Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good Graffiti / Bad Graffiti: Some May Say

The other week, it was knowticed that "Kwote" was seen just about everywhere down State St.  Noticeable also was a mark that appears like i|i to the right of the lettering.  That could mean that it's related to a neighborhood known as "The Tre" but we're really just not sure.  It's all just a guess, but I highly doubt that the people responsible for it have any interest in developing their talent beyond just the simple and easy defacement of a beautiful historic building on State Street.

Some might argue that no graffiti is good graffiti.  And that's perfectly alright, because we don't want to encourage people to go out and do bad things to buildings.  Graffiti is just paint, but it's a pain in the ass to remove from a building.  It costs property owners tons of money for graffiti removal.

What are the intentions of graffiti writers?  Maybe they just don't have any common sense.  Perhaps they have grandiose delusions of grandeur, wishing to be seen by all for the artists they wish they were, or pretend to be.  Maybe they live in a half-fantasy world, where their work is imaginarily amazing to themselves.  Perhaps they have contempt for society, and wish to destroy property in minor ways as rebuttal for their financially limited existences.  Maybe it's the cheapest way of getting back at a system which many people, especially after 2008, feel has been designed to oppress them financially.

I've heard reports from many people about employers subjecting their workers to unfair policies.  These practices should be outlawed.  A friend of mine needed to go to work at a catering company in Westchester County.  He needed to drive all the way there, pick up all of the other workers in his personal vehicle, drive to the job, cater it for 6 hours, and then drop everybody back to their homes.  He was essentially at work for 10 hours, but only got paid for the 6.  It's these little pieces of unfairness that I believe make people want to go live in a tent on the green.

I'm not saying that's where he is right now, either!  I actually don't know of any graffiti writers personally.  All of the friends that I know who used to write, they're too old and have too many responsibilities to risk.

I think we live in an age which could redefine "artist" in many ways, not just as people who simply create visual, auditory, or motion picture experiences for others.  But as people who actually live this life, where in actuality they do have the ability and control to impact peoples' lives in a positive way.

But then you see stuff like this.  And it makes you wonder.

On the steps of the Yale Art Gallery
Was this piece sanctioned?

I called the NPR advertisement office in Hartford today to find out whether they were paying people to paint graffiti onto buildings, and they said that they hadn't heard of anything.  Either they are just playing dumb, or they're onto something.  Either way, their public support is so incredible that people are willing to paint their banners onto buildings...  for free?

It's possible that maybe there was a graffiti artist Kickstarter campaign out there somewhere, in which people paid for the supplies and supplied the idea.  This reminds me of a story, about a sculptor who became a graffiti writer via the route of a corporate advertising war which employed street artists as covert operatives.  That would be one heck of a story!  It might be unfolding already!

Any clues, as to who this "NPR-tist" is?

Do not go gentile on the empire.