The above image of bricks and lego bricks comes from Junk Jet no.2 with no explanation other than an author and title. Dispatchwork by Jan Vormann is architectural grafitti. Like Polish artist Truth’s interventions, it introduces a plastic, modern material into an surface patinated by time. Dispatchwork is like a playful skin graft, rejuvenating a surface that might be taking itself a bit seriously. A new scale of “brick” has been introduced into the surfaces, defamiliarizing and then reintroducing the walls to passers-by. While the introduction of the Lego architectural graffiti is somewhat subversive, it also arguably creates a more perfect surface. A flawlessly smooth wall; an exactly 90 degree corner. And hell, it just looks cool.
If you haven’t got your copy of Junk Jet yet, act fast! Not many were printed and it covers everything from the Infrastructural implications of the Popemobile as put forth by Sam Jacob to the mythic “cybridised architecture” of Neil Spiller, and much, much more (including free architecture tattoos!). Junk Jet will also be included in the exhibition A Few Zines, opening this week.
If its not him, then its a damn good imitator. Never one to resist controversy, the stencils have appeared just in time for this Friday’s third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina… Jesus. I can’t believe its been that long! Anyway, more Banksy images can be found on the flickr pages of anthonyturducken and jonnodotcom.
A Polish artist working under the pseudonym “Truth” creates what is perhaps best described as architectural graffiti — minimal, abstract forms made of polystyrene which he (or perhaps she) then attaches to buildings. The objects are intended to respond in some way to the architecture upon which they are installed, but while I appreciate the work, the relationship between object and building is obtuse at best. I do, however, find the idea of architectural graffiti insanely compelling. Taken as a criminal act, it gives strange new life to Adolf Loos’ immortal—and sometimes immoral—1908 essay, “Ornament and Crime,” in which he describes ornament in terms not far removed from how many people think of today’s graffiti. Continue reading “Truth’s Architectural Graffiti and Ornament as Crime”
The Mission Stencil Story,”Why Does She Love the Moon?”I can’t believe I missed this. Sadly, a lot of it is gone now.For more info, click here or here.City as story or story as city? If something like this were ever appropriated by more official civic-oriented forces, it could be an amazing device for tourism. Follow an elaborate narrative through the city while your choices determine what you see and where you go. It could even be integrated with local businesses – order a double americano at an out-of-the-way cafe and get another clue. Such a beautiful, inspiring idea. And a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in San Francisco.
“The Israeli government is building a wall surrounding the occupied Palestinian territories. It stands three times the height of the Berlin Wall and will eventually run for over 700km – the distance from London to Zurich. The wall is illegal under international law and essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open prison. It also makes it the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers.”
So says the self-described “art terrorist,” Banksy, on the front page of his website. Best known for the cynical/satirical stencil works and covert gallery installations, Banksy recently traveled to the Middle East to share vision with those on the Palestinian side of the wall. Besides his usual fare of stenciled figures and abstracted interventions, several of the nine works depict windows or holes looking onto idyllic scenes – The series has been dubbed “Holiday Snaps.” Although the trip was largely without incident, Banksy did encounted some resistance. Said one passerby: “you paint the wall, you make it look beautiful.” Banksy thanked the man, only to be answered with, “we don’t want it to be beatiful, we hate this wall. Go home.”