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February 20, 2012

an essay on the magical nature of street art


  There is mysterious work afoot in major cities across America – the work of street artists! Search modern urban architecture's unadorned spaces, and you will find gallery upon gallery of cunningly executed and deftly placed works of art. Look in the forgotten and the underutilized areas so common to today's city, and you will discover a riot of forever changing and seemingly self-rejuvenating works all crammed and pasted and plastered over each other. And if you watch over a few weeks time the canvas of urban art shift and change you will begin to wonder who are the persons who put up these strange and colorful pictures, and how ponderous are their cojones.

  It shall remain a mystery what exactly drives the individual to risk his life simply to showcase his artistic abilities; the street artist keeps from sight – only twice in the last two months have I seen street artists at work, and both times were at night. We may never explain why a person starts suddenly to affix his artwork to previously unadorned public surfaces, just as we may never explain why state and local governments hate street art as much as they do, or why they work so hard to cover it up and remove it. (I suspect that governments make street art illegal so that they can incarcerate gang members for spray painting, although these official bodies have in effect criminalized all public artwork other than that found on billboards or on other tax-revenue-generating places, which makes little sense from an artistic standpoint but complete sense from a capitalistic standpoint.)

  The self-directed urban beautification specialist, or SDUBS, works for neither fame nor money – she operates because she knows it is more important for her to pursue her Happiness freely and without restriction than for all the buildings to look the same. She executes her craft with the sole intention of making the urban environment more beautiful, and she can hardly stand to see a blank space go unfilled. Her city and state will punish her for her efforts, not rewared her. They look upon her as if she were vile and incorrigible scum, yet she has already forgiven them both, because her heart is pure, and devoid of malice.

  ???ioanni elymucampus fecit

  p.s. go to urbanartuploads.blogspot.com or to urbanartuploads.tumblr.com to see pictures of street art