A sewer becomes a frying pan, gas meters turn into quirky lobsters
July 27, 2017 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Wonderful work. Very clever. More of this, please!
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:47 PM on July 27

45 Regular Street Arts And 1 Racist One
posted by theodolite at 1:48 PM on July 27 [19 favorites]

Ha - I was just looking at these not even 10 minutes ago, and then I saw these, which made me realize I absolutely love this kind of graffiti art. How come none of this takes place where I live? The closest thing I've seen is someone sticking a blinking red light onto the nose of a Deer Xing sign. Which is cute and all, but I need MOAR
posted by widdershins at 2:02 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]

There's so much ugly around these parts, something like this would be very welcome. Every year there's a contest to paint electric boxes on a street downtown, but nothing like this.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:16 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]

Some towns paint their fire hydrants like toy soldiers or Lego minifigs.

There was a spot in downtown Ann Arbor where someone painted Mickey Mouse faces on the sidewalk, and at night the streetlights shone over the parking meters to add mouse ears. It's been 20 years since I was in that neighborhood at night so I don't know how long they lasted or if anyone maintained them. I suppose that with the new clusterbox meter thingies, that is no good anymore anyways.
posted by elizilla at 2:30 PM on July 27

Needs less racism.
posted by dazed_one at 3:22 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]

Yeah, most of those are delightful and one is ... unfortunate. Some of this takes #vandaleyes to a whole new level, too.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:26 PM on July 27 [3 favorites]

I love this, thanks!
posted by Room 641-A at 3:56 PM on July 27

Some may be guerrilla art, but others (e.g. the two apartment buildings) would have taken days of work and/or a team to help with things like scaffolding, so I'm pretty sure they had the owners' permission. In fact, the owners likely paid for th paint; someone must have.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:59 PM on July 27

And most of them are not actually in NYC.
posted by SansPoint at 4:17 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]

elizilla: There's a bollard somewhere off South Street in Philadelphia that ended up leaning for some reason. Someone decided to paint it as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
posted by SansPoint at 4:19 PM on July 27 [5 favorites]

posted by yoga at 4:49 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]

Just to ask some of you complaining about the racist aspects of one of these displays - When's the last time you have done 40+ pieces of art (presumably in a short period of time) and none of them offensive to absolutely every one.

I am going to say, as long as it isn't a recurrent theme in said art (and it did NOT seem to be), that we need original art more than we need to scare the artists into second and third guessing themselves into paralysis.
posted by Samizdata at 6:54 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]

Oh never! I've certainly had my share of mistakes, in my case usually takes the form of noticing after the words come out of my mouth how my students might misinterpret something. Nobody's perfect, or blameless.

But that gets to something I think has been discussed here: the difference between "which way to the cross burning, Adolf?" interpretations of feedback and "excuse me, you seem to have something racist in your teeth" interpretations.

I don't expect artists to constantly look over their shoulders and second-guess everything they do to check for possible misuse of tropes in unwise ways. I do expect them to be responsive when we the people notice things and give feedback: the real test is now, when we find out if this artist goes "oops, my bad" or gets all defensive.

One of these outcomes is the just-echoing-racist-culture-of-my-upbringing outcome. The other one is no-part-of-the-problem-actually.
posted by traveler_ at 7:05 PM on July 27 [10 favorites]

So good! :-D
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:06 PM on July 27

I love good street art. One of the sad things about living outside of major cities is the lack of spontaneous art.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:39 PM on July 27

yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!!
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 11:44 PM on July 27

These are great, but I'm siding with those with the pitchforks and torches yelling "racist!" ... it isn't so much that I'm offended by that particular one, it's more that, given the well of fun and creativity this artist is drawing from, he could have chosen a different way to alter those pipes – he could've thought harder about that before committing.
posted by not_on_display at 12:24 AM on July 28

I am going to cut the artist some slack on the creativity front since I wouldn't be able to come up with a QUARTER of what he did.

(If even that, frankly.)

Ted Williams only batted .400.
posted by Samizdata at 12:52 AM on July 28

scare the artists into second and third guessing themselves into paralysis.

That seems an unwarranted escalation. Where's that happening, here?

Art displayed to the public gets public criticism. I don't see anyone condemning the whole batch so much as complaining about 2% of the work. What kind of street artist - people who engage in vandalism for fun, basically - expects his work to make everyone happy? I'm gonna guess that people bitching about one of his pieces in the midst of otherwise pretty uniform delight with his work, on a website somewhere, is not gonna paralyze him.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:33 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]

> I am going to say, as long as it isn't a recurrent theme in said art (and it did NOT seem to be), that we need original art more than we need to scare the artists into second and third guessing themselves into paralysis.

Surely there's some middle ground between "eh, doesn't matter" and "paralysis."

Is it really super hard to think about whether it's nice to be using a racial stereotype for laughs?
posted by desuetude at 7:27 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]

Nah, that one is really racist toward Asian people. It's just bad.

I didn't see it on the Bored Panda link, though, so maybe it was taken down?

The rest are delightful and whimsical, so hopefully the artist will learn, go back, and paint something not-racist there.
posted by emjaybee at 9:57 AM on July 28

Art isn't such a sacred, elusive creature that it should get a free pass when it comes to racism, and an artist who can't handle criticism of a blatantly racist installation probably shouldn't be making public installations in the first place.
posted by dazed_one at 12:34 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]

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