Friday, July 24, 2009

Graffitti artists: ELSE & PUBERT

When you're involved in something, you become aware of it everywhere. The Exhibition committee has been talking "graffitti" for months, and on my recent trip to France, I found myself evaluating the graffitti found mostly in the larger cities. The above delightful work was on a river wall in Rouen.
On Tuesday night, I was fascinated by the vast amt. of information given by the Graffitti show panelists: ELSE, PUBERT (the artists in residence), a photographer who tried to photograph the graffitti artist, Banksy's, work in post-Katrina New Orleans and told us of the "grey ghost" who covers up this kind of work with an ugly gray splotch, w. Robt. Trudeau's tales of finding local graffitti and his introduction of a local graffitti artist.
After the discussion, I was asked whether I really thought graffitti was "art" and should be in a gallery. I believe it has more credibility when site specific, and the work being done here is specific to the Artspace gallery. As for it as an "art", its being created by people who consider themselves artists, so its art. Graffitti to me reflects the way many young people view their environment, their life situations. I see "tagging" as their way of making a mark on this world, of saying I'm here, look at me. As an Exhibition Comm. member, I think we have 2 kinds of shows: those that offer glimpses of where we've been, and those that try to peer into the future. I'm not sure which "Graffitti" is as I'm sure somewhere youngsters are again creating a new and different artform that reflects their experiences, different from those of these artists.

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