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Something that gave me a chuckle.

February 25, 2011

In April of 2010 Shepard Fairy came to Philadelphia, and aside from the other two “murals” that he did in the city, he did one right up the road from the gallery at Rocket Cat coffee shop.

Two above photos by JKS.

Please do not get me wrong, I like Fairy’s work as much as the next person and I even love when he makes it to the news for something other then Obama’s “tour”, election, “hope”, whatever one wants to call it, poster. But that is the point here, when does graffiti stay graffiti and when does something that was meant to be temporary stay temporary?  Yes I feel that graffiti is art (much of it anyway) and that this Fairy was not set up in a graffiti fashion, never the less it was still meant to be a more temporary then long lasting (paper and wheat-paste). So Philadelphia Neighborhoods (a Temple U media thingerboop) did a post about Lauren Cassady and how angry this graffiti over a well known graffiti artists pasting made her feel and what she is doing about it. I feel for Lauren, I really do, but all of this gave me a chuckle and I wanted to share this bit of information with you. Simply click the image below to see Philadelphia Neighborhoods article.

After seeing photos of the tagged mural, Cassady, a professional art conservator, volunteered to come to the corner of Frankford Avenue and Norris Street two days per week to remove the graffiti.

What are your thoughts on this?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. The Slingluff Gallery permalink*
    March 4, 2011 11:20 AM

    “Looks like “Spain” chose this piece to go over because he/she knew it would gain some notoriety for him/her. Just like the Shep wall on Houston in NY, when it went over, there was tons of coverage on it (photos, blogs, etc). This is not to the same scale as the wall in NY, but enough for a small amount of coverage, and a little more fame for Spain. I think it just comes down to following a trend. It just doesn’t come off the same way as it did in NY though. Too bad he/she just can’t clean up their style and bomb harder for the recognition.” This is something that Matt Siren emailed me the other day about this.

    I wonder what ever happened to the one in Brewerytown that was hit just a few weeks after it was up?
    Or the small one on 2nd street that was covered over in two weeks.

    I never knew that something the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program does can be privately owned, that is a bit of a shock. Ether way Lauren thanks for your view on this and I hope that all is going well on the Fairy and if you would ever like to do a small video interview about this I would love to do it!

    • Lauren Cassady permalink
      March 5, 2011 10:11 AM

      Thanks for posting the pic of the Brewerytown mural. That is actually a very well executed tag, and I think it actually adds aesthetic value to the piece.

      A lot of the disgust and anger from the bombing community comes from spain being a toy – an unskilled cockroach. They point out the drips, the lack of a fat cap, the lack of a starting box for each letter, etc. (I had one bomber ask me for pen and paper so he could show me how it should have been done). And the fact that such a toy with no control over his chosen medium would cover about 80% of a king is shocking to them.

      I think that everyone agrees that good graffiti adds to the street art conversation and is beautiful in its own right. This analogy is extreme and over the top, but in a lesser way, spain dropped the “n” word in the middle of an NAACP convention.

      Thank you for the offer of an interview. But, even though I have posted responses in a couple of blogs, I actually do shy away from attention. I was fearful of the attention that my interview with Philly Neighborhoods might bring, and indeed it brought more than I’m comfortable with. I’m gun-shy now, but thank you!

  2. Lauren Cassady permalink
    March 2, 2011 10:34 AM

    Hi, Lauren Cassady here.
    I just want to clarify that I am in no way conserving this piece, I am simply cleaning it. As you mentioned, it is a temporary piece. The elements have been doing their obligatory damage, and will continue to do so after I am done.
    As a privately owned piece, the tagging was going to be removed, with or without me. It was going to be painted over with colors matching Fairey’s ink. It would then no longer be a Fairey wheat paste, it would be a paint-by-numbers representation, and much more permanent. What I am doing is the lessor of two evils in my opinion.
    Also, I have been approached, both on the street and online, by several active street artists/bombers, who support me fully. The subculture has a well defined set of mores and standards, and these artists, the local ones especially, want to beat the shit out of this “spain” guy. Basically, they tell me that a “toy” bombed a “king”, a huge non-no in that world. It just doesn’t happen without repercussion in that community.
    It seems, without exception, that it is what I refer to as the Vanilla Ice Yo Boys, those who read about street art in art school or were “bad-ass” high school kids who pasted a flier or two back in the day, who are decrying the cleaning the loudest. Those who live the life on a nightly basis, as a way of life, have thanked me.
    Thanks for the mention!
    – Lauren

  3. February 27, 2011 6:06 PM

    I painted Lauren cleaning off the graffiti today. She’s cool.

    • Lauren Cassady permalink
      March 2, 2011 7:00 PM

      Hi David, I love the finished work!

  4. February 25, 2011 10:22 AM

    I’m sitting in the Rocket Cat reading this. I love it when taggers get tagged.


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