Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Ward-O-Matic: The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal

"Subconscious Art"

Untitled by Mark Rothko

The Ward-O-Matic: The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal

This is a fun article, playfully examining, what for me seems to be one of the thornier issues in post-modern creativity, the importance of authorial intentionality. Or for the lay-person, how much weight (if any) should be given to what the artist intended an artwork to mean, when one is interpreting it?
Personally, as an artist, I think this is one of those questions the seems to elicit a yes-or-no, black-or-white answer, while the actuality is far more complicated.
It's a faulty question people!
It seems like it requires a Yes/No, binary response. Or maybe for the more complex analyst, a "shades of grey" response, finding a point on a polar continuum.
For me this is a question to which there can never be a single answer. Authorial intent can be totally disregarded in the interpretation of some works, while in others to do so, is like trying to enjoy the Grand Canyon with blinders on.
Black or White?
Which one of 16 shades of Gray?
My vote is a slightly lavender-tinted rusty hue, not unlike the shadows just under the folds of a pretty girl's eyes, best mixed from 5 parts flake white and 1 part violet oxide.
er, ahem...
Anyway, like I said, this is fun stuff. I'm a big fan of the life-cycle of graffiti. I like the blocky Rothko-esque shapes that patch over it, almost as much as like walls that have been allowed to go feral, with years and years of tags, weaving atop one another, in screaming liquid pentimento.

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