specialk420 at 8:53 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


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