These Posters were an Artbomb
October 30, 2000 10:29 PM   Subscribe

These Posters were an Artbomb that went off across the street from my apartment last night. The posters were plastered over a bus shelter ad and over several other public objects nearby. I was taken aback, as I had last seen those images hanging in an exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Art. San Jose has a fairly bad graffiti/tagging problem, but I'm OK with this type of thing. Apparently, the SJPD are too (quoted from the Mercury News): "The poster-pasting could be considered a violation of municipal statutes on vandalism, but San Jose Police Department spokesman Steve Dickson seemed more amused than concerned. "It's not something that we would get involved in unless someone makes a complaint," Dickson said. "Then we'd ask them to take them down. People have a right to political speech." In fact, Dickson broke into laughter at a description of the two posters. "Hey," he said apologetically, "we have a sense of humor like anyone else."
posted by JDC8 (8 comments total)
Oh, hell; I thought I'd see at least one naked girl...
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:12 PM on October 30, 2000

Used to see Ronald Reagan "Contra Diction" posters and Ollie North "Speak" posters on walls around downtown Washington, D.C. back in the day (1988-89). Excellent work, and funny too. But what, no Nader artwork? What gives?
posted by allaboutgeorge at 11:52 PM on October 30, 2000

Count your blessings, JDC8 -- I would LOVE to live in a place with a graffiti "problem". We only get the most occasional piece around here on some abandoned construction site or something.. it always makes me smile to see them, and reminds me that the kids are alright after all.

Those posters look great, too bad there aren't larger images available. I thought I'd look around and find some more poster sites but I haven't come up with any. Does anyone have any?
posted by sudama at 10:17 AM on October 31, 2000

When the Bomb the Suburbsbook came out, some future corpse plastered my windows over, and sealed my door shut with posters announcing it. I needed a razor blade to get into my own home. I blame Upski personally, tho it was probably the Saab driving Anarchists who met at the Autonomous zone a few doors down.
To me graffiti in a neighborhood means the people are poor and powerless (the exception seems to be parts of New York). It is a cruel and violent act to destroy the appearance of someone's home. I don't imagine the kid who tagged and pasted my house did too much of that back in his fancy suburb. How ironic.
Coming home and finding something on your door is like finding a swastika in a synagog, it is like someone spitting in your soup. I can read most gang graffiti and know what is meant by it's presence, political graffiti is so weak by comparison that all I can see is privilege. My current street has few problems with this, and the line is held. It seems there are benefits to living near a corrupt alderman. Ugh.
posted by thirteen at 11:51 AM on October 31, 2000

Clearly there are different types of graffiti, and clearly none of it belongs on anyone's home. A well-executed piece does a lot to beautify and humanize an area.
posted by sudama at 12:26 PM on October 31, 2000

It's not at all political, but is still highly amusing, as noted several months ago.
posted by Aaaugh! at 12:42 PM on October 31, 2000

Every day I walk around and get bombarded by imagery selling something or building a brand or in some way trying to squirrel my money out of my wallet. I see graffiti in many cases, especially politically motivated work, to be a reclamation of public space and interacting with one's environment. I don't condone defacing a property where someone lives, but hitting property owned by stores constantly beaming some message about buying the next best thing seems to be an act of exasperated defiance that I fully support and can understand.

I think i'm just tired of everything I see being an advertisement.
posted by buddha9090 at 9:20 PM on October 31, 2000

Respectful disagree. You reclaim public space, I just have to ride around in a trashed bus. You triumph over advertising, I just shop in a store that either cannot afford to keep itself up, or has decided the locals don't deserve any better.
We are all tired of being hit with constant advertising, trying to drown it out with the visual equivalent of white noise doesn't make anyone feel better. Junking up your own neighborhood makes as much sense as rioting in your own neighborhood, I guarantee whatever power you feel has been returned to you has been drained from the others around you.
I bow to Sudama's example, murals are slightly better, tho they are almost always ugly, and they reek of desperation as they are almost always a plea not to tag the wall further. Surrender and capitulation are not what strong community are built on. Plain concrete is a stylish in a way a big footed alien can never be.
Lastly spray pant contributes to global warming Greens. Get with the program.
posted by thirteen at 10:08 PM on October 31, 2000

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