Monday, November 17, 2008

Urban Dysphonium: Juke's Box

A new project. I've been seeing these marks -- graffitti -- around me, and I'm inspired. This set of utility boxes have been a constant target for tagging. Tagging strikes me as a futile, nearly hopeless attempt to mark territory. In our area, tagging is soon erased, making a pristine new surface for the next writer's scribble, each in rotation.

For artists, perhaps grappling for exposure in galleries or museums, taggers may seem like anti-establishment outsiders, looking for their own shot at a moment of notoriety.

All we mark-makers change our environment, and our environment changes us.

6.75"x12" -- on canson watercolor block.

12 comments:

Karen said...

What an exquisite painting. My seeing that you posted this is timely as I've just come back in from drawing a corner bar near me where one entire wall is covered with graffiti and graffiti-inspired markings. These marks have become more apparent as the other colors around it have faded. It is interesting, isn't it, to watch these tags appear, get erased, then appear again, like a cycle.
Good to see a post again!

Edgar said...

Karen -- how nice of you to visit! I've been tied up with NATs (Non-Artist Types)*, to my great dismay. I'm very glad to be able to post and visit around again.

I went by the place in this picture today: the JUKE has already been erased. I think of this painting as an homage to other people's art, and I got to Juke's work just in time. No doubt, he's going to go mark some other hydrants now.

Graffitti marks can be calligraphic, and inspire me at a very non-verbal level.

*Melinda gets credit for coining that one.

Martha Marshall said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your comment today. You reminded me that I needed to stop by again, and I'm so glad I did. Your blog is wonderful. I admire painters who can write, and writers who can paint. This needs to be a book. Let me know when it's published!

silvina said...

Nice! What an interesting subject... art about graffiti art.
Did you get the Gablik book yet? Chapter 7 is about graffiti.
Really like this watercolor! Good one.

Edgar said...

Martha -- thanks for dropping in, and the undue flattery. My check is in the mail. ;-) ... I gotta stop winking. I think I caught a twitch from seeing Tina Fey do Palin.


Silvina -- I'll be broadening the theme in coming work -- it's more like the intersection of art, religion and politics on the urban landscape. Time will tell if the idea has any merit.
On the book, you bring up a sore point! I ordered it weeks ago, and I'm itching to read it. So far, the mailman has been a real disappointment.

Edgar said...

Everyone -- I guess you're not supposed to explain yourself when you make art, but I'm compulsive.

The title is a joke -- I'm making fun of overly intellectual titles. It's a favorite pastime. But, I realized what a high horse I sit on around here, being all opinionated and stuff, and I figured you all would think I was unaware of the irony. 'Nuff said.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Edgar,

Like the painting. You've gone all
Diebenkorn. Great subject, nicely done. I mentioned you on my blog tonight, because I really like your
writing and your art.

Take care,

Barbara

Edgar said...

Barbara - Thanks, on both counts. The admiration is mutual.

Philip said...

Interesting - I have recently been inspired by graffiti.

Karen said...

I had to tag you.

Karen said...

Me again...you probably know about this? My post today details it if not.

silvina said...

The utility boxes aren't the only target for tagging. I'm tagging you! come check my blog.