I caught an earlier train into New York than expected, arriving around one pm Sunday afternoon. The city greeted me with a hot and glorious day, three hours of which I spent walking from 32nd and 7th avenue down through the Bowery to Houston street via Broadway and Union Square, then back up to Penn Station on 7th avenue starting at roughly 14th street.
Some remnants of street art had survived the mass cullings executed by the city of New York, but places where formerly many beautiful pieces could be found were instead art-free dead zones replete with franchise coffee shops. Union Square lay bare, stripped of all but one speck of its cultural heritage. Except for a few spots, Broadway along most of its length had been picked clean, scraped-up lighting poles and remnants of sticker-glue the only reminders that works of art had once existed there.
By the time I hit Mamoun’s falafel near Washington square park to photograph the stickers posted on its walls, I was so badly dehydrated that my vision was starting to lag and I was having trouble keeping my balance on two feet. Mine was a forced march to harvest as much street art as possible, you see, and I could not be bothered to drink more than enough water to let my vital organs barely function. I still managed to photograph hundreds of pieces of street art - mostly in the East Village and the Bowery - but was dismayed at the lengths to which the city had gone to desecrate and destroy the graffiti that has for so long made it a beacon of hope in a land of sterilized conformity.
americanifesto / 場黑麥 / jpr / urbanartopia / whorphan
In the wake of apparently deliberate acts of art desecration, the city of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, lies stripped of much of its artistic and cultural heritage. Irreparably damaged are thousands of unique works posted at significant personal risk by scores of talented individuals; gone are untold treasures, wiped from the face of the Earth by the censor’s brush and scraper. Once a place which people visited to marvel at the ingenuity of the human imagination, Boston has joined the ranks of many other American cities that view street art as entirely devoid of intrinsic worth, something to be rooted out, painted over, and destroyed. As someone who travels to cities around the world in order to curate their graffiti, I weep at the destruction wrought by the city of Boston upon its open-air art galleries. Light poles once adorned with riots of colorful stickers now stand bare; walls once covered by compellingly crafted murals now display nothing more than a coating of drab paint.
Does Boston at least photograph these works of art before forcibly removing them from view? Would it allow an art-loving citizen such as me to precede its roving Art Desecration Squads so that I can at least photograph each piece before it is scraped off or painted over? Likely, it would not, as such a concession might lend credibility to the artistic endeavors of rogue but creative individuals who spend their time and money on trying to make the world a more colorful and exciting place. In our American police state, it appears, the only works of art that have the right to exist in public are politically correct advertisements selling us drugs and clothes, snacks and cellphones.
To be fair, there are some street artists whose primary aim appears to be the destruction of property. The majority of these elusive and cunning individuals, however, seem to be acting out of a desire to challenge the sterilization of our communal spaces, to bring color and design to areas devoid of both. Mankind’s oldest form of artistic expression, the application of graffiti spans millennia, continents, and cultures. From the Egyptian pyramids to the caves at Lascaux, from America’s oldest structures to ancient Southeast Asian cities, graffiti - more than perhaps any other form of artistic expression - unites mankind. To the graffiti lovers of the world: avoid Boston! Little remains here of our unique and exuberant cultural heritage.
© JPR / whorphan / americanifesto / 場黑麥
To celebrate thirty years of mutually honoring true Liberty and independently perpetuating human dignity by keeping income distribution at an equitable level, the capital cities of Caracas and Grig today declared their sisterhood. “This is a fine day for the champions of human cooperation,” said Dr. Eoyast Duoryyist, mayor of Grig on the Yalung, while touring the South American capital in celebration of the event. “We look forward,” he continued, ”to receiving in mountainous Grigovia delegations of these beautiful, sun-tanned people, who will surely fall in love with the children of our land, just as we have fallen in love with the children of these shores.” Jacqueline Faria, who is the mayor of Caracas, Venezuela, uttered a similar sentiment, claiming: “History will not soon forget the bonds we have made here, the trust we have forged here, the love we have shared here – especially your love, Mr. Mayor of Grig.” When last seen, Dr. Duoryyist had become so smitted by a pair of willing and buxom twin peasant girls that the 72-year-old was following them around in the manner of a hopelessly enamored schoolboy.
mentiri factorem fecit – 場黑麥
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Among other things I am barber, bicyclist, surfer, vagabond, writer, and yogi.