Friday, June 11, 2004

bleurgh. far too tired for a friday afternoon not preceded by an evening of drinking and/or carousing. Instead spent helping a friend panel-beat articles written for the design magazine she edits into some semblance of readability; no small task given that most of these designers (ahem) cannot write for shit (aaaaaaaaa ha ha ha).
she had me write a couple of things for the current issue, the last she's editing before the publication moves up to Sydney, which was nice, as it's been awhile since i've had something published on anything other than music. One of these things was street art, and boy did having a tight word limit make for a pity.
Great frustration for me was not being able to properly lock horns with the people i was interviewing about what's problematic in the eminence of stencils, lightboxes, posters over, say, graf.
There's more to say, but just quickly, train-painting friends who've lived graf for most of their lives have a real problem with the stencil as street art; not (they say) so much for any issues of realness/hardness (though of course it's that too), but just because they see it as studio art that happens to be displayed on the street, not street art.
I'm not thumping any tubs over this, but i can see their point, although it's very easy to dismiss it as territorialism (especially in Melbourne, which isn't, after all, the Bronx). Is it sour grapes that artists who take less risks are getting more kudos for work in a forum that's always been the preserve of these mostly-maligned painters?
Being given The Art of Revolution, a German hardcover coffee table book full of photos of street art, has helped make my mind up on this. While it comes with a nice mix CD by Florian Keller, this book is so heavy on stencils, posters and stickers at the expense of any exposure of real graf you can't help but feel their defensiveness. Of course there are dozens of books featuring nothing but photos of whole-cars, but you know none of them were marketed, sold as well, or capture the imagination of the curious punter like The Art of Revolution will.
As if to defend it from this sort of argument, the book's collator refers to the work as 'post street art' in his introduction.

Two interesting things happening tonight making me wish i didn't feel quite so crap. Jamie Lidell and the unabombers.
For Jamie Lidell, see someone who writes better than me.
Both should be the hotness.

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