Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arf Imitates Art

There's plenty of graffiti around town. Some of it's interesting, even good. I haven't posted much because I think of it as vandalism. No matter how artistic it is, it's still defacement of property and I don't want to promote it. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Boz is an artist. He vandalizes the Arroyo all the time. I found biodegradable/compostable dog waste bags at Whole Foods, so once he's completed an art project we take it to the nearest art receptacle. There are plenty of them, conveniently but discretely placed along the path in the Lower Arroyo Park.

34 comments:

benjamin r. wideman said...

Boz is almost making the same face as what is tagged on the wall... maybe.

I'm torn. I like the way some graffiti enhances the look of a city, but gang signs, hate messages, and other random tags can be really offensive. Your point about ruining another person's property is a good one. I've often wondered what a building might look like if it advertised that people were free to put whatever graffiti on it that they wanted to.

JM said...

Well, I think there is a difference between art street and vandalism... I really like some graffitis when they are made in old walls, abandoned sites, etc.; they do cheer up some quite hugly places. But when it comes to ruin brand new painted buildings with a lot of crap, that makes me very angry!!!
I've posted one graffiti on my blog and I'm sure I will do it again as long as it fits the 1st case I have mentioned before.
Greetings

USelaine said...

I think of it as vandalism too. I especially don't like it on older buildings, in contrast to jm. ;^) The graffiti I've posted so far was on some abandoned railroad cars, and was sad to see.

Sara N said...

I personally like Graffitis.In my university you can see many of them on the walls,I never try to draw something on the walls but I always notice on them!
to me this photo is face of a woman who shots her eyes...but I do not know its meaning!
I may post one of the graffiti of my city walls later ;)

lynn said...

I'd prefer to see these artists turn their hand to 'proper' media, but hey yes, they're really talented!

I found a few more slides by the way!

Bernie K. said...

A dog I know, a retriever, is an artist. He was in his Brown Period, but now it's more Ocher … his work is primarily public—often site-specific—and involves a lot of improvisational techniques: grunting, squatting, turning-&-checking, etc. He's prolific and his work is very popular with a certain set of cog-nose-scenti.

Petrea said...

I'm enjoying the discussion.

Oh, Bernie.

Katie said...

Boz is just too cute in this photo. He distracted me from the graffiti! I too am drawn to some graffiti, and have taken lots of photos of examples I like in different cities. But I really don't like defacement of property so I'm torn. Wouldn't it be nice if people only tagged in special ink that disappeared completely after a short time? Or maybe that would encourage even more vandalism. Quite a connundrum.

life observer said...

Somehow, bernie the k stole my comment.
So, I'm left 2 say the obvious: wherever your "artwork" is displayed, at least get permission from the property owner.
Creatures included?!

Christie said...

In college, we had a very large rock that we were encouraged to paint with graffiti. It was the only place we were allowed to paint, but it seemed to satisfy everyone. Here in our town, we had an alley that was open for graffiti artists, but there were rules, and when the rules were ignored, the wall was painted over and no one was allowed to paint there again. We are relatively graffiti free as there are murals in most of the alleys here in town!

Miss Havisham said...

Professional artists have to go through so much to get approval from a municipality to create an installation. Arguing, justifying, explaining, et al, so much so that many beautiful projects never come to fruition due to the dammed (not damn heh!) committees.

This is why public art is few and far between and the world is less colorful and interesting in places. It makes me smile when I see the mark of an artistic rebellion.

It won't be long before the laws are passed to criminalize all owners of dogs for their public sculptures.

Anonymous said...

Bark for bark's sake.
(Arf growlia arfis!)

Petrea said...

I'm torn, too, Katie. We've seen a lot of excellent street art on Paris Daily Photo. I like Christie's/Petoskey's idea about designating a place, or life observer's idea about asking for permission (hmm, will that work?). However I think we can all agree with Miss Havisham's not-too-subtle inference that art by committee is about as creative as, er, canine art.

In our first house, our backyard wall was visible from a busy street. This wasn't some city building, some abandoned shed. It was our home, and it had new graffiti on it almost every day.

I think it's already illegal to leave your leavings on other peoples' property, isn't it, Miss H? Or is that not the same thing as criminal?

JM said...

Uselaine:
I didn't mention old buildings... I was talking about old walls, abandoned sites... that really makes the difference! :-)

Petrea:
Thank you so much for the nice comment!
Greetings

life observer said...

Geez, I just noticed - is that a guard dog on duty in the corner of that pic??!

How then could it have happened? Perhaps, it was just professional courtesy.

Bernie K. said...

That's Boz, the official pooch of PasDaiPhoBlo. He's legend around here.

life observer said...

Well, I knew he had that no-nonsense official officer dog look.

Knoxville Girl said...

I did a series of posts on the graffiti wall in our downtown, but the building owners had originally given permission to artists and anyone else to get creative. If the owner didn't give permission, I see it as vandalism. Taggers annoy me - they are leaving a mark, kind of like Boz lifting his hind leg, only Boz is more artistic.

altadenahiker said...

