Tuesday, October 18, 2005

More Graffiti!

I've been meaning to post some more results of my wandering around the neighborhood documenting graffiti, and I've finally gotten over the depresssion caused by the crash of my hard-drive in April with hundreds of pictures I never posted here. Like the graffiti itself, they've just gone away. Unlike graffiti, there's a good chance I'll pay to have them -- and much else -- recovered. But until then, there's always the new stuff.

Since there's always evolution in art, my favorite new graffiti artist is the nut-case who's posting dolls. Actual 3-D graffiti. There are three of them on Rosenthaler Str just below Rosenthaler Platz. Here they are:

I'm sure there must be more of them around, but I haven't found them. Thinking about them this morning, I was reminded of the artist, whose name I've long forgotten, who built the little adobe buildings in odd locations in New York in the 1970s. But that was a "serious" artist, with art-world support, although as I remember, the locations weren't publicized, except, of course, for the ones that wound up in the Whitney Biennale.

In other graffiti news, I was going to photograph a "new" painting by Nike, the amazing primitive painter of female nudes, who had a masterpiece painted on a signboard for the Süddeutscher Zeitung on a fence by the corner of Rosenthaler Str and Weinmeisterstr. that was serving as a sort of odd public outdoor gallery. It was a nude facing the ocean on a tropical beach, with the sun shining, and it was dated '04, which made me wonder if she'd stopped painting. But it was only up a couple of weeks, and last week when I went there with the intention of photographing it, it and all the other paintings and artworks had been taken down and some fake paper graffiti some theater has made were up instead. I despaired of seeing any more of her work, especially since the few remaining examples had all been hideously defaced, like this, her first piece, which has been hanging by Friedrichstr station for over a year:

But imagine my surprise this afternoon when I walked out of my house to see a brand-new Nike, affixed to the wall right across the street, on the wall of what had been White Trash Fast Food!

No, her skill hasn't improved -- look at that neck! -- but I'm hoping this means there are a bunch more in the process of going up. Some graffiti, after all, just creates urban blight. But, as the dollmaker and Nike show, some of it can really brighten a place up.

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