One thing that generally defines a Saturday morning in my life is a long walk with our old dog, Jez. At 16, with shaky legs and bumps protruding from her head, I’m really not sure which one of us it enjoys it more, but I certainly try to respect the fact that she’s a senior citizen and she has limits.
These walks give us an opportunity to see the world after Friday night has taken its toll, but before Saturday morning has had a chance to react. A scenario that usually involves trash, unbelievably bad parallel parking jobs and graffiti.
While graffiti and “street art” is one of those controversial subjects with two easily debatable and completely opposing sides, I will say that I consider a lot of what I’ve seen on trains, walls and abandoned buildings to be “art.” Expression. Composition. The ability to use paint to make a picture. If you’d like to expand your horizons on the subject, watch this.
So, what about BAD graffiti? Is that still art? It’s hard to say for sure, but the garbage that showed up all over our neighborhood pedestrian bridge last week looked like the work of amateurs. Illegible words went sideways when it looked like they were meant to be straight. Depth was poorly added to each letter except for the last, as if they just gave up. And when their wall vocabulary of nicknames and acronyms was maxed out, they resorted to spraying random lines underneath the illegible words to accent the horrific mess.
Jez and went back to the pedestrian bridge this morning, a week after our original discovery. I planned to take pictures of the crappy graffiti, so I could provide visual support for my critique, but it appears that the KC Port Authority shared my opinion of the “art.” In less than a week, every instance of the rattle can escapade had been removed or painted over.
I realize many of us are trying to make our mark and brand ourselves in some way. But if it involves defacing property and the possibility of a fine or jail time, you’d better damn good at it. Otherwise, some ad agency geek who calls himself a “creative” is going to laugh at your gibberish and post blog entries about it. And there’s nothing cool about that.