Boz seems to be getting much press, n'est-ce pas? What was that about, "animals and children?" Is he an Olympic hopeful -- boxer perhaps?

Ms M said...

Love your photo of Boz viewing the "creative marks" of another artist. Do you think it will influence Boz's next "sculptural work"? :)

Laurie said...

My nephew has been in town for the last week and he asked me if there were any bridges or overpasses in Los Angeles that didn't have grafitti. I had never really thought about it as it is just part of this region's landscape to me.

I'll admit, tags really do irritate me. But occasionally I'll see something truly beautiful and I wonder, like Ben, what our world would look like if we designated spaces for public art.

Once I read an amazing sonnet spraypainted on an alley wall in Hollywood. ANother favorite bit of graffiti from my time there was the bizarre appearance of "Agnes Moorehead is God" sprayed on various fences during the course of a summer. That was curious enough to really make me smile.

Remember the subway cars in NY before they got cleaned up? Wasn't that where Keith Herring got started?

Saretta said...

I think graffiti when it's done well can be beautiful.it is just visual clutter and annoying. The most common graffiti theme in Italy is the male genitalia...and really...I could do without seeing that on EVERY wall around town!

Saretta said...

Something's missing in my comment...I meant to say: Otherwise it is just visual clutter, etc. etc. (Got confused thinking about male genitalia, I guess!)

Petrea said...

Yes, KG, Boz does a Jackson Pollock kind of thing.

Not training for the Olympics, Altadenahiker. He just does it for the love of art.

Ms M, he's most influenced by the works of Dick Van Patten.

Laurie, when Katie posted this post card of the bridges over the Arroyo Seco Parkway, I felt nostalgic for the days when they were without graffiti. They must have been so beautiful.

Saretta, going back to Ben's original comment, some of that visual clutter is gang signs and hate messages--clutter to the uninitiated but threats to those who know. The police used to tell us, at our previous house, who was threatening whom and using our wall to do it.

Glad we moved.

Most of what I see around here is more like what's in this shot. I don't think that's a gang sign!

Dina said...

Good of you to give us all the poop on this subject. LOL Maybe you could leave Boz's stacks where they land and call them turdets?

I cast my vote against graffiti.

Tomate Farcie said...

Art or crap? Hmm.. depends on the graffiti. And also, it depends on where the graffiti is posted.
It drives me nuts when I see graffiti on beautiful old building (well, they may not look beautiful to all, but by virtue of their age, they're beautiful to me).
Once, some idiot put a graffiti on the aloe plant outside my place... (rolling eye) give me a break!

Kelly said...

I have to agree with you, I think, about not wanting to promote something that is wrong, no matter how beautifully done. I haven't really thought about it though, to be honest, since we don't see much, if any, of it here in Geneva.

Although having said that, I bet I begin noticing it all the time now... ; )

Petrea said...

Dina, I've been thinking about turdets and laughing to myself this afternoon. I'm stealing it.

Tomate, an aloe? Defacing old buildings isn't bad enough? I've seen some tree carvings that burn me, too. Torturing a defenseless plant...

Kelly: Geneva's a pretty spot, so idyllic. Then again, you're close to Chicago. Who knows? Many towns (Pasadena included) employ people to paint over graffiti as soon as it's reported.

In Pasadena, call 744-7622 to report graffiti.

babooshka said...

I have never considered the point you made about not posting it, so not to promote the the person behind the graffiti. Excellent point. I usually tend to say it's vandalism, then every so often I see something that is so artisitc on a blank wall of a unused unloved building and I am suddenly overcome with this wave of "now that is art."

There is a famous unknown graffiti man in the UK called Banksy. A wall he vandalised/painted sold for £200,000. My partner Gary has been asked if he is Banksy, but no. His artwork for the BBC its seems is not worth as much as a vandalised wall.

Wish had entered this discussion earlier. Excellent post.

Petrea said...

Babooshka, you're never late. Your comments are welcome anytime.

Pascal Jim said...

AH HA...this is spray painted with a stencil. The location discovered 08/24 while strolling under the Colorado Street Bridge, So is this graffiti or a trademark of the workers cleaning in preparation for the Arroyo Restoration dedication at the South end of Brookside Park, Lot I on o8/27 at 4:oo PM.

See you there, will be wearing s straw hat. Yes, an clothing....Pascaljim

Pascal Jim said...

AH HA...this is spray painted with a stencil. The location discovered 08/24 while strolling under the Colorado Street Bridge, So is this graffiti or a trademark of the workers cleaning in preparation for the Arroyo Restoration dedication at the South end of Brookside Park, Lot I on o8/27 at 4:oo PM.

See you there, will be wearing s straw hat. Yes, an clothing....Pascaljim

life observer said...

Luv your blog Pascal Jim!

Petrea said...

I wish I could be there tomorrow, Pascal Jim. It's on my calendar in case I get a break. I was at the kick-off ceremonyin January and would love to be there for the finishing swooshes!