Sunday, November 14, 2010

The ugly side of Rome...




Graffiti! I hate it, really hate it. Lots of people will disagree, that's fine but I don't care...I hate graffiti. Unfortunately the bored "Art" world ever in search of edgy or odd things or the new bad boy (never a bad girl!) has raised this visual grundge to art with jerks like Banksy, who clearly learned how to manipulate the media because he just needs attention, and Shepard Fairy who is now even working in the studio making piles of money by mass producing his images, he's just making a product. Graffiti, in my opinion, is not art. It is, however, the visual equivalent of dogs pissing on lamp posts, building corners, mailboxes etc. to mark territory. And in Rome it is a gruesome visual blight. In many cases it is disastrous for the antiquities. I never understood why people do it, it's so stupid. Is it really all about wanting attention? In Rome it doesn't even come close to being art for those who want to call it such. It's mindless, repetitive scribbles over absolutely everything, cars, vespas, walls of every kind, stairs windows on and on. I was talking with a friend who has lived in Rome a great deal of his life and he said it's never been as bad as in the last 5 or so years. Plus he travels throughout Italy and is seeing it places that have never been defaced before. It doesn't seem like anyone even notices it, but it's not surprising because there is so much of it that it becomes one long visual sour note that just hums across your eyes. There are people in Rome trying hard to combat this but in one interview a graffiti person vowed they will never be defeated...what a dope. You want to be noticed? You want to write? Go write a book, play, music, paint, want to leave your "mark" on the world then do something REALLY creative because if you visually piss on everything you are not an artist.

One focus of my work is the gorgeous effects of time and weather on ancient walls. The colors change, moss grows, there are water stains and salts seep through all of which make for amazing natural art, then some butt head visually pisses on it. Makes me crazy!

